T Nation

Proper Breathing


#1

I just read Aussie's new thread about bouncing from foot to foot, and my boxing coach was telling me to do that during lessons because it loosens the fighter up and helps them to get into a rhythm. So I seem to remember, I had a lesson yesterday after 2 weeks off because the coach and I were sick.

More to my point, Yesterday he specifically told me to breath in through the nose and out the mouth. This is in stark contrast to what Irish and other sources had me think. Really, it seems more natural to exhale out the nose.

Also, When reviewing foot patterns for cross jabbing, he was teaching me to launch off the back foot, and then move the back foot forward before the shot is retracted, which I wonder about too.

Does anyone suspect a fish with this coach?


#2
  1. Your trainer is just plain wrong here. Why be working when your opponent is resting. It makes no sense to make extra work for yourself? Fighting is demanding enough when you do everything right. Why add unnecessary extra work? Madness.

As far as rhythm is concerned - any good coach will tell you that you want to consciously try and recognise when you are getting in a rhythm, and break it. A good fighter will read your rhythm, and time you so you catch his punches harder than you otherwise would. Really good fighters break rhythm when they are in range. One of the things that can really distinguish a top fighter in my view is the ability to disrupt rhythm. It requires awesome fitness, and a level of comfort with the core skills that comes with experience.

  1. No. Mouth shut at all times when you are ‘live’ in the ring. In through the nose out through the mouth is how you should be breathing to recover between rounds - I believe this is what Irish etc will have been referring to. Keep your mouth shut when you’re fighting if you want to keep your teeth and stay conscious. Opening your mouth weakens the jaw area, and increases the leverage your opponent can get on it with his fist. DO NOT BREATH THROUGH YOUR MOUTH IN A FIGHT.

  2. Jabs are badly taught by 95% of coaches, so I will go easier here. Personally, I see the jab as a stand alone weapon, when done right. With that technique that your coach is suggesting, you are unlikely to develop a dangerous jab. Download the Jack Dempsey book free of the net. It will show you how to jab hard and effectively. I am a massive believer in the falling step. I have used it effectively my whole fighting career.


#3

I agree with London on the first point, though before the fight starts or if you can gain enough distance so you can relax, sometimes dropping and shaking out the arms and/or shaking out the legs and bouncing a little bit can help clear the lactic acid a little bit in my experience; my guess is that is what your coach is talking about, but maybe I’m wrong and London’s interpretation is correct.

Also, you [italic] can [/italic] breath through the mouth safely as long as you keep the teeth/mouth together/closed as you do so. This is actually something that always bothered and intrigued me about Thai Boxing coaches/fighters, as they seem to open their mouths and yell (somewhat similar to a Kiai from traditional martial arts) when they strike. This always struck me as dangerous, but I’d be interested to hear from Humble or any of the other experienced Thai fighters (those who have trained in Thailand or with reputable Thai trainers) about why this is done.

Jabs are the most important punch in a fighter’s arsenal; learning to throw them right is a crucial skill. Correct alignment and speed will make them an effective punch. But, they don’t always have to have a ton of power or even necessarily land to be effective (as long as they produce a reaction, they could have served their purpose). The “wrong stepping” jab is used as more of a distraction to cover your positional change, or to close the distance and gain an angle against someone who likes to hold their ground and cover up/block your punches. Sometimes you can also double or triple up the jab as you angle out.


#4

thanks for attempts at response so far, I must clarify. When I meant ‘cross jab’, I was referring to a straight right in orthodox stance. So, when he demonstrated footwork with punches, he twisted and brought his heel out for the straight right and then had the foot reposition ahead before retracting. I wonder if this lack of contact with the floor made any sense.

Also, when I had my lesson Friday, he very quickly tried to teach both hook and uppercut, and expected me to immediately put together combinations as he held the focus pads. He had jab as one, straight right as two, uppercut as three, and hook as four. When I awkwardly went into the hook, half the force of the hit was him with the focus pad, so how he calls that anything I don’t know.

The coach occasionally has talked in unclear terms to me. For example, when I first did a sort of a meet and greet to view the gym, I had fresh in my mind the plastering Dos Santos had taken from Velasquez. I realize it is not strictly boxing, but he mumbled something about how he thought Vasquez (mispronunciation) had lost.

He thinks I have a hard right and uppercut, i just wonder if he is feeding me what I want to hear.


#5

[quote]DeadKong wrote:
thanks for attempts at response so far, I must clarify. When I meant ‘cross jab’, I was referring to a straight right in orthodox stance. So, when he demonstrated footwork with punches, he twisted and brought his heel out for the straight right and then had the foot reposition ahead before retracting. I wonder if this lack of contact with the floor made any sense.

Also, when I had my lesson Friday, he very quickly tried to teach both hook and uppercut, and expected me to immediately put together combinations as he held the focus pads. He had jab as one, straight right as two, uppercut as three, and hook as four. When I awkwardly went into the hook, half the force of the hit was him with the focus pad, so how he calls that anything I don’t know.

The coach occasionally has talked in unclear terms to me. For example, when I first did a sort of a meet and greet to view the gym, I had fresh in my mind the plastering Dos Santos had taken from Velasquez. I realize it is not strictly boxing, but he mumbled something about how he thought Vasquez (mispronunciation) had lost.

He thinks I have a hard right and uppercut, i just wonder if he is feeding me what I want to hear.[/quote]

It sounds sort of like you have made up your mind on that point. You should have fsith in your cosch in order for it to be a good learning environment. I’d look around for another coach and take a couple lessons from him to compare.


#6

[quote]DeadKong wrote:
thanks for attempts at response so far, I must clarify. When I meant ‘cross jab’, I was referring to a straight right in orthodox stance. So, when he demonstrated footwork with punches, he twisted and brought his heel out for the straight right and then had the foot reposition ahead before retracting. I wonder if this lack of contact with the floor made any sense.
[/quote]

Still not really clear what you are talking about here. Do you mean a jab that is thrown over top of the opponent’s straight right (which would technically be considered a left cross), or do you mean a lead straight right, or do you mean a step through lunge punch?

Well, first, generally the jab is one, straight right is two, left hook is three, and right uppercut is four. But, I’ve also seen the right hook be four, the left uppercut as five and the right uppercut as six. Never seen someone have the right uppercut be three or the left hook as four though. Maybe you could switch the order that you throw the punches in the combination, but that would still be “1,2,4,3”. You may just be again misrepresenting what was actually occurring though as you are a beginner and are not familiar with boxing terminology yet.

Second, it’s pretty unrealistic for any coach to expect to be able to teach a beginner how to throw any punch (let alone a left hook and right uppercut) and expect them to be able to execute them with a high level of proficiency. And it’s just as unrealistic for you the trainee to think that you are going to be able to master the punches in a single training session. It’s also not necessary to completely master how to throw a punch before beginning to throw it on the pads/bag; just think how silly it would be to wait years or even decades (which to be honest it can take to truly master the punches) before throwing them on the pads.

Third, it’s actually pretty common for coaches to hit the punches with the mitts. This serves to better simulate hitting a solid target, test body mechanics of the puncher (if you’re out of position you will get knocked backwards on contact), and also can increase the cadence/rhythm of the combination as the mitts don’t have to recover as much distance (as they would if the mitts were flying all over the place). That said, some pad/mitt holders do overdo this and mistakenly think they need to try to hit the punches as hard as they can. If that’s the case then the coach is not a good mitt/pad holder.

Eh, lots of boxing coaches have a generally poor opinion and understanding of MMA, so it’s not that he may have either been mistaken or been routing for Junior and was upset that the “boxer” lost to the “wrestler”.

[quote]
He thinks I have a hard right and uppercut, i just wonder if he is feeding me what I want to hear.[/quote]
Maybe, maybe not, but it does seem like you have pretty much made up your mind about this coach and you are just looking for justification to look elsewhere. If that’s the case, then either start looking, or lose the preconceived notions that you have created and give the coach’s training your all. Sure, he may not be Freddie Roach, but your attitude that you “know better” might hold you back no matter who your coach is.


#7

In general, I avoid bouncing. After seventeen years of martial arts (about 10 different styles, at that), I learned very quickly that if ,y feet leave the ground, I’m going down. Staying on the balls of the feet with heels lightly touching keeps you loose and fluid, but also keeps you grounded.

I don’t know about the jabs, but if you suspect something with your instructor then you’re probably right. A lot of students are afraid to question because it doesn’t seem respectful, but I always ask the question of what purpose does that strike/combo serve. Sum it up to being curious and wanting to understand the full intent behind the strike(s).

I’ve had great teachers, and absolutely awful ones. And I’ve been the instructor. I’ve always encouraged these questions because it kept me on track and I make sure the students understand.


#8

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]DeadKong wrote:
thanks for attempts at response so far, I must clarify. When I meant ‘cross jab’, I was referring to a straight right in orthodox stance. So, when he demonstrated footwork with punches, he twisted and brought his heel out for the straight right and then had the foot reposition ahead before retracting. I wonder if this lack of contact with the floor made any sense.
[/quote]

Still not really clear what you are talking about here. Do you mean a jab that is thrown over top of the opponent’s straight right (which would technically be considered a left cross), or do you mean a lead straight right, or do you mean a step through lunge punch?
[/quote]

When he demonstrated throwing a straight right (I had previously called it a cross jab) the hind heel of course came out, it is just that he took the foot off the ground and repostitioned it ahead before retracting the punch. this had me suspicious.

So, breathing, in through the mouth with clenched teeth, then hard out the nose?


#9

[quote]DeadKong wrote:

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]DeadKong wrote:
thanks for attempts at response so far, I must clarify. When I meant ‘cross jab’, I was referring to a straight right in orthodox stance. So, when he demonstrated footwork with punches, he twisted and brought his heel out for the straight right and then had the foot reposition ahead before retracting. I wonder if this lack of contact with the floor made any sense.
[/quote]

Still not really clear what you are talking about here. Do you mean a jab that is thrown over top of the opponent’s straight right (which would technically be considered a left cross), or do you mean a lead straight right, or do you mean a step through lunge punch?
[/quote]

When he demonstrated throwing a straight right (I had previously called it a cross jab) the hind heel of course came out, it is just that he took the foot off the ground and repostitioned it ahead before retracting the punch. this had me suspicious.
[/quote]

Like he stepped it so he now had a right lead (was in a South paw stance), or like his feet were too wide when he threw the right (he left his right foot “in the bucket”) and he then had to recover his feet to a solid “functional fighting platform/stance”? If it’s the first, then that’s called a “step through lunge punch” and is used pretty effectively by a lot of Karate practitioners and can be a good way of closing a lot of distance very quickly and/or switching leads.

If it’s the later, then it sounds like his footwork/positioning needs work.

[quote
So, breathing, in through the mouth with clenched teeth, then hard out the nose?[/quote]

No, in through the nose and out through the mouth (with the teeth together, mouth closed). And again, it all depends on distance and situational factors (if it’s between rounds or at a distance then feel free to breath in through the nose and out through the nose or even out through an open mouth are fine. It’s while you are in range of hitting or getting hit that you need to be careful and breath out through a closed mouth (for the reasons that London cited).


#10

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]DeadKong wrote:

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]DeadKong wrote:
thanks for attempts at response so far, I must clarify. When I meant ‘cross jab’, I was referring to a straight right in orthodox stance. So, when he demonstrated footwork with punches, he twisted and brought his heel out for the straight right and then had the foot reposition ahead before retracting. I wonder if this lack of contact with the floor made any sense.
[/quote]

Still not really clear what you are talking about here. Do you mean a jab that is thrown over top of the opponent’s straight right (which would technically be considered a left cross), or do you mean a lead straight right, or do you mean a step through lunge punch?
[/quote]

When he demonstrated throwing a straight right (I had previously called it a cross jab) the hind heel of course came out, it is just that he took the foot off the ground and repostitioned it ahead before retracting the punch. this had me suspicious.
[/quote]

Like he stepped it so he now had a right lead (was in a South paw stance), or like his feet were too wide when he threw the right (he left his right foot “in the bucket”) and he then had to recover his feet to a solid “functional fighting platform/stance”? If it’s the first, then that’s called a “step through lunge punch” and is used pretty effectively by a lot of Karate practitioners and can be a good way of closing a lot of distance very quickly and/or switching leads.

If it’s the later, then it sounds like his footwork/positioning needs work.

[quote
So, breathing, in through the mouth with clenched teeth, then hard out the nose?[/quote]

No, in through the nose and out through the mouth (with the teeth together, mouth closed). And again, it all depends on distance and situational factors (if it’s between rounds or at a distance then feel free to breath in through the nose and out through the nose or even out through an open mouth are fine. It’s while you are in range of hitting or getting hit that you need to be careful and breath out through a closed mouth (for the reasons that London cited). [/quote]

As usual, thanks to those that have attempted to help me resolve this. Sento, what i meant by the footwork, and I hope I get this explained corrrectly, in orthodox stance: He shuffles forward with the left foot to throw the jab. Every second step he explained brings one back to the stance. So, his right foot shuffled forward, he throws the straight right (remember, orthodox stance) and his right heel swings outward. But, before retracting the straight right punch, he repositions the right foot forward. I had thought it gospel to keep the right foot planted until the punching motion was completely over.

Anyway, the only reason I started this thread really was because of breathing:

http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_senior/deadkongs_latest_journal?id=4659878&pageNo=12

Fightinirish26 was good enough a while back to do me a write up based on his viewings of my older videos and exactly specified to breath HARD out my nose every time, to get in the habit of it. This I took as unbiased truth, and when I heard this coach I am seeing contradict it, I wondered what is up. So, the consensus is breath in the nose and hard out a clenched jaw?


#11

I don’t really think you’ll find a true concensus on anything boxing related (well, maybe “protect yourself at all times”). Whether it be how to wrap the hands, or how to throw a hook, or where to position the hands while “on guard”, every coach has their preferred techniques, and style that he/she tends to pass on to their fighters. The really good ones will be able to recognize their individual strengths and weaknesses and impart strategies, techniques and “styles” to fit that fighter (in other words they won’t try to force every fighter into the same mold).

I’m not saying that Irish is wrong to tell you to breath out through your nose. I was always taught to breath out through closed teeth and I’m pretty confident about the lineage of boxing instruction I have received, but that again may just be preference of Irish’s coaches vs my coaches. If you’re unsure you could try both out and see which one you feel works better for you.


#12

Thanks again, I just find it more natural to get a good spurt of air out the nose rather than in, besides not wanting a clot of snot to go down the pipe. Fine, I am then off my worry ride about this coach, and will proceed as normal. I had two weeks with no direct coaching because he was sick one day, the next week i was. So maybe things will settle in as time goes on, i hope.


#13

So, since I kicked and cried about making this thread, I had a lesson tonight that I am calling very productive. He reiterated that breathing in through the nose and out the mouth is standard, Damutt came to my journal thread and said he does the same.

To start, he had me review footwork, this I wanted him to do, and I am positive feeling that I am going to make progress there soon. Loosening up is a common theme he mentions. He had me roll my hips to get under a rope while shuffling forwards doing combinations. That is jab, roll under the rope stepping to the left and then throwing a right. Roll back, shuffle ahead, roll under throwing an uppercut when coming up and then a hook. Pretty much, I will have to recall it better when I practice tomorrow.

Focus pads, jab/straight right/roll under/uppercut/hook. Various combinations going forward and also jab/step back/jab/straight to avoid a shot and hit back. He has a ladder of tape on the floor which was to step into a square jabbing, then the back foot steps over and jab stepping into the next square.

Other stuff like that and I will take as much to the bank as I can for homework until next week.