Boxing Tips

Discussion in 'Boxing' started by YODA, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. Hybrid_Killer

    Hybrid_Killer New Member

    Woah thats pretty damned detailed......nice.

    BRECKDOG Valued Member


    Ive seen these before- great tips
    They have been copied from the stickgrappler website- many by Frank Benn. If this is true and its plagerism with no acknowledgement thats very poor behaviour.
  3. semphoon

    semphoon walk idiot, walk.

    I hope that you are not refering to my post. It's "semphoon original"
  4. ROokie

    ROokie New Member

    that stuff like the combos etc i wont be able to do em i'd forget
  5. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    That's what practice & training are for :rolleyes:
  6. ROokie

    ROokie New Member

    well theres no close boxing places i can go to. i like boxing but id like to be good at it 2. could that site help me get better?
  7. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Without a club to go to - I doubt it.

    You're near Rotherham right?

    Rotherham Boxing and Fitness Centre,
    Masbrough Street, Rotherham Tel 07719 590989
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2004
  8. ROokie

    ROokie New Member

    oh yeah i know,my cousin used to go and his friend still does. yeah thnaks. its with bomber graham i think isnt it.
  9. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    So get in there and box! :D
  10. ROokie

    ROokie New Member

    you dont really understnad. thers no way for me2. and a 13 year old person traveeling to the heart of a town on his own at about 9 at night isnt so good
  11. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    So forget boxing until you're old enough to go then.
  12. Yukimushu

    Yukimushu MMA addict

    Excellent website i found here with alot of info, tips & advice to helping your boxing!
  13. alex_000

    alex_000 You talking to me?

    Some of the fundementals of boxing .. I'm happy i know most of these stuff from kickboxing...

    And i finally learned the difference between the hook and the cross. We say cross for hook and straight right punch for cross. (damn some of my posts must seem very stupid now that i think of it...)
  14. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    Keep going with what you are doing right now, and in about 5 years time think about this thread.

    Som excellent tips all round.
  15. Yukimushu

    Yukimushu MMA addict

    Being a tall guy, im a big fan of the Jab. So heres some useful information extracted from Stickgrappler.

    The Jab

    Some Basic/Intermediate/Advanced Considerations For The Jab

    --Closing the Distance--

    One of the most important skills in all of martial art is the ability to land a lead weapon attack on the opponent, initiating it from outside of his reach. This is the beginning of any heavier attack -- the mobility, ranging, and timing of the lead.

    Always train the quick shuffle from out of the opponent's reach (even when shadowboxing or working the bag) to get into the habit of closing distance quickly and properly when setting up your combinations. Too often, fighters and martial artists will train their technique from a standstill, throwing punch after punch, angle after angle. I always tell my students, if he's close enough for you to do that, HE'S HITTING YOU TOO.

    --Weapon Moves First--

    When initiating and closing for the attack, your weapon moves first. If your feet move first, your attack is now telegraphed, and the opponent moves. Train against a light target, at first closing just a short distance, concentrating on moving your lead hand first -- before your feet. From there, increase the distance -- without sacrificing good form and posture. DO NOT OVEREXTEND. There's no power in it (making it a waste of time) if you do, and you will leave yourself open.

    --Varying Your Head Position--

    A common liability in most fighters' styles is predictability. Most people, when throwing the jab, tend to put their head in the same place every time. A thinking, adjusting opponent will adapt to this and exploit it. Vary your head position when you jab. This comes heavily into play as well when you do a lot of stop-hitting. In this case, your change of head position is designed to make him miss while you're scoring your jab, and setting up other things.

    In general, you want to vary your head position in these ways:

    * Slipping or sidestepping to your back (to the "outside", IOW to the left if you're a left lead), lining your chin up with your lead.

    * Head inside your jab (to the right if you're a left lead), roughly in line with your rear foot.

    * Head center positioned in normal boxing poise.

    * Head center low.

    The important thing is that you concentrate on shooting that jab out there while the head is changing position. If a good fighter knows you tend to leave your head in the same place when you jab (and furthermore if he anticipates that you won't follow your jab up with something damaging), he is going to throw a cross or overhand right over top of it as he bobs. Lights out. You can prevent it, though, if you vary your head position. For instance, I've caught people with jab hook combo's quite often because they got too confident with that cross over the jab. Their cross misses, and as it recovers, there's that hook on the chin. BTW, against opposing leads, the hook works in a similar way, and you also have the option of throwing a cross instead, or a rear hand uppercut. Depends on how you time it, but they all work.


    Speed is a major aspect of a good jab. To develop speed in your jab, start off by not trying to hit "hard" with it. That builds tension in your forearm, lead shoulder, and back, and will just slow you down. Tension is the opposite of speed.

    Try to "sting" him with your jab. When you punch with good follow-through, body alignment, and timing, the power is there already.

    Ali used to say the jab was his "fly swatter".

    Good tip for speed in the jab: Think of only the retraction. That is, the amount of time from "in" to "out" doesn't exist, and the first unit of time expended occurs on the return ("out" to "in").

    Throw multiple jabs with movement in all directions: Circling, Slipping, Sidestepping, Advancing, Retreating, Ducking, etc.

    --Weight Is On The Lead Foot--

    That's when you have a jab -- when you shift your weight onto the lead foot. This puts body mass into it, and extends your reach in the direction of your target.

    --Put Some Starch In It--

    Align your body and arm correctly, and you can knock a man off his feet or at least stun him with a good jab. Add some good nontelegraphic speed, footwork, and timing, and you've got your bread and butter right there. Tighten the fist only on the end of the punch to make it hit solidly, while not slowing it down with that old opposite of speed -- tension.

    --The Jab Provides Its Own Cover--

    One of the few moves in all of martial art that provides its own cover -- the jab. Lead shoulder protects that side of your chin. Rear hand up. Look down the barrel of the gun.

    If you jab with your chin up in a real fight or full contact sparring match, you'll soon see why it's not a good idea.

    --The Jab In A Boxing Match--

    In boxing, depending upon your personal style (boxer, puncher, boxer/puncher, etc.) you might end up throwing up to 70% or more jabs as a percentage of total punches thrown. The jab is actually that important. There are few punches you can throw that a good jab won't improve -- either by virtue of setting up your timing, establishing a feint that he reacts to, helping you gain the necessary distance, or giving you the change of angle you need to line up that power punch.

    --The Jab In A Fight--

    The jab's function in a streetfight is not so artful as it is in a boxing ring against a good boxer. You want to master the "one-two". Trust me on that, if you've never been in a real fight before. Your jab is the "one", and your cross is the "two" (also can be an overhand -- depends on the situation). Put the "one" and the "two" as close together temporally as possible. Remember, your jab is the can opener, and your cross is the spoon. The opponent is a can of meat, in this metaphor.

    --As A Probe--

    The jab is how I find out important things about my opponent. Which direction is he prepared to move? Throw a jab, and find out. Is he a good counter puncher? Throw a jab or two with movement, and find out. Which hand does he initiate with? Is he trying to box me, or just punch me? Throw some jabs, and find out. Where does he open up, where I can follow-up to? Throw some jabs, and find out. For instance, get him to draw that rear hand high to cover your incoming jab, and round kick his ribs on that side as his arm opens them up. Even if he counter crosses, this move will work even better as you lean away and tenderize the meat with that kick.

    --As An Insert--

    Use it to break up his attack. One of the worst things that can happen to you is to face an opponent who is constantly attacking you, or is faster than you, and you don't want to open up with a power shot for fear of his counter. The jab is one way to break up his combos, and create gaps that you can move on.

    --As A Setup For The Cross--

    This ties back to the use of the jab in a streetfight -- not to mention the same use in sparring. Cultivate a solid and quick "one-two", and "one-two-one". Then move. Do it again. Move again. Don't just stand there. Stay mobile, and re-angle that "one-two". This is something anybody can master in a relatively short amount of time (as compared to other things, which might take many years), and you know you've got it when you need it.

    --As A Setup For The Hook--

    Many boxers will try to work their hook off of the lag punch, the Dempsey roll, the Shoe-Shine, or the cross. But the elite hitters can do it with the jab. Roy Jones against Vinnie Pazienza is a study on hooking off of the jab, for example.

    --As A Setup For Kicking--

    Many people use boxing to set up their kicking, but the converse can also be very effective. This is because you might have your opponent in punching range, and he may back away out of range -- RIGHT INTO YOUR KICKING RANGE. Throwing multiple jabs is often a good way to get the opponent to back up into my kicking range where I can punish him while he retreats.

    Other times, I'll be in punching range, and I'll lean away and finish my punching combo with a jab and then in comes the lead round kick, catching him in his blindspot. This is VERY effective.

    --As A Setup For Entry To Grappling--

    BJJ stylists like this one, and it does work. Your jab can draw the opponent's hands UP, which opens the door for a mid to lower body shot, leading to the takedown.

    Along these lines, jabbing can also get him to throw a solid counter punch, which you will come inside of, outside of, or under to get your clinch. The opponent is easiest to get ahold of (at the torso) when his arms are extended. This use of the jab to get him to punch establishes these conditions very well.

    --Establish the Jab BEFORE You Feint With It--

    The lead feint is a great subterfuge for setting other things up. But, remember: You have to sting him with it first, so as to make it believable. Otherwise, like I said before, he'll come right in over top of it and nail you, because he knows it's a fake. When you can sting with it early, and do it with blinding speed, it'll be too fast from then on for him to tell the difference between a feint and the real thing.

    The trick to a good feint is to use good committed body mechanics -- the body mechanics are what really trick him. After all, the hand is moving too fast anyway for him to tell what's real and what's not. It's the body (shoulders, hips, footwork) that tells him what's real and what's not.

    Also, regarding feinting: It is a great way to conceal (yet at the same time facilitate) the load up for your other power punches.

    So there you go. These are some important tips for developing and implementing one of the most important weapons in any martial artist's arsenal -- The Jab. This information is not easy to come by, so I hope those who read it appreciate it. I must be feeling generous today.

    Good luck.

    SILVERFIST New Member

    It's a ok post yoda ,a good one even.But I alreally do all that stuff.
  17. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    We are not worthy :rolleyes:
  18. Yukimushu

    Yukimushu MMA addict

    Techniques for the speed bag thanks to KickChick.

    Techinques on the speed bag are created by joining the fists and elbows together in one smooth motion to contact the bag with one rebound in between the parts. Since we have two fists and two elbows, a single technique may have one, two, three or four parts involved.

    There are "single punches", which are techniques where just a single fist hits the bag, such as the Front Straight Punch (FSP)], Front Circle Punch (FCP), Side Single Punch (SSP), Reverse Single PUnch (RSP) and the Hook Punch (HP )....also the "hammer Fist" (HF).

    The technique name tells you how many fist(s) are used and where on the bag it hits. So, The "Reverse Single Punch" (RSP) has a single fist hitting the reverse ( back ) of the bag. The Front Straight Punch (FSP)is a single fist hitting the front of the bag in the straight punch position.

    There are "Double Punch" techniques, which have both fists (key: DOUBLE = two parts) hitting the front of the bag with one rebound inbetween fists. There is the Front Double Punch (FDP), Reverse Double Punch ( RDP) and Side Double Punch (SDP). There are also "Double Elbow Strikes", which have an Elbow and Fist hit the bag with one rebound inbetween.

    There are "Triple Elbow Strike" techniques ( key: TRIPLE = three parts). There are Outward, Inward and Downward ( these are the directions of the elbow movement..) triple Elbow strikes, which use one elbow and both fists ( 3 parts)

    and there are "Four Way Elbow Strikes" which use all four parts, both elbows and both fists joined together with one rebound in between.

    There are two Fist Rolling Techniques: The Front Fist Roll
    (F-Roll)and the Reverse Fist Roll (R-Roll). These are where the fists are rolling over each other repetitively with only one rebound between the contacts. This creates a very distinctive "machine gun" sound.

    There are 12 Fist only techniques - and 12 Elbow Strikes. Some of the fist techniques hit the "Front" "Reverse" or "Side" of the bag.

    Joining individual techniques together creates "combinations".

    For example, A Front Straight Punch (FSP) may be followed by many other another techniques, such as a Front Circle Punch, Front Double Punch, Outward Elbow technique etc. the combinations are endless. Most people see boxers doing the "Basic Rhythm" using two techniques, the Front Straight Punch (FSP) which hits the front of the fist, and the Front Circle Punch (FCP) which hits the side of the fist. In fact this what what most people ever learn or do on the speed bag.

    This is all according to Alan Kahn.. the author of " The Speed Bag Bible" which I highly recommend!

    Also some links for you:

    Beginners learning:
  19. Yukimushu

    Yukimushu MMA addict

    Boxing: It's a style thing article.

    Boxing: It's a style thing! - By Monte Cox

    This article first appeared in the Sept 1999 CyberBoxingZone

    What is that makes one fight or a particular match-up seem attractive, while another a "bore snore?" How come some fights have us so riveted to our seats we end up screaming in excitement, while others have us fighting to stay awake as we watch our beloved sport of boxing? It’s the styles of the particular combatants.

    We’ve all heard the worn out cliché that "styles make fights." This is an ultra-truism in boxing. Not only do the styles of the fighters make a match more or less appealing, but it also helps decide the outcome of individual match-ups. Have you ever noticed that some fighters just have a difficult time when dealing with other certain types of fighters? Ken Norton and Joe Frazier always seemed to give Muhammad Ali fits. Roberto Duran had trouble with slick boxers like Edwin Viruet, Ray Leonard, and Wilfred Benitez. Why is it that Buster Douglas and Evander Holyfield just seemed to have Mike Tyson’s number? The answer is quite simple. It’s a stlyes thing.

    Style in boxing is the characteristic, mode and fashion of fighting employed by a fighter in taking advantage of his particular skills. Fighting attributes such as hand speed, quickness, punching power, chin, and stamina, as well as the personality of the individual boxer all contribute to the style he adopts.

    There are 3 basic styles in boxing, plus a fourth that is more difficult to narrow down since it is a combination of two of the others (I’ll cover it last). The 3 "basic" styles of boxing are "boxer", "slugger", and "swarmer (or crowder)."

    A boxer also called a "pure boxer" is best described by the title of a book by one time Featherweight great Jim Driscoll, entitled "Outboxing, Or Long Range Fighting. (1921)." Representative of this style are boxers like Benny Leonard, Gene Tunney, Willie Pep, Tommy Loughran, Billy Conn, Maxie Rosenbloom, Muhammad Ali, and Pernell Whitaker.

    The "slugger" has always been a fan favorite. Lacking the exquisite boxing skills of the "fancy dan" boxer types, the slugger is characterized primarily by his punching power. Examples of the slugger style are Stanley Ketchel, Terry McGovern, Max Baer, Rocky Graziano, Sonny Liston, George Foreman, and Mike Tyson.

    The third basic style is the "swarmer". The swarmer (or "crowder") is identified by his non-stop aggression and pressure on the inside. The swarmer throws more punches than a slugger, usually wearing his opponents down rather than blowing them out. Some examples of the swarmer style are Tommy Burns, Battling Nelson, Harry Greb, Henry Armstrong, Carmen Basilio, Jake LaMotta, Rocky Marciano, and Joe Frazier (some may argue the last two as sluggers but they fought more like swarmers). When two long-range boxers meet the bout often turns into a strategic chess match, which can be quite boring to the casual boxing fan. Two sluggers going at it make for a far more entertaining, crowd pleasing affair. But what happens when fighters of opposing styles meet?

    Typically, but not always, Boxers beat Sluggers, Sluggers beat Swarmers, and Swarmers beat Boxers. It depends on the level of skill each man possesses as to how any bout will turn out, but the contrast in styles does offer a distinct advantage or dis-advantage. It is much like the ancient Chinese "rock, scissors, paper" scheme. One style is better than another against a specific type of opponent, but weaker against the other.

    When fighters of a similar level of skill meet, all other factors being about equal, the styles of the particular fighters may indicate the outcome of a given match-up. Boxers generally beat sluggers because they are quicker, and have better defense and mobility. Here are some examples of "boxers beat sluggers": James J. Corbett ko 21 John L. Sullivan (the first to prove that skill could overcome power), Gene Tunney W 10 Jack Dempsey, Cassius Clay Tko 7 Sonny Liston, Jimmy Young W 12 George Foreman, Buster Douglas ko 10 Mike Tyson, Ivan Robinson W 10 Arturo Gatti.

    Swarmers generally beat boxers because of the contrast in styles. Boxers prefer to maneuver at long range while a swarmer crowds him, smothering his punches, as he forces his way inside where the boxer is less comfortable. Examples of swarmers beating boxers are Harry Greb W 15 Gene Tunney (Tunney won 3 of 4 but he was bigger), Marciano W 15, ko 8 Ezzard Charles, Jake LaMotta W 10 Robinson (Jake lost 5 of 6 but Robinson far superior- LaMotta’s style gave Robinson trouble though), Joe Frazier W 15 Muhammad Ali (Ali wins 2 of 3 but all tough fights), and Phillip Holliday W 12 Ivan Robinson. Swarmers often give boxers trouble even when they are nowhere near the same class, such as Troy Dorsey fighting a close decision with Kevin Kelley or Carmen Basilio beating Ray Robinson W 15. Sluggers usually beat Swarmers since they are harder punchers and their opponents stand right in front of them. There are many good examples of this; Jim Jeffries W 20, W 25 Tom Sharkey, Gene Fullmer Tko 14 and Tko 12 Carmen Basilio, Sonny Liston ko 1 and ko 1 Floyd Patterson, George Foreman Tko 2 and Tko 5 Joe Frazier.

    The fourth style is the "boxer-puncher". He possesses many of the qualities of the boxer; hand speed, often an outstanding jab, combination and/or counter-punching skills, better defense and accuracy than a slugger, while possessing slugger type power. In general the boxer-puncher lacks the mobility and defensive expertise of the pure boxer. Examples of the "boxer-puncher" are Joe Gans, Joe Louis, Ray Robinson, Ike Williams, Alexis Arguello, Tommy Hearns, and Erik Morales.

    A boxer-puncher may be classified as more of a boxer or puncher. For example Terry Norris was a fine boxer-puncher he destroyed a number of good opponents quickly. He then ran into Simon Brown who turned into a slugger and knocked him out, but in the rematch Norris turned pure boxer and danced his way to a 12 round decision. Fighters like Ray Robinson, and Ray Leonard were also boxer-punchers with excellent footwork. Fighters like Gans, Louis, and Arguello were more punchers but also had highly refined boxing skills. Against the other three basic styles a boxer-puncher does well against pure boxers since they can often match hand speed, and possess the skill to eventually catch there elusive opponents with their harder punches. Examples are Sandy Saddler beats Willie Pep 3 of 4, Ray Robinson W 15 Kid Gavilan, Joe Louis ko 13 Billy Conn, Ray Leonard ko 15 Wilfred Benitez, Thomas Hearns W15 Wilfred Benitez.

    Boxer-punchers also seem to have less trouble with swarmers than pure boxers since their greater power discourages much of the swarmers aggression. Some examples of this are Joe Gans W 42 Battling Nelson (Gans lost next 2 but was dying of TB), Joe Louis W 15, ko 8 Arturo Godoy, Jose Napoles W 15 Emile Griffith, Marvin Hagler Tko 11 and ko 3 Mustafa Hamsho, Vince Phillips ko 10 Kostya Tszyu.

    Boxer-punchers, however are somewhat less successful against big sluggers, since they often lack the defense or mobility of the boxing stylist. Examples of this are George Dixon Koby 8 Terry McGovern, Carlos Zarate koby 5 Wilfredo Gomez, Alexis Arguello koby 14 and koby 10 Aaron Pryor, Thomas Hearns koby 3 Iran Barkley, Julian Jackson koby 5 and koby 1 Gerald McClellan. Contrary examples can be named also such as Evander Holyfield ko 11 Mike Tyson, Alexis Arguello ko 13 Ruben Olivares, and Carlos Zarate ko 4 Alphonso Zamora where the boxer-puncher beats the raw slugger. The results of these slugfests often depend on who has the best defense or who has the best chin as in a slugger versus slugger match-up.

    Many fighters are not so easily classified, those that are "unorthodox" are so named because they do not fit the proto-type of one of the classical styles and may lack some of their ability as a long-range boxer, an inside fighter, or in punching technique. Many of those mentioned such as Ray Robinson are versatile enough to adapt to more than one style. Not all boxers can be lumped into one category, but the style that one chooses does offer an advantage or dis-advantage against a particular opponent.

    In the movie "Enter the Dragon" one of the fighters ask Bruce Lee, "What's your style?" If your not sure who to pick in the next great "Superfight", ask yourself, "what are the opposing stlyes?" Is he more of a boxer or a slugger? A boxer-puncher? A swarmer? The outcome of boxing matches will depend upon the talent of the principles involved. If they are fairly evenly matched and your not sure who to pick, or the outcome turns out differently than you expected, simply remember, "It’s a styles thing."
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2004
  20. Yukimushu

    Yukimushu MMA addict

    Boxing Tips for fighting.

    Another excellent article full of alot of basic foundation material.

    BOXING TIPS FOR FIGHTING - Article extracted from Stickgrappler

    The following are some requested tips that will help you improve your fighting ability. They are truisms that, in my own experience, are universal to fighting in general. I have been boxing since the early 1980's, and have taught and trained continuously since then. I must be in a giving mood to hand this over like I am, but here goes.

    We'll start with some basics, and move into some more involved material as we go. I will inevitably skip some things, since I'm just rattling these off the top of my head.

    - Stance -

    Chin tucked. Lead shoulder slightly shrugged (though not unnaturally). Elbows in. Hands up (measure your eyebrows with your fists now and then). Knees slightly bent. Feet shoulder width apart, nearly parallel. Groin not open.

    Dynamic, phasic, mobile stance.

    - Range -

    Learn to become really comfortable standing just out of his reach. Develop the sensitivity to gauge people's reach, and allow them to just barely miss. This will give you two valuable things: The ability to not freak out because things are flying at your face and barely missing, and the posture and positioning to hit him with little adjustment.

    In other words, your defense has to facilitate your offense. Everything "defensive" is really a matter of doing AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE to make him miss while not messing up your alignment to hit him back. This is why multi-step blocking and highly eccentric movements (literally, "far from center") are not practiced in boxing.

    - Never, ever, ever -

    . . . take your eyes off of your opponent.

    - Let it go by -

    Don't always try to stay out of his reach, or you'll always find him out of your reach. Train your slip and bob to stay in range and let the punch go right by so you're still in range to deal it out. Don't weave too much.

    - Everything serves your ends -

    Like Musashi says, "Do nothing that is without a reason". Beware of gratuitous and wasteful motions that don't serve any purpose. For example, jab when you slip his jab. Cross when you slip his cross. Etc. Don't let him become comfortable, or secure in the knowledge that you're going to stand there while he does what he wants.

    The thing that weakens an opponent's offense is your own offense. Everything else (e.g. slipping without countering, blocking as an isolated movement) is just prolonging the inevitable.

    - Read the hips -

    Learn to read his hips. Whenever a hip comes toward you, that is advance notice that something is coming from that side. Some also telegraph with their shoulders, but this is overt and amateurish -- i.e. wouldn't expect a good fighter to do it. Try to read his loading up in the hips, too.

    - The jab -

    To me, the art of boxing is founded on the jab. If you've got a jab, you can box. If you don't, then boxing is hard. Simple as that. Without the jab, expect to get hit a lot. The jab helps to make you a good boxer. Without one, you're just a puncher (which can also be effective, but requires specialized attributes to pull it off).

    - The Can Opener, and the Spoon -

    There's a saying in boxing that your jab is a can opener, and your cross is a spoon. The opponent is a can of meat. You've got to use your can opener to open the can BEFORE you can use your spoon to dig out the meat. If you try to use your spoon first, you'll generally fail. Even if you like to lead off with a cross (not usually advisable, unless you're Roy Jones, Ali, or a ****ed off Jack Johnson), it is advisable that you at least feint a jab to conceal the load-up of your rear shoulder for the cross.

    - The Hook -- "Crushing Peanuts, and Come Here" -

    Two things to remember in throwing your hook. Lead foot rotates on the ball like you're crushing peanuts. Lead arm hooks horizontally and tight, like you're grabbing one of your friends around the neck with your arm and saying, "Come here!" (the noogie position).

    Also regarding the hook, THERE IS NO WRIST. Your wrist does not exist. You can use horizontal or vertical fist -- matter of what range you're hooking at.

    - Balls of the feet are the gas, heels are the brakes -

    Rule of thumb for mobility and planting.

    - Christmas -

    Better to give, than to receive.

    - Speed -

    Speed is very important. But quickness and suddenness are even more important. Don't build up in speed. If you do, you will tend to miss against a person with movement, even though your punches are fast at full extension. This is because there is a discernible buildup in your acceleration. Relaxation is important for speed. Don't tighten your fist up until you're almost fully extended.

    - Shoe in the Bucket -

    This is a common mistake in martial arts that you will really pay for when full contact is happening. It describes a failure to shift the weight off of one foot and onto the other when throwing a power punch. Classic example is in the cross -- at full extension, your rear foot is on the ball, allowing the weight to shift and that hip to come forward. This contradicts the planted rear foot of many traditional martial arts in their "reverse punch" -- what in boxing we call shoe in the bucket.

    - Barrel of a gun -

    Look down your punching arm like you're looking down the barrel of a gun. This will help that arm to provide cover for your chin on that side while you're punching. Common mistake is for people to leave their chin open on the side of the arm they are punching with. Depending on your personal style, it can also help to turn your thumbs downward to help bring the shoulders up and provide better cover.

    Your arms are like two soldiers guarding a fort. When one of them leaves the fort to make war, he has to build a wall to protect his post while he's gone. Also, in keeping with this analogy the other soldier at such times is extra vigilant.

    - Where there's weight, there's power -

    Proper loading is essential for power punching. But, do not telegraph. Conceal the shift of weight in your combinations.

    - Hourglass stance -

    This is a dangerous but necessary position in hitting. It happens at the tail end of your cross. Be ready to duck and cover. Your cross will put you in a bob position. You should be ready to stay low and elbow block, weave under, or jab to correct your posture. DO NOT just stand there fully extended with nowhere to go.

    - 60/40 Rule -

    In your stancing and movement, do not put more than 60 percent of your weight on either foot *except in brief extreme situations*. i.e. In the course of regular movement stand in balance. One-legged stances, stilted and straight knee stances, overextended forward stances, etc., are a big mistake both offensively and defensively.

    - Dancing -

    Don't dance around, or bounce up and down. Quick, short, even-keeled adjustments are what you want. Stay mobile, but don't waste any motion. In keeping with the gas and brakes analogy above, stay on the balls for quick range adjustment, but SETTLE IN on your punches. You get your punching power from the ground, through the legs, and off the hips.

    - The generator -

    This is a principle I teach my students. Everything you do needs to derive power from somewhere. Your hips are your generator. Plug everything you do into your generator. Throwing punches without the hips is like fighting a duel with an unloaded gun. You might get the first shot off, but he'll be the one who really connects.

    - Better to make him miss by an inch, than by a mile -

    This relates to some other things I've already said. When you make him miss by a mile, you'll often find yourself too far out of alignment to fire back. Make him miss by an inch, and it's as if he's not punching you at all -- as far as your ability to counterpunch is concerned.

    - Head at the level of your punch -

    You have to drop your head to the level of your target. THIS INCLUDES BODY SHOTS. Not to do this is to get hit. Some say you should put your eyes at the level of where you're punching, some say the chin or shoulders. I usually put my eyes at the target level.

    - Punching Power -

    The power of your punch is on the very end of it. This is one way in which boxing/fighting is a range game. You've got to find your distance, in order to tee off. The real art comes in catching him at the right time and place when your punch is at its max. It's like catching a train. You've got to coordinate things, so that both you AND the train are at the station if you're going to catch the train. Both of you are on the move, though, and this takes timing.

    - When to catch him -

    Often, an opponent is ready to move once off of your first attack to make you miss. But, usually after this first movement he has nowhere to go unless he's pretty good. Often you can catch him flatfooted at this time, if you're ready to follow up and keep gaining range. Most common of all is simply leaning away from your initial attack. If you're ready to follow up from that, you can usually catch most people (unless your opponent is Chris Byrd).

    Musashi once said something related to this: Throw something up at his face, and you'll see his reaction. Then you can know exactly what to do, since he has tipped his hand, and show his intention. Example: You throw a threatening jab (good safe angle, well-covered, but believable) and he reacts by moving slightly back away. This tells you to do the same thing, but follow with an overhand to catch him -- because you know where his head is going to be after the jab.

    - The chin -

    The chin is the magic button. Tuck yours, exploit his. Some people look really tough, but they go down from a tap on the chin. Whereas, trying to knock a guy out by punching his skull can take a while, unless you hit really hard. Head's like a helmet. Not a good target, unless you can already break patio blocks with your fists. I've knocked people out by punching their skull without hurting my hands, but it takes a while to get your fists tough enough for it.

    - Jab like a fencer -

    Jabbing is a game of controlled lunging in coordinated footwork to achieve the right range for other things. Some people use the jab in a light way, like a fly swatter. I like to use it light, but also as a heavier punch as well -- a dichotomy which comes from originally learning to box at 175 lbs., but finding myself now at a trim 215-220 lbs. with enough speed AND weight to use it both ways.

    - Sparring -

    The quality of your sparring partners will influence your skill level. Highly skilled fighters do not need to go full contact all the time to get a lot from the exchange. Besides, if you're a heavyweight like me, here's an important stat for you: 87% of all heavyweight pros suffer from permanent brain damage as a result of full contact sparring and fighting. No thanks. I want to be able to remember my wife's name when I'm 60.

    Moreover, you can't explore new combinations and options if there's too big a price to pay. When somebody is out there trying to knock your block off all the time, you'll tend to fall back on just surviving instead of consciously enforcing actions that are intelligent if not yet reflexive.

    - Shadowboxing -

    You should shadowbox EVERY DAY. The most valuable training experiences for me have been those little 15 or 20 minute sessions where I shadowbox and play with different angles and combos. Keeps you sharp, too.

    - Number your angles -

    Start with a basic numbering system:

    1. Jab
    2. Cross
    3. Lead Hook
    4. Rear Overhand
    5. Lead Uppercut

    Eventually add other angles (e.g. from close range, squared face-off, or opponent moves to inside):

    6. Rear Uppercut
    7. Lead overhand
    8. Rear Hook

    Now. When working the focus mitts, have the feeder call out combos by number:

    "1,1 while circling"


    The feeder should collide the mitts with your punches so that the mitts do not snap back, making it possible for him to stay with you on faster combinations, and to give you a satisfying impact when you punch.

    Next, work into advancing combos where the feeder throws angles after your first one or two shots, you evade and continue with your counter.



    Again, these are mostly BASICS. I've just skipped around a bit, in addition to avoiding kicking altogether which is a favorite area of mine. Maybe some other time. But what I've given here is based entirely on my experience, and it will help you if you apply it.

    Good luck.

    Frank Benn
    Integrated Arts
    Austin, Texas

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