Rodney King’s Street Boxing 2: Sparring 101
NHB/MMA is an ever-evolving sport. In 1993 the first UFC made its way onto American PPV changing the way the world sees martial arts forever. For the first time in decades grappling was receiving its due credit for its effectiveness in not only a no holds barred situation, but for fulfilling the ancient paradigm of allowing a smaller man to defeat a larger opponent. In the decade since the UFC’s arrival we have come to recognise not only the importance of stand-up training but also specifically the importance of stand-up sparring.
Boxing is undeniably one of the most underrated combat arts in the world today, for good reason to. However anyone who has stepped into your average city boxing gym will know it is an intimidating experience and unless you can swim you are going to drown when they throw you in the deep end. There seems to be no halfway point between training to be a professional boxer and training in a woman’s cardio boxing class. Enter Rodney King, striking coach for the Straight Blast Gym (SBG). Over the last two years Rodney King has revolutionised the way boxing is taught and utilised in MMA for those lucky enough to be exposed to his modified form of boxing, known as the Crazy Monkey.
Whether exchanging blows in 16 oz or 4 oz gloves, the biggest problem one experiences is ‘how to hit without being hit’ as well as dealing with being ‘gun-shy’, the inability to throw strikes when they are being thrown back.. Rodney offers a solution for this in his crazy monkey structure and his new DVD deals with bringing beginners into sparring right from the beginning of their striking training.
The DVD is taught in a class format and it appears that he is instructing beginners at his own club. The DVD focuses first on the correct structure of the Crazy Monkey defence and moves next to the correct delivery of the vital fundamentals of boxing, the jab and the cross. The instruction and emphasis on these techniques is something that I never experienced at the numerous boxing facilities I have trained at and as an intermediate I found them invaluable. As a coach I am immediately implementing them as my focus for my beginners.
Rodney moves through a progression of techniques including footwork, setting up punches, developing power in your punches and drills for developing sparring attributes. Most importantly they focus on bringing beginners into sparring. This is an invaluable tool for grapplers deciding to cross train, coaches, beginners and intermediates alike. You will not find this information ANYWHERE else I assure you. The contents are listed at the end of the review so I will not go into too much detail on them, as they are not the focus here.
As an intermediate level grappler entering NHB competitions, I always resented my striking training as I honestly didn’t like getting hit and had trouble dealing with strikes. After meeting with and training with Rodney last year my striking game took off at an unbelievable pace. This was due to the confidence that the crazy monkey structure gave me and allowed me to focus on the important thing in striking…..delivering punishment! I also found that with my increased confidence and reduced flinching from the extra sparring I had been doing thanks to the methods Rodney entails on the Sparring 101 DVD, my problems with closing the distance were quickly disappearing.
Most importantly it allows the art of boxing to fulfil the ancient paradigm…”allowing a smaller man to defeat a larger opponent.”
If there is one point of my review….it is…GET THEM NOW ….before the guy you are fighting does.
Liam Resnekov XFC Australia featherweight number 1 contender.