Saturday, 28 February 2009

Boxing - why not?

Lot's of people don't rate boxing yet it's one of the core things I teach my little workout group first. Basically you need to be able to hit without being hit and boxing offers a lot of solutions and best of all anybody can do it.

There really is no excuse not to train it, boxing is cheap to learn and train. Equipment is a pair of decent boxing gloves, groin guard, mouth guard and possibly head guard. Boxing is a dangerous sport, in my family by tradition we don't box hard after the age of forty, as repeated head trauma will cause issues later in life. However being forty three I still light spar.

One of the best things boxing gives you is the ability to deal with real time pressure of someone trying to hit you. Most people who will try to hit you in the street situation will fire something that resembles basic boxing and sparring will teach you to deal with attacks and land your own. It's rather funny but the people who most berate boxing for not being real world, are the people who seem to get knocked out quickest. Being able to relax whilst under pressure is a key skill for self protection.

Boxing hands blend nicely with other martial arts such as silat, judo etc. The style of boxing I was taught is a blend of old style English boxing and later I went on to mix it with some Filipino boxing. I have been going to martial arts workshops since the early Eighties and there is a certain sense of satisfaction and well being that you get from knowing how to box. To be honest as a thirteen year old, I did not pay to much attention to some of the old style boxing I was being taught, however since my research into systems like Silat and Kali, I can see a lot of interesting shapes that I also seeing in our family style.

In the older style I studied, I was also taught basic clinch and throws and because it was based on bare knuckle fighting, we were taught to throw punches from a different stance and also to cover differently. We were also allowed to grab and hit. Once you get that relaxed skill, you can start to blend it with your other arts.

One of my silat teachers used to say silat is boxing when all the fighters have one or two knifes.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

The female triangle AKA getting off the X

If you are attacked it's likely that it's going to be some kind of ambush and the odds are against you from the start. There's a couple of ways to deal with this problem. One is to switch on your awareness and spot trouble before it develops and take steps to avoid danger.

However there may be times when you mess up and it's a good idea to have a plan and train it under some pressure. If you are ambushed, all your enemy's weapons will be pointed at you and you will be standing on the proverbial X. Not a great place to be!

You basically have three choices:

Retreating, which is not always possible if the ambush has been sprung.
Moving down what I call route one, which is to step directly towards the enemy, aiming to overwhelm them.

Stepping off at an angle towards the enemy but rather than coming straight down his centre line, you come in on his left or right side, out flanking him.
Assuming weapons are involved, of the three options I prefer stepping off the X on an angle on the Kali female triangle as below:

Outflanking him gives you a number of advantages, you get out of the line of his attack and you can come back in across his centre line, closing down one side of his body and distance yourself away from the far side of his body. You can also get in behind him, allowing your weapons the bare on him as below:

Your footwork will need to be explosive as you will need to get off the danger area as quickly as possible.

Pa harold Koning nov 22 Silat DAY workshop Miami fl

Pa Harold Koning, because watching him makes me feel very good.