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Thread: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

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    Default WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    http://www.oldschoolboxing.com/weeklybag20040706.html

    [b]WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods)

    One of the reasons I'm spending my energy sharing my experiences in this game is that I was bitten by the Boxing Bug in 1951 and left everything in 54' family, friends and my home state to pursue the dream of becoming a World Champion! It was an exciting time in the United States for me, not so for countless others still saddled by overt racism, as one man put it to me, the 50's in the U.S. were the romantic years! From my point of view the sky was the limit-there wasn't anything that I was incapable of accomplishing. The members of the professional boxing community compared to World Population is akin to one grain of sand on a desert. I always say, If, I could go to a Boxing Gym in any city in the U.S. and probably the World, I would meet someone I know or they knew someone I knew, we have things in common.

    Boxing was mainstream and there were many great fighters during those years and fights no matter how suspected of being controlled by the mob , (this was only a small group of shysters, just as we have today! but it taints the whole industry), were evenly matched and exciting, electric in nature! Let's put it this way, I met many more people in Boxing who I liked and were better people than in other professions in which I have been involved.

    I would suggest that you read subjects in this web site in there entirety and you will probably see boxing from a different perspective and enjoy watching it all the more. The idea is to relate to you the excitement of the game as it was and hopefully resurrect it to it's former glories!

    Note: Some of you are probably saying to yourself, "Ya, all right, but this guy is an old fart with old ideas that no longer apply to the modern game". I look at this type of thinking from a different point of view, I'm not getting older, I'm getting better, and will accept new concepts if there warranted? But I'm not discarding nuances that made the boxers of the golden era of boxing the stars that they were!

    LET'S DISCUSS TRAINING METHODS - that have changed over the years, proven methods discarded and new one's introduced and some of these popular for a few years and then basically trashed.

    First of all if you want to learn to fight you have to fight, mechanical equipment is not going to take the place of alert, tough sparring partners , the best you can find and once you can handle that person move to a higher level. The only way you become proficient is to box and box and then box some more. However there are days when no sparring partners are available, so you have to go to the equipment.

    If you desire to be a World Champion you have to isolate yourself from the general public and make sacrifices and begin the training that will carry to your goal. When you practice don't just put in the time, practice alone doesn't make you proficient, PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES YOU PERFECT, don't waste your gym time-each move, each punch you have to strive to make better then the last. You may be the best fighter in your gym or even in your region, but remember this is World Champion, somewhere, someplace there is a young man working diligently towards the same goal and your on a collision course with him if you proceed up the fistic ladder. Don't ever be satisfied with your performances or acquired accomplisments always remember that you will be meeting that other young man one day and you'd better be ready, for he surely will! You must continually challenge yourself always pushing to step up in class.

    Number one, spend as much time in your gym ring as possible, hopefully it is raised up off the floor as it will be when you fight. If the ring is open get into it and do your shadow boxing, get the feel of the canvas, the touch of the ropes, get familiar with being in a ring, this is to be your office, your home field. Note: When your training you want to make the conditions as similar to a Boxing contest as possible.

    Be patient it takes approximately five to seven years to build a complete fighter with an emphasis on build. You have to develop a strong foundation and where does that start, your legs, just think in every sport who is usually victorious? the athlete with the strongest, fastest legs and/or the ability to position themselves with clever footwork in the proper position to make the basket, win the downhill, run the bases, chase down the fly ball, do the triple lutz etc, etc,. "Sugar" Ray Robinson no question the greatest fighter of all time was an avid tap dancer, don't you think that had something to do with his ability to maneuver around the ring and be in the proper position to deliver the winning blow? of course it did. Note: Amazing, but proper use of the legs is not even a consideration of most modern boxing trainers today and is ignored. Well at least there consistent they don't know anything about defense either.

    Let's introduce the most important piece of hardware in the gym, THE SPEED BAG, another ignored item by modern day teachers of the Sweet Science. First we start out with a well conditioned pair of legs and add to that the development of blinding hand speed and hair trigger reflexes, abilities you will be able to acquire from as little as two to three rounds several days a week with this piece of apparatus.

    My introduction to the speed bag was by George Araujo, he fought for a real world title against a real World Champion Jimmy Carter at Madison Square Garden and My God he was even a converted southpaw, WOW! that even worked. George also possesed the best pair of legs I have ever seen on a fighter right with "Sugar" Ray and Ali. Great legs, reflexes, converted southpaw could it possibly be that this formula works. From there I went on to add my own wrinkles to working with the speed bag and actually practice on it as if you were actually in a fight with body punching, defensive moves incorporated. Learning how to properly use the little bag is a big plus in your development because your reflexes will become so sharp that you will be knocking out opponents and you will not even realize what you're doing, it's instinct in the ring, if you have to think about it it's too late!



    Araujo, Working the Speed Bag*

    Photo, Courtesy Providence Journal October 28, 1979
    *Not Shown

    Look at the power in the legs and shoulders, can you imagine a modern lightweight against George? and he wasn't even the champion but probably was rated with the top two or three when photo was taken. Todays practitioners could barely qualify to be a sparring partner for the pugs of the late 40's and the 50's.

    Proper Road Work-Yes, there are better ways to do that also, Sparring against the Best you can find, work with the speed bag, then strengthening your abdominal muscles and your neck and then some weight speed training is sufficient to build a better fighter.

    Heavy Bag- Yes this is a staple of the training process and gives a boxer the opportunity to practice his full assortment of punches, however it's not that effecive because it doesn't punch back. In Boxing your on offense and defense at the same time, your right hand may be delivering a punch while your left is blocking one, that's why it is so difficult to be proficient as a boxer, there is no transition period where you can switch from offense to defense it's all happening at the same time. One thing the heavy bag is good for is developing stammina for you will have other fighters leaning on you trying to wear you down, which is similar to the dead weight of the heavy bag you will encounter as your trying to work with it. This bag must stay relatively still and not swing back and forth, if it does your not throwing your punches properly.

    Double-Ended Bag- this apparatus is basically a childs toy and it's effectiveness is suspect, however if I'm training two or three guys at the same time I'll tell the odd one out to work this bag to keep him occupied until I can give him some quality time.

    FOCUS-MITTS - I put this item in capitals to emphasize to you that this is the most overated method of teaching and training for boxing that has come down the pike! First of all it's all offense, boxing isn't all offense as mentioned above, it gives your fighter a false sense of accomplishment that he is doing well, when the only way he's going to know if he's doing well is in the ring boxing with a quality sparring partner and he's kicking their ass! To me it's basically a method that gives the trainer something to do and makes the student and trainer feel that they are doing something worthwhile when in fact the boxer would be better served sparring or trying to master the speed bag. Yes, I do use the focus mitts but I use the ones where your able to catch your students punch on the heel of the mitt and if they make a mistake their going to pay because I'm going to counter back and I can still move and punch! But as a trainer if you don't know anything about boxing you just become another inert piece of hardware, when you should be a teacher.

    Jumping Rope-yes this is good for it falls right back into our original conception of strong supple legs and flexibility, the ability to move around the ring in an offensive posture and be able to switch into a defensive mode and back to offensive on a dime without missing a beat! Properly utilizing the jump rope is similar to using the speed bag you need expert help to guide you in getting the most out of the equiptment.

    SUMMARY- Do your road work, master the speed bag, find the best sparring partners even if you have to travel long distances to find top guys, this will make you proficient in the art of Boxing, the rest is window dressing. Oh! don't forget you need a top teacher/trainer to motivate and encourage you and observe your every movement to make sure you are not falling into bad habits! Important, you may have access to the best equipment available but if you don't know how to utilize it to it's fullest capacity and get the most out of it, your not training perfectly-it's similar to driving a high-performance auto and never getting it out of second gear.

    If you hear a voice within you saying that I am not a painter, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.

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    Default Re: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    for sharin' this.

    The focus mitts CAN be good because sometimes you need a little confidence every once in a while, otherwise a fighter could lose interest.

    And how do you punch without the heavy bag moving back and forth?

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    Default Re: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    By not pushing your punches. That's his reasoning, personally I prefer the bag to move. When you're fighting someone they're going to be moving away from you, or towards you and you're still there to hit them.
    If you hear a voice within you saying that I am not a painter, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.

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    Default Re: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    Focus Mitts can be a big help if you have a trainer that really knows how to use them. It should be more than punching practice, it should keep you alert for punches as well. It should also allow you and your trainer to go over particular counters, sequences and tactics. It's good because you have feedback straight from your trainer, it's just step below contolled sparring in that sense.
    If you hear a voice within you saying that I am not a painter, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.

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    Default Re: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    presents a couple of problems...
    1- punch mitts are probably the most important "tool" in the gym if used properly. anyone who has done significant mitt work and significant bag work, will certainly tell you that they learn more on the mitts than they do on any punching bag...so there goes a little bit of credibility. furthermore, punch mitts are the best way to cut back on sparring rounds and extend a fighter's career.

    2- the speedbag will make you faster to a degree, but there is only so much speed you can get from it...most of the actual "speed" gained from it is eye speed and necessary timing speed, not true hand speed.

    3- i will go right ahead and state that the double end bag has done more for my game than any other piece of equipment in the gym. i am not even gonna waste your time or my time explaining why, i feel it is rather self explanatory.


    modern training methods are often wrong in their approach because they tend to ignore the fact that you arent prepping an athlete, you are prepping a fighter. all this scientific crap floating around these days saying "dont run long, run sprints" is a way of saying "dont put yourself through hell, there's an easier way"...well fighters need to go through hell, its a fight, you are trying to hurt someone and they are trying to hurt you, this isnt putting points on a board. and what i find so alarming about all of that junk is that the people who talk all this interval stuff seem to forget that a common part of old school roadwork involved sprinting up hills, or doing fartleks, as we call them in track and field circles- they just didnt have a fancy name in boxing circles.

    an alright write-up on a great topic...ive never heard anyone glorify the speedbag so much though, its a bit bizarre...

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    Default Re: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    I've seen you browsing these boards a lot but haven't had the pleasure of welcoming you. Anyways welcome to the boards.

    You've made some good points there, some believe that it was the long sparring sessions that put Ali in the bad shape that he's in now. No doubt that hard sparring accounts for a lot of brain damage in boxers.

    I'll go into some methods tomorrow if I get around to it. I'll shed some light on the speed bag, which will show you that it's more than a bicycle exercise for the arms.

    Until then,
    Peace...
    If you hear a voice within you saying that I am not a painter, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.

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    Default Re: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    oh fear not, i need no primer on the speed bag as ive had one since i was 6 years old and there isnt anything on it that i cant do...i still dabble in it. i used to use it no less than 6 rounds a day. now i use it about 6 rounds a month just to stay sharp on it. fact is, rolling the bag is good for conditioning and its good for coordination and its good for developing longer terms of intense focus. otherwise, slipping and weaving and measuring inside shots is the more practical use of the speedbag, which is sort of what ive resorted to these days because it was no longer challenging to me to roll the thing with any particular changes or rhythms. fun tool...more useful than mitts? not a chance in hell.

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    Default Re: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    I've just read Joe Frazier's "Box Like the Pros" book and he is a huge fan of sparring, both a an educational tool and a means to greater fitness. He, too, puts a lot on the speedbag (though not as much as Tommy Noel; Jimmy McClarnin was in that league as a proponent of the speed bag), and he sees the mitts as a tool to practice techniques etc.. to be used and perfected in sparring. His special favorite seems to be the heavy bag.
    Can't say I agree that less sparring lengthens careers...back in the day when fighters sparred a lot more they also fought more fights over more years, JC Chavez being a more recent example of this same thing.

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    Default Re: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    fighters actually used to spar less because they fought more. do the math. if you have a fight every 2-4 weeks, your sparring schedule alters drastically compared to a fighter that has a schedule of 3-6 months per fight. some fighters would spar 1 or 2 sessions between fights because that was really all they had to do to stay sharp, the more active you remain, the less polishing you need. fighting only once every 6 months will put some fighters between 80-100 rounds of hard sparring...in certain cities that hard sparring is more akin to a fight, in a lot of cases more damaging than a fight because the head gear gives people a false sense of security. furthermore, the damage of sparring is increased because there is no size regulations. anyone that attends a real boxing gym knows that sparring goes on between anyone and everyone of all weight classes because you take what you can get a lot of times. i've sparred lightweights to heavyweights and i weight between 152-158 at any given time. thats just the nature of the beast...go to philly and ask anyone in the fight community what the gym wars did to many promising careers.

    i read fraziers book awhile back and thought it was a good start-up for interested people. sparring is without a doubt the most important element of a boxers training program. there is no other way to put it and any assumption otherwise would be foolish. but if you go to a gym and spar for 12 rounds 6 days a week instead of mixing in mitts and shadowboxing and double end bags and all the other tools of the trade, you are gonna be in a world of hurt...

    bottom line: sparring is, in the same sense that mma is "safer" than boxing, more dangerous than actual matches. the reason for this is because in sparring you take a lot more punches in most cases because "you can"...headgear and puffy gloves do that to peoples confidence, including my own sometimes. if you are sparring 80 rounds for a 12 round title fight, then you need to take that into account, but no one ever does except doctors when they are diagnosing brain trauma post-career...and that, my friend, is how sparring shortens ring life. you said "back in the day when fighters sparred a lot more..." they didnt...they sparred less, they fought more, and their careers were indicative of such behavior...there has never been more sparring than there is now because as the distance between fights at all levels increases, it becomes more necessary.

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    Default Re: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    If bags did swing when you hit them properly... why would your opponents head move when you hit it? Why would his head moving be ultimately what KOs him? You don't knock people out with pushes do you?

    I agree to an extent... a small fighter/fighter with a weak punch on a heavy probably won't have the power to make it swing... I suppose it's about being aware of whether it's power or strength making the bag move.

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    Default Re: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    btw, i can imagine a modern lightweight against the man in the picture, and running over him with ease. i can also picture him destroying a lot of modern lightweights. to say that todays fighters are junk is absurd and this tommy noel guy needs to leave his generational-ism at the door when trying to be journalistic. as a writer myself, i find it offensive.

    and adam is right about the bag moving...its knowing power from strength that matters most.

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    Default Re: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris N.
    By not pushing your punches. That's his reasoning, personally I prefer the bag to move. When you're fighting someone they're going to be moving away from you, or towards you and you're still there to hit them.
    Quote Originally Posted by AdamGB
    If bags did swing when you hit them properly... why would your opponents head move when you hit it? Why would his head moving be ultimately what KOs him? You don't knock people out with pushes do you?
    Not unless they fall backwards onto their head...:P
    I agree to an extent... a small fighter/fighter with a weak punch on a heavy probably won't have the power to make it swing... I suppose it's about being aware of whether it's power or strength making the bag move.

    Sorry Adam, my bad. I didn't mean "pushing your punches", but getting the heavy bag to swing allows you to work on a lot of things that you can't do otherwise.

    By the way, I've been reading Joe Louis's "How to Box" book lately and he shed a lot of light on why you want the bag to swing. An opponent isn't going to stand still so you that you can him them, and you can add this realism to your training on heavy bag as well.

    This is what Joe Louis advised about hitting the heavy bag:

    "After learning how to hit the bag while it is stationary, try giving it a slight push to start it slowly swinging. Then when it has started to swing away, hook sharply with the left or right in the direction of the swing of the bag. This is good practice as it accustoms you to hitting the side of an opponent who turns from a blow.
    The heavy bag is also used to develop rapid hitting to the body which is called in-fighting. Crouch slightly forward with both feet in line together, and bring both hands upward in sharp, short blows to the bag. Treat the bag as you would your opponent. If the bag gives way, assume your opponent is retreating from your attack, step closer and continue punching away with both hands. Then assume that your opponent is holding, back away but quickly return to the attack with both hands. This will help you get more power behind your blows and teach you to stay in close, so that your opponent's blows are robbed of their force.
    Punching the heavy bag should be timed into rounds, three minutes punching with one minute of rest in between.

    Sessions with the bag help tune up your footwork, too. The bag keeps you shifting your weight around a good deal like you must when facing an opponent in the ring."

    I agree with Louis on this. This allows you to deal with a deal with an on-coming or moving force as opposed to simply a stationary target.

    So in general you'd want the back to swing a little when you hit it; This allows you to react to the bag, changing angles, shifting your weight, moving, and fighting in close.

    Hitting a stationary bag has its own merits as well, as it allows you to work on particular things.


    Quote Originally Posted by spaceballwon

    btw, i can imagine a modern lightweight against the man in the picture, and running over him with ease. i can also picture him destroying a lot of modern lightweights. to say that todays fighters are junk is absurd and this tommy noel guy needs to leave his generational-ism at the door when trying to be journalistic. as a writer myself, i find it offensive.

    and adam is right about the bag moving...its knowing power from strength that matters most.
    This isn't journalism spaceballwon, the man is entitled to his own opinion just as it is your own right as well. By being your own writer you don't have to be a "blank canvass" as they say, you can write whatever you want without having to appeal to anyone. Does this mean you have to see things his way? No, I don't agree with him on everything, but I nonetheless appreciate his opinion.
    If you hear a voice within you saying that I am not a painter, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.

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    Default Re: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    Quote Originally Posted by spaceballwon
    oh fear not, i need no primer on the speed bag as ive had one since i was 6 years old and there isnt anything on it that i cant do...i still dabble in it. i used to use it no less than 6 rounds a day. now i use it about 6 rounds a month just to stay sharp on it. fact is, rolling the bag is good for conditioning and its good for coordination and its good for developing longer terms of intense focus. otherwise, slipping and weaving and measuring inside shots is the more practical use of the speedbag, which is sort of what ive resorted to these days because it was no longer challenging to me to roll the thing with any particular changes or rhythms. fun tool...more useful than mitts? not a chance in hell.
    Good post, I'd still like to elaborate on it later. Anyways do you practice moving, back and forward, circling and side-stepping? I try to keep it as close to real fighting as possible. I use the same much of the same punches and movement that I would use in the ring. If I see a fighter in the ring that sets up his punch in an interesting way, I'm bound to practice it on the speed bag. It's good mental training, because you have to adjust accordingly to the rebounds it can take hair-trigger reflexes to do what you want to do.

    Tommy Noel says you can practice body punching on the speed, I can't figure out what he means. Shifting with an opponent? Hitting the air? Right now my speed bag workouts are limited to head hunting tactics. I still like to do the tricks myself, some of them you actually have to do with your eyes open.

    It can be a learning tool, but it can also be a little bundle of fun too.
    If you hear a voice within you saying that I am not a painter, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.

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    Default Re: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    Quote Originally Posted by spaceballwon
    fighters actually used to spar less because they fought more. do the math. if you have a fight every 2-4 weeks, your sparring schedule alters drastically compared to a fighter that has a schedule of 3-6 months per fight. some fighters would spar 1 or 2 sessions between fights because that was really all they had to do to stay sharp, the more active you remain, the less polishing you need. fighting only once every 6 months will put some fighters between 80-100 rounds of hard sparring...in certain cities that hard sparring is more akin to a fight, in a lot of cases more damaging than a fight because the head gear gives people a false sense of security. furthermore, the damage of sparring is increased because there is no size regulations. anyone that attends a real boxing gym knows that sparring goes on between anyone and everyone of all weight classes because you take what you can get a lot of times. i've sparred lightweights to heavyweights and i weight between 152-158 at any given time. thats just the nature of the beast...go to philly and ask anyone in the fight community what the gym wars did to many promising careers.

    i read fraziers book awhile back and thought it was a good start-up for interested people. sparring is without a doubt the most important element of a boxers training program. there is no other way to put it and any assumption otherwise would be foolish. but if you go to a gym and spar for 12 rounds 6 days a week instead of mixing in mitts and shadowboxing and double end bags and all the other tools of the trade, you are gonna be in a world of hurt...

    bottom line: sparring is, in the same sense that mma is "safer" than boxing, more dangerous than actual matches. the reason for this is because in sparring you take a lot more punches in most cases because "you can"...headgear and puffy gloves do that to peoples confidence, including my own sometimes. if you are sparring 80 rounds for a 12 round title fight, then you need to take that into account, but no one ever does except doctors when they are diagnosing brain trauma post-career...and that, my friend, is how sparring shortens ring life. you said "back in the day when fighters sparred a lot more..." they didnt...they sparred less, they fought more, and their careers were indicative of such behavior...there has never been more sparring than there is now because as the distance between fights at all levels increases, it becomes more necessary.
    Agreed.
    If you hear a voice within you saying that I am not a painter, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.

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    Default Re: WAKE-UP BOXERS & FANS (Training Methods) by Tommy Noel

    cc chris a good read that mate

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