Tuesday, August 01, 2006

How Long Do You Press the Attack?

One of the key decisions when leading off in kickboxing or boxing is how long to attack, and when to use your "exit strategy." In other words, once you're in, what do you do, and how do you get out? I use the following simple strategy:

  1. I keep firing as long as my opponent is off balance. If your opponent is back on his heels, he can't generate any power to hurt you. Watch where his weight is - if he's stumbling backward, especially straight backward, you should keep firing until you're tired or he goes down. The exceptions to this are folks who can kick well by planting the back foot and firing a lead-leg while going backward. If you see the rear foot plant with the toes pointed away from you, get in fast and jam or fake a lead to draw the counter.

  2. Keep your opponent off balance by checking and bumping (see this post, and this one) to keep him from being able to plant (shift his weight to be able to fire). Use your hands (one at a time) to check by placing them on an upper arm or shoulder and turning him, or on his head and directing him. You can also use the front hand to trap. All the while, keep hitting him. If you are at infighting range (only elbows, hooks, uppercuts), then use your hip or shoulder to knock him backward and then fire some more.

  3. One of the most underused techniques is pulling. In the old karate tournament days, you were allowed to grab on the gi top or sleeve and yank the person off balance or into a punch. It's underused now because so few people train in systems that allow it, and MMA has no sleeves to grab (besides it's hard to grab arms well with the MMA gloves on). Depending on climate or weather, however, most people have sleeves, collars, and shoulders (of clothing) to grab, so you should train versus that.

  4. Last, I use the sweep to knock my opponent off balance. Watch the front foot. As soon as the weight comes off of it, sweep the front foot then blast them with hand combinations, mixing in feet when they get to that range. I will create a whole post on offensive sweeping.

  5. Finally, as soon as they plant successfully, you're in danger if you have committed with techniques, and are vulnerable to counters. That's when you want to check and clear.

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