On reaction to specific attacks:
Originally Posted by Chr9is
1st phase: Lots and lots of sparring. This can't be stressed enough. Muscle memory and specific reaction are from experience.
2nd phase: Stay empty. Once you have phase 1 behind you, reaction is a matter of reading your opponents movements.
Yeah - this sounds like TMA BS. The fact is, the frontal lobe of your brain is geared to analysis. You want reaction, the opposite of thinking. We react much faster than analize (I have heard 1/4 the time).
Example (a really base one at that) - you start riding a bike. At first your thoughts are on starting, balance, turning and stopping. Ar some point you are master of the two wheeled wonder. No hands, jumping, wheelies, etc. Later, a car pulls in front of you and you automatically stop/steer to avoid. Did you think about this? No. It was reaction from repitition of movement.
Stay loose, spar with reality, and above all, don't listen to old bastards drinking good whiskey,
This needs to be repeated, right before you spar make sure you take a deep breathe, calm down, untensen your muscles and realise that getting hit really doesnt hurt that much. Sparring becomes alot easier once you are relaxed, you see attacks coming and can react to them with something other than flinching and closing your eyes.
I've really noticed that the more relaxed I am the more rounds I can go. Obviously there's going to be really tense moments (i.e fighting for grips in clinch/throwing kicks) but relaxation and pacing myself do wonders for multiple rounds of sparring.
It helps a lot too to realize that getting hit hard isn't as bad as it seems.
Sorta the same concept as with judo randori. Relax and you might get a throw. Be tense, and you'll get thrown.
"Old bastards drinking good whiskey" haha.
One way that works good is called concave chested like with your shoulders rolled forward and almost level. Punching uses the triceps and lower arm like short shocking movements to deliver strong power. the main problem I think is the chin isn't protected very well so you must strike first and strike last no problemo.