Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sparring - defense or offense first

After a long absense, I attended my first class in Jan 9, 2008. I've gained 5 kg, became slower, and forgot my few favorite combos. Despite the long holidays, Vince ran the first class like a regular one, with drills and 5 rounds of free sparring (which seems like 5 years) at the end of the class.

I realised a few things from this first lesson of the year:

1. Basics first - hunchback, tuck in chin, look in front, hands up, push off from the rear leg.

2. Maintain posture, look in front when doing the modified duck or bop and weave. Never look down, or I'll eat uppercuts and knees.

3. Remain calm, find openings, and use angles.

The last part is kinda dodgy because I think I was too eager to "win" that I neglected my defense in the pursuit of strikes that connect. There were many occasions I felt like a sitting duck with gaps all over that my opponents can easily take advantage of. And I ate some nasty shots when I stand still to slug it out, zero footwork. I guess it boils down to one thing: must improve my mental game, ie. Defense First. Yes, I did use the clinch successfully but in the process of gaining the clinch, I saw so many lapses in my defense that even a 10 year old can KO me given the chance.

From now on, I'm just going to go slow even if I got hammered, and slowly work on my defensive skills first.

Note to self: must discover how the mental game and defensive approach fits in different types of fighting styles: eg. jabber, counter puncher, slugger, southpaw and etc.

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