by Mark Lamendola, former martial arts instructor
Over a decade ago, a man came to me and said he wanted to be a great fighter. He'd had a little training, but nothing to write home about. Three months later, he took second place in the the Dallas City-wide
Martial Arts Tournament. The man who beat him was the previous year's grand champion.
did he do this? He learned about 3 techniques, and learned them extremely well. Similarly,
Bill Wallace (who appeared in Enter the Dragon with Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, and Kareem
Abdul Jabar) had a very small repertoire of movements but beat foe after foe.
The techniques I taught this man were all hand techniques. The legwork was
identical to that of regulation boxing. What he learned was body positioning. That is, he knew
how to place his body relative to his opponent's body. I taught him to attack from the
same side as his opponent's lead hand, but from and angle. So, he would attack in a
circle--and a circle is the strongest shape in nature. One movement involved trapping that
lead hand against the body.
The actual techniques are not the secret, however. To be a great boxer, you must do these
- Visualize. Practice the motion in your mind, getting the form down perfectly. We often
practiced with our eyes closed.
- Exercise. You have to be in shape. A strong back, strong legs, and strong abs are much
more important than big arms and shoulders. Speaking of which, most trainees overdevelop
their front deltoids and leave the rear delts and medial delts underdeveloped. This makes
for a weak shoulder girdle, and an unstable punch. The cure? Don't focus on bench presses
and overhead presses. Do like Arnold and do more flyes.
- Exorcise. Get rid of those internal demons! Internal doubts and fears have no place in
the mind of a boxer. In the martial arts, we say you must fight two enemies: the one
within and the one without. Make sure you're not fighting the one without.
- Nutritionize. Eat a balanced diet. For diet tips, click here.