How Ernesto Hoost Drills To Improve The Variety In Setups And Defense
Partner drilling is when a coach has their fully geared up students practice a specific technique on each other for a number of repetitions or for a given period of time like a round. Drilling with a partner is crucial for when transitioning from a beginner level to a more Intermediate level in order to drill effectively it has to be done consistently over time. Which means a good training session involves showing skill and not hurting your training partners so everyone can show up and help each other consistently with less injuries. Partner Drilling is the gap between mitts, bags,shadow boxing and sparring. After getting to a more intermediate level when you start contact training with another partner.
Partner DrillingThe most conventional form of drilling is partner A does a combination set forth by the trainer while Partner B either holds their glove as pads.
Controlled SparringThe second stage of partner drilling is often called technical drilling or controlled Sparring. The person defending now is not "holding gloves'' and using them as mitts but instead this type of drilling is when both athletes are actively defending like parrying,slipping, blocking punches, checking.
No Combo Drilling
Another way to add elements to drilling is not having a pre-set combo but instead adding randomness. Something that looks like partner A throws 2 strikes partner B comes back with 4. Where you are giving the students some guidance but also some leeway for freedom of expression and creativity to different set ups. As at the higher level most times the same thing will not work twice so good fighters have to adjust on the fly for prizefighters. Adding active defense training with a little randomness will be more important than repetition based glove on glove drilling.
Enter Ernesto Hoost, 4x K1 World GP champion and is widely regarded as one of the top and most technical pound for pound strikers of all time
He is definitely on the Mount Rushmore of striking. As he has helped evolve the game so much. He has also transitioned really well into a coach training Tyrone Spong in his prime when he was a middleweight alongside current MMA coach Henry Hooft.
Here Ernesto Hoost demonstrates a perfect example for this "controlled sparring" drill to his students. The focus is ending a combination with a middle kick but with random punch combos. Simple in theory, harder in practice.
Here in the drill he is forcing them to think about different set ups but end the sentence the same way. Freedom in the punches but the limitation is in having to end the attack with a middle kick. This keeps them in the flow and keeps his students locked in. If you notice Ernesto in this drill doesn't allow his student to throw the same combination twice.
The skill that is being trained here is coming up with a different setups as the attacker and having to read different setups as the defender to the same end goal of landing a Middle kick. It forces your training partner to have their reflexes on for the whole drill as opposed to when you know what's coming
Mindful Drilling vs Mindless Drilling
There is a place for "gloves as pads drilling" if you want to use more speed and power and go back and forth since your opponent is not really your target but the gloves are. The real problem with this type of drilling is that mindless drilling is usually implemented as opposed to mindful drilling.
Mindless drilling is when you are doing the movements but your focus is elsewhere.
The goal of the drill becomes about a number or just going through the motions until the student hears the bell ring signifying the end of the drill. The focus immediately turns away from improving the skill to improving numbers which in the beginner level might be good for body conditioning but it's not efficient for the athlete to think like this during skill acquisition training. Others might argue that repetition based glove on glove pads style is good enough for defense because you are seeing punches coming. You are seeing punches coming but reacting incorrectly.
It could be good for some as a transition from training on the bag to controlled sparring to help with their anxiety but there is the danger of developing bad habits from getting used to holding your gloves as opposed to actively defending where you are defending with the wrong hand.