The best defense isn’t the best offense, regardless of what many self-defense and martial arts schools teach you. Rather, the best defense is where you don’t get, or you’re hit much less frequently.
Realistically, you’re going to get hit in any fight. However, how hard and how often depends on your footwork and how you move your head.
Listed below are five tips that should help you improve your defense and start winning fights a bit more.
- Spar as often as you can. Sparring is the closest thing you can ever get to a real fight. Though, sparring often doesn’t mean that you should just spar with anybody. Choose your partner wisely, preferably someone you get along with. Speaking of getting along, try to be a bit friendlier with people in the gym so you have a lot of willing sparring partners.
Remember, sparring is still a form of practice and the main aim is not to knock the other guy out, but to improve each other’s techniques.
Also, try to spar with people of different shapes, sizes and abilities. If you can, spar with instructors in your gym and ask them to NOT hold back. This will allow you to learn how to apply different techniques for different situations.
- Work on your footwork. It’s been said many times already – skipping rope can make your feet faster. The same goes for jogging and sprinting. However, if you want to see better results, try to jog, sprint or skip rope as you would in a real fight – moving at different speeds and tempos all throughout.
You can also try working with a boxing coach and asking them tips on how pro boxers work on their footwork.
- Move your head. If your head doesn’t move throughout the fight, it won’t matter how fast you move your feet because you will definitely always get hit. Sure, you can always use the excuse that you always shield your head or block a strike, but even in such situations, you’ll still feel the impact of a hit.
Learn how to bob and weave, how to go down and slip in, learn how to slip from side-to-side, learn how to duck and most important of all, learn how to move your head so you don’t get hit!
- Love the holding pads. When you’re on the other side of the pads, all you do is punch, kick and throw combos. However, when you’re the one holding it, everything becomes different. You become the coach, you control the timing and tempo and most important of all, you get to see develop a whole new sense of vision where you see how often people are open whenever they throw a punch or kick.
- Practice getting hit. Of course, the best way to defend is to avoid getting hit, but as has been said earlier, you’ll always get hit in a fight. And, should that happen, it’s best to be prepared.
Getting hit with the medicine bill right in the abdomen is one of the oldest and yet, most effective ways to condition your midsection for hits. Wearing three or five pound weights on the arms and legs is also another training trick many pro fighters use so their hands and feet are better conditioned during fights.
True, it’s more fun being the hitter than the one getting hit. But, as they say, you can’t see a beautiful rainbow if you can’t handle a little rain, so take the time to learn how to take hits and make them miss and you’ll end up being a stronger fighter in no time.