Lighten Up for Success!
Have you ever considered the benefits of throwing lighter strikes...
Since time began everyone who stepped in a ring, cage or onto a mat wanted to hit hard. The idea of lighter striking just didn't enter into the thought process, they'd see the tapes of Mike Tyson blasting holes in people and that's the way it was going to happen for them too!
The thing is that throwing bombs is a very linear, energy consuming and sometimes limiting way of fighting...this post opens the door on a different way of thinking...one that embraces the idea that lighter striking can achieve great results.
There's no argument that one punch knockout power is impressive. The likes of Mike Tyson, Saenchai or Chuck Liddell have in the past, almost silenced crowds with their scary ability to end fights in a single strike. However, this is a rare gift and for most of us we need available tools and strategies to create success. One very under utilised but equally very efficient strategy is to create opportunities through employing lighter, more rapid strikes.
The rationale for lightening your striking loads is based on several fundamentals:
1. Lighter strikes require less energy to throw.
2. Lighter strikes are easier to recover (if they miss the intended target) meaning your overall position and potential to defend is better.
3. Light punches can be generate from less predictable and more unconventional positions. This mean your overall attack can be much more confusing and potentially more success in opening your opponents defence.
4. Light strikes can be thrown at varied speeds and rhythms. This again can provide a much more unpredictable attack, disrupting and confusing your opponent.
The goal here is to provide an attack that provides a 'different look'. Through use of speed and angle we are seeking to interrupt, disrupt and effectively destroy our opponents rhythm and timing. It is important to recognise that this is not advocating a strategy that gets us out punched, as we pitpat return fire in the face of incoming knockout bombs. This is about playing a game of confusion, distraction, misdirection and ultimately aiming to disrupt and trap your opponent.
We also need to maintain clear awareness that light, fast strikes can open lines down which we can deliver harder, more powerful shots. Looking back to the point about rhythm, varying the load of the strike and the speed at which it is delivered, can serve to offer a much more broken rhythm to your opponent. This itself can make you a significantly more challenging proposition. These lighter, set up shots, equally are less energy consuming and effectively offer opportunity to increase the volume of strikes you are delivering.
The positional advantage that throwing lighter strikes provides cannot be overlooked either. Initially consider the potential loss of position that results from missing the target with a fully loaded power shot. Sure, here we can delve into the realms of technical efficiency a little and argue that the correct delivery should minimise any subsequent loss of position. However in the moment its possible that the stress response has nailed your technical capability somewhat, the potential loss of position could leave you wide open to devastating counter attacks. Lighter strikes are easier to recover. Less committed body mechanics make then far less likely to throw up massive changes in position should they miss the target. The associated energy expenditure of recovering that miss is equally minimised. We also have the benefit here of being able to employ the strike from a wider range of angles and positions. As such we inexorably increase the availability of the strike and therefore it's use in our overall game plan. The commensurate effect on the opponent is that we are becoming much less predictable in movement and attack.
The bottom line here is that regardless of the combat sport being done, our approach needs to be varied and flexible. Understanding that we can fight at different outputs of speed and power makes us a much more challenging proposition. Having gears at your disposal that you can change through will help you disrupt any plans your opponent may have had concerning their ability to read and counter your offense. The game becomes one of misdirection, feinting punches to open lines through which we feed that devastating kick or knee. The best example of this would be to look at the boxing game of Lomachenko, who seemlessly mixes light slapping shots, evasive slick movement and powerful fight ending punches.
Opening your mind to other approaches is never easy and it takes time, training and repetition to make it work. It's all there for you however. All it takes is a bit of commitment.
It's what we do!!!!