Understanding Level Change Combinations with Brandon Gibson
Practicing level changing technique and understanding the fundamentals of what it does is extremely important in basically every kind of contact sport or martial art. Speaking in terms of MMA or boxing, this is one of the main techniques you will use to throw your partner off of your rhythm.
If you throw a one-two combination at your partner's head, he is going to raise up his arms and position them to block both punches. Chances are, if you're quick you will land at least one of them, but since your second punch is going towards the same general area, he has a good chance of blocking it.
In comparison, if you throw a one-two combination where the first punch is high and the second punch is low, it completely changes the attack as well as defensive effectiveness. When you throw your high jab, your partner is going to raise his arms to block it head. In order to block that second low punch, he has to move his arms quite a distance and you will likely already have landed your body shot before he gets there to defend.
Additionally, your partner lowering his arms to block the body shot opens up his head again and provides a great opportunity to add a third strike onto the combination. On the attacking side, it is often much quicker to throw a high low combination than it is for your partner to defend against the level change.
In this video, Brandon Gibson shows multiple variations of high low high combinations, and provides an explanation to the mechanics and why they work so well. Check it out below!
Striking Variations With Brandon Gibson
Brandon begins the video by explaining the following technique can be used to set up powerful body shots. He also explains that all of these punches are going to be linear punches. The first step in setting up this combination is to establish your jab from both levels.
This can be done by throwing both your high and low jab separately, and reading the reaction of your partner. Perhaps you throw your low jab and you see that your partners elbows are coming in and covering down, it may open up a good opportunity to a right cross to the head.
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In putting it together in a combination, it will be a high jab, quickly reload into a low jab and then a high cross. You can also use different feints and head movement to set up your entry into the combination. Maybe you land a few of these combinations and really cause some damage with that last high right cross to the head, so your partner is paying extra attention to protecting his head and is keeping his arms guarding up high.
This is the perfect scenario to change the pattern of your level change and look for the double body shot. This combination will begin with a high jab, and in this case it's likely your partner will keep his hands up, willing to take the jab to the body but preparing for that last cross. Instead, you quickly reload and throw that jab to the body but finish low with a powerful cross to the body.
Brandon begins to explain that since these are all linear punches, the target is going to be the solar plexus of your partner on both of the body shots. A double body shot to this area can definitely put somebody down. In the first combination, Brandon states that what he is really looking for is what his partner is doing with his guard when he level changes for the body shot. This will help you to determine both when and where to place that double body shot when it comes time to switch the rhythm of the level changes.
This is a good drill to practice in repetition with a partner while moving around, as it both helps you perfect your timing and it really teaches you to understand what you need to be looking for. This is a great drill to help with efficient movement techniques as well.
Brandon shares another scenario where perhaps your partner was able to block all of these shots. This would be because they are all linear strikes, and would mean he would have to be keeping his guard very tight. What this does is start to open up circular strikes. Brandon says that in this case, one of his favorite additions to the combination is to bring the same side power kick around.
In doing this, you are going to start with your high low high combination. As you land that last high cross, you flow with your momentum and add your right head kick to the end of the combination. If your partner is expecting anything, it is probably either something from your left side and something linear like you have been throwing. This is a great way to add some spice onto the combination.
Get To Know Brandon Gibson!
Brandon Gibson grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and began his boxing and MMA career at a young age. Brandon trained under some of the best, and in 2009 began coaching at Jackson Wink MMA Academy, and coached fighters such as Jon Jones, Carlos Condit, Cub Swanson, and many other high level fighters. While he is one of the younger high-level MMA coaches, he has definitely put in the time and the effort to become the worthy coach in which he is.
In his instructional, Brandon covers a series of different topics. You can expect to see techniques including lean jab setups, teep to power strike series, defensive body shots, defensive trigger drills, and so much more.
If you want the opportunity to learn from a coach who has trained some of the best fighters in the game, this is your opportunity. Don’t miss out on your chance to take full advantage of this professionally tested technique, check out his instructional here!