Anyone who has read thru the “Master Combination List” has wondered: “how did someone come up with all these different types of combinations?”

I wish I could say it was easy. It was not!

Sure, I THOUGHT it was going to be easy, but when I set out to add new combinations to my workout system, I kept discovering the same old boring combinations over and over again. So, in the interest of full disclosure, here’s how I did it:

1. I used to own a gym called “L.A. Boxing”, which are now called “UFC Gym”. I hired many fighters and top-notch instructors to teach the classes. Every now and then, one of them would not show up for class, so I’d have to teach it! After this happened several times, I thought, “I better prepare myself by having a lot of cool combinations written down in advance!”
So I set off to do just that. I thought of everything I could (from previous martial arts and kickboxing experience), and wrote it down. Then, when an instructor would be demonstrating a technique in class, if I liked it and thought it worked well, I’d add it to the list.

2. I read thru books. Boxing books, Muay Thai books, streetfighting and self defense books, etc. I searched thru them to pick out all the combinations I could. This is when I realized: most material has the same few combinations over and over again. Even when they would list “15 combinations for Boxing” or something similar, they would simply be stacking punches on top of each other and calling them a new combination (eg. Jab; Jab-Cross; Double Jab-Cross; Triple Jab-Cross; etc. etc.) Well, that didn’t seem too exciting, but I was able to glean several good combos that were previously not thought of.

3. Experimentation on the bag.
I would go to my heavy bag and decide to throw a technique. Then I would strategize: “Ok, from this point, what technique makes the most sense to throw next?” And one technique would lead to the other. OR- I would want to add in a specific technique, so I would strategize the series of moves that would naturally lend itself to implementing the technique.

4. Watching fights.
MMA fights, that is. When I would come across a cool combination that I haven’t seen before, I would quickly write it down before I forgot it (after rewinding it over and over to capture what was really going on). I would choose techniques that were effective, especially if they lead to a knockout.

5. Other instructors, like on Youtube.
What instructors, you ask? ANY and ALL! I have spent HUNDREDS of hours watching kickboxing classes (and no, never came across any good combinations!), fighters, trainers, instructional clips from DVD’s, etc. If there’s a famous MMA fighter out there, and he has a lot of clips, I’ve probably picked up a thing or two to add to the system from them.

One thing all of these techniques had to have in common: they have to work well on the heavy bag!
A lot of techniques work well with a partner or in a fight, but they don’t translate well to the heavy bag workout for one reason or another, so there are some combinations I liked, but through experimentation I learned they just weren’t right for the workout system, so they were scrapped.

Sometimes after a few workouts I’d realize that a particular combination had to be scrapped, or edited or refined, and I’d go back and make the changes. After a couple of years, ALL the combinations have been gone thru so many times, both by myself and by trainees, that everything has been refined and perfected so no further revision is necessary.

The next hard part was figuring out HOW to best place all of these disparate techniques into the workout system in a way that avoided overuse, kept the variety up to a max, kept the level of spontaneity up, and kept the intensity level of each workout somewhere near the same level. This process took a LONG time because it got very confusing until I figured out a system to use that would help me avoid duplication and overuse/underuse. That’s why the combinations are color-coded, in case you were wondering!

Hard to believe that this Workout System, that started from the humble beginnings of ONE workout on one index card, has grown to a complete Home Workout System that can be used month after month and still keep people WANTING to work out! And THAT’S the name of the game! You gotta like what you do. If you don’t, you won’t do it!

Think about this as you contemplate buying the latest and greatest DVD Workout Program being touted on TV and on the internet.  These DVD programs have audio.  That means that every time you workout, you are going to be listening to the same music (not music that you like, mind you) for ALL of your workout sessions, for the rest of your life.  Not only that, everything the instructor says, you will have to hear EVERY single time you play that DVD, for the rest of your life.  Even if there are 8 different workouts, you are still going to be stuck listening to their music and their dialogue each time you want to train.  And read the reviews on Amazon (the negative ones, where you find out what is irritating about the different ones) and you are going to hear how much it drives people crazy listening to the same thing over and over.  So, with that intro, read on and discover why the Kickboxing At Home Workout System is far superior to a DVD.  ANY DVD program!

1.  There is far more variety.  12 workouts in all, and all 12 are for every level, from beginner to advanced.  Some DVD sets come with multiple workouts, but most of the time only one or two are usable at your current level.  Even after one year of doing this program, you will probably have only seen the same workout 10 or 12 times.  This prevents burnout and helps keep you interested and enthusiastic about working out.  We also spread out ALL the workouts to cover your entire body, not devoting a whole workout to “abs”, or “legs”, or any other specific muscle group.  No one needs THAT much work done at once to any body part.

2.  Much less repetition due to the built in flexibility of the System:  the first 4 rounds are open to the addition of your own material, so YOU can decide what seated stretches, standing stretches, dynamic stretches, and shadow boxing you want to do.  Sure, you may want to use the same warmup stretches over and over again, but should you happen to come across a book or video that is showing you something new that you want to try, you simply add it into your stretching rounds, whether its seated, standing, or dynamic.  If its a technique, you can add it into your shadowboxing round.  This way your program can continually grow or evolve according to your needs or desires.  With a DVD, you’re stuck with what they give you, EVERY single time!

3.  Unlimited variety in the music:  with DVD’s, you are stuck to listening to THEIR generic terrible music EVERY single time you workout.  With the “Kickboxing at Home” System, YOU are the dj to your own workout.  One day you might want rock, the next day hip hop, the next time acid jazz or fusion or funk, or whatever… Being able to put on the music that YOU like, and are in the mood for, EACH and every time, is a huge plus.  HUGE!

4.  There are no tedious introductions and explanations to suffer thru:  DVD’s always have someone talking, introducing things, instructing, etc…. It might be good for the first time, but what about 6 months into the program and you’re still having to listen to ALL that annoying stuff EVERY single time you want to work out???   No way!  (Read the Amazon reviews from people who have been on a program for a while and you’ll see.)

5.  DVD’s can’t have you hitting an actual heavy bag.  Therefore there is no resistance behind your strikes.  You are at risk of hyper-extending your joints and causing injury.  (Did you ever wonder why they are wearing gloves??? )
But the best part about having a heavy bag is that the resistance it adds is what’s going to build muscle, increase bone density, strengthen joints, activate your core, PLUS, that’s the most fun thing about hitting and kicking:  IMPACT!!!   AmI right???   Of course!
6.  Most DVD’s have you doing cardio-fluff techniques that aren’t as directly translatable to an actual fighting scenario. Because your weight is not being transferred into any object, your stance and weight distribution upon impact is not quite as realistic and your muscle memory and neural pathways are being developed in a manner different than a fight situation.   Plus, with cardio DVD’s, you don’t have a target, and you aren’t visualizing an opponent.  With our System, you are impacting a bag. That’s the kind of balance and coordination you’re going to need in an actual violent confrontation for self defense. You have the weight of the bag pushing back against your fist, and that force is transferred into your arm, your shoulder, THRU YOUR CORE, into your legs, and into the ground… MUCH more effective for toning and building strength!

7.  All other workout DVD’s “pad” their workouts with all kinds of boot camp exercises!  Burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, sit ups, running in place, pushups, and all sorts of other exercises that are NO fun to do.  The “Kickboxing at Home” System has been designed to work these same muscle groups, but by doing something fun and interesting on the heavy bag.  This gets your mind off the “workload” and puts it into the “fight”, where time passes much more quickly, and with a lot more excitement and fun.

8.  DVD’s put your neck, and possibly your whole body, in an improper alignment.   DVD’s teach you to look at a screen, when your eyes should be laser-focused on your opponent.  When you’re trying to watch an instructor, yet your technique is moving your body with momentum in a different direction, this can cause you to crane your neck unnaturally and lead to neck injury and headaches.  Our System has you ALWAYS looking at your opponent, and NEVER taking your eyes off of him.  If there is ONE crucial habit to form for self defense and fighting, this is it.

9.  More stress relief and mental peace.  A DVD has constant INPUT into your brain thru your eyes and ears.  It doesn’t allow you to relax and escape into the workout.  It doesn’t allow you to think about your fight and your technique; your thoughts are constantly interrupt ed by the “talking heads” pulling you out of your zone and distracting you.  The “Kickboxing at Home” System will take your stress level from an 8,9, or 10 and bring it all the way down to a 1,2, or 3, EVERY single time you workout.  This has been anecdotally proven thru countless uses and training sessions and has never failed.  Following the Instructions as written will lead to a perfect workout every time.
10.  You don’t have to workout in the same vicinity as a TV or computer.  With the Kickboxing At Home Workout System, you are either working out at a gym, in your garage, or in a basement, and hopefully you’ve turned the entire area into a workout room so that it feels motivating and energizing.  Maybe its just me, but I can’t workout in a bedroom or in the family room; the atmosphere just isn’t right.  I don’t want to see all of the distractions of daily living.  I want an ESCAPE from my daily life, at least for an hour!  No TV, no computer.  Just the heavy bag, my System, and my music.  Now THAT’S a workout!!!
I think the single biggest complaint I hear from people engaged in a home exercise program is…. can you guess what it is…?  Yes, that’s right:  lack of motivation!

That’s one of the reasons why I always stress to find something you LIKE to do!   The more you like something, the less self-discipline it takes to stick with…obviously.  However, even when you’ve found something fun and interesting to do, you must always guard yourself against losing motivation.  One of the best ways to keep motivated is to try to improve every element of your workout experience.  “Dressing for success” is one key element in this equation.  Others are:  having equipment you like and are excited about; making sure your “Workout System” notebook is in top shape and printed on paper you like looking at; keeping your workout area meticulously clean and tidy; putting on the best music to inspire and motivate yourself.
But back to the subject at hand:  dressing for success in your workout program.  What do most people wear when they workout?  Probably their WORST outfit, or something they might do yard work in; not too inspiring!  Do you remember when you tried to keep up a jogging regimen?  It was hard to keep going every day, but there was ONE particular day that was much easier than others:  the day you bought a new pair of shoes!   Right?  How did I know this?  Because we’ve all been there.  When you first get a new bike, you want to ride your bike.  When you get a pair of shoes, you want to use them.
The same principle applies in your Kickboxing At Home Workout regimen.  You are going to feel a LOT more like fighting that heavy bag when you’re wearing an awesome pair of MMA shorts!   Even better- MMA shorts and an MMA shirt!  (Add on the special shoes and you’ve got the trifecta)
On a personal level, I have about 6 pairs of MMA shorts, and about 12 fight shirts.  Every time I enter my workout area to get my groove on, I put on a pair of my awesome shorts and shirt, and the shoes that I wear ONLY when I’m doing my kickboxing workout.
This keeps your workout clothes “sacred”, meaning “set apart”.  They are set apart for one use only:  to engage in your kickboxing workout!   When you are wearing a workout outfit that you’re excited about, that excitement translates directly into your workout.  You can’t wait to get started because you’re already “feeling the part”.  I can’t remember even one workout in the last few years when I didn’t wear my “special” clothes.  My health and fitness is too important to me to take a chance on dinging my motivation.  I’m going to give myself every advantage towards staying pumped up about my workouts.
So, buy great clothes.  All that money you’re saving by working out at home more than pays for your new diggs many times over.  Get yourself enough to last you through one cycle of laundry so that you never have to go without.  Then, every now and then, pick yourself up a new pair of shorts, or a new shirt, or a 2nd pair of shoes to rotate into the schedule.  When Christmastime or birthdays come up, instead of saying “I don’t know”, tell people the new shirt or shorts you want; heck, give them a link to the catalog and the item #.  Give them the 800 number and the sku!  You are going to feel like a million bucks when you dress like a million bucks.  So skip the Walmart specials and buy the best quality gear you can.  This isn’t money wasted on clothes; this is an investment in your health, and in your future body!

This article is going to talk about a very unique concept called “minimal fitness”.  Minimal fitness is one of my philosophies about exercise and happens to be the most optimal way to exercise for the majority of people, with some obvious exceptions.

First, lets define the term:  “Minimal Fitness” means doing the least you can to achieve the greatest results.  If this was financial we’d call it “value”.

Every output or action on your part has a corresponding “return”.  For example, a dollar invested might have a $1.05 return.  A two-hour investment in watching a movie might have a return of good entertainment and boredom relief.   But we can’t run too far with examples before we must face the fact of another law at work:  the law of “diminishing marginal returns”.  Roughly translated, this means that for every action or effort, there is going to come a point where additional effort is going to have lesser gains.  Eventually it could mean zero gains.  It could also become “negative gains”, or going backwards, particularly as it relates to your fitness goals.

Lets look at how this relates to your own workout program:

Taking just one exercise as an example:  if you were to do a set of bench presses (doing as many reps as you can do), that first set is going to have a result of 80, for example.  If you do another set, it would have a cumulative result of 90.  A third set might yield a total overall result of 95, and a fourth set might bring you to 97-100.   Additional sets might not bring you any further yield, and could even be counter productive.

This means when you hit the gym, the majority of your benefits come from that first set of each exercise.  Additional sets of each exercise do give you additional results, but not nearly as much as that first set did.   Lets say that you and your twin brother decided to begin an exercise program at the same time.  You decide to follow the path of “minimal fitness” and you spend 15 minutes in the gym.  Your brother wants to follow what everyone else is doing and he spends the typical hour in the gym, doing 3-5 sets of everything.   You attained 80% of the results in your 15 minutes, yet your brother, who spent 4 times as much time and effort, was only able to achieve an extra 20% for all his trouble.

The same could be said for most exercise programs.  You don’t have to devote tons of time and energy to achieve the results that will make you most happy.  Your workout routine of 3-4 days per week will give you 80% of the results of someone who wants to workout 6 days per week.   Your 15 minute run will give you 80% of the results of someone who wants to run 10 miles.

Its not all about time and energy though, sometimes the solution is about a complete change in exercise modality or regimen.   For example, your basketball game in the park may give you 80% of the fitness you could otherwise get by engaging in an exercise routine (like a bootcamp, for example) that you absolutely hate and dread going to.   So many fitness programs these days are all marketed by the same ploy:  “this is really hard and its going to get you in maximum shape really fast!”   Many of the claims are true, but what they don’t tell you is just how much you’re going to HATE doing it!

When you exercise doing something you hate, you’ve done a disservice to your long-range fitness goals.  While you may get in great shape fast, you will probably lose this great shape and return to being a very inconsistent exerciser within the first several months.   It is simply too hard to force yourself to keep doing something you don’t like.  If the exercise is too hard, you will likely suffer an injury, sickness, or central nervous system burnout.  This is commonly called “overtraining” and its symptoms are a decreased motivation to workout, a slowdown in workout gains, sickness, elevated pulse or blood pressure, and other ailments.  It is no fun.   But because you “just had to have” those extra 20% gains and weren’t satisfied with “good enough”, your unbridled enthusiasm got the best of you and your long-term fitness plan is wrecked.

Remember, fitness must be kept as a lifestyle.  There is nothing more important than consistency/longevity when it comes to the positive benefits of exercise on your health and overall life.  Is what you’re doing now something you like well enough to keep it up indefinitely?  If its not, your goal should be to find something you DO like.   If you’re not able to, and must do exercise that you’re not very fond of, then do the least amount required to keep you fit, strong, healthy, and agile.   I always recommend non-exercisers start with making themselves a goal of trying to do 15 minutes of exercise per day, regardless of what form that may take.  One day it may simply be stretching.  Another day it could be a home workout plan that you have.  It could be going outside and shooting hoops, or passing the football, or taking a bike ride, or playing on the jungle gym.  One day it could be a brisk walk, or run.   The important thing is to do SOMETHING.   Something is SO much better than nothing, even if your “something” isn’t the most optimal way to get in shape.

When it comes to fitness, unless you’re one of the few who REALLY loves it and loves running, and doing bootcamp exercises, and hitting the gym, etc., then cut yourself some slack and find something that you can live with and stick with.  So many of the best benefits of exercise come from that first 15-30 minutes, and it doesn’t have to be excruciating.

The old “Left side/Right side” dilemma can be cause for heated controversy, but let me give you one man’s opinion on the matter:

Here’s what many trainers say:

“You should only train on ONE side. Period!”

Why?  For several reasons:

One:   You have a “dominant” side.  This side puts your strongest hand in the rear where you can throw your most powerful punches.  The “Orthodox” fight stance means your left hand is up front, and your right hand is in the rear where it can stay poised for a knockout punch:  the Right Cross.   If you’re left-handed, this is reversed and you’re fighting “Southpaw”, where your left hand is kept in the rear.

You want your strongest hand in the rear because that’s where your strongest punch comes from.

Two:   “You will fight the way that you train!”  In a fight, you will want your right hand in the rear, so that means you need to train with it in the rear so that there will never be any confusion as to how you will stand or punch in a fight.  You want to develop all the right habits so that it becomes second nature to you.    Switching sides during training only confuses the issue and your solid habits.

Three:   There is a lot to work on in fighting and in your technique.  You need to have your strong side completely MASTERED, and until you’ve done that, you have no business taking training time away from it and working on the other side.

Four:   It will take longer to develop your skill set trying to work both sides.  Its confusing enough trying to learn the body mechanics, transfer of weight/force/power, proper kicks, guard and fight stance, etc. from just one side. Adding in the other side will erode some of your progress as you get confused and you’ll be left with a weaker side and a stronger side, but no side developed enough for ultimate survival in the ring or on the street.

                                                                                                                                              

The above is the argument of many trainers, and they are all valid points and I respect that.  If anyone wants to train that way, it is certainly appropriate and there’s no need to change.

I however have a different opinion (of course!), and some of it is because of my unique physical makeup (which I will allude to), and others may have different reasons why working BOTH sides makes sense for them.

So here they are, lets start!

1.  Bruce Lee felt that your strongest hand, instead of going in the rear, should be up front, where it is going to be doing most of the work.  After all, you will jab far more often than you will throw a cross, so your best hand should be in the driver’s seat.  Also, your strongest hand should be up front to block because typically it is more coordinated than your weakest hand.   So already we have a fly in the ointment about which side should be up front.  Bruce Lee cannot be ignored.

2.  You may suffer an injury in a fight which may necessitate your switching sides.   You could break your front hand on the attacker’s head, and may now have to protect it in the rear.  Your front hand could get injured from a knife or other weapon.  You could suffer damage from kicks to your front leg so that you have to put it in the back.  Your eye could suffer and injury and your vision needs may require you to change your stance.   Now, if you haven’t become proficient on that other side, how comfortable are you going to be?

3.  Training on both sides evens out the wear and tear on your body:  your hands and joints.  If you throw 10,000 jabs during your training lifetime, and 1,000 right crosses, that means your left arm is getting 10 times the workload of your right.  You could develop and overuse injury to your hand, and your shoulder especially.

4.  Working both sides may in some way prevent you from developing conditions based on overuse.  I have two bones fused in my neck.  If I look too long to any one side, it causes migraines.  In a fight stance, your neck is looking to one side more than the other.  Switching sides on a regular basis allows a break in each direction before problems can set in and evens out the stress.

Not all of your limbs get used equally in training.  The front hand seems to punch more, and the rear leg seems to kick more.  Switching to the opposite side gives all body parts a chance to participate equally in the training, so if you’re training in order to maintain a strong, healthy, fit, balanced body, it just makes sense to work both sides as equally as possible.

5.  Sometimes after a technique you might inadvertently land with your “other” leg forward.  You are not in charge of the fight.  Your opponent can and will do things to throw a monkey wrench in your game plan.  You might throw a switch kick completely intent on putting it back forward when you land, but your opponent has moved in on you, and now that leg is stuck to the rear and you must both attack and defend from this position.   Wouldn’t it be nice if you were just as proficient on this side?

So there you have it and the case is made for training both sides equally.  Read thru the arguments and “let each man be fully convinced in his own mind” as the Good Book sayeth.  If you’ve decided you want to train both sides, and your trainer will let you, your next question might be how to go about it.

Here is what I do:  if I’m doing a drill, lets say “5 front push kicks, 5 rear push kicks”, I will simply do the set, then switch stances and do the same set from the other side.

If I’m executing a combination, I might do it first on one side, then on the next, alternating continuously until the bell rings.  Or you might want to do the first half of the round on one side, then switch, whatever.  I try to really equalize the work on each side, but you might not need be quite so anal about it and perhaps you just want 25% of your training to be on your other side.   Whatever works best for you and is your best interest depending on your training needs and your body structure.   While I realize that this little treatise in no masterpiece, I hope it is able to serve as food for thought for those that are wrestling with this issue.

The Kickboxing At Home Workout System was designed over a period of a few years to follow the best practices of exercise science and psychology.  Every effort was made to be in complete alignment with what the top experts and researchers were revealing.   For many workout routines, you have to wonder if what you’re doing is in agreement with what the researchers are recommending; with THIS program you do NOT, because it is in complete harmony with the best training knowledge science has to offer.  Consider these few areas:

1.  The Weariness of Decisions:  Psychologists have discovered that making numerous decisions wears out our mental faculties and leaves us less satisfied with our choices.  Our System was created so that when you stand before the heavy bag, you ALREADY KNOW what to do, so that you don’t have to make a decision or choice about what technique or combination to throw! Without using this System, you would actually have to make choice after choice, up to 30 times per round, leaving you much more mentally fatigued after your training session.  That is why you’re left with NO STRESS after your training sessions on this program; it has been specifically engineered to accomplish this goal.

2.  H.I.I.T.   Exercise scientists have discovered and reaffirm with study after study that high intensity interval training is the best way to get maximum “bang for your buck” with your exercise routine.  Going at high intensity, followed by a short break, over and over again, has been proven to be much more beneficial than doing “endurance” workouts, like long-distance running.  There are always articles coming out about “the best way to exercise”.  Aren’t you glad that all you have to do is follow this System and all that has already been taken into account for you?  You never have to worry that you’re not on the right track.  You can forget about having to stay caught up on the latest information coming out in the magazines and on TV.  Everything about this System has been designed to make sure its perfect, and over the last 3 years its been modified and refined and perfected to such an extent that there is NOTHING left to change!
3.  Getting Psychology on YOUR Side:   Most people struggle with having the intention to exercise, but when the time for it comes they meet with resistance in their minds because they don’t enjoy what they’re doing and therefore look for a way out.  This System was designed so that when you first start each session you’re always starting with   “Round One:  Seated Stretches”, so that what you’re about to do is EASY and you need not be worried whether or not you’re “in the mood” or “have enough energy”, etc.  The next few rounds slowly increase the energy output so that each round simply flows into the next, and each one gets you in the mood for the following one.  This lets you use your psychology to work FOR you and not against you.  You will have much more long-term success with this type of System; in fact, moreso than any other workout routine!
4.  Muscle Confusion Principle:  Exercise scientists have been touting for decades to mix up your workout routine, create “muscle confusion”, and to keep your body guessing and adjusting to the stimulus you’re placing upon it.  In all fairness, many of the latest workout programs accomplish this goal very well, like the P90X for example.  In our System, each workout has you doing a unique set of combinations on the heavy bag, until you’ve gone thru all 12 workouts.  For most people, this is less than once per month, so you will never get sick of a workout.  You will probably only see the workout 8-10 times in a whole year- how could you possibly get sick of it at that pace?  You can’t and you won’t!
5.  Long-Term Solution vs. Short-Term Fad:   The HUGE advantage this System has over every other workout routine is that it is tempered so that it can be used week after week, month after month, year after year- without burning you out!  Most routines go for the “IMPRESS” factor by showing how “hard” they are, and how “rapidly” you’re going to see maximal results.  This is short-sighted, and only works for a small minority of people.  Most of them will burn you out quite quickly, and you will begin to hate doing them, and possibly start hating exercise in general.  You will go gangbusters for the first 6-8 weeks, then you will take a deep plunge off the exercise wagon and you won’t return until you’ve developed the intestinal fortitude to begin again, or you’ll wait until “New Years” to resolve yourself to pick back up, or you’ll spend more money getting the latest DVD program from the infomercial.  And you’ll repeat this cycle over and over again. You will always be taking one step forward and two steps back.  And you run the risk of getting sick and injured if you try to stay on.  Oh, by the way, I hope you enjoy “bootcamp” exercises, because almost all of the programs are nothing more than numerous bootcamp exercises given to you in various combinations and intensities, week after week.  They are no fun, and you will have to FORCE yourself with every ounce of willpower to continue, and this internal battle will take place every single day.  Believe me, I’ve done it, and so has probably everyone you know- and yourself- and it has never proven to be an effective long-term strategy to making exercise a consistent part of your life.  With exercise, NOTHING is as important as CONSISTENCY.  Even a poor program- that you will do, is better than an awesome program- that you won’t do!
6.  Avoiding Overtraining:   One of the most often overlooked biological factors to a successful workout system is the ability to recover.  Without recovery, you cannot progress.  Most programs have you going way past the point you can recover from before your next workout.  Any effort that is given past this point is simply wasted energy and effort.  Energy, mind you, expended on something you hate doing (ie. bootcamp exercises).  The Kickboxing At Home System has been specifically designed so that YOU can control the energy output level and adjust it to your own level of fitness.  A beginner and an advanced athlete can both use the exact same workout and each get the results he or she sought after with equal success.  How and why, you ask?  Because the heavy bag rounds are easily adaptable to one’s specific physiological makeup:  if you’re less fit, you simply do the fight combinations with less vigor, take more time between each combo, use less footwork and movement, etc.  The Rounds are adjustable to between 2-5 minutes, so each person can choose their own ideal level.  Or if you have less time one day, simply put the Round Timer on 2-minute rounds and go at full intensity.  I love doing it like this every now and then; its so much fun!
My general advice to people is to exercise around 85-90% of their potential.  You need that extra 10-15% that you left in the tank to recover with after the workout.  Most other exercise programs constantly are pushing you 100% day after day, which leads to overtraining.  Here’s what happens when you overtrain:
– Your body stops responding to exercise.
– You get sick or develop and injury (this is your body’s way of forcing you to slow down).  You will typically get a flu-like illness, a throat infection, or something similar.
– You lose motivation and enthusiasm for training.
– In a really bad case, you will actually burn/lose muscle tissue and start moving backwards in your progress.  Translation:  all that hard work for nothing!!!
There are many other ways in which this Workout System aligns itself with the soundest principles, not only of workout science, but of psychology as well.   It has been designed to avoid injuries, create a strong body for your “golden years”, increase bone density, enhance flexibility, develop coordination, balance, and athleticism; develop greater cardio and respiratory endurance, build more lean muscle tissue and decrease fat stores (one of the major health liabilities leading to heart and coronary disease).
It also greatly reduces stress (which is bad for you both mentally/emotionally AND physically).  It can serve to increase your self esteem and body image, as well as help you deal with things in life in a more empowered manner.  Because it is easy to stick with, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and self-discipline, and that can bleed over into many other areas of your life.   When you’re on an exercise program that is much too hard and burns you out, and therefore causes you to QUIT, it damages your self-image and can make you feel like a failure and lessen your belief in yourself.
This Workout System has been designed to counter those liabilities and turn them into strengths.  If you have not yet gotten started but are interested in doing so, why not let TODAY be the day you take your first step?  This is a program you can get on and stay on with full assurance that YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK because you’re working WITH science and psychology in the most effective and efficient manner possible!

“Coach Mike, how do you train fighters to get ready for their events?  Are there just a whole bunch of “basics” that must be done regardless of who you’re fighting? Or do you try to really coordinate your training time to match the opponent’s certain weaknesses and habits?  Do you spend 50% of the time on basics and 50% of time on fight “specifics”, or how does this work exactly?  What if you don’t have much information on the opponent?  Or conversely, maybe you simply know your strengths and you try to capitalize on them, and you know your weaknesses, and you try to work on them?”

Coach Mike with Carlos Newton

COACH MIKE WITH CARLOS NEWTON

“Training Fighters to get ready for their events?

 1. Many coaches train their fighters differently to help get them ready for their events, and I think it’s very different for amateurs VS Professionals. If you are a big time professional fighter than you probably have a whole team to help you get ready ala (Floyd Mayweather) or someone like that. Personally when I’m coaching or helping a guy get ready for his or hers event there are certain routinely things that we continue to do. Basic conditioning, mitt work, speed bag work, heavy bag work, double end bag work, sparring and the things we do to stay sharp and focused. These are the basic things boxers do on a regular daily basis. I also don’t want my fighter to go away from his or hers strength and worry too much about what the other guy does, we do what we do and stay within ourselves and stick to what we do. That’s not to say that we are not going to make adjustments and not be prepared for what the other guy does or want’s to do.
You cannot train exactly the same way all the time for every opponent because different fighters do different things and have different strengths and weaknesses. (Example) Fighting a Southpaw, you train differently to fight a Southpaw then you would normally getting ready to fight another right hander, because the Southpaw will move differently and punches differently as well. Plus the fact that you must do specific things and know how to do specific things to fight the Southpaw. Everything we do in the gym is going to be geared towards  fighting the Southpaw for this particular fight, from working the bags, focus mitts, sparring, shadowboxing, moving around the ring, everything is geared to fighting the Southpaw. Even the sparring partners will be Southpaws and if you don’t have any Southpaws in the gym to practice with, you take the orthodox fighters and make them go Southpaw to get your guy some practice.
As far as what percentage we work on this or what percentage we work on that? I don’t worry about but I will say about a 1/3 of the fight you are probably going to be on the defensive end, so it makes sense to spend about a 1/3 of the time training and working on defense. The way I teach and coach is that everyone I work with they learn how to fight different styles of fighters because it’s just how I teach and coach boxing. Everyone I train and work with will learn how to fight a Southpaw, a slugger, a fighter and a runner plus what you call effective Olympic style amateur boxing which is get in and get out quickly before getting hit. So my guys learn almost from day one that these are the style of fighters that you will and must learn how to fight and deal with in the ring, so they already have a good idea because we train for them. By training this way there are no big surprises whenever we do have to fight one of these different style of fighters but we then tailor our training for which ever guy we are getting ready to fight.
We will also watch film and videos of our opponents previous fights if they are available especially I will do this and just to see what this guy does and what he doesn’t do. As a coach my job is to give my guy every advantage that I possibly can to win the fight. The big fighters who are making big money like I said can have a whole team to help them get ready. They often have a number of different coaches and trainers such, as a strength and conditioning coach, a dietary coach and the main coach who trains and works directly with the fighter and who will be the boss in the corner when fight time comes. But for the smaller guys out there you have do the best you can with what you have until you reach that next level of success and financial stability. I believe that a fighter getting and staying in shape is his or hers personal responsibility. Being in shape and staying in condition is a personal responsibility and is about personal pride and being professional. A boxer shouldn’t have to depend on a personal trainer or someone else to get him into shape to fight. A fighter should never fail to make weight or come in out of shape for a fight, unless he got injured and didn’t have enough time to rehab his injury or a guy takes a fight on a very short notice. And if you suffered an injury and are out of shape because of it then you shouldn’t take the fight.
If you are serious about your craft as a boxer then you should never leave your conditioning in the hands of someone else and depend on someone else to get you in shape. Guys should be training all the time as if you are getting ready to fight because you never know when the phone is going to ring for your big opportunity. And you better be ready in case that big opportunity presents it’s self.  Remember this you boxers and fighter out there, “IF YOU STAY  IN SHAPE YOU DON’T HAVE GET IN SHAPE”
I’ve been experimenting a lot with the right cross.  I was told by many teachers to pivot on the rear foot and more or less push off of that foot for the cross.  Then many other teachers say “Step with every punch!”, including the cross.  I’ve been experimenting stepping fwd on the cross and believe it or not, it actually feels more powerful that way.  Stepping fwd with a rear shovel hook also seems to make it more powerful, much to my surprise.
2 questions:  What is your opinion on “stepping with every punch”?  They say it puts you in position for the next punch, and the next, and so on.  But on left hooks, for example, it seems more awkward.
Also, how would you describe the basic technique for the right cross?  What mistakes do you do see people making with it?
Coach Mike at his new gym

COACH MIKE AT HIS NEW GYM

1. Stepping with every punch is a really old school boxing technique taught by really old school boxing coaches, the primary reason for stepping with every punch is for weight transfer. Transferring weight from the back foot to the front foot like for stepping with the jab. To get power on the jab you must step to push out of your back foot getting your body weight behind your jab and get your body weight moving forward. Stepping on punches also helps you close the distance to deliver your punch so you are not reaching for your opponent. Use your footwork to close the distance and don’t reach to throw punches because by reaching you take your head out over your knees and feet and easily pull yourself off balance. This is especially dangerous in MMA fighting because you can get pulled into a deadly knee strike that could end the fight very quickly. Stepping while trying to throw a left hook is not really a great idea because you are already moving and not planted with your feet and don’t have the power needing to really turn and get your feet, body and hip into the punch, and more times than not you will end up swinging the punch and you don’t want to be a swinger with your punches becoming an arm puncher. In stepping with the hook I would only step to close the distance to be able to put myself in a position so that I could throw my left hook. Watch old school boxer Bernard Hopkins shadow boxing and watch him step almost on every punch. Great old school technique and old school fundamentals.

2. The right cross is called the right cross, not because you throw it across your body at your opponent but because when your opponents jabs your right hand crosses his or hers jab. You throw your right hand across your opponents jab to hit em. Bet you didn’t know this? According to old school boxing coaches the right hand is thrown off your right heel and right foot, weather you are stepping with it or not. The time to throw the right hand is not when your opponent is moving to your left or trying to throw it across your body, but throwing it when your opponent is moving to your right and when he or she is over your right foot. By throwing it this way off your right heel and right foot, your opponent will move right into the punch.. Again stepping with the right hand will close the distance and get your body weight moving forward making the punch much stronger and harder when it lands.
3. Every punch you throw should be setting up the next punch and if you can’t do this it means you may have bad fundamentals and bad footwork. Getting in position to always be in a position to punch requires good footwork and good body mechanics, meaning footwork, range and distance are all important. Being able to turn your heels out on all power punches and being able to turn your shoulders when you punch is the key to putting yourself in position for the next punch. And by turning your shoulders when you punch allows you also to punch with more power by shifting your body weight. By not turning your heels out for power punching you are just punching with your arms becoming an arm puncher and you will not get maximum leverage on your punches. The only punch in boxing that you don’t have to turn your heels out on is the jab, every other punch in boxing requires you to turn your heels out on the punch. That’s old school boxing and old school teaching.
4. Mistakes people make when throwing the right hand/right cross. People don’t turn on their back, turn their heel out as if they are putting a cigarette out or squashing a bug. This is old school boxing terminology and reference. People also drop, pull back and telegraph their right hand before they throw it, it’s almost like sending you an email letting you know here it comes. Too late. People throw it at the wrong time, wrong distance and throw it at the wrong angle trying to punch across their own body. You lose power trying to throw punches across your body and even more so if you are trying to punch standing straight up and have no bend in your knees. Don’t punch standing straight up and flat footed, if you get hit this way you will absorb all the energy of the punch and could get hurt and rocked very easily. Plus if you are punching down at a guy while you are standing straight up and the other guy is below you with his knees bent punching up at you, you will be losing leverage and he will be gaining leverage because he has his knees bent and the use of his legs. Old school boxing is new school and old school boxing means being fundamentally and technically correct. Learn to master the basics fundamentals of boxing and also you can never go wrong with old school boxing.
Question for Coach Mike:

“A lot of gyms have more than one coach and each may teach techniques differently.  How should both coaches, and fighters, handle this?  What should a fighter do when he receives conflicting information from one or more coaches?  For example, in my last gym, one coach would teach the left hook by turning on the front foot.  The Muay Thai coach didn’t like it because he said you’re setting yourself up for a kick to the back of the leg. Then of course there were different opinions on whether the fist should be “palm down” or “palm facing you”.  And this was just on ONE punch!  What are your thoughts and guidelines on this?”

 

“First of all I’m going to confine my answers and comments regarding having more than on boxing coach in the same gym because I have experienced this first hand and seeing myself as a head boxing coach I can speak on what I have seen and what I know to be true on this subject. First let me tell you what the experts say and think about this subject of having more than one boxing coach in the same gym and these experts are guys who have been in business and have operated gyms for a long time. Having more than one boxing coach in the gym is a bad idea and is not recommended by the guys who really know the business. A boxing coach coming from another program may have a very different approach to the sport than you do. This can lead to confusion in your boxers and may add a great deal of stress to you as the head coach and to others in the gym. By having only one boxing coach in the gym this way your boxers learn only one system-yours. I want my guys doing the things I want them to do and I don’t want other coaches, parents or fighters trying to correct my guys when I’m working with them.

They need to hear one voice and be getting just one message and avoid getting any mixed messages, the same thing applies when I’m cornering a guy who is fighting. you may have three different people in the corner but there is and should be only one guy talking to that fighter in that corner-me. I trained him and got him ready for this fight and I need to make sure he is doing what we worked on and is doing the things I want him to do. Even when he’s fighting and there are a lot of other voices coming from the crowd and often instructions coming from the opponents corner my guy needs to be dialed in on my voice from the corner while he’s out there. If you are going to have an assistant boxing coach working with you it should be someone who has the same philosophy or possibly a former boxer or fighter that came up in your system and know’s your style. Former fighters you have worked with and trained often make good assistant coaches and therefore your other guys are still getting the same messages and doing things the way you want done.   Boxing training with female client
Amateur boxing coaches many times pick and choose an assistant coach who absolutely knows nothing about boxing and many times they will pick a parent or someone else from the community who wants to get involved with your boxing program. By doing this you don’t get someone coming from a different boxing program chiming in confusing your boxers and going against your system because they don’t know enough to cause you stress and grief. A lot of fighters go to different gyms to spar and train with other guys while trying to get themselves ready for a fight and I see this quite a bit with MMA fighters. I know MMA guys who jump around from gym to gym to gym and some of these guys live in Las Vegas where all the big MMA gyms are located. You can have different coaches teaching different disciplines in the same gym but there should be only one boxing coach in that gym. A question came up on throwing the left hook with the thumb down or the thumb rolled up on top of the fist. Throwing the left hook with the thumb down is thrown usually on the inside which I call a short left hook thrown from the elbow in. The farther you get from your opponent you have to throw the left hook with the thumb rolled up otherwise if you try to throw a long left hook with your thumb down it just turns into a jab.
A lot of people think the left hook has to be thrown short, inside and close to your opponent but that’s not true. There is such a thing as a long left hook as long as you still throw the punch with your chin behind your shoulder. Throwing the short left hook inside with the thumb down is an old school technique because back in the day they threw it this way and if they missed you with the hook they tried to split you open with the elbow. I only know of one old school great boxing trainer and coach that taught all of his fighters to throw the long left hook and that was the late great Emanuel Steward of the Famous Kronk Gym in Detroit.”

“Coach Mike, a lot of people think there is a difference between straight boxing/Western Style boxing, and “Boxing for MMA”.  Is there much, if any, difference?  And if so, in what way?  Does boxing need to be modified at all for MMA, like modifying the stance (because of takedowns), modifying the guard (because of kicks), or modifying the strikes themselves?”

This question and argument comes up a lot between people in MMA and people in boxing including MMA and Boxing trainers and coaches. Keep in mind this is only my opinion based on my coaching, my experience and what I have seen and continue to see in the sport. Boxing is boxing and the fundamentals are the fundamentals which haven’t changed for 120 years or since boxing was invented. I beg to differ with those that say boxing for MMA is completely different from regular boxing. Bull Shit. If you have solid fundamentals and are fundamentally sound and technically correct in your boxing skills it doesn’t matter if you are competing in MMA or regular boxing. I don’t think there needs to be much if any modifications for regular boxing and boxing for MMA. One of the biggest problems I have seen in a great deal of MMA gyms is sometimes one coach who is trying to teach everything, Boxing, grappling, wrestling, muay Thai and one person cannot teach everything. Then you have MMA gyms that have Striking coaches that are usually either Kickboxing or Muay Thai guys who are trying to also Coach and teach boxing and that doesn’t work either because of a difference in basic stance which has a big effect on punching style and technique.

 Coach Mike with MMA fighter Mark Kerr
Most MMA guys take on a more open Kickboxing or Muay Thai stance to block and check kicks and are greatly concerned about the front leg out front getting low kicked or at risk of a single leg take down. By opening up your stance and shoulders this causes your punches to come out differently and plus you don’t get the full rotation of the leg and hips which effects your punching distance, unless you step off line to get the distance. MMA fighters are leery of bobbing and weaving under punches for fear of getting kicked or to bob and weave into a knee. They often slip a punch to the side rather than to slip in, towards and away from the punch to put yourself in a position to counter punch/punch back. Often when you slip a punch out and to the side you take yourself out of position to punch back because now you are too far away. Another big factor is footwork or the lack of, Muay Thai guys don’t move around or lot and have a tendency to bounce instead of moving and sliding around the ring or cage like a boxer. Boxers and guys with good fundamentals are taught that every punch you throw should always be setting up the next punch and you can only do this with good, fundamentals, technique, footwork, balance and a good coach.
Most boxers are taught basically the same way and often knows what punches are coming at him and can read another guys body and because of the other guys angle or body lean, he knows the guy can only throw one or two different punches. “Example” you know that when a guy throws a right hand/cross at you that there is a 95% chance there might be a left hook coming behind it because this is the way you are taught.That’s why “Big George Foreman” was able to come back at age 46/48 and beat much younger guys because he had seen everything before and there was nothing you could do or throw at George that he hadn’t already seen before. He knew what was coming before you even threw it. You have a few guys in the UFC that have figured out the importance of boxing and more and more guys are realizing that you can no longer be one dimensional if you want to be an elite fighter in the UFC. A lot of MMA fighters don’t even know how to handle or defend the jab, “Example look what GSP did to Jake Shields and Josh Koscheck with just the jab? He ate them up and at times both of them just stopped in the middle of the cage and put their hands up as if to say what the hell is this? Because they had no answer or defense for his jab.
That’s another reason why a lot of UFC fighters have poor boxing fundamentals and bad technique because they are always trying to knock somebody out because they are wearing 4 and 5 ounce gloves, and when you have your hands taped up wearing those little gloves it doesn’t take much to get knocked out. It’s like getting hit with a brick having your hands taped and wearing 4 or 5 ounce gloves. Boxing is boxing and in my opinion either you have good coaches who teach good fundamentals and technique or you don’t, either you have fighters who are fundamentally sound, technically correct or there not. To me it comes down to coaching/teaching and who is doing it and where is it coming from but you also have to have talent to work with. You can be the greatest coach in the world but if you don’t have talent to work with it doesn’t mean anything. “YOU CAN’T MAKE CHICKEN SALAD OUT OF CHICKEN SHIT” NOR CAN YOU POLISH A TERD AND MAKE IT SHINE”