Hajime no Ippo- Building Up the Dempsey Roll – Real Anime Training

Hajime no Ippo- Building Up the Dempsey Roll

This workout is based on the training Ippo did in order to strengthen the Dempsey Roll before his third and fourth title defenses. He did a lot of training on his own to increase the speed, but Coach Kamogawa pointed out that he neglected the technique’s devastating power, so he revamped the fledgling Champion’s training to better suit the perfection of the Dempsey Roll.

Building Up the Dempsey Roll


  • 3 Mile Run, 7 Sprints Throughout (Shadowbox 15 seconds at the end of each sprint)
  • Weaving Practice- 5 x 1 Minute Rounds
  • Shadowboxing- 3 x 3 Minute Rounds
4-6 Hours Later
  • 100 Push-ups
  • 100 Sit-ups
  • 3 Minutes Neck Bridging
  • 3 Minutes Headstand Work
  • Zig-Zag Hill Sprints- 5 x 100 Yards
  • Catching Tennis Balls- 300 Balls
  • Twist and Reach- 300 Touches
  • One Legged Toe Squats- 30 Reps Each Side
  • Shadowboxing- 10 x 3 Minute Rounds
  • Heavy Bagwork- 3 Minutes
  • Sparring- 3 Minutes
  • 3 Mile Run, as fast as possible (Focus on pushing with your big toe)
  • Weaving practice is essentially just the figure-8 movement of the Dempsey Roll. Try to push the speed as best you can for the minute. The rest period is also 1 Minute.
  • For Zig-Zag Hill Sprints, you should find sprint up a hill at a 45-degree angle and then turn 90 degrees in the other direction. The width of the Zig-Zag should be about the width of a road, or about 20 feet. The point of the exercise is to build the ability to shift your weight and make quick changes in direction.
  • For Tennis Ball Catching, have a partner throw tennis balls to either side of you, alternating sides. Your goal is to catch and drop each one. You should catch the ball, not just knock it out of the air. Eventually, you should be doing this very quickly. The key will be twisting at the waist and shifting your weight on your feet.
  • For the Twist and Reach, you will reach to the right with your left hand and to the left with your right hand to a point that is almost out of your reach, so that you really have to shift your body to reach it. This training should also be done in a fairly quick manner. The key to shifting your body weight will be your ability to stay on the balls of your feet or your toes.
  • The One Legged Toe Squats are rough. If you can’t do them at first, try doing them with both legs. After you feel comfortable with that, you can attempt them with one leg. You’ll need to bend your upper body a little more forward to counter-balance yourself since you’ll really only be on your toes (ideally, just your big toe).  After you can successfully complete the required reps on each side, you can bite down on a cloth tied to a small dumbbell (start with a light weight, like 2 or 3 pounds). After you can do the reps with that dumbbell, you can hold a small dumbbell in each hand, as well. 
  • If you don’t have a sparring partner, you can do more bagwork or shadowbox. 
  • On the last run, I really want you to focus on kicking off the ground with your big toe. Trying to drive yourself forward with every step. It will be more tiring to run this way, but you are doing it for a reason– to build the strength of your big toe, which will strengthen your ability to shift your weight and transmit power from the ground. 
That’s all for today guys. For those of you at this level, I hope you enjoy this one. If you aren’t there yet, just keep pushing!! Until next time, good luck and train hard!
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