Boxing Combinations

Boxing Combinations

While one punch can be effective, when they are delivered in vollies of two, three, four, five or six or more they become devastating.  Anyone can dodge or slip one punch, but it is a lot more difficult to get out of the way of five incoming, well thrown punches in sequence.  That is the theory behind combinations.

Combinations take skill and stamina, both to deal with, and to deliver.  This section will mainly focus on your delivery, but one quick note.  If someone is unleashing combinations on you, you have to counter attack and disrupt their flow, optimally with a combination of your own.  You cannot possibly hope to slip every punch, unless you are incredibly fast or your opponent is super slow.


Boxing Combos

You can theoretically throw hundred punch boxing combinations over and over if you had perfect form and perfect conditioning.  Combinations require that you complete each punch correctly so that it sets you up for the next one.  This includes the recovery from every punch you throw.  Your technical form from beginning to end of your punch has to be perfect so so that your weight is placed in the best position for the next punch in the sequence.  This is where attention to detail and your level of conditioning becomes very important.  Boxing combinations require you to expend a lot of energy punching away and only through conditioning will you be able to last a whole fight whether it is one round or twelve.

Boxing combinations flow. They are never awkward to perform as long as all the punches are performed in sequence and with technical precision.  Boxing combinations feel right when you deliver them correctly, and it is because your weight is shifting and setting you up for every punch in the combination.  For instance, picture a jab.  You throw out the jab and your left hand is far forward hitting your target.  At the same time you thrust your left hip forward to give you some extra power.  The position you are in at that moment sets you up perfectly to throw a hard straight right because as you bring you hips and jab arm back into your guard, you've already started the movement required to throw the straight right.  Letting momentum carry you, you just complete that motion and you have your first combination - the 1-2.

Taking that further, the way your weight and body is setup when the straight right hits the target puts you in a perfect position to throw a left hook.  Ideally, when throwing combinations you shouldn't have to move your feet.  Your weight and forces and flowing to different parts of your legs in such a manner that allows you to shift it back the other way with another punch.  If you have to take a step, you did something wrong, because your weight ended up shifting too far or not far enough to allow you to deliver the next punch.

That's not to say you will never have to take step while delivering combinations.  It is highly unlikely your opponent will just stand there and let you beat on him.  If he does, I'd like his name so I can arrange a meeting...  In reality, it's about keeping your balance while throwing as many punches as you can.  Especially in amateur matches, winners are chosen because of the number of punches they land.  Obviously throwing combinations will help out in that goal.

So where's the list of boxing combinations?

Well, there are many, but you will want to master the basics (again, see Fighting Fit by Doug Werner and Alan Lachica for illustrations of these combinations as well as over 450 other photos).  Start with the four below and then move on from there.  At some point, the essence behind boxing combinations will hopefully click in your head and you will understand why one punch follows the one before it.  Before long, you should be able to make up your own combinations.

Once you have identified a combination you want to learn, you have to drill it into your head.  It's all fine and good to start off thinking to yourself, 1-2, 1-2-3, 2-3-2, but everytime you think about it, you lose that split second.  You need to be able to react to an open target and if you have taken the time to drill these boxing combinations into your head, they will instantly flow out when you need them.

So, when trying to learn new combinations I recommend keeping these two things in mind:

  1. Don't try to learn too many at one time:  Stick to two or three a week and once you've learned them, you have to practice them frequently otherwise skill fade creeps in and soon you are back to square one and learning them all over again.
  2. Drill:  Dedicate entire rounds to one combination.  Throw it over and over and over and over and over and over again.  Get the picture.  Do not mix other combinations in with it.  You have to teach your muscles to work in a certain order for each combination.

Remember on the punches page, each punch had a number beside it, well here is where they will come in handy. To recap (again reverse for southpaws):

  • 1-Jab
  • 2-Straight Right
  • 3-Left Hook
  • 4-Right Hook
  • 5-Left Uppercut
  • 6-Right Uppercut

The Basic Boxing Combinations

1-1 or 1-1-1 (Double Jab and Triple Jab)

So, a 1-1 is two jabs, a 1-1-1 is three jabs.

These combinations are an effective way to throw a bunch of punches from a distance. It is imperative you recover completely after each jab so subsequent jabs are delivered effectively and accurately.

1-2 (The Jab Straight Right Combo)

One of the most important and famous of all combinations, the mighty 1-2. In this, you throw a jab which closes the distance and sets up the head for the power punch of the straight right delivered right after.

The objective with the jab is to snap your opponent's head back with your jab which exposes his chin.  You then nail him with a right sending him to the mat. Throughout the whole sequence, you should feel firm on your feet, never off balance. If you do, you're not doing something right. It's one of two things, you are either reaching for the opponent or not recovering completely from your punches, both big no no's.

1-2-3 (The Jab, Straight Right, Left Hook Combo)

The other most important combination (good english eh), jab/straight right/left hook. This basically completes the 1-2.

Same objective for the first two punches, jab the head to expose the chin, nail the chin with the straight right. This creates a weight transfer to the left side which automatically sets you up to land a devastating left hook. Your target for the left hook is the right temple of your opponent - clobber it.

Perfecting these two combinations will take some time but make sure you do, they are all natural and like all combinations must flow. You'll have a pretty good indication when you are doing them right because it will feel right, not to mention the power of your punches will increase.

2-3-2 and 3-2-3 (The Right Left Right and Left Right Left Combo)

The right-left-right and the opposite left-right-left. The goal here is to time the weight shifts correctly. With every punch you throw, it should set you up nicely for the subsequent punch. The right shifts the weight over the left which is perfect for the left hook which subsequently puts the weight back over the right which naturally makes you want to throw the right again.

The challenge here is to ensure you are not just throwing a flurry of arm punches. You must get your body involved because that is where the power comes from. Then you will see true devastation as your opponent receives your offense from two different angles.

That's part of the beauty of combinations. Delivered correctly, punches start hitting you from all different angles. It makes defense that much harder.

The use of combinations while extremely effective, also requires extreme caution. It is easy to forget to recover after each punch when you send out the flock of arms, but every time you don't recover you expose half your head and if your opponent realizes it, kiss a few brain cells bye bye.

Adding uppercuts into the mix

Word of advice, get the four combinations mentioned above perfected first, then worry about putting in the uppercuts.

Uppercuts are used in close and you do need to work them into your combinations but adding them is very hard to do correctly and takes a great deal of time and precision and dedication to master.

More Boxing Combinations

The following pages will introduce you to an abundance of other boxing combinations.  I have broken them up into 7 series:  1 Series, 2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, and a bonus 7 Series.  Within each series you can create a virtually unlimited number of combinations based on the sequence you put together.  The difference is that 1 series focuses on one type of punch, 2 series - 2 punches, 3 series - 3 punches and so on.

If you have no interest in learning the reasoning behind these combinations and just prefer to work down the list and memorize them, go ahead.  Personally I learn them better by taking the time to slowly do one and understand exactly why.  Whatever works for you.  If you have any combinations you want to add, just add a comment.

Comments

This was great advice. I learned a lot that I didn't know before.

1-2-3-4-5-2-1

why would you finish with a jab , better of to go for the kill

One good reason is what Lachica calls the "jab-out" - it keeps your opponent from following you with a punch. Not every attacking punch will land and going for the kill might get you killed. You'd better learn how to move out of range again without getting clobbered.

I use the jab alot when starting a combo and as cover for when im done throwing..... it just gives your oppenet something to think about .....dont just jab either throw a few 1-2's then throw a 2-3-1 it keeps them off balance my favorite combo is 1-1-2-5-1 you can turn your body on the 5 and flick that jab fast to give you cover when returing to the outside P!

Jabs are always effective in combos as finishing or starting moves, they alow you to gauge the distance between you and your opponent either for your next punch or your defence. My personal favourite combo goes 1-2-3-4-5-1-1 the double jab at the end lets you back away if you need space and delivers a good follow on if you'd like to add another combo to the end, say for example your opponent is still guarding and not pressing forward (which is unlikely unless he likes to walk into your jabs)

the reason you finish with a straight or jab in combos is because its faster and thrown straight down the pipe sort of speak. the straight punch will land faster then the hook anytime

British Edge Combo (Jab Cross Hook Uppercut) Uppercut Cross Combo Jab

best combo for southpaws and against southpaws 1-1-2-1-4

nice i am mike tyson.you guys are right.

Im looking to learn more combose for the body got any thing i can try???

best combo: 1-2-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4................ until opponent is KTFO'd or until you are exhausted!!!

you will be killed if your enemy gives counter punch for all of that^_^

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fastest is more harder than hardest

In sure that works against the bag dude but no ones stupid enough to let you throw continuously against the plus using left and right hooks over and over is predictable and easy to counter if they angle out and strike

my favorite and most effective combo is double jab drop shot to the plexus shot to the liver and left hook to the face
at least thats what my trainer tought my and can recommend this combo to anyone

Hey julian,
I like your combo, just tried it out on my sandbag, i'm gonna keep perfecting this one.

Good info, I have been kickboxing for a while, but still got usefull info.
You eplain the WHY very good.
I immidiatly used some of the above combinations ending in a lowkick ofcourse for I'm still a kickboxer ;) but with encreased flow to my combinations.
thanks!

i agree with all of these but i have to say my fav combo is 1-1-2 (jab, jab, straight) its good and it stuns you opponent with the double jab and sets up a big right ive only been training in boxing a bit but when i have fought in mma it works wonders

DOUBLE JAB STRAIGHT

I'm not saying you're lying straight out.....But when you say that you have "Fought in MMA" the jab jab straight works.... I'd agree, but Im a little confused as to how you are just getting introduced to boxing as a beginner; yet have previously fought in mixed martial arts....Did you wrestle in H.S. or college? If so, points to you.....otherwise.... im just curious as to how you never trained your boxing skills at all but still remained to have fought MMA bouts

Above are some good suggestions, but for me the best knockout combo has to be a 1-1-3-4. Set up with 2 jabs followed by a quick left hook to get the opponent moving towards your dominent hand then snap him with a hard right uppercut. Be careful though early in a fight or when you havent softened up the oppenent up a bit he can easily counter attack if you dont get the left back up to guard after the hook.

i like to cover up my face like peek a boo then do 2-3-2. I'm short so yeah.

i get really low before i do that combo

what are some good combos for a southpaw boxer vs an orthadox boxer

best speed combo is 1-2-1-4 and the best power combo is 3-4-6

I preferr the 2-2-1-4. I am right handed so i use my right move often. If you use your left more vice versia

Just trying to improve my boxing a bit at home and this has helped a hole bunch and I'm still practicing the first page, thanks a lot.

best to corner ur oppenent on the move 1 3 6 3 works a peach! :0)

1-1-3-2-3
1-3-2

some of my favorite combos
1-1-3(body/head)-2-3(head)
1-3-2
1-1-3
1-2-3(body)-3(head)

1-2-3(body)-4(body)-6(chin)-3-2

you can double or tripple the first 1 (1-1-1) at the start if needed but the 2 that follows only needs to bring your targets hands up. The 3 that that follows is a hook to the floating rib and so you need to kinda step forward (left foot) half a step (important note keep your right glove next to your ear/cheek to protect you on your body shot entry and bend your knees to get lower on this shot instead of bending forward at your hips because you need your knees and thighs to give you the power on your 6 (right upper that is often thru a guard) this upper is after the two body shots. A good 3 is easy from here as you are nice and close and if your 6 had proper power your 3 should have a easy target. Fin with nice 2 and get out of there.

Boxing isn't the best way to get around. You can mix some kicks and heads in as well. Try doing this. Roundhouse, spinning back kick, jab, straight then a jumping karate kick or a strong headbutt to finish. If you can land this combo and knock your opponent down, you're a don!

Maybe you should cut down on the headbutts, genius; this is a boxing site. The boxing glove icon at the top didn't give it away or anything?

I don't think -any- competitive fighting sport allows headbutts. And even if you were in a street fight, who the hell would use a headbutt as part of a combination? Assuming you can even hit someone you've been keeping at a distance with punches and kicks, it'd disorient you too much to follow it up effectively, and it doesn't shift your weight or stance in any particular way that would even -allow- it to be part of a real combo. The guys talking out of his ass.

All that might be true, but there's no spinning back kicks or jumping karate kicks in Boxing. Boxing is what this site is about.

One of my favorite body combination is a 2-3-6 where I drop my level on the cross/straight and aim for the lower part of the sternum, follow that up with a hook to the body, then the uppercut to the gut or the chin. I'll work it off a jab or throw it cold.

Basically, it's the middle of the 7 punch combo posted above me. It's also a nice change of pace if you've been throwing at the head a bit and can catch your opponent off guard.

Okay here is what i like. Me and my dad like to do some sparring in the gardin. he had boxed for over 10 years and i have been kick boxing for 5 years. I buffed up my muscles in the gym and there for i have more power then speed but one thing that i mastered was a few speed combo's.
Speedcombo example: 1-1-2. or 1-1-1-2. (this is pretty basic but speed is everything in this combo especially if u get into a street fight. Usually when u get into a street fight your oppenent takes some type of bad defence stance get in there with a few quick jabs. A non experienced fighter will be stunned for a few seconds and his defence is open. By then u can do everything with him. give him a straight right (2) and a left hook (3) Usually they go down then. But can make another combo aswell but only if u have his defence open for example give him a left kick in the stomach and then a right uppercut.that will do the trick for sure.

Then vs an experienced fighter i have another trick up my sleave. I mean a well trained kickboxer or boxer won't be fooled by 2-3 quick jabs and won't leave his defence open. But if u find yourself in a fight vs an experienced fighter. I mastered myself a nice footwork technique almost he same as the ali shuffle. Ofcourse he does it way faster then i do, but i do allright. and if u do that in a streetfight they are suprised and lose focus for a split second get in with a jab jab and then a jump straight left/right (depends on which stance u come out while doing the shuffle) handed punch. Since u changed stance u have to be able to give just as fast jabs right as left. It requires some training but it is very effective. The key is to always try to get them by suprise or catch your oppenent offguard. Ofcourse there are many more combo's look up here. All usuable but i prefere to open my fights with a 1-1-2 and go on from there.

These things are pretty standard boxing tips but with a tweak like the ali shuffle and then catch them offguard with a jab (either right or left hand jab) and continue from there but i only do that vs an experienced fighter no need for it vs a novice.

But always remember never start a fight and only fight if it is your last resort.

Whoa, I hope you're not talking about aiming for the face with that combo, because that'd be pretty bad advice. You don't want to use heavy boxing hits aimed at the face like a Straight in a street fight, because without gloves or padding a hit like that could easily shatter your own hand, sending you straight to the hospital and possibly even ending your fighting days forever.
If you want to hit someone in the head in a street fight, you have to use something like elbows, kicks, palms, or light punches like a jab.

Forgot to mention. The human head is hard as hell, and with neck muscles combined with its own weight it has quite a bit of resistance.
You can easily imagine the situation by picturing what might happen if you took a huge 4x4 board, stood it up under its own weight, and through a full-power straight right into it without any padding.

1 (head) - 2 (body) - 3 (body) - 3 (head)

The best speed combo I believe would be 1-2-1-4
The best power combo would be 1-2-3-2
Another power combo would be 1-4-3-6
Another power combo would be 2-1-4-5-2
A long power combo 1-1-2-3-4-5-2
A knockout combo 3-4-5-6-1-2
2-3-4-5-2
1-2-3- backstep-2

take it from a professional fighter, and try double jab, left body shot, right upper cut, and left cross. this is one of my favorite combinations. Try it and kind of mix it all up and try it and keep trying till you get the hang of it (:

As a Giant noob, I don't Understand the concept of combining a left hook after a left jab- !1.3)

How do you generate power or speed from a punch using the same arm?

Cheers

John

5-4

Seemed to work for George Foreman.

I am 5'5 and i usually 3 to the body, then 2 to the head. And the only way to really hit someone like 6'0+, is to counter, or get in there. They will hit you too when your close but there lanky arms vs your short up close is wayy harder and might knock them down.

I like this combo: Jab with left-body. Jab again with left-head. Cross Right-head. Left Hook to body. End with Right uppercut. Optional left hook to face afterwards. I like to use this against the bag. I’m still finding a place that accommodates fights around here .

it has been an awesome article about the Boxing Combinations i like the way you throughly wrote it :)

ive been doing krav maga for the passed 9 year and my favorite combo is still the old 1-1-2-3-4-5-2-1. it has great velocity and yet a stunning amout of power. try it out?

I LERNED ALOT IM JUST A BEGINER SO YA THANX

i usually go for a sequence with tree jabs, one to the right shoulder, then the left to put them off balance, then the third jab to just below the belly button where the abdominal muscle is at its weakest

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