Just came across this video while I was writing this blog. Greg explains it perfectly
You can do all the fancy stuff in the world but if it's not rooted in a good, fundamental foundation then you will be exposed. I've said it a million times, “You can never be good enough at the basics.” Basics are what wins fights. This goes for both the trainer and the student and goes across every other sport, and pretty much everything in life. Fundamentals!
I see way too many people trying these crazy moves, fancy combinations and footwork, yet they can't even land a simple jab effectively. I feel a big cause of all this is that most coaches try teaching this stuff to over compensate for their lack of any real knowledge. Often times people will want to teach what looks good as opposed to what really works. True skill comes from mastering the basics. People that want to get better will spend hours and hours alone in the mirror or on the bag perfecting these things. They are the ones that will make it to the next level while everyone else is wasting time trying to look cool so they can show off their 'skills'. There's a reason most real fights don't look anything like the movies, fundamentals and basics are what works but fancy stuff looks good on camera.
As always, you will see a lot more of this wasted movement when it comes to MMA. You got guys flopping around all over the place, I always say it's like watching magnets fight each other or an electrocuted rabbit. The problem is people get away with it for long periods of time. They rack up the wins and continue down this road until inevitably they run into a wall. I don't care how high you build yourself up, without a solid foundation you will inevitably crumble. Take a guy like Mayweather for example. You see all the fancy pad work he does, or at least that he shows you, but do you really think that's how he trains day to day? It's just a show. There's a time and a place for everything. Fighters, and coaches, will see Mayweather doing this and try and emulate him, not paying attention to the fact that all of this has been based on years and years of basics. You could spend a lifetime perfecting the jab, learning the millions of nuances in it, and still never get it right. Why in the hell are you trying to make it so complicated? This is the one thing that I've always loved about the Thai approach to training. Watch them do pad work, it's nothing crazy, just simple, basic power shots over and over again. Sure they get into some combination/speed work from time to time but the majority of it is all about keeping their foundation solid.
I'll often be sparring with someone who is doing all this crazy stuff, flopping around like a fish out of water, and I ask them why exactly they are doing what they're doing. And the answer, “I don't know, it's just what my coach told me to do.” Exactly! I'm in no way saying you should question your coaches teachings, but at least know the reasoning behind things. I once saw a guy teaching a 30 strike combination. 30 strikes, wtf? Sure you can use that 30 count combination to work on your speed, rhythm, etc, but the problem is that the people you teach think that it's realistic, unless you explain to them what is what. The main problem with a lot of this stuff is the fact that it's one uneducated person passing it down to another, and so on and so forth. Now you have a coach not knowing exactly why he's doing it, he just picked it up from watching youtube or something and thought it looked cool. Then you got the fighter not knowing why he's doing it so they're mindlessly going through the motions. Then you got him trying it out in a fight and getting put to sleep. Listen, if you can't throw a simple combination, or a jab for that matter, in a real world situation then why in the hell would you think you can get away with some fancy, flying, spinning, technique? The problem is that people do get away with it, for a time, particularly early on in their careers when people don't know how to deal with it. They eventually get to a point where the people they are in their with have a good foundation and they lose a fight to a guy that's only throwing a jab. If you don't know why you are doing something, that should be your first indication. I never tell people they're doing things wrong. I do however tell them why I would never in a million years do what they are doing and tell them what I would do instead. Listen, there is no right or wrong way to do anything. If it works for you it's right, if not it's wrong, or maybe you're doing it wrong. We all have different coaches, different back grounds and different ways of doing things. That's one thing that makes fighting/martial arts so great, the vastness of it all.
Don't get me wrong, it's great to have some fancy tricks up your sleeve but never sacrifice having a solid foundation in order to learn them. I know that at times it can be boring, going over such fundamental things. but once you realize just how dynamic a jab truly can be, it will open your eyes up to the millions of possibilities you have in one simple strike. Do yourselves a favor and stick to the basics. It's like going to school, we don't start out doing calculus, it's a process. You have to start with a good foundation and from there you build but you continually have to keep those basics sharp or everything else will fall apart.
”Face you fears, live your dreams”-El Presidente'