by Joe Lewis – June 22, 2011
Joe Lewis: Fix the 40 Most Common Kickboxing Training Mistakes
In any sport from football to fighting, when two opponents are practically equal, usually the one who makes the fewest mistakes becomes victorious. With that in mind, presented below is my list of the 40 most common errors martial artists make in the ring.
Kickboxing Training Mistake #1
Trying to counter when you should be leading the attack. Counterattacking, like faking, is an advanced art. It requires knowing three things: the lead of the opponent, your method of avoiding his lead and the exact way of executing the proper counter-shot. Unless you know them all, initiate.
Kickboxing Training Mistake #2
Failing to step in when you punch. Whether jabbing or kicking, you always need to put your weight behind your executions for maximum power. Stepping in also increases your energy when you use the pivot-shifting and waist-pivoting (hinging) principles for punching power.
Kickboxing Training Mistake #3
Rushing your closing kick after a punching combination. The kick doesn’t have to be in cadence with the rhythm of any preceding punches. After the last punch, you should practice angling out of one of the side doors, resetting and then finishing with a power kick.
Kickboxing Training Mistake #4
Slugging toe-to-toe from the pocket with a slugger. Remember the fundamentals of fighting: Don’t slug with a slugger or hook with a hooker.
Kickboxing Training Mistake #5
Standing square while you’re in front of an opponent or in the pocket. If your shoulders are open, you not only present an easy target for your opponent but also limit your ability to fully rotate your hips through the centerline to create power in your knee strikes or inside punches.
Kickboxing Training Mistake #6
When facing a southpaw or a sharpshooting hard kicker, failing to possess effective feinting or faking skills. Such skills would enable you to draw him off-balance by breaking his timing. When it seems impossible to back him up, you need to know how to disrupt his rhythm or cause him to hesitate using faking skills. Then you must work defensive timing to come in the back door with a counterattack.
Kickboxing Training Mistake #7
Failing to keep your back toward the center of the ring. You’ll end up getting walked to the ropes and find yourself trapped and punished without any room to maneuver or escape.
Kickboxing Training Mistake #8
Remaining in the same pocket position and continuing to fire combinations. You need to at least turn your opponent or change the angle or position from which you attack. Remember that standing in the same spot makes you an easy target.
Kickboxing Training Mistake #9
Failing to keep your feet directly under your punches. When you overreach with your punches, especially a straight right, you’ll end up lunging off-balance without any power. You’ll have too much hang time at the end of your punch, which leaves you unable to follow up with a left ridgehand or hook. You’ll often find yourself collapsing into your opponent directly behind your overextended punch. Or you may leave yourself open to his counter.
Kickboxing Training Mistake #10
Positioning yourself directly in front of an aggressive opponent. This will get you hit. To avoid that fate, you must know how to employ rhythm sets, both with your head movement and your footwork, to offset his alignment or range just before his trigger squeeze.