So you got your gloves tied on, and you just picked up a brand new heavybag that your ready to beat on. Before you start flailing around like a fish out of water, take some time to understand the basic principals of boxing form and safety. Not only will they make you a better fighter; they will enhance your workout, hone your skills and help prevent against injury.
This section will cover:
Basic punching and combinations
Basic boxing stances
A Quick Note
Focus on form. Always and always. Focus on form until you have focused on form so much you are sick of it. Then focus on form some more. I am going to overstress this point constantly, you are probably already sick of reading it. So REMEMBER it. Even the strongest fighter will be quickly felled when throwing that wild hook from out of left field. How do you avoid developing bad habits? How do you maximize your training sessions? How do you become a stronger and more effective fighter? You guessed it… focus on form.
Basic Punching and Combinations
Standard boxing technique utilizes 4 basic punches. Following proper form when punching will yield many benefits. Your punches will be crisper and faster, you will pack more power and you will avoid telegraphing punches.
Jab - Quick and straight thrown with the lead hand from the guard position. The fist should rotate 90 degrees, with the palm facing the ground at full extension . This assists in the raising of the lead shoulder to help guard the chin. The rear hand I skept next to the jaw for further protection.
Cross - Power punch thrown with the rear hand in a quick motion (the quickest of the power punches). The rear hand crosses the body and throws forward in a quick straight motion. The rear shoulder is thrust forward just outside of the chin. The lead hand is kept against the face to protect the chin. Torso and hips rotate counter-clockwise. Transfer weight to the lead foot, by turning the rear foot to an “on-toe” position.
Hook - Thrown with the either hand (described from a lead hand standpoint) targeting the opponent’s cheek. The elbow is pulled back with the palm facing the ground, the elbow is kept bent. Rear hand is kept against the jaw for protection. Torso and hips rotate clockwise throwing the fist into a clockwise semi-circular motion across the front of the body. At the same time, the lead foot pivots clockwise, turning the left heel to the outside.
Uppercut - Thrown with either hand (described from a rear hand standpoint) in a rising motion, targeting the opponent’s jaw. The torso should shift in a minor rightward motion the hand drops down to the opponent’s lower chest as the knees bend slightly. The hand is then thrust upwards in a rising. At the same time, the knees push up and the torso and hips rotate counter-clockwise.
Some of the more effective basic combinations include toe following, try stringing some together to create longer combinations. Also note one or two jabs can be added to the beginning of any combination.
Lead (L) Jab, Rear (R) Cross
(L) Hook, (R) Uppercut
(R) Cross, (R) Hook
(R) Cross,(L) Hook
(R) Uppercut, (L) Hook
Basic Boxing Stances
Base Power Stance (recommended for all beginners) - Stand with the legs just inside of shoulder-width apart. The rear foot should be kept 3 to 4 (based on comfort) inches behind the lead foot. In a right handed stance, lead with the left foot and fist, opposite for a lefty… The feet should point inward ever so slightly (again tailor to comfort). The right foot should be in an “on-toe” position with the heel elevated slightly off the ground. The lead fist is held vertically about 4 inches in front of the face at the bottom of the eye level. The rear fist is kept next to but just above the chin. The elbow of the rear hand should be held near or against the ribcage to protect the body. The chin is tucked down towards the chest. Knees can be bent slightly to enhance power punching.
Base Speed Stance (recommended only for intermediate and above levels who favor speed and combinations) - The Speed stance mimics the power stand in terms of foot and leg placement. The only difference being that both feet should be kept in an “on-toe” position. The speed stance should be accompanied by frequent “heel bouncing” and bobbing of the head and upper body. Both elbows are tucked against the side of the body just above waist level. The lead fist is held vertically 3 inches in front of the chest. The rear fist is held vertically 2 inches below the lead. Knees bent in slightly.
Let’s start with equipment. Assuming you are not sparring an opponent (in which case head-gear, and mouth and waist guards are to ALWAYS be worn), get yourself some of the following:
- 2 quality hand-wraps
- A pair of well padded bag gloves
- Supportive gym shoes with good traction
When wrapping your hands, make sure to begin below the wrist, and wrap firmly around the wrist and knuckles. Remember to wear you hand-wraps no matter what. Even if you are wearing gloves, the wraps belong underneath to help support the wrist and avoid abrasions.
When it comes to gloves and shoes; buy quality. If you have no intention of boxing opponents you will most likely only own 1 pair of gloves in your life. Buy nice ones. Well-padded is a must, look for a quality name, and don’t just buy the cheapest you can find. They will fall apart quickly and not offer the proper level of protection needed. The same goes for your shoes. Buy junk, and your training sessions will suffer!
If you have any questions, please post a thread on the forums.