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-   -   unlearning bad blocks (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=351)

Yael Grauer 01-07-2007 02:02 PM

unlearning bad blocks
So when we play light touch sparring, I notice that I do these god-awful blocks from my many years of karate...blocking kicks with my hand and such, or blocking punches instead of slipping. Of course the obvious answer is to spend the next however many years with perfect form and technique, but are there any shortcuts for unlearning bad habits? I thought maybe I could just tell a friend to kick my hand really hard when I do that and see if my body remembers it that way. It worked with getting me to improve my stick grip. Or maybe just a ton of really good shadow boxing every day to get used to moving more effectively... I don't train that much but since all of my crappy blocks were mostly done in the air I'm hoping I can unlearn them on my own as well... Anybody had this problem?

Josh Whiting 01-07-2007 04:55 PM

You are going to have to break things down into drills. During sparring you are reverting to old habits because you are under pressure, the answer is to drill some exchanges and gradually up the pressure. The skills you take from these drill should then carry into sparring and finally into fighting.

Lets take a left hook defense for example.

You get you partner to throw hooks. The first few maybe you just stand there and block. From there you can move round and he can hook to your head when he feels like it, using his foot work and body movement to try and hit you. Gradually up the tempo until he is trying to knock you out. Maybe do a round of this.

Do this sequence with all your hook defenses. Finally do a round using all you defenses. Repeat with all punches and kicks.

From here maybe do complex round (i.e he can jab, cross, low right kick). By this stage you should have a good carryover to sparring.

It's important that you partner makes this realistic and doesn't just turn into a left hook robot for a round, after all it's training for him too right?

Wear gloves!

Shadow boxing everyday will help, but will only take you so far. It is worth doing though even if is for a short 10 second bursts whenever you happen to think about it. Be careful where you do this ha ha.

Wear gloves for this!

Yael Grauer 01-07-2007 05:25 PM

We definitely do a ton of drills but it hasn't carried over as well as I want it to yet... so more drills, got it! The problem is that I can only train with my current group once a week, but I'm looking at a boxing gym that's practically next door for the spring. It's just that it's more than I want to spend and I hear it's not that good...shadow boxing it is!

Robb Wolf 01-08-2007 05:35 PM

Great Stuff Josh!


Bottom line (IMO) you really need to solidify form in controlled environments (drills) before progressing to sparring. Also-Karate sux.

Yael Grauer 01-08-2007 08:50 PM

I get it, you want me to play scales and I just want to play Rachmaninoff even though I can't!

Hey, my old karate teacher now teaches kickboxing! :D

Robb Wolf 01-09-2007 07:15 AM


Originally Posted by Yael Grauer (Post 2988)
I get it, you want me to play scales and I just want to play Rachmaninoff even though I can't!

Hey, my old karate teacher now teaches kickboxing! :D

Tae-bo is also considered "kick-boxing". The Karate-five-O folks who start teaching kickboxing are usually "good" like a Tijuana hang-over is "fun".

Yael Grauer 01-09-2007 07:29 AM

My old karate teacher really is good, though. He saw the light! When I started sending him e-mails a few years ago telling him that everything he taught me was crap, he said, "I know, I quit, remember?" :p

My last question on this though. When I was checking out kickboxing and boxing gyms I noticed that nowhere I've checked out actually has much instruction. Tons of drills and cardio, and the majority of the teaching is from other students rather than the instructors. Is that normal? Everyone is super nice and all that but I kind of feel like I'm going through the motions and not being taught anything... and if all it takes is just drills and cardio, I could probably just do that on my own.

Josh Whiting 01-09-2007 11:52 AM

Drills are important, but if the instruction is not there then maybe the school is not up to scratch. You should read some of the SBI stuff about aliveness and compare that to what happens at your school. Drills should be progressive and challenging. As you progress in a drill you should eventually have a feeling of "XXXX me if I mess this up he will take my head off".

Some boxing gyms (especially pro gyms) won't have classes and people will either train alone, pay for a coach or get picked up by a coach. Even in some amateur gyms you will have to go down for a while until your considered serious and then get some coaching. Maybe this is different in the States.

If you training with MMA be careful as some gyms, especially boxing gyms, are very set in there ways. They may not be happy with you making adjustments to how you train (i.e widening your stance, reducing you ROM in ducking and weaving etc).

Talking of kickboxing for fitness my girlfriend has just been training with me, running across the garden, throwing a combination on the pads and then running back. Afterwards she said "I really liked that, it was like It's A Knockout".

Yael Grauer 01-09-2007 12:13 PM

My MMA group is very much alive, it's not SBI but they're Burt Richardson students and they kick ass. I just haven't ever been to a boxing gym or Muay Thai that wasn't just drill after drill after drill with only minor form correction... But I'll keep looking.

Hey Josh, what do you train in? Just curious.

Josh Whiting 01-09-2007 04:01 PM


I train in MMA. However I have cross trained in various things depending on what I'm trying to bring up. Finding a good place to Box/Thai place though is hard if your doing it for MMA. Like you I am from a TMA background, although that was some years ago.

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