After a long hiatus from CMD class due to my trip in Japan and Albert my trainer going off to US for 2 weeks as well, it was great to get back into the action. Owen and Roderick were still having exams and Riri...the bastard FORGOT! So it was just me and Albert for Monday and Wednesday.

Albert started out the precursors to CM2 and introduced the concept of counter-punching.

First of all a bit about CM2. CM2 is moving from the rim-shot range and closing the distance with the opponent which puts you in the range of counter-punches.

What is counter-punching?

Here is my own understanding of it (and the usual disclaimers in that it may be entirely wrong). Whenever someone punches, there is always a slight (or large) opening, the most vulnerable points being
  1. When the person is about to throw a punch
  2. When the person is recovering from his punch
As the punching arm is rather relaxed during prep and recovery, a well timed punch can exploit first of all the hole created in the guard when punching and also the lack of readiness both mentally and physically (the hand is not usually prepared to take a blow when recovering/prepping).

Counter-punching can be devastating, it can utilize the opponent's forward motion to strengthen your blow but perhaps more importantly it breaks the flow of an opponent's attack. There's nothing quite like beginning a combination only to be interrupted prematurely with a hit in the face. It frustrates the opponent as you are preventing him from carrying out his plan of attack and over time, this accumulates to become a substantial mental effect.

The Counter Punches I learnt

The first one was a very quick punch after a block, dodge and while the opponent is pulling his hand back. Albert demonstrated this to me when I threw him a slightly sloppy jab (not intentionally) which resulted in a lightning fast smack in the face which left me wondering 'What the heck happened?'.

The second one was rather awkward where you back off slightly to get out of range of the punch and then recoil back to land a punch in straight away. I am having a hard time visualizing how this will work effectively against a good punch.

The third one is where you punch as he punches and try to land a quick combo in the moment your counter punch connects. At first I thought this was something like punching when he was punching, but if you think of it logically it's more of trying to punch him before he even starts punching fully which I believe is what Phil Wright from Revolution Gym was trying to tell me over Twitter :P.


I am quite happy with my progress. I still am not absolutely free flow, but I start to try to have a plan and I think perhaps the most important milestone was I stopped closing my eyes while being under heavy attack and still able to think more or less with a level head as to how to react.

I have confidence in my CM1 and my stamina has improved a little where I can last a few 3 minute rounds. My calves no longer hurt and I can move around without thinking too much about it.

Sparring sessions like this really remind you how far you have come from the first time you stepped in and is extremely rewarding.

Stamina is still a problem where I have problems maintaining burst but it was no where as bad when I would be busted within the 1st minute of a round to the point I could barely move anything. Perhaps also something to do with pacing as well.

My first 'injury' from CMD

As we stepped up the sparring, Albert managed to land a middle strengthed jab to across my cheek which resulted in my innerlips grazing on my teeth which lead to a little bleeding. He was of course very apologetic and actually it's a bit of a wonder that this had not happened a lot earlier considering how we have been sparring for a while now!

In a way I was also happy in that Albert was also stepping up his power in line with my progress and sparring took a slightly more serious tone (yet still firmly being a non competitive game/play) which just reminded you to be more focused.

Certainly time to invest in a mouth guard. :D


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