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Shadowboxing for the End Time Guy
© 2020 James LaFond
Modern athletic historians would spell this Sciamachia, which means shadow-fighting, as Paul describes in Corinthians 2. However, the Hellenes did not have a C in their alphabet. Shadow practice is the best way to develop skill in solo training. By skill I mean form, correct body mechanics for optimal speed, fluidity, injury prevention, endurance and power. Whatever your combat art I recommend:
-1/3rd training solo shadow work
-1/3rd training solo work on the bag, post, snake, sled, tire, rope or dummy work and weights and clubs.
-1/3rd training with a partner, mostly light sparring and drills
The shadow work is very important because it encourages movement the most.
Equipment work encourages immobility.
Partner work encourages immobility on the part of the stronger or quicker partner.
The very best boxer I ever trained with did 17 rounds of shadowboxing before he sparred or hit the bags. Half of his shadow work was in slow motion. He was dialed in. Shadow work dials you in, centers you, relaxes you and forces you to move even when there is no threat to you, which calls into play your will and discipline. A man who can only move when he spars is a mentally lazy fighter who can easily be lulled and lured into traps. Shadow work also gives you a chance to imagine various threats and targets and counters and put them in play.
Today I got this call:
“I’ve been working on my jitz and shadowboxing doing the solo shadow drills. My shoulders have been getting tight. Is it okay for me to shadowbox slowly?”
-Mister Grey
Okay bro, for shadowboxing, shadow-stick or solo blade work, I recommend at least 5 rounds. If you have no partner or equipment to hit, make it a workout of 15 rounds, preferably by shadowing grappling, boxing and weapons either along a range progression or a pace progression. I prefer a pace progression: doing all three ranges at the 5 paces in super sets.
I would do each set timed to a song, a commercial, when your old lady takes a breath from bitching you out about the grass, or a round buzzer. I like random times unless training for a round-timed bout, in which case the exact time of the round to be fought should be used. You must run scenarios, against an imaginary foe.
Use the following pace and intensity progression:
Round 1: slow motion, this promotes relaxation, which reduces injury and increases power and speed.
Round 2: 1/3rd to half speed, this is your warmup.
Round 3: half-speed to 2/3rd speed, this is a transition to fight pace, in which you check your form and make sure your shoulders and hips and knees are loose.
Round 4: full speed, this is shadow-fighting proper and should be intense.
Round 5: half-speed down to slow motion for the finish as a reexamination of your form to make sure you correct any sloppiness that crept in at full speed.
Do not rest in between rounds but do:
-1: waist rolls
-2: side bends
-3: plyometric toe touches
-4: jumping jacks
-5: mountain climbers
-6: crab bridges
Or do some other body motion, so that you have a continuous 40-minute cardio workout.
Your goal is to develop and maintain your rhythm, mobility, time and measure, fluidity, balance, efficient and sustainable technique, and your sense for breaking rhythm, which, in a fight is a function of awareness harnessing WILL to effect the dynamics of the interaction and break the rhythm when it serves you, not the opponent.
You are practicing your navigation of The Combat Space
Good Luck. For the slut Fortuna demonstrates an interest in most combats, random, legal, criminal and ritual.
Mobbing Up
the combat space
'to beat this thread to death'
book of nightmares
logic of force
New Ledford     Dec 5, 2020

I'm glad to hear you recommend slow motion shadowboxing. I'll be back in the gym soon trying to re-grow muscle. In the meantime I'll need to limit other physically draining activities. Otherwise my older body can't recover and get stronger.

Slow motion fits right in with a strength-building program that ought to last 3-6 months. After that my gym-gains will plateau and I'll get more active with something combative.
    Dec 5, 2020

Good luck, man.
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