Strike to Specific Target Area Training in Kickboxing and Self Defense
How You Practice Is How You Strike
One of the biggest mistakes I see when people are hitting the heavy bag or working with a trainer on focus mitts is the strikes to the face are usually practiced to the shoulder area or lower. This includes jabs and other strikes. If the trainer is holding them low, the client is not being prepared for sport fighting or real self-defense. It’s a really bad habit and very common.
Why do they do it? Well I’m really not sure other than poor training technique and the fact that it is easier
and more powerful to strike lower. Whatever you practice over and over is how you will react. So striking at the face will now be a foreign movement with less power and less accuracy. Shots to the head should be to the head and shots to the body should be practiced to the body. So remember the more someone practices wrong, the harder it is to break the habit.
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For self-defense purposes a strike to the shoulder will not be effective, because in a real life situation, there is no referee and no rounds, so the fight will not last long. There are no gloves so penetration will be much more effective. A strike to the breastbone is effective with a bare-knuckle fist, but that’s not anywhere sport boxing or kickboxing training is usually practiced.
For self-defense purposes people should practice hitting a bag without gloves and wraps to condition their hands. The first time someone is use to being wrapped and gloved, then hits a hard surface without gloves, theirs a good chance they will break their hand. Ever watch people shadow box> There always throwing strikes with open relaxed hands because it’s faster, but useless in a real situation. When I speak of open hand I am not talking about a traditional martial arts palm strike, I am talking about a fist so relaxed it doesn’t look like a fist just flopping fingers.
So keep this in mind next time you are training with a trainer or just hitting the bag by yourself. Focus all strikes whether they are punches, kicks, knees, elbows or backhand. Focus your strikes where they mean something.
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Article by Don Niam