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Shinergy[master class]

As it gets boring to be writing on matters of strength training (this is a martial arts blog, after all), I'll dedicate this post to a more specific topic: today's Shinergy[master class].

You see, I invited Tom Knöbl, Shinergy[master instructor] to my dojo to share his thoughts on fistfighting. I'm using the term "fistfighting" rather than "boxing" because there's so much more to the hand skills employed in the Shinergy system than just the big four strikes (there being the jab, cross, hook and uppercut).

As expected, the class was great. In great detail, Tom explained the important points in blocking and throwing straight punches. Although you can't exhaust that topic in 90 minutes, I think he did a great job in transferring the basic concepts that hold true for everything that takes place inside the boxing distance (and, for that matter, in any other distance, come to think of it).

Here's the gist of it:

  1. Relaxation. Stiffness and tension ain't going to take you anywhere. As this is obvious in theory (but extremely hard to implement in practice) I won't be pondering on this here.
  2. Forward drive. Always be on the advance - at least, mentally. By directing your concentration forward, you can generate power without tensing up. Also, you take away any psychological advance your opponent might have built up.
  3. Guard positioning. This is of the essence. If you don't put your guard where it belongs, not only do you undo your chances to successfully counter a strike, you also risk blocking your own strikes.
  4. Hard vs. soft blocks. When it comes to blocking crisp, quick shots you better not be blocking hard - keep your movement to a bare minumum. Limit yourself to what is absolutely neccessary to avoid getting hit. Everything beyond that is a waste of energy and might be hampering your counters.
  5. It ain't over 'till the job's done. Ok, now this one comes from the movie "Snatch", but it applies here as well: Blocking a strike or being blocked don't stop the action - it only just starts it. Be prepared to counter the opponents counter on your counter...
  6. Coordination is king. Improve on details by decoupling your body halfes.

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