There are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely – or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose. – Oscar Wilde
This quote above applies equally to the ring as it does to daily life. There are moments in the ring where you have to choose between succumbing to another’s rhythm, following their lead, taking their punches or letting their will power be stronger than yours. You can shut down the part of yourself that wants to come out, to be effective, to stand up and be heard no matter how it might look, or you can entirely commit to being yourself, carrying out your game plan and imposing your will upon your opponent. It is a choice and that choice must happen in a split second.
One way to practice this concept is to commit to delivering certain combinations no matter what. I’ve been working on this with a friend on focus mitts and also in sparring. I am amazed at how difficult it is to commit to doing what you have set out to do no matter what. I’m used to doing it in life, but am trying to catch up in the ring.
Example: I am going to deliver a 1-2-1-2 the next time he throws his jab. He throws his jab and I commence with the combination. In the middle, he starts to deliver a 2-3. Here is my test. Can my will power and intention to deliver the rest of my combination be stronger than his, even if it connects with me? And, if I fail the first time, do I have the courage to stick with it and try it over and over until I find out how to be successful?
This is a great exercise to practice over and over again. It teaches you how to commit, how to stay focused, how to stick with a plan no matter the attempts at derailment and how to engage your body throughout the entire punch combination. It also teaches you how to be interested in being successful until you are. That to me is a priceless lesson and worth the repetition in training!