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Shadow Boxing Strategy for Combat Sports

Shadow Boxing
Shadow Boxing

Shadow boxing strategy for combat sports, what you need to think about during the vacuum, strategies for when practicing the void.

What do you have to think during the vacuum?

Here’s the shadow boxing strategy to help you in this important workout.

Shadow boxing is a fundamental exercise in boxing and more generally of all combat sports. During the vacuum you have to perform all the normal techniques of your discipline directing them towards a hypothetical imaginary opponent.

This is a virtually irreplaceable exercise:

  • it is not necessary to use an opponent (it is an individual exercise); but you can always do it in pairs.
  • does not require any tool.
  • It can be performed by many athletes at the same time even in a small gym.
  • allows you to try the moves before a match.
  • it’s a great way to warm your whole body.
  • it can also be used as a de-fatigue.

This exercise can be done by inserting many variants:

  • You can perform the vacuum in front of a mirror, so you can self-correct (not always do)
  • You can wear weights at the ankles, tie them (to condition yourself not to enlarge your legs too much), grab light weights with your hands, etc.
  • Etc.

But now the focus of this post is not to explain what shadow boxing is but to help you in the mental processes while running the vacuum.

What do you need to think about during the void (Shadow boxing strategy)?.

It’s about viewing, you can imagine the whole match, all your strategy, you can imagine a place, a scene, there are no limitations to the imagination but the important thing is to work on your shots, your defensive skills and your strategy.

But how can you improve your defense by fighting an opponent who isn’t even there?

The trick is right in the view.

When we really visualize something, you don’t just have a vague image of shape and silhouette because when you take the time to seriously visualize something in the eye of your mind, you start to have a level of detail that you find in a realistic dream.

Reach with your eyes open as a hypnotic and trans-competitive state.

  • Remember the last dream you had?
  • What are the items near you?
  • Remember how the level of detail deceived not only your sense of view, but also touch, to the point of believing that the experience was real?

Shadow Boxing Strategy for Combat Sports Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport

Just as the muscles in our body respond to a dream, our muscles will also respond to a highly constructed visualization.

Ps. Now it doesn’t mean you have to train to fight without actually sparring, it’s okay the dream but the reality is the one you have to face.

Athletes who have been practicing shadow boxing for months continue to use it to practice their attack, evasive, defensive and combat strategies.

They visualize their opponents from all angles, attacking them with clean combinations and with movements and footwork as if they were really fighting, responding to multiple situations imagined with shots, dodges, parades and exits with evasive maneuvers.

They then built exercises that they practiced through a series of internal/external drills.

Why do I tell you outside?

Because after practicing the drills with visualization it is essential that you try them with a training partner.

Try this exercise because you’ll be happy to find out how much their visualization tutorials prepare you for working with a real training partner.

After practicing the weight shift pivot during the shadowbox round I knew for myself how to redirect my partner when we worked together on these exercises!

There are no limits to what you can imagine! Although you should always do something targeted.

You can imagine doing the shadowboxing by dividing it in the rounds as if only with all the parades/dodges/footwork, you know, then in the next round insert arm shots, and then finally a third round where you enter the leg shots and projections, much depends on the martial art for which you train, you may also have to do shadow boxing rounds even with weapons if your martial art involves the use of weapons, as in kali for example you should do it with knives and sticks.

Now regardless of your art what you need to understand is that shadow boxing is your internal view, a kind of hypnotic auto workout to display your status.

You have to perform it at maximum power and energy,your opponent is real even if no one sees it because it is in your mind.

This means that you have to move fast, dodge shots with intention, hit effectively, leaving nothing to chance.

Shadow boxingTo help you in this work I want to give you three tips:

Imagine your worst opponent

This method makes you work on your fears, you have to display your worst opponent, the one with the features and with the shots you fear the most.

Its characteristics must be the most challenging and that worry you the most, build your strategy, your combinations, your defensive skills, etc.

Ps. Of course you have to try that strategy in sparring, but after several sessions of vacuum you will be easier to implement those strategies at a time like sparring where it is more difficult to think because the opponent is real and the shots are true.

Imagining three opponents

One of the methods to keep a sustained rhythm during the void without making too much effort is to imagine not an opponent but a series of opponents, duo or three, this way of viewing automatically forces you to move a lot.

This approach is very good for footwork and dodges/parades.


Ram Muai Music

This approach consists of 3 or 5 rounds of vacuum with traditional Thai music that each round changes the rhythm into a hypnotic crescendo.

The random rhythm of this music helps you to “frame” your techniques without a precise pattern and the pace that goes to increase speed allows you to maintain a correct fighting pace making your vacuum effective and profitable.

Also in this case you can make a free void where you try all your techniques or targeted on footwork / parries and dodges, or view the match perhaps imagining your own and peculiar characteristics of your opponent if you know them, or imagine Buakaw Pramuk as an opponent.

Ps. better that it’s just imaginary.



Now what I want is that you start if you do not already do it to practice the void constantly, you will see that with the passing of the days doing shadow boxing it will be easier for you to imagine and visualize your opponent and the place where you are fighting, it will seem more and more real and you will discover how much energy and how much sweat this “simple” exercise will make you do.

An important thing is concentration, who sees you externally making the void must see in your eyes that you are not there, as when you look at someone who is over-biased, is there but is not there with his mind.

Good shadow boxing strategy!

Stay Tuned!

Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport


Written by Andrea

Instructor and enthusiast of Self Defence and Fight Sport.

# Boxing / Muay Thai / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling / CSW / MMA / Method & Training.
# Self Defence / FMA / Dirty Boxing / Silat / Jeet Kune Do & Kali / Fencing Knife / Stick Fighting / Weapons / Firearms / Strategy.

Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport!

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