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A Leather-Eating Perspective
Phasing Out Coach-Sparring As the Fighter Progresses

At this past Man Weekend in Out of Service, Pennsylvania a few weeks ago, Sean and I decided to put on the boxing gloves and spar, as a way for him to work on angles and movement. The guys he spars with are a step or two behind him and end up right in his wheelhouse.

I knew I didn't have the gas to hang with him if we hit hard, so we went light. After returning to Baltimore, Sean, who is a diligent self-trainer, emailed me for some coaching tips and I couldn't give him any, because his glove was in my face the entire time! My reaction time and hand speed have slowed to the point where I literally could not see a thing he was doing other then sinking that glove into my catcher's mitt. The hits I scored were barely enough to keep me from being a punching bag.

With the stick, even though he got the best of me, the weapons afforded enough time and measure for me to make coaching assessments:

-Sean needs to develop the backhand and begin using combinations off the check, instead of going for disarms or clinches, navigating around the opponent's shoulders.

But with the boxing, even though I could give him good work—which he needed—I can't make assessments of the same round. At this point, any boxing sparring we do should be videoed so we can review it. If I slow down another notch he's better off just having me coach from ringside.

In the mean time, he needs to spar with someone taller than himself and make sure he avoids the hip fade trap, essentially moving the torso and head back out of range over the rear hip, a habit that men who have shorter sparring partners and opponents tend to develop, but which should be replaced with side-stepping, pivoting to a safety jab, stepping around, foot fading and posting.

When I can get up to Sean's gym with Big Ron, we will work on all of these and the U-hustle drill.

Being a Bad Man in a Worse World

Fighting Smart: Boxing, Agonistics & Survival

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SeanAugust 10, 2017 11:46 AM UTC

It's almost like you read my mind. The last two sessions we had I stuck to the hip fade almost entirely.

Ulrich has progressed very well and is giving me good work.

You'll be hearing from me soon in regards to a trip down.