BOXING BASICS!

STANCE

The very first thing you should know about boxing is that it starts from the ground up and that’s begins with your stance. If you don’t have a great stance you will never have great balance and your boxing is doomed from the start! Now there are two main stances in boxing the first being orthodox or right hand stance which we will explain in a second, and the second being southpaw or left hand stance.

 

Right hand stance begins with your left leg out in front under the left shoulder with a slight bend in the knee and the left toe facing a 1 o’clock position.  Next you want to take the right foot and space it about 2 to 2 1/2 to feet apart from the left foot and placed it under your right shoulder, never behind your left leg as this place is you off-balance, you want to place it out and away from the left leg creating a diagonal form with your chest or what is called the pyramid stance in boxing with your right foot facing 5 o’clock and staying on its tip toe! This makes you as little of a target as possible!

 

For southpaw or left-hand stance you will just reverse this… with your right toe facing 11 o’clock and you’re left toe facing 7 o’clock!

 

If you’re right-handed you should to start off in orthodox or right hand stance and if you’re left-handed you should to start off in southpaw or left hand stance. This is because you want to save your dominant hand; being the strongest hand, for your power or knockout shots!

 

 FIST

1. Now the second thing you want to know in boxing is how to make a fist. First you want to put your hands flat-out palms facing up, secondly to take the tips of your fingers and put them into the middle of your palm folding the thumbs over the outside of your fingers! You want your fist to be as perfectly round as possible with no fingers or knuckles sticking out that can be hurt upon impact. That’s how you make a fist!

 

2. Secondly you want to tuck to your chin down and place those fist on both sides of your chin with your knuckles being vertical and your elbows and arms making a pyramid form but kind of resting on your body! Make sure your body is relaxed and not flexing or tense. When the body is flexing or tense it takes oxygen within the body to keep those muscles flexed therefore minimizing the amount of oxygen you have to breathe for energy and endurance; also it is much harder to put a tense body in motion than it is a relaxed body! As the old boxing adage goes… The more relaxed you are the faster you are, and speed is what kills!

 

 

PUNCHES

Now there are six basic punches in boxing that you should commit to memory as well as their number order. The first or number one being the Jab! Before we learn about the jab the very first rule you should know about throwing a punch is that it starts with your waist! The more movement or rotation you have with your waist the more power you will have in your punches. So great balance in your stance + great rotation with your waist = great power in your punches!

 

1. JAB

The jab or #1 is the punch that comes from the arm that is over your front leg. You want to start off with your knuckles being vertical protecting your chin, then with a slight forward rotation of your waist your arm comes out with your elbow staying pointed downward.

 

As your arm moves towards its target your knuckles will still remain vertical all the way to right before the point of impact when you turn your fist over or rotate the fist inward until the knuckles become horizontal. At the point of impact you want to focus on hitting with the first two knuckles of your fist that would be the index and middle finger knuckles. These two knuckles are the hardest part of your hand and will minimize if not completely eliminate injury to your head upon impact.

 

Always remember when throwing a punch you want to keep your wrist straight and in line with your arm and hand. Force finds the weakest point of resistance so when you have a slight bend in your wrist upon impact all of the force will go directly into your wrist and then you will either sprain or break your wrist, at the very least it will hurt like a bitch! After you’ve thrown your jab and it’s hit its target you want to do the same as when you threw the jab and pull it back very quickly starting with your waist first and rotate the fist outward with the knuckles going from horizontal to vertical. Repeat these movements very slowly and build up speed as you gain more coordination and confidence.

 

2. STRAIGHT HAND

The straight hand or punch #2 comes from the arm that is over the back leg. Incidentally for quick reference, all odd-numbered punches will come from the arm over the front leg and all even-numbered punches will come from the arm over the back leg. So standing in orthodox or right-hand stance with your back foot on its tiptoe and your fist protecting your chin, you want to start (just as you do with the jab) by rotating the waist forward while pivoting your back foot in the same direction. Just the same as the jab, as your arm moves forward towards its target with your elbow pointed down, your knuckles will be in vertical position all the way to right before the impact point when you rotate the fist inward until the knuckles become horizontal still focusing on hitting with the first two knuckles the hardest part of the fist.

 

After the fist has hit its target you want to pull it right back to the chin with the same speed as you threw it with if not faster again with your elbow pointed down. All punches will start from the chin and go right back to the chin never dropping your hands below your face leaving yourself wide open. The Straight Hand is a power shot because you have more leverage coming off the back leg than you do coming off of the front leg… Most punches thrown off the back leg will be power shots!

 

This punch is called a straight hand because you throw the punch on the same side of your face where it starts from; if the punch goes across your face it’s called a cross. Repeat these movements very slowly and increase the speed as you gain more coordination and confidence.

 

3. FRONT LEG HOOK

Now before we get into our hooks you should know there are two ways to hit in boxing. The first being punches, which is when you extend the arm all the way until the elbow is completely straight. 40% of the force will come from the shoulder and 60% from the waist. The second are swings, which is when the elbow or the arm stays curved. 90% of its force will come from the waist and 10% from the shoulder!

 

For 8 out of 10 people hooks are the hardest punch to learn, so if it takes a while don’t get frustrated your coordination will increase with practice!

 

To throw the front leg hook or punch number #3 you will first start by turning the waist slightly backward then quickly rotate the waist forward while pivoting on the front foot to prevent you from hurting your knee. As you rotate, your elbow, which

should be pointed down and resting on the side of your body, will lift off of your body coming up to about shoulder height. Then slightly extend the arm outward (while keeping your other hand up against your chin for protection) with your knuckles in the vertical not horizontal position. Again you want to focus on hitting the first two knuckles of your hand. After impact quickly pull your hand back to your chin while pulling your waist back to the starting position!

Repeat these movements very slowly and increase the speed as you gain more coordination and confidence.

4. BACK LEG HOOK

Throwing the back leg hook or punch number #4 is basically the same as throwing the front leg hook; except you don’t have to turn the waist back to throw the punch first. Your waist is already in the rear position so you want to start by rotating the hip forward while pivoting your back foot in the same direction, with your elbows still pointed down and resting on your body, then lift the elbow as you rotate the hip or waist forward again bringing the elbow up to about shoulder height or slightly below the shoulder while keeping your knuckles vertical.

 

Upon impact you still want to focus on hitting with the first two knuckles of your hand then quickly pull your hand back to your chin while pulling the waste back to the starting position.

Repeat these movements very slowly and increase the speed as you gain more coordination and confidence.

 

5. FRONT LEG UPPERCUT

To throw a front leg uppercut or punch #5 you want to start with the fist held against the chin, then you’re going to slightly roll the shoulder backwards and quickly bring it forward along with your hip; at the same time you’re going to drop your hand slightly from the chin in motion with the shoulder and rotate the fist inward until your palm is facing you and your knuckles are horizontal. Then with the arm still in curved position you want to lift the arm with the shoulder or rotator cuff to hit your target. To maximize power you’re going to pivot on your front foot as you roll your shoulder forward along with the hip. This also prevents injury to the front knee from keeping the front foot flat.

 

Upon impact focus on hitting with the first two knuckles of your hand then quickly pull your hand back to your chin while pulling the waste back to the starting position.

Repeat these movements very slowly and increase the speed as you gain more coordination and confidence.

6. BACK LEG UPPERCUT

The back leg uppercut or punch #6 is a mirror of the front leg uppercut or punch #5!

Roll the shoulder backwards then quickly bring it forward along with your hip while dropping the hand slightly from the chin in motion with the shoulder and rotate the fist inward until your palm is facing you and your knuckles are horizontal. Then with the arm still in curved position you want to lift the arm with the shoulder or rotator cuff to hit your target. Again to maximize power you’re going to pivot on your back foot as you roll your shoulder forward along with the hip. This also prevents injury to the rear knee and lower back from keeping the front foot flat.

 

Upon impact focus on hitting with the first two knuckles of your hand then quickly pull your hand back to your chin while pulling the waste back to the starting position.

 

 

Repeat these movements very slowly and increase the speed as you gain more coordination and confidence!

 BASIC FOOTWORK

When moving in boxing it is very important to stay in balance! This means you rarely want to be flat-footed or have both feet flat anyway; in fact the term staying on your toes comes from boxing, because when you’re on your toes it’s easier to shift your weight to whatever position you want! Also it is much easier to change direction on your toes or the balls of your feet than a flat foot.

 

The basic footwork in boxing is called step and drag! This means when you move you want to step with 1 foot and slightly drag the other foot on its toe, moving both feet at an equal distance to stay in balance. The idea is, which ever direction you want to go, you want to move the leg or foot that’s closest to that direction and not cross the feet.

 

LEFT AND FORWARD

So standing in orthodox stance which means with the right foot to the back, to go left I’m going to step with the left foot first then drag the back or right foot behind it moving them both at an equal distance. The same goes for moving forward, I’m going to step with the front foot first and drag the back foot.

 

RIGHT AND BACKWARDS

Now moving to the right it’s going to switch. I’m going to step with the back or right foot first then drag the front foot, the same goes for moving backwards, step with the back or right foot first then drag the front foot.

 

 

BOBBING AND SLIPPING/ WEAVING

Bobbing and slipping or weaving, as it is known to the layman are two essential parts of defense in Boxing as well as Kickboxing or Muay Thai!  We will work primarily with these two forms of defense as they give you much more of a workout than just upper body blocking with the arms!

 BOBBING

Bobbing is basically just another term for ducking a punch. You want to start off in your natural boxing STANCE with your hands up, chin and elbows down with the back foot on it’s tiptoe. From there you’re going to use 30% legs and 70% upper body to make a U with your head. This means you’re going to go straight down slightly over and back up using mostly your abs and lower back with very little leg power pushing off of your back toe. Repeat these movements very slowly and increase the speed as you gain more coordination and confidence!

 

SLIPPING/WEAVING

Slipping or weaving as most people know it bye, is basically just moving the entire upper body side to side to get out of the way of a punch. The primary muscles that you will be using for this move are the obliques or side abdominals! Again you’re going to start off in your natural boxing STANCE with your hands up, chin and elbows down with the back foot on it’s tiptoe. Then you’re going to move the entire upper body not just your head side to side like a metronome on a piano. Make sure the lower body stays as still as possible, as it is your foundation holding you up and keeping you grounded as the upper body moves from side to side.

 

Repeat these movements very slowly and increase the speed as you gain more coordination and confidence!