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Ignoscant
6/19/2013 6:36pm,
Greetings;

I recently took up a Muai Thai class (after kickboxing) and am trying to adjust 'bad habits' that have been engraved in my psyche over the past years of self training followed by a lax kickboxing training.

I'm having a lot of problems keeping the chin 'tucked in' while punching. I understand the concept of protecting the chin from incoming punches while throwing a punch (makes sense; I got a ringer once from an uppercut and protecting the jaw has been priority since)

The problem I have is I find myself constantly falling back into old habits and having to concentrate to alter the technique (tuck in damn it). It also doesn't feel 'right'. Between that and keeping eyes on the opponent I find it uncomfortable and I feel like a hobbit. Does anyone have any advice that might help with where the head should be (other than just tuck it in) or making it habitual other than 'keep doing it over and over'. The latter being my current 'go to' option.

The only other thread that came up on a search was mostly questioning the validity of tucking in rather than assisting in making it habitual.

Permalost
6/19/2013 6:40pm,
Was tucking the chin not previously taught by your kickboxing coach?

I've heard of people holding a tennis ball under the chin when shadowboxing, hitting the bag etc, but haven't spent much time with this.

Ignoscant
6/19/2013 6:45pm,
Was tucking the chin not previously taught by your kickboxing coach?

I've heard of people holding a tennis ball under the chin when shadowboxing, hitting the bag etc, but haven't spent much time with this.


There was a lot of emphasis on combo's and throwing a good punch and / or kick but very little on stance and technique. It's part of the reason I moved on as I felt that it was a huge hole in my strategy. I have since found an instructor that has assisted in a lot of the mistakes and helping ironing out bad habits but this is a particularly bad one that I want to stamp out quickly.

It should be noted that I returned to kickboxing for fitness first; which rekindled my love for fighting and is the reason I moved on to a Muai Thai / Boxing instructor.

jdempsey
6/19/2013 7:05pm,
My old trainer used to remind me to "look through the eyebrows"... If you are fairly upright maybe working on your posture could help.
What I mean is maybe a more hunched back could help.
This would mean some very slight changes in striking technique, but the old way you punch could be half the problem.

erezb
6/20/2013 1:08am,
You need to hold something under your chin (i don't like a tennis ball because when it falls, and it will fall a lot, it bounces off, gets into people's legs and stuff.)
Hold an old boxing glove, a tightly rolled T shirt, a ball that isn't too bouncy etc.
Now, train. From sparring like that, to shadow boxing, jumping rope, working the bag etc. If it is a big problem, than treat it like such and don't stop training with something under your chin.
Work infront of a mirror when shadow boxing so you can correct yourself.
BTW tucking your chin is also to protect your throat...it is not nice getting a solid punch there.

PlumDragon
6/20/2013 1:05pm,
Ideas of what to do during training and in the interim is good and all, holding things under your chin while jump roping, etc etc its all good and fine. But there really wont be optimal transfer to pressurized situations such as sparring. That is, it will take much longer than necessary. Specificity of training guys!

To really install this, or any, type of behavior under pressure, you need to have someone monitor you and provide VERY consistent feedback WHILE under pressure. That doesnt mean youre going balls to the wall. It means, when you can do it under a certain level of pressure, increase a little bit and re-install. Best bet is an advanced student or your instructor/coach help you with this. Every time you mess up, it needs to be verbally noted and addressed. STOP the exchange, listen to the feedback, restart and try again. Eventually it will just click. A beginner or intermediate student wont be able to pick up on details about your body and provide feedback while under pressure. You need to work with someone who can handle more pressure than you can...

If the person who helps you with this is very consistent with feedback, it really shouldnt take more than a couple of hours to re-program this habit...

Ignoscant
6/20/2013 3:36pm,
I appreciate the feed back guys.

I started doing things holding a dog ball under my chin (it's soft and easy to hold) and it's helped a lot. It'll take weeks before I know if it helped but it really does make my life easier. I appreciate the feedback.

Also thanks PlumDragon; I'm already getting that done. I can tell when the chins up by the howl from the instructor across the room now. He's not letting up apparently. At this rate I'll have it down in no time.

Thanks guys.

erezb
6/21/2013 8:23am,
Ideas of what to do during training and in the interim is good and all, holding things under your chin while jump roping, etc etc its all good and fine. But there really wont be optimal transfer to pressurized situations such as sparring. That is, it will take much longer than necessary. Specificity of training guys!

To really install this, or any, type of behavior under pressure, you need to have someone monitor you and provide VERY consistent feedback WHILE under pressure. That doesnt mean youre going balls to the wall. It means, when you can do it under a certain level of pressure, increase a little bit and re-install. Best bet is an advanced student or your instructor/coach help you with this. Every time you mess up, it needs to be verbally noted and addressed. STOP the exchange, listen to the feedback, restart and try again. Eventually it will just click. A beginner or intermediate student wont be able to pick up on details about your body and provide feedback while under pressure. You need to work with someone who can handle more pressure than you can...

If the person who helps you with this is very consistent with feedback, it really shouldnt take more than a couple of hours to re-program this habit...
Couple of hours to re-program a bad habit? no way! he might do it right as long as he is concentrating on that specific task, the moment he is pressured that chin will point to the sky proudly.
The best way to correct is a punch, not to stop and talk. After you get punched in the chin, than in the forehead, your body learns it is better to get punched in the forehead and you start tucking it, BUT if you wanna develop a good technique than holding something under your chin until it is nice and low is the best way.
Of course getting corrections is good, but in boxing your sparring partner will demonstrate your mistake by tagging you (and verbally reminding you to keep the chin down), that is why the gloves are big and puffy.
The quickest way to learn is getting hit.

RynoGreene
6/21/2013 3:54pm,
Besides just getting comfortable with the pure mechanics of it, it can be do to nervousness about getting hit. It's natural to flinch and lean back to fade away from incoming punches, but it's not so good if you're looking to box properly. If this is an issue, consider putting on some headgear, and find a training partner you're friendly with to throw some easy shots at you.

Don't attack at all, just work on your slipping, bob and weaves, etc. If you can't avoid a shot, ensure that you take it on the forehead, on the headgear, keeping your chin down. Work on not flinching, not tipping your chin up, and keeping your eyes open. Obviously, don't do this with hard shots in the slightest, as you'll be getting hit a lot. Keep it super light.

PlumDragon
6/21/2013 7:34pm,
Couple of hours to re-program a bad habit? no way! he might do it right as long as he is concentrating on that specific task, the moment he is pressured that chin will point to the sky proudly.
The best way to correct is a punch, not to stop and talk. After you get punched in the chin, than in the forehead, your body learns it is better to get punched in the forehead and you start tucking it, BUT if you wanna develop a good technique than holding something under your chin until it is nice and low is the best way.
Of course getting corrections is good, but in boxing your sparring partner will demonstrate your mistake by tagging you (and verbally reminding you to keep the chin down), that is why the gloves are big and puffy.
The quickest way to learn is getting hit.

Youre certainly entitled to your opinion erezb, but the feedback loop Im referring to above is a well understood neural programming technique. Coincidentally, it works, as long as the skills (in this case bad habits) are dealt with under pressure. If hes really stubborn it might take more than a couple hours, but generally, you can install just about any skill at a given pressure level relatively quickly.

If youre ever in my area, please feel free to look me up and we can do some training. Ill be happy to show you how it works...

jdempsey
6/21/2013 10:48pm,
everyone is different, but a couple of hours is a pretty bold claim.

erezb
6/22/2013 4:56am,
Youre certainly entitled to your opinion erezb, but the feedback loop Im referring to above is a well understood neural programming technique. Coincidentally, it works, as long as the skills (in this case bad habits) are dealt with under pressure. If hes really stubborn it might take more than a couple hours, but generally, you can install just about any skill at a given pressure level relatively quickly.

If youre ever in my area, please feel free to look me up and we can do some training. Ill be happy to show you how it works...

You are certainly entitled to your own opinion PlumDragon. I have never encountered someone that picked up (for good) a skill in one class (two hours) let alone get rid of a bad habit which (depends on the guys level of said skill) takes much much longer.

One class to install tucking the chin, and that is it? no way. If that was that easy, people would learn in a year all they need to learn about boxing.

Also please don't use terms that have zero proof "neural programing"???? " well understood"? really? well ,i would love for you to educate me and refer me to the numerous articles about said neural programing. I am curios because as a grad student second stage in neurobiology i would love to know what exactly is so well understood about the nervous system.
I'll be more specific, to make it easier for you to educated me. Are the changes in the PNS or CNS or both? If so, are they in the DRGs in the soma of the neurons or someplace else? Are you referring to the inter-neurons in the spinal cord? or maybe the nucleus in the brain stem that get "reprogrammed?"
Dude i think you are on to something here. Correct the person when he is doing something wrong, and he will learn. WOW! I think i'm going to write a few dog training books now, and heck maybe even a "how to book" on neuronal reprogramming for drug and alcohol addicts"

PlumDragon
6/22/2013 1:38pm,
Maybe just chilling out a bit is in order...Im not interested in entering one of those emotionally heated debates with you. Sometimes I wonder if its even worth posting on stuff like this. Did you happen to even try what Im talking about in earnest, or are you just interested in trying to dispel something because you happen to be a grad student in neurobiology? Like I said before, Im happy to offer training and work with people. I even offer free intro sessions to people. One of the first things I work on is blinking. Because it can be trained out...and it doesnt take that long...So if you want to really see whats involved, we can talk but I dont want to just sit here and throw words back and forth with you. Too far to visit and do a session? Fine, gimme a call, Ill talk your ear off. PM me for my number...

First you were saying it was BS. Now youre saying its obvious...and mostly the methodology is obvious; the feedback loop that is. Whats not obvious seems to be how to issue a stimulus to take advantage of it and really install it. Fact is, changes in the CNS take place when someone is introduced to a new stimulus, be it different or just more extreme that what has already been experienced.

I never claimed that the changes were all the sudden applicable at all levels of intensity. You have to work on these things in progressive levels, which is also something I imagine youre aware of.


Jdempsey, sure everyones different. Thats a perfectly reasonable statement to make. Some people take a good deal more time. Some people do it in less...

erezb
6/23/2013 4:44am,
Correcting someone while he is sparring is standard practice, that is why you have a coach. I did not say that this "method" is BS, i said that correcting a bad habit in 2 hours is BS. The guy will keep his chin down as long as he concentrated on that. Next class, you put him under some stress and that chin will pop up again.
Are you a boxer? or a boxing coach?

PlumDragon
6/23/2013 8:31am,
If the guy is "concentrating" on keeping his chin down then hes not being put under enough pressure--hes thinking about it and his stimulus isnt giving enough stress. As I said earlier, he has to be put under pressure; if not its all inefficient time spent. Once hes under pressure, the chin *will* pop up...coincidentally, thats what you want to see, because it means youre working in a zone where its not "installed" correctly. Thats the only point where the feedback loop makes any difference. For the skill to be available under stress it has to be installed under stress. Thats where the growth always takes place.

I do teach and some of my students call me "coach"--although I dont particularly like that term. I actually left a career as an engineer (where I had done my grad work working with neural network design and you guessed it, feedback control systems) to teach martial arts. What I teach is not western boxing, but the empty hand certainly looks like it to an outside observer...

gregaquaman
6/24/2013 1:04am,
What are your elbows like?

If they are out all chicken wing. Then it opens your shoulders up. If they are tucked in then your shoulders will be naturally more hunched.