So I'm currently on vacation and wanted to change up my morning work out. One of the brown belts at my BJJ school is a TKD black belt, experienced in muay thai, boxing and some wing chun when he was younger and has fought some amateur MMA matches. He teaches TKD and BJJ and is giving lessons to a few guys, so I have decided to join in this morning.
I have zero striking experience. I tried Muay Thai classes a few years back, but there wasn't a beginners class and I got tossed in way over my head. I was sparring on the first day with experienced guys looking to land head kicks and hard punches. I ended up deciding I was going to get hurt and that would impact my BJJ training, so I stopped going. The closest thing I have to experience is ten years or so of competitive fencing, which has taught me the basics of footwork, distance and timing. But it isn't a striking art, so I have a lot to learn.
My instructor is starting me out in boxing, just learning the basics of punches, defensive hand work, head movement and the like. Worked with a guy on his first day also, but had done some Muay Thai in the past. Worked on throwing basic combinations and defending against them.
At the end of class there was some light sparring and I got some insights on what I need to work on. My footwork is heavily fencing influenced so I work a very active, in and out style (if you stop moving in competitive sabre your dead) and I work in a southpaw stance despite being right handed. Clearly my technique is a work in progress as it was my first day, but clean punching from the ground up while moving is something I need a lot of work on.
Also tactically speaking I notice my fencing background was appearing in another way. When I wanted to set up an action, they worked fairly well. Feint to draw out a jab, parry, and then lead hook for an example. But that was as far as I though ahead, and my instructor was clearing thinking in terms of three, four strikes at a time. So when my actions worked I landed a tepid, glancing, technically flawed blow, but when his actions worked I was getting hit cleanly two or three times. Other than that the basics can always be worked on; keeping my hands up, throwing proper punches and remembering to move my head.
All in all, I had a blast and will keep learning for the rest of my vacation.