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Making a Maize Bag (Slip Bag)

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A slip bag is a simple little tool that doesn’t get used enough in my opinion.

Slipping is an essential component of your defensive game and a slip bag is an effective way to get better at it.

What You Need to Build Your Slip Bag

You likely have everything you need to make a slip bag in your house already.

The list of components required is:

  1. 2 eye hooks
  2. fairly sturdy string
  3. the bag (can be a sock, a sack, pillow case or something strong you can put something fairly heavy in)

Making Your Slip Bag

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A slip bag is just a bag suspended from your heavy bag stand at about head height. You give it a push – it goes out and comes back at you. You slip – throw a counter combination. It swings back out in front of you, then comes back at you. You slip again, throw a counter combination and so on. Every so often you give it another push to keep it swinging.

I’m sure you’ll get the idea of what you’re building from the picture here. This version uses two eye hooks that allow you to easily adjust the height of the slip bag. You just pull the string through to raise the slip bag or loosen it to lower it. As my son and I both use it – it’s nice to quickly adjust its height. You may not require it.

  1. Make the Slip Bag. I’d say that most people just take a sock, fill it with sand or rice or popping corn or even rocks and then duct tape the top shut. Use whatever you have to make a bag that is about the size of closed fist. The heavier it is the longer it will swing without needing another push. You don’t want to fill the entire sock – just enough to create a round ball.
  1. Attach the slip bag to your new heavy bag stand, ceiling, or doorway.Alternatively you can feed the string through a couple of eye hooks to make it adjustable as I’ve done. Tie it off and you’re in business.

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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in Equipment

 

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How to Make a Home made Ceiling & Floor ball (double end bag)

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In a boxer’s training arsenal there are few pieces of equipment that will hit back. The double end bag is the best you can get without a sparring partner.

What exactly is a Ceiling & Floor ball (double end bag)?

Nothing more than a ball or punching surface suspended about head height by some type of elastic material so it rebounds when you hit it.

You will need:

  • Two-three bungee cords
  • 1 x ball of some sort (I used a foam Nerf one I stole from my kids)
  • Duct Tape
  • 2 x strips of material (rags)
  • Some heavy duty string
  • 1 x ice cream pail
  • Rocks and sand.

Time Required: Approx 1/2 hour and then days and months and years of practicing.

Total Cost: Less than $15 – You can probably find all of this stuff around your house in which case nothing.

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Assembling Your Ceiling & Floor ball

1. Building the Base.

The double end bag is suspended at head height by two bungee cords. One goes up and is attached to the new heavy bag cage you just built. The other goes down and is attached to the floor. If you’re like me, your floor is either made of concrete or some material that would require mounting a bracket to give the bungee something to attach to.

Drilling things into my concrete slab wasn’t an option so the next best option is to build a base for it. With a little thought you can probably build something a little more nicer looking than I did.

The base just needs to be heavy enough to hold the bag in place when you hit it. I actually found that allowing the base to move slightly created differing bounces on the rebound depending on how I hit it, so I would suggest not trying to anchor it firmly in one place, but let the base be light enough to move around somewhat – not a lot, but a little.

My base is made out of an ice cream pail filled with rocks and sand. It weighs about 15-20lbs. The lid is duct taped on and I’ve put a loop of heavy duty para cord (any cord is fine) from one corner to the other to create a loop I can attach the bungee to. This has worked perfectly for about a month now with no need to fix it.

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2. Building Your Punching Target. For this I took a foam Nerf Ball that is approximately the size of a 16oz boxing glove – slightly bigger – to simulate a punch coming at me. It gives me a nice sized target to hit as it’s moving all over the place. You’re going to love doing combinations on this thing…excellent for getting your timing more realistic as opposed to a heavy bag.

Anyways, take the ball and wrap some cord around it, tying it tight. It has to be tight as when the bungees pull on it will deform your ball somewhat but that makes it all the more unpredictable. Once the cord is tied around it, wrap duct tape over the cord to keep it in place. Leave a little opening on either side of the ball to hook the bungee cord onto.

I’ve been hitting the ball you see here for a month now and it has not had to be readjusted, re-taped, fixed or anything. It’s ugly as hell but it just takes the punishment and keeps on going.

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3. Hooking up the Bungees. There are two parts to this. First you have to hook the bungees to the ball. Simply take the hooks and hook them on the cord where you left spaces in the duct tape on either side of the ball. Now that is going to leave you with two nice steel hooks at about eye level when all is said and done so you HAVE to wrap the hooks in material and then duct tape the material in place. See the above pic to see what I mean.

That will protect you from catching a hook upside the head. Alternatively you can tie bungee directly to the string, cutting off the hooks, but this was easier and works well.

The second part of this is hooking the bungee up to the base and ceiling. For the base just hook the bungee hook into the loop you attached to the base.

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The other bungee gets hooked to the heavy bag stand you made or your ceiling. The easiest way is to put an eye hook into the beam and attach the bungee hook. You may have to figure something else out depending on what your ceiling is made of.

The fun part is adjusting the ball so it is approximately at shoulder height and has a good spring back when you hit it. If the bungees are too loose the ball will travel really slow which is not very realistic. All you have to do is tighten the bungees on both ends (otherwise the ball will move up or down). Do this by shortening the bungee by putting another wrap around the loop in the base or around the hook at the top. It’s going to take some fiddling with.

Once that is done, you’re done. You now have a double end bag that you can beat to your heart’s content.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Equipment

 

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Why Not Build Your Own Boxing Gym

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One of the things I love about boxing is how affordable it is to start. It lowers the barrier of entry and opens the door for people to choose learning how to box over learning how to do other sports.

There are only a handful of sports where you, by yourself, can progress and learn skills without having to buy a whole lot of equipment.

Even better – if you’re at the point where you do need or want some boxing equipment to take your training to the next level – there is nothing spectacular or complicated about boxing equipment and it’s possible to improvise most of what you need and DIY with low cost materials. So if you’re broke or simply don’t want to go out and buy equipment you should consider building yourself a home made boxing gym.

I’m going to show you how to make your own home boxing gym which is every bit as functional as one equipped with brand name equipment.

 

Elements of the Boxing Gym

To fully outfit a home boxing gym the requirements are fairly simple and I’ll show you step-by-step below how to make it all for less than $200. The same equipment you’re going to learn to make would cost you at least $1000 if you bought it new.

You need:

  1. Adequate space
  2. The Heavy Bag Stand or Cage (approx $150)
  3. Heavy Bag (approx $15)
  4. Double End Bag (approx $15)
  5. Slip Bag (likely FREE)
  6. Uppercut Bag (approx $15)

The only thing you’re going to be missing with this set up is a speed bag and platform – but to be honest – that frustrating little ball has very little application to what happens in the ring. It just makes you look bad ass in the gym when you figure out how to hit it right.

Let’s begin…

 

Home made Workout Equipment

Home made workout equipment is a must if you want to eliminate unnecessary money spending. It is also a bliss to have equipment at home. Why? Because then you can work out whenever you feel like!

Home making your own workout equipment will help you save money. Purchasing a home gym is scary for many. Countless attachments, cables, moving parts, options and sales pitches. All you actually need is 2 to 7 pieces of equipment to have a functional gym. You do not need any machines.

That’s right. You are not required to have any of those fancy, thousands of dollars worth machines to build a great body at home or lose weight. Home fitness is real and effective. Your whole family will be able to stay in shape together, with no expenses after the initial material costs.

Compare buying and renewing 5 gym memberships for years with a one-time purchase of a set of dumbbells and a few other, under 100$ pieces of equipment. Which would you prefer? Having home made workout equipment will save you a lot of everything while giving you benefits and flexibility.

Benefits of Home Made Workout Equipment

  • You learn more about the equipment because you make it
  • You gain functional strength
  • You can repair anything that breaks
  • It is as expensive as you make it
  • It is as good as you make it
  • You gain all of the benefits of working out at home
  • You own the equipment
  • You can always improve it
  • You will spend less money on fitness

 

Adequate Space

How much space is enough to build your boxing gym?

You want a space big enough to divide into two areas. One area is where you’re going to hang your bags and do heavy bag work. The other area is simply open space where you can move around to shadow box, jump rope, or do whatever type of strength, interval, or endurance training you’re working on.

If you want to replicate the type of space you’d find if you were standing inside a boxing ring, then your open space should be a minimum of 4.9m square to a maximum of 6.1m square (that’s a ring size of about 258-400 square feet).

Now I know that’s quite a bit of space and unless you live in a place where it’s warm every day of the year, you’re likely contemplating putting your gym in your garage or a basement. I know my garage can’t handle dimensions like that (and still have room for the car) and have a separate area to hang my bags so I’ve shrunk my open space area to something closer to about 20 square feet.

With a smaller space – you just envision yourself controlling the centre of the ring as you shadow box. You’ll still be able to practice all your movement, pivots and the like – you’ll just be limited in how far you can actually travel in one direction. You want to work a lot of angles and direction changes into your training anyway.

For the area where you’re going to hang your boxing bags – you want enough space ideally to hang both a heavy bag and a double end bag so you don’t have to interchange them when you want to use them. Each requires enough distance around them to ideally allow you to circle each bag 360 degrees.

If you’re looking at one bag – it’s an area of about 64 square feet (8ft x 8ft). Add another 4ft onto the width for a second hanging bag so about 12ft x 8ft = 96 square feet.

Combining your space requirements means you’re looking at a minimum area of about 84-116 square feet. That’s about as small as you want to go – but if you don’t have that much room – then you work with what you’ve got – don’t dismiss your home boxing gym – adapt and overcome.

 

How to Make a Heavy Bag Stand or Cage

I built the heavy bag stand that I use in my garage boxing gym. I wanted to avoid hanging a lot of weight from my roof (as I have two heavy bags and a double end bag) and also because I train early in the morning and my daughter sleeps right above the garage.

I initially did hang the heavy bag from the roof but the vibrations (even with a heavy bag spring) made it sound like the house was falling down. My daughter is 19 and didn’t appreciate waking up at 5:00 am with me.

So I had to find a solution that did not involve hanging the bags from the roof of the garage.

If you look around for a heavy bag stand – you’ll find a number of options and most of them do not allow 360 degree movement around them. The ones that do are basically cages but they’re massive and cost a fortune (thousands of dollars). I wasn’t interested in paying that much so it was time to improvise.

I couldn’t be happier with the result. I built it out of wood for about $150. It’s custom sized to the space I have available and sturdy enough to withstand the weight of two heavy bags (about 3-400lbs). I can use it as a chin-up bar, hang a TRX or other suspension trainer on it, and attach/detach a slip bag and double end bag, and probably other uses I haven’t thought of or needed yet.

All that for $150 and a weekend of work. Well worth it.

I recommend you read through the instructions here in their entirety before trying to build – you may see some things that you’d like to do differently or maybe assemble things in a slightly different sequence.

 

What You Need for Your Heavy Bag Stand (Cage)

The list of materials to build a heavy bag stand resembling mine consists of:

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Wood

  1. 4 – 4 x 4 x 9 (I just got the cheapest stuff I could which happens to be pressure treated)
  2. 8-2x6x10 (Spruce – again cheapest I could get). Note that the picture only has seven – I had to go back and get one more…you need eight.
  3. 2-2x4x8 (gets cut up in 2ft sections to make the braces)

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Hardware

  1. 4-8″ lag bolts (you can actually use shorter ones – 6″ would work fine) with nuts and washers
  2. 4-6″ lag bolts with nuts/washers (only two in the picture, but I had to go back for two more)
  3. 4-angle brackets (about 3/4″ – 1″ wide is fine)
  4. box of 3 or 3.5″ wood screws

 

Assembling Your Heavy Bag Stand (Cage)

Keep in mind that I’m no engineer. I’m sure that if you have any carpentry or woodworking skills whatsoever you will be able to improve on my design. There is nothing complicated about this and it seems to be doing the trick for me. I did learn a thing or two about building it that I can pass on so you don’t make the same mistakes (like bracing the legs while it is laying down and not trying to do it by yourself as it is standing up…that was fun). So here we go:

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1. Build your weight bearing beams. For this you use six of the 2 x 6 x 10s. You screw one to the other so you end up with three beams. You don’t need to cut them unless the space you have is less than the length of the boards -if so you’ll have to customize the size of your stand/cage.

By screwing the 2 x 6s together you significantly increase the amount of weight the boards can support. So lay one of the 2 x 6s on top of the other – line them up so they are square and then put some wood screws into them at an angle, alternating as shown in these pictures.

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2. Build the Sides of Your Cage/Stand. You’re going to build two of these, so just repeat once you have one done.

a. Measure and Drill Holes for Assembly. The idea here is that you want to attach the beams to the 4 x 4s which are the legs of your stand and then brace them so it can hold everything up without moving too much. This stand is going to creak and groan and flex a little but it won’t fall down…

You’ll use the big ass lag bolts so you need to drill a hole the diameter of the lag bolt through both the 4 x 4 and the beam you just built.

Lay two 4 x 4s on the floor and put one of your beams on top of them to space them out and make your measurements. You need to come in from the end of the beam and 4 x 4 so when you drill everything lines up nice.

Measure in from the end of your beam the width of a 4×4 and divide by 2 so the hole will match up with centre of the 4×4.

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Measure middle of your beam width.

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Mark the hole where you’ll drill.

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Now move on to one of the 4 x 4s. Measure down from the end half the width of your beam. Then mark the middle of the 4 x 4. That should be the spot where you drill and it will match up with the hold you put in your beam.

Hopefully the pictures make my explanation more clear…Once you have the holes marked – drill a hole the diameter of your lag bolts (I believe I used a 1/2″ wood drill bit).

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The back cross brace

Now before you move onto assembling each side, you need to pre-drill a hole that will be used to attach the back cross brace which is a 2 x 6 brace that basically makes it possible to stand everything up. Decide which of the 4x4s is going to be the back of the cage – measure about 4ft up from the bottom (so when it stands up the brace is about 4ft off the floor and drill a hole front to back the same diameter as one of the 6″ lag bolts. Make sure you turned the 4×4 before drilling – the hole shouldn’t be on the same side as the holes you’ve already drilled. Repeat for the back leg on the other side assembly.

Now take your last 2 x 6 x 10 and drill holes in both ends just like you did for the beams so it’s ready to be attached to the back legs when you stand everything up.

b. Attach the Beam to Legs. Position the beam ON TOP of the legs, put a lag bolt in each hole and push it through until it hits the floor.

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c. Attach the Braces. This deviates a bit from how I built mine but this should make standing the sides up and tightening everything down much easier. When you try and stand it up without the braces, the legs can swing in and out – makes for an interesting experience but not the safest setup. As such I don’t have any specific pictures of this stage of the build but you can understand how the braces work by looking at a picture where I have them on.

You make a brace out of the 2 x 4 by cutting a 2ft length and then cutting both ends at 45 degrees. Screw it to the beam and the leg which will prevent the leg from moving in or out.

Make two additional braces that will be attached to the back cross brace once you stand everything up. You won’t be able to attach these while the side assemblies are on the ground.

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The back cross brace again…

3. Stand up the sides and Attach the Back Cross Brace. You’re going to need at least one and probably two people to help you with this. The way I did it (which is not how you should do it) required my whole family (three plus me) and I could have used one more. I’m pretty sure my wife still holds a grudge for that little episode.

Until you get the back cross brace with its braces attached and everything tightened down – the whole cage is very unstable so keep that in mind and be careful.

Don’t forget to push the lag bolts the rest of the way through on all the side assemblies and the cross brace, put on a washer and then tighten them as much as you can.

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Attach the front cross brace

4. Attach the Front Cross Brace. With any luck you’re cage is now standing but it’s probably not all that stable.

You have the option of pre-drilling the holes for the front brace like you did the back brace while the sides are still on the floor, but you can also do it while it’s standing. I didn’t find it that difficult.

You attach the front cross brace the same as the back cross brace but you position it just under the top beams and you don’t put any 2 x 4 braces on it. You could and it would probably make it even more stable, but I chose not to so I had more room on the front of the cage.

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Attaching the top beam

5. Attach the Top Beam. You’re almost there – now it’s time to add the most important beam – the top beam which is the one that your bags are going to hang off of.

It lays on top of the two side beams and is held in place by the angle brackets – two per end, one on each side of the beam.

Haul the beam up and position it on the two side beams. Centre it so a bit is hanging off each end (gives you another place to attach things if you like).

Once you have it positioned – mark it and then screw the angle brackets to the side beams. Put the top beam in place in between the angle brackets and then screw the angle brackets to the top beam. When done you have four angle brackets screwed to the side beam and top beam (two on each side assembly).

Guess what? You’re done. You have a fully functional homemade heavy bag stand/cage. Attach your bags in the usual way and punch away. You should probably tighten the nuts every now and again until you’re sure nothing is working itself loose anymore – but you should get years of enjoyment out of this thing. Hope you don’t have to move it…

I did toy with the idea of putting each leg into a cement filled bucket to keep them from moving around, but I haven’t had any problems. I’m sure it would add some stability to the entire thing, but I don’t think it’s totally necessary.

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Your Home Made Heavy Bag Stand/Cage

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2015 in Equipment

 

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How to Make a Tire Heavy Bag

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Now that you have a stand you need something to hang on it and every boxer needs a heavy bag.

There are a variety of ways to make your own heavy bag but I think there is one that stands out far above the rest. Most people will take a large bag like a canvas duffle bag, fill it with sand and hang it up. I guarantee you’re going to hate that bag. It will be rock hard and eventually the bag is going to tear, rip or deteriorate and you’ll have sand all over the place.

Luckily there is a cheaper, better option – the tire heavy bag.

Old tires are usually free – just go to your local dump and grab four old rubber tires. We’re going to bolt them together, attach a couple brackets to the top and hang it. Not only is it going to last you forever – it has give when you hit it and it can serve as an uppercut bag as well as a heavy bag. Four regular size tires (about 23″ diameter) will weigh about 80-90lbs and if you want you can make it taller or shorter adding or removing weight as you please. This tire heavy bag is just as good and probably better than some brand name bags on the market.

What You Need to Make Your Home Made Tire Heavy Bag

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The list of materials you need to build a tire heavy bag consists of:

  • 9 – 1″ x 5/8″ bolts
  • 9 – 5/8″ nuts
  • 9 – 5/8″ flat washers
  • 4 – old tires
  • 3 – U brackets
  • Rope or chain to hang it with

You could probably get away with only using six bolts/nuts to hold the tires together if you need to cut costs down by another $2.

 

How to Assemble Your Home Made Tire Heavy Bag

It’s super simple. You bolt all the tires together, put the U brackets on the top tire and then hang it with your choice of rope or chain.

That said – I did encounter a couple of challenges when putting it together that I’ll point out to try and save you some time and effort.

1. Bolt Your Tires Together. To do this you take two tires and lay them beside each other. You mark a spot in the middle closest to you on one of the tires. Take a tape measure and extend it out. Keeping one end on the mark you just made make two more marks that are the same distance apart so you basically form a triangle of marks on the tire. For the tires I used the distance was 18″.

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2. Draw a line on the mark closest to you as it will be important in a minute. Next mark the second tier the same way. Again, draw a line on the mark closest to you – so both marks that are nearest you will have the lines. When you flip the right tire over onto the left tire, you want the lines to match up. But before stacking the tires take out your drill and drill holes where you made the marks. You’ll have to push hard to start so the bit doesn’t run all over the tire and once you puncture the tire move the drill up and down and side to side to make the hole a little bigger than the bit. I used a 5/8″ bit for the 5/8″ bolts and had a hell of a time pushing the first bolt through the hole. The bit makes a hole but the rubber really grabs the bolt. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort and frustration by ensuring the hole is big enough for the bolt to slide through.

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Once you have your holes drilled, take three of the bolts and insert them from the inside of a tire so the threads are pointing out. The pictures should give you a good idea of what I’m saying. With all three bolts pushed through one of the tires flip that tire over matching the lines up and push the bolts into the inside of the other tire.

This won’t be easy. It took me a while to wiggle the bolts through and if your measurements are off at all it gets even harder. You’ll notice my tire bag is a bit asymmetrical – I could have taken more time to ensure things lined up right.

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My second tip here is to just get the bolt far enough that you can put on a nut. Don’t worry about the washer for now. Once you have the nut on – use a wrench and tighten it down. It will pull the bolt the rest of the way through. Then take the nut off, put a washer on and then put the nut back on and tighten down. You now do the same thing for the other two tires one at a time, stacking them on top and bolting them to the two you just bolted together.

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3. Put on the U-Brackets. Once you have your four tires bolted together – mark the top tier the same way you did the bolts, then use one of the U-brackets to mark where the smaller holes need to be drilled for each U-bracket. Drill them, insert the U-bracket and tighten. All done.

4. Hang Your New Tire Heavy Bag. You can use rope or chain – whatever you have. Feed the rope through the U-brackets in a manner that allows you to hook it onto whatever bracket you have attached to your heavy bag stand. Alternatively you can just loop a chain or rope right over the top beam. I won’t bother trying to explain this part – I think it’s easy enough to figure out how to get it hanging.

And there you have it – a tire heavy bag that will give you hours and hours and hours of punching pleasure. You should know that this isn’t my invention. People have been building these things for years. I actually came across it on YouTube (of course):

Muay thai / Boxing Tyre Bag – Explosive Fitness

(Tires) in Boxing Training (Good For Upper Cut Training)

Tire Boxing (no need for heavybag)

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2015 in Equipment

 

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How to Scout an Opponent in Boxing

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Since match-ups are often decided on the day of a bout, amateur boxers rarely have a chance to scout future opponents. If the opportunity does present itself, though, take full advantage of it. Study your future opponent’s game, analyse his style, and devise a strategy. The rest of this guide highlights six important details to note as you watch a future opponent compete in the ring.

The Six Steps to Scouting

Generally speaking, there are six aspects to scouting:

  1. Identifying your opponents fighting style
  2. Identifying your opponents strengths.
  3. Identifying your opponents weaknesses.
  4. Study previous fights of your opponents bouts and Identifying what works well and what does not work well against them from their previous opponents.
  5. Deciding how your personal strengths/weaknesses match up.
  6. Formulate a strategy.

You need to recognize both you and your opponents strengths and weaknesses in order to properly formulate a game plan. The following five steps should help you accomplish this task.

  1. Identifying Your Opponents Fighting Style

Styles vary from boxer to boxer, and experienced fighters usually adopt aspects from several different fighting styles. However, it’s possible to get a feel for how a boxer prefers to fight, which will help you make a general conclusion about his style. Rarely will a boxer take an overly-aggressive swarming approach for one bout, and then completely transform into a dominant counter-puncher in the follow match. That being said, you should be ready for anything and realize that a single bout won’t expose everything.

Here’s a list of possible styles:

  • Out-fighter
  • Boxer-Puncher
  • Brawler/Slugger
  • In-fighter
  • Bob-and-Weave Fighter
  • Puncher
  • Counterpuncher
  • Southpaw
  1. Identifying Your Opponents Strengths And Weaknesses

You need to read and study ” Chapter- Scout & Test Your Opponent” on the following subjects:

  • Read their Universal Signs: These are based on physiology. For instance, the hips have to rotate a certain way to throw a certain punch.
  • Read their Idiosyncratic (Personality Driven) Signs: These are unique to your opponent. They are habits they have developed over time which have either gone unnoticed or unchecked.
  • More Tips To Read Your Opponent
  1. Study Previous Fights of Your Opponents Bouts & Strategize without Over-thinking

Videotapes allow you to dive even deeper into your analysis. You can rewind parts of the bout that you find particularly interesting, and truly study your future opponent. However, never lose sight of your own training and capabilities by worrying too much about your competitor. Amateur bouts are relatively short. When in doubt, keep your hands up and throw punches.

  1. Deciding how your personal strengths/weaknesses match up.

The first step in scouting takes place way before you even see your opponent for the first time. Throughout training, you should identify your own strengths and weaknesses by talking to your trainer and experimenting with different approaches while sparring.

Everyone has personal strengths and weaknesses. For the most part, your fighting style develops not from a preference to be an out-fighter or brawler, but rather from your own personal capabilities. Always work on your weaknesses, but realize that you’ll need to utilize your strengths in order to be successful in the ring. Take your strengths and weaknesses into account as you watch your opponent to match up yourself against them and formulate a strategy.

  1. Formulate a strategy.

Take your opponents Fighting Style, their Strengths & Weaknesses, your analysis of your Opponents Previous Fights and Your Strengths & Weaknesses into account to adjust your Fighting Style and formulate a strategy.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Ring Strategies

 

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Boxing with Feints

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Elite fighters are difficult to hit because they maintain an effective guard and possess skilful defensive techniques. An experienced boxer can defend against a single jab, but he can also easily counter the attack. That’s why you need to incorporate subtle offensive techniques to create openings on your opponent. This guide discusses the art of setting-up your opponent with fakes, known as “feints.”

Understanding the Feint

The term “feint” refers to a fake punch or misleading movement that causes an opponent to react and open up. Over the course of the bout, feinting exposes your opponent’s tendencies and reactions to specific punches. His reaction to your movement allows you to move forward in the match with a better understanding of where his vulnerabilities lay.

Hot Tip: Creating Space

Feints are especially useful against aggressive opponents. Often you can stop an aggressive opponent in his tracks by feinting. Feinting creates space as he walks forward. If he doesn’t react to your feints, then blast him as he walks into your range.

How to Feint

There are different types of feints — some involve just the eyes and hands, while others involve the entire body. Feints are the ultimate set up move, but success relies on your ability to land punches. Once you’ve hit your opponent, he’s much more likely to react quickly and emphasize his defence to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. If you’re good with your feints, you can take advantage of the openings that emerge each time he reacts.

A simple feint sequence plays out as follows:

  1. Look at a specific area on your opponent’s head or body.
  2. Begin to throw a punch, but stop the punch midway through the punching motion.
  3. Pay close attention to how your opponent reacts.
  4. Respond with a punch that exploits his vulnerabilities. For example, feint a jab to the head. Your opponent may raise his hands to block or parry your jab. Throw a cross to his body.

More advanced feints involve the use of clever footwork as well. Here’s an example:

  1. Look at a specific area on your opponent’s head or body.
  2. Jab step with your front foot — a jab step involves stepping forward quickly in the direction of your opponent, before returning your foot to its original position.
  3. While you’re jab stepping, simultaneously incorporate a head feint — move your head quickly forward then back to its original position.
  4. Respond to his reaction by feinting then attacking. If he simply backs up each time you feint, then continue to come forward and back him up against the ropes where you can bang away.

Steps two and three deceive your opponent by making him think you’re about to attack.

“Jose Torres, my former stable-mate and the light heavyweight champion of the world . . . gives the best definition of a feint that I’ve ever heard: ‘A feint is an outright lie. You make believe you’re going to hit your opponent in one place, he covers the spot and your punch lands on the other side. A left hook off the jab is a classy lie. You’re converting a I into an L. Making openings is starting a conversation with a guy, so another guy (your other hand) can come and hit him with a baseball bat.”

Floyd Patterson
Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion

Overwhelm Him

Clever fighters deceive opponents with feints and intricate punch combinations. Feints can confuse or surprise your opponent, since he has to determine whether or not each punch is a real threat to land. Likewise, combining feints with complex punch combinations can lead to easy points if your opponent visually exposes holes in his defensive game. Lastly, be smart defensively. Don’t over-commit to a defensive manoeuvre, such as a parry, that could potentially leave you vulnerable. Keep your parries tight, knowing that your opponent may incorporate feints as well.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Ring Strategies

 

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About The OODA Loop

ooda-loop

The OODA loop has become an important concept in litigation, business and military strategy. According to Boyd, decision-making occurs in a recurring cycle of observe-orient-decide-act. An entity (whether an individual or an organization) that can process this cycle quickly, observing and reacting to unfolding events more rapidly than an opponent, can thereby “get inside” the opponent’s decision cycle and gain the advantage. Frans Osinga argues that Boyd’s own views on the OODA loop are much deeper, richer, and more comprehensive than the common interpretation of the ‘rapid OODA loop’ idea.

Boyd developed the concept to explain how to direct one’s energies to defeat an adversary and survive. Boyd emphasized that “the loop” is actually a set of interacting loops that are to be kept in continuous operation during combat. He also indicated that the phase of the battle has an important bearing on the ideal allocation of one’s energies.

Boyd’s diagram shows that all decisions are based on observations of the evolving situation tempered with implicit filtering of the problem being addressed. These observations are the raw information on which decisions and actions are based. The observed information must be processed to orient it for further making a decision. In notes from his talk “Organic Design for Command and Control”, Boyd said,

The second O, orientation – as the repository of our genetic heritage, cultural tradition, and previous experiences – is the most important part of the O-O-D-A loop since it shapes the way we observe, the way we decide, the way we act.

As stated by Boyd and shown in the “Orient” box, there is much filtering of the information through our culture, genetics, ability to analyse and synthesize, and previous experience. Since the OODA Loop was designed to describe a single decision maker, the situation is usually much worse than shown as most business and technical decisions have a team of people observing and orienting, each bringing their own cultural traditions, genetics, experience and other information. It is here that decisions often get stuck, which does not lead to winning, because

In order to win, we should operate at a faster tempo or rhythm than our adversaries–or, better yet, get inside [the] adversary’s Observation-Orientation-Decision-Action time cycle or loop. … Such activity will make us appear ambiguous (unpredictable) thereby generate confusion and disorder among our adversaries–since our adversaries will be unable to generate mental images or pictures that agree with the menacing as well as faster transient rhythm or patterns they are competing against.

The OODA loop, which focuses on strategic military requirements, was adapted for business and public sector operational continuity planning.

The key is to obscure your intentions and make them unpredictable to your opponent while you simultaneously clarify his intentions. That is, operate at a faster tempo to generate rapidly changing conditions that inhibit your opponent from adapting or reacting to those changes and that suppress or destroy his awareness. Thus, a hodgepodge of confusion and disorder occur to cause him to over- or under-react to conditions or activities that appear to be uncertain, ambiguous, or incomprehensible.

The OODA Loop also serves to explain the nature of surprise and shaping operations in a way that unifies Gestalt psychology, cognitive science and game theory in a comprehensive theory of strategy. Utility theory (the basis of game theory) describes how decisions are made based on the perceived value of taking an action. The OODA Loop shows that prior to making a decision (the Decide phase), the person will first have to get information (Observe) and determine what it means to him and what he can do about it (Orient). In this way, the utility sought at the Decide phase can be altered by affecting the information the opponent receives and the cognitive he applies when orienting upon it.

Writer Robert Greene wrote in an article called OODA and You That

the proper mindset is to let go a little, to allow some of the chaos to become part of his mental system, and to use it to his advantage by simply creating more chaos and confusion for the opponent. He funnels the inevitable chaos of the battlefield in the direction of the enemy.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Ring Strategies

 

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