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  1. AeroChica is offline
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    Welterweight

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    Posted On:
    6/27/2007 11:53am

    Business Class Supporting Member
     Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, BJJ, Judo, MMA and Kids Jiu-Jitsu Style: Boxing, Mom-Jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Boxing Psychology

    I am pretty sure this will get Gitmo'd but I am hoping to get some advice on how to keep my head in the game while boxing.

    I have been boxing since April and sparring a few rounds after each class since May. I have no problem striking and I am learning how to defend OK, but what I can't seem to do is keep my focus during the round. It goes like this - I take a punch to the head and I immediately start thinking about the latest stats on boxing-related brain injuries. A cuff in the ear makes me think about ugly cauliflower ears and how I don't want that! And my instructor is on my case about me turning my head whenever a flurry of head shots comes my way - it is making my jaw vulnerable, but at that point my 'get the fork out of there' instinct has kicked in.

    That makes me sound very timid, but I am not - I press the action and I am not afraid to wade in when I see an opening. I think I could do a lot better though, if I could just get over the fear of injury and maintain mental agression. Is this something that comes with time, or is there a way to mentally train for it?
  2. Torakaka is offline
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    Do you eat breakfast?

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    Posted On:
    6/27/2007 11:57am

    supporting member
     Style: Kitty Pow Pow!!!

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Comes with time. There's no mental "training" or "trick". Spar more.
    Ranked #9 internationally at 118lbs by WIKBA http://www.womenkickboxing.com/wikba...rch%202009.htm
  3. Zyph is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/27/2007 12:00pm


     Style: Muay Thai

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    What are your goals?

    If you are doing it for exercise, then put on some headgear and don’t worry about it.

    If you want to compete, then you may have a problem.

    I read a book once in High school, that I can’t remember the name of to save my life. It was about a kid growing up in the projects, and learning to box. As it turned out he had a physical talent for it, but in the end lacked what the author called the “Killer Instinct”

    When his opponent would stumble, rather than stepping to finish him, he would back off and wait for him to recover. In the book he was also distracted by getting hit, much in the way you describe.

    My suggestion is time. It will come with time, you will lose that fear of getting hit. I am not saying you are a coward, I am saying that getting hit in the head does not come natural to most humans, it takes time to adapt to that. In time if you stick with it, that natural fear will lessen. You will progress.
    Later,
    Zyph
  4. new2bjj is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/27/2007 12:56pm


     Style: TKD, MT, KEMPO

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zyph
    What are your goals?

    If you are doing it for exercise, then put on some headgear and don’t worry about it.

    If you want to compete, then you may have a problem.

    I read a book once in High school, that I can’t remember the name of to save my life. It was about a kid growing up in the projects, and learning to box. As it turned out he had a physical talent for it, but in the end lacked what the author called the “Killer Instinct”

    When his opponent would stumble, rather than stepping to finish him, he would back off and wait for him to recover. In the book he was also distracted by getting hit, much in the way you describe.

    My suggestion is time. It will come with time, you will lose that fear of getting hit. I am not saying you are a coward, I am saying that getting hit in the head does not come natural to most humans, it takes time to adapt to that. In time if you stick with it, that natural fear will lessen. You will progress.
    Later,
    Zyph
    It's pretty natural not to want to get hit in the face. That's probably why most pro's don't spar after their carreers are over. If they make enough money, or the money stops coming in, they stop fighting.
  5. WhiteShark is offline
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    1% Shark is better than you.

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    Posted On:
    6/27/2007 12:58pm

    supporting memberforum leaderstaff
     Style: BJJ/Shidokan

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    My suggestion is to work with your coach. I've helped people get over this before. The person hitting you should be wearing sparring gloves. They have a softer touch than normal gloves. You should be wearing training headgear preferably with check protectors. Then start sparring as normal.

    The person you are fighting needs to be good enough to spar with you and still keep an eye on what you are doing. As soon as you turn away or close your eyes they need to say something. Initially just "Open your eyes" or "Hey look at me" These reminders help you realize when you are doing it and and Hopefully you will get tired of hearing them.

    If that doesn't work your partner can go as far as stopping or dropping their hands every time you shy away from the shots. That way you can be trained to attack when you are getting scared. This training is much harder for the coach and they will have to be a lot better than you to do it.
  6. BSDaemon is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/27/2007 1:31pm

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     Style: BJJ/MT

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I think the most important thing is understanding is that turning away, or blinking, is going to get you hurt worse than facing the punches head on. Just think logically, facing them you are taking blows on your shield. Turn, and they can land bombs on the back of your head. Really think about this and believe it.

    Are you interspersing defensive moves in your shadowboxing? Are you truly envisioning yourself being attacked, or are you just throwing punches? Shadow boxing is a very cerebral activity and if you're not creating an opponent in your mind your not getting nearly as much out of it as you could be.

    You have to be fanatical about developing your defense. I spend a lot of time going through all the blocks, parries and evasive footwork. Just run through these moves a thousand times and you'll no longer have the incorrect "flight" response of turning away.

    Another thing would be to try to re-program your mind's "oh ****, in trouble" response to attached not to getting hit, but to when your defenses go down. So every moment when your you're sparring and you catch yourself turning away, flinching, or letting your guard down you give yourself a little mental reprimand and make note of it in your memory. Then in the next 24 hours after practice try to think through all the times you made mistakes.

    What you're doing is basically reprogramming (you could call it brainwashing) yourself to have a different response to a stimulus... This is a psychological feat!
  7. From Bell2Bell is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/27/2007 2:23pm


     Style: The Sweet Science

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    This is hard for me to answer because during sparring is one of the few times that there is NEVER anything on my mind other than trying to hit my opponent without getting hit- unless it's something specific that I want to practice. It might be helpful to try sparring with just the jab for a while. It sucks getting hit with a stiff jab but if you're using at least 16 oz. gloves and head gear it's not going to be that bad. That might be a good way for you to learn the proper reactions. Other than that it seems to me that it's just a matter of spending more time sparring so that you get used to it.
  8. PirateJon is offline
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    and good morning to you too

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    Posted On:
    6/28/2007 8:15am

    supporting member
     Style: MT/BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by KidSpatula
    Comes with time. There's no mental "training" or "trick". Spar more.
    Correct.
    You can't make people smarter. You can expose them to information, but your responsibility stops there.
  9. From Bell2Bell is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/28/2007 9:11am


     Style: The Sweet Science

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteShark
    An amateur kick boxer who is just learning how to stay in the pocket is not really in much danger of breaking her nose or getting cauliflower ear. Especially while wearing head gear and using sparring gloves.

    This is certainly true in my gym; the coaches are always watching like a hawk and if they put someone in there with someone that's much better they make sure that it's constructive for the noob rather than letting it turn into a beating.
  10. Nick K is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/28/2007 9:32am


     Style: MT, Boxing,ITF TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    "You have to be fanatical about developing your defense. I spend a lot of time going through all the blocks, parries and evasive footwork. Just run through these moves a thousand times and you'll no longer have the incorrect "flight" response of turning away.

    Another thing would be to try to re-program your mind's "oh ****, in trouble" response to attached not to getting hit, but to when your defenses go down. So every moment when your you're sparring and you catch yourself turning away, flinching, or letting your guard down you give yourself a little mental reprimand and make note of it in your memory. Then in the next 24 hours after practice try to think through all the times you made mistakes."

    Good post.

    Kid S is right too. Spar more - and..with lots of different people. You can learn from people NOT as good as as you - look what they're doing wrong.

    Also - ask your coach for some drills to develop your head movement.
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