At the beginning of the Speed 1 post, I alluded to the illusion of speed, brought to mind by a post on Marks Training. One attribute that great fighters have, or used to have, is excellent timing, which makes a fighter extremely fast, or at least appear so. Certainly, if your opponent has superior timing he/she is on you in a flash and you end up on the receiving end.
Roy Jones Jnr was/is a great boxer, and his timing was/is great. Being a bit of a showman he’d mess around a lot but his timing, combined with his natural speed, not only got him out of trouble but tended to put the other bloke in a spot of bother. Here’s a highlight clip which illustrates this nicely.
When watching this sort of clip its easy to get caught up in the fighters speed or his larking around. But if you watch closely, you will notice that he always seems to know when to hit and has time to do so. He even uses the dancing/showmanship to put the other fighter off guard and lure him in. Moreover, he uses the silly movements as a plyometric action to load the shot that follows.
He times his actions off the other fighters movements, or jumps in between his opponents movements and then overwhelms them with his strikes, or strikes and moves out (Steve Morris refers to this as syncopation; inserting a beat between two beats). Jones doesn’t stop either, so that he is always somewhere his opponent can’t hit him, or at least can’t get to hit him enough to cause any real damage.
Jones was/is very good at inserting his movements into the interval of time of his opponents, whatever that movement maybe, he uses the whole repertoire. He syncopates on the other fighters actions with whatever movement or strike he desires.
The clip clearly illustrates exceptional timing on the part of RJJnr, or put another way, it illustrates the insertion his efforts into the interval of time between the strikes of his opponent. The second part of this post will attempt to describe a Morris Method drill designed to develop timing and exploitation of the interval of time.