Friday, November 26, 2010

Dead Man Fighting

In a streetfight you must be able to move smoothly and quickly without hesitation on your part.

You must be explosive with your punches and put your weight behind each strike for maximum power output. You don’t want to be spending all night kicking someone’s ass; you want to get it done as quickly as possible.

So the worst thing you can do to hinder your survival in a streetfight is fight from a “Dead Stance”. A dead stance is one that lacks explosive power and is weak in movement and intent.

A streetfight can be very chaotic, dangerous and unpredictable, so when you need to move, you need to do it instantly. Your fighting stance needs to be spring loaded and ready to explode into action. If your fighting stance can’t produce this for you then you’ll be fighting and moving like you’re stuck in mud.

Now being explosive and spring loaded doesn’t mean that you should be dancing or bouncing around your adversary, never do that in a streetfight unless you have a death wish. What I am saying is learn to spring load your stance so that you only move when you need to. And that means training to “Load” your stance to make it explosive and powerful. Here are some ways to load your stance to make you more explosive when you fight.

· Squeeze your inner thighs slightly. These are the muscles that help drive power into your punch.

· Sit on your punch. Bend your knees slightly to give your legs more spring and lower your center of gravity.

· Squeeze your butt cheeks and anal sphincter slightly. This will engage your posterior chain of muscles which will help drive your body forward.

· Grab the ground with your feet. Paw the ground with your toes to help drive the body explosively.

· Push off with the big toe of your foot. This powerful muscle will help get you moving.

· Drive from the hips. Explode from your center to bring your whole body into the movement.

· Raise the rear foot slightly off the ground. This will help to propel you forward more quickly. Just make sure you push off the ground as you move.

Use this information to load your stance and become a more explosive fighter. But a word of warning; while being explosive in your movement is very important, so is being able to control it. But that’s a subject for another time, just be aware of it.

In closing I’ve given you enough information to resurrect your dead stance and make it more dynamic and explosive. It’s up to you now, add these skills to your streetfighting arsenal and don’t ever get caught being a dead man fighting.

Daniel Sambrano

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Confusion of Punching Naked

Every time I teach a new student the martial concepts and principles of fist fighting, they are very surprised at how much information they are given and how much power they are able to generate so quickly. But the students that are the most surprised are those that know how to box. Most have never heard or seen any of the techniques or concepts that I teach on fist fighting.

There are two reasons for this; first what I teach is almost 100 years old if not older, and has been forgotten, not taught or abandoned. Second, most fighters learn the sport of boxing in its modern form due to reason number one. One important thing I want you to consider is that bare knuckle boxing and modern boxing are two different animals. It’s like comparing apples and oranges, they are both fruit but they are different types of fruit. Both types of punching have different goals in mind; therefore have different ways of striking and finishing a fight. So trying to compare the two will just confuse and keep you in the dark, they are both separate and different entities.

Bare-knuckle boxing has been tried and tested in both combat and street-fighting and has stood the test of time. This is why I chose to teach the bare-knuckle form of fighting as opposed to the gloved modern form. It just makes more sense to teach a form of fighting that doesn’t use hand protection to defend itself from attack. Especially, since you won’t be walking around town with gloves on ready to fight. There are concepts and techniques from modern boxing I wouldn’t think of using in a street-fight to defend myself with. For example, I wouldn’t throw jabs or hooks to the head, also I wouldn’t come at my opponent like they do at the beginning of each round. I won’t dance around on my toes against my opponent or hold my hands in a typical boxers guard.

But then again in modern boxing I wouldn’t use many techniques or concepts of bare-knuckle boxing such as head butting, eye gouging, holding, hitting below the belt, rabbit punching, biting, tripping or throwing my opponent to the ground on his head, shoulder or neck. Although both styles of punching may seem similar on the surface, they are miles apart in their tactics, techniques and strategies when it comes to fighting. And those differences make each style both unique and important to pursue separately; that is until you can understand and appreciate each one. “The way you train is the way you will fight” is a saying that holds much truth in both styles of striking.

So if you are training for sport choose the modern form of boxing and if you are training for the self protection aspect choose the bare-knuckle version. I’m sure you will be pleased with the results if you heed my advice and train accordingly. And always remember “The right tool for the right job”, definitely applies here.

Stay safe and train hard.

Daniel Sambrano

Monday, November 15, 2010

My next muay thai video - elbow knee combos

The poll results are in and your voice has been heard. According to your votes, I'll shoot a 2 part series on elbow & knee striking combo drills, and I'll also begin to shoot basic multiple opponent tactics drills. The multiple opponents concepts goes pretty deep with a wide number of factors to consider - but we can at least get it started, right?

If you are a subscriber to my blog I'll email you a training and drill regimen PDF as a holiday gift for being a loyal reader.. If you want to be included in this offer, simply subscribe to the blog.

Folks, this is my blog, and by know you know that I could care less about training for sport or MMA. But this is also your blog. So, I encourage you to reply to posts, or send me a message with your own thoughts and ideas about muay thai, street fighting, self defense, and yes, spicy food.

I'm humbled and thankful that you take your time to read my rants, so let me return the favor - don't be shy about posting your rants!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Ballerina Fighting

Why Fighting on Your Toes is Not Combat Effective

The Art of Movement
Whatever style of stand-up fighting you train in, you have been taught footwork; the art of how to move. The majority of time you’re taught to stay on your toes or the balls of your feet. The reason being it makes you quicker and lighter on your feet. Watch any boxer or mma fighter with great footwork do his thing and he’ll make his opponent look like he’s standing still or moving in slow motion.

The Crutch
But the thing you need to pay close attention to is the surface on which he’s moving on. More than likely that surface will tend to be flat, firm and tight, whether on canvas or vinyl. This is the best type of surface when it comes to fighting for sport competition. While it does have its advantages it can become a crutch and liability when it comes to street-fighting on surfaces that aren’t so smooth and flat.

My Story
Many years ago I use to train in an alley behind my home and sparred and fought with many different styles of martial artists, boxers and street-fighters. I was fortunate to be able to train on different surfaces in that alley, as spartan as it was. You see one area was very gravely, while another side was grassy, still another area was thick asphalt that was sticky.

Then there was an area that was missing chunks of asphalt and it had gravel and dirt in the holes and cracks. There was also a cement slab that was flat and smooth but had a lot of dust on it which made it very slippery. And finally there was an area that was uneven and sandy. I would go out to that alley and train my footwork on all those different surfaces.

I would shadow fight, pivot, and kick figuring out what worked and what didn’t work on those surfaces. I got so good that when I would spar with someone I would watch how he moved and based on that I would guide him to the area that would nullify his footwork and style. For instance if he was a kicker I would fight him on the gravel or the dusty cement floor. If he was a shuffler I would fight him on the sticky asphalt or gravel. And if he fought on his toes or the balls of his feet, I would fight him on the uneven sandy surface or the area with the missing chunks of asphalt. Opponents with wider stances, I would fight on the smooth flat dusty cement slab. Opponents with a more narrow stance I would fight on the sand or uneven area.

Wow! I just gave you a lot of information on fighting on different surfaces.

Go back and re-read this last section, there is so much to learn from my alley fighting days.
By the way the best footwork pattern I used on all these surfaces was…

Change Up
Before I spill the beans, I just want to make sure that you understand that if you are accustomed to fighting on smooth flat surfaces, you'd better change up.

Fighting on the street or fighting for your life is a lot different than fighting to win a round or trophy. So is the surface you'll find yourself fighting on. I suggest that you start training seriously on different surfaces and find out what works and doesn’t because the worse time to figure it out is in the middle of a fight. Experience is the worst teacher, because it gives you the test before you learn the lesson.

Get Outside

So go outside your gym, pick a surface and start working on your footwork and fighting style.
Then find a different surface you haven’t trained on and practice on it. Learn to get comfortable on uncomfortable surfaces with your fighting skills.

Partner Training

Find a workout partner and have him slowly attack you like as if it were a real fight and see how you adapt to your environment. Once you get use to it have him go harder and faster, look for the flaws in your fighting and fix it. Throw your punches, knees, elbows, and kicks, try everything you would do in a real fight on these surfaces.

Learn what it is that will keep you alive, if and when the need arises.

What Worked for Me
Now, the footwork pattern that worked best for me was a more flat footed, stomping type of movement. Also a slightly raised heel footwork pattern worked. These two types of footwork worked for me based on how I fought.

I encourage you to stop dancing like a ballerina and train your footwork for combat, and learn what works best for you.

Now step to it.

Daniel Sambrano