WHEN WE LAST LEFT BAKI
After his run in with the gang of street thugs, Baki is a little down on himself, but there's nothing a little training won't fix, right? Baki has the luxury of being the son of an extremly wealthy woman, who has, at the behest of Baki's father, supplied him with a myriad of trainers and a state-of-the-art training facility (why can't we all be this lucky?).
These guys are one of the main reasons Baki has achieved his current level. He's got expert advice from sports scientists and professional trainers... there's just one problem. Baki is convinced that this training, while difficult, has made him soft. He's been pampered with his treadmills and glorious inside training accommodations and it's just now hit him: If he continues training like this, there's no way he'll become as strong as his dad. So, Baki does what any sensible 13-year old would do-- he throws a temper tantrum. However, in the wake of his outburst, he leaves the entire gym in shambles and declares that he's going to do things his way from now on.
It seems Baki forgot to think of a next step, for, when we find him next, he's laying on a park bench wondering what he's going to do to get stronger. Lo, and behold, a mysterious figure runs by, throwing punches, and immediately catches Baki's attention.
Yuri Chakovski, Middleweight Boxing Champ vs. Thailand's Muay Thai Champ
Baki ends up going to the gym where the current world middleweight boxing champion is training. He is treated to quite the spectacle, as Yuri has set up a sparring match with a Muay Thai champion. It's obvious that the Muay Thai fighter should have the advantage, with increased range, due to kicks and multiplied number of weapons, but that doesn't exactly play out during the match, as Yuri dismantles his kicking counterpart with a combination of both technical boxing and knockout power. This, of course, riles Baki up, and he attempts to get Yuri's attention by pounding away at the heavy bag.
Yuri Chakovski, Middleweight Boxing Champ vs. Hanma Baki
Yuri decides he wants to spar with Baki, given that he's at a loss for decent sparring partners, and they throw him a pair of gloves. A furious fight ensues, with Baki leaping from one side of the ring to the other and periodically latching onto Yuri, pummeling him in the face. Yuri, however, waits for an opportune moment, drawing on a past experience, and proceeds to knock Baki the hell out.
The Moral of Today's Story
There are a few things we can take from this portion of Grappler Baki. First of all, only abandon high-level fitness and martial arts trainers if they cease to show you any benefit. If they can't help you achieve greater heights with their methods or teachings, either find someone else or, if you are well-educated, make your own way. Other than that, try to stick with the professionals... there's a reason it's their job.
Secondly, we can take something very important from Yuri's sparring match. Yuri is a boxer, meaning his style is limited to using just his two fists as weapons and only attacking the front portion of his opponent's upper body. In order to push his style to a higher level, he is putting himself purposefully against opponents who have a greater number of weapons at their disposal and targets at which to aim. In doing so, he's able to push his boxing skill to a much higher level than before, because he will have to be quicker, stronger, more accurate, and generally much tougher than his opponent in order to be victorious.
In that spirit, sometimes when you are training, limit yourself strictly to punching, strictly to kicking, or grappling, or just dodging even! In doing so, you will be able to work a skill that you may sometimes neglect or even further perfect a skill in which you thought was already pretty good. Here's the kicker-- your sparring partner doesn't have that limitation. (Insert Evil Laugh here)
Finally, we can take something from Baki's sparring match with Yuri: Continuing to do the same thing over and over again in a fight, especially against a skilled and/or experienced opponent, will get you in serious trouble. That means repeating a technique, a combination, a series of combinations, or even keeping your rhythm the same could be potentially dangerous in combat. The less predictable you are, the better off you will be. Also, don't get knocked out-- it sucks.