Bas Rutten on how to avoid being hit in the head
I get asked this question quite a bit, “Are there any tips to train your defense and not get hit to the head so much?”
I figured to share it with you guys otherwise only one person will benefit from it, and it took a while to write and explain. Here it goes, he said that he was “scared to get hit and damage his brain”
The problem is that you are “scared to get a brain injury” and once you are afraid of something, you automatically open yourself up for it.
This is a good drill for you, BEFORE you start sparring. Put your back against the wall, bring your hands up, and now let a buddy of yours hit you. Start really slow and relax your face muscles, (when I teach I call it “poker face”), look at his strikes and simply block each punch, just keep your eyes open and relax. Let him start with hooks and straights to the head, once you are used to that, let him include the body shots (spleen, liver, solar plexus). The main goal, is to keep your face muscles relaxed, once you start flinching, you are “telling” your brain that something is wrong, and it will start panicking, once you start panicking you start to defend the wrong way because you will bring your hands up too high for head shots, and too low for body shots (panic reaction), meaning, you are going to be an easy target.
So when you start “flinching”, STOP, let him reduce the speed, and start again.
Now one more big thing, don’t hold your hands too close to your face, bring them out like 6 or 7 inches in front of you, this way you can block the attacks sooner plus you don’t need as much movement to do it.
Imagine this, let your partner stretch his arm right in front of your face, so his fist is in front of your face (nose), keep your right hand to your jaw (not 6 inches away, I am trying to explain something so you see I am right), now put your right hand against the side of his hand, and push his fist out of the way to the left so he will miss you if he would punch you.
See how much movement that took from your hand, its like 5 inches of movement. Now let him bring his fist back in front of your nose, bring your hands out forward about 6 or 7 inches, put your hand against his forearm, and NOW push his arm to the side, see how much movement your hand has to make now in order to let him miss your head, it will be like only 2 inches.
I hope it makes any sense what I am saying right now, it’s simply physics, so I think you will understand. The ONLY thing I never understood from Mike Tyson’s technique was that his hands were so freaking close to his chin, I DO know that he “made up” for that by having incredible head movement, (bobbing and weaving). So I understand that when he would bring his hands out, he could not do the bobbing and weaving drills correctly since his hands would be in the way.
For the rest, striking wise, my stands is almost identical to Tyson’s, wide open, square in front of your opponent, this will give you KO power in your left hand (when orthodox), your “jab” becomes a “left straight”. In Thai Boxing and MMA, this stand will give you harder left kicks as well, plus all the kicking attacks from your opponent that come from the left (so he kicks right) will also be easier to block and counter, low kicks will be easier to block, EVERYTHING will become more powerful, the ONLY thing you will give up for it, is that you are a “wider target” (that’s what other coaches would say), my answer to that is “Train some abs”, did anybody EVER KO’d Tyson to the body? No they didn’t, but he’s “wide open”, see what I mean?
Hope this helped, I am going to post it on my wall as well, this way I didn’t write everything only for ONE person and more people can try it out. Godspeed!