The Breakdown: Coach Christiaan’s Pull Combo

The Breakdown: Coach Christiaan’s Pull Combo

If  you have been to Coach Christiaan’s class, you are most likely familiar with his primary training combo. This combo does not feature any punches, but a set of defensive movements. Today I will focus on the breakdown of this defensive combo. The Combo: Pull. Roll Right (Backwards). Roll Left (Forwards). Roll Right (Backwards). 

When showing the combo, Coach Christiaan uses hand motions as signals for which movements. A straight punch target near your head shows the pull, the goal is the lean back to avoid. Focus on the premise of moving your chin away from the fist. This movement will feel awkward, but the goal is to make it look like a natural movement. 

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    The next hand motion is an overreaching hook with the left hand. This signal shows a roll to the right, a backward movement. With this roll, be sure to take a step backwards as you move. A part of boxing is knowing when to move and when not to move your feet. Besides the pull, this combo is a MOVE IT combo. However, instead of taking larger steps, focus your energy on moving ever so slightly back. Small movements are more effective to conserve energy and creates the distance between you and your opponent. A millimeter makes all the difference. 

    The following movements are rolls: One forward and one back. Signaled by an overreaching hook with the right hand is the left roll. Like the previous movement, as you roll take a slight step in that direction. The third roll is backwards and follows the same premise of the first backwards roll. 

    Now that the pieces are together, put it together. Pull. Right Roll. Left Roll. Right Roll. While he teaches the combo in this order, Coach Christiaan does not use this pattern. He will mix it up like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music: “Once you have these notes in your head you can sing a million different tunes by mixing them up”. While our notes are defensive movements, the lyric emphasizes the core philosophy of Coach Christiaan’s teaching. Coach Christiaan wants to teach people to fight, not to go through the motions of an aerobic, cardio exercise. A fight is unpredictable, intense and fast, so Coach Christiaan’s classes have to follow suit. Therefore, this combo’s pattern is unpredictable, intense and fast. However, the coach expects you to maintain a natural flow and movement throughout the drill. Coach Christiaan upped the ante on Simon Says, but I guess life did too.

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