I was drinking with one of the fighters I respect most. He is the Champion of my Nation with good reason and his top tip is this: control the offense.
We were drinking in a bar and boxing was on in the background. A man mountain was being demolished by a flurry from a guy who was a little less. The hunk blocked and soaked as much as he could but eventually his iron guard gave way. You can block or dodge until the cows come home but never forget to win you have to try to win. Trying not to lose is different.
You might come back to me and say ‘but I just had to hold a check point for five minutes – I can block for that long’. You probably can. Imagine how much easier that five minutes would be if your opponent was on the back foot though. Instead of you trying to hold against him he was trying to hold against you.
If you can command the offense you control when you fight. Controlling the offense does not mean you have to fight – it means you control if you fight. You can control the offense by running away. If our enemy will not engage you – be that through fear, exhaustion, terrain or circumstance – then you control the offense.
This doesn’t mean always flail at your opponent – that can give them the comeback they need if you get sloppy. Use distances and footwork to ramp up the pressure when it looks like they might have a foothold, keep it hot when they are on the defensive and pile in when they are panicked.
It is not an easy art and Gods know my friend knows the ropes a lot greater than I. That said, with the new year coming around the corner I thought it was a nice message to take to 2015 with you: Don’t relent. Don’t Quit.
A little bit of practise, belief and chutzpah goes a great way.
For an example check out 1.12 of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al3HF9SBZQA
And for a guy in shorts expounding the same virtue I’d recommend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9TvlBW18yI