SKILLZ & DRILLZ-THE ART OF SLIPPING PUNCHES
As I began this article, I thought about the definition of the word “slip”. To my surprise there were 21 definitions
of the word slip in The Second College Edition of Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language.
For this article, which is based on fighting; here was the best definitions I chose:
To go, move, pass, etc., smoothly, quickly, imperceptibly...
To escape or pass from a person’s memory, mind, power, grasp, etc.
To move in and out of a place by sliding; shift or slide from position...
Slipping punches is an innate ability to some fighters. They seem to have radar within them to help them move way from
punches quickly, almost to the point of being magical.
This is a gift most of us do not have.
But fear not. The art of the slip is alive and well. Slipping can be achieved through hard work and training. Some trainers
look at slow moving fighters and train them to depend on blocking without regard that the fighter can learn slipping techniques.
This is a big mistake that will leave the fighter incomplete and predictable.
Once a punch is thrown at a fighter, his eyes, brain and body reacts to it. But depending on his conditioning, he may not
be able to move quickly out of harms way.
Diet, strength work, and mapping out tailor made techniques in slipping is the best way to acquire this skill.
First, you have to maintain a diet, which is balanced. Too much fats and sugar such as sucrose can cause your reactions
to slow. Vegetables and fruits are great at maintaining your energy levels, which fuel your reaction to a punch or kick.
Strength work helps improve your quickness and reaction. It helps keep the fat composition on your body low.
When lifting weights the ascending/descending principle of strength building helps your reaction. In this case, it builds
power by starting with a few sets of high repetitions of 15 or more, heavier weight 15 repetitions or less. Finishing with
lighter weights with a few sets of 15 to 25 repetitions.
The areas of the body to concentrate on will be areas that directly involve the mechanics of the slip. These areas are:
Latissimus Dorsi (Mid Back)
Rhomboideus (Upper back muscle that braces the shoulders)
The Gluteus Medius and Maximus (Hip and Butt)
Tibia (leg shin area)
Trainers can find a multitude of strength and plymetric exercises, which develops this area for quickness and explosiveness.
Often times fighters with the innate ability to slip punches will slip and move but 8 out of 10 times they will look at
the opponent without firing a punch back. I have told my fighters that they may look impressive to the audience by slipping
one or two punches, but if I see they are not in condition to fire back a punch, I advise my fighter to chase them down, even
if they have to run across the ring to get them.
The areas of the body that I mentioned would have to be trained to have a mind of its own once the slip is made. The fighter
should slip on an angle and be able to plant his feet and fire a punch almost immediately after the slip. Backing up and running
will only add to his fatigue.
Once the fighter has slipped the punch, he should be on the counteroffensive immediately. No backing or running; slip and
counter should almost be simultaneous. The trainer has the responsibility to the fighter to teach him how to move, counter
and stay within arms reach of the opponent. Once the trainer devise routines, which are best for the fighter, like a basketball
player who shoots 1,500 jump shots a day to become a 20-point scorer. Slip and counter technique practices with or without
a partner should be practiced into the hundreds, if not thousands of repetitions.
No matter how slow your fighter began. He does not have to become super fleet footed to slip and counter close in. With
practice he will start reacting and slipping punches without thinking about it.
AS USUAL KEEP YOUR GUARD UP!
AND SLIP THAT PUNCH!
(DON’T FORGET TO COUNTER)