Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hajime no Ippo- Part III

Beware Old Men with Canes

On his way to the Kamogawa boxing gym, Ippo has the "pleasure" of being introduced to his two sempai, Aoki and Kimura. They decide to take Ippo under their wings and show him the ropes of boxing (More puns! Yay!). Luckily, Takamura intervenes and saves the young newbie. However, Coach Kamogawa attacks Takamura with his deadly cane of Old Man DOOM and takes over from there. Out in the gym, Kamogawa tells Ippo to put on the gloves for mitt hitting.

Focus Mitts

Focus mitts are very useful tools for developing accuracy, coordination between attack and movement, and rhthym. The "feeder," or the person holding the mitts, should hold up which mitt they want the fighter to hit. If the feeder holds up his left hand, the fighter should hit with his own left and if the feeder holds up his right hand, the fighter should hit with the right as well. This is, of course, from each person's perspective. Remember, you are mirrors of own another, so your attacks will cross your body to hit the mitts.

Coach Kamogawa holds the mitts in such a way as to build muscle memory for Ippo: the mitts are held up where the fighter will actually hit in a fight. Some feeders will often hold the mitts too far away from their bodies to the left or right, creating unrealistic hitting points and forging bad habits for a fighter's strikes.

If you are just starting to hit the mitts, please take it slowly, especially if your feeder is new to the process as well. Don't be in a rush and end up punching your friend in the nose. Take your time and enjoy the learning process. Start with just the jab and cross (1-2 combination) if you are a beginner and just get use to throwing punches. You'll see that continuously hitting the mitts will take a lot out of you if you are not use to it.

Boxing Rounds (Among Other Things)

Boxing rounds are three minutes in length with a one minute rest period in between. If you like, you can use this as a template for your own training or you can pick another time frame. For instance, some Karate matches only have a two minute fight time (some only have a one minute fight time) and Professional Mixed Martial Arts matches generally have five minute rounds. Whatever you do, try to push yourself the whole time. Obviously the tempo will be different in a one minute round rather than a five minute round, but you shouldn't go at a snail's pace just because you've got five minutes to get the job done.

"One Good Punch"

Miyata comes in and Kamogawa takes the opportunity to stokes the fires of rivalry a little bit. He tells Ippo that his punch is good enough to take out Miyata (Ippo fervently disagrees) and, not only that, but Kamogawa says that technical boxing is worthless. I doubt he truly believes that, but he's trying to build Ippo's confidence in his style and (I'm sure) to piss off Miyata a little. A powerful, unrelenting attack can often destroy a very technical fighter. That is not to say that technical boxing is worthless.

On the contrary, if a technical fighter is also very powerful, that's double for him. It really comes down to how you are choosing to fight. If you choose to fight (with boxing as an example) as an infighter, then you need to learn how to deal with outboxers as such and vice versa. If you choose to fight (with mma as an example) as a striker only, you need to learn how to effectively fight a grappler or a mixed fighter. The more you know as a fighter, the better, but it is true that some people are more suited to certain styles than others. Pick how you want to fight, train hard, and fight to your limit!


The uppercut can be a very powerful attack for two reasons: 1) The uppercut comes from below, catching the opponent off guard and hitting him from an angle he might not be ready for. 2) The uppercut utilizes the power from the legs, the torso's twist, and the rising power of the body through the fist.

Kamogawa wants to teach Ippo the uppercut as a way to defeat Miyata's counter. Much to the old man's surprise, though, Ippo took to the uppercut like a fish to water. Try to work the uppercut into your mitt work after you acquire some skill with the straight punches. You can do an uppercut with the lead or rear hand. To throw an uppercut, lower the the hand toward the waist, turn the waist, and explode up with the legs and arm.


Kamogawa can't always watch over Ippo's training, so, on the day's he's out, he tells Ippo he should do some shadowboxing. Shadowboxing is essentially fighting an imaginary opponent. You can make him as skilled or unskilled as necessary, but your should use your shadowboxing time to work on whatever you need to work on. Sometimes you need to train your defense and sometimes offense. Whatever it is, imagine an opponent that will help you accomplish that goal. If you are going to fight a particular opponent, try to build an image of that opponent's fighting style through watching him spar, fight a match or shadowbox. This will allow you to get a good image for your shadowboxing sessions. Work hard at it, whatever you do.

That's all for today. Until next time, good luck and train hard!
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