Fight analysis: Shinergy[battle] autumn ’11, Andy VS Gerhard

Today I’ll cover quite an interresting fight:
Andy M (Shinergy[stadlau]) VS Gerhard (Shinergy[zone vienna])

Now this fight is interresting in that winning wasn’t an option for Andy to begin with. You see, Andy was pretty badly handicapped by knee pain, so he was in no condition to throw kicks. To make things even more challenging, Andy competed in the adults division despite only being 16 years old. Also, it was only his [second] tournament (and third fight), while Gerhard took gold at a previous Shinergy[battle]. Hence, basically all advantages (bigger technical repertoire, weight, experience) lay with Gerhard. Knowing all this, we decided to treat the whole thing as a specialized sparring session rather than a tournament fight. Andy’s task was to out-box his opponent and resist the temptation to throw any kicks whatsoever at all cost. Now while this approach sometimes actually leads to success in kickboxing bouts, it takes quite a big advantage in another area (experience, conditioning, speed, etc) to compensate the lack of a whole distance. For all the reasons stated above, we couldn’t rely on such a compensation.

On a more positive note, I had my team work really hard on their counter skills in the weeks before the battle. Also, Andy boxed a lot with 10oz gloves, so his striking has improved greatly. Training in 10oz gloves and competeing in MMA gloves has it’s pros and cons, of course. One the one hand, sheer striking speed and power greatly improves since the body is conditioned to move much bigger weights. On the other hand, as bigger gloves offer more protection, a proper guard and quickn block and parades might suffer. So, in a nutshell, while offense goes way up with that approach, there’s a good chance defense goes south. As you might have seen from the previous posts ([Andy], [Felipe]), however, our ruleset definately favors the offensive fighter over the defensive one.

Unfortunately, despite best efforts to spare the knees, pain did kick in during the fight. This becomes pretty apparent at 01:30 in clip #3. Being a fighter, however, Andy refused to give up.

Having said all that, let’s take a closer look at Andy’s performance.

Clinch posture: Ok, now this will sound familiar if you read my analysis of [Felipe]’s fight. Take a look at 00:44 – 00:46 in clip #1. Andy closed the gap with an indirect counter, clinched and landed some knee strikes. So far, so good. However, he got hit with a hard right hook before establishing a solid clinchinch position. Andy should have put his head just next to Gerhard’s, get a grip on the head and pull it down. Easier said than done, of course, but if it were easy they’d call it soccer, right? Then, at 00:56, you can see a textbook clinch set-up: right jab to create a window of opportunity, head forward, left arm takes the inside lane to prevent counter strikes on that side. Personally, I think Andy should have kept the clinch up rather than giving it up after the first knee strike, but honestly I can’t remember the situation – could be Ronny intervened and sperated the boys.

Timing: Andy definately has a good eye, especially when you consider his relatively short training experience. Still, there’s been a lot of missed opportunities. From a BJJ instructor I once heard that „everything the other guy does is a mistake. It’s up to you to take advantage of the situation.“ Take a look at 00:07, 00:25, 00:35, 01:03 or 01:05 in clip #1 and pay attention to the details. Did you notice what I’m after yet? If not, watch the clip again and observer Gerhard’s kicking technique. Virtually every kick is initiated by a lead foot step. This step takes up valuable time, time that Andy could have used to rush in with flying fists or just shuffle backwards or to the side. Attention to the details can make a huge difference. Countering those kicks indirectly would have been hard, as Gerhard maintained a solid posture most of the time. Hence, a direct counter could have been the solution.

Striking: Now most of the time, especially in the first round, Andy did a good job at close quarters. Used solid striking set-ups to get into the clinch and work from there. However, on those occasions where Gerhard wouldn’t fall for the set-up but rather take a stand and brawl it out, technique went way south. To illustrate the point, watch 00:54 – 00:56 in clip #3. Too much wild swinging and flaying. If you pay some attention to this while watching the fight, you’ll easily find a couple of occasions where both fighters more or less forfeit all technique. Again, this is coupled with a loss of overview that results from not tucking the chin to the ribcage. I’ve covered this concept thouroughly [here] and [here], so I won’t bother putting it up again.

All in all, Andy did a good job and I’m pretty proud of him. Of course, there’s still plenty of room for dramatic improvement, even with those knees. Also, I’m convinced that those knee problems will not remain a permanent condition. Once we’ve dealt with that issue, Andy’s performance will probably skyrocket. I’m really looking forward to seeing him compete again soon.

Next up: Michael VS Tino, stay tuned!

So long,

take care

Clip #1 Clip #2
Clip #3 Clip #4

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