In the martial arts’ world, it is generally accepted that different styles can work in a number of different environments and under various different rule sets. Kickboxers have always known that their style is effective in pure kickboxing events like K-1 for example, as well as for street self-defense, but only within the past couple decades have they realized that it is also effective for MMA competition. Many styles like Kung Fu or Karate may have some effectiveness on the street, but have not found success in the MMA arena. Wrestlers, on the other hand, generally thought up until the early UFCs, that their style was ineffective for actual combat and only worked on the wrestling mat, only to later discover that it is one of the most effective styles for mixed combat. Much like sport wrestling, boxing has not always been viewed as an actual multi-dimensional martial art by its fans. Some of this is due to its western origins and the misconception amongst non-martial artists that “martial arts” are generally Asian in origin. The rest probably stems from the fact that most typical boxing fans are not fans of other combat sports. At Precision MMA in Poughkeepsie, New York, we are fully aware of the multiple usages that boxing has, and our team of trainers is fully equipped to teach students how it applies to multiple different settings.
With the recent growth of Mixed Martial Arts and the Ultimate Fighting Championship, an unfortunate divide has formed between boxing fans and MMA fans. Many boxing fans ridicule MMA and call it either “unsportsmanlike” or make fun of the grappling aspect because it looks foreign to them. Others criticize the boxing skills of MMA fighters and point out how easily they would be out struck by the current boxing champions. However, what many of them fail to realize is not only that boxing is an essential part of MMA, but that the other arts used in MMA, such as Muay Thai Kickboxing, Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, make one’s boxing more effective in actual combat if used to proper effect. For example, at Precision MMA in Poughkeepsie, New York, those interested in using their boxing skills for mixed martial arts competition art taught by our wrestling coaches how to keep the fight standing and avoid the takedown so that they can land their combinations. This would not be possible in an MMA fight, or a street fight for that matter, if they are taken to the ground. Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructors can teach the boxing-oriented mixed martial artist how to utilize their ground skills to get back to their feet again and use their boxing, and our Muay Thai instructors can teach them how to defend against kicks and knees so that they can find openings for their hands. As such, those elements that look foreign to the typical boxing fan actually make their sport more effective for mixed martial arts, street self-defense, and all around combat.
A boxer who is unfamiliar with other martial arts will find upon walking into Poughkeepsie’s Precision boxing gym that their sport will most easily translate to Muay Thai Kickboxing. Though Muay Thai does include many elements foreign to boxing, like kicks, knees, elbows, clinching and trips, it also includes all of the punches that are legal in the sweet science. As such, a boxer crossing over to Muay Thai will immediately have a big advantage when it comes to their punching skills, footwork and head movement. With the help of our Muay Thai instructors, they can learn to both execute and defend against kicks, knees, elbows and other attacks, and in so doing they will learn to how to create more opportunities to use their fists for better effect. Because our boxing coaches frequently spar with and trade techniques with our Muay Thai coaches, students in both classes will learn how the two arts can cross over to help each other and any boxing enthusiast who takes our Muay Thai classes should be able to be very effective in the kickboxing ring if that is their goal.
This same cross over between boxing and kickboxing makes boxing techniques more effective not only in the kickboxing arena, but also in Mixed Martial Arts and street self-defense. In an MMA fight, a boxer who has cross trained in Muay Thai at Precision MMA in Poughkeepsie, New York will be able to check the leg kicks which are so often the downfall of boxers looking to transition to cage fighting. Because of the difference in stance between boxing and Muay Thai, the boxing stance leaves one very open to leg kicks which can present serious problems. Many a kickboxer has actually out boxed a superior boxer in an MMA fight by slowing them down with leg kicks, then going high with punches once the boxer has begun to drop his hands. By combining the two arts, the boxer who cross trains in Muay Thai for MMA will see those kicks coming and block them ahead of time, and maybe even fire back a few of his own before setting up his boxing combinations. Likewise, he will be able to defend against knees and elbows common to Muay Thai and see the openings to use his jab, cross, hook and uppercut.
For street self-defense, boxing blended with Muay Thai creates the perfect striking style. When surprised during a violent encounter, a martial artist cannot be one-dimensional and expect that he will need only punches to survive. The Precision trained boxer will know how to chain his punches together with kicks, knees, elbows and clinch tactics in such a way that will entirely throw off any would be attacker.
On the other hand, the cross over between boxing and wrestling may not be so obvious to someone walking into Precision in Poughkeepsie for the first time. When it comes to Mixed Martial Arts, wrestling has proven to be quite possibly the best base to have because it enables one to control where the fight takes place. The better wrestler will be able to get the takedown, and so if he wants the fight to take place on the ground, he can have his way. Likewise, if the better wrestler wants to keep the fight standing and use his boxing skills to win, his opponent will not be able to take him down to prevent this from happening. So while wrestling might seem aesthetically unpleasing to many boxing fans, it is quite possibly the number one style they would need to make their boxing work for them in either MMA or for street self-defense. Precision MMA in Poughkeepsie, New York has excellent wrestling coaches in Ian Lindars and Rich McHale who can show a former boxer how to keep the fight standing where he can put his boxing skills to use in either an MMA fight or a violent attack. This tactic of defending the takedown and using punches on the feet has often been referred to as “sprawl and brawl” in MMA, and it is every bit as effective on the street if a mugger attempts to tackle one as it is in the ring against a conventional double leg takedown. Indeed, boxers should be thanking wrestlers, because without the latter style the former rarely works outside of a pure boxing match.
Boxers who come by Poughkeepsie’s Precision will also learn how to use the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to make their boxing more effective in both MMA and street self-defense settings. Many boxers have commented that they find Jiu-Jitsu “boring”, but what they fail to realize is that if a skilled Jiu-Jitsu practitioner takes them down in an MMA fight, and they have stubbornly refused to cross train in the art, then their boxing will be useless. All the boxing combinations in the world will not help the boxer when he is on his back mounted by a Jiu-Jitsu black belt, nor will they save him when he is being choked or arm locked. However, by cross training in BJJ a boxer can learn to escape from inferior Jiu-Jitsu positions, defend against submission holds and work his way back to his feet in an MMA fight so that he can use his hands to gain the victory. Likewise, though a mugger on the street is unlikely to be a skilled Jiu-Jitsu expert, it is still very possible for someone only skilled in boxing to be taken to the ground in a real-world violent encounter and even if the mugger has never trained in BJJ, he can still hurt the boxer if he is lying prone on his back. In this scenario, the boxer who has learned Jiu-Jitsu at Precision in Poughkeepsie can use his ground skills to either end the fight there, or regain his footing and use his boxing to end the encounter.
Finally, if a former boxer enters the doors of Poughkeepsie’s Precision with an open mind and decides to take all our classes in BJJ, Wrestling, Judo, MMA and Muay Thai, the world will be his oyster should he decide to partake in an MMA contest, or if a violent predator is unfortunate enough to choose him as an unlikely victim. The Muay Thai he will learn from coach Karl Nemeth will enable him to defend against leg kicks, knees and elbows, while utilizing his own. The wrestling he will learn from coaches Ian Lindars and Rich McHale, as well as the Judo taught by Jerry Fokas, will enable him to stuff takedown attempts, keep the fight standing, and knock the opponent out. Finally, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu he will learn from coach Brian McLaughlin will enable him to either submit his opponent on the ground, or work back to his feet and unleash a winning combination, and our MMA classes will teach him how to seamlessly combine boxing with these other styles for best effect. We also are lucky enough to have a boxing coach who has cross-trained in several styles such as Jeet Kune Do and Tae Kwon Do in Jon Russo. Training with Jon will prepare the former boxer for either MMA or a street self-defense scenario and will get him thinking outside of the box. And finally, if the student is interested in working more on his boxing skills he can take classes with three-time Golden Gloves’ champion Derrick Ohlhoff. The end result for the boxer who cross-trains at Poughkeepsie’s Precision MMA is that he will truly see for the first time how effective boxing can be in multiple different environments. When combined harmoniously with the other styles we offer, the sweet science becomes more than a one-dimensional combat sport, it becomes a lethal mixed martial art.
Want to start boxing at Precision Mixed Martial Arts? Give us a call at 845-392-8495 or stop in at 1097 Route 55, Lagrangeville, NY 12540. Precision MMA is currently offering a 30-day FREE trial to new members!
Jamey Bazes is a lifelong martial artist holding a brown belt in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Kenpo Karate. He also holds a master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz. He is a student of Precision Mixed Martial Arts in LaGrange, NY (near Poughkeepsie) and a decorated competitor including a Delaware Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu State Championship and a NAGA World Title. To train with Jamey in Poughkeepsie NY check out Precision MMA http://www.poughkeepsieboxing.com