On Your On - Part 5

By Mark Brosten
Published on Oct 30th, 2011

Shadow boxing has been around a long time and is a very useful tool in your training. As a non-impact cardio work out, it is a very handy exercise. It takes no equipment; moreover it can be done almost anywhere or at any time. This work out has many benefits both physical and mental. Visualizing an opponent is an important skill in the art which, like all skills, needs to be trained.

The part of shadow boxing that becomes boring and mundane is the repetition. Doing too much of the same thing can lead to muscle boredom and become a mind numbing experience. Employing patterns from your techniques, forms, sets, and freestyle ideas not only helps you remember the ideal phase but allows you to graft and formulate.

Some other ideas that may help are:

  1. Try to use reverse motion or literally do the drill in reverse.
  2. Start with a greater generalized principle of motion and add others that enhance the first. An example might be to start with margin for error then concentrate on posture. When you are happy with how you are moving, add contouring or anchoring and so on.
  3. Don’t just see your opponent in one stage of action but visualize them in all 4 (out of contact, contact, contact penetration, and contact manipulation) then work the same idea into multiple opponents. This is great for making extemporaneous forms.
  4. Another idea is to work your drill concentrating on distal medial and proximal motion or hand, elbow, and shoulder. The result of this is really surprising as you return to hitting the bag. When you spend some time in the attention state of mind with no Contact and little power you will increase internalization and muscle memory. The improvement really shows when you return to the intention state of mind striking the bag. You will need to chase it to hit it again. This is because your motion has vastly improved which, is great personal feedback.
  5. One more training idea is to alter the environment. Try your drills on sand, ice, an incline, on stairs, or with lots of furniture in the way. This is lots of fun because it takes the training out of the sterile studio or exercise area and will have very positive and unexpected results.
  6. Evolutions of this idea: Add weapons. Place yourself in a limiting environment such as snow or waist deep water. Video tape yourself. Limit your motion with bungee cords.

I will state once again when training on your own; you are limited only by your creativity.

Filed under Techniques and Tutorials

Author Bio :: Mark Brosten

Mark Brosten began his Martial Arts teaching career as an associate instructor in Missoula, Montana. After Serving with the Military Police in Kuwait and Iraq during the first Gulf War, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, to continue his training. Mark was promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt by a Board of Examiners for the International Kenpo Karate Association. While in New Orleans, Mr. Brosten continued teaching, working with a diverse group of students from artists and architects to law enforcement and military personnel. Mark also developed a summer program for children, ages 4 to 5, for the Isadore Newman School in New Orleans.

An exceptional athlete, Mark is committed to training and competition. He competes in Martial Arts events throughout the United States and has placed within the top three, each time he's competed internationally. Since his return to Montana, Mark regularly teaches seminars at various martial art studios. Mr. Brosten successfully tested for advanced Black Belt rank in October of 2007. In 2008, Mark taught his first international seminar at The World Kenpo Karate Championships in Jersey, Channel Islands U.K. His practical experience and no nonsense approach to Kenpo have served him as a student, competitor, and teacher for nearly 25 years.

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