I had it in my mind to use my jab – and boxing generally – against Nong Mai in my fight in Isaan, mainly because of our height disparity. That didn’t end up being the case so much but it was because I didn’t trust covering distance with my hands. So since returning from Isaan and getting right back into training I’m focusing specifically on using my jab as a mid-to-long range weapon, using it to cover distance and drive my opponent back into the ropes for shorter and more powerful strikes. I can slam my 6’2″ husband right in the yapper with enough power that he’s definitely not choosing to go back so much as forced back and a person my size might have a much harder time with that left hand landing like this. I tried using the double jab for distance in my fight this past Friday and it worked great, so more practice is definitely in the schedule.
Months ago Kevin and I were working on using the teep as a way to move my opponent around the ring and into corners. It worked well in fights when I used it but it got lost amidst other things I was trying to tackle so now I’m moving back toward it. Den likes to link the front leg teep with a jab (it’s an awesome combo, I can see why he loves it) and calls for flying elbows and such when I knock him back far enough with the teep. It’s like a ride at Disneyland, those flying elbows… for me, not so much for whomever they’re landing on.
Finding the right distance for my own comfort and advantage has been a long work in progress. I’m much happier and feel more aggressive when I stay in close. When we got back from Isaan, Andy worked with me on the pads for a few days before he had to head back up to Hill Camp and in that time he really emphasized not backing up. I love not backing up, I really do. For whatever reason I kind of fall into a habit of using distance as defense instead of using defense as defense (blocks, slips, etc) and it makes me a passive fighter, so I’m more than happy to stay inside and eat a few strikes to be able to blast back with my own, especially since the majority of the fighters I face are fighting backwards. So in padwork with Den and in sparring I’m keeping it in my mind to never back up. Backing up is smart and it’s a good tactic sometimes, but I train with extremes and then pull back to find the right note. For me, backing up will always be there – I don’t need to train it.