Since my last post on CMD we have covered quite a lot of material:

  1. Bobs and slips
  2. Level Changing and Body Shots
  3. Feints and false attacks
  4. Lowering your guard to just above eye level
  5. Forming a proper fist
  6. Faking your range

Bobs and Slips

Moving your body and head so that it's more difficult for someone to punch you. Easier said than done as it has to be random, properly timed, have a quick recovery and yet stay balanced.

With newer students, it was really effective with their slower strikes, but once training with the more experienced peeps, the speed had to increase a lot and more particularly the randomness. Slight CM movement also has to be maintained while doing this as it's too easy while trying to dodge that you forget to CM and take one in the face.

The movement can be slight and in fact the closer it is, the more efficient it is. I find that if you bob or slip too much, it's hard to react quickly with your own counter punch but a slight slip as it maintains your posture generates a much quicker response.

One mistake that I keep on making is that my bob and slip tends to resemble an infinity symbol instead of rapid quick linear movements that are more unpredictable.

Also important not to lean your head in too much as although this is quite effective in avoiding's not so good if someone decides to grab your head and smash it on his knee...

Level Changing and Body Shots

Not attacking or defending at one level but constantly moving up and down in an unpredictable fashion. Similar principles to bobs and slips. You can't start too low or else you won't be able to level change.

Important in defending against body shots and side attacks and also keeping yourself difficult to hit.

You lose mobility while dropping low so this is something to consider when deciding to 'shell up'. In one instance I recognized this first hand when I was a bit fearful of body shots and ended up being unable to get away from the barrage although I had my center defended.

For a body shot, in most cases it's good to follow combination theory where you start with a jab to the head first, go for the body shot and then jab as you come out. Trying for a bodyshot straight away in most cases isn't a good idea as it tends to be slower as you have to level change and then punch and if you didn't prep it up, can result in just being hit in the face before you can throw your body shot. More effective against people taller than you since you can drop easier than them though I notice Owen's body shots on me are more effective than vice versa. Something to look into.

Feints and False Attacks

This is where you fake or feint an attack to illicit a response or disrupt the timing of the opponent.

There are several kinds where you punch halfway, pause for a short while then follow through or you can change the direction of your punch halfway for eg from high to low and vice versa. The power on this is pretty weak and is more as an annoyance tactic

It's important not to pull back your punch halfway as it just means more time that you're exposed while you're false attacking and since it's just an annoyance tactic it's not important to generate power from this.

I still preferred the shoulder movement feints coupled with a very quick small dart of the hand that gave the illusion of a punch which was then followed up by an cross or a quick jab. This is especially effective if the opponent's CM is a bit slow or he was not keeping his hands moving as by making him misjudge your timing, there is usually a small hole in his defense that you can punch your hand through.

Lowering your guard to just above eye level

Owen and I have been encouraged to lower our guard to just above the eye level. It sacrifices a bit of head protection for better vision and body protection. It also gives much better hook protection as it's a one size fits all defense for punches towards the head.

Still not totally comfortable with this as you feel suddenly quite naked. The first CM stance we learnt really felt like a womb of sorts where you could hide whenever you were trouble and having that taken away reintroduced my flinching which had gone away previously. Just something that needs to be worked on again!

Forming a Proper Fist

I often tried to form a fist by clenching it until there was no air in it. What happened was that I also folded up my little fingers in resulting in my index finger taking the brunt of most of the punches. What should be done is for the fist to be squared up so that impact is distributed around the whole of the fist rather than just one or two fingers.

The alignment of the wrist is also important to ensure that upon contact, the energy travels along your hand rather than it resulting in a wrist injury. This can be done by using your hand to point forward and then that's the proper alignment of the wrist. Straight and centered.

At this point in time while using the gloves, I worry about building a bad habit in not learning how to form a proper fist so I try to practice doing it during my idle moments e.g. while waiting for my coffee or bath water in forming the fist as I punch. Would probably prove useful once we move to the MMA gloves.

Faking your range

I often tried to get as much range as possible on my punches and although this is generally a good thing, Albert brought up that this sometimes gave your opponent a very good idea of what your range is especially if you throw out a lot of jabs.

So instead, when throwing range finding jabs, it's sometimes good to not extend fully. That way you continue to occupy some space but give your opponent an underestimation of your range. In practice I found this was pretty effective where although we were told during the class to try it, some of my sparring partners fell for it by rushing forward only to be met with a quick jab before they could throw theirs. I suppose it's also more effective where you have a range advantage.