5 Things That Make Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson So Good w/ Tips To Improve

5 Things That Make Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson So Good w/ Tips To Improve

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what's up guys we're back with my series where we look at the best fighters in the world i give you five things that they are exceptional at with training tips so you can become a little bit more like them in the gym and today we are talking about steven wonder boy thompson i've had so many requests to cover him obviously he is super exceptional because he does so many things differently by implementing his karate background and this is something that i can break down for you explain in detail because before i won all the world titles behind me i was a karate practitioner i have a
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fourth degree black belt and although it's been years and years since i've competed in point fighting that kind of style where you bounce around and flick things it's still something that i spent over a decade doing so i can break down his style for you in depth today we are talking about steven wonderboy thompson [Music] all right guys today we're looking at one of the most unique one of the most interesting styles in the ufc not many people have a karate background in
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transition to mma and continue using that karate style striking so we're going to break down all the details of what he does and how you can utilize it how you can drill these things yourself now keep in mind that karate has its benefits but this is not the style that you want to try and adapt for yourself your whole style just like wonderboy unless you already have a background in karate or you know maybe you try out something like a sidekick and you go oh the sidekick it just works for me then sure add it in but don't try and style yourself completely after him because this is
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something that very few people can do or at least effectively there are many people who are great at karate i used to be one of them i was very very good at it all the fancy stuff but then transitioning into something that is actually going to knock people out that is very very difficult so let's start off guys and talk about steven wonderboy thompson's footwork and i want to look in detail at this clip where he cuts the angle and lands the cross now many people are so used in fighting to staying right in front of their opponent they'll stay right across them they'll
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exchange shots because stephen wonderboy thompson is so good already at moving forward and back why not add in the sideways movement and this is something that we were taught very young as karate practitioners which has moved on to many other styles we don't back straight up we back up and we take an angle and having that ability to cut angles that's not an easy thing to do moving backwards is very easy but moving backwards and cutting an angle is far more difficult but if you're very good at it like he is being able to stand here and quickly cut
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an angle is probably not that difficult but the thing that he does really well here is he stays within punch range a lot of times when people cut angles let's say my opponent's right in front of me and we make two arrows pointing out to the side most people when they cut their angle will move into one of these two directions but my opponent if he's right here right within punch range as soon as i move sideways i've now moved completely out of range so what you have to remember is that you move in a circle i do not move from here
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straight out i move out on an angle and i cut very slightly in and that's what he does here so that when he cuts off to the side he's still within punch range he's very very fast at getting his feet under him getting very balanced so it's not push pause punch it's standing here he's moving around and it's push punch although i don't utilize this loads in my fights because kickboxing is a little bit different i have used it many times in sparring because i always like to try out things i'm not great at and become better and better and throughout the years i've found this
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one to be very effective pushing sideways landing the punch although i often go down to the body because i find as i cut the angle their hands raise up which leaves the torso exposed for the body cross the key often on this one is to cut the angle remember not right up to the side but kind of on a rounded 45 degree angle to cut it as you throw a punch if i can flick something out an angle it's that much easier to blind my opponent or i tap them a couple times i see their hands are up they fairly stiff through their legs i cut the angle and i hit and even if i
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don't knock them down from here they have to adjust to face me which gives me time to again cut the angle if i want make it even harder for them to find me or to hit and just exit now when they face towards me i'm out of distance and i'm safe we are trying very often when we're doing footwork not to put our weight through our heels putting our weight through our heels makes us very slow when you see wonderboy move he's not heavy down here i mean this is when my heels are on the ground he's up he's on the balls of his feet and if i'm bouncing imagine if i'm skipping i'm skipping away are the heels
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hitting the ground absolutely not it's all through the balls of the feet same thing when i'm bouncing and i cut my angle all through the balls of the feet be very mindful of that when you're cutting angles be mindful of taking that rounded corner so you're not moving in straight sideways lines cut my angles more not that direction but more like this direction so now i'm still within punch range all right guys point number two i want to talk about steven's sidekick now the sidekick does such a good job of maintaining range and keeping people at a distance
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if they're out of range he can use a little shuffle step to push them back if he's back here and they run in he simply shifts his weight over his back foot and uses the sidekick defensively if you are a kickboxing style striker or a muay thai style striker or somebody in mma who's a little more traditional and you're going oh i want to incorporate the sidekick but it's just not working for me well there's lots of reasons this can happen number one maybe your chest is too square it's very difficult to throw a sidekick from here when i lift i might as well just throw a front kick i have to lift and turn my body sideways to get my side kick going the downside
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of that is it takes longer if i'm already standing sideways it's very easy to lift and snap but if i'm standing here i have to lift turn and then push out much slower and if i stand this direction i'm very very susceptible to the low kicks which is why many people don't do it it works so well for wonderboy because like we said already with his footwork he's very mobile he's very bouncy if somebody goes to approach him or throw the low kick he's fast on the exit in terms of sidekicks the most important thing is being able to throw at this distance
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this distance this distance i don't have one range which i need to be at if i can throw from any of those and hurt this guy it becomes very effective as soon as i can't do that not so effective so what you should practice is right within punch range lifting and kicking outside of punch range again now from here i can either lift and jam them if they're running towards me or i can do a big pivot and a little slide and still hit them that's not a big adjustment and if i'm way back here when he thinks he's safe and i'm out of range
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i have two options option number one is to slide my back foot in as i lift my knee and to get myself within range or i can cross step one foot behind the other and then get myself within range again for that side kick and very often being super aware that my head does not want to be right here especially if i miss the kick i don't want to be coming forward with my head i want to lean backwards to keep myself safe and out of range of any punches this is just a basic technique that you want to be able to perfect to use it effectively something else we
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see wonderboy do which is very very unique is it's almost like a step through cross he's out here his hands are down he comes in he leans his weight way forward and then he does a little step through after and he cuts an angle off to the side taking that step not just going right to here and coming right back out that leaves you open for counters but the reason his is so effective is because as he throws it and then steps he cuts himself off on an angle where it's very difficult to counter he throws that fast explosive punch
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he's out of the way even if it doesn't put anybody down he's gone and because he gets so much momentum into it it's not just simply here and like that he gets his whole weight behind it his whole body weight falling forward it becomes an extra hard punch it doesn't really matter if technically there are some errors to it it works for him i've talked before about some attacks that cover a lot of distance one of them was floyd mayweather style when i throw my cross i step through and i roll under except in that instance i'm dropping my head here and i'm
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rolling off to this side but wonder boy comes to the opposite side stepping through he almost gets his back leg on the outside of their leg which for a second kind of puts him in an awkward position but all he has to do is cut the angle or exit quickly and then he's safe odd techniques like these odd angles sometimes leave you susceptible to counters but for the most part most of the time because you're at such an odd position somebody tells me to you know knock somebody out over here it's going to be very hard for me if i
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go for the uppercut feels odd i don't have a lot of hip rotation so there's not much power if i go through the hook i'm not powerful here at all my shoulder feels like it's over stretching straight punch has nothing and this arm is so far away that it's not going to have much power either it involves me cutting an angle centering my weight and then going for a shot but by that time they're gone let's check out his footwork one more time really really take a look at him stepping in the angle he catches if this is something you want to try and utilize definitely do but be
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very very aware of all the details behind this footwork before you try and implement it i love doing this with fighters taking a look at their techniques that work for them trying to copy them if it works for me great if it doesn't i toss it away and i never use it again now as we said at the beginning of the episode wonder boy has many many elements of his karate style that he's able to utilize in mma and one of the things he does very well with his counters is he almost does it karate style it's very very quick when we used to do point fighting or i used to do point fighting and people would come in let's say they
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flick something at you you block and because you're not worried about power shots or trying to get any power you don't have to worry about twisting your body and the whole mechanics of everything which just slows things down by a tad it's just more block touch block touch as opposed to if i wanted to actually get some power here i'd have to go block and get a little bit more thump behind my arm one two and he is still able to utilize his counters with that explosive speed that would normally not have the power behind them but again he is able
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to hurt people with those counters and a number of times i've talked about what equals power is it the force going through i say no it's the speed and the follow through if i can get this fastest little flick as fast as like a bruce lee style like a pow just if i can get that but instead of stopping here i aim through and now i can keep my arm still you know fairly relaxed as soon as i squeeze my fist tight it's going to slow me down so i'm just nice and relaxed and instead of touching there i just aim through a little bit i try not to squeeze my
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muscles because again that's going to slow me down so i tap i tap i aim through this is a great style of training that you can implement in fact let me show you a drill here what you can do is you can pick up something maybe not this is my my notebook by the way of all the episodes that i film see i don't need this piece of paper nope all right so what you can do is you can take a piece of paper my partner's standing right here i just take this and i'll hold it up and i'll hold it for them and what they're going to try and do is punch this piece of paper so hard so
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fast but not aiming true just aiming to it that they can rip the paper just rip it apart and i've seen boxers high level boxers within my province utilize drills like this except they weren't using paper they were using some other material but it'll still work with this it's just that raw speed as fast as you can hit aim through maybe three inches and pull it back if i'm doing something like that this is here i mean it's not ideal holding for myself because i can't get my full body rotation at all but if i'm holding for myself here and i'm just
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just doing something like that it's definitely going to help me increase my punch speed increase that power and then what i can do if i want to get good at counters like stephen wonderbar thompson i could have somebody hold this they have a noodle in the other hand and they swing it at me and as soon as i block a counter or a block on the other side and then a counter and i just drill like that getting that raw speed down trying to literally rip this paper or this page in half and guys before we get to our last point if you are enjoying the video please give it a like that helps the channel
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helps the video boost it up so much of course get subscribed and let's move on to our fifth and final point and we are talking about wonder boy's karate style springing attacks when i used to point fight one of the things that we did all the time was away from out here i mean everybody had their different fighting style i wasn't somebody who kept my hands way down here i think it's been a while i think my style was just more like this i just have my hands in that position so i could still block but a lot of the guys would just be like this they'd literally swing their arms like that and they were just looking for that moment where they saw the head open
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so they could jump in and spring through or they'd fake up high and just and land those little shots like that wonderboy has sort of kept those around he does spring in explosively but the good thing he does is he does not jump in and stop he exits very quickly and the speed at which he moves forward is fantastic now you don't need to stand in a side stance and bounce with your hands down to utilize this you can just change to this style just to here moving around i'm on my feet and then if i want to spring in i just
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make sure that my hand stays tight my head level does not change not a rabbit jumping up in the air and coming back down i'm simply moving in and that's why those karate guys were so fast they'd go straight to their opponent and then throw their technique so i'm out here i'm bouncing around i want to get there as quick as i can i hit and i exit i come off to the other side maybe i do that step through that we talked about before i hit and i exit and you're remembering that if you're somebody who has a substantial amount of speed
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in your footwork or your hands with single shots that you're going to take advantage of that if you find that when you're in the gym you're moving around you can just touch people you know you're standing there you can spring and touch them maybe you don't need to stand in here and bang and get counter shots thrown at you the way that i do i like to come and move in and let my hands go but i run the risk there of getting countered very hard for somebody to counter you when you're out here and use a bat and then you're back again if you're trying to get better at explosive movement what you want to do first is understand
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range i don't want to do it from here motor within range i don't want to really do it from here either i want to be more of this distance where i'm out of range of my kicks i take something ideally something that's flat but i'm just going to use this for the moment and i just place it down on the ground and i know that i do not get to cross that line so instead of starting up here past my notepad i have to start back here and i bounce around and then when i'm ready and i'm moving i can quickly spring in and get right back out that's the type of drilling wonderboy would be doing
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to get down that explosive in and out motion and of course guys the easiest way to practice getting more similar to somebody is to watch them over and over and over and then get in the gym and actually try to do the same techniques they do but don't get discouraged if they don't work for you this is a very unique style as i already mentioned you might not find that each of the points i gave you today are something that you want to actually add into your own game find one thing that works add it in if the other four don't throw them away at least you got to try them out and you have a better understanding of how they're working and what you can do to defend them if
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you ever fight somebody else who's got that wonder boy karate style so guys that's all for me today if you enjoyed the video give it a like if you have not already get subscribed train hard guys and i'll see you back here soon for another video

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