Boxing: What Are The Most Important Skills To Learn?

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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Boxing has become increasingly popular over the years, and it's not surprising why. Boxing is an incredible workout that will challenge many of your senses and capacities in addition to providing some outstanding benefits like burning fat and improving your cardiovascular system. If you haven't done so yet, you're missing out and should definitely give boxing a try - you won't be disappointed! 

One of the world's oldest and most beloved sports, boxing has proven to be popular among many people for various reasons. From its early emergence in the ancient Olympic Games, through early 18-century England, to an introduction of the Marquess of Queensbury rules, boxing skills and the sport of boxing itself has continually been refined and perfected, making it the celebrated sport we all know and love today. 

Here in the 21st century, professional boxing attracts significant sponsorship deals and makes fighters like Mike Tyson, George Foreman, and Muhammad Ali millionaires. Other styles like amateur boxing are also growing exponentially. Those looking for a challenge, fame, and glory are attracted by the allure of the benefits to be realized and sprung into stardom. It's true - boxing is increasing in popularity by the minute, especially with movies like "Fight Club," "Million Dollar Baby," and, of course, "Rocky." 

Boxing has become a global phenomenon and is no longer a sport meant for only the "beasts-of-men" in the world. In fact, boxing caters to all fitness levels and has grown immensely popular in the fitness industry as well. Boxing provides a workout that is not only challenging but loads of fun. 

If you are new to the exciting world of boxing, then we are especially excited for you! You're about to embark on an incredible journey like no other. 

To prepare yourself, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the basic boxing skills and boxing techniques you'll learn at the boxing gym - but what exactly are those skills? Keep reading to find out.


Boxing Stance

The importance of having a good stance can't be stressed enough. It provides balance and is a key to both defensive and attacking techniques.

To fight effectively, boxers should be able to throw punches in succession without losing their balance. In fact, being off-balance can allow your opponent to strike. To assume a proper boxing stance, you need to do the following:

  • Stand sideways to your target, so that you lead with the shoulder opposite of your strong punching hand. If you are right-handed, you should be pointing your left shoulder toward the target. 
  • Your feet should be kept shoulder-width apart. Step forward one pace with your left foot and line up the left heel with your right foot's toes.
  • Turn both of your feet to a 45-degree angle positioned toward your target. Your body weight should be evenly distributed to provide a secure and steady platform. 
  • Bend your hips and your knees slightly. Make sure to keep your back fairly straight and lift your back heel around 3 inches off the floor.
  • Tuck your elbows close to your sides and raise your forearms so that they provide protection to your chest and upper body--don't forget to guard your face as needed, that mouthguard can only do so much!  
  • Hold your left glove out at about shoulder height and keep it far enough out to attack, but close enough to draw it back quickly in defense.
  • Your right glove should be held underneath your chin with your wrist turned inwards. 


Footwork

Most boxers can punch hard and fast at the pro level, but what separates the great from the merely good boils down to footwork. Watch Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Andre Ward work and you'll see what we mean! Good boxing footwork is important to enable the fighter to defend or attack from a balanced position. The golden rules of footwork in boxing are as follows:

  • Keep your weight balanced on both feet.
  • Keep your feet shoulder width apart as you move to maintain a good, sturdy balance. 
  • Never let your feet cross.
  • Move around the ring using short and quick sliding steps on the balls of your feet. 
  • Always move your foot that is closest to the direction in which you want to move first. 

The key to good footwork is speed. Be patient when learning this skill because it can take a little bit of time and dedication to really get it down. If you find yourself struggling, try exercises to help strengthen your legs. One good activity that is used by many boxers to improve their fitness and footwork is skipping jump rope. Another great way to improve footwork includes doing some shadow boxing around a heavy bag/punching bag. When choosing a boxing club, be sure to find one like LegendsBoxing that always has trainers available to help when you need it most--even just a few training sessions focusing on footwork can do a lot for your boxing match or even just your boxing workout! A good trainer can make all the difference in picking up a skill like footwork sooner than later.


Punching

Southpaw, power punches, counter-punching--boxing punches are the highlight of the whole game. Although there are many punching skills you'll learn along the way through your sparring, and boxing training, there are four main basic punches you should become familiar with before you put on those boxing gloves for the first time: jab, cross, hook, and uppercut. 


The Jab (Left Jab). This may be the easiest skill that you'll learn, but it'll also be the most-used skill: the jab. This punch can be used both for defense or attack and is useful to keep the opposing boxer at bay to set up bigger attacks for more punching power. 

  • Hold your left hand up high with your elbow tucked in close to your body. 
  • Aim for your opponent's chin with your back knuckles.
  • Rotate your arm so that the punch makes impact with your thumb making a small clockwise turn inwards.
  • Slide your left foot forward, right before landing the jab, and immediately snap your hand back, ready to deliver another punch.
  • Your chin should be dropped to your shoulder to keep it protected, and your right hand should be held high prepared to block any counter punches. 


The Cross (A Straight Right). This is arguably the most powerful and damaging punch you will learn, but in some cases, when your punch fails to connect, it can leave you open to a counterattack. This straight punch is best used in a combination of punches, usually, after the opponent's defense has opened up following getting hit with a good left jab. 

  • Drive off from your back foot and pivot your hips and shoulders into the punch for maximum power and efficacy. 
  • Straighten your right arm so that it's at full stretch on impact. 
  • Keep your left hand in a guarding position, protecting your face and body to avoid a counterattack.


A Straight Left. If you want to keep an opponent on the back foot, this punch will do the trick! We know, we didn't mention it as one of the four basic techniques, but keep it in your arsenal--it'll come in handy!

  • From the basic starting stance, simply straighten your left arm and twist your hips and shoulders into the punch.
  • Your fist will automatically rotate so your knuckles will face up, and your palms will face downwards just before your punch makes an impact.
  • If you have room, slide your left foot forward for the strike and quickly bring up the right foot to maintain your balance. 


Hook (A Right or Left Hook). 

The hook is an effective punch that comes from the side, so it tends to catch the opponent off guard since it's initially out of their direct sightline. This powerful punch requires the boxer to arch and turn their body into the punch.  

  • Bring your chin down to the inside of your left shoulder to keep it protected.
  • Pivot your toes, hips, and hand in the direction of the punch.
  • Turn your hand over so when it makes impact, your palm is facing downwards. 


Uppercut 

Like the cross, the uppercut is a mighty punch that can be a great KO punch. It comes up from underneath, has an element of surprise, and is usually aimed at the opponent's chin with either hand. However, there is one drawback - if your uppercut punch doesn't take the opponent out, there is a big chance that they'll be able to deliver a damaging counterattack. 

  • To make a right uppercut, transfer your weight onto your right foot and twist your hips and shoulders to the left, driving your right fist directly up into your opponent's chin.
  • To make a left uppercut, transfer your weight onto your left foot, twisting your hips and shoulders to the right. Drive your left fist directly up into your opponent's chin. 


In Conclusion

While stance, footwork, and punching lay the foundation for you to start working on your boxing style, keep in mind that head movement, cardio, and defensive techniques follow closely behind. 

Boxing is an incredible sport that has become increasingly popular for all of the fantastic benefits it has to offer, like strengthening your cardiovascular system, building muscle, and burning fat - just to name a few. Back in the day, the sport was only meant for big, burly men, but today, boxing caters to all fitness levels, especially as it fits into different variations and styles like kickboxing and even mixed martial arts (MMA). It doesn't matter if you are entirely new to exercise or the strongest cat on the block - boxing has something for everyone. 


If you are looking for an excellent way to improve your health, look no further because boxing can help! Choose a world class gym like LegendsBoxing to guide you on your boxing journey and help take you to unimaginable heights. LegendsBoxing will show you that you're stronger than you think, and with the right support, capable of anything if you set your mind to it!


Sources:

https://www.olympic.org/boxing-equipment-and-history#:~:text=In%20the%20beginning,hands%20and%20forearms%20for%20protection.

https://www.britannica.com/sports/Marquess-of-Queensberry-rules

https://www.definitions.net/definition/amateur+boxing



Written by
On
Tuesday, September 1, 2020