Cross training was strongly discouraged in our dojo during the last part of the 20th century, so our experience of other martial arts, or any form of combat sport, has been limited to say the least. In recent years this mentality has reversed and cross training is considered almost essential. This years’ objectives include cross training with as many styles as possible and one of our first stops was the boxing gym.
We train at the North Sydney PCYC which has a boxing club that’s been there for decades and they are usually training when we are. We spoke to Chy Chuawiwat from Get Fit Boxing about some cross training and he was keen.
Our aim was to discuss two aspects the practical application of our techniques from the boxer’s perspective; how do we increase the power of our punches and how effective would Age-Shute-Uke be in a real situation. We weren’t exactly sure what else we wanted to achieve from doing this other than experience how we would go in the ring with a boxer.
When we got here, there was no messing around as I was thrown straight in the ring with Chy. There was something unnerving about stepping into a boxing ring with a trained boxer, particularly as I have no experience of boxing. Worst of all, boxing rules applied so kicks were not allowed!
The bell rang for the start of the round and there was no turning back. I was in unfamiliar territory. I was face to face with a trained boxer, kicks weren’t allowed and I was wearing huge cartoon style gloves. I figured the best thing to do would be to follow my training and instinct. The stuff we have drilled into us on a daily basis; keep your guard up, keep moving, don’t blink, hit hard, hit fast, use multiple techniques and so on. Yeah, I can do this.
Where did that come from?
Within 3 seconds of the bell, I’d taken a three hits to head. Ok, so I need to move faster, keep my guard up higher and just worry about not getting hit.
Hmm, I needed a strategy and I need one fast. Chy’s attacks seemed to come out of nowhere. There was also a problem. His hands were right up in front of his face. There was nothing to hit but gloves! He’s not moving very far though. Maybe that’s the key. I can’t use my legs for kicking so I may as well rely them to keep me out of range and get me where I need to be really quickly.
Using triple techniques while covering as much distance as possible seemed to do the trick. I was making contact and not getting hit as much. Ok, so I was still getting hit but so was Chy and, if you think about a boxing match, that’s the point. I seems as though boxers accept getting hit as long as they deliver more than they receive. I think Chy achieved that goal.
The bell rang again and the three minutes was up. I felt like I was just getting started. There was so much to take in, so many lessons to learn from, so much to review, recap, discuss and examine. My brain was in overdrive trying to analyse what happened and where I went wrong.
Riz was up next and from the outside I could start to understand where I went wrong. Riz took a more offensive stance, attacking with more techniques, including the odd kick! He moved around too and that seemed to draw Chy towards him and make him move more. Still, Chy was in command and I got the feeling he was playing nice with both Riz and I.
Riz and I each had another 3 minute round with Chy and then we got to see Chy and one of his students spar. It was like chalk and cheese watching the two trained boxers compared to our attempt. They delivered a lot more body shots and they didn’t move around a great deal. However, there seemed to be a battle for getting to the centre of the ring for a strategic advantage.
Finally, Riz and I got in the ring together. What started as a boxing match soon morphed into Kumite. It was too hard to resist kicks when facing off against each other. The result was our distance increased, our guard dropped and we eased back into our Kumite style. Our comfort zones, perhaps?
Once we were finished in the ring we talked technique, looking at the defensive positions of boxers and how they use their techniques to open up their opponent. We discussed the types of punches and their method of execution and finally, we discussed the self-defence situation of grab-punch.
At the end of it all Chy gave us some comments and pointers on our time in the ring as well as the self defence work. On the up side Chy thought our punches were fast, we held good distance and judgement of our opponent and we kept excellent range. On the negative we need to keep our guard up higher. We needed to tuck our head in and our punches are limited in that they are linear and don’t include hooks, etc. He also said that we lacked power compared to a boxer and we block too wide of the body, presenting a massive target. The perfect opponent for a boxer?
One major positive was that all the boxers were impressed our ability to change the lead leg. That freaked them out!
We’d like to thank Chy and his team for letting us join them for the evening and hope they can come and train with us very soon.