T Nation

Toughman tactics

I’m fighting in the Light Heavyweight (176-189.9)division of the Toughman this Friday. I’ve trained like a madman the last couple of months (other than a two week bronchitis bought), but I have exactly zero sparring experience and may just breakdown and cry the first time I get hit. If that doesn’t happen, does anyone have any last minute advice for me. Right now my whole plan involves trying to land a good jab followed by a straight right below the sternum followed by right hooks until either he falls or I pass out. Thanks for any advice.

Doog, If you watch tapes of the UFC’s, you’ll notice probably 90% of these things end up on the ground. If I were you, I’d try to get some grappling instruction. If you can find a studio somewhere that teaches Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, You’d stand alot better chance. Royce (Pronounced Hoyce) Gracie made this type of grappling popular a few years back by repeatedly winning the UFC’s against much bigger and stronger opponents. He himself is a wee little guy.

Keeps your hands up towards your temples and your elbows locked in at all times.

ok my advice is as soon as possible, since you will probably not be able to learn anything about fighting that you will remember once the fists start swinging, get a bunch of your friends over tomorrow, and practice taking shots. one excercise we do at my dojo, is where You, would stand with your back foot about 2 inches from a wall, and have your friends line up each one gets about 20 shots at you, at about 60% strength. ALL THAT YOU CAN DO IS BLOCK!!! it will help you learn quick to keep your hands up by your face, and will also help you learn to take a hit…BTW no matter how bad something hurts, never let it show becuase if you do you will get hit in the same spot instantly. Good luck man

keep moving. Tire your opponent out. Jab the hell out of him. Even if you aren’t jabbing for damage, it’ll disrupt him and you can measure your distance. I’d follow all jabs that strike with any force with a straight right and then left uppercut. If those three land, you’ll score more points and perhaps knock him down and/or out. I wouldn’t tie up too much, because some of these fighters are dirty. jab and move. Watch his right shoulder dipping. Most toughman contestants telegragh their big haymaker. Good luck.

I guess there is truth in the saying: “hindsight is 20/20”. Especially since you NOW realize that some sparring would have helped.

Why bother throwing a straight right in the sternum? More than likely (after seeing some of these Toughman fights on TV), he won't be keeping his hands up - so, go for the jaw/chin. He'll probably also have a "glass chin". And, if his gut is soft: go for the gut. Remember: kill the body, the head will follow.

This is like FX’s Toughman Comp rite? Not a Mixed Martial arts event? If its a toughman event just have fun and slug it out I like the double-jab, right hook, left hook combo. Try and play to your strengths, if u have a long reach keep the guy away with your jab, if you don’t get inside and work hooks and uppercuts. Hope this helps, good luck – outlaw

This is a Toughman contest not a UFC. I agree w/ Patricia on this go for the body and then the head. No one blocks their head. I would learn how to keep my hands up so that I can block the punches to the head… GOOD LUCK and when will it air?

spit out your mouth guard and bite his ear.
With no sparring practice praying would be a good option also.

Seriously though how tall are you? are you fit/powerful both??? Do you have a quick powerful jab? How serious is this event? What are the rules? Are you closer to 176 or 189.9 lbs? In the city I live in there are tough man contests run a couple of times a year. Its more of kick boxing match as there are rounds and once either participant is on the floor it is stopped (so there is no grappling). Sometimes the participants are just drunk people from the crowd but sometimes they are very very good fighters.

Retire undefeated before it is too late.

Thanks for the advice so far. Some clarification. This is a boxing only fight. 3 one minute rounds with 45 second breaks between. I’m 5’10". I’ll weigh in at a keto aided 189 Thursday, but I’ll probably be at least 198 by Friday night. I couldn’t spar because of time and distance constraints, but I think I’m fairly powerful (just don’t know how well I can take a punch). I’m in the Rio Grande Valley which is basically an area of 1,000,000 short hispanics, so I should be taller than most of the competitors. I’m naturally left handed, but I fight right handed so my jab is pretty good. I just don’t know how effective jabbing is against someone who just comes in flailing away. This whole thing is just something I always said I’d do before I was 30, so the time has arrived. Thanks again.

Doogie: Jabbing at someone who is just “flailing away” is effective. One of the older trainers in my boxing gym gave me this bit of advice for when I throw the jab: to keep moving forward, for as long as I’m throwin’ that jab and moving forward, I’m not getting hit. He told me that I’ll more than likely be getting hit when I’m moving back, away from my opponent. (KEEP your hands up)

I would be working that jab now. Spend the next few days before your match shadow boxing into a mirror. Work your jab - work on the extension of your jab especially. Work on keeping your hands up. And another thing, regarding being able to take a punch? Remember this quote: "About 95% of boxers have glass chins...." - Joe Lewis. (KEEP your hands up)

hese are 1 minute rounds right? Not much time to get fancy. The jab is going to be your most effective punch, especially if you are taller. Everytime the guy comes forward, stick that jab in his face, and make sure you follow with a combination. You need to keep landing punches (preferably bodyshots). The solar plexus (area below the sternum) is a tough target to hit, and you would be better off working away on the guys ribs with hooks. Too bad you don’t fight south paw, you could really screw them up.

Doogie-if you’ve never taken a punch this is going to be quite a learning experience for you. Keep this in mind. If it didn’t knowck you out or knock the wind out of you - keep going. Basically if it doesn’t put you on the mat you need to get past it and go on the attack!

KEEP MOVING YOUR HEAD NEVER STOP BOBBING AND WEAVING keep your eyes open ALWAYS look at your oponent. you hopefully will get hit less that way

Make sure you tell us how you go!

We spar in my backyard every now and then, gloves, cups, mouthpiece and headgear, TWO things you can use, one the headgear will move all over the place(especially since its not custum or often used by same person), try to use this to your advantage pull their gear with one hand (when bringing the punch you throw back) and then attack hard to the gut when they try to adjust head gear with whatever hand they use.
TWO if you’ve never done this DONT throw some lollygagging jab BLAST it out there, unless you are a powerhouse if you dont FIRE THE FUCKER HARD a decently tough guy will swat it away or just deflect and take it. Throw it hard as possible especially in one minute rounds. Everyone throws a hard right(dominant hand) but very few put the same effort into the jab. Dont lose your footing, practice moving and punching and if all else fails clinch a lot and then at the third round swing for the fences. Have Fun, RR

You’ve been given some good advice to keep your hands up and work the jab. I would add one more suggestion. Every toughman competition I’ve ever seen begins with two adrenaline pumped, unskilled fighters, making a mad rush at each other trying to land the first haymaker. Try to relax, When he swings, slip the punch to your left and begin to work the jab and combinations. Take the bodyshot early if you can. Stay relaxed and move and let your opponent tire himself out while you use your jab. When he gases out, start looking for the big shot. Aim for the chin with an uppercut or hook or for the temple with the hook. Keep these punches tight using the body, don’t flail the arms. Approx. 24% of a punches power comes from the arm, 76% of the power comes from the legs up through the hips and trunk. The hardest knockout punches are the ones that travel no more than about six to ten inches. Best of luck.

Thanks again for all of the advice.