Basic Defence, Ducks & Slipping
Ducks are executed by flexing at the knees and coming up in the opposite direction of any punch in a V movement.
This should put you in position to counter into your opponents exposed area. Dont bend at the hips and lose eye contact with your opponent. Keep your hands up throughout the movement.
Small, sideways movements of the head are called slips. It takes good reactions to spot the incoming punch and to move the head out of the way.
Slipping is a good form of defence since the intent is to avoid the attack all together, verses a block or a catch that absorbs a punch. The action also uses less energy than a duck which also moves you from your boxers stance, unlike the slip.
Basic Defence, Jab Catching, Parries & Blocks
As a left jab arrives, place your right glove in front of your face with your chin down.
Pivot your right foot, brace the right leg and catch the jab in your glove. Make sure your chin stays down so your glove bounces off your forehead and not your nose. Catch the jabs as aggressively as your opponent throws them. Recover immediately to your guard position.
Its not a good idea to catch a straight right, as it can cause damage to your hand. Power punches are best parried with a small slap of the left glove where the momentum can carry your opponent off balance and expose them to a counterpunch.
Punches to the body can be parried away by sweeping an arm and deflecting the punch outside, while pivoting and slipping in the opposite direction of the punch.
Blocks, As a punch arrives, simply bend the knees and lower yourself so that your hands are raised to better protect the head. At the same time elbows and arms drop to better protect the lower body. This is not a full-on duck, just a slight bending of the knees. Immediately recover to your stance.
Because it is so essential in the ring, it's important that movement be learned well in the gym. There is no way a punch can be landed if the opponent is not in front of it. This applies to both offence and defence.
Fast legs and the foot movement they generate are the foundation for everything. Movement for the boxer includes, the small steps back and to the side to avoid punches, the circling of the opponent, and the quick in and out movements necessary to counter. The slugger uses movement to constantly apply pressure and cut-off the ring. With practice, movement in the ring becomes fluid, relaxed, efficient and balanced.
All movement originates from and returns to a boxer's stance. The feet should be placed comfortably apart about shoulder width. Your weight should be distributed evenly, and you should be positioned on the balls of your feet. With knees slightly bent, position yourself sideways toward your opponent. Never square your hips toward your opponent. This places you off balance and doesn't allow you to pivot with your punches, which reduces your power. Your hands should be held high and your elbows tucked in to protect the body. Lastly, your chin should be tucked into your chest so that it is protected by your left shoulder and right fist.
The general rule of movement in the ring is to first move the foot that is in the direction you want to go. For example, if you want to move forward, step with your front foot and follow with the back. If you want to move to the left, step first with your left foot and follow with the right. The two most important points to remember is to: 1) stay on the balls of your feet and 2) one foot should be touching the floor always do not bounce or jump.
Whether you are a slugger, a counter-puncher, a boxer, or anything between, solid movement is key to your success. So it's best to learn it quickly and get a good grasp on movement.
The term Orthodox is used for right-handed boxers. The term for a left-handed boxer is Southpaw; the instructions are the same just reversed for the left-handed boxer, who leads with their right hand instead of their left.
The following stance applies for a right-handed boxer;
The chin is tucked into the chest to avoid punches to the jaw, which commonly cause knockouts. Boxers can sometimes be seen "tapping" their cheeks or foreheads with their fists in order to remind them to kept there hands up which is a good reminder.
The other is when you get hit hard in the face; this to becomes a reminder but not one you wish to be told to often!
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
Move your left foot towards your right foot so that your left toes meet your right toes at an angle. This may seem difficult at first. Your feet may end up being staggered, which could cause you to forget about keeping your hips forward. With practice, this stance will feel more and more natural.
With your left foot, step forward about 12 to 15 inches. The toes of your left (front) foot should be pointed between 12 and two o'clock. Raise the heel of your right (back) foot slightly off the floor. Your right toes should also be pointed between 12 and 2.
Check your stance. Your hips should be level, even though your feet are a bit staggered. Always keep your hips directly under your shoulders and directly over a midpoint between your feet. Your body should always work as a solid unit.
Raise your left hand to cheek level. Your palm should be facing your face. When making a fist, close your hand so that the tips of your fingers touch your palms. Rest your thumb against the knuckle of your middle finger.
Carry your right hand at chin level, again with your palm facing you. Make sure that you do not bring your shoulders back up around your ears.
Some things to remember:
When in your stance, keep the heel of your back foot slightly off the floor. Distribute your weight equally between both feet. Do not tip forward onto the balls of your feet. If you feel yourself doing this, distribute more of your weight down through your arches and heels. Make sure to keep your elbows in, pressed against your body. Always remember to breathe deeply.
The main thing to remember when you are Boxing is to breathe through your NOSE and not your mouth.
When you open your mouth too much and try to breathe like that, it leaves you more susceptible to having your jaw injured. Exhale as you deliver all your punches. The tendency is to hold your breath when punching. Not breathing is a bad habit to get into and will tire you out faster.
Be relaxed in the ring and you will not get as tired as you will if you are tight and nervous.
Because of a boxer's stance, the right hand, or left hand for southpaws, allows the punch to be thrown with a tremendous amount of power. The body torque involved in delivering the punch allows for that power. What follows when a well-delivered power punch connects cleanly is a knockout or at least a knockdown.
Some inexperienced boxers, because they can hit harder with it, get stuck in the pattern of throwing nothing but right hands. This is obviously detrimental to the boxer because sooner or later his opponent will be able to time the shots and begin counter-punching.
Additionally, leading with a right hand can be affective, but it is also difficult. It's hard to hit someone with a lead right because the aforementioned body torque usually tips the opponent off that something is on the way, which gives him time to prepare a defence. It's best to set up the right hand with a jab to get a better feel for your opponent's exact location. It also gives your opponent something to think about while the right is en route.
The delivery of the right hand is the culmination of many intricacies. Beginning from the basic boxing stance, drive off the ball of the right foot. With the left side of the body working like a hinge, simultaneously rotate the right hip and shoulder forward as the right arm is fully extended. In this phase of the punch delivery, the right shoulder should be closer to the opponent than the left shoulder, and the fist should turn over during delivery.
Upon full extension, quickly return the right hand to its proper position, and assume the basic boxing stance. There are other considerations to keep in mind while throwing the right hand. The chin should be tucked behind the shoulder throughout the execution. In addition, do not drop the left arm as the right is being delivered, or it will leave the chin exposed to a counter-hook.
A solid right hand can turn the tide of any boxing match. It's a devastating weapon and one that should be practiced until perfection.
Defensive strategies should set-up or lead to an offensive move. This is the only way to get the most out of your defence.
There are three basic defensive techniques. The most instinctive method is blocking. With your hands up and tight, use the fist or outside portion of the wrist to block a headshot. Use the elbow or forearm to block a body punch. This technique works best against long shots.
The second defensive technique is parrying. Parrying a punch involves simply catching it and then pushing it aside. It works best against straight punches. Usually, the right hand is used to defend against your opponent's jab and the left to defend against your opponent's right. Parrying can leave your opponent off-balance since his punch ricochets off your glove and redirects his momentum. This is when you should think about a counter punch.
Slipping is the third and most efficient defensive technique. It also requires the most practice. Slipping a punch consists of bending at the waist and knees so that the oncoming punch slips safely past you. This method leaves both of your hands free for counterpunching and also leaves your opponent off balance. Missing punches also takes a lot out of your opponent physically.
Be sure to dedicate as much time, or more, to it as you do to other aspects of your game. It is a much safer and enjoyable way to approach the sport.
Double And Triple Jabs
Double and Triple Jabs, these are simply jabs thrown one after the other.
Care must be taken to recover properly after each one in order to maximize power. Throwing multiple jabs is an effective way to deliver a combination of punches safely from a distance.
Never forget the hand that isnt punching. While one hand is attacking the other is in the guard position. This is easy to forget when throwing combinations of punches.
Finding Your Range
Your range is the amount of distance between you and your opponent. The use of proper range will allow you to efficiently hit your opponent while also allowing you the time to manoeuvre defensively. Without it, you will either be smothering your punches or missing helplessly.
Range is used when hitting the speed bag, heavy bag and the pads with a coach. The most efficient way to develop it is through sparring. A coach can teach his boxer how to find his range with stance, positioning and movement in the ring, but ultimately, only the individual has the view required to develop this skill.
With plenty of practice, locating your most efficient distance will become more natural, as you constantly adjust to your opponent's movement and control the distance between you. Eventually, range helps dictate the pace and direction of a match. For instance, if a boxer decides he wants to box an opponent, he increases the distance between himself and the other boxer and allows the opponent to move forward. If he decides he wants to slug, he closes the distance and forces his opponent to move back.
It has a dramatic impact on your performance in the ring, so find your range and use it because it can do nothing but help your game.
In boxing, where precision and accuracy are vital, it's important that you take advantage of all you can to make every inch work to your benefit. Head movement is a technique that can help provide those inches and give you the upper hand against any opponent.
To begin with, it allows you to slip, bob or weave your opponent's punch, leaving both of your hands free to counter. Your general ring strategies should include constant head movement, which can throw your opponent's rhythm off, establish a rhythm of your own and the initiation and delivery of your punches.
The term head movement is a little misleading. In reality, your neck moves very little. Slight knee bends and waist adjustments originate the movement. Using your waist as a hinge allows for a full range of motion, or a 360-degree horizontal circle. The slight knee bends provide for vertical changes in your height. When combined, they make for an elusive target. Beginners have a tendency to exaggerate the movement, which wastes energy and is inefficient. With practice, timing and range will be gained, allowing you to avoid punches by fractions of an inch.
It's also important to note that, like everything else in boxing, balance is key to head movement. A strong boxing stance should be learned and established, so that a well-balanced foundation is always present. In addition, hands should always be up and in the protective position when moving your head. This, in a sense, provides double protection because if head movement alone is not enough to avoid a punch, your raised hands will be. Some boxers make the mistake of dropping their hands when they move their head. This may look flashy, but it's an unnecessary risk.
Incorporating head movement into your repertoire is not a difficult task and with practice, will make you better. Head movement is the key element that will elevate you above the rest.
It is the most fundamental offensive (and defensive) punch in boxing. It serves innumerable purposes as a strategic weapon. It sets up more powerful shots, keeps your opponent off balance, dictates the pace of the fight, and buys time for you.
The jab is started from your basic boxing stance. Driving off the ball of the back foot while you step forward, rotate your front shoulder as you execute the punch.
Punch in a straight line making sure your arm is fully extended at impact. Rotate your hand so that your knuckles are horizontal at the end of the motion. Do not forget to keep your backhand up and in the guarded position. Dropping it is a common beginner's error.
After the jab is completed, immediately return to you're boxing stance, with both hands up.
Keep Your Hands Up
Common sense demands it, but time and time again, amateurs and professionals alike, compete with their hands down at their waist.
To minimize the chances of getting hit, your fist should leave its on guard position while your arm is extended for the blow and then immediately return to its original position. Some boxers make the mistake of either leaving their arm extended too long or dropping their fist when they pull it back. Either mistake leaves them exposed and open to counters.
It's important to avoid dropping your hands when you're moving your head to avoid punches. Some boxers rely on one defensive technique at a time. For example, if their head is stationery, they rely solely on the hands and arms to block punches. If they are moving their head, they drop their hands and rely solely on the head movement to avoid punches. If they kept their hands up and moved their head, they would acquire double the defensive protection.
It's obvious that some boxers are able to compete, and be successful at it, even with there hands down. However, it's an unnecessary risk and becomes an unwanted trait, especially if they ever got hurt.
The legendary left hook is the most difficult punch to learn. Unlike the jab and cross, the left hook has a mind of its own. It takes time for most boxers to learn this punch.
Most beginners think the left hook is some sort of sweeping, round-house punch thrown by a loopy left arm. The hook is an inside punch. It's most effective at close range.
The punch begins with a weight transfer to your left side. From the guard position the left elbow is brought up, almost parallel to the floor, so the arm forms a sort of hook. At the same time the fist is rotated either palm down for a very close target or palm-in for targets farther away.
The punch is delivered by a pivoting left foot, left leg and torso sharply to the right in a powerful, one-piece torque action. The arm doesn't move independently, its the whole body move that delivers the punch.
When its thrown properly its one of the most effective weapons in boxing.
Like all punches, the hook accelerates as it tracks to the target, the fist clenches before impact and is sharply returned to the guard position along with everything else that went along for the ride.
This is the original one-two punch combination. It includes a jab followed by a straight right.
The aim is to land a clean jab at the head that lifts the chin so that you can rock the head with a hard right hand. The left jab is thrown, recovered to the guard, and then the straight right is immediately launched and recovered to the guard position.
Throughout the action you should feel solid on your feet. Otherwise you are probably reaching or not recovering properly.
The left jab and straight right followed by the left hook.
This is a very natural flow of punches as the weight shifts from one foot to the other. After the jab and straight right your weight is over the left foot, creating the perfect opportunity to launch the left hook.
The aim is to land a clean jab at the head that lifts the chin so that you can rock the head with a hard right hand, followed by the left hook that finishes the combination with devastating power.
Hand injuries can occur for improperly delivering the punch, such as slapping, not squaring up the hand, or not holding the hand in the appropriate position. If the thumb is not closed over the fist, it is vulnerable to being hyper extended or moving beyond its natural range of motion, especially if this is in combination with poor technique.
Basic wrist strengthening with wrist flexion bending the wrist forward, wrist extension bending the wrist back, and lateral movements side to side can help strengthen the wrist and help decrease the risk of injuries. Three sets of ten in each direction three days a week is beneficial. If you do not have easy access to hand weights, small milk jugs filled with sand work well or you can use canned goods or other light-weight items you have around the house to accomplish these exercises.
Before proceeding into any activity, it is important to stretch. Stretching is equally important for the hands and wrists as it is for the rest of the body. Wrist circles are an easy stretch to help in loosening the wrists. You can also manually stretch the wrist in flexion, extension, and lateral movements.
The running aspect of today's boxing workout has to have many verities, including the traditional distance run.
One very effective running program is SPRINTS. There are many different variations on the sprint program. One of the most popular and effective variations are called "Running Rounds". It is a simple idea, but many times the simple way is the best.
Begin running at a steady pace that can be maintained for three full minutes. At the end of three minutes, the boxer should walk at a fast pace for one minute. After one minute of walking, the boxer should return to the steady run pace for another three minutes, then repeat the fast walk for one minute. Continue to alternate between running three minutes and walking one minute for as many rounds as you want to work. The pace maintained during the run portion should be as fast as the athlete can maintain for the entire round. This program is only effective if the pace is constant for the entire round.
Another great running program that is very good for groups of athletes is called the "Indian Run". It is based on an old Indian technique for covering a lot of ground quickly.
Have five or six boxers begin to run at a fairly fast pace in line one behind the other. As a signal from the coach comes, the boxer at the rear of the line sprints to the front of the line. As another signal from the coach comes, the boxer who is now at the rear of the group sprints to the front of the group. Continue this program for a set time. Three minutes is a good time to start with. As your boxers improve, you can increase the amount of time. As they continue to improve, you can have the last man in the line begin sprinting as soon as the previous athlete reaches the front of the line.
Too many boxers approach shadowboxing as a warning-up exercise. They simply go through the motions, stab at the air, before moving onto the real workout on the bags.
Once you are in the ring, you will be confronted by different opponents who will use many different styles and techniques. If you've already seen this guy, played these situations out and predicted your reactions as you shadowboxed, that puts you one step and one punch ahead of your opponent. Think in terms of combination punching. Without the resistance of a bag or the impact of hitting an opponent to affect your punches, this is the time to concentrate on the importance of throwing more than one shot at a time.
Taking this approach will create a good habit of punching in combinations. It will also help you to become more fluid in your delivery and create better balance between your footwork and hand activity. Do not throw a meaningless punch, without an opponent to fend off or a bag to react to, you have the time and clear thinking to concentrate on the punches you throw. Throwing a lazy jab or a slapping right hand out doesn't help you in the ring, so do not do it in training.
Being meaningful with your punches will allow you to last longer and be more active in the ring. Your hand speed and the force of your punches will increase and the conditioning benefits of your shadowboxing routine and will also improve. Do not forget defence. It is always the first to go. Practicing defensive moves slipping, ducking, and parrying punches.
Be creative. Work at creating different scenarios, different types of opponents, and new fight plans. Three minutes of shadowboxing lasts 180 seconds regardless of what you do with it. Make each movement of the hand count for something. Shadowboxing should be used to set the tone and intensity of what the rest of your workout will be. It should also finish the session to pull together all that you learned that day and help you in your mind.
Uppercuts are for inside fighting and are thrown with power coming from the legs and torso.
They are not wind-up arm punches. From the guard position, dip the left shoulder so that your elbow nears your hip. At the same time rotate the first palm-up. Without cocking the arm back or winding-up, propel the punch with the left side of your body. Accelerate, bang and then recover to the guard position. The right hand uppercut is a mirror image of the left.
Never forget that the hand that isnt punching is still in the guard position and all punching is executed from a balanced boxers stance. This ensures power, accuracy and recovery. Punching off balance is ineffective and risks exposure to counters.
Wrapping Your Hands
A boxer's fist is his livelihood and must be protected at all costs. A proper wrap not only helps pad a boxer's hand, but also supports the ligaments, bones and muscles of his fists. The perfect wrap will help to create a solid fist that can withstand the forceful impact of each punch.
Good hand wraps should always be worn when hitting a heavy bag, double end bag or speed bag. They not only help protect the fist and knuckles from injury, but also help provide additional support for the wrist and prevent painful sprains.
The basic hand wrap is similar to a professional boxing wrap, which incorporates a gauze and tape combination. Professional boxers require a high level of support and an all-encompassing defence against injury.
Hand injuries side line more boxers than any other injury. Because there are so many small bones in your hand. Take every precaution available to protect them. Proper hand wrapping is the best method of preventing an injury that could keep you out of boxing. Recognize the importance of protecting your hands.
Please keep in mind that this is a general guide and other methods do exist.
Your hand should be held open in a relaxed position, with your fingers spread apart. Begin by placing the hand wrap thumb loop around your thumb and be sure that the 'This Side Down' text on the hand wrap is against your skin. Bring the wrap across the back of your hand and wrap around your wrist 2 or 3 times.
Be sure to wrap high enough (2" to 3" up from your wrist joint) on the wrist to maximize support. You want to keep the hand wrap snug throughout this process, but not so tight that it will cut off your circulation.
From the wrist, bring the wrap across the back of your hand and around your palm, then across the top of your knuckles.
Wrap around the knuckle area two to 3 times. From the top of your knuckles, wrap across the back of your hand toward your wrist and around. This will create an x pattern across the back of the hand.
Repeat the x pattern two or three times.
Continue around the palm of your hand to the base of your thumb. Wrap completely around your thumb and back toward your wrist on the palm side of your hand.
It is important to keep the wrap from twisting while wrapping the thumb.
Continue wrapping around the back of your hand to the thumb and once again wrap around your thumb, this time from the opposite direction.
Wrap from the thumb over the back of your hand and around your wrist.
Continue around your wrist, over the back of your hand and through the space between your pinkie and ring fingers. Wrap around your palm back toward your wrist and repeat the steps for each finger.
Be sure to keep the wrap as flat as possible and twist free.
With the last finger completed, bring the wrap across the palm back toward your wrist.
Continue wrapping across the back of your hand toward your knuckles.
Wrap once more around the top of the knuckles and across the back of your hand toward your wrist.
Secure your wrist with the remaining hand wrap. Be sure to wrap it snugly to provide support for your wrist.
Fasten the Hook & Loop closure and you are done.
The finished product should be a secure and protected tightly wrapped hand.
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