One of the most important skills to learn is to know how to fight out of the pocket. This applies in my opinion not only to sparring (where you train to get it right), but equally when we talk about self preservation.
When you fighting from a distance, you can use that distance to control the pace of the fight. When you are in the clinch, you can use controls to slow down the fight. But in the pocket, is where non of these are possible. The pocket is where all striking guns fire and the pace is furious. Its that moment of standing toe-to-toe and duke’ing it out. During that moment of mano-a-mano, one momentary lapse in focus, or drop of the hand could spell disaster. Knockouts often happen out of the pocket, either in the pocket itself, or when you find yourself pulling out of it. In the end, staying in the pocket, going toe-to-toe with someone takes real guts.
So how do you develop the skills to be able to fight out of the pocket?
This is how we approach it in Crazy Monkey Defense: If you don’t have trust in your defense, and the ability to use that defense to ride the storm, staying in the pocket is just not going to happen. Developing a strong CM2 hand defense, something we developed to both cross the chasm from the outside to the midline where the pocket happens is important. But its not enough!
Your defense needs to adapt to the barrage of punches you will have to ride. This is where Force Field Rotations come in. I developed this style of defense specifically for riding the storm inside the pocket.
At each stage of these strategies, you want to ensure that your structure remains one of first and foremost safety. One of the worst things you can do in the pocket is get hung up on your Ego, and then fight out of frustration or trying to show the other person you have what it takes. Sometimes, the best strategy is to know how to absorb someones blows, let them burn themselves out, and then fight back and end it.