Preparing body to dodge punches (“U” motion)

How to dodge punches

Before we start to train our reflexes to recognize and avoid punches (later we will also talk about kicks), we must accustom our body to the calibrated and explosive movement of a dodge (read Dodge attacks).

If our body is not able to perform any useful reaction (right timing, space management, speed, etc.), it’s useless:

  • To have lightspeed senses
  • To forecast the opponent’s attacks
  • To know the theory behind a dodge

The first thing to do is to practice a good muscle memory conditioning (read The muscle memory and Same exercises, different execution).

4 exercises to accustom our body to the “U” dodge motion

There are various kinds of dodge motions but it’s important to start with the one that follows a path similar to the “U” letter (more about this later); let’s see some helpful exercise to prepare us for this kind of movement.

Exercise 1:

  • Let’s take a 12 m rope and let’s find a free area (at least of 7×2 m) adapt to fix its 2 extremities
  • Let’s hang  the rope at the height of our ears from the ground
  • We simply have to move continuously to the right and then to the left of the rope (without interruptions)
  • We cannot touch the rope but, at the same time, we must try to do not go too far from it
  • Let’s just flex our knees and tilt the head following a “U” motion (never losing the view of the rope with our sight)
  • We have to move first in outside direction (to avoid the punch) then, going down, in inside direction (to accelerate the movement)
  • Didactically, the rest of the body (in this first exercise version) must not get involved
  • Let’s start slowly but precisely focusing on balance (our weight must remain directed towards the rope)
  • Let’s freely advance and step back along the line of the rope without turning our body (gradually we can go faster)
  • At each step, we have to dodge, let’s exhale out when we go down, let’s inhale when we get up (read The 6DKF’s combat breathing)
  • Let’s find rhythmic / stable movements and let’s avoid to slow our path with the inertia (in external directions)
  • Let’s assure to always be protected by our hands and forearms (never lowering our guard, read /// Subscribe (it's free!) or Login to see this content ///)

Exercise 2:

  • Same as exercise 1 but also inclining the torso in the dodge motion
  • We have to make the torso following the head

Exercise 3:

  • Same as exercise 2 but also bending the knees
  • Doing this we can eventually lower the rope

Exercise 4:

Details about the execution of the exercises

A few details:

  • Let’s do not forget to do stretching and warm-up before starting (read How to correctly perform stretching and How to correctly perform warm-up)
  • The exercises we have described are made to be performed together and in a cycle
  • Let’s do this exercises cycle for each involved element (neck, torso, knees) replacing / rotating each time the involved parts of the body
  • We can start from knee, torso or neck but the torso must always be involved in exercise 2
  • Let’s do for 10 minutes each cycle (eg. for 30 minutes)

To increase the difficulty:

  • Let’s lower the rope gradually (let’s try to always maintain good speed and balance)
  • Let’s increases speed and explosive power to the limits (synchronizing our breathing with the motion)
  • As we improve we can wear more and more weights (eg. a weighted vest of 15-30 Kg)
  • If possible we can try to create a not linear path with the rope (eg. with curves, obstacles, etc.)

These exercises are important both for beginners and experts, they teach us to refine each step of the dodge first individually, then together.

In the next article of this series, we will continue the dodges discussion.

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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