Setting Traps by Teddy Atlas
In this video, renowned boxing coach and commentator Teddy Atlas talks about setting up traps and the psychology behind it to make the technique, and even every technique you might use, be effective.
Teddy Atlas teaches a simple combination but it has a lot of concepts that many fighters, especially newer and even somewhat more experienced ones, tend to not grasp. Setting traps is very important as it is a fundamental part of all counter punching, luring your opponent to throwing what you want them to throw, and countering off that.
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The combo that Coach Atlas shows is a simple jab, hop back, into either a lead hook – cross, or cross-lead hook. The jab is there to get your opponent's attention and hopefully cause them to become more aggressive so that they move in. This is where you follow up with the other punches, whatever you see fit. This technique can easily score a knockdown or even a KO if it is done correctly. If you are able to catch your opponent coming in, especially if they are coming in really fast and aggressive the power of your strike can increase exponentially.
This is a pretty good and fairly simple way to set up and execute a counter punch but Coach Atlas goes in-depth on the skills and ideas around it that make it so effective. Coach Atlas uses an analogy to help explain this technique, comparing high-level boxing to fishing. Coach Atlas says that if you have the high-level intelligence and skill level, you can start to try to reel in and bait your opponents, just like you would do when you are out fishing.
Teddy then compares wild punchers who only attack with heavy shots to someone who uses dynamite to catch fish. You might be abler to catch some fish doing that, but it won’t be pretty and you probably won’t want to eat it after.
Atlas talks about the importance of slowly baiting opponents, luring them in and only when they fully commit to a strike, like when fish fully bites down, that is when you make your move.
Coach Atlas also talks about the importance of staying calm while your fighting. “Staying calm in a place of chaos” is what Coach Atlas says fighters should be striving for. This is because when you are nervous and giving in to the chaos around you, you are likely to can tunnel vision and not be able to see as many, if any, openings that your opponent makes.
Being calm will slow things down and allow you to see everything and see it much clearer. When you are calm you will be able to see every move your opponent makes and move yourself accordingly. In terms of the specific technique that Coach Atlas is demonstrating, being calm will allow you to see which technique you can follow up with after your opponent takes the bait. If they miss with the right hand, they are open to your left and if they miss with their left hand, they are open to your right.
The last thing that we are going to touch on is a small thing that Coach Atlas mentions, that you should be fighting as if you were watching yourself fight. It’s common to have moments when you’re watching other people fight, to do some armchair coaching, saying what you think they should do. Coach Atlas says that we should do something similar for ourselves in fights. If we are able to stay calm during our fights, we are able to look at ourselves from an outside perspective and see what we would think we should do, if we were watching ourselves fight.
This is a great piece of advice as it is very easy to gain tunnel vision while your fighting and only stick to one gameplan or idea, not realizing the other possibilities that we have at our disposal.
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