Some light sparring

Serina showing girl power

When Serina boxes, it looks like she's dancing

Sparring for tips as we didn't have money to try the new cinema :P

Bobbing and weaving

Yesterday, we dealt with palming and cuffing punches with the jab/lead hand (not sure if I got the terminology right here).

This works best when having 'matched leads' meaning if my right foot is forward, then the other person is having his left foot forward or vice versa due to

  1. the shorter distance covered when doing the counter punch which makes it a lot quicker and less telegraphed
  2. still being protected against the cross with the free hand.
Being a southpaw, this was an especially important lesson since I was for the most part dealing with orthodox boxers.

Cuffing happens in the CM1 (rimshot) range and as your partner jabs, you intercept the punch by palming over it with your jab hand and pushing it down and slightly towards you. This redirects the force of his punch and opens his face to a quick flick punch back to his face.

If you are fighting with the same stance, for e.g. orthodox vs orthodox or southpaw vs southpaw, this is a lot more difficult to do.

Parrying can be done with the rear hand which is actually a commonly used technique in traditional boxing. Some notes from an old boxing magazine I found on Google Books which deals with the above situations:

Note: Albert mentions that this isn't directly applicable to CMD due to the different stance and how traditional boxing is less strict about head protection and the hands are not locked to the head but is interesting nevertheless:
Rear-hand parry (assuming orthodox stance):

Use the right hand to deflect the jab while the left leg is forward. This is a very fast counter and is one of the most common techniques taught by trainers. Although the parry appears to be a simple movement, mastering it requires speed, timing and accuracy. In order to parry effectively and consistently, the technique must be a short and economical movement. Overextension sets up the fighter for a double jab or a fake. When parrying, remember to keep your rear hand high, relaxed and ready to respond. Once you have parried the jab, return the rear hand to its ready position.

Front-hand parry

The front hand can also be used to deflect a jab but it is generally not encouraged because it removes your lead hand from a protecting position in front of your face. Unless you are highly skilled, there is a tendency to overextend the parry, which creates an opening for your opponent's right cross.

The front-hand parry puts you in a vulnerable position. Nevertheless it is effective against kicks, since you are out of hand range and have more time to react to your opponent's follow-up technique.
There are several things to note when doing this move
  1. If you're slow or mess up the timing, you could eat one in the face so it is a risk. Remember that your hands leave your face while you are trying to intercept the punch so if he contacts at the wrong time,
  2. Don't do it too often as if the opponent knows it's coming he can fake you out and then follow in with a real punch.
  3. Seems to work better if the punch is deflected before it's fully extended as the punch then is relaxed while its still gaining speed. If it's fully extended, you've probably already eaten it.
  4. There should be very little delay from the parry to the counter punch as you only have a very brief window to execute the counter-punch before he pulls back. Ed: Albert mentions that the counter is not necessarily immediate as sometimes your punching hand can be dragged back towards his face which can be followed with a counter to prevent him from trapping your hand again but this is more a case when using big gloves.
Avoiding the parry is basically keeping your punches random with fakes thrown in and also a quick recovery.

Personally I found the movement a bit awkward as I am used to cutting down with an extended arm like Aikido and doing so with just the lower arm felt tiring and unnatural (for now at least). Definitely one move to actively train while sparring.

Is it me or are CMD classes zooming faster and faster by as my cardio goes up? :(