There is no magical methods that include terms from neurobiology that can save you the hours and hours it takes to learn a good habit, let alone unlearn a bad one.
The closest thing to a magic method, is getting hit. Your body will quickly learn and adapt to protect certain parts that hurts more than other parts. Every hurtful blow you get is a great lesson. So spar as much as you can.
Another way to learn/unlearn good positioning is this:
You square off with your partner to a tagging /sparring round. You are not allowed to block with your hands, only using bobbing and weaving + shoulder rolls etc. to defend your self. You don't move your feet much, especially not backwards, basically keeping a constant distance (medium). The strikes are not full speed for beginners, and they resemble a quick slap, tag. tagging the head,torso or upper thigh is a point.
This is a great and fun way for learning that getting hit on the crown or forehead while landing your own shot is better than getting tagged on the chin/nose etc.
OP, are you keeping your chin up just during sparring or during mitt/pad work as well? When training partners of mine bring their chin up during drills like this, I find it helpful to give a light hook/jab to the jaw or chin as a friendly reminder. Eventually they keep a tight guard with the chin down and elbows tight in order to block any incoming punches that may occur during or after the combination.
Ringside makes a handy little foam cushion on a string that if you lose, still stays around your neck.
...or at least they used to. I've got one in my basement covered in something green.
An update for one and all; thank you everyone for all the information you've provided, but after reading some advice on this thread I was able to figure out what I am doing wrong. It's been a week now and I am 'better' but not quite there.
It turns out the issue was actually due to a surgery I had a few years ago before I started kickboxing again. I had my galbladder removed which has since caused me to favour my right side; this in turn makes me lean forward (hunched over from the waist down) and of course my chin juts out.
I didn't actually notice the flaw in the technique until I visited a boxing trainer and asked him to help me with my chin up problem. He took one look at me and grabbed my shoulders, put a knee in my back and said 'now punch' and loosely re-affirmed that I was leaning forward too far into my punches.
It all seemed very strange to me; I never had the chin jutting out problem back in the day and I thought it was a newly formed habbit. I have since increased punching power and movement and feel much smoother already.
The things that worked were;
- shadowboxing in a mirror
- tennis ball under the chin (fantastic)
- sparing with someone who defends and looks for openings on the chin before giving a good slap (that one sucked)
- sparing with a weight lifters back restraint belt that prevents too much bending at the waist (this may be just for me; but while I strengthen my core muscles again I'm trying to break the habit of leaning forward; this helped a lot)
Progress is slow; I can't believe anyone can retrain a technique in just 2 hours. I've spent almost 8 hours retraining how to kick and even now I occasionally default to old styles.
Old thread but just as with any other thing you're trying to fix, the only way to fix it is to keep telling yourself to do it as you do it. It means slowing down things sometimes. Or getting punched a bit more during sparring (though, you should have this down before you do any hardcore sparring).
I still tell myself to keep the other hand up when I throw hard hooks. I do it as I'm throwing them.
I heard hypnosis to train your subconscious works great but I don't know much about that.