Should I Memorize the Kickboxing Combinations in Order to Get Better?

I received this question the other day, so I figured I’d post a reply to it here so that others may benefit. The person was going to set about memorizing all the combinations, thinking he needed to do so in order to be more effective.
THERE IS NO NEED TO MEMORIZE the combinations, so don’t weary yourself with such a task.
There is nothing inherently special about each of the combos. There is no need to think, “After I throw a jab and a cross, then I should also throw (fill in the blank)…”
The combinations are created simply to give you TONS of ways to put strikes together. In an actual fight, techniques will simply “flow” based on where you see openings or weaknesses in your opponent. Sure, some techniques naturally follow others, and for various reasons.  For example,  a right cross naturally follows a jab because the jab serves as a distraction and/or creates an opening for the right cross to land.

A rear leg kick might naturally follow a jab too, because you’ve put your opponent’s attention “upstairs” so that the “downstairs” technique (a kick to his leg) will be more likely to land.

A left hook follows well a right cross.  Why?  Because the cross tilts the opponent’s head back and lifts the chin so that your left hook may now knock his chin off of his body.  Well, that doesn’t literally happen, but it sure makes a nice “lever” to shake his brain around inside his cranium!

There are many combinations that do simply “go together”, like peanut butter and jelly.  In fact, almost ALL of the combinations, with the exception of just a handful of “drills”, are put together simply because they DO make sense for one technique to follow another technique.  But that still is not incentive enough to memorize them.

In fact, memorizing them, while being a bit beneficial, has a few drawbacks and is simply not necessary.  For one, the combinations are always written down on your Workout sheet, so you HAVE to refer to them anyway.  To memorize them will simply add fatigue to your brain, and diminish some of the “stress-relieving” properties of the workout.  Why hold all this extra data in your mind?

Also, many of the combinations are very very similar.  Sometimes the techniques contained therein differ only by the order in which they’re performed.  This makes them more difficult to memorize because they lack enough distinction.

Well, the question was asked, “Should I memorize the combinations?”, and the answer is a simple, “No”, so why belabor the point any longer?  Now go have fun with the workouts!

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