Defensive Boxing...understanding the 3 defensive layers...A successful boxer cannot hope to just throw punches and expect to win. Limiting your mind and game to sole reliance on passive defence or aggressive attack strategy will eventually have the same end result, eventually you will get caught out. There has to be a genuine and natural flow in your game between attack and defence. A natural rhythm which provides one movement to set and facilitate the next. In isolated attack strategies this can be easily and readily identified through the use of combination punching and using a broken rhythm of range and speed. Defensively it is possible to perceive strategy as being focused in one of three layers, 1.Awareness 2.Guard/Blocking 3.Intrinsic/Counter.
1.Awareness - this is the most basic form of defence and yet it also encompasses some of the highest level technique (as such it sits as a 4th layer too) . At the most fundamental level, this simply means keeping your eyes on your opponent at all times. Understanding how they move, telegraph attacks and react to your feints, attacks and distractions is all part of being aware. Stepping up, this then begins to incorporate body movement and reaction speed. The underlying knowledge you have of your opponent allows you to make informed decisions (predictions) about where they will move and what they'll do. This coupled with a great sense of timing and technical ability provides opportunity to slip and roll around attacks with seemingly effortless, precognitive ability.
2. Guard/Blocking - physically the most basic of defensive layers. This one requires little skill, just the ability to ensure your hands and arms stay in between your opponents punches and their intended target. Again there are levels within this layer, from simple guard positions, to blocks and then parries (with or without footwork). In isolation blocking is effective in the first instance, however this a finite resource. Whether its your opponent who works it out and finds a way through, or your arms get fatigued, openings in this wall do and will appear.
3. Instrinsic/Counter defence - here we take aspects from the first two layers and seemlessly embed them into strategy. Using understanding and awareness it is possible to determine where and when your opponent will move. Using blocks and parries it's possible to open lines for attack which were not present previously. Flow is vital and it's through employing defensive strategies, that we can set up the successful counter attacks. One technique here again (just like a punching combination) facilitates the next. Through movement of body weight, foot and body position, the momentum for positive action can be maintained, opportunities create and exploited. Its what we d