Inferno's MMA Training Tip - Shadowboxing (Mix things up)

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Shadow fighting –which I call it in MMA since a lot more is practiced other than punching-- is a vital, although often underused, drill for improving a fighter’s punching, kicking and overall fighting skill sets. By incorporating several shadow fighting rounds in my striking workouts, I give myself the time to sharper my favourite weapons and to develop my newest technical movements.

Many fighters opt to skip the process of shadow fighting, jumping directly into sparring or heavy bag work instead. Perhaps they find it repetitive and boring and not very useful for anything other than breaking a sweat.  I definitely agree that punching into mid-air over and over again can be boring; especially if a fighter performs the drill using the same approach every single time they do it. The key to keeping shadow fighting fresh and exciting is to constantly mix up things up. Here’s a three round layout that will help you in doing so.

1)      Round 1 – Footwork

Spend the entire round (most commonly 3 or 5 minutes in length) moving around the ring/cage, changing angles, sliding in, sliding out and changing directions often to hone the fundamental movement skills that you will be putting to use in all of your sparring rounds. Avoid the urge to punch by focusing solely on the practice of your footwork techniques.

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Jeff Joslin
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