“…wait now, these are not your grandfather’s mitt drills! Read on!”
"Pad drills are healthy exercises for practice and an important slice toward the big picture. Right lead. Left Lead. Standing. And of “late”- ground. Most people in training just do the classic boxing school versions. In the late 1980s, I saw Larry Hartsell do these and he added "slap-mitt-versions" – standing and clever ground versions. These slaps forced the trainee to cover first and then counter-strike. This was not completely new for ignorant me, but he did a whole host of impressive and creative applications. I just called them Hartsell Slap Drills in his honor since, because they have popped up here and there through time in other systems and have differing nicknames.
To explain a Hartsell Slap Mitt Drill example quickly, a trainer slaps the side of a trainee with a right-handed mitt. The trainee drops his left elbow/arm and takes the blow. The trainer then pulls the mitt back and over on the center line about stomach high. The trainee then hook punches this mitt with his right hand. I realize this might be hard to imagine without photos or a film. Look below at this sample we shot for a book in 2001. These can be down with the jab, cross, hook, uppercut and overhand, standing, kneeling and on the ground.
So…right, left? Jab, cross? Let’s take the common punch. Did you know that many military courses for many decades did not designate the difference between a jab and a cross? They just called it a “punch.” A "punch" from the right side and a punch from the left side, no matter the blading of the body was just called a punch. This simple approach does help through various drills, but in other courses, certainly modern ones, people (me too) like to fine tune training and use the lead shoulder jab and the rear shoulder cross definitions when possible, because they do offer differing training drill opportunities. Of course if you are doing boxing-based programs you absolutely need the “jab-cross” distinctions. But when “MMA-ers” get down on the ground and ground n’ pound? There really are no right or left shoulder forward leads. Just…punching.
But, what of citizen self-defense, security, police and military? Are stand-up, sport, boxing mitt drills alone the best we can offer them? No. We can add more. First off,..."
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