Search This Blog


Boxing and Muay Thai Agility Drills

Agility and speed often plateau in combat sports because of sequential optimization of different organ systems. At first we are training our central nervous system to efficiently perform the movement, thus as we learn we get faster. Simultaneously and subsequent to this we gain strength and flexibility further improving our agility. Eventually we reach a point that our current fast twitch and stabilizing muscles are no longer taxed and are therefore no longer developed. Thus we must find other activities such as strength and conditioning or athletic training to further improve our combative agility.
Each round was two minutes split into four 30 second phases. It is important to find a line, seam, or piece of tape to use on the mat.

Forward Movement with Focus Mitts
Rapidly step forward over the line, left foot, right foot and then back left foot, right foot. Repeat for the duration of the first phase. Then immediately go into a boxing pad round, except at the end of each the holder tries to kick your leg. After 30 seconds resume stepping but this time initiate with the right leg. The last 30 seconds is a repeat of the first pad phase. This should enhance your ability to enter and exit rapidly, as well as leg evasions.

Lateral Movement with Focus Mitts
This time rapidly step laterally over the line, going left: left-right-left and going right: right-left-right. After 30 seconds go into a pad round, but this time after each one the holder gestures in a direction and you must slide step in that direction. Repeat the lateral stepping in the third phase and finish with a similar pad round.

Circular Movement with Focus Mitts
In this round, you will step in a circle, in four boxes created by two pieces of crossed tape. Try to step in a 3-2-3-2 steps pattern going clockwise in the first phase and counter clockwise in the third phase. In the second and fourth phases, the holder presents a combination and then pivots 45° to 90° in either direction holding a lead hook. Circle step (i.e. CorkscrewTM) in that direction. The holder then fires back forcing you to circle step in the opposite direction, i.e. back where you came from.

Switch Step Agility with Thai Pads
Start with your feet together and jump to a shallow lunge, then return to the feet together position before jumping to a shallow lunge on the left. Continue this scissor step for thirty seconds. Then do thirty seconds of alternating thai kicks. Repeat.

Twist Conditioning with Thai Pads
Create an L on the wall with your body, legs up the wall. Rotate your hips dropping your opposite leg to the floor on first one side then other other. Tuck the same side leg to allow free rotation. After 30 seconds get up and throw alternating thai kicks for 30 seconds, repeat.

Balance Conditioning with Thai Pads
Balance on one foot and reach down with your back straight and touch the floor then repeat but reach across your body. Switch legs and repeat on the opposite. Repeat both sides for 30 seconds. Set-up for kicks, your hold you present a low thai kick (i.e. thai pads flatter more parallel with the ground) followed by a higher thai kick (i.e. pads more vertical and perpendicular). Try to throw two kicks without returning your kicking leg to the floor.
We finished with a review of leg reap techniques.


Review: Mike Dolce: Living Lean

"Don't count calories! Make calories count!" is the tag line/mantra of this book. In it Dolce outlines his history and how this helped him develop an eating and conditioning methodology currently popular in mixed-martial arts. His approach is holistic rather than formulaic concentrating on realistic shopping and mealtime habit changes. His argument that healthy calories trump unhealthy ones, has not been verified in the scientific literature, although anecdotally people do feel better and are therefore theoretically more like to expend calories if they "eat lean". He shares his general diet principles followed first by a series of healthy and tasty sounding recipes. Next he outlines a series of exercise programs for audiences of all fitness levels with pictorial explanations of the exercises afterwards. He also includes some cardiovascular treadmill workouts.
Overall I would have liked more "meat" as much of his weight loss strategy comes down to willpower. Although I think his diet plan is practical it is not novel and a guide to coupling together healthy dishes after exhausting the menu in the book would have been helpful. The exercise programs look graded and reasonable if you have prior experience but like most unsupervised programs poor form will cause more harm than good. This section contains exercises that can be seen in other dedicated books on the subject of strength and conditioning, and nothing new here to people familiar with the area.

Overall I rank it a purple belt.