Friday, September 18, 2009

Hajime no Ippo- Part V

Rather than give a play-by-play of every fight that happens in Ippo (because you can just watch it for yourself), I'll merely be discussing highlights and themes within the matches. Ippo and Miyata are about to spar after three months of training. Three months can make a world of difference if someone trains hard enough, is taught the proper skills, and gets adequate rest. 12 weeks may not seem like a lot of time, but amazing transformations can happen in this short amount of time. Miyata bears witness to this miracle of training as he meets Ippo in the sparring ring once more.

The young outboxer is pushed hard in the match; so hard, in fact, that he has to resort to clinching in the second round to recover his strength from Ippo's monstrous punch in the first. Clinching is useful for a boxer looking to stall for time or seeking to seal an opponent's punching power. However, the ref usually breaks the clinch shortly after it is made. Clinching takes different roles in other martial arts. Resting in the Muay Thai boxing clinch is just asking to take a knee or an elbow and using it as a means of rest against a grappler will get you tossed or taken down.

This match is a textbook fight between an infighter and an outboxer. The outboxer's main concern is to use his footwork to move in and out and around his opponent, landing as many punches as he can, while evading the power of the infighter. In Miyata's case, he also looking to provoke the infighter into committing to a full power strike, so he can use his counterpunching abilities. The infighter, in contrast, is attempting to get inside the outboxer's range and deliver close blows, hoping to coax the outboxer into a brawl or just to push him into a corner to eliminate the ability to use his footwork. In the end, Ippo pulls an motionless short uppercut out, which barely grazes Miyata's chin, leaving him unable to get up during the 10-count.

A motionless short upper, is essentially a close-range uppercut that is initially thrown as a straight, but turns into an uppercut mid-punch. It is important to throw the punch directly from the guard, so the opponent sees a straight punch coming, but is not-so-pleasantly surprised to recieve a shot from below.

That's all for Ippo, today!

I'm thinking that from now on, the summary-type posts will be less of a synopsis of each episode and more of a breakdown of the main ideas of the episode and the explanations of exercises and techniques. I figure you guys don't need me to spoonfeed you the plot when you can just watch the shows yourself.

Till next time, good luck and train hard!
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