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  1. KiwiPhil889 is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/15/2011 4:02am


     Style: Kickboxin & Shootfightin

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    MT/Kickboxing:Where do i put my hands?

    This is a question that has bugged me for a while now.

    I was watchin a demo tonight and the main guy emphasised "keeping your hands up". So,that's what everyone did, and there were elbows poking out,one hand in front of another,hands on foreheads,hands on cheeks,hands a foot or so from the head etc etc.

    It got me thinking,where are your hands supposed to go and why?? We see the pro fighters almost never have both hands touching their head(particularly in MMA),sometimes they have their rear hand flush on their cheek with elbow down. Others prefer alternate stances,i.e front hand down,rear hand diagonally up across the body and chin tucked down behind shoulder.

    Personally?? at my club we have variations between just about all of the above. Is it a case of once you become more experienced you can relax your hands down a bit (pro fighter style) or maybe a floating front hand prepping for sprawl defense?

    Any instructors who could explain the basic contradiction of saying "keep your hands up" and then the examples of fighters with their hands NOT like shown in class.

    What about hands actually on the face?? ppl say it exposes the ribs or does nothing to protect.

    Any advice,comments,explanations greatly appreciated.

    cheers.
  2. Zenitys is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/15/2011 4:26am


     Style: MMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    im not an instructor but as far as i've understood and been taught to only keep my hands up when my opponent starts to throw at me aggressively (so as to weather the storm) and relax arms more when not in an active exchange range so as to conserve energy

    keeping arms up when you aren't experienced at slipping punches is a good way to start but once you get better its bad to just keep hands up as you still absorb damage instead of avoiding it

    now as to how you form your own guard its more a matter of personal style and preference
    i suggest experimenting with different styles to find out which suits yourself the best

    now that's the defensive part the offensive parts would be that keeping your hands more relaxed and lower/wider gives you more angles to strike from and they aren't as easy to anticipate


    hands on face is a bad idea as the other guy can just punch through your hands and you take the hit from your own fist with a chance that you might not even see it coming instead of just holding your hands there you should either parry or dodge the blows

    (again i stress i'm not by any means qualified to teach anyone but its what i've found out via the hard way in sparring ^^)

    i hope its of any help
    Last edited by Zenitys; 12/15/2011 4:31am at .
  3. MMAMickey is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/15/2011 4:36am

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     Style: Boxing.MMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    There is no definitive place to put your hands.

    Essentially, you need to keep your hands in a way which allows you to attack and defend comfortably and competently. However, personally I'd advise against constantly using any guard where your hands are higher than your cheekbones, as it messes up punch mechanics - IIRC (I may be wrong) but the guard you're describing with hands on forehead and elbows out (shaped like /\ ?) isn't supposed to be a general guard, but one for relatively specific ciscumstances.

    Most people I train with use a simple boxing guard, or a variant of such. It allows them to punch competently while having their hands close enough to their face to react to incoming punches (and kicks).
    "The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero projects his fear onto his opponent while the coward runs. 'Fear'. It's the same thing, but it's what you do with it that matters". - Cus D'Amato
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  4. MMAMickey is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/15/2011 4:39am

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     Style: Boxing.MMA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenitys View Post
    keeping arms up when you aren't experienced at slipping punches is a good way to start but once you get better its bad to just keep hands up as you still absorb damage instead of avoiding it
    Mike Tyson would like a word with you.

    Hands up =/= take more hits. If you're not cupping you temples, and know how to slip, your hands will rarely get in the way at all.

    -------------------

    EDIT: Something worth noting is that keeping your hands in 'up' next to your face doesn't mean you should necessarily be blocking with the gloves; this is a common problem I see against many people who hold their hands there, they simply absorb punches on the gloves.

    Personally, I bring my forearm up to block punches to my head simply because it absorbs the impact better and means when I'm MMA sparring I actually have a defence.

    Slipping, blocking and parrying are all possible with the hands up. Dropping hands to slip is a very bad idea.
    Last edited by MMAMickey; 12/15/2011 4:45am at .
    "The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero projects his fear onto his opponent while the coward runs. 'Fear'. It's the same thing, but it's what you do with it that matters". - Cus D'Amato
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  5. Zenitys is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/15/2011 4:52am


     Style: MMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    uhm right i see what you mean i kinda meant uhm how do i clarify myself a bit, well with in-fighting range its a definate keep hands up at all times and don't you dare let them drop or face the wrath of the flying spaghetti monster and in out-boxing range you can be a bit more relaxed (or well maybe i just blatantly use my reach and i have too loose guard when not in semi-clinch range) and by no means did i mean to start doing it the ali way actually watching Tysons prime videos is a godlike way to look at good guard with "biting your thumbs guard" and good head movement

    also after reading my post again i just realized that i somehow did manage to convey a "keeping hands up is for beginners.."

    i blame blatant stupidity

    i should've added more words.. as by i meant "just keeping your hands up" as in having a passive guard and not incorporating said slipping but good of you to point that out ^^

    also i somehow made myself read it as turtling up=/= hands up
    Last edited by Zenitys; 12/15/2011 4:59am at . Reason: stupidity
  6. MMAMickey is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/15/2011 5:33am

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     Style: Boxing.MMA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenitys View Post
    out-boxing range you can be a bit more relaxed (or well maybe i just blatantly use my reach
    This brings up a good point.

    If you're tall (or a lot taller than your opponent/partner), there is less of a need for you to keep your hands so high and tight in your normal range. In fact, many taller fighters I know like to keep their front arm out as a sort of distraction/threat/measuring stick against shorter guys.
    "The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero projects his fear onto his opponent while the coward runs. 'Fear'. It's the same thing, but it's what you do with it that matters". - Cus D'Amato
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  7. KiwiPhil889 is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/15/2011 7:07am


     Style: Kickboxin & Shootfightin

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by MMAMickey View Post
    ....However, personally I'd advise against constantly using any guard where your hands are higher than your cheekbones, as it messes up punch mechanics - IIRC (I may be wrong) but the guard you're describing with hands on forehead and elbows out (shaped like /\ ?) isn't supposed to be a general guard, but one for relatively specific ciscumstances......
    Yep,thats the guard i was poorly describing.

    Its actually the preferred stance of one of the instructors (who has alot more experience than i so he can do whatever he pleases with no comment from me lol). I use it too occasionally. I was having alot of trouble seeing incoming kicks as my gloves were blocking my vision,(hands on face stance), and being old and slow i wasn't getting out of the way or checking in time. Instructor told me the hand position wasn't a hard and fast rule and individual comfort(?) comes into it,although he did mention not all the instructors agreed with him lol.

    edit: i was mainly having trouble with dominant kickers and most were shorter than me (not that i'm tall,just taller than avg is all)
  8. MMAMickey is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/15/2011 7:23am

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     Style: Boxing.MMA

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    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiPhil889 View Post
    Instructor told me the hand position wasn't a hard and fast rule and individual comfort(?) comes into it,although he did mention not all the instructors agreed with him lol.
    This.

    I don't know if by not agreeing with him you mean they advocate fixed hand placements, but the instructor who told you its mainly down to personal comfort is right imo, well, as long as your idea of personal comfort doesn't involve being punched repeatedly in the head :P.
    "The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero projects his fear onto his opponent while the coward runs. 'Fear'. It's the same thing, but it's what you do with it that matters". - Cus D'Amato
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  9. KiwiPhil889 is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/15/2011 7:35am


     Style: Kickboxin & Shootfightin

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    lol,well both instructors are right then. The first guy is about 6'3" and the other main instr is about 5'3". Taller guy prefers the higher guard position,smaller guy doesn't but also wants ppl who are beginning to only use hands on face peek-a-boo style. We get into more guard variations in later classes and using diff placement for diff ranges.

    Mostly it was the demo early on tonight that got me thinking as the guy didn't explain to the group,who were mostly Judoka,about why and how to "keep your hands up"
  10. Diesel_tke is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/15/2011 9:24am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've been trying to find some information on this. I remember being told, or possibly read, that this high stance was an older style of holding your hands that was used before golves were intraduced to the sport in Thailand. The reason was that it would be better to use your elbows to protect your head because if someone kicked your hands into your face, it wasn't going to be a very effective defense.

    Once gloves were intraduced, it was realized that a lower guard could be more effective in protecting the ribs and head at the same time, but it was still common to raise the hands up and cover the head with the elbow if you could respond in time to head kicks and punches.

    If I find the a link I'll put it in here. But most instructors that I have came accross teach a stance that is almost just like a boxing stance, with the foot placement a little different due to kicking.
    Combatives training log.

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