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Training New Warriors
A Christian Soldier Consults the Hoodrat Oracle: 4/4/2022 Denver
© 2022 James LaFond
“James! I need your assistance in training new warriors. I have a 21-year-old 6ft 3 240 pound former football player who wants to learn to fight but is permanently blind in his right eye. Has power but footwork and distance is terrible along with low confidence.”’
“I also have a fighter who is 5ft 6 170 and a decent fighter but is hesitant and lacks confidence. How do I build aggression and confidence in him?”
-Sergeant G., by text March 24 2022
The big boy, as a large football player, will be in big danger of a KO, as he will tend to push punches and bring weight forward. Priority #1 is making sure his good eye does not take damage. I would train him as a southpaw trap fighter with a focus on clinching against leg kicks and throwing a lead rear left straight against the chest of opponents. The jab just let him paw with on the high line and eventually develop the Semmy Shilt hyper pronated jab over the top after he steps out to his right and has no peripheral danger of being blind-sided with a hook or high kick.
Make sure you train the outward C-step around the lead left foot of the opponent.
His focus should really be on shielding kicks and upright grappling. This could by your Paul “the Polar Bear” Varlens. A lot of clinch work will increase his confidence and work to his strength. Have him practice some stick—not knife so much—so that he can learn how to use his rear left eye to track strokes from both side views. I have not been much impaired by my eye with the stick, like I have been with the knife.
Now for the short man.
You’re not going to turn this guy into Dennis. The quicker and safest gains are made grappling. So roll with this guy a lot and keep his skill set small and basic, which will increase his confidence. Don’t keep introducing new stuff as each new skill introduction will bottom him back down into the low confidence well within him. Make him drill 3 to 5 things.
For boxing, with a short fire plug that lacks confidence, you are looking at a disaster, him getting stalled out on the end of some slicker guy’s jab and turned into a punching bag.
I like to train such a boxer as a high work rate side-to-side counter puncher. Have him step into range to deal with a lead then slip in and to the side while trowing a punch combination.
Make sure this guy only drills combos, no single shots. The jab must always be a double jab. Doing that on the bag builds positive energy and doing it in sparring ups his chance of hitting, since he is going to get hit regardless. Build his confidence in countering and trading in light sparring, not hard sparring.
Increased functional combat cardio [not theoretical fitness cardio] is the biggest confidence builder for a fighter and that means relaxation in contact drills and sparring combined with fitness.
Study Willy Pep [especially against Sandy Saddler], Mickey Ward, Arturo Gatti, Haggler, Shayne Mosely and Duran.
Work on four standard combinations until he can pop them off on command: two 2-punch combos and two 3-punch combos.
Once he has those, instead of introducing another combo, combine these into 4 to 6 punch combinations.
This guy should do knife sparring to work on killer instinct.
Good luck, and if I run into anyone heading your way this summer, I’ll try and make a visit.
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