We've discussed the importance of obtaining good Boxing and Kicking skills. It's important to understand how they work together in order to make you a successful kick boxer. This is one of the toughest challenges for many in the sport. I've seen good kickers and boxers but very few of those who process a combination of the two. The most effective fighters will be those that can put both together to develop a strong arsenal.
Back in the 80's when kick boxing was at a peak on ESPN TV, I noticed most of the fighters lacked a balance of boxing and kicking skills. Already noted as a very good kicker, I began to work on my boxing to give me more leverage in fights. My fights became easier. Its one thing to have two weapons (kicks or punches) coming at you, but its even harder to evade four (hands and feet). It's difficult for your opponent to protect all of these areas at once.... granted, for the most part only one will land at a time. With enough practice, your kick boxing combinations will be so fluent you are sure to connect with the kick or punch.
It will take many drills to perfect the art of kicking and boxing with accurate combinations, speed, and power. One of the keys is to break the combo' down into two, three, and four techniques. Also, Remember this - After you kick, your hands should be in a position to land strong punches as soon as your foot touches the floor. After you punch, your body should be in a position to throw a kick. You must think this way in the gym, on the bag, mitts, or technical sparring. This mental and physical approach in the gym will make your combinations second nature in the ring.
In closing, I want to make this point clear. It's not necessary to throw a kick after each punch to be a good kick boxer. A good kick boxer knows when to throw a punch or a kick. Actually, I believe that one should do more boxing because the majority of knockout areas are located above the waist and closest to the hands. The kick should be thrown only when appropriate and in proper range. I fought an opponent from China Grove, North Carolina. In the first round of our match, I got him into trouble and landed twenty "Sugar Ray Leonard" type punches before the kick was on the way. Fortunately for him, the referee stopped the fight. I threw so many punches because he was on the ropes in a way that did not warrant interrupting my success with the punches. So, I finished him with the hands. I've made the mistake before when an opponent was going down from punches and tried to land a kick and they got away. I often wonder what would have happened if I would have continued to punch. So, the sooner you learn when is the right time to punch or kick, the sooner you will become a complete Kick Boxer.
You will quickly discover that the key to being a good kick boxer is just that...having good kicking and boxing skills that work together. Choose the aforementioned techniques, or create your own combinations. Drill with them often using shadow kick boxing as well as technical sparring. (mentioned later in this manual) Imagine the direction and reaction of an opponent after the first technique. Know when to kick and when to box. Learn your proper distance when kicking and, or boxing. Drill with a variety of combinations on the bag, mitts, and technical sparring. You will be astonished as to how your Kick Boxing combinations will come together in a fight! Let's get ready to Kick-AAAA- Rumpusssss!! (kick butt)
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Copyright by Johnny Davis, 1995