Dealing with fast jabs

Ivan

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Hey guys, how's it going? I was recently allowed to try out for the Amateurs Boxing team in my gym by attending a session. At the end of the session, we had a couple of rounds of sparring. I always look to pair up with people who seem bigger or more skilled than me, as I believe that I should always be sparring at a disadvantage - I learn more from sparring with those who are better than me. I paired up with a guy who was taller and more muscular than me, and he was my age. I don't know much else about him.

When sparring began, he instantly started throwing out jabs. I usually don't mind jabs, and I have experience against taller opponents, but this man was giving me a lot of trouble. His jabs were extremely fast, to the point that my normal head movement and perception weren't fast enough to react to them. Outboxing or counter punching was not successful either as he had a very big reach advantage over me. Logically, the only option I had left was to go in, but his jabs were simply too fast to slip or parry. In terms of weight categories, I am 81kg which is bordering on Light Heavyweight here in Scotland I believe, and I am certain that he was taller and bigger than me which put him in as a heavyweight.

I have sparred with a similar opponent before. He was my sparring partner this summer; a very jab-heavy fighter, with short and powerful jabs. But three things set my experiences with him and the other guy apart. For starters, my older opponent was a bit gamier and liked to taunt as a way to discourage me, but it created a lot of openings and pauses in his rhythm that I was able to use to my advantage. Secondly, my older opponent was much heavier, and so his jabs weren't as fast. They were still fast enough for me to encounter the same issues, but not this fast. Lastly, I always sparred my other opponent in the ring, whereas today we were just using general space around the gym.

This meant that I couldn't even back him up against the ropes as I did with my other opponent, or use the ropes as a way to maneuver laterally. The entire sparring session consisted of him walking backwards and jabbing. He didn't take a single step forward. The few times that I manage to slip his jabs, he pulled back quick enough before I got to push inwards, and he began to feint them too. My entire experience was reduced to me walking into his jabs and blocking them with my hands up, or my forehead and face like a cheap imitation of Rocky from the movies.

I feel like the fear of his power also set me back too, but that's not my concern. I've faced the fear of opponents before, and when I was much younger and more inexperienced too. The few times the distance between us somehow got shortened, he did his best to dig into my body. He got good shots in, but I am very proud of my ability to absorb body punches so that's not a concern. Is there something I should be focusing on? This guy pinged my head off, and I know that he definitely has the capability to take me out because he barely used his right hand.

When I spoke to my coach later, he told me the reason he found his target so easily was because of my footwork - I tend to be very flat-footed when I box because it allows me to get a lot of power into my punches, specifically my hooks and uppercuts. But in this case, my footwork slowed me down and made me a very easy target. I do have experience in using lighter footwork to outmaneuver opponents, but I am only experienced in using it against people with a shorter or similar reach to myself. Please, I would really appreciate any advice on how to deal with this type of fighter. It feels like I am dealing with someone who has an advantage in everything - weight, speed, reach, and power. I don't mind fighting at a disadvantage, but I am not experienced in dealing with opponents who hold all the cards.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I manage to slip his jabs,
You may give your opponent too much "free space" and allow him to fight in your space instead of to fight in his space. I assume kicking is not allowed in your sparring. Have you tried to attack his jabbing arm far away from your head?

IMO, it's always be better to keep your fists closer to your opponent's head than to let your opponent's fists to be closer to your head - fight in your opponent's territory and not fight in your own territory.

How to do that? The moment that your opponent's oversea missile come at you, shot it down outside of your coastline.
 
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drop bear

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Ok. You need to bait him in to coming forward and then parry counter jab. Rather than letting him sit in one position and then rushing him.

A person moving forwards can't suddenly move backwards in these split second exchanges quickly enough. And that is your time to close the gap.

The trick is to bait him into creating that situation. Hence footwork. Run away make him chase then that is your moment to come in.

Or fake an entry make him react and then that is your moment to come in.

It's hard because it is frustrating and you have to be patient.
 
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Ivan

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A person moving forwards can't suddenly move backwards in these split second exchanges quickly enough. And that is your time to close the gap.
I think that this part makes a lot of sense. If I ever go up against him again, I will definitely try this. As of right now, I don't believe they will be accepting me into the amateurs because my footwork is very unorthodox, so I will have to stick to my normal sparring partners in the normal classes. I will do my best to apply this there.

I will see if I can film and post a shadowboxing video, or even sparring video and hopefully, you will be able to see more with that.
 
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Ivan

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You may give your opponent too much "free space" and allow him to fight in your space instead of to fight in his space. I assume kicking is not allowed in your sparring. Have you tried to attack his jabbing arm far away from your head?

IMO, it's always be better to keep your fists closer to your opponent's head than to let your opponent's fists to be closer to your head - fight in your opponent's territory and not fight in your own territory.

How to do that? The moment that your opponent's oversea missile come at you, shot it down outside of your coastline.
It's a boxing gym. I have no quarrel with hitting the opponent's arms, but since the jabs are too fast for me to react to, I can't be anywhere near fast enough to hit his arms in the middle of the jab.
 

Bill Mattocks

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It's a boxing gym. I have no quarrel with hitting the opponent's arms, but since the jabs are too fast for me to react to, I can't be anywhere near fast enough to hit his arms in the middle of the jab.
I'm not a boxer. But I have had experience with being hit with jabs by a person much faster than I am. You have stated the issue, you can't block or move in quickly enough to avoid eating leather. Two things left are to move out and/or to change the angle of the fight by moving to the sides. Moving backwards makes the opponent chase you. Works until you have no more ring to back up to, but it can give you breathing room. Moving to the sides gives you more time, and if you move against his jabbing arm, it becomes less of a tool for him; of course you need to using that time to move in and engage your own tools. It doesn't always work in my experience. Sometimes I just lose against someone with an incredible fast jab (such people often have a fast cross too, dang it). In my discipline, karate, charging and tackling the sucker works, but I realize you can't do that. Best of luck!
 

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It sounds like you let him fight his fight and he was content to let you do that. If your strategy isn't working, I would suggest trying a new strategy. Like others have said, don't spend all your time chasing him down. Using angles and/or make him come to you.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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but since the jabs are too fast for me to react to, I can't be anywhere near fast enough to hit his arms in the middle of the jab.
Of course your speed can be another issue. If your opponent is much faster than you, you just have to work on your speed. A strategy will only work if you and your opponent have the same speed, and same power.

By using the "circular movement to defeat straight line movement", all you need is to extend your arm and make a "small"

- counter-clockwise circle for your right arm, or
- clockwise circle for your left arm.

Try to image that your opponent uses his spear to stab into your chest (very fast). You use your spear to make a "small" circle in front of you. Can your opponent's spear be able to go through your circular movement?

If a technique works in spear, it should also work for open hand.

https://i.postimg.cc/L5WT5gpP/spear-skill-1.gif

Here is a short clip for the "double spears" strategy (the original idea came from the spear circle).

 
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isshinryuronin

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Please, I would really appreciate any advice on how to deal with this type of fighter. It feels like I am dealing with someone who has an advantage in everything - weight, speed, reach, and power. I don't mind fighting at a disadvantage, but I am not experienced in dealing with opponents who hold all the cards.

Make friends with these kind of guys. :)

I agree with dropbear and punisher - you have to make him move into an awkward position (which may be hard depending on how disciplined he is). Changing angles back and forth may yield an opening as he tries to adjust and over-compensates. You need to not just get inside his jab, but inside his timing. Perhaps a tactic that would freeze him for a second and give you a chance to gain the initiative. (This is where a good, loud kiai could help.) Maybe something crazy to confuse him. Even though he has the physical cards, there are mental ones that may be played.

Keep in mind, you can't beat everybody. Just keep improving your speed and mobility (forget about power now). In a couple of years you may be able to handle this guy. But, then, you may come across someone even better than him. And so it continues...
 
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Ivan

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Of course your speed can be another issue. If your opponent is much faster than you, you just have to work on your speed. A strategy will only work if you and your opponent have the same speed, and same power.

By using the "circular movement to defeat straight line movement", all you need is to extend your arm and make a "small"

- counter-clockwise circle for your right arm, or
- clockwise circle for your left arm.

Try to image that your opponent uses his spear to stab into your chest (very fast). You use your spear to make a "small" circle in front of you. Can your opponent's spear be able to go through your circular movement?

If a technique works in spear, it should also work for open hand.

https://i.postimg.cc/L5WT5gpP/spear-skill-1.gif

Here is a short clip for the "double spears" strategy (the original idea came from the spear circle).

This looks interesting. I will see if I can drill it and apply it.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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This looks interesting. I will see if I can drill it and apply it.
From the

- defense point of view, it uses "double spears" strategy to deflect your opponent's jab-cross.
- offense point of view, it uses double hooks punches toward your opponent's head.

Ask your opponent to throw 20 straight punches at you. If you can use "double spears" to block all his 20 straight punches, you have developed some useful skill.

Try to test it against as many opponents as you can.
 
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Ivan

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Ask your opponent to throw 20 straight punches at you. If you can use "double spears" to block all his 20 straight punches, you have developed some useful skill.

Try to test it against as many opponents as you can.
Thanks. By the way, Ive just posted some footage of me sparring if youd like to see.
 

JowGaWolf

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Hey guys, how's it going? I was recently allowed to try out for the Amateurs Boxing team in my gym by attending a session. At the end of the session, we had a couple of rounds of sparring. I always look to pair up with people who seem bigger or more skilled than me, as I believe that I should always be sparring at a disadvantage - I learn more from sparring with those who are better than me. I paired up with a guy who was taller and more muscular than me, and he was my age. I don't know much else about him.

When sparring began, he instantly started throwing out jabs. I usually don't mind jabs, and I have experience against taller opponents, but this man was giving me a lot of trouble. His jabs were extremely fast, to the point that my normal head movement and perception weren't fast enough to react to them. Outboxing or counter punching was not successful either as he had a very big reach advantage over me. Logically, the only option I had left was to go in, but his jabs were simply too fast to slip or parry. In terms of weight categories, I am 81kg which is bordering on Light Heavyweight here in Scotland I believe, and I am certain that he was taller and bigger than me which put him in as a heavyweight.

I have sparred with a similar opponent before. He was my sparring partner this summer; a very jab-heavy fighter, with short and powerful jabs. But three things set my experiences with him and the other guy apart. For starters, my older opponent was a bit gamier and liked to taunt as a way to discourage me, but it created a lot of openings and pauses in his rhythm that I was able to use to my advantage. Secondly, my older opponent was much heavier, and so his jabs weren't as fast. They were still fast enough for me to encounter the same issues, but not this fast. Lastly, I always sparred my other opponent in the ring, whereas today we were just using general space around the gym.

This meant that I couldn't even back him up against the ropes as I did with my other opponent, or use the ropes as a way to maneuver laterally. The entire sparring session consisted of him walking backwards and jabbing. He didn't take a single step forward. The few times that I manage to slip his jabs, he pulled back quick enough before I got to push inwards, and he began to feint them too. My entire experience was reduced to me walking into his jabs and blocking them with my hands up, or my forehead and face like a cheap imitation of Rocky from the movies.

I feel like the fear of his power also set me back too, but that's not my concern. I've faced the fear of opponents before, and when I was much younger and more inexperienced too. The few times the distance between us somehow got shortened, he did his best to dig into my body. He got good shots in, but I am very proud of my ability to absorb body punches so that's not a concern. Is there something I should be focusing on? This guy pinged my head off, and I know that he definitely has the capability to take me out because he barely used his right hand.

When I spoke to my coach later, he told me the reason he found his target so easily was because of my footwork - I tend to be very flat-footed when I box because it allows me to get a lot of power into my punches, specifically my hooks and uppercuts. But in this case, my footwork slowed me down and made me a very easy target. I do have experience in using lighter footwork to outmaneuver opponents, but I am only experienced in using it against people with a shorter or similar reach to myself. Please, I would really appreciate any advice on how to deal with this type of fighter. It feels like I am dealing with someone who has an advantage in everything - weight, speed, reach, and power. I don't mind fighting at a disadvantage, but I am not experienced in dealing with opponents who hold all the cards.
People who can fight going backwards are tough. You'll rarely be in range except for when they tag you. The trick is that they read and understand your forward movement which means you probably aren't making use of angles as you approach. You aren't exploiting the limitations of his footwork. Pay attention to the footwork of your opponent as it will give you clues on the best approach.

Sounds like you were sparring against a smarter fighter. The only way to get better with that is to ask your opponent for feedback. If you aren't asking your sparring partners how they are tagging you with ease, then you are missing out on a chance learn from the person hitting you.
 

JowGaWolf

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Oh flat foot fighting uses quick shuffling. You'll either have to learn to be really good with that or you'll have to learn when to be flat footed and when to be on your toes. Learn to shuffle really good then learn when to shuffle and when to move on your toes
 
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Ivan

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People who can fight going backwards are tough. You'll rarely be in range except for when they tag you. The trick is that they read and understand your forward movement which means you probably aren't making use of angles as you approach. You aren't exploiting the limitations of his footwork. Pay attention to the footwork of your opponent as it will give you clues othe best approach.

Sounds like you were sparring against a smarter fighter. The only way to get better with that is to ask your opponent for feedback. If you aren't asking your sparring partners how they are tagging you with ease, then you are missing out on a chance learn from the person hitting you.
I did attempt to ask, but he was dodging all of mu questions with basic just practice phrases. It was annoying.
Ive never seen flat footed shuffling. Do you jave a fighter you can name who uses it? Also, I posted some sparring footage with other opponents if youd like to see.
 

JowGaWolf

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I did attempt to ask, but he was dodging all of mu questions with basic just practice phrases. It was annoying.
Ive never seen flat footed shuffling. Do you jave a fighter you can name who uses it? Also, I posted some sparring footage with other opponents if youd like to see.
That happens sometimes. On the bright side his refusal of answering your questions is good. That means it's not a physical thing. It would be easy to just say, "do this exercise and you'll get better." But he didn't say that right. So that definitely makes me think it's a mental advantage.

I'm happy to fight backwards because I know my opponent is willing to chase. I'm lazy like that lol. But when my opponent stops chasing me then I'm more like "Damn. Now I have to go get them." Here's how I use fighting backwards. Humans can only think one thing at a time. But there's a trick to thinking one thing at a time and that's by using what I think of Mental Boxes. Here are some examples

When you want to move forward your mind only thinks "move foward." This is one box.
When you want to punch, your mind only thinks "punch." This is one box.

Our minds can only open one box at a time and can only read and follow the instructions that are in the box. So if your box only has the instructions to "move forward" than that's what you will do and nothing else. My guess is this is how you move forward and as a result causes a delay in how you respond. The only way to deal with this natural limitation is to put more than one instruction in the box. Instead of putting "move forward" in the box, put more than one thing in the box.
Example:
Box 1 ="Move forward + Parry with lead arm, (this should either help you avoid the jab or will cause your opponent to delay the jab.
Box 2 =Shuffle + Jab with lead arm = This is will help you close the distance and if you get it right he won't realized that you are moving forward. You'll only need a few inches so it doesn't have to be a large leap.

Mike Tyson shuffles. He does Shuffle + Bob & Weave
Manny Pacquiao (watch his earlier fights). shuffles in side stance.

This is also shuffling in this video. It's the only way I know to move the body quickly without giving up the root. Notice the feet stay closer to the ground. This is a better way to advance than walking forward. It is also better to do 2 short shuffles than one long shuffle. Here's why

1st Shuffle = first forward advance
2nd Shuffle = All clear for forward advance or change direction.

Because that first shuffle is short, you'll have time to react to incoming punches that you are expecting. If no punches come then you can continue to close the distance by doing the second shuffle which can be shorter or longer than the first just depending on how your opponent is reacting. The short shuffles isn't a hard rule. But that first shuffle has to be short.

Shuffling hides forward movement. Your legs are basically in the same position as they were when you were standing. By the way you can't shuffle in a tall stance so there's that. If you like to stand tall then you won't be able to shuffle.

Stepping = move 1 foot first then the other.
I think of stepping as when one foot move forward plants and then the rear foot moves forward. Sort of how we walk. The rear foot doesn't move until the front foot is planted
Shuffle = move both feet at the same time. Instead of moving your front leg forward you just lift it up and push with your rear leg. With this your front leg should never reach for territory. If I want my front foot to land closer to you then I have to get there by pushing my back leg which moves my entire body.

Shuffling is quicker than stepping and bring the full weight of the body into the punch without twisting the torso A good example of this is a video on youtube called "Lomachenko's Matrix Shuffle - Drills & Demo" where he does both a step then a shuffle. In a shuffle, you only need to move one leg. In a step you have to move two.

Here's another good contrast where you can see the difference is speed.
His forward movement is a step.
His retreat movement is a shuffle.


Hope this gives you a good start.
 

JowGaWolf

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I did attempt to ask, but he was dodging all of mu questions with basic just practice phrases. It was annoying.
Ive never seen flat footed shuffling. Do you jave a fighter you can name who uses it? Also, I posted some sparring footage with other opponents if youd like to see.
Shoot yeah. I'm always up for sparring videos. I miss sparring. I would love to see what you are up against. It helps to see what the other person is doing.
 
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Hey guys, how's it going? I was recently allowed to try out for the Amateurs Boxing team in my gym by attending a session. At the end of the session, we had a couple of rounds of sparring. I always look to pair up with people who seem bigger or more skilled than me, as I believe that I should always be sparring at a disadvantage - I learn more from sparring with those who are better than me. I paired up with a guy who was taller and more muscular than me, and he was my age. I don't know much else about him.

When sparring began, he instantly started throwing out jabs. I usually don't mind jabs, and I have experience against taller opponents, but this man was giving me a lot of trouble. His jabs were extremely fast, to the point that my normal head movement and perception weren't fast enough to react to them. Outboxing or counter punching was not successful either as he had a very big reach advantage over me. Logically, the only option I had left was to go in, but his jabs were simply too fast to slip or parry. In terms of weight categories, I am 81kg which is bordering on Light Heavyweight here in Scotland I believe, and I am certain that he was taller and bigger than me which put him in as a heavyweight.

I have sparred with a similar opponent before. He was my sparring partner this summer; a very jab-heavy fighter, with short and powerful jabs. But three things set my experiences with him and the other guy apart. For starters, my older opponent was a bit gamier and liked to taunt as a way to discourage me, but it created a lot of openings and pauses in his rhythm that I was able to use to my advantage. Secondly, my older opponent was much heavier, and so his jabs weren't as fast. They were still fast enough for me to encounter the same issues, but not this fast. Lastly, I always sparred my other opponent in the ring, whereas today we were just using general space around the gym.

This meant that I couldn't even back him up against the ropes as I did with my other opponent, or use the ropes as a way to maneuver laterally. The entire sparring session consisted of him walking backwards and jabbing. He didn't take a single step forward. The few times that I manage to slip his jabs, he pulled back quick enough before I got to push inwards, and he began to feint them too. My entire experience was reduced to me walking into his jabs and blocking them with my hands up, or my forehead and face like a cheap imitation of Rocky from the movies.

I feel like the fear of his power also set me back too, but that's not my concern. I've faced the fear of opponents before, and when I was much younger and more inexperienced too. The few times the distance between us somehow got shortened, he did his best to dig into my body. He got good shots in, but I am very proud of my ability to absorb body punches so that's not a concern. Is there something I should be focusing on? This guy pinged my head off, and I know that he definitely has the capability to take me out because he barely used his right hand.

When I spoke to my coach later, he told me the reason he found his target so easily was because of my footwork - I tend to be very flat-footed when I box because it allows me to get a lot of power into my punches, specifically my hooks and uppercuts. But in this case, my footwork slowed me down and made me a very easy target. I do have experience in using lighter footwork to outmaneuver opponents, but I am only experienced in using it against people with a shorter or similar reach to myself. Please, I would really appreciate any advice on how to deal with this type of fighter. It feels like I am dealing with someone who has an advantage in everything - weight, speed, reach, and power. I don't mind fighting at a disadvantage, but I am not experienced in dealing with opponents who hold all the cards.
Hello Ivan
This is Terrible Tim Witherspoon 2X Heavyweight Champion of the world. Ivan you simply ran into a "Gate Keeper" these are the people that weed out those who can get to the next level in boxing. You are doing the right in trying to find a solution. That is exactly what I did. When I first started boxing those gate keepers were destroying me. The coach I had wasn't very good and I really didn't have a solution to fighters a level above me. I went to another coach, and we focused heavily on defense. You got to get your defense down and use these gate keepers to experiment on. They will pressure test everything you learn. In this video below, I am working with a young man who is struggling, and he came to me for help. So, I think what I am teaching him will benefit you greatly. Watch my old fights and pay attention to how I move around with the Philly Shell. Larry Holmes, who was an amazing jabber, had a really hard time with me because of my defense. I was also a sparring partner for Ali and you want to talk about fighting a gate keeper, well he was about as high level as you can get!
 
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Ivan

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That happens sometimes. On the bright side his refusal of answering your questions is good. That means it's not a physical thing. It would be easy to just say, "do this exercise and you'll get better." But he didn't say that right. So that definitely makes me think it's a mental advantage.

I'm happy to fight backwards because I know my opponent is willing to chase. I'm lazy like that lol. But when my opponent stops chasing me then I'm more like "Damn. Now I have to go get them." Here's how I use fighting backwards. Humans can only think one thing at a time. But there's a trick to thinking one thing at a time and that's by using what I think of Mental Boxes. Here are some examples

When you want to move forward your mind only thinks "move foward." This is one box.
When you want to punch, your mind only thinks "punch." This is one box.

Our minds can only open one box at a time and can only read and follow the instructions that are in the box. So if your box only has the instructions to "move forward" than that's what you will do and nothing else. My guess is this is how you move forward and as a result causes a delay in how you respond. The only way to deal with this natural limitation is to put more than one instruction in the box. Instead of putting "move forward" in the box, put more than one thing in the box.
Example:
Box 1 ="Move forward + Parry with lead arm, (this should either help you avoid the jab or will cause your opponent to delay the jab.
Box 2 =Shuffle + Jab with lead arm = This is will help you close the distance and if you get it right he won't realized that you are moving forward. You'll only need a few inches so it doesn't have to be a large leap.

Mike Tyson shuffles. He does Shuffle + Bob & Weave
Manny Pacquiao (watch his earlier fights). shuffles in side stance.

This is also shuffling in this video. It's the only way I know to move the body quickly without giving up the root. Notice the feet stay closer to the ground. This is a better way to advance than walking forward. It is also better to do 2 short shuffles than one long shuffle. Here's why

1st Shuffle = first forward advance
2nd Shuffle = All clear for forward advance or change direction.

Because that first shuffle is short, you'll have time to react to incoming punches that you are expecting. If no punches come then you can continue to close the distance by doing the second shuffle which can be shorter or longer than the first just depending on how your opponent is reacting. The short shuffles isn't a hard rule. But that first shuffle has to be short.

Shuffling hides forward movement. Your legs are basically in the same position as they were when you were standing. By the way you can't shuffle in a tall stance so there's that. If you like to stand tall then you won't be able to shuffle.

Stepping = move 1 foot first then the other.
I think of stepping as when one foot move forward plants and then the rear foot moves forward. Sort of how we walk. The rear foot doesn't move until the front foot is planted
Shuffle = move both feet at the same time. Instead of moving your front leg forward you just lift it up and push with your rear leg. With this your front leg should never reach for territory. If I want my front foot to land closer to you then I have to get there by pushing my back leg which moves my entire body.

Shuffling is quicker than stepping and bring the full weight of the body into the punch without twisting the torso A good example of this is a video on youtube called "Lomachenko's Matrix Shuffle - Drills & Demo" where he does both a step then a shuffle. In a shuffle, you only need to move one leg. In a step you have to move two.

Here's another good contrast where you can see the difference is speed.
His forward movement is a step.
His retreat movement is a shuffle.


Hope this gives you a good start.
Hmm, I think I see what you mean. I believe I already use shuffles without knowing they are shuffles, but not often. Usually, I stick to walking my opponent down because I have good perception and can avoid or absorb punches well. But sometimes I shuffle forwards slowly in a peekaboo stance as I have better defence.

Here is a link to the thread I opened here with footage of me sparring. This is against lower-skilled and less experienced opponents. My normal sparring partner didn't show up this training session, and the person I sparred with that led me to open this thread doesn't show to these sessions, only to the amateurs, which I am not able to attend just yet until I gain a place on the team.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Ok. You need to bait him in to coming forward and then parry counter jab. Rather than letting him sit in one position and then rushing him.

A person moving forwards can't suddenly move backwards in these split second exchanges quickly enough. And that is your time to close the gap.

The trick is to bait him into creating that situation. Hence footwork. Run away make him chase then that is your moment to come in.

Or fake an entry make him react and then that is your moment to come in.

It's hard because it is frustrating and you have to be patient.
This is good advice.
 
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