Monday, 8 September 2008

Importance of your Guard

If you saw the Chuck Liddell Vs Rashad Evans Fight at UFC 88 you may have seen something that completely shocked you or something that didn’t shock you as much. What I’m talking about is the knockout that Chuck received.

First, Quinton Rampage Jackson did it, now Rashad Evans has done it. As much as I like Chuck it really annoys me and sometimes disappoints me to see him have such a low guard nearly always.

Your guard is your protection. It needs to be up when and when not striking. Without it your opponent has a clear shot at your knockouts points. It needs to be up always and its importance, never under underestimated.

When you and your opponent are stalking each other (walking around throwing the occasional punch or kick, waiting to see what happens) you need to have your guard up. You never know what may quickly be thrown at you. If the UFC has taught us one thing, it is that knockout blows coming from fists, feet or knees DO happen, so always except them during a fight.

Probably the most important time to have your guard up however, is when executing your own techniques. If you throw a punch with your right hand for example, your left must be held high protecting your head area. Forget about bringing it back to your hip or dropping it down. You may get away with it once, twice but eventually your opponent/s will cotton on to the fact that you’re a dropper (someone who drops there guard) and shall take advantage of it.

Keep your guard high always in practise so when you spar/fight it will become natural to you. The best way to practise this is in front of a mirror. Shadow box in front of it and watch your defence. See for yourself if you’re guarding properly and make adjustments if necessary. It is one of the most important parts of fighting and something which needs great practise.


Marks

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3 comments:

KarateStudent said...

KarateStudent("KS") on Chuck Liddell; Pro and Con on Dropped Guard Hand:

MARKS points out a serious error by Chuck Liddell (KS loves Chuck Liddell). Chuck admits he has bad habits.

But there is absolutely no way around it that Chuck's kickboxing mistake, letting his guard down, provides the opening that Rashad exploits to end the fight. Rashad Evans is not KS's favorite UFC fighter. As a competitor, Rashad has come a long way, and you've got to give him credit for this great knockout which earned him the title.

KS has the Chuck the "Ice Man" Liddell CD. In the 1st rematch between Chuck and Randy Couture, there is a critical place where the same body mechanics that lost Chuck the Rashad Evans championship, sealed the light-heavywweight championship for Chuck over Randy.

Chuck Liddell's base is karate. To KS, Chuck's fighting style is kickboxing, not karate. This is well-suited for Chuck's career of kickbosing and MMA.

KS hasn't decided where best to post this; maybe on MARKS post on Randy Couture's signature takedown move he successfully employs against Chuck Liddell, winning their 1st bout and spoiling Chuck's 1st light heavy-weight title shot.

On that post, MARKS ties Randy Couture's takedown to a cousin technique in a particular asian martial arts /sport. Although KS is a Tang Soo Do stylist, the Japanese karate instructors come across to me as very good trainers.

Why? Look for KS's comment on karate training under MARKS post about Wado-Ryu karate with Sensei Tatsuo Suzuki.

KarateStudent said...

KarateStudent ("KS") on Chuck Liddell's "KARATE-LIKE" Knock-Out of Randy Couture @ UFC 52--Wins Chuck the UFC Light Heavyweight Title.

KS has made a lenghtly comment re the above at MARKS September 2009 Post, "Worst Martial Art Techniques."

MARKS well-taken point is made here about the importance of the [Boxers] guard. Dropping the guard hand is something traditional karate stylists are often 'guilty' of doing.

Ironically, KS thinks that Chuck Liddell's success @ UFC 52 may have come about when when he stayed closer to his traditional karate 'roots.' Perhaps this is seen in the form of the technique Chuck used to knock out Randy Couture, at the time the 1st knock out of Randy ever.

KS sees Chuck using the form taught by the very 1st '1-STEP SPARRING' TECHNIQUE in Tang Soo Do (TSD). He doesn't "cut & paste" the '1-STEP' as trained, but the overall form and principles are there. Randy goes down like a bag of sand (and who wouldn't?).

KS describes this '1-STEP' sparring technique @ MARKS Posts, "Is Sparring Useful in Martial Arts," and "Sparring Mistakes and Progression."

Interestingly, this exchange between Chuck and Randy points out how dangerous Randy's boxing expertise is, as he makes a counter move that nearly misses cancelling out Chuck's knockout strike technique. Randy's correct countermove demonstrates how Hard-Style Karate's '1-STEP SPARRING' could be overcome by a good boxer. KS has said that realistically (MARKS) TSD '1-STEP SPARRING' is an answer to an attack, not a guarrantee.

Furthermore, the same lesson applies to the boxer attacking, as close reveals shows why the DESIGN OF THE '1-STEP' makes the countermove by Randy less likely to be as effective versus the impact on the opponent on RECEIVING END of the '1-STEP SPARRING' technique. This is exactly how it unfolds @ UFC 52!

MARKS, you've heard the uncountable people say that basic karate, traditional karate doesn't work. KS answers them with... the Chuck Liddell knockout of Randy Couture @ UFC 52 shows Hard-Style [1-STEP SPARRING] karate succeeds over a championship-calibre, full contact MMA fighter.

Note that Randy is also naturally bigger, physically stronger than Chuck, I believe. Randy's direct assault would have been difficult to stop with head-on strength on strength, no matter how good Chuck's striking.

MARKS said...

KS - although Chuck comes from a krate background and Randy a wrestling, I dont think that during there fights they have thought to themselves that they must fight in certain ways (karate style or boxing stye). I think they say to themselves, "ok, I can punch, kick and grapple, so lets do just that regardless of where it comes from"

The beuaty of MMA is that styles, although give great basics which fighters can work from, dont produce the outcome of a a fight. It is the fighters themselves that produces the outcome.

hope that makes sense.

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