Karate champion and elite kickboxer Raymond Daniels has been training in American Kempo and Shotokan karate since childhood.
Having won eight straight National Blackbelt League point-karate titles in his homeland, he has also proved his skill in full-contact fighting, beginning with winning the 2007–08 MVP award in Chuck Norris’ now defunct World Combat League.
Daniels now stars in the world’s top kickboxing promotion, Glory, based in Europe, and boasts a record of 24–2 in kickboxing having won his most recent fight — and many others — with his trademark spinning back kick.
He travels the world to compete and conduct seminars, and recently ran a series of training workshops on Australia’s east coast.
This drill is fairly simple and can even be done on a punching bag or other stationary target if you don’t have a partner to hold the focus mitts.
The idea is that you perform an explosive on-the-spot conditioning exercise followed immediately by a change of direction and explosive leap into a strike such as a Superman-style punch, lunging jab or ‘dive-bomb blitz’ as is demonstrated here.
Your strike should also take you past your opponent to where they can’t easily counter strike.
The initial exercise can be either a full or partial burpee (partial being without the push-up while in the plank position) followed by a vertical, full-stretch jump, or it can be simply a tuck-jump, for example.
The leap is important, though, because the landing preps you to move straight into the next movement — the idea is to reduce the pause between touching down and powering off into the strike.
It’s important to land on the balls of your feet with weight evenly distributed; you absorb the drop by bending the knees, which also loads your legs for the second leap.
Do this drill for however many reps suit your purpose before changing roles with your partner or resting, ensuring that you don’t compromise form.
*Note: The version shown here uses the burpee; the alternative tuck-jump version is shown in the video — download your free In-Site app to watch Daniels’ video lesson.
This drill is essentially a plyometric exercise designed to build the body’s ability to recruit fast-twitch muscle fibres and thus increase your ability to explode from point A to point B.
However, it also teaches this in the context of an effective technique, developing your ability to maintain accuracy and focus when exploding in from out of range to strike the given target.
Regardless of whether you use the same striking method on entry as shown here, the drill also trains the concept of ‘cancellation’, meaning that your end position cancels out your opponent’s counter-strike options, because you are out of the way of their primary bodily weapons, on what is often referred to as the opponent’s ‘blind side’.
See the full drill here.
Andrew Raynor New Hampshire