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Shadow Boxing

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  • Shadow Boxing

    How does everyone work/train/teach shadow boxing?

    Do you just tell people to use there imagination and pretend they are sparring or do you teach basic patterns and have them explore the pattern.

    On a boxing book I just purchased, the author explains shadow boxing as going against an imaginary opponent while using the basic combinations (e.g. 1-2, 1-3-2, etc.)

    Its interesting that very little is written or video taped on shadow boxing itself. People comment about it but no one explains it as a training method really. During my American Kenpo career I never did shadow boxing -- that was something that started with JKD.


  • #2
    I'll try

    Hi B.

    Well let me start by saying that I am no pro on Shadow Boxing. It takes great will power and determination for me to do it. I just don't like hitting the air...

    But, I should also say that I am convinced that it is a VERY valuable tool and when I concentrate on it and do it, I notice allot of improvement in speed, conditioning footwork and BALANCE!

    So my personal advice is this, pick a drill from focus gloves and do it in the air. Think of a footwork combo and do it. relax and be in balance! Don't worry about speed.

    Also, don't worry at first about doing something different every two seconds.

    For example, lets say that before you begin, you think, OK, I'll jab-catch then cover-tie-up, three knees, push then two round kicks. Important to SEE in your mind's eye, the opponent, try to "feel" the contact. A Japanese Ninpo teacher of mine said, when you can punch the air, and it feels like your hitting a bag, you understand!

    So again, balance relax and SEE the bad guy. Then next round, change on piece. Imagine that after catch and cover, you move in for clinch and he shoot on you, push away with the L foot work.

    Also do it on the ground. I think starting with pre-arranged combo's really helps, learn to really see and feel the bad guy, BALANCE and relax, forget speed and power, after some time, you will not need the training wheels and you can free flow.

    When you see people going fast, it shows that they have good visualization skills, speed comes with relaxation and BALANCE..

    That's my opinion and advice, I too would like to hear others opinions as I said, shadowboxing is not my strong suit ( I dislike any aerobics that don't involve contact)
    I'm working on that




    • #3
      I know this is a long dead thread, but I seen this today and thought it might be helpful..


      Shadow Boxing -- by George Smith
      Although boxing training has undergone some advancements in the past 100 years, there are a few sacred routines that not only shouldn't be, but can't be, replaced. Shadowboxing has been an essential aspect of every successful boxer's training-more out of respect for tradition than a legitimate recognition of all the power that this seemingly simple exercise contains.

      Too many boxers approach shadowboxing as a mindless "warning-up" exercise. They simply go through the motions, stab at the air and shake off the city dust before moving onto the "real workout" on the bags.

      True, shadowboxing is a great way to warm-up, but it should be included and approached as a part of the workout not a pre-workout routine. Shadowboxing, while one of the more primitive drills that make up a boxer's workout, is also one of the more progressive and advanced exercises that can be done. Its most important attribute is that it requires, when done properly, visualization. Once the gloves are on, and there's a bag or a sparring partner in front of you, your imagination gives way to execution.

      The less pressured atmosphere of shadowboxing allows you to concentrate wholly on yourself - how you are putting your punches together, how you are reacting to your imaginary opponent, how a perfectly thrown left hook really feels and how a well-balanced stance affects the delivery of your punches. These are all things that you can "take stock of" as you perform your shadowboxing exercises. Taking the time to construct an imaginary boxing match situation without actually making contact with anything or getting hit in return allows all of your focus to be placed on what you are doing, how your body feels and how you can fulfill your ideal plan.

      Once you're in the ring, you will be confronted by different opponents who will use many different styles and techniques to try to impose their will on you. If you've already seen this guy in your mind, played these situations out and predicted your reactions as you shadowboxed, that puts you one step and one punch ahead of your opponent. As you visualize your bout taking place, there are several technical elements that should be incorporated to get the most out of shadowboxing. Think in terms of combination punching. Without the resistance of a bag or the impact of hitting an opponent to affect your punches, this is the time to concentrate on the importance of throwing more than one shot at a time.

      Taking this approach will create a good habit of punching in combinations. It will also help you to become more fluid in your delivery and create better balance between your footwork and hand activity. Don't throw a meaningless punch. Without an opponent to fend off or a bag to react to, you have the luxury of time and clear thinking to concentrate on the punches you throw. Tossing a lazy jab or a slapping right hand out doesn't help you in the ring, so don't do it in training.

      Being economical and meaningful with your punches will allow you to last longer and be more active in the ring. Vary your speed. Changing your intensity, your hand speed and the force of your punches will increase the conditioning benefits of your shadowboxing routine and will also reflect a more realistic boxing situation. Don't forget defense. It is always the first to go. Practicing defensive moves-slipping, ducking, parrying punches-is not as fun or glamorous as throwing that big right hand, but it's much more glamorous than getting knocked on your butt.

      Be creative. Every champion wins the fight in his mind before he gets into the ring. Work at creating different scenarios, different types of opponents, new fight plans and strive to execute them to perfection. Three minutes of shadowboxing lasts 180 seconds regardless of what you do with it, so have fun and make each movement of the hand count for something. Shadowboxing is not a throw-away exercise to be tagged on at the beginning or end of your workout just to complete your routine. It should be used to set the tone and intensity of what the rest of your workout will be. It should also finish the session to pull together all that you learned that day and help solidify it all in your mind.

      It all comes back to this - The fundamentals aren't basic if they help you to improve.


      • #4
        The problem I see most often in shadow boxing is that people tend to move around and just throw punches and kicks without really being in the moment. The easiest way to get more out of shadow boxing is to imagine an aggressive opponent in front of you. Now you will have a focus, and you will not just shadow box offense, but work your defense just as hard. Imagine taking shots too, because this happens. Imagine getting pounded, but continuing to work until you end the aggressor. Allow your emotions to get into the training, making it all real. Work combos again and again to make them one single thought. I almost always start the class with shadow boxing. Use it to warm up, and to work on bettering yourself against a strong (imaginary) opponent without suffering any brain damage!


        • #5
          Jason Korol, my first JKD teacher, said that when you shadowbox, you should pretend that you are fighting Mike Tyson on PCP. You can't ask for a much more aggressive opponent than that (particularly if you happen to be a candidate for the Miss America pageant)!

          Take care and train hard,
          Jim McRae


          • #6

            I know this an ancient thread, but I think the most important element of shadow boxing, while it's been mentioned that you have the luxury of slowing things down and envisioning an opponent, is stringing together combinations of attacks while shifting off lines. It's easy to just throw 1-2 or 1-2-3 combinations and say "that was a good shadow boxing warmup", but if you fight any experienced fighter with simple 1-2, 1-2 combos, they'll easily break you down. Shadow boxing is a great time to be a little more thoughtful (as being too thoughtful in a ring will get you knocked out). For me, shadow boxing is the time to string together 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 attacks while being able to shift around the opponent, break him down so that no matter who I'm fighting, even if in the ring he moves differently than I envisioned him moving while shadow boxing, by the time I hit with that 5th attack, he's gone no matter what, and if not, I can still move all around and bombard him with attacks with ease, while keeping good form and myself protected. It's basically training your muscle memory with good form so that you're ready for a real fight.


            • #7
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