Skilled boxer’s bout programming

Dr. Hab., Professor I.S. Kolesnik1
Dr. Hab., Professor L.D. Nazarenko1
1Ulyanovsk State Pedagogical University Named After I. N. Ulyanov, Ulyanovsk

Keywords: boxing, sport training, programming, training experiment.

Background. It is traditional for every experienced boxer to work out a fight plan prior to every bout based on an extensive information about the opponent, his fighting style with the favorite offence and defense actions, distance control, footwork etc.; to find drawbacks if possible and be ready to respond and adjust the fight plan as the situation requires. The fight plan shall be developed with due priority to the timing, range finding and control and the power/ pressure control aspects versus own musculoskeletal system fitness and performance. It should be also taken into account that the competitive stressors may help mobilize the volitional resource and the relevant physiological systems to attain the fight goals. The fight programming and control may be complicated by a variety of unpredictable factors and, hence, the fight plan needs to be reprogrammed/ adjusted as the situation requires so that the opponent’s actions are countered in the most unexpected and successful way. Generally the more detailed is the prior information on the opponents’ fighting style, the more specific, versatile and efficient is the fight plan. In addition, the planned actions and techniques shall be customized to the actual condition of the own muscle groups and the relevant physiological systems – within the efferent component of a boxing bout.

It should be mentioned that performance of the key muscular groups in the training and competitive processes is never stable [3, 6, 7]. The potential backlogs may be offset by a timely and full flow of information about the opponent’s attack and defense styles and preferences to secure a high quality and efficiency of the fight plan viewed as one of the key prerequisites for success. It should be emphasized that the data flow shall be uninterrupted and the data shall be highly relevant for success of the fight plan [2, 4].

Objective of the study was to provide theoretical and practical grounds for a competitive progress securing model making an emphasis on the bout programming and control skills training aspects.

Methods and structure of the study. The bout programming and control skills training model includes a variety of training tasks to facilitate versatile fight control and modeling abilities geared to secure, among other things, its entertaining effects and appeal for the audience that always appreciate unexpected and diverse versions in attacks and defenses [5]. Modern boxing mastery gives high priority both to the fast and precise attacks, timely and efficient defenses and counterattacks. These fight elements are successful and highly appreciated by the audience only when well supported by due bout programming and control skills within an individual fighting style including special tactical and technical algorithms geared to benefit from every situation, every blunder of the opponent by a power punch. An elite boxer shall masterfully apply a wide range of attack and defense tools to provoke the situations when the opponent opens up to give chances for successful attacks. In this context the bout programming and control skills development model of our design offers the following training tasks:

– Straight head punch with a series of defense actions, short-range footwork with distance breaking, then rush close with a straight body punch ‘to the gap’;

– Short-range right low hook with a series of escape/ defense actions to the mid-distance, then sudden rush to the short range and one more right low hook;

– Practice with two sparring partners: straight left to the body, jump to the left, right feint blow with a low hook to the other partner’s body, followed by defense moves and escape footwork;

– Left low short-range hook, right hook to the head and front-shoulder defense; and

– Feint straight left to the head followed by a straight left to the body and escape defense with a right straight punch to the body.

The fight tactics programming makes a special emphasis on the unexpected range variations and accelerations, with the action speed (pressure) mounting by the end of each round; with the sudden breaks in movement rhythms and tempo; domination tactics with single precise punches followed by serial defense actions; pressure to take the initiative and to push the foe to the corner etc.

Results and discussion. The bout programming and control skills training model benefits were tested by an experiment. Sampled for the experiment were Class I/ II boxers (n=39) split up into Experimental (EG, n=20) and Reference (RG, n=19) Groups. The pre- and post-experimental physical fitness of the sample was tested by the following tests: 30/ 100/ 3000m run test; standing long jump test; 4kg shot-put test; and pull-ups on a horizontal bar test. It should be noted that the RG and EG pre-experimental tests found no meaningful differences in the intergroup physical fitness test arrays (р>0.05).

The pre- and post- experimental fight programming and control skills of the sample were rated using a set of criteria, with the subjects required to rate the opponent’s physical, tactical and technical fitness, fighting style, preferred attack/ defense actions; and = individual fight control patterns. The above skills were rated by an expert team on a five-point scale using the following criteria: attack toolkit versatility and efficiency; defense toolkit (numbers of actions) versatility and efficiency; movement speed control skills; range control skills; opponent’s actions reading and prediction (first signs detection) skills; and attack/ defense unexpectedness rates.

The above skills were scored as follows:

  • 5 point skills: comprehensive and excellent knowledge of the opponent’s technical and tactical fitness, favorite range-control tactics and footwork; escapes from the corners; attack toolkit; defense toolkit versatility; and high prediction-driven attack/ defense efficiency;
  • 4-point skills: fair knowledge of the opponent’s technical and tactical fitness, feints, favorite range-control tactics and footwork; and a fair ability to predict the opponent’s actions by the first signs and proactively respond;
  • 3-point skills: insufficient knowledge of the opponent’s technical and tactical fitness; ability to exert pressure to hold the initiative; fair unexpectedness an versatility of defenses/ attacks; and a fair fight plan execution ability;
  • 2-point skills: limited/ fragmentary knowledge of the opponent’s technical and tactical fitness and fitness for the fight; lack of confidence in own fitness for the fight; and
  • 1-point skills: no knowledge of the opponent’s technical and tactical fitness and fighting style; inadequate fight plan unfit for the situation-specific responses.

The RG and EG pre-experimental tests found insignificant differences in the intergroup bout programming and control skills test arrays (р>0.05). The RG was trained in the experimental period as required by the valid skilled boxers’ training procedure recommended by the Russian Boxing Federation [1]; whilst the EG was trained as required by the new bout programming and control skills development model of our design. The pre- versus post-experimental physical fitness and bout programming and control skills tests found the following.

In the 30m sprint test, the RG made progress from 5.36±0.23s to 5.21±0.34s (р>0.05); versus the EG progress from 5.40±0.29s to 5.02±0.30s (р>0.05) in the pre- and post experimental tests, respectively. In the 3000m race test, the RG made progress from 14.40±0.57min to 14.11±0.29min (р>0.05); versus the EG progress from 14.35±0.76min to 13.78±0.30min (р>0.05) in the pre- and post experimental tests, respectively. The same progress of the EG versus RG was found by the other above-mentioned physical fitness tests.

In the pre-versus post-experimental bout programming and control skills tests, the RG showed progress from 2.61±0.19 points to 2.73±0.17 points (р>0.05); whilst the EG made progress from 2.59±0.15 to 3.69±0.21 points (р<0.05). The EG versus RG progress in the bout programming and control skills was verified in practical competitive fights, with the power punches per fight counted by the expert team: the RG and EG average punching power was estimated at 7 and 12 power punches per bout, respectively.

Conclusion. The boxing bout programming and control skills are critical for competitive success, with the sport specialists giving a high priority to the good knowledge of the opponent’s technical and tactical fitness and fighting style including the favorite range-control tactics, footwork, escapes from the corners, attack and defense toolkits versatility and efficiency etc. The new bout programming and control skills training model of our own design was tested beneficial by experiment and may be recommended for application.

The study was completed under the State Research Project # 6.7801.2017/БЧ ‘Performance Control for Individualized Adaptation in Different Sport Disciplines and Classes’.

References

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Corresponding author: ld_nazarenko@mail.ru

Abstract

Initiatives to secure technical and tactical progress of skilled boxers give a high priority to new training process design and management technologies; with new training models, methods and tools intended, among other things, to mobilize the still untapped bodily resources. The study analyzes a competitive progress securing model making an emphasis on the bout programming and control skills training aspects. A fight plan in modern boxing is based on analyses of the available information about the opponent, his fighting style with the favorite offence and defense actions, range-control footwork etc.; to find and employ, if possible, deficiencies in the technical/ tactical patterns. Competitive success in modern boxing largely depends on the boxer’s ability to revise the prior fight plan on the run as required by the unexpected situations and opponent/s techniques/ tactics by fast and efficient solutions. It is obvious that success of the fight plan revisions depends on many situational specifics including the opponent’s position, footwork, style innovations, aggression in offense etc. The fight plan revision may be facilitated by the response action programming for each bout that means that the relevant bout programming and control skills need to be trained to effectively control the opponent’s offence, defense and footwork and respond in a fast and proactive manner. The bout programming and control skills training and testing experiment showed benefits of the new training model of the authors’ design.