Fight analysis: Shinergy[battle] autumn ’11, Gabriel VS Fabio

Finally got a hold of video that covers all fights of the Shinergy[battle] autumn cup ’11.
In the coming days, I’ll post those videos, one at a time. Also, I’ll give a short technical and tactical analysis for each of those fights.

I’m totally aware it’s always easy to sound smart when analyzing a fight, whereas it’s a totally different game to actually fight. However, since I absolutely know what it’s like to lose a fight (there’s enough video footage here on this blog to prove that), I ask you not to see my commentary as criticism, but rather an attempt to offer advice.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at fight #1,
Gabriel (Shinergy[stadlau]) VS Fabio (Shinergy[liesing])

The bout was under point/stop rules, so after each clear hit the fight was interrupted for a moment.

Since I’m Gabriel’s trainer and coach, I’ll first take a look at his performance.

When it comes to dominance and aggression, the fight definately goes to Gabriel. Those short, rapid-fire push kicks defaintely worked. Also, Gabriel did a good job following up his attacks with punches whenever Fabio gave him an opening. From a technical point of view, however, there are some points that need to be adressed:

  1. Guard: Gabriel’s guard was way to open most of the time. Just take a look at 00:05 – 00:08 in clip #1. Those counter-punches shouldn’t have hit home so easily. Which brings me to point #2.
  2. Distance: Look at the good semi-contact fighters – they don’t do frontal (mae-geri/ap-chagi style) push-kicks but rather rely on rapid-fire side-kicks (something more yoko-geri/yop-chagi like). This way,the kick has a longer range and gets harder to counter with punches.
  3. Center of gravity: Most of the time, Gabriel’s center of gravity was too high. By keeping his center of, he surely can move quickly, but there’s clearly a lack of stability.
  4. Forward drive: Sometimes Gabriel was too reluctant in terms of forward drive. Especially in situations when the boys got into boxing distance, there was something of a break. In that distance, you better stay moving – strike, clinch, retreat, whatever. Just don’t stand there and get hit.
  5. Position: Fabio occasionally got past the push kick and put Gabriel into a very undesirable position. A more experienced fighter could have dealt some serious damage from that attack angle. Gabriel definately needs to find some way to secure his kicks.

Apart from the rapid-fire push-kicks, Gabriel hit home with some really good front leg push-kicks, mostly as direct counters. This somehow makes me proud as we’ve been working on this very type of counters for quite a while. At 1:01 in clip #1, there’s even a nice front kick to the head. Talking about direct counters, take a look at 01:28-01:30 in clip #2 – now that’s what I call a direct roundhouse counter.

From a tactical point of view, there’s an obvious change of gears at around 01:00 in clip #1. Up to that point, Gabriel clearly was the aggressor and dominated the center of the octagon. After that first minute, the fight got much more balanced and Fabio even managed to drive Gabriel from the mat. Gabriel did well both offensively and defensively, but I doubt that change of pace was his decision. Over the next sparring sessions, I’ll have him fight rather offensively and assess his endurance. Don’t think there’s a problem with that, but I’ll better make sure.

Now, let’s take a closer look at Fabio’s performance.

Technically, there’s pretty much the same to say here I already pointed out when analyzing Gabriel:

  1. Guard: Most of the time, Fabio’s hands where anywhere but where they belong.
  2. Center of gravity: Fabio’s stepping was too light, in my opionin. Too much bouncing. It’s impossible to act if your feet aren’t connected to the ground.

Tactically, the situation looks a bit different:

  1. Area management: Now basically we’re looking at the very opposite of what was said about Gabriel: before 01:00 in clip #1, Fabio was constantly on the run, retreating. After that point, his forward drive improved. For me, round #2 was pretty much balanced in terms of forward drive.
  2. Strategy / defensive: If you take a look at 00:06 – 00:08 in clip #1, Fabio pulled off a pretty good indirect punch counter. Basically he moved backwards and towards Gabriel’s open side (i.e. Gabriel’s right side, as he was attacking with the left foot). Once he saw an opportunity, he stepped in with a long jab. Nicely done. At 00:12, Gabriels attacks in the very same way again, only this time Fabio tries to escape to the closed side, which basically is a good idea as Gabriel can’t land any punches when Fabio positions himself at an angle to the closed side. However, the evasion was way too early, so Gabriel had all the time he needed to repositon and alter his attack’s direction. Evasive maneuvers against an inside-lane kick (front-, side-, axe-, backkick) need to be precisely timed, otherwise they’re useless.
  3. Strategy / offensive: I think Fabio’s decision to take the aggressor’s part was the right one. However, most of his attacks failed because they were either carried out linearly or from an improper distance. When I talk about a ‚linear attack‘ I mean an attack that’s carried out from a neutral position (i.e. both combatants are in equally beneficial positions) and is not predeceded by a feint. Most of Fabio’s attacks were stopped by Gabriel’s lead stop kick. A way for Faio to avoid those kicks would have been to feint, wait for Gabriel to counter and take advantage of his resulting loss of posture. When trying to close the gap, Fabio just stepped forward instead of feinting or throwing techniques. Take a look at 01:14 – 01:15 in clip #1. That’s exactly what I mean. To qoute Mike Terry from the movie Redbelt – „Don’t stand there“. In case you haven’t seen that flick, make sure to grab a copy at your local video store and watch it ASAP. This is a definate must-see. Anyhow, you really should not stand in a distance where you can get hit. Once you get there, you strike first. Period.

So, to finally bring this post to an end: Both boys did well. They really did, especially when considering their age (Fabio: 14, Gabriel: 16), their training experience (don’t know about Fabio, but around 3 months for Gabriel) and the fact that this was their first fight. Still, there’s a lot of work before them. Me, for my part, I look forward to assisting Gabriel on his way and seeing him compete again.

Clip #1 Clip #2

Next up: Pierre VS Andy. Watch out.

So long,

take care

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