Thursday, May 24, 2012

Medicine Balls and Giants

Before Paul arrived, Alan told me his eye doctor told him to lay off sparring for awhile.  Alan's having some trouble with one eye that needs to be looked after.  Paul came in, and Alan asked if he wanted to spar.  Paul suited up, thinking he was going in the ring with the coach, only to see Alan help Andre Two put on his headgear.  "I'm not going in with him!" Paul declared.  "It's the old bait-and-switch," Alan grinned, then he explained to Paul why he couldn't spar.  Alan told the two of them that he was going to get in the ring with them to referee.

Alan told Paul that he wasn't throwing his jab enough.  Andre Two was moving around a lot, slipping punches left and right.  But the two worked well together, and it didn't turn into a war like when Andre Two was in the ring with Jake several days ago. 

Andre One and Andre Two sparred, and Andre One was doing his get-in-pop-'em-and-dance-away-fast routine.  Andre Two jammed Andre One up in the corner once with a lot of flurries, but that was the only time he got that opportunity.  Both Paul and Andre One pointed out that Andre Two seems to like to take punches.  He'd smile every time they landed some on him.

I notice that too when I sparred with Andre Two.  Some of you are probably shaking your heads and thinking, "What?  Was she crazy?  Didn't she say in an earlier post that dude was about 260 pounds?"  I stepped on the scale in the bathroom when I got home.  The display read 178 pounds.  Still too much for someone who's barely over five feet tall, and on top of that, I gave up 82 pounds to Andre Two.

One of the secrets to fighting someone not only taller but bigger as well is to not try to match them strength for strength.  Remember that fight scene between Bruce Lee and Bob Wall in the movie Enter The Dragon (1973)?  Wall played a guy who was responsible for the suicide of Lee's sister in a flashback sequence earlier in the film.  Wall had to have been over six feet four.  At least he looked that way.  The late Bruce Lee was no more than five foot three or four.  Wall's character thought his strength was going to be enough to take Lee out.  Lee simply reserved his energy, picked his shots, broke his opponent down, then finished the guy off. 

Alan joked as he put a pair of gloves on me, "Andre the Giant."  Paul told me that I would probably get him with my hooks.  "I don't think my hooks are going to have much of an effect on him," I laughed.  Andre Two and I did three rounds, and I spent most of that time looking for openings and taking them when they presented themselves.  Andre Two is very good at slipping punches, so a lot of hooks and straight punches to his head did not connect.  But some of the hooks and uppercuts to the body did.  He'd smile at me and say, "That's good!"

Afterwards, he told Alan, "She hits hard!"  I was surprised to hear him say that because I didn't think he felt any of the punches I threw.  Alan agreed, and I said what I usually say, that I inherited my father's heavy hands.  "Hillari, you hit him more than you've hit other guys in here," Alan told me.

Paul and I threw a medicine ball around.  I hadn't used one of those in awhile, and I forgot how heavy it is to launch one through the air.  Alan told Paul and I to catch the ball with each other's stomaches before throwing it back.  I kept thinking of a scene in a TV movie called "The Great Houdini" (1976) starring Paul Michael Glaser of "Starsky and Hutch" fame.  Houdini had a routine where he'd have guys deliver punches to his stomach.  People would be amazed when the magician seemingly wouldn't be fazed by the blows.  But Houdini did something that involved tightening his muscles before the blow came.  According to the TV movie, Houdini challenged a guy to punch him, but wasn't ready for the blow, and it caused damage.  I felt like that when the medicine ball plowed into me a few times. 

Then Paul and I were throwing the ball across to each other as we ran sideways across the length of the ring.  After a few times, I had to stop.  "I'm not as young as you, Paul," I said, huffing and puffing.  Looks like I need to re-introduce the medicine ball back into my workout.

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