Today I’ll show you my favorite MMA body shot – The Cross.
When I target the body, I do middle kicks, I do knees and stab kicks. When it comes to punches, the cross is by far my most favorite punch to the body.
It is very simple but that doesn’t mean it’s not very effective. I think the simplest things are often the best. Here are the drills:
DRILL #1: HEAD-HEAD, HEAD-BODY
This drill is stationary and you can do it both against the same stance opponent and the opposite stance opponent. First, do a jab – cross to the head. The opponent will defend by using elbow covers.
I’m making him think about his head so he has to protect it. After that, I do jab to the head – cross to the body. Always go back after the punch.
Start with weak punches and later we will add more power in one of the drills.
When you go down for the cross, use the gravity in your favor, meaning punch downwards a bit. Don’t just squat, hit and get up.
Also when you go down for the cross, move your head sideways a little bit so you’re off the center line. That way you will be less susceptible to opponent’s punches.
Do it five times (head-head, head-body is one time), then it’s your partner’s turn. Do it a couple of times.
DRILL #2 – HEAD-HEAD, HEAD-BODY + EXIT
This is the same drill as the one before, only this time your partner will fire off punches after your cross to his body, and you are going to exit safely. As they say in the start-up parlance – you need an exit strategy.
You could use several methods to protect yourself – the long guard, elbow covers, weave out… Whatever you do, make sure that you’re using some of these techniques and that you’re circling away.
Your partner’s goal shouldn’t be to knock you out after the cross to his body. He should just fire off a few punches sharply, but not with the intention of hurting you. They should be fast and strong enough to shock you but not hard enough to hurt you, so you get the proper stimulus to defend yourself.
Start slow and stationary, and later you can do it in motion.
DRILL #3: DUMMY DEFENDING THE HEAD ONLY
This drill is all about firing off single punches and combos to his head and then firing off the cross from time to time to the body. He is going to play a dummy that is going to defend his head only. You don’t have to do too many punches to the head, but make sure you mix it up and go for the body occasionally. Like with previous drills, the goal is to make him think about protecting his head.
You can do that for five minutes and then it’s your partner’s turn.
DRILL 4: CONDITION THE BODY TO TAKE STRIKES
This drill is all about toughening the body up to take strikes. I already did a video on this subject and you can find it here.
Punch the partner gradually, meaning increase the power of your punches gradually. Make him uncomfortable but not so much that it hurts him and he falls down.
You’re definitely going to get hit in a fight, and you need to be ready for it. Unfortunately, we cannot condition the chin or the brain, but we can strengthen the body, and we should.
Your partner can either stand in his stance or with hands down. It doesn’t matter. I’m going to stand one step away from him and start punching. He should contract the muscles when I hit him and preferably exhale.
It is important to communicate. He will tell me if I should hit harder or softer. Hit the solar plexus or the stomach and avoid hitting the liver or the spleen.
You shouldn’t allow yourself to be hit in a fight, but since that will happen for sure at some point, then it is good the be ready for it. This drill will help you with that.
Do it for 20 times each, and then again a couple of times.
How do you like my favorite MMA body shot? What is your favorite body strike?
Let me know in the youtube comments.