Knowing proper defense requires us to stay one step ahead of our opponents. Not only does this make us better martial artists by developing our instincts, it also develops our reflexes as well.
1) Work on your footwork
Movement is crucial for both offense and defense. One of the most important things to do to stay away from an opponent’s attacks on the feet is to keep moving. However, without good footwork, the effectiveness of your movement will be hindered and cause you to lose stability and balance when training or fighting.
Good footwork allows you to cover the appropriate amount of distance needed to stay clear of your opponent’s attacks quicker and more efficiently. It is also important to note that having good footwork will also improve your ability to land strikes and combinations more effectively.
To improve your footwork, spend more time shadow boxing. Be sure to be light on your feet and focus on keeping them apart, never crossing them when moving about. Also, work on pivoting, circling in both directions, and covering more distance going forward and backward.
2) Master distance between you and your opponent
Mastering the distance between you and your opponent is extremely vital for defense. Doing this will not only allow you to stay in a safe range to better defend strikes and takedowns, it will also provide you with the space needed to counter the attacks you see coming.
An effective way to measure distance is the use of a good jab. A good jab allows you to gauge the distance needed for you to stay in an appropriate range for both defense and offense. If executed well, it is also fast and requires less energy to throw, so be sure to throw them often and in twos or threes.
Also, practice maintaining maximum striking range during pad work, bag work, or sparring. This will instill in you the habit of keeping a safe distance when fighting.
Tell us, have you been practicing your defense?
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