Over the years I’ve taught many people and no matter what there always seems to be a few mistakes most everyone seems to make. So, I decided to give you a checklist so you can determine if you’re still making these classic mistakes and learn how you can being to correct them.
The good news is that the majority of these are a direct result of things being new and doesn’t take much to overcome these and do them correctly. And, as we all know, these will be easier to understand than to do, initially.
1. You’re looking at your feet or weapons
This is a tough one, especially in the beginning. Beginners tend to look at their stances… or at their hands… the oncoming punch… everywhere except eye level gazing straight ahead where they should be. If you can’t see a punch coming, how can you block it?
2. You’re holding your breath
Your body needs oxygen to power your muscle. Whenever you hold your breath, you’re robbing your body of the very energy you need to fuel it. Holding your breath also leads you to the next mistake.
3. You’re too tense!
You need to relax! I know that’s easier said that done but it makes responding efficiently and effectively that much more difficult. You also lose a lot of power.
4. You’re only moving your hands
This is where you ignore your stances and just hit using the force your arms and hands and not you’re entire body. This starts to make your motion more slappy than powerful.
5. You’re too high in your stance
Bend your knees more and put more weight on the balls of your feet. This will help you to be spring loaded so you can be quick and nimble.
6. Your stance is too wide
Do you like getting kicked in the groin? Then make sure you aren’t too wide in your stance. Be sure to work on your “Toe/Heel alignment.” This basically means that if you were to draw a line down the middle of your stance from the big toe of your lead foot and the heel of your rear foot would align right down your centerline.
7. You’re too shallow in your stance
By not stepping back far enough, you’re too top heavy. You only need to step where when you kneel down that your lead knee is aligned with the toes of your rear foot (Heel/Toe alignment).
8. You use too big of circles
As Mr. Parker said, “big circles lead to big problems.” As a beginner, you want to exaggerate your moves which means you will use larger circles than you really want to get the motion down. However, later in your training, you should begin to compress your circles and always keep within your “outer rim.”
9. You’re moving too fast
In an effort to really rip things, students often try to go too fast when they should be moving slower to get the moves and body mechanics down. By going slow, many of the above stated mistakes could be avoided.
10. Your elbows are too far out
If your elbows are out, you are losing power, telegraphing and more. By keeping you elbows anchored you will block and hit with greater effect and not open yourself up to unwanted counter strikes.
Be mindful of these 10 common mistakes and work towards eliminating them.