You’ve seen it in the movies and in promotional footage of fighters, but have you tried the Rope Slip drill? It’s easy to perform and a great way to get your core sharp for quick slip movement. Because, while you can’t duck every punch, you can at least soften the blow by avoiding the full force.
Developing good defensive skills is invaluable for any fighter.
Keeping an opponent from landing hits not only protects you from damage,
but can set them off balance and vulnerable to your own counter attack.
Slipping, the act of moving just out of the way of an oncoming punch, is an important skill to develop. Even if you never master perfect slipping, you need to do it good enough to protect your body from potentially dangerous hits. And amateur fighters need to be able to keep their opponent from scoring easy points by making themselves into a slippery moving target.
Secure a line (clothesline, jump rope, hand wraps, etc) at about your shoulder height (or slightly higher if you prefer). It doesn’t really matter what you attach it to so long as it is fairly secure. You can use the top ropes of a boxing ring or whatever you can find at home to make it work. If you want to get get extra fancy you can tie ropes into an ‘X’ and have a more dynamic work area.
Once you’ve got a slip rope up, stand alongside, lightly touching the line at your shoulder, and begin shadow boxing. As you throw jabs and combinations incorporate various slipping motions (ducking, feinting, bobbing, weaving, tilting away, rolling under, etc) and begin to move back and forth laterally along the line as if shadowing an opponent. As you get adept at slipping the rope you can start incorporating footwork so you can move just as you would in the ring.
As with any shadow boxing, it’s always better when you imagine an opponent standing opposite as a target. So now you’re slipping punches from and throwing punches at your moving target, giving you a combined great workout routine and training exercise. Use good form - this is a prime opportunity to pick up bad habits. Get someone to inspect your technique or, better yet, have them shoot a video for you to review. You can also bring in a partner and incorporate focus mitts into the drill.
Don’t get into a repetitive groove unless you’re just looking for an aerobic workout. You want to also develop fast reaction and response so keep your movements random. Smaller slip movements should typically bring you back to a normal guard position, but larger movements are perfect opportunities to throw counter punches, so work on building different strategic composite reflexes.
Developing good defensive skills, such as slipping, is invaluable for any fighter. Keeping an opponent from landing solid hits not only protects you from damage, but can potentially set them off balance and vulnerable to your own counter attack. The Old Rope Slip Drill is great because it’s effective, doesn’t require specialized gear and can be performed just about anywhere.