Tag Archives: soft chins

How To Take a Punch – The Interpretation of Taking Blows

Soft Chins, Hard Temples: The Interpretation of Taking Blows

by Al Alvir

Absorbing shots to the face and body is often a matter of interpretation.  I call it “interpreting force.”  Some shots, of course, have the impact beyond the realm of interpreting; fighters just get layed-out.  But the great majority of hits in a fight are not going to be KO worthy.  And everyone gets hit.  So what does one do when he gets hit one of those times hard?  Does it depend on how sturdy his chin is?  Can his chin get sturdier?

Interpreting force is not some spiritual idea.  One doesn’t have to reach an inner Chi to start taking good shots.  It’s not a psyched-up state of mind, necessarily, either.  Interpreting force is a matter of experience.  One will only know how to interpret the force of blows depending on two simple things: 1) Having seen it coming and felt it in the past, and 2) Not having seen it coming and felt it (being blind-sided) in the past.  The two criteria must be met in order to really know one’s capabilities to further one’s fight education.  And it’s very important that all interpretations in a fight should be positive.  That way, a fighter can just tell himself, “I’ve been hit like that a million times before, and it does nothing.”  If a fighter interprets a good shot saying, “Uh-oh, I’ve been rocked with shots like that before, if I get hit again, I might get knocked-out,” it means his fighting spirit might need a re-evaluation before his chin does.  At the threshold, however, some point in one’s experience of taking the most damaging shots, a fighter will know what his body can and can’t take.  Even body blows and other kinds of force can be prepared for to a shorter extent.  Fighters often wilt and stay down from a great shot to the body because it’s debilitating – if it happens, it may only happen once in a fighter’s career.  But other fighters have been known for getting up only for the reason that they’ve felt the pain at least once before.  It is arguable that Oscar De La Hoya may have gotten up if he had already felt the same exact pain of Bernard Hopkins’s knockout punch to the liver.  Knowing the threshold of pain is why experienced fighters sometimes know when their opponents simply cannot knock them out after feeling the other fighter’s power.  And experienced fighters are only “tried and true” when they have been down and have had to feel how it was at that threshold of trying to survive.  This is why trainers often dwell on a fighter “never being down before” or “never going deep in a fight.”  Fighting has enough overwhelming pressure by just being alone in combat that one needs experience, as much as civilly possible, to be productive.

Generally, chins and temples are a genetic grace, but once a fighter has the experience of knowing what it feels like to be hit, he can start “interpreting” the force (again, as long it’s not knocking him out).  What does it mean that it hurt so much?  How much abuse can be sustained?  So much of a fighter’s ability to interpret force depends on him seeing it.  The saying goes, “It’s the one you don’t see that knocks you out.” Seeing shots coming is so important because it provides a fighter with another source of information – he saw it and felt it, then he processes it.  When a fighter sees a shot coming, he can prepare if he has experienced it before.  He knows he can take it and he eats it, or absorbs it.  “Eating” a shot is like having a “prepared relaxation,” no tensing up, per se, and no allowing the shot to topple the fighter over.  Some trainers wrongly encourage fighters to roll their heads with shots like Shannon Briggs does, but that can only get a fighter knocked-out with another punch he doesn’t see, and it looks to judges like punches are really snapping the head.  Plus, if a fighter keeps his eyes on his opponent and the punches, maybe next time he can defend it or counter it.  Taking blows and “doing something with it” is part of the chess game of boxing. 

But how does a fighter interpret getting hit with a hard shot when he doesn’t see it coming?  He has to use it as a wake up call and treat it like it can’t hurt him, he’s felt it before.  And then he needs to know what he did to be put in that position, because it shouldn’t happen too often in a fight.  If he can’t adjust, he might have to be woken up off the canvas.  And the problem is that knock-outs blows are never a force that can be interpreted.

12 More Reasons You Should Hate MMA, Too

rogan2by A O’Toole

In summary, you should hate MMA because of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). So the list goes:

  1. Joe Rogan.  He just has no good criticisms.  Who would have anything worth saying with a mouth full of meat and bung-hole?
  2. BS Scoring.  I’ve been in a bunch of brawls and one on ones, and if a guy was leaning on someone’s hip against a fence it didn’t mean he was winning.  Cage control and ground control is moot when nobody’s submitting and nobody is getting pummeled.
  3. Bruce Buffer.  What a hack, underachieving half-brother desperately chasing the shadow of Micheal Buffer, a real announcer.  The snapping, exaggerated, trying too hard, circus introductions are so apropos for this WWE showcase.
  4. The best fighter in the world is in Strikeforce.  Fedor is the boss.
  5. The limiting rules.  It used to be the limited rules, but that’s when the UFC was realistic.
  6. The lies. The UFC is a hype machine fooling millions of people that these guys are really elite.  It’s not refined enough yet, so there are plenty of bums among the good guys.  The UFC promotes for idiot fans and a lot of punks.  The cheap heavy metal music is proof enough.   The mediocre is sold as spectacular.  Roy Jones wouldn’t have been fooled that Forrest Griffin was a main event fighter.  Even most of the bums Roy fought had proven records, not 16-6.
  7. Dana White.  What a jerk.  He is like a Nazi.  He cares nothing about the growth of mma.  He matches up guys against their best interest and he makes judgments to ban people for mishaps that are irrelevant to fighting.  That’s business, but it doesn’t actually help the sport.  His tyranny allows him to criticize Anderson Silva for not being exciting – Silva’s job, as a legitimate sportsman, is to win and that is it.  He’ll whine and pout like a spoiled, bratty college kid who didn’t get to max-out mommy’s credit card.  And fighters have to prove themselves to him?  Check the TUF series in which he asks for fighters to sacrifice their dignity and to “beg the best” for a shot.  White needs checks and balances to offset his idiocy.  Fighters need personal representation and not to sign their potential careers away to a circus act that is the UFC.
  8. Joe Rogan. Did I mention that he is a cheerleading groupie who sucks-off all the fighters?
  9. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).  What a bunch of coddled, upper-middle class hicks who think they’re tough because their high schools each had 500 or so kids who they were tougher than.  Anyone could try out for TUF, get lucky, and show up on the UFC.  Where is the humility that is born from really being a fighter and knowing that there is always someone tougher than you are?
  10. Football-like paint on the face hyped ring walks.  Any fighter knows to stay calmer than these psyched up morons.  You don’t have to psyche yourself up, you’re in a fight.
  11. There is only one Anderson Silva. It’s not his fault crap competition is making him think he could box Roy Jones.
  12. Soft chins. Wow, I don’t want to hear the small glove argument.  When you have guys getting knocked out with jabs, a la Kimbo Slice, you know there is a huge problem with the weeding out of chumps in mma.  When a boxer realizes his chin is as weak as some mma guys, he doesn’t even turn amateur.

* The ideas expressed in submitted articles are not necessarily the views of ShootaFairOne.com