Wonderboy’s Weapon - Shuffle Movement
Stephen Thompson has reached the elite level in fighting with a style that many mixed martial arts fighters aren’t taught at all. Using this style, which for M.M.A is considered unorthodox, Wonderboy won and defended multiple kickboxing titles during his undefeated career. Upon entering the M.M.A scene, Wonderboy did not stray too far from his original style. After all, a combined amateur and professional record of 57 wins with no losses tells you that he is doing something right with his stand up game. With a well earned confidence, Thompson took his striking skills to mixed martial arts where he has been displaying its advantages for the whole world.
With speed, and agility, Wonderboy has quickly cemented himself as one of the best strikers in Mixed Martial Arts. With 7 of his 15 wins coming by knockout Stephen Thompson is a force to be reckoned with. The former W.A.K.O Cruiserweight Kickboxing Champion worked with Dynamic Striking to put together his Instructional, "Movement as a Weapon" which will show you how to take all of the fighting benefits of Karate, and implement them into your fight game! Regardless of what striking art you practice, this instructional will help you add variety to your arsenal.
As the video begins, Thompson explains to the viewer that although it may seem basic, and it is, the shuffle movement is part of the foundation of the fighting style Wonderboy uses. Thompson expresses the importance of being able to hit your opponent without being hit yourself stating "If I can hit you before you hit me, I win." He explains that actually being able to close the distance to hit your opponent without them noticing is easier said than done. What is usually seen in the top level fights is exactly what Thompson shows.
This is a walking fighting stance, which consists of a fighter stepping forward with their guard up, as they shift their head and weight over the stepping foot. This style of closing the distance is something often seen in Muay Thai, and is effective when used properly with decent head movement, conditioning, and an unpredictable attack tempo. Even so, Muay Thai fighters expect to get hit, and many mixed martial arts fighters do as well when "wading in" as Thompson describes it. He explains that this amounts to fighting like "rock 'em sock 'em robots."
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“I don't like getting hit" is something you may not actually hear from many fighters, probably because it doesn't sound tough. But any smart, honest fighter will tell you that they don't like to be hit, just as Stephen does in the video. It is foolish to get hit if you can avoid it. This is the reason Wonderboy has been on the end of so many victories in his fight career, he hits without getting hit back. Using the shuffle movement from a solid fighting stance, will allow a fighter to close enough distance to attack their opponent, while simultaneously allowing them to back away quickly if they miss, see a counter, or are done attacking, while maintaining a strong fighting position.
As Stephen starts to explain the mechanics of the shuffle movement, the first thing he checks off the list is a proper fighting stance. Hands up, knees bent, and the back foot's heel slightly off the floor, putting enough pressure to explode forward at any time. Once he is prepared to move forward, Thompson lifts his front foot slightly off the floor, and pushes with his back foot and launches forward into his opponent, landing in an optimal fighting stance for attacking.
While speed is always a factor in throwing techniques, using footwork, and other fighting aspects, Thompson emphasizes the need to move without telegraphing. Telegraphing is the use of unnecessary movement during a technique which alerts a fighters opponent to what the fighters intention is.
In this instance, Stephen states that telegraphing would be lifting your front foot to high off the ground, indicating that you are preparing to move in. Thompson recalls sparring with some of the greatest fighters, including Former Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva who he claims is not the fastest fighter, but since he does not telegraph his movements, it is almost impossible to stop him when he decides to hit you! It is not surprising that Anderson Silva is used as an example of what to do right in the fight game, Thompson ends his talk on the note of emulating Silva, "That's what you want! If you add speed on top of that, you're going to be the best."
As he continues to show the shuffle movement, Thompson suggests performing the footwork in front of a mirror. Following this suggestion, he restates the importance of keeping the feet at a proper distance so that fighters can stay in an optimal punching and kicking position while avoiding takedowns or sweeps. Stephen shows the movement again a final time while putting a spotlight on the fighting stance. With his feet slightly past his shoulder width, pushing off of his back leg while barely lifting his front foot, Wonderboy shuffles forward landing with his feet at the same width. He finishes the clip by showing the viewer how much easier it is to throw their techniques when landing in the proper fighting stance.
While it may seem unorthodox in M.M.A, Stephen Thomposon and others, such as George St. Pierre, another of Thompsons training partners, has proved that shuffle movement can be very effective when utilized correctly.
With his instruction, any martial artist can learn to move like a Champion! Check out Movement As A Weapon, available NOW!