The Importance of Shadow Boxing in MMA

Despite what you’ve been led to believe, one of the most important MMA techniques that you can apply during training is shadow boxing. Visualizing how a fighting scenario would play out is important as it trains your mind how to react to certain situations. When practicing, it is important that you work on your combinations as well as practice your moves as if you were performing them on a physical opponent.


Shadow Boxing 101 – What to Know

Boxing is a great way to perfect your fighting skills, and can be used to put together all of the techniques that you have learned as a fighter. When shadow boxing, be sure to focus on individual techniques as well as combinations. This training technique can be a great way to
warm-up for a fight, as well as isolate different aspects of your standup. For example, you can shadow box for two minutes by isolating certain movements, retreating, advancing, or creating punch/kick combinations. Note that all of this is done against an imaginary opponent, and although nobody is actually there, these MMA techniques work wonders at building your reaction time and offensive/defensive repertoire.


Shadow Boxing Tip #1: Start Slowly

This isn’t just about moving as quickly as you can, nor is it about how many combinations you can complete within a pre-specified amount of time. Shadow boxing should instead be used to slowly master techniques that you already know. For example, if you’ve been working on a Jab-Cross-Hook Combination with your coach then focus on these same technique while shadow boxing.

Tip #2: Focus on All Aspects of Your Standup

Just because there isn’t an opponent punching back at you, doesn’t mean that you should practice good defensive posture when shadow boxing. Good MMA techniques to remember would be to keep your chin down (so that you create a smaller target for your opponent) as well as keep your feet about shoulder’s width apart (so that you have more balance). If you utilize poor posture when shadow boxing then this is going to manifest into your overall game, and can negatively affect your techniques. Remember the golden rule: just because you aren’t being punched at, doesn’t mean that you should “act” as if you were. Keep a good defensive posture when you are shadow boxing.


Portland MMA Technique: Counter to Right Thai Kick

Parting Thoughts

On a final note, make sure that you don’t overextend your punches or kicks when shadow boxing. Since you have nothing to absorb your punch’s energy, there is a chance that you could throw out a shoulder or elbow. Focus on swift and precise punches instead of haymakers. Not only will they increase your technique but they’ll decrease the likelihood of an injury while shadowboxing.