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Stability Ball Goes 0-4

Drilling with a stability ball has been done before, as demonstrated above. Today I took this style of training in a new direction with the following drills:

  • We used the drill above to warm-up to get the feel of sprawling on the stability ball. You can make this drill hard by getting closer and closer together, to simulate the actual range from which someone might shoot. You can also vary the speed or bounce the ball to simulate faster or higher level shots.

  • Sprawl to Ground-n-Pound: Holding the Thai pads with the stability ball pinched between your lower legs, call a combination. Then force your partner to sprawl by kicking or slapping the ball to your partner. If you want, have them scramble on the ball by walking around them before holding a ground-n-pound combination.

  • Stability Ball Dirty Boxing to Sprawl: Holding the top of the ball, you and your partner trap the stability ball between you. Call combinations, such as "hook", "shovel", or "knee". Suddenly jerk the stability ball down, having you partner sprawl on it.

  • Sprawl Sensitivity: Have your partner close their eyes. Using a Thai pad, hold the stability ball against your partner, then without warning slap it down. They should react by sprawling on the ball. Then feed ground-n-pound combinations. This should force them to react to the change in pressure in their hands, arms, and chest.

We finished this series by using the throw dummies. The dummy is thrown at your partner's feet, they sprawl, assume an advantageous position and deliver strikes. Then as their partner reset the dummy, a second training partner attempts to take them down. Thus they get to work the offense ofter defense as well as the variable response to the take down.

A variation of stability ball exercises that I've seen in my Jeet Kune Do class is to use a stability ball between two partners. They knee and wrestle the ball trying to pull it away from their partner.

A training philosophy point: simulate as realistically but as safely as possible. Thus heavy striking should be done on pads and is of more benefit than simulated and shortened strikes during a drill with no contact, if it did have contact it would be called sparring. Training to fight involves hitting people, why train to miss? Also if you suddenly add striking chains or new technique to an established drill, you increase the chance of accident as what happens does not meet the prior expectations. If you throw short in training you will throw short in a fight, but your training partners will not appreciate you if keep bloodying them senselessly.