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Thread: Ali footwork

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    Default Ali footwork

    I've been watching alot of prime Ali again and want to start incorporating some of his counters. I've been a much more stationary fighter up until now and would also like to learn some of his trademark defensive movements. I've been studying his fights but I was hoping I could learn from your experience. Thanks.

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    Default Re: Ali footwork

    Although, I don't recommend emulating Ali's style, here's a good move that coordinates 1-1-2 with footwork:

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Nagel View Post
    Lesson # 3:
    “The 1-1-2with fast circular movement”.


    Muhammad Ali used to dance revolving around his opponents while simultaneously hitting them.

    His famous expression “Float like a butterfly sting like a bee”, came from these movements.

    This is one of Ali’s classic combinations:


    Figure 1.-
    sequence.

    Let’s suppose that you are dancing on your toes around your opponent (see picture # 2).


    Figure 2.- See the line, you will be moving away from it during the sequence.
    Throw a fast jab crossing your back foot as seen in figure 3.


    Figure 3.- Try to block your opponent’s vision with an open hand.
    Retract your arm or glove, but not much (see figure 4).



    Figure 4.- Your back foot lands and crosses over the front one.
    Throw a second jab uncrossing your feet (see figure 5).


    Figure 5.- You connect with this second jab while your front foot is still in the air. Once your front foot lands, follow with a right, and let the inertia work for your body. Just move with your inertia, flow and don’t worry that you may get hit as you have disrupted their pattern and their timing while attacking (see figure 6).


    Figure 6.- This punch is aimed a little to the right where your opponent’s face should be because of the angles you made while circling.
    Last edited by Chris Nagel; 03-06-2010 at 03:30 PM.
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    Default Re: Ali footwork

    that is a very effective movement in the ring the style doesnt suite me at all coz im quite orthodox but i use this everytime i spar and almost always land a heavy right hand because of it and the new angle it creates, ali was very gifted he could do things a lot of people cant and get away with it because of ability, however this movement i believe can be used quite easily at least once a fight and be fairly safe.

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    Default Re: Ali footwork

    Thanks guys. I do that same move now but I step with my left foot to the left when I throw my first jab. Is that the wrong thing to do? It feels much more comfortable doing this especially when retreating to my left.

    Looking at that diagram and Ali's stance I feel that perhaps my stance is too straight on (completely not square). Is that why I feel uncomfortable moving my right foot to the left first when throwing my first jab? If I do that it feels as if the angle I'm creating will cause me to jab too much to their left.

    Also, could you guys give me some of your thoughts on Ali's movement, particularly to the left. I've noticed patterns but would really like to get your take on it all. Thanks

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    Default Re: Ali footwork

    Hey Jahmez

    I think Chris acknowledges at the start of his post that he wouldn't emulate Ali's style, and I broadly agree although, there's some great stuff to learn from him. I'd certainly be reluctant about using the diagrams, the talk about crossing the legs and punching whilst one foot is in the air is a real problem for me. If there's one thing I would pick up from Ali, be it early in his career or later, is his ability to be 'on the edge of range', using deft lay backs and slips to avoid shots and capitalising on the openings and putting real psychological pressure on the opponent. Whether you choose to be highly mobile or not, you should really ensure that your stance is workable. Ensure you don't allow your feet to get in a muddle because of a desire to be too mobile too soon.

    Cheers

    Fran

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    Default Re: Ali footwork

    Thanks Fran. I started boxing to help me in a street fight so I made a choice to be a puncher before I even started. Once I started sparring I was always sparred better boxers than me and was never allowed to punch my hardest. This was fine until I started sparring pressure fighters. Now I need to become a better boxer and improve my footwork.

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    Default Re: Ali footwork

    These guys are right, if you start trying to emulate the more outragous boxers footwork who got away with stuff when they were well ahead in a fight, then you are going to come up against some problems.

    All things work sometimes.

    IF you go trying out all things anytime, your fukked;

    because text book boxing is designed to expose and capitalize on any weakness and that would be a big one (being in a new position for no good reason other than trying it out).


    Like that cross leg thing you see here if you think about it or try it slowly you'll notice it replaces stepping out that way fully committed with your left foot, but it is a half step because its behind with the right foot.
    (you dont have to cross them btw) That looks more crossed than it ever should be from the point of view of the observer the drawer, not the fighter.

    Anyway to take a leg behind a lead leg, creates a half step and it gets your head in behind your lead shoulder (from the opponents point of view).So to me, that says you could get away with it if they throw a committed rear hand and you cover it or block it during the half step.

    If you did that on reaction to the lead hand jab your going down ,you're off balance,stuck and more open to them simply doubling up their left attack as you are then facing it as it comes at you.

    People like Ali, Rjj etc get away with stuff once they know they can risk it once they have zero respect for someones talent speed and power.

    I think its a mistake to emulate those moves as a set combo but fun to pull them apart to see when bits of them can work for you.
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    Default Re: Ali footwork

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Nagel View Post
    Lesson # 3:
    “The 1-1-2with fast circular movement”.


    Muhammad Ali used to dance revolving around his opponents while simultaneously hitting them.

    His famous expression “Float like a butterfly sting like a bee”, came from these movements.

    This is one of Ali’s classic combinations:


    Figure 1.-
    sequence.

    ...
    Are the pictures in this post from a book or online lesson? What is the source? Is it available online?

    I am a bit frustrated by the lack of (modern) boxing books, while at the same time I am reading and re-reading everything I can find.

    Today, I worked the above pattern-combination both in shadow boxing and on the heavy bag, and this seemed pretty easy and (almost) natural to pick up.

    I definitely like it as an alternative for moving to the left.

    Although I am MAINLY training to never cross my feet, the real issue is to never be in a position that destroys your balance or mobility, and if such moves are practiced they can certainly be used -- at least from time to time.

    Other martial arts (some at least) do offer techniques where the feet are crossed or moved past each other....

    --
    HerbM

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    Default Re: Ali footwork

    Heh, i've got the same problem here.
    I want to move about but the moment i moved, my stance is all wrong.

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    Default Re: Ali footwork

    Quote Originally Posted by fwaORANGE View Post
    Heh, i've got the same problem here.
    I want to move about but the moment i moved, my stance is all wrong.
    I am just a boxing newbie myself, but believe the experienced folks will tell you something like this:

    In the beginning, you must never cross. You move the foot on the side/direction you wish to move first, then you bring up the foot that is remaining EXACTLY the same amount so that you end up precisely in the same stance, but in the new position.

    My coach insists we PUSH with the standing foot (the one not moving first). He distinguishes strongly between 'stepping' with the first foot, and 'pushing' with the following foot.

    So to move forward you go lead foot, then rear foot. Vice versa for going back. Left foot moves first to go left, right first to go right -- other foot moves the same distance and direction.

    I also notice some new boxers standing at the bag and LOOKING down at their feet -- much better to look in the mirror (coach keeps reminding us that is what their purpose).

    Then, eventually, being able to reset your stance without looking at all.

    Until you can do that, i.e., reset by feel and balance, I would think/advise that you shouldn't even consider crossing over or using any unorthodox foot work.


    --
    HerbM

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    Default Re: Ali footwork

    When i moved, my feet will tend to change angle.
    Meaning it won't be 45 degree, not facing the inner of the opponent's feet.

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    Default Re: Ali footwork

    Quote Originally Posted by fwaORANGE View Post
    When i moved, my feet will tend to change angle.
    Meaning it won't be 45 degree, not facing the inner of the opponent's feet.
    Three pieces of advice:

    1. Don't do that <grin>
    2. Practice, practice, practice (watch yourself in the mirror)
    3. Use that pushing idea, so that your first foot moves and the following foot drags/slides up while staying in the same relative position/angle.
    Maybe taking smaller steps will help too, if long steps are your problem. With long steps you are more likely to reposition your feet and lose the relationship.

    Coach has some guys wear a tether between the feet and work lots of shadowboxing that way.

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    Default Re: Ali footwork

    Grin as in the feet? V shaped?

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    Default Re: Ali footwork

    My friend Derek Roche the 3 times British welterweight champ has some really smooth footwork tips. The way he moves to the left is awesome. It takes some practise but you can get it to work well after a while as long as you use it at a distance.

    It looks just like what Ali used to do,

    Here's the link - just play the video on the page.

    Boxing Footwork Drills

    Cool as ice!

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