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I give you the information and techniques in a simple and straightforward way, and you put the information and techniques to good use by putting in the hard work.
There are no shortcuts.
There is a direct relationship between effort and results.  If you are disciplined and you work hard at learning, then you will get there.
   —     Fran Sands
From his book: “The Beginner Boxer Toolkit
Online at: www.myboxingcoach.com
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On This Day In:
2020 One Person’s Roses…
2019 In The Long-Run
2018 #NeverAgain
Doss II
Doesn’t / Does
2017 Talent Hates To Move
2016 Looking To November
2015 It Isn’t The End
Prospero’s Precepts
2014 Friends
2013 Learning Bitter
2012 Remembrance, Minstrels & Going Off To War
May I Have More Happiness, Please?
2011 There Is No God, But God
2010 Another Running Book…

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The Boxer

Favorite Line(s):
In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains
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On This Day In:
2020 Love And Charity
2019 Tomorrow Is Valentine’s Day
Inverted U Curve
2018 Still More Prejudice
A Well Trod Path Of Hopes, Expectations And Surprise
2017 …And With It Civilization
2016 Just Like My Mother
2015 All Omissions Are Mine
2014 Precise Order
2013 Uh, No. Not Really…
Deep Regions
2012 A Pre-Valentine’s Day Message
2011 Easy Like Sunday Morning
May I Have A Little More, Please…
2010 Valleys and Peaks

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My “Do It Yourself” (DIY) efforts on setting up a home workout station are proceeding.  Below are some images of the yesterday’s progress…
Yesterday, I assembled my “double-double”.  Basically, it’s two striking targets attached at two ends.  The bottom target is roughly the height of a body shot (waist to lower ribs).  The top target is roughly the height for head shots (chin, front and side of the head).  You may notice a few things:
1)  the top attachment is vertical while the bottom is horizontal.  The bottom target would normally be either fixed to the flooring below or (using some type of rope or bungee) attached to a weight to stabilize the target and limit random / excessive swinging movement.  In this case, I had to work within the “command structure” of:  “I don’t want any of your weights damaging my concrete!”  So, I used a horizontal bungee (with a loop to keep the rope from sliding left and right).  The practical limitation to this setup is I cannot work around the target;  I am limited to the 180° on the front side.  Still, I can live with it…
2)  less obvious until you start hitting the targets…  They are not “fixed” within the netting.  There are gaps above and below the balls where they can move when struck.  The practical effect of this is they are not staying in the same place in the netting when you try to do a double-up punch (like two jabs to the head).  I will try to correct this by tying rope / paracord around one end of each ball / net to “lock” them into a more standard position within each net.
3)  FAR less obvious, (but which I have learned from recent experience,) is that these targets hit back at you – and from unexpected angles (at least up to now unexpected).  In my initial setup (prior to my wife’s objection), I had the bottom ball / net secured by weights.  This tended to produce reaction motion for both balls in a relatively circular motion around a vertical axis (much like an up-right cylinder).  After the modification to the bottom to include the horizontal bungee, a solid right punch to the bottom target resulted in a solid left hook by the upper ball to the right side of MY head.  My wife started laughing and said:  “It hits back!!”  (Note: NotAre you okay, dear?“)  As near as I can tell, this is due to the back and forth (back to front) motion of the lower horizontal bungee and the circular (like a vertical cylinder) motion of the upper vertical bungee.  My response:  “I’m gonna need a head-guard.”  Her reply:  “You sure are!“, still giggling.  Fortunately (for me), there wasn’t sufficient mass / speed in the basketball to knock me out, because it certainly struck me full on the side of my head at roughly temple / cheek height.
My next brilliant (okay, obvious) idea was to attach the original horizontal double-end target (“bag”) and see what that felt like.  To my surprise, a “triple-double” and it is terrific!  I now had a target (the bottom ball) for body shots, a target (the middle ball) for upper-cuts and body jabs, and a top target (the top ball) for chin and head shots.  The only trick now is to find a way to attach the original double-end to the double-double which keeps them together (when used together), but which also easily separates so I can continue to use the single-double on its own.  The original horizontal “single-double” works as a “slip-rope”.  A “slip” is when you move your head side to side (like a metronome) to avoid an incoming punch.  It is frequently accompanied by a “bob” (up and down head movement).  Together, they are referred to as “bobbing and weaving”.  Basically, I stand next to one post and move to the other ducking under the rope with each step to the side.  When I get to the middle, I release an upper-cut.  I then continue to the opposite post.  When I reach the post, I turn around and start back, trying to time the steps so my next upper cut with be with the other hand.  (Always try to practice every punch with both hands.)  Anyway, there is still some tweaking to do…
The next image is what’s happening in the background.  I attached a “hook-screw” to the back post and then I just swing the weighted chain up to it and hook onto it.  The lat-pulley set up is then out of the way for the boxing.  It is adjustable for more clearance, but because of the angles, it (the chained weights) doesn’t have to be as far back as I initially expected.
And, finally, here’s an image of the “normal” lat-pulldown.  We timed the set up and take down and it takes under a minute to set up or take down!  It takes longer to put on a single boxing hand-wrap than it does to set up the station for boxing.
And so the adventure continues…
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On This Day In:
2020 Posting As A Continual Exercise
2019 Border Security – Yes, Border Wall – No
2018 Supporting Survival Values
2017 Inauguration Day 2017 [Sometimes, I hate it when I’m right! — KMAB]
2016 Or A Pot Of Gold After The Storm
2015 One, Two, Three…
2014 Lend Your Hand
2013 Amnesty, n.
2012 Best Resolv’d
The Clock Is Running
2011 Magic

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Some of you regular readers may recall I had a pull-up rack set up in a corner of my backyard.  Image below…

Pull-up Stand with Double-End Target

I was always intending to use the setup as a multi-function station for working out going forward.  My initial modification was the addition of two “eye-screws” to setup a horizontal double end punching bag.  As you see, I made it out of an old basketball, a basketball net and a couple of bungee cords.  This has worked out reasonably well…
The “main” goal of the setup was to have a pull-up station.  Unfortunately, it turns out I am FAR too out of shape to hang from the bar, let alone try to do a pull-up.  In my first (aborted) attempt, I nearly pulled my arms out of their sockets “trying” to hang.  I was able to hang for just long enough for me to remember my age before letting go (aka: “falling”).  Also, despite my interest in adding “DIY” boxing options, I will NOT EVER be boxing / sparring.  I have a heart condition and am on blood thinners which (technically) make me a “border-line” hemophiliac (a “bleeder”).  The boxing options are only for their fitness / exercise value.
To make a longer story short, I scavenged some parts from my old “Total-Gym” and have now set up a “Lat – pulldown” system which I can use to build up my strength until I can hang from the bar and try another pull-up.  Image below…

Image of Lower Bar & Lat Pulley Setup

Lower Bar & Lat Pulley Setup

A “Lat – pulldown” is an exercise which concentrates on the latissimus dorsi muscles.  These are the muscles used to pull something down from above your head or to pull your head and body up to something which is above your head / shoulders.  In this case, I am using four(4) ten pound weights.  At the moment I have completed day four(4) of a 30 day challenge to do five(5) sets of fifty(50) “reps” (repetitions).  After each set, I turn 45° and do a cross-body pull down Left to Right (50 reps) and then Right to Left (50 reps).  In all, 250 reps of the double and 250 reps per side.  As I get stronger (and less sore), I hope to get up to 10 sets per day.  Hopefully, by the end of the 30 days I will be able to suspend myself in a hanging position for a few seconds.  Then I can proceed to descending pull-ups, which will lead to actual “up” pull-ups.
I have an additional five(5) modifications under consideration:  1) adding a “slip bag”;  2)  adding a “heavy bag”;  3) adding a vertical “double-end, double bag”; 4) adding a “speed bag”; and, 5) adding a two-grip, low level pulley systems to create a “rower”.
So, that’s the progress.  And, that’s the future plans…  (Oh, yeah.  The posts and the rest of the back fence have to be painted / stained to help reduce / prevent weathering.)
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On This Day In:
2020 Still Crazy After All These Years…
2019 20 / 20 Foresight
He Knew Damned Well…
2018 Be Someone’s Kindling
2017 When The Moment Comes
2016 Changed Clothes Lately?
2015 Like Stone
2014 Resistance Is Futile
2013 Subtle Humor
To Look Behind Green Eyes
2012 The Path Is Endless
2011 Happy MLK, Jr Day!!!
A Factor Of Ten
Better Late Than Never?
Whoops!
Acceptable Beginnings
Slow Progress
Useful Confrontation
When Phenomena Are Different
Creative Avoidance
Thinking
Fast And Flexible
Surrender Certainty
Techniques
Vive La Difference
Destiny
Completeness
Art

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After a couple of days off resting my knee, I got back out and tried to get in a little heavy breathing.
The first picture is of the pull-up stand I had built.  It’s a fairly basic tri-pod (tri-pole?) stand with a solid steel bar running across the two front 4X6’s.  At just about shoulder level, I put in two “eye-screws” to hook things to.  In this shot, I’ve used a pair of bungees to suspend my punching target – a double-end ball.  This is mostly on the “Do-It-Yourself” project list to save money.  The basketball and black / orange nylon cord, I already owned.  The two screws were about $3 each.  The package of bungees was $10 for a pack of 14 assorted lengths.  And the basketball net was another $3.  So, all told, a functional double-end boxing target for under $20.  One of my neighbors moved and he was tossing out three basketballs, so I still have two more to use to set up a “double-double-end” with basketballs (instead of tennis balls).  (Reality check:  a “cheap” double-end ball runs between $12 and $20 on Amazon.  The “decent” ones between $25 and $40.  The “pro” models upwards of $80.)

Pull-up Stand with Double-End Target

This target is a lot more substantial than hitting tennis balls and is fine for the “rough” motor skills of a rank amateur like me (reading between the lines: that means I miss a LOT).  It’s a good target for jabs and straight punches from both a regular and southpaw stance.  It’s particularly fun for practicing side-slipping and upper-cuts.  I have also learned to use it to practice bobbing with following upper-cuts.  That is how I “learned” about wearing a mouth-guard and the abrasiveness of the basketball hitting you in the forehead and side of the head.  The image below shows the basketball in the net more clearly.

Close-up of Double-End Target

I’ve tried hitting the target with hooks (which are horizontal punches), but I’m not confident in the bungees ability to stay attached on the side the hook is going to.  I think it may be best to wait on those punches until I have the “double-double” set up vertically.  I’m also debating adding extra bungees to make the rebounding response stiffer.  Finally, I’m a bit concerned the bungees might unhook or the cord simply snap off the metal hook at the end.  I’m thinking of using duct-tape to secure the hooks to the eye-screws, but I haven’t yet thought of a way to ensure the cord doesn’t snap free from the metal end hook.  If anyone can think of something, please let me know…
I’ve been trying to get in 45 minute sessions.  Today’s was a bit shorter due to light rain / sprinkles.  The two days off really helped with my shoulder stiffness.  They still tire quickly, but they were definitely better than on day #2.  If anything, it was my hips and hamstrings which were giving me the most issues.  I felt like I was lead-legged and struggling to lift them in treacle.  LoL!  The price of being “mature” and trying to get a little fitter.
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On This Day In:
2019 Stand Up, Hook Up, Shuffle To The Door…
2018 Ridiculous Idea
2017 Waddle On!
A Severe Challenge — When The President Is A Liar
2016 The Best Of Circumstances
2015 Reverberating Silence
2014 Wrong Again?
2013 Improper Faith
2012 One More Rung
2011 Sunday Morning Earlies (Hugging trees and smiling…)
Hurry
Updates On Life
2010 It’s Gettin’ Deep In Here

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No practice today.  I tweaked my right knee walking our dog and then aggravated it more with a LONG walk around Costco (and unloading the car).
Instead, I’m posting an image of the “precision” target I mentioned in my prior post.

Tennis balls adapted for precision punching practice.

As you can see, it’s just two tennis balls strung up on a nylon cord with a bungee cord and a weight on the bottom end and more nylon cord (and rope) tying the top end to a hook in one of my rafters.  Simple, yet effective.  There are knots tied in the cord at either side of the tennis ball to prevent the ball from moving up or down the cord.  The base weight is just so I didn’t have to make any attachment (damage) to the floor.  The weight is just a single 10lb free weight.  I tried lighter and heavier weights.  Lighter (5lbs) and when the balls were struck, the weight moved  and banged into things.  Heavier (25lbs) was just too much of a hassle to move around to set up and take down.
This type of target is sometimes called a “double-end” target (“bag” when actual punching bags are used) or a “kangaroo” target.  My modification to the basic target was to add a second tennis ball.  This gives me a target at roughly chin height and one at roughly rib / solar plexus height.  This is the target I was using when trying on my gloves every couple of days.  Although it was “safe” in this location, it wasn’t particularly useful as I could hit it without “it” hitting anything else, but I couldn’t move around much (at all).  Now that I think about it, this was probably one of my earliest lessons:  “punching” is hitting things;  “boxing” is hitting things while you move around so they don’t hit you back.  (LoL)  Yes, I still learn the hard way every time!
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On This Day In:
2019 Yet We Should Keep Trying
2018 Let Us Dare
2017 Two Good To Be Real
Secrets
2016 Learning Subtle Differences
2015 Dog Eat Dog World?
2014 And Sometimes Blogs About It
2013 Outside-In
2012 They Are All Perfect
2011 Delegation – The “How-To’s”
2009 Diet Update and Other Bits & Bobs…

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So, what did I learn from my first lesson (yesterday) and today?  This is hard training.  Even with a very basic session…  I am old, and I am sore!  I had a difficult night sleeping because both of my shoulders and my neck are painful when pressed on or when moved.  Net result: I’m even more tired today from lack of sleep.
I slowed down my punching (attempts) as yesterday I missed the target at least a third of the time.  The target is a basketball suspended with bungee cords.  You would think it would be “easy” to hit something as big as a basketball…  It ain’t!!  Particularly when it’s moving / rebounding from an earlier strike.  So, the first lesson is start slow.  Learn the correct form.  Form leads to accuracy.  Speed will follow from form and accuracy.  (Eventually.)
The nice thing about never intending to hit (or get hit by) anyone is I can take as long as I want to practice individual punches:  left and right jabs, hooks, upper-cuts, straight punches.  Standing traditional and “peek-a-boo”;  conventional and southpaw.  I can also practice slipping and bobbing to my hearts content.  (My heart is pretty content after about a 30 second stretch.)  Then, it’s pause for 5-10 seconds to catch your breath and then start something else (or do it again).
I learned I need to wear my mouth guard and I’m going to need to get a head protector.  The ball “hits” back.  Not hard, like a real person.  But it’s hard enough to bite your tongue or the inside of your cheeks if you’re not concentrating.  The lacing holding the ball can slice you (forehead and cheeks) if you’re not careful.  And, lastly, basketballs have a course “pebbled” surface which makes them easier to dribble, but it will chafe you pretty good if it hits you at the wrong angle.  It might have been smarter to start with a smoother surfaced ball, like a soccer ball.  Oh, well…
End result:  pouring sweat, exhausted, exhilarated – fun!
Wife’s reaction:  “You’re too old to be doing this everyday.  You need to start with every other day or just a couple of times a week.”  When I pointed out she made me promise to use the gloves if I was going to buy them, she replied:  “Yes, but you’ve already used them twice as much as I EVER thought you would.
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On This Day In:
2019 A Surprisingly Good Way
It’s Official X-mas (Tree) At Home
2018 Weight / Health Update
What’s Happening With You?
2017 The Great Leveler
Conservative Depressions
2016 Election + 1 Month
2015 Dance And Sing
2014 A Measuring Stick For Progress
2013 Courtly Love Or Victory Over Habit
2012 Have We Met?
2011 Efficiently Useless

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My wife isn’t sure if I’m having a mid-life crisis or just going into my second childhood…
This year I’ve been watching A LOT of YouTube.  Well, okay…  It started last year, but that’s just a detail.
I was viewing a bunch of videos on working out and I found myself going through reams of “30-Day Challenge” videos.  Of course, I decided to give one a shot.  My choice:  the “30-Day / 100 pushup per day challenge”.
Day One (Test):  Zero.  That’s correct.  I could not do a single pushup from the floor.  I could get into a plank position, (with effort,) and lower myself to the floor, but not get back up off the floor.
Obviously, some modifications would be necessary…  Inclined pushup from the back of the sofa.  Five.  Okay.  It’s a start.  First day:  20 sets of five, spread through-out the day (and evening).
Days 2 and 3 were more of the same.  Day 4, I was able to do 10.  So, 10 sets of 10, spread through-out the day.
To make a longer story shorter, about day 10 I was finally able to do ONE pushup from the floor.  By then, I was doing five(5) sets of 20 inclined.  At the end of 30 days, I could do 5 pushups from the floor.  (And shorter again…)  At the end of 60 days, I was able to do 15 pushups from the floor.  By way of comparison, Google says an “average” 65 year old man should be able to do between 6 and 16.  In other words, I went from abject failure to the top end of “average”.
And then I got hurt…  (But that’s another story.)
While browsing YouTube, it started feeding me boxing and martial arts videos (over and over again).  So, (of course) I started watching them…  Because I wasn’t able to do much other than walk, I started shadow-boxing in front of a mirror…  And then I bought gloves…  And then I bought hand-wraps…  And then I bought focus pads…  And then I started making home-made (read: inexpensive) boxing targets.  It turns out YouTube has videos on how to jury rig most of the expensive kit you need to practice boxing.
Here’s some pictures of my gloves…  They are RDX F12 Training Boxing Gloves (16oz.)

Fresh out of the box and still in plastic

Palm side up

“Business” side up

And, after trying them on a few times a week for the last month or so…  Today I did my first “workout” with the gloves.
Now to be fair,  I did actually try them on and use them for a few minutes when I would set up a new target and once for a few minutes of shadow-boxing in front of a mirror, but until today, my wife had put it down to another one of my “phases”.  When approached on the possible purchase, she did insist on a $50 limit on my gloves because she was convinced they’d be gathering dust by now.  So, yes, they’re an inexpensive pair.  Not “cheap”, just inexpensive.  And, no, they are not leather.  They are “engineered” leather.  (LoL!)
Today’s workout was about 45 minutes long, sweaty and exhausting.  But, it was loads of fun and I felt terrific after my hot shower.  Tired and relaxed and starting to get sore in strange (and not so strange) places, but all things considered – terrific!
I’m really not sure if this is a “phase” or not, but I’m going to put up a post every now and then about this “journey”.  I’ll try to come up with a way to let you know in the “post” title when I’m on this topic as I have no idea how many of my blog followers have the slightest interest in this side topic.
A final note (reality check):  I am a 65 year old man, morbidly obese, with a heart condition (AFib) and on blood thinners.  So, NO, I will NEVER be in a fight or EVER sparring.  This is just a way to try to add some fun to my efforts to raise some sweat (and maybe learn a bit about the “sweet science” while I’m at it.)
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On This Day In:
2019 I Think I’m Repeating Myself
It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like X-mas!
2018 No Reason To Turn
2017 Talking Knuth
Seeing It Through
2016 Hoping For The Best Come January
2015 Adaptive Security
2014 Wants
2013 Side Effects
2012 Just Trying To Earn A Living
2011 Productive Worry

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