Boxing Tips

Boxing tips and techniques ranging from beginner to advanced that will help develop boxing skill and strategy.

Boxing Tip #24 - Avoiding the Power Hand

Photo by familymwr

One of your biggest advantages in boxing is being able to move. You don't have to stand still and get hit. Footwork is extremely important, but even more important is knowing what to do with your footwork once you master moving around the ring.

If you move, you can move either closer to your opponent's power or away from it. Move closer and there is a good chance he is going to use it, but if you move away from it, you nullify it. He isn't able to use it. Sounds obvious, but sometimes obvious isn't so obvious - if that makes any sense.

Anyways, if you're faced off against an orthodox boxer, they are going to be jabbing you with their left hand meaning the left side of their body is going to be closer to you. They are holding their power in the rear right hand. So what do you think happens if you circle that opponent to your left?

If you answered that you give him a better chance to hit you with a straight right - give yourself a gold star. If you didn't, let's break it down for you.

Boxing Tip #23 - How to See a Punch Coming


Is the Hand Quicker than the Eye?Picture by Son of Groucho

One of the How to Box members, Dennis, recently asked a question:

Is it possible to explain how the hand is quiker than the eye and how to deal with the punch you cannot see coming?. Your defence must be good of course but how do you take advantage of this physiological fact. I assume that combinations and power punching produce this knock out punch."

It's a great question, so for everyone's benefit, let's break this into two parts - whether the hand is actually quicker than the eye and then how do you see punches coming so you can defend against them or use them in your offence. I'm sure you'll agree that this is one of the more valuable "tricks" you'll learn here - I was certainly happy to finally figure it out...

Boxing Tip #22 - How to Knock Someone Out


Knocked Out!
Photo by superwebdeveloper

This boxing tip might be a bit controversial. Some people believe you have to be born with knockout power in order to knock someone out. I, on the other hand, believe you can be taught how to knock someone out.

What is a Knockout?

Well, first, there is a difference between a knockout (KO) and technical knockout (TKO). A technical knockout is what happens when the referee or a boxer's corner in a boxing match decides the boxer can no longer safely continue. A full knockout is what happens when a boxer is simply physically unable to continue fighting following any legal strike.

Most anyone will associate a knockout with a sudden loss of consciousness where the boxer falls limp to the mat. This usually happens following a wicked shot to the head, but body shots such as those to the liver can also induce pain that results in a KO.

Boxing Tip #21 – Become a Patient Swarmer

Becoming a Better Swarmer?
Become a Better Swarmer

Photo by claudiogennari

Yesterday as I was hitting the heavybag, I had one of those “aha” moments – an epiphany of sorts. In particular, I was drilling slipping a 1-2 followed by a counterpunch sequence 3-2.

After a few minutes of this, it occurred to me that this might be a more sane way of boxing.

You see, in terms of boxing styles, I’m a swarmer. Always have been and to some degree, probably always will be. My legs just naturally carry me towards my opponent, whether I like it or not – which really sucks when I’m tired but definitely makes for more exciting fights. This constant pressure on my opponents is desirable, but it never comes without risk.

You see, a swarmer is always conducting a frontal assault. The bell rings, the blinders go on, and we attack head on where and when our opponents are most ready for us. They know we’re coming at them. They just have to decide when and how to launch their attack when we’re in range.

Boxing Tip #20 - Covering Up Is Hard To Do

Once upon a time, there was a boxer named Jim.  Jim loved boxing and would train up to 3 hours a day, working hard on his conditioning and generally turning himself into a hell of a fighter.  Jim knew he was good, in shape, and decided to reward himself with a vacation -- a couple weeks cruising the Caribbean.

Jim will be the first one to tell you that a cruise quickly turns into a battle of who can be the bigger slug.  With food everywhere, the most exercise you get is walking ten steps from bar to eatery to pool and back again.  Sure there is a fitness room, but Jim wasn't there to workout.  He was there to relax, drink himself silly, and eat whatever he wanted -- and he did just that.

By the end of the vacation, Jim had thoroughly indulged himself, enjoyed himself, and was ready to get back in the gym. On returning home, there was a message waiting for him -- his coach had setup a fight  -- the catch -- it was in three days.

Boxing Tip #19 - Jab Slip and Enter

As I talked about previously, you need to have available various strategies for closing the distance between you and your opponent.  This boxing technique is a boxing drill you can use to both close the distance and throw your opponent off guard so that you can close without getting hit and start inflicting some damage once you get there.

The Aim

To quickly get inside, crossing no man's land, without getting hit and setting yourself up for success once you get there.  You will use your opponent's offense (a Jab) to create an opening to cross the line.  You slip and throw a counter, as you step towards your opponent.

Boxing Tip #18 - Inside Boxing Drill

Sometimes when you're boxing, you want to get inside your opponent's reach and stay there.  It's usually because you're boxing someone a lot taller than you or maybe you just like the close in game.  Whatever your reason, if you're going to fight inside, then you need to practice fighting inside.

Often you don't have someone to spar with that likes you snuggling up close and pounding them in the ribs or launching vicious hooks to their head.  What's a poor guy to do when he can't find someone willing to take a beating?

Luckily, you have ole faithful - your heavybag - hanging there just waiting for some attention.  Here's a quick and easy drill you can do that will help you improve your inside boxing abilities.

Boxing Tip #17 - Clamping Your Way to a Correct Guard Position

Hopefully you've learned how to correctly position your head and arms by now from the boxing basics lesson on the site.  If you haven't, read that before continuing here, but to rehash - basically your chin is tucked into your lead arm shoulder, with elbows in close to your sides and gloves up protecting your face.

Seems simple enough right?

It is simple if you're standing still conciously thinking about keeping your head down looking up through your eyebrows, tucking your chin into your shoulder and keeping your elbows in nice and close.  I'll bet though, that once you start moving around, throwing punches, you may quickly forget everything you've learned about guard positioning  You probably won't even notice it, but your chin will eventually rise up and stick right out there, your elbows will leave your sides, and both of these will beg your opponent to plant a nice juicy fist right where you're going to feel it.

Boxing Tip #16 - Power in the Pivot

So you've started boxing and you're wondering how to add some power to your punches.  Do you go to the gym and bulk up the triceps and biceps?  Do you do speed drills on the heavy bag to get your arms moving faster?  Do you pick up 3lb dumbells and shadowbox?

You could do some of all of the above, but a more effective way to increase your punching power and speed is to master the pivot principle.

What is the Pivot Principle?

The pivot principle is one of the foundations of boxing.  No matter how big you are or powerful you think you are, you can only generate so much power and speed from moving your arms by themselves. 

To really generate power and speed, it has to come up from the floor through your legs, accelerate through your hips, out your shoulder to the end of your fist.  Mastering the flow from your legs to the end of your punch will more drastically improve your punching prowess than anything else you can do.

Boxing Tip #15 - Pre-Emption

To preempt someone is to forestall or prevent (something anticipated) by acting first.

It is a mission verb used in combat to describe a situation where you attempt to launch an offensive effort before your opponent in order to seize and then maintain the initiative. You know your opponent is planning something, but you need to beat him to the punch (literally).

Everyone has a decision cycle (also referred to as an OODA loop). When you see something happening, your brain has to process it, make decisions about that event and then cause you to react to it.

In boxing, reaction is bad.

Actually in combat, reaction is bad.

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