The "dreadful gloves" drill
Inspired by albertīs thread, I tought it was time I tried to be usueful to this site, so Iīm gonna try to post something I hope, at least, wonīt be a total waste of bandwidth.
Iīll talk about "the dreadful gloves" drill.
It is not uncommon in spanish full-contact sports classes (boxing/kickboxing/MT...) for this kind of drill to be the core of the class, at least the core of the technical part of the class. The objetive of this drill is to focus on the technique first, and speed and endurance second. More or less, it goes like this.
First off, the instructor has to explain the technique. For beginners class, it has to start simple. Using kickboxing as an example, letīs say that we start with this combo: straigth left (stepping to close the distance), right hook, left leg roundhouse to the middle section or head, depending on the executionerīs flexibility.
The people at the class pair themselves, facing each other, while one holds the gloves in the proper position for the technique to be executed. For this combo, and assuming both are on a right-handed guard (left side of the body forwarded) the partner who would be on the "receiving end" of the technique should hold his hands as the following:
-Left hand as next as possible to his head, palm facing his partner, where the hipotetically target of the opunch should be.
-Right hand as next to his head as possible, with the thumb facing himself (for the hook), same as above.
-At the time of the kick his hands should cover whichever part the partner is hitting, similar to a regular block.
This drill starts slow, to get the technique straight, progressively increasing the speed. The one executing the technique should keep his guard up at any moment, and his partner should jab him ramdomly, specially if he opens his guard, thus enforcing him to be always aware of incoming counters.
Now, when to switch roles? At some schools the instructor checks the time and yells "switch" when he considers it adecuate, in other schools they prefer to perform the technique for a set number of times, i.e. 5 or 10, and then switch, and others prefer one time each. At my old gym, we used the three.
For beginners class Iīd go with one time each, so they can get a try of the technique as soon as possible, but once one has the grasp of the technique, Iīd go with a high set number (no less than ten) or a set time (1, 2 or 3 minutes, no more).
The techniques should be executed as fast as possible, and with power, but having in mind that this is, basically, a technical drill. Weīre not trying to break our partnerīs arms. Also, we shouldnīt be doing this static, that is, if available, we should be moving around, working the footwork, as if we were sparring. The partner holding the gloves should have his hands down or in a regular guard, as we circle each other, and, all of a sudden, put them into place. At this time we should execute the combo as fast as possible, and with enough power.
After the drill has been fullfilled by both partners, itīs time to add something more into the combo.
An example, following the aforementioned drill, would be a counter by the partner holding the gloves. Letīs say a low kick that we should block. Thus, the drill would be straight left, right hook, left leg high kick, low kick block.
And so on we can continue to develpo the combos, making sure that:
-The attacks are not performed by just one of the partners, that is, no long combos in which one does nothing but attack, never defending himself from counters.
-We should try, in different classes, different combos, so weīre not training one-dimensional fighters (always starting with a left, and always finishing with a high kick).
The possibilities are almost infinite. Enjoy!
FURTHER ANOTATION: This type of drilling can, and should, be combined with other types of training. After if has been fullfilled, we can train the same drill with the pads and the heavy bag, alternating each other if there is not enough equipment for everybody. Also, we should try to execute it in sparring, which is usually done at the end of class.