Monday, April 7, 2008

Beware of Patterned Bobbing and Weaving

I was recently told to move my head more while I spar. I've always taught ducking and slipping specifically to get the head out of the line of fire of a strike. That being said, by bobbing and weaving more as you move, not just when being attacked, it makes it harder for my opponent to target the head. One of my sparring partners was applying this theory against me on the weekend with unfortunate results.

My partner was a man about 20-30 lbs. heavier than me. He mentioned that his ground game was much stronger than his stand-up game, so I suggested we do some stand-up sparring without takedowns or grappling so he could work on it.

Due to a minor leg injury I sustained recently, I had been taking it easy on the grappling, focusing more on stand-up, particularly on boxing/ stand-up skills. It quickly became clear that this intense focus had paid off.

My partner was trying to keep his head moving in an attempt to make it harder for me to strike his head. The problem was, he was moving his head in predictable patterns that I was able to pick up on, though I tried not to exploit this overly. At one point, I was targeting his ribs with a roundhouse kick as he slipped to his side, essentially moving into my kick (He had a tendency to flare his elbows out too much in his guard, making it easy for me to target his ribs.) Unfortunately, he decided to add a ducking movement to his slip that time causing him to thrust his face directly into my incoming kick.

My kick landed square on the nose with force. His tear ducts immediately emptied. We stopped the round to wait until the pain subsided and to make sure it wasn't going to develop into a nose bleed. It was at this time that I suggested he randomize his movements more.

So the morale of the story is keeping your head moving while sparring is a good thing, just make sure you don't do it in predictable patterns. And definitely don't bob or weave straight into a strike. :P

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