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The Ins and Outs of Buying a Heavy Bag

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For anyone that has ever gone shopping for a heavy bag, the vast selection can be very confusing. You will quickly find that there are a vast array of weights, fills, and coverings.

What is the difference between a 70lb heavy bag and a 100lb heavy bag? Does it matter what kind of fill it has? How about the covering? Is leather better than canvas?

All are valid questions and questions I myself had when I was looking for a bag to hang in my garage. In the end, I seriously asked myself exactly what I was going to use it for and went from there. So you can learn from my experience, here is what I found out.

For anyone that has ever gone shopping for a heavy bag, the vast selection can be very confusing. You will quickly find that there are a vast array of weights, fills, and coverings.

What is the difference between a 70lb heavy bag and a 100lb heavy bag? Does it matter what kind of fill it has? How about the covering? Is leather better than canvas?

All are valid questions and questions I myself had when I was looking for a bag to hang in my garage. In the end, I seriously asked myself exactly what I was going to use it for and went from there. So you can learn from my experience, here is what I found out.

1. What is the difference between a bag weighing 70lbs vs one a lot heavier, say 100lbs?

1. What is the difference between a bag weighing 70lbs vs one a lot heavier, say 100lbs?

The Heavy Bag

If you ask a sporting goods salesman this question - you'll get a wide variety of answers depending on how knowledgeable he or she is. Most of the ones I talked to had no clue and some even tried to feed me a line of bullshit saying the heavier bags are for pros because they hit a lot harder. In the end, I analyzed what everyone said, cut through the crap, used some common sense and came up with an answer.

Basically - the difference is the amount of resistance the bag is going to give. This is obvious. A heavier bag will put up more of a fight. It will take a lot more force to move it. Not that a swinging bag is bad thing as it ensures you aren't stationary while you are hitting it. The added resistance will be beneficial in the development of stronger punches and more overall power.

I cringe as I type that; however, as power punching is more technique than raw strength. Like weight training, though, you have to continually increase the resistance to experience gains in strength. I believe the same goes for a heavy bag.

I eventually settled on a 100lb bag for my garage. I weigh about 170lb and have a pretty good swing and I find the bag puts up a pretty good fight. It does feel different from the full length 150lb+ bags hanging in my boxing gym though. They move a lot less and I find myself using a more power when I'm hitting them.

But, that brings me to my next point about buying a heavy bag:

If you ask a sporting goods salesman this question - you'll get a wide variety of answers depending on how knowledgeable he or she is. Most of the ones I talked to had no clue and some even tried to feed me a line of bullshit saying the heavier bags are for pros because they hit a lot harder. In the end, I analyzed what everyone said, cut through the crap, used some common sense and came up with an answer.

Basically - the difference is the amount of resistance the bag is going to give. This is obvious. A heavier bag will put up more of a fight. It will take a lot more force to move it. Not that a swinging bag is bad thing as it ensures you aren't stationary while you are hitting it. The added resistance will be beneficial in the development of stronger punches and more overall power.

I cringe as I type that; however, as power punching is more technique than raw strength. Like weight training, though, you have to continually increase the resistance to experience gains in strength. I believe the same goes for a heavy bag.

I eventually settled on a 100lb bag for my garage. I weigh about 170lb and have a pretty good swing and I find the bag puts up a pretty good fight. It does feel different from the full length 150lb+ bags hanging in my boxing gym though. They move a lot less and I find myself using a more power when I'm hitting them.

But, that brings me to my next point about buying a heavy bag:

2. Does it matter what the heavy bag is filled with?

2. Does it matter what the heavy bag is filled with?

Absolutely. A 100lb bag filled with cement is going to feel a lot different than one filled with feathers. There are 3 general types of filling and which one is used also helps determine the weight of the bag. First, there is hard fill. It is a shredded fiber fill enclosed in a 1" closed cell foam liner. Second, there are soft fill bags that have slightly more give as they are enclosed in a 2" liner. Third, there are water filled bags which are in a class all their own.

The differences between the types of fill can be measured in the stiffness of the bag, how well it holds its shape, and the effects on your body. A hard fill bag will hold its shape well and is very solid. There will not be much give, so it is going to be the hardest on your body. Your joints and bones will get a workout from this kind of fill.

A soft fill bag, is a lighter version of the hard fill. A little bit of give was introduced to lessen the impact on the bones and joints and make it easier on your hands.

Water filled bags give a unique workout. There is lots of give which makes them easy on your joints, but they also hold their shape. If you think about it, these are most like hitting a human body which is mostly water anyways. Not to mention all the organs splashing around in there...

Which fill you choose is a matter of personal preference and your physical limitations. If you want to really strengthen your bones/joints (or break them), the harder the fill the better. In fact, why don't you forgo the heavy bag and hit brick walls 🙂 No matter which one you choose though, you will still get a great workout.

Absolutely. A 100lb bag filled with cement is going to feel a lot different than one filled with feathers. There are 3 general types of filling and which one is used also helps determine the weight of the bag. First, there is hard fill. It is a shredded fiber fill enclosed in a 1" closed cell foam liner. Second, there are soft fill bags that have slightly more give as they are enclosed in a 2" liner. Third, there are water filled bags which are in a class all their own.

The differences between the types of fill can be measured in the stiffness of the bag, how well it holds its shape, and the effects on your body. A hard fill bag will hold its shape well and is very solid. There will not be much give, so it is going to be the hardest on your body. Your joints and bones will get a workout from this kind of fill.

A soft fill bag, is a lighter version of the hard fill. A little bit of give was introduced to lessen the impact on the bones and joints and make it easier on your hands.

Water filled bags give a unique workout. There is lots of give which makes them easy on your joints, but they also hold their shape. If you think about it, these are most like hitting a human body which is mostly water anyways. Not to mention all the organs splashing around in there...

Which fill you choose is a matter of personal preference and your physical limitations. If you want to really strengthen your bones/joints (or break them), the harder the fill the better. In fact, why don't you forgo the heavy bag and hit brick walls 🙂 No matter which one you choose though, you will still get a great workout.

3. How about the covering - leather or canvas?

3. How about the covering - leather or canvas?

You can find nevatear (composite material) heavy bags, canvas bags, and leather bags (of varying qualities of leather). A good quality leather bag will outlast you. It will not tear or crack and will be around long after your hands have shriveled up into little arthritic claws.

Canvas bags are just as good. They will last a long time as well and are extremely durable. I'd tend to stay away from the super cheap vinyl bags. Remember, you are punching and/or kicking this thing. It has to stand up to a bit of a beating or you're going to be wasting some more money on another one in the near future.

You can find nevatear (composite material) heavy bags, canvas bags, and leather bags (of varying qualities of leather). A good quality leather bag will outlast you. It will not tear or crack and will be around long after your hands have shriveled up into little arthritic claws.

Canvas bags are just as good. They will last a long time as well and are extremely durable. I'd tend to stay away from the super cheap vinyl bags. Remember, you are punching and/or kicking this thing. It has to stand up to a bit of a beating or you're going to be wasting some more money on another one in the near future.

4. Other considerations when buying a heavy bag:

4. Other considerations when buying a heavy bag:

The points above are the main considerations, but here are a bunch of others you may want to think about:

The points above are the main considerations, but here are a bunch of others you may want to think about:

Do you have a strong roof or somewhere to hang it?

Do you have a strong roof or somewhere to hang it?

If not, you may want to consider a free standing bag or a heavy bag stand. They offer the convenience of not having to find a way to anchor a 100lb weight that is going to get the crap kicked out of it everyday from that load bearing rafter in your house. More than one person has knocked the bag off the roof leaving a nasty hole in the ceiling.

You can properly anchor a heavy bag to your ceiling or wall if you have a space for it in your garage or basement. A heavy bag spring placed between the chain and the mount will reduce some of the vibrations and noise that comes with attaching it to your structure.

If not, you may want to consider a free standing bag or a heavy bag stand. They offer the convenience of not having to find a way to anchor a 100lb weight that is going to get the crap kicked out of it everyday from that load bearing rafter in your house. More than one person has knocked the bag off the roof leaving a nasty hole in the ceiling.

You can properly anchor a heavy bag to your ceiling or wall if you have a space for it in your garage or basement. A heavy bag spring placed between the chain and the mount will reduce some of the vibrations and noise that comes with attaching it to your structure.

Do you really care which brand name you are buying?

Do you really care which brand name you are buying?

I hate to say a heavy bag is a heavy bag because there are very good quality bags and then there are shit bags. However, just be careful you are paying for the product and not the brand name on it. Everlast, Ringside, TKO all make excellent bags.

I hate to say a heavy bag is a heavy bag because there are very good quality bags and then there are shit bags. However, just be careful you are paying for the product and not the brand name on it. Everlast, Ringside, TKO all make excellent bags.

Consider your size...

Consider your size...

I weigh 170lb and I work out on both 100lb and 150lb bags. If you weigh 90lbs, will a 100lb bag be of more benefit to you than a 70lb bag? Maybe, maybe not. I'm guessing the added resistance of a bigger heavy bag is not really going to be that big of a deal. You probably get plenty of resistance from a 70lb bag.

I weigh 170lb and I work out on both 100lb and 150lb bags. If you weigh 90lbs, will a 100lb bag be of more benefit to you than a 70lb bag? Maybe, maybe not. I'm guessing the added resistance of a bigger heavy bag is not really going to be that big of a deal. You probably get plenty of resistance from a 70lb bag.

Are you buying it online and having it shipped to you?

Are you buying it online and having it shipped to you?

If so - remember that a filled heavy bag weighs a lot and that increases shipping prices and the overall cost of the bag. Depending on where you order it from - the cost could double. One option is to buy an unfilled bag which will ship at a much more affordable cost.

If you buy one unfilled, you'll need to fill it obviously. Different filler materials have different pros and cons:

  • Don't use sand. It compresses and will be like hitting cement. If it ever gets wet it will be hard as rock. You might as well just hit the side of your house.
  • Better fills - Rubber mulch inside about 2" of foam, wood pellets, rice, rags pushed in loosely around a pvc pipe filled with sand (for weight), maple peas, dry peas or beans, or water (if you buy one designed for it)

If so - remember that a filled heavy bag weighs a lot and that increases shipping prices and the overall cost of the bag. Depending on where you order it from - the cost could double. One option is to buy an unfilled bag which will ship at a much more affordable cost.

If you buy one unfilled, you'll need to fill it obviously. Different filler materials have different pros and cons:

  • Don't use sand. It compresses and will be like hitting cement. If it ever gets wet it will be hard as rock. You might as well just hit the side of your house.
  • Better fills - Rubber mulch inside about 2" of foam, wood pellets, rice, rags pushed in loosely around a pvc pipe filled with sand (for weight), maple peas, dry peas or beans, or water (if you buy one designed for it)

Does it matter if the heavy bag is stitched or has a zipper?

Does it matter if the heavy bag is stitched or has a zipper?

It only matters if you are buying it unfilled. If so - you need an easy way to open it and fill it - thus a zipper is the way to go. If you are buying it already filled - go for the stitching. It will be more durable and there is really no reason to need to get into the bag once it is filled. Even if you do buy one with a zipper - most reputable companies use such a heavy duty zipper that you shouldn't have any problems with it.

It only matters if you are buying it unfilled. If so - you need an easy way to open it and fill it - thus a zipper is the way to go. If you are buying it already filled - go for the stitching. It will be more durable and there is really no reason to need to get into the bag once it is filled. Even if you do buy one with a zipper - most reputable companies use such a heavy duty zipper that you shouldn't have any problems with it.

Can you hang a bag outside?

Can you hang a bag outside?

Sure - but it will obviously be subjected to the weather. If you live in a humid climate you can expect it to get wet and rot eventually. Same thing if it is subjected to direct sunlight - the leather or canvas will eventually dry out and deteriorate. You can avoid this by treating the leather occasionally or prolong the inevitable by covering it with some type of cover. Ideally, if you want to use it outside - hang it up when you are using it and then put it under cover when you are not.

Sure - but it will obviously be subjected to the weather. If you live in a humid climate you can expect it to get wet and rot eventually. Same thing if it is subjected to direct sunlight - the leather or canvas will eventually dry out and deteriorate. You can avoid this by treating the leather occasionally or prolong the inevitable by covering it with some type of cover. Ideally, if you want to use it outside - hang it up when you are using it and then put it under cover when you are not.

Can you leave it hanging all the time?

Can you leave it hanging all the time?

You can, but over time the fill will settle in the bag and your bag will be harder at the bottom than it is at the top. You should occasionally take it down and roll it to even out its contents. If you are taking a prolonged break from training, it's a good idea to take it down and lay it flat.

You can, but over time the fill will settle in the bag and your bag will be harder at the bottom than it is at the top. You should occasionally take it down and roll it to even out its contents. If you are taking a prolonged break from training, it's a good idea to take it down and lay it flat.

Heavy bag stand versus mounting

Heavy bag stand versus mounting

In my opinion the best option is always to mount it - preferably from the ceiling. Doing so gives you the ability to move around it 360 degrees which is beneficial for your footwork, practicing pivots, movement, and so on. That takes room obviously so it's not for everyone. You won't get quite the same range of motion by using a heavy bag stand, but it's better than not hanging one up at all.

In my opinion the best option is always to mount it - preferably from the ceiling. Doing so gives you the ability to move around it 360 degrees which is beneficial for your footwork, practicing pivots, movement, and so on. That takes room obviously so it's not for everyone. You won't get quite the same range of motion by using a heavy bag stand, but it's better than not hanging one up at all.

Should you buy one with chains or straps on top?

Should you buy one with chains or straps on top?

Honestly, it doesn't matter a whole lot as long as they are both heavy duty enough to hold the bag and not break. Chains are often attached to a swivel before being attached to the mount which allows the bag to spin without having to eventually spin back the other way to untangle the straps. Pretty much all of the higher quality bags use chains and they are what I've always used - so I'd recommend them over straps.

Honestly, it doesn't matter a whole lot as long as they are both heavy duty enough to hold the bag and not break. Chains are often attached to a swivel before being attached to the mount which allows the bag to spin without having to eventually spin back the other way to untangle the straps. Pretty much all of the higher quality bags use chains and they are what I've always used - so I'd recommend them over straps.

How much space do you need to hang a heavy bag?

How much space do you need to hang a heavy bag?

The ideal amount of space around the bag is enough that you can have the bag swing back and forth and still be able to move around it at a distance just out of punching range. What that ideal amount of space is is going to vary depending on how high your ceiling is. A longer chain is going to require more distance because the bag can swing in a wider arc.

The ideal amount of space around the bag is enough that you can have the bag swing back and forth and still be able to move around it at a distance just out of punching range. What that ideal amount of space is is going to vary depending on how high your ceiling is. A longer chain is going to require more distance because the bag can swing in a wider arc.

WHAT DO I RECOMMEND

WHAT DO I RECOMMEND

Of all the heavy bags I've tried - the Aqua Punching Bag stands out far above the crowd (use discount code Commando at checkout for 10% off). You can read my full Aqua Punching Bag review to find out why.

Of all the heavy bags I've tried - the Aqua Punching Bag stands out far above the crowd. You can read my full Aqua Punching Bag review to find out why.

In conclusion:

In conclusion:

Take a good, hard look at what you are actually going to be using the bag for and how often you are going to use it, before wasting your money on a top of the line model. For myself, I needed a bag that I could hang in my garage and use when I couldn't make it to the boxing gym - I have a wife and 2 kids, so even though I'd love to hang out at the gym 7 days a week, my family is never too thrilled about it. However, if I am in the garage, they feel so much closer. I currently have an Aqua Punching Bag and a regular 100lb heavy bag hanging in my garage and they are working perfectly for the perfectly for the job I had in mind for them.

Ideally, find different weighted bags and try them out. Most sports stores have them hanging up. If not, stop by a boxing gym and try them out there. You will quickly find out the differences in "feel". When you hit it and find it is moving too much or has too much give, then maybe you need a heavier bag. It's all quite a personal decision.

If you're looking for a good dealer, check out the Commando Boxing Store with a huge selection at discount prices. Feel free to comment on this article and add your thoughts, especially if you disagree with something I've written...

Take a good, hard look at what you are actually going to be using the bag for and how often you are going to use it, before wasting your money on a top of the line model. For myself, I needed a bag that I could hang in my garage and use when I couldn't make it to the boxing gym - I have a wife and 2 kids, so even though I'd love to hang out at the gym 7 days a week, my family is never too thrilled about it. However, if I am in the garage, they feel so much closer. I currently have an Aqua Punching Bag and a regular 100lb heavy bag hanging in my garage and they are working perfectly for the perfectly for the job I had in mind for them.

Ideally, find different weighted bags and try them out. Most sports stores have them hanging up. If not, stop by a boxing gym and try them out there. You will quickly find out the differences in "feel". When you hit it and find it is moving too much or has too much give, then maybe you need a heavier bag. It's all quite a personal decision.

If you're looking for a good dealer, check out the Commando Boxing Store with a huge selection at discount prices. Feel free to comment on this article and add your thoughts, especially if you disagree with something I've written...

What to Expect when Joining a Boxing Gym

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Does it make you anxious when you think about walking into or joining a boxing gym or club?

I get emails all the time from people who want to learn to box but are terrified of walking into a gym or talking to a trainer - and I get it - not only do you have to deal with the unknown and being the new guy or gal in class, but with boxing all that fear is magnified when you think that someone is going to want to punch you in the face.

Most of us aren't bred for combat.

I want you to be comfortable walking into a boxing gym and talking to a trainer because I want to get more emails like this one from Alexandra:

"Thanks for all the interesting boxing articles you've written over the years! I started reading your page just over four years ago and learning the basics gave me that tiny boost of confidence I needed to go to a boxing gym and start training. Four years later I've had six Muay Thai fights in Canada and the U.S. as well as spending a month in Thailand for training. I'm up for the BC ISKA Women's Welterweight title hopefully within the next year. Thanks again for giving me that nudge I needed to get started!"

So, to try and boost your confidence - I'm going to give you a good idea of what you can expect when you walk into a boxing gym for the first time and then give you some tips for making it an enjoyable experience rather than a traumatic one.

I want you to be comfortable walking into a boxing gym and talking to a trainer because I want to get more emails like this one from Alexandra:

"Thanks for all the interesting boxing articles you've written over the years! I started reading your page just over four years ago and learning the basics gave me that tiny boost of confidence I needed to go to a boxing gym and start training. Four years later I've had six Muay Thai fights in Canada and the U.S. as well as spending a month in Thailand for training. I'm up for the BC ISKA Women's Welterweight title hopefully within the next year. Thanks again for giving me that nudge I needed to get started!"

So, to try and boost your confidence - I'm going to give you a good idea of what you can expect when you walk into a boxing gym for the first time and then give you some tips for making it an enjoyable experience rather than a traumatic one.

THE KIND OF BOXING CLUB OR GYM MATTERS

THE KIND OF BOXING CLUB OR GYM MATTERS

There are basically three kinds of boxing clubs.

  1. The hardcore fight club.  This is the kind of gym you join if you want to learn how to fight and compete.  If becoming a boxing champion is your goal then you need a place like this.  These gyms are also the most intimidating kinds of gyms to walk into.  Competition among club members can be fierce and all are vying for the trainer's attention with the hopes of showing enough potential to become the club's golden child.
  2. The fitness club.  These kinds of clubs don't breed fighters.  They use boxing as a means to help you get in shape.  The trainers/coaches are far less concerned with technique and more concerned with keeping you moving to burn calories.  Highly doubtful you'd ever actually spar with anyone in a place like this.
  3. The hybrid club.  This is usually the kind of club you'll actually join.  Whether they want to or not - the coach runs fitness classes and trains fighters.  It's a matter of profits and viability.  There are far more people interested in getting shape than there are in learning how to box and compete.  Often the fitness classes fund the fighters (travel, hotel, food, tournament fees) when they have to travel for a fight.

Walking into a fitness club with the intent of just using boxing to get in shape is straight forward.  There is nothing to be anxious about there.  They see lots of new people all the time and will integrate you into the classes.  You'll get an orientation session - first class is usually free - and you'll probably feel welcome pretty quickly.  If that's all you want out of boxing, then don't think about it for another second - there is nothing to worry about joining a fitness type club - other than the outrageous fees you'll pay... 🙂

Walking into a club where they train fighters - either hardcore or as a hybrid is a bit of a different story...

There are basically three kinds of boxing clubs.

  1. The hardcore fight club.  This is the kind of gym you join if you want to learn how to fight and compete.  If becoming a boxing champion is your goal then you need a place like this.  These gyms are also the most intimidating kinds of gyms to walk into.  Competition among club members can be fierce and all are vying for the trainer's attention with the hopes of showing enough potential to become the club's golden child.
  2. The fitness club.  These kinds of clubs don't breed fighters.  They use boxing as a means to help you get in shape.  The trainers/coaches are far less concerned with technique and more concerned with keeping you moving to burn calories.  Highly doubtful you'd ever actually spar with anyone in a place like this.
  3. The hybrid club.  This is usually the kind of club you'll actually join.  Whether they want to or not - the coach runs fitness classes and trains fighters.  It's a matter of profits and viability.  There are far more people interested in getting shape than there are in learning how to box and compete.  Often the fitness classes fund the fighters (travel, hotel, food, tournament fees) when they have to travel for a fight.

Walking into a fitness club with the intent of just using boxing to get in shape is straight forward.  There is nothing to be anxious about there.  They see lots of new people all the time and will integrate you into the classes.  You'll get an orientation session - first class is usually free - and you'll probably feel welcome pretty quickly.  If that's all you want out of boxing, then don't think about it for another second - there is nothing to worry about joining a fitness type club - other than the outrageous fees you'll pay... 🙂

Walking into a club where they train fighters - either hardcore or as a hybrid is a bit of a different story...

WALKING INTO THE BOXING CLUB FOR THE FIRST TIME

WALKING INTO THE BOXING CLUB FOR THE FIRST TIME

You will likely walk in and down some steps into the basement of some building.  If I surveyed all the gyms out there - I bet at least 50-60% go for the hardcore, dark, dirty, warehouse type look.  These buildings are probably the cheapest to lease or buy and exposed beams make it easier to hang heavybags and that sort of thing.  Anyways, it's not all clubs - but chances are you'll enter this kind of atmosphere.

Nobody will greet you at the door.  You'll see a boxing ring and people will be hitting bags, skipping, and generally looking all mean and  nasty.  At this point, a lot of people turn around leave - don't.  Never mind what is going on.  Just go find whoever is the coach or trainer that day and introduce yourself.  Like fitness clubs - your first class will usually be free so you can try it out.  That's important because not every club or trainer is going to be a good fit for you.  There are definitely some things to look for in a good trainer.

Once you find someone willing to talk to you (and some coaches are much better than others) they will likely get you (or your parent) to sign in and sign a waiver releasing them of liability in the case that you get hurt.  The coach will usually ask if you want to fight.  If you say yes (and you should if you're in a place like this), they will give you some more paperwork to take home with you including a medical release form that a doctor will have to fill out and an application to join the boxing association in whatever state/province/country you are in.  Paperwork will vary by location - but you need to join the amateur boxing association in your location to compete.

Next, the class will get going.  Typically the classes will consist of three minute rounds of work followed by a minute of rest.  A typical class might resemble:

  1. 3 rounds of skipping (jump rope)
  2. Wrap up (put on your handwraps)
  3. 3 rounds of shadowboxing
  4. Glove up (put on your bag gloves)
  5. 6-12 rounds of heavybag work (some people will be pulled into the ring to work with the coach on target mitts or to spar)
  6. 2-3 rounds of bodyweight exercises
  7. Cooldown (including some ab work)

You'll quickly find out how people in the club interact - but generally:

  • nobody is going to talk while working.  The minutes of rest will give you a little time to socialize while you catch your breath.
  • there will typically be a head coach who will be in the ring and pull in certain people to work certain skills while another coach supervises the conditioning work everyone else is doing
  • coaches will walk around and correct faults or teach some skills as they deem necessary

If you're new and know nothing - you might get pulled off to the side to be quickly shown some basics.  More than likely, you'll be expected to flounder around with everyone for awhile and pick up what you can on your own.  The amount of help you'll get from other people will vary.  Ask questions but remember that people are there to train.  Some may have fights coming up and will be completely focused on that.  Some may be helpful but some will also ignore you completely.

It may seem all unorganized and disjointed, but if you stick with it you'll start to see how it really works.

You will likely walk in and down some steps into the basement of some building.  If I surveyed all the gyms out there - I bet at least 50-60% go for the hardcore, dark, dirty, warehouse type look.  These buildings are probably the cheapest to lease or buy and exposed beams make it easier to hang heavybags and that sort of thing.  Anyways, it's not all clubs - but chances are you'll enter this kind of atmosphere.

Nobody will greet you at the door.  You'll see a boxing ring and people will be hitting bags, skipping, and generally looking all mean and  nasty.  At this point, a lot of people turn around leave - don't.  Never mind what is going on.  Just go find whoever is the coach or trainer that day and introduce yourself.  Like fitness clubs - your first class will usually be free so you can try it out.  That's important because not every club or trainer is going to be a good fit for you.  There are definitely some things to look for in a good trainer.

Once you find someone willing to talk to you (and some coaches are much better than others) they will likely get you (or your parent) to sign in and sign a waiver releasing them of liability in the case that you get hurt.  The coach will usually ask if you want to fight.  If you say yes (and you should if you're in a place like this), they will give you some more paperwork to take home with you including a medical release form that a doctor will have to fill out and an application to join the boxing association in whatever state/province/country you are in.  Paperwork will vary by location - but you need to join the amateur boxing association in your location to compete.

Next, the class will get going.  Typically the classes will consist of three minute rounds of work followed by a minute of rest.  A typical class might resemble:

  1. 3 rounds of skipping (jump rope)
  2. Wrap up (put on your handwraps)
  3. 3 rounds of shadowboxing
  4. Glove up (put on your bag gloves)
  5. 6-12 rounds of heavybag work (some people will be pulled into the ring to work with the coach on target mitts or to spar)
  6. 2-3 rounds of bodyweight exercises
  7. Cooldown (including some ab work)

You'll quickly find out how people in the club interact - but generally:

  • nobody is going to talk while working.  The minutes of rest will give you a little time to socialize while you catch your breath.
  • there will typically be a head coach who will be in the ring and pull in certain people to work certain skills while another coach supervises the conditioning work everyone else is doing
  • coaches will walk around and correct faults or teach some skills as they deem necessary

If you're new and know nothing - you might get pulled off to the side to be quickly shown some basics.  More than likely, you'll be expected to flounder around with everyone for awhile and pick up what you can on your own.  The amount of help you'll get from other people will vary.  Ask questions but remember that people are there to train.  Some may have fights coming up and will be completely focused on that.  Some may be helpful but some will also ignore you completely.

It may seem all unorganized and disjointed, but if you stick with it you'll start to see how it really works.

10 TIPS TO MAKE THE EXPERIENCE ENJOYABLE AND LESS TRAUMATIC

10 TIPS TO MAKE THE EXPERIENCE ENJOYABLE AND LESS TRAUMATIC

If I can offer any advice - don't walk into a boxing club or gym until you are ready.  To help you get ready, consider the following 10 tips:

  1. Understand that you're not going to fight on day one.  It will usually take a few weeks or even months before the coach will put you in the ring to spar or fight.  The coach will watch you develop and won't put you in that situation until you can actually defend yourself.  If a coach or trainer puts you in the ring your first day - you should walk out of the club and never go back.  So stop worrying that you'll get beat up on your first day.
  2. Learn how to wrap your hands.  As a coach/trainer it is totally frustrating to teach new boxers how to wrap their hands at the beginning of every session.  It's easy to learn this at home.  Buy some handwraps and learn how to put them on so you don't have to waste someone's time at the gym asking how to do it or worse - making them do it for you.
  3. Learn some of the basics at home.  Use this site and at least get an idea of how to stand, guard, move, punch, and defend.  You don't have to be perfect at it, but a coach or trainer will have more time for you if you show them you've done some research ahead of time.   Note:  some coaches/trainers would rather you not know anything so they can teach you their way and not have to deal with bad habits you might have picked up.  I prefer that people have a base of knowledge to fine tune.  Either way, learning the basics will give you a lot more confidence to walk into a gym with.  Just don't go in pretending like you know everything no matter how confident you are.  You're there to learn.
  4. Do something about your fitness level.  Boxing training is hard work.  It's intense. If you are fat and lazy - you are going to get your ass handed to you on your first day and you'll make a terrible impression on everyone there.  Before walking into a place where you will train to fight - walk into a place where you will do something about your level of fitness/health first (or try my online Commando Boxing Body Transformation (CBBT) Program for Men or Women).
  5. Learn to jump rope/skip.  Not totally necessary - but if you've never jumped rope before - you'll spend what seems like an eternity whipping yourself and tripping over the rope.  Take some time alone to figure out how to skip - even at a basic level so you aren't a total freak show at the gym.
  6. Buy your own equipment.  You can use equipment that has been sweated in and maybe washed or you could show the coaches that you are serious enough about learning boxing that you've gone out and purchased some equipment.  All you need is a skipping rope ($3), handwraps ($4-$8), and bag gloves ($20-$50), and water bottle ($1).  Shorts, T-Shirt and running shoes work fine.  Put it all in a gym bag and show up looking the part (fake it till you make it...). Check out the Commando Boxing Store for your boxing equipment.
  7. Take a friend.  It does help if you go with someone else who is in the same boat as you are.  At least you'll have someone to talk to in-between rounds.  Try not to pair up with them though when it comes time to do partner skill training.  You'll learn more from someone who knows something.
  8. Go with the right attitude.  Don't walk into the club until you know you want to fight someday.  Get yourself mentally prepared for how challenging and intense the training will be.  If you go in thinking that you'll just try it and see how it works out - then there is a good chance you will never go back.  The first day in the gym is rarely a super positive experience.  You'll feel somewhat ignored and inadequate.  Push through that though and there are rewards on the other side.
  9. Be consistent.  If you're going to join - commit and join.  Show up no matter what.  Never miss a class.  The trainer will have zero time for you if you are sporadic.  Boxing skills take time and repetition to become second nature.  If you aren't consistent it's a sure sign to a trainer that you aren't really committed to becoming great in the sport.
  10. Ease into fighting.  If you are joining a hybrid club - it is not a bad idea to join the fitness classes first.  They are often taught by the same coaches who train the fighters so you'll learn the techniques correctly, develop some rapport, and it will give you some time to adjust to how the club works and get yourself into fighting shape.  Then - when you are ready - you can ease into the hardcore fight training.

If I can offer any advice - don't walk into a boxing club or gym until you are ready.  To help you get ready, consider the following 10 tips:

  1. Understand that you're not going to fight on day one.  It will usually take a few weeks or even months before the coach will put you in the ring to spar or fight.  The coach will watch you develop and won't put you in that situation until you can actually defend yourself.  If a coach or trainer puts you in the ring your first day - you should walk out of the club and never go back.  So stop worrying that you'll get beat up on your first day.
  2. Learn how to wrap your hands.  As a coach/trainer it is totally frustrating to teach new boxers how to wrap their hands at the beginning of every session.  It's easy to learn this at home.  Buy some handwraps and learn how to put them on so you don't have to waste someone's time at the gym asking how to do it or worse - making them do it for you.
  3. Learn some of the basics at home.  Use this site and at least get an idea of how to stand, guard, move, punch, and defend.  You don't have to be perfect at it, but a coach or trainer will have more time for you if you show them you've done some research ahead of time.   Note:  some coaches/trainers would rather you not know anything so they can teach you their way and not have to deal with bad habits you might have picked up.  I prefer that people have a base of knowledge to fine tune.  Either way, learning the basics will give you a lot more confidence to walk into a gym with.  Just don't go in pretending like you know everything no matter how confident you are.  You're there to learn.
  4. Do something about your fitness level.  Boxing training is hard work.  It's intense. If you are fat and lazy - you are going to get your ass handed to you on your first day and you'll make a terrible impression on everyone there.  Before walking into a place where you will train to fight - walk into a place where you will do something about your level of fitness/health first (or try my online Commando Boxing Body Transformation (CBBT) Program for Men or Women).
  5. Learn to jump rope/skip.  Not totally necessary - but if you've never jumped rope before - you'll spend what seems like an eternity whipping yourself and tripping over the rope.  Take some time alone to figure out how to skip - even at a basic level so you aren't a total freak show at the gym.
  6. Buy your own equipment.  You can use equipment that has been sweated in and maybe washed or you could show the coaches that you are serious enough about learning boxing that you've gone out and purchased some equipment.  All you need is a skipping rope ($3), handwraps ($4-$8), and bag gloves ($20-$50), and water bottle ($1).  Shorts, T-Shirt and running shoes work fine.  Put it all in a gym bag and show up looking the part (fake it till you make it...). Check out the Commando Boxing Store for your boxing equipment.
  7. Take a friend.  It does help if you go with someone else who is in the same boat as you are.  At least you'll have someone to talk to in-between rounds.  Try not to pair up with them though when it comes time to do partner skill training.  You'll learn more from someone who knows something.
  8. Go with the right attitude.  Don't walk into the club until you know you want to fight someday.  Get yourself mentally prepared for how challenging and intense the training will be.  If you go in thinking that you'll just try it and see how it works out - then there is a good chance you will never go back.  The first day in the gym is rarely a super positive experience.  You'll feel somewhat ignored and inadequate.  Push through that though and there are rewards on the other side.
  9. Be consistent.  If you're going to join - commit and join.  Show up no matter what.  Never miss a class.  The trainer will have zero time for you if you are sporadic.  Boxing skills take time and repetition to become second nature.  If you aren't consistent it's a sure sign to a trainer that you aren't really committed to becoming great in the sport.
  10. Ease into fighting.  If you are joining a hybrid club - it is not a bad idea to join the fitness classes first.  They are often taught by the same coaches who train the fighters so you'll learn the techniques correctly, develop some rapport, and it will give you some time to adjust to how the club works and get yourself into fighting shape.  Then - when you are ready - you can ease into the hardcore fight training.

IT'S ALL ABOUT POTENTIAL

IT'S ALL ABOUT POTENTIAL

On a final note - remember that the coaches and trainers in the fight clubs are looking for boxers who have the potential to win fights.  

The harder you work, the more dedicated you are, the quicker you learn, and the more heart you show - the more time the coaches/trainers are going to have for you.  

You have to prove yourself worthy in a boxing club - no coach or trainer is going to waste their time with someone who doesn't put in 100% effort at every training session.  If you prove to them you are willing to do the work and show them you have the potential to learn the skills necessary to be successful in the ring, they will focus their efforts on you.

They are always on the lookout for the next champ - so prove to them you have what it takes.  Boxon.

On a final note - remember that the coaches and trainers in the fight clubs are looking for boxers who have the potential to win fights.  

The harder you work, the more dedicated you are, the quicker you learn, and the more heart you show - the more time the coaches/trainers are going to have for you.  

You have to prove yourself worthy in a boxing club - no coach or trainer is going to waste their time with someone who doesn't put in 100% effort at every training session.  If you prove to them you are willing to do the work and show them you have the potential to learn the skills necessary to be successful in the ring, they will focus their efforts on you.

They are always on the lookout for the next champ - so prove to them you have what it takes.  Boxon.

32 Boxing Tips You Can Put to Use in the Ring Today

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Every boxing match is unique - therefore there are no special tricks for controlling the flow of every fight.

Learning to control a fight or solve problems you encounter in the ring comes down to experience. The more time you spend in the ring - sparring and fighting - the more comfortable you'll get being in that combat situation. The better you will be able to pick up the subtle cues of combat and respond appropriately. 

That said, I promised you 32 techniques. These are tried and true ring strategems or boxing principles to keep in mind when you step through the ropes:

  1. Box with your head not your hands. No matter how good your opponent is - if you can out think him you can outbox him (or her)
  2. Show up in the best shape possible. Boxing conditioning will be an asset or a liability. It's one variable you have total control over so there's no excuse to show up without the strength, speed or stamina to perform at 100% effort for the entire match.
  3. Stay loose and relaxed. If you're tense - your reaction time increases and you burn energy for no reason.
  4. Fancy may work - boxing fundamentals do work. Your game plan builds on a solid foundation.
  5. Act invincible - even if you know you're not. Never show weakness. Like a shark in a feeding frenzy - if you show signs of fear, hurt, or indecision you can expect your opponent to feed on it. You'll effectively give them superpowers.
  6. On the other hand - rest easy knowing that your opponent is as or more hurt, tired, or afraid as you are.
  7. Your forward hand is the safest way to start a combination - use it.
  8. Move. Standing still and being a static target gives your opponent too much time to size you up and decide how to attack. Keep presenting something new but don't jump around unnecessarily and waste energy when out of striking distance.
  9. Protect yourself at all times - hands high - get lazy and get knocked out.
  10. Chin down. Enough said.
  11. Be aware of distancing. If your opponent is in striking range - you are in striking range. Strike first.
  12. Clinch and smother any chance of counter attack when you miss or are in a bad position. Exit the clinch correctly or wait for ref to break.
  13. Keep it random. Don't establish patterns by doing things the same way. Go down the same road twice and expect to get blown up.
  14. Once you cross the striking zone and are inside your opponent's guard - stay there and keep punching.
  15. Every opponent is tough. Remember that it doesn't take a lot of power, skill, or speed to knock someone out. 
  16. Don't over reach. Maintain a solid base so you are never off balance. Off balance and over reaching leaves you open for counter attack.
  17. If you punch - PUNCH! Snap it - don't push it.
  18. Connect - if you're punching for the sake of punching you're wasting energy. Find the opening - then attack otherwise move and feint until you get the opening.
  19. Your target is behind where you are hitting. Make sure your fist ends up there.
  20. Use forward momentum and torque from the hips when you hit to hit hard. There is no power in a punch while moving backwards.
  21. Protect against ambushes. If your opponent wants you to do something - make sure you do something else.
  22. If you stop punching - you stop winning. Never quit trying to land the one that will end it.
  23. Stay where it's safe - in close, head at waist level, hands high.
  24. Be extra careful when crossing into the striking zone or leaving it - those are the times when you are most vulnerable.
  25. If your opponent is set and about to punch - MOVE!
  26. Watch for what your opponent does immediately before he leads.. It's like being able to tell the future.
  27. Note peculiarities and patterns to exploit whenever possible.
  28. If you throw a left jab - expect a right cross - do something about it.
  29. Straight punches get to targets faster than bent arm punches.
  30. A two handed attack should be done from inside the guard - otherwise you're wide open for counters.
  31. Start your attack from outside the guard.
  32. Rear hand punches and short hooks are counters. Use them as leads and expect to get hit.

These ring strategems are adapted from Boxing (Naval Aviation Fitness Manuals)

Boxing Tip #19: How to See Punches

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Dennis recently asked a question:

Dennis recently asked a question:

Is it possible to explain how the hand is quicker1 than the eye and how to deal with the punch you cannot see coming? Your defense must be good of course but how do you take advantage of this physiological fact? I assume that combinations and power punching produce this knock out punch.​​​​

Is it possible to explain how the hand is quicker1 than the eye and how to deal with the punch you cannot see coming? Your defense must be good of course but how do you take advantage of this physiological fact? I assume that combinations and power punching produce this knock out punch.

It's a great question, so for everyone's benefit, let's break this into two parts:

  1. Whether or not the hand is actually quicker than the eye; and
  2. How do you see punches coming so you can defend against them or use them in your offence.

It's a great question, so for everyone's benefit, let's break this into two parts:

  1. Whether or not the hand is actually quicker than the eye; and
  2. How do you see punches coming so you can defend against them or use them in your offence.

Is the hand really quicker than the eye?

Is the hand really quicker than the eye?

It might seem like the hand is quicker than the eye sometimes but the answer is no.

The human eye can detect movement discontinuities up to 60 frames per second. Your hands certainly cannot move that fast.

You don't have to take my word for it - put a nickel on the table in front of you and try to move it half an inch without your eye tracking it. You'll always see the movement.

Wave your hands in front of your face as fast as you can. No matter how fast you think you can move your hands, you'll never be able to move them so fast that they disappear in front of you. Your eyes track them from position to position and they may blur into a trail of hands, but they won't disappear.

Some may argue that magicians are able to carry out a number of their tricks because the hand is faster than the eye. That is a myth. In reality, magicians are really good at slight of hand or deception that makes it appear as if something appears out of nowhere.

Boxers could learn a thing or two from magicians with regards to feinting. They are masters at pulling your attention in one direction to make something appear elsewhere.

As far as boxing goes - it's a good thing that the hand is not quicker than the eye because if you can see it, you can do something about it.

It might seem like the hand is quicker than the eye sometimes but the answer is no.

The human eye can detect movement discontinuities up to 60 frames per second. Your hands certainly cannot move that fast.

You don't have to take my word for it - put a nickel on the table in front of you and try to move it half an inch without your eye tracking it. You'll always see the movement.

Wave your hands in front of your face as fast as you can. No matter how fast you think you can move your hands, you'll never be able to move them so fast that they disappear in front of you. Your eyes track them from position to position and they may blur into a trail of hands, but they won't disappear.

Some may argue that magicians are able to carry out a number of their tricks because the hand is faster than the eye. That is a myth. In reality, magicians are really good at slight of hand or deception that makes it appear as if something appears out of nowhere.

Boxers could learn a thing or two from magicians with regards to feinting. They are masters at pulling your attention in one direction to make something appear elsewhere.

As far as boxing goes - it's a good thing that the hand is not quicker than the eye because if you can see it, you can do something about it.

Seeing Punches

Seeing Punches

When your opponent throws a punch at you it is either going to come straight on (like a jab or straight right) or from an angle (hooks and uppercuts).

Of the two - the straight on punches are harder to see coming and leave less time for reaction.

That's because punches thrown straight at you are more difficult for your eyes and brain to recognize compared to a punch coming from the side.

Your eyes are made of cones and rods. The rods are responsible for picking up movement and are concentrated in your peripheral vision. Rods are also more light sensitive and allow you to pick up dimmer objects.

You can test this yourself by heading outside at night and looking at a starry sky. If you stare directly at some stars - they disappear but if you don't concentrate on them or use your peripheral vision to look at them they will reappear.

In terms of your own offense, hopefully you see the advantage here in throwing jabs and straights straight out from your chin and back. If the punch is in line with the eye it bypasses the motion detecting rods in your opponent's peripheral vision making it much more difficult to detect and react to. You stand a much better chance at landing a punch that is thrown directly in line with your opponent's vision.

The ability to better detect motion with your peripheral vision is also the reason why, as a boxer, you shouldn't be looking directly at your opponent's hands. In fact, you shouldn't be trying to focus on anything in particular at all. You will be much faster and see much more when you adopt the "thousand yard stare" and/or stop focusing directly on your opponent.

Your guard position helps you do this automatically. With your head bent forward and tucked into your shoulder protecting your chin, you are looking up through your eyebrows. If you don't strain your eyes up to look at your opponent, they are naturally out of the direct line of sight of the punches and you will pick up on movement much more easily.

From there it's a matter of drill and instinct. If you have trained enough and prepared your reflexes your reaction time should already be pretty good. You'll react in certain ways to certain punches - on instinct you will slip, catch, parry, or block whether your brain consciously registers the incoming punch or not.

Being able to detect movement earlier gives you more time to react. Put instinct and early movement detection together and suddenly you're moving faster than the Flash.

When your opponent throws a punch at you it is either going to come straight on (like a jab or straight right) or from an angle (hooks and uppercuts).

Of the two - the straight on punches are harder to see coming and leave less time for reaction.

That's because punches thrown straight at you are more difficult for your eyes and brain to recognize compared to a punch coming from the side.

Your eyes are made of cones and rods. The rods are responsible for picking up movement and are concentrated in your peripheral vision. Rods are also more light sensitive and allow you to pick up dimmer objects.

You can test this yourself by heading outside at night and looking at a starry sky. If you stare directly at some stars - they disappear but if you don't concentrate on them or use your peripheral vision to look at them they will reappear.

In terms of your own offense, hopefully you see the advantage here in throwing jabs and straights straight out from your chin and back. If the punch is in line with the eye it bypasses the motion detecting rods in your opponent's peripheral vision making it much more difficult to detect and react to. You stand a much better chance at landing a punch that is thrown directly in line with your opponent's vision.1

The ability to better detect motion with your peripheral vision is also the reason why, as a boxer, you shouldn't be looking directly at your opponent's hands. In fact, you shouldn't be trying to focus on anything in particular at all. You will be much faster and see much more when you adopt the "thousand yard stare2" and/or stop focusing directly on your opponent.

Your guard position helps you do this automatically. With your head bent forward and tucked into your shoulder protecting your chin, you are looking up through your eyebrows. If you don't strain your eyes up1 to look at your opponent, they are naturally out of the direct line of sight of the punches and you will pick up on movement much more easily.

From there it's a matter of drill and instinct. If you have trained enough and prepared your reflexes your reaction time should already be pretty good. You'll react in certain ways to certain punches - on instinct you will slip, catch, parry, or block whether your brain consciously registers the incoming punch or not.

Being able to detect movement earlier gives you more time to react. Put instinct and early movement detection together and suddenly you're moving faster than the Flash.

But That's Not All - Bonus Detection

But That's Not All - Bonus Detection

Punches do not originate in the hands if thrown correctly. They rise up from the ground - loading through the legs - accelerating through the hips - torquing with the torso - flowing through the shoulder and extending arm and out the fist.

So if that's the case, why would you focus directly on the hands if you want to see a punch coming?

You shouldn't. Forget the hands unless you are just starting out and are trying to figure out how things work.

Learn to look at your opponent's chest - actually get into a trance and stare right through the chest. It's kind of look looking at one of those 3D pictures made out of patterns. If you look straight at it, you see a bunch of meaningless colors. Stare through it (indirectly) and the image pops off the page.

Try this one out:

Punches do not originate in the hands if thrown correctly. They rise up from the ground - loading through the legs - accelerating through the hips - torquing with the torso - flowing through the shoulder and extending arm and out the fist.

So if that's the case, why would you focus directly on the hands if you want to see a punch coming?

You shouldn't. Forget the hands unless you are just starting out and are trying to figure out how things work.

Learn to look at your opponent's chest - actually get into a trance and stare right through the chest. It's kind of look looking at one of those 3D pictures made out of patterns. If you look straight at it, you see a bunch of meaningless colors. Stare through it (indirectly) and the image pops off the page.

Try this one out:

Do You See the Shark?

Focusing on a spot a couple of feet behind and through the center of your opponent's chest allows your peripheral vision to not only pick up movement of the hands, but also the legs and hips giving you even more time to react. The twisting or loading of the hips is a sure sign that a punch is about to come.

Over time all these subtle little cues will act as triggers that will cue up and play a certain boxing drill or maneuver to allow you to deal with whatever is coming. It just takes lots of experience of practice.

Focusing on a spot a couple of feet behind and through the center of your opponent's chest allows your peripheral vision to not only pick up movement of the hands, but also the legs and hips giving you even more time to react. The twisting or loading of the hips is a sure sign that a punch is about to come.

Over time all these subtle little cues will act as triggers that will cue up and play a certain boxing drill or maneuver to allow you to deal with whatever is coming. It just takes lots of experience of practice.

How to Practice Seeing the Punches?

How to Practice Seeing the Punches?

Learning to see punches is one of the best things about becoming a good boxer. I can tell you that for a long time, I would get hit and wonder where the hell the punches came from.

As time progressed and my training made my reflexes more instinctual things got better. Then I discovered the wonders of peripheral vision and it was like someone took off the blindfold.

The punches started to appear. I still vividly remember the day in the ring when everything suddenly seemed to slow down. It was exactly like in the movie The Matrix - the punches were coming and I was reacting without thinking. I could "see" everything flowing around me. It was incredibly surreal and you can experience it too.

Obviously the best way to practice is to get someone to throw punches at you. Start slow and start with one defensive technique. This will be an exercise that develops your instincts as well as giving you some practice not focusing on your opponent's hands.

As an example - have your partner throw jabs, slow to start and speed them up as you go. You parry with your right (orthodox boxers). Don't think about it - just do it. Stare beyond your oppone1nt and just let yourself react out of instinct.

As you master one technique and are up to a decent speed, introduce another technique. Again, start slow and speed it up taking your mind out of the equation.

It comes with practice and you'll soon find yourself able to stand in front of someone throwing punches at you and your hands will automatically be parrying, blocking, catching as you slip left and right. It really is amazing and you're going to love the feeling when it happens.

Learning to see punches is one of the best things about becoming a good boxer. I can tell you that for a long time, I would get hit and wonder where the hell the punches came from.

As time progressed and my training made my reflexes more instinctual things got better. Then I discovered the wonders of peripheral vision and it was like someone took off the blindfold.

The punches started to appear. I still vividly remember the day in the ring when everything suddenly seemed to slow down. It was exactly like in the movie The Matrix - the punches were coming and I was reacting without thinking. I could "see" everything flowing around me. It was incredibly surreal and you can experience it too.

Obviously the best way to practice is to get someone to throw punches at you. Start slow and start with one defensive technique. This will be an exercise that develops your instincts as well as giving you some practice not focusing on your opponent's hands.

As an example - have your partner throw jabs, slow to start and speed them up as you go. You parry with your right (orthodox boxers). Don't think about it - just do it. Stare beyond your oppone1nt and just let yourself react out of instinct.

As you master one technique and are up to a decent speed, introduce another technique. Again, start slow and speed it up taking your mind out of the equation.

It comes with practice and you'll soon find yourself able to stand in front of someone throwing punches at you and your hands will automatically be parrying, blocking, catching as you slip left and right. It really is amazing and you're going to love the feeling when it happens.

Boxing Tip #18: How to Knock Someone Out

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This boxing tip might be a bit controversial. Some people believe you have to be born with knockout power in order to knock someone out. I, on the other hand, believe you can be taught how to knock someone out.

This boxing tip might be a bit controversial. Some people believe you have to be born with knockout power in order to knock someone out. I, on the other hand, believe you can be taught how to knock someone out.

WHAT IS A KNOCKOUT?

WHAT IS A KNOCKOUT?

Well, first, there is a difference between a knockout (KO) and technical knockout (TKO). A technical knockout is what happens when the referee or a boxer's corner in a boxing match decides the boxer can no longer safely continue. A full knockout is what happens when a boxer is simply physically unable to continue fighting following any legal strike.

Most anyone will associate a knockout with a sudden loss of consciousness where the boxer falls limp to the mat. This usually happens following a wicked shot to the head, but body shots such as those to the liver can also induce pain that results in a KO.

Well, first, there is a difference between a knockout (KO) and technical knockout (TKO). A technical knockout is what happens when the referee or a boxer's corner in a boxing match decides the boxer can no longer safely continue. A full knockout is what happens when a boxer is simply physically unable to continue fighting following any legal strike.2

Most anyone will associate a knockout with a sudden loss of consciousness where the boxer falls limp to the mat. This usually happens following a wicked shot to the head, but body shots such as those to the liver can also induce pain that results in a KO.

WHAT CAUSES A KNOCKOUT?

WHAT CAUSES A KNOCKOUT?

Your brain is kind of floating inside your skull. All around the outside of your brain - between your brain and your skull - is a liquid cushion (mostly water). This cushion keeps your brain from bouncing off your skull during most activities.

When you get hit in the head in boxing, you experience a cerebral concussion where the cushion is not able to stop your brain from smashing into your skull. Every time this happens you experience some degree of brain damage. Repeated blows to the head result in a lot of brain damage and you eventually end up with the consequences - punch drunk is the term often used.

Now the impact is not believed to be the main cause of the knockout, although it probably has something to do with it. It is generally agreed on that a knockout is caused by some trauma to the brain stem. This trauma is caused by punches that cause you to twist your head violently. The same motion will also induce your brain to smash against your skull.

Combining the two is a recipe for a knockout as it causes a disruption in your body's electrical system which basically causes everything to shut down instantly. I'm sure that's over simplified, but it's the jist of how a knockout occurs.

Your brain is kind of floating inside your skull. All around the outside of your brain - between your brain and your skull - is a liquid cushion (mostly water). This cushion keeps your brain from bouncing off your skull during most activities.

When you get hit in the head in boxing, you experience a cerebral concussion where the cushion is not able to stop your brain from smashing into your skull. Every time this happens you experience some degree of brain damage. Repeated blows to the head result in a lot of brain damage and you eventually end up with the consequences - punch drunk is the term often used.

Now the impact is not believed to be the main cause of the knockout, although it probably has something to do with it. It is generally agreed on that a knockout is caused by some trauma to the brain stem. This trauma is caused by punches that cause you to twist your head violently. The same motion will also induce your brain to smash against your skull.

Combining the two is a recipe for a knockout as it causes a disruption in your body's electrical system which basically causes everything to shut down instantly. I'm sure that's over simplified, but it's the jist of how a knockout occurs.

KINDS OF KNOCKOUTS

KINDS OF KNOCKOUTS

Not all knockouts are created equal. There are three types:

  1. Typical Knockout - characterized by lasting loss of consciousness. When you come back from lala land, you generally have no memory of the event.
  2. Flash Knockout - lasts less than three seconds and you retain memory of the combat that caused it. I experienced this one myself in the gym one day. I got smoked and one of my legs suddenly gave out staggering me a bit along with a tingling feeling. I remember it all and instantly knew how close to hitting the canvas I had come.
  3. Stunning Knockout - here you don't actually lose consciousness, you're just rendered totally inept. The blow leaves you unable to hear, see, or do much of anything - you're stunned temporarily until you can shake it off...

Not all knockouts are created equal. There are three types:

  1. Typical Knockout - characterized by lasting loss of consciousness. When you come back from lala land, you generally have no memory of the event.
  2. Flash Knockout - lasts less than three seconds and you retain memory of the combat that caused it. I experienced this one myself in the gym one day. I got smoked and one of my legs suddenly gave out staggering me a bit along with a tingling feeling. I remember it all and instantly knew how close to hitting the canvas I had come.
  3. Stunning Knockout - here you don't actually lose consciousness, you're just rendered totally inept. The blow leaves you unable to hear, see, or do much of anything - you're stunned temporarily until you can shake it off...

HOW TO KNOCK SOMEONE OUT

HOW TO KNOCK SOMEONE OUT

Now the moment you've been waiting for. I'm going to teach you how to knock someone out (by punching). My argument for why anyone can learn how to throw a knockout punch is based on the fact that a knockout actually does not require a whole lot of power. A properly placed punch with sufficient power that is more than your opponent can handle will knock him out.

Problem here is that everyone is different. The amount of power it takes to knock me out isn't necessarily the same as what it would take to knock you out. That's why boxing commentators will often make reference to how good a chin a boxer has - meaning his ability to withstand a knockout punch.

There are two things you can do (and one thing your opponent can do) to make it much more likely that you will knock them out:

  1. Pinpoint Accuracy (Technique) - the chances of knocking someone out are much more likely if you cause a violent turn of the head. This twist happens much more naturally if your punch lands on the chin or temple compared to the cheek or further back. The neck simply is weaker in preventing the twisting motion. If you want to spin a wheel, do you spin it from the center or from an edge - the edge is much easier - same principle applies.
  2. Effective Mass - knockout power isn't a result of massive arms alone - it's a result of how fast you can accelerate those massive arms into an opponent's head. Knockout power is a result of speed and technique moving a given mass. Perfecting your technique to increase speed and more efficiently transfer momentum will give you all the power you need.
  3. Dehydration - This is the one your opponent can do. If they are dehydrating themselves - say in the later rounds - that thin layer of cushioning in the brain gets even thinner meaning every punch causes that much more damage. So, stay hydrated.

That's why I believe anyone can learn how to knock someone out. Show them the proper technique and have them practice to the point where they have sufficient speed and can hit precisely on a target and a knockout is inevitable within reason. I say within reason, because there are some big dudes out there that can take quite a punch - but by the same token there are plenty of big dudes who can't.

To make it simple:

(Speed + Technique) > Opponent's Resistance = Knockout

Now the moment you've been waiting for. I'm going to teach you how to knock someone out (by punching). My argument for why anyone can learn how to throw a knockout punch is based on the fact that a knockout actually does not require a whole lot of power. A properly placed punch with sufficient power that is more than your opponent can handle will knock him out.

Problem here is that everyone is different. The amount of power it takes to knock me out isn't necessarily the same as what it would take to knock you out. That's why boxing commentators will often make reference to how good a chin a boxer has - meaning his ability to withstand a knockout punch.

There are two things you can do (and one thing your opponent can do) to make it much more likely that you will knock them out:

  1. Pinpoint Accuracy (Technique) - the chances of knocking someone out are much more likely if you cause a violent turn of the head. This twist happens much more naturally if your punch lands on the chin or temple compared to the cheek or further back. The neck simply is weaker in preventing the twisting motion. If you want to spin a wheel, do you spin it from the center or from an edge - the edge is much easier - same principle applies.
  2. Effective Mass - knockout power isn't a result of massive arms alone - it's a result of how fast you can accelerate those massive arms into an opponent's head. Knockout power is a result of speed and technique moving a given mass. Perfecting your technique to increase speed and more efficiently transfer momentum will give you all the power you need.
  3. Dehydration - This is the one your opponent can do. If they are dehydrating themselves - say in the later rounds - that thin layer of cushioning in the brain gets even thinner meaning every punch causes that much more damage. So, stay hydrated.

That's why I believe anyone can learn how to knock someone out. Show them the proper technique and have them practice to the point where they have sufficient speed and can hit precisely on a target and a knockout is inevitable within reason. I say within reason, because there are some big dudes out there that can take quite a punch - but by the same token there are plenty of big dudes who can't.

To make it simple:

(Speed + Technique) > Opponent's Resistance = Knockout

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF KNOCKING SOMEONE OUT

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF KNOCKING SOMEONE OUT

To make it more likely that your punches are going to have that knockout power, do the following:

  1. Work on Your Core and hip flexibility - Strong abs and obliques will enable you to twist your body with greater force which is a key part of the pivot principle. More pivot equals more power. Crunches, oblique crunches, hanging leg raises, side bends and roman twists will get this area functioning correctly. Likewise, you can't pivot correctly without flexibility in your hips - so work on achieving full range of motion.
  2. Work on Your Accuracy - Head on over to your heavy bag and put a couple of marks on it about chin and temple height. Now as you dance around the bag, aim to hit those spots dead on, every time from different angles. You can also put marks or tape something to your double end bag to try and hit. Because it's moving wildly, you'll develop your accuracy and hand eye coordination.
  3. Hit the Gym - while not the only factor, more strength can mean more speed and more mass. All of that together will make you more powerful as long as the added muscle isn't just for show (needs to be functional muscle). If you strength train, ensure you're throwing some body weight exercises into the mix as well. Total control of your body is what you're looking for and the ability to explosively move the muscles that matter.

To make it more likely that your punches are going to have that knockout power, do the following:

  1. Work on Your Core and hip flexibility - Strong abs and obliques will enable you to twist your body with greater force which is a key part of the pivot principle. More pivot equals more power. Crunches, oblique crunches, hanging leg raises, side bends and roman twists will get this area functioning correctly. Likewise, you can't pivot correctly without flexibility in your hips - so work on achieving full range of motion.
  2. Work on Your Accuracy - Head on over to your heavy bag and put a couple of marks on it about chin and temple height. Now as you dance around the bag, aim to hit those spots dead on, every time from different angles. You can also put marks or tape something to your double end bag to try and hit. Because it's moving wildly, you'll develop your accuracy and hand eye coordination.
  3. Hit the Gym - while not the only factor, more strength can mean more speed and more mass. All of that together will make you more powerful as long as the added muscle isn't just for show (needs to be functional muscle). If you strength train, ensure you're throwing some body weight exercises into the mix as well. Total control of your body is what you're looking for and the ability to explosively move the muscles that matter.

IN SUMMARY

IN SUMMARY

There you have it - your complete guide to learning how to knock someone out. With enough practice, determination, skill, power, and luck in terms of your opponent - you could be the victor standing over a twitching mass on the floor one day. Good Luck.

Have you been knocked out or knocked someone out? Let's hear about it. Maybe you don't agree with me that you can teach knockout power? Let's debate it. Leave a comment.

There you have it - your complete guide to learning how to knock someone out. With enough practice, determination, skill, power, and luck in terms of your opponent - you could be the victor standing over a twitching mass on the floor one day. Good Luck.

Have you been knocked out or knocked someone out? Let's hear about it. Maybe you don't agree with me that you can teach knockout power? Let's debate it. Leave a comment.

Boxing Tip #17: Become a Patient Swarmer

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Yesterday as I was hitting the heavy bag, I had one of those “aha” moments – an epiphany of sorts. In particular, I was drilling slipping a 1-2 followed by a counter punch sequence 3-2.

After a few minutes of this, it occurred to me that this might be a more sane way of boxing.

You see, in terms of boxing styles, I’m a swarmer. Always have been and probably always will be. My legs just naturally carry me towards my opponent, whether I like it or not – which really sucks when I’m tired but definitely makes for more exciting fights. This constant pressure on my opponents is desirable, but it never comes without risk.

That's because a swarmer is always conducting a frontal assault. The bell rings, the blinders go on, and we attack head on where and when our opponents are most ready for us. They know we’re coming at them. They just have to decide when and how to launch their attack when we’re in range.

The result – you guessed it – we take a lot of punches trying to get in range and then stay there.

Sometimes, if we're smart, we try to mitigate it a bit by coming in at various angles, varying speeds, or launching an offensive on the way in, but the result is always the same – there is no surprise – my opponent knows I’m coming in to striking distance - so they wait.

More often - we just try to push our way through our opponent's defenses taking whatever punches we get as our price of admission.

So yesterday when I had my moment of clarity, it dawned on me that maybe my strategy is flawed. If my opponent is set and ready to defend as I attack, they are at their strongest. They are in a perfect position to counter or block anything I throw as I come at them no matter how fast or slow I come in.

Their base is stable. They are not off balance and they are able to react or worse - disrupt my attack.

I’m showing them my cards and hoping that if I overwhelm them with firepower that their defenses will crumble. It’s akin to smashing a fly with a sledge hammer or bombing an entire town to dust just to get at one individual.

In a sport as intense as boxing, where conditioning and fitness play such a critical role in success or defeat, the swarmer bets his success on being more fit and capable of taking more punches than his opponent. He’s hoping to quickly disable him before he runs out of energy to maintain the constant assault.

The result – you guessed it – we take a lot of punches trying to get in range and then stay there.

Sometimes, if we're smart, we try to mitigate it a bit by coming in at various angles, varying speeds, or launching an offensive on the way in, but the result is always the same – there is no surprise – my opponent knows I’m coming in to striking distance - so they wait.

More often - we just try to push our way through our opponent's defenses taking whatever punches we get as our price of admission.

So yesterday when I had my moment of clarity, it dawned on me that maybe my strategy is flawed. If my opponent is set and ready to defend as I attack, they are at their strongest. They are in a perfect position to counter or block anything I throw as I come at them no matter how fast or slow I come in.

Their base is stable. They are not off balance and they are able to react or worse - disrupt my attack.

I’m showing them my cards and hoping that if I overwhelm them with firepower that their defenses will crumble. It’s akin to smashing a fly with a sledge hammer or bombing an entire town to dust just to get at one individual.

In a sport as intense as boxing, where conditioning and fitness play such a critical role in success or defeat, the swarmer bets his success on being more fit and capable of taking more punches than his opponent. He’s hoping to quickly disable him before he runs out of energy to maintain the constant assault.

But hope is not a viable course of action…

But hope is not a viable course of action…

I’m not saying for one second that a swarming style is not useful. But what I’m getting at is perhaps those of us who like to get in the face of our opponents can improve our strategy a bit.

What if, instead of charging ahead, we exercised a little patience and tested the waters a bit. Move in and out of range and see how our opponent reacts. This is nothing new, usually happens during the first round – the feeling out round.

But, instead of just feeling them out, what would happen if we combined our swarming prowess with a little bit of intelligence? Move into range and force your opponent to commit – then use that to launch into an all out swarming assault as per usual.

It would combine the tactical acumen of a boxer-puncher or counter puncher with the ferocity of a swarmer.

Exercising a little patience and launching your swarming style following a counter punch makes a lot of sense.

Rather than launching against someone who is steady in their stance, put them in motion and keep them off balance. They are not set and capable of defending in the same manner as they would be if they were stationary.

Their minds are not in defensive mode – they went offensive the second they decided to throw punches at you, so you have a split second to take advantage of that, and their new position, before they re-cock.

It could result in a lot less damage to you. Rather than just take the punches as you get into your swarming range, you use them to your advantage effectively blocking, slipping, or parrying them to open up an unobstructed lane you can use to launch an all out assault.

When you’re done, or need a breather, you extract yourself – regroup – and then get busy on a second assault in the same manner.

I’m not saying for one second that a swarming style is not useful. But what I’m getting at is perhaps those of us who like to get in the face of our opponents can improve our strategy a bit.

What if, instead of charging ahead, we exercised a little patience and tested the waters a bit. Move in and out of range and see how our opponent reacts. This is nothing new, usually happens during the first round – the feeling out round.

But, instead of just feeling them out, what would happen if we combined our swarming prowess with a little bit of intelligence? Move into range and force your opponent to commit – then use that to launch into an all out swarming assault as per usual.

It would combine the tactical acumen of a boxer-puncher or counter puncher with the ferocity of a swarmer.

Exercising a little patience and launching your swarming style following a counter punch makes a lot of sense.

Rather than launching against someone who is steady in their stance, put them in motion and keep them off balance. They are not set and capable of defending in the same manner as they would be if they were stationary.

Their minds are not in defensive mode – they went offensive the second they decided to throw punches at you, so you have a split second to take advantage of that, and their new position, before they re-cock.

It could result in a lot less damage to you. Rather than just take the punches as you get into your swarming range, you use them to your advantage effectively blocking, slipping, or parrying them to open up an unobstructed lane you can use to launch an all out assault.

When you’re done, or need a breather, you extract yourself – regroup – and then get busy on a second assault in the same manner.

Rocky Marciano vs Joe Frazier

Rocky Marciano vs Joe Frazier

Both of these guys are swarmers. They constantly pressure their opponents and fight on the inside.

I admire Rocky's tenacity and his record speaks for itself - he's a frickin machine and his strategy was always to out condition and out hit his opponent, but have a quick look at how he boxes. Notice that when he pressures his opponent he isn't doing a whole lot to counter or even avoid those initial punches as he gets close - he just accepts them as a cost of doing business.

Both of these guys are swarmers. They constantly pressure their opponents and fight on the inside.

I admire Rocky's tenacity and his record speaks for itself - he's a frickin machine and his strategy was always to out condition and out hit his opponent, but have a quick look at how he boxes. Notice that when he pressures his opponent he isn't doing a whole lot to counter or even avoid those initial punches as he gets close - he just accepts them as a cost of doing business.

Now contrast that with Joe Frazier - also a formidable swarmer - and also a great boxer. Compare Rocky's advance to his target to Joe's.

In my opinion, Joe does a lot better at neutralizing those initial punches to get inside and unleash his fury. A lot more head movement. Slips followed by quick closing of the distance.

I didn't count the number of hits each boxer takes in a round, but it appears that Rocky absorbs more than Joe does.

Now contrast that with Joe Frazier - also a formidable swarmer - and also a great boxer. Compare Rocky's advance to his target to Joe's.

In my opinion, Joe does a lot better at neutralizing those initial punches to get inside and unleash his fury. A lot more head movement. Slips followed by quick closing of the distance.

I didn't count the number of hits each boxer takes in a round, but it appears that Rocky absorbs more than Joe does.

Visualize Patience in Practice

Visualize Patience in Practice

Going back to my workout on the heavy bag, let’s try and picture how this could actually work:

  1. Picture an orthodox opponent standing in front of you. His left arm is forward, right arm cocked to the rear.
  2. You move within his range.
  3. He throws a 1-2 combination which you slip right and left. (outside of both punches).
  4. You now have a clear lane as your opponent misses with the right exposing the entire right side of his body and head. Without hesitation you quickly close the distance and counter with a 3-2.
  5. You’re now in range and can continue on with your assault for as long as you want before leaving the danger area happy in knowing you just inflicted a lot of damage with relatively none done to you.

Make sense?

Of course, all of this only works if you have the ability to draw your opponent into acting AND can neutralize that attack. If you can’t avoid the beating then you’re no further ahead and might as well have stuck with your usual tactic.

And if being patient doesn't work?

Either way you’re getting hit in the head – you might as well feel like you’re the one in control.

Going back to my workout on the heavy bag, let’s try and picture how this could actually work:

  1. Picture an orthodox opponent standing in front of you. His left arm is forward, right arm cocked to the rear.
  2. You move within his range.
  3. He throws a 1-2 combination which you slip right and left. (outside of both punches).
  4. You now have a clear lane as your opponent misses with the right exposing the entire right side of his body and head. Without hesitation you quickly close the distance and counter with a 3-2.
  5. You’re now in range and can continue on with your assault for as long as you want before leaving the danger area happy in knowing you just inflicted a lot of damage with relatively none done to you.

Make sense?

Of course, all of this only works if you have the ability to draw your opponent into acting AND can neutralize that attack. If you can’t avoid the beating then you’re no further ahead and might as well have stuck with your usual tactic.

And if being patient doesn't work?

Either way you’re getting hit in the head – you might as well feel like you’re the one in control.

In Summary

In Summary

Swarmers are formidable opponents. They are either completely stupid or completely fearless (there’s a fine line…). It doesn’t phase them to come at you with everything regardless of the damage they will sustain on the way in.

The only thing that stops them is someone more powerful who can totally destroy them when in range or skilled enough to move around them - forcing the swarm to chase but never catch. Eventually - the swarmer runs out of gas. When they have nothing left in the tank - they are nothing more than a deflated balloon ready to be pushed over at will.

By putting a little patience into the mix, in terms of boxing styles, swarmers become even more of a threat - they can negate that power of the slugger and defeat the defenses of the pure boxer – essentially making them the most dominant style in the ring.

Swarmers are formidable opponents. They are either completely stupid or completely fearless (there’s a fine line…). It doesn’t phase them to come at you with everything regardless of the damage they will sustain on the way in.

The only thing that stops them is someone more powerful who can totally destroy them when in range or skilled enough to move around them - forcing the swarm to chase but never catch. Eventually - the swarmer runs out of gas. When they have nothing left in the tank - they are nothing more than a deflated balloon ready to be pushed over at will.

By putting a little patience into the mix, in terms of boxing styles, swarmers become even more of a threat - they can negate that power of the slugger and defeat the defenses of the pure boxer – essentially making them the most dominant style in the ring.

Boxing Tip #16: Knowing When to Cover Up

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Once upon a time, there was a boxer named Jim.  Jim loved boxing and would train up to 3 hours a day, working hard on his conditioning and generally turning himself into a hell of a fighter.  Jim knew he was good, in shape, and decided to reward himself with a vacation -- a couple weeks cruising the Caribbean.

Jim will be the first one to tell you that a cruise quickly turns into a battle of who can be the bigger slug.  With food everywhere, the most exercise you get is walking ten steps from bar to eatery to pool and back again.  Sure there is a fitness room, but Jim wasn't there to workout.  He was there to relax, drink himself silly, and eat whatever he wanted -- and he did just that.

By the end of the vacation, Jim had thoroughly indulged himself, enjoyed himself, and was ready to get back in the gym. On returning home, there was a message waiting for him -- his coach had setup a fight  -- the catch -- it was in three days.

Ordinarily Jim wouldn't have blinked as he keeps himself in prime fighting condition all year long, doing his best to peak when he plans on stepping in the ring, but this time, he knew he would be in trouble.  He just felt heavier, slower, and not anywhere near his peak.  Not one to pass up a match though, he called his coach back and said he'd take it.

So what happened to Jim when he got in the ring?  It wasn't pretty.  Out of breath right from the start, he knew it was going to be a long fight -- if he could withstand the beating.  Damn, he was wishing he hadn't let himself "go" for the week.

There is light at the end of the tunnel for Jim though.  Because Jim knew what to do when he was out of breath, tired, and incapable of putting on his regular fleet footed show.  The result, he eeked out a win, but it sure wasn't a pretty display of boxing.

Once upon a time, there was a boxer named Jim.  Jim loved boxing and would train up to 3 hours a day, working hard on his conditioning and generally turning himself into a hell of a fighter.  Jim knew he was good, in shape, and decided to reward himself with a vacation -- a couple weeks cruising the Caribbean.

Jim will be the first one to tell you that a cruise quickly turns into a battle of who can be the bigger slug.  With food everywhere, the most exercise you get is walking ten steps from bar to eatery to pool and back again.  Sure there is a fitness room, but Jim wasn't there to workout.  He was there to relax, drink himself silly, and eat whatever he wanted -- and he did just that.

By the end of the vacation, Jim had thoroughly indulged himself, enjoyed himself, and was ready to get back in the gym. On returning home, there was a message waiting for him -- his coach had setup a fight  -- the catch -- it was in three days.

Ordinarily Jim wouldn't have blinked as he keeps himself in prime fighting condition all year long, doing his best to peak when he plans on stepping in the ring, but this time, he knew he would be in trouble.  He just felt heavier, slower, and not anywhere near his peak.  Not one to pass up a match though, he called his coach back and said he'd take it.

So what happened to Jim when he got in the ring?  It wasn't pretty.  Out of breath right from the start, he knew it was going to be a long fight -- if he could withstand the beating.  Damn, he was wishing he hadn't let himself "go" for the week.

There is light at the end of the tunnel for Jim though.  Because Jim knew what to do when he was out of breath, tired, and incapable of putting on his regular fleet footed show.  The result, he eeked out a win, but it sure wasn't a pretty display of boxing.

So What's My Point?

So What's My Point?

No matter who you are and how much you train, you're going to have off days and there is a good chance those off days might coincide with a scheduled fight or sparring session.

On those days, your gas tank is nowhere near full and you've got to conserve your energy, using it when it counts.  When you only have a 1/4 tank of gas in your car and need to drive 400 miles, you don't floor it and hope to coast on fumes.  You slow it down, get the best efficiency you can, and use the gas when you need it.

Jim won that match because he knew how to cover up and choose the moments when his energy exertion was going to matter.  Covering up is relatively easy and comes pretty naturally -- ever see someone turtle?  The hard part is remaining focused at the same time.

No matter who you are and how much you train, you're going to have off days and there is a good chance those off days might coincide with a scheduled fight or sparring session.

On those days, your gas tank is nowhere near full and you've got to conserve your energy, using it when it counts.  When you only have a 1/4 tank of gas in your car and need to drive 400 miles, you don't floor it and hope to coast on fumes.  You slow it down, get the best efficiency you can, and use the gas when you need it.

Jim won that match because he knew how to cover up and choose the moments when his energy exertion was going to matter.  Covering up is relatively easy and comes pretty naturally -- ever see someone turtle?  The hard part is remaining focused at the same time.

How to Cover Up

How to Cover Up

Covering up doesn't take away your need to expend any energy as ideally you want to keep your head, arms, and feet moving, but it will give you a second or two to breath if required.  At the same time, your opponent will be slamming you with punches, but if you're doing this right, they aren't going to be doing a lot of damage.  So, he'll tire himself out, and as long as you keep an eye on what is going on, you'll find an opportunity to strike back.

To cover up, from a high peek a boo guard, simply turn both fists 90 degrees inwards to present your forearms to your opponent.  Tighten your abs causing you to lean slightly forward and drive your elbows into your body.  Push your hands tightly against your forehead.

This last part is important.  If you have any space between your gloves and your head, you're going to be punching yourself in the face when your opponent hits your hands. 

Now here is where you need to remain focused and keep your hands and head moving.  If you just assume the position, your opponent is going to beat you like a heavy bag and it's going to hurt -- eventually.  This position as it is does nothing to protect you from hooks and you're still going to be feeling the impact of hard straights.

But, if you keep your hands moving, sliding around your head from front to side and back, you'll end up deflecting a lot of punches and deflecting is a lot better than absorbing blocks.  Plus chances of opponent connecting go way down when both head and hands are constantly moving messing up his target.

Like I said though, covering up is no good if you don't remain focused on what is going on.  You have to be aware and looking for the opportunity to strike and regain the initiative.  That's what Jim did.  He played a smart game, knew his limitations at the moment and what he was capable of, and then adjusted his gameplan accordingly.  Knowing how to cover up effectively gave him options. 

Covering up doesn't take away your need to expend any energy as ideally you want to keep your head, arms, and feet moving, but it will give you a second or two to breath if required.  At the same time, your opponent will be slamming you with punches, but if you're doing this right, they aren't going to be doing a lot of damage.  So, he'll tire himself out, and as long as you keep an eye on what is going on, you'll find an opportunity to strike back.

To cover up, from a high peek a boo guard, simply turn both fists 90 degrees inwards to present your forearms to your opponent.  Tighten your abs causing you to lean slightly forward and drive your elbows into your body.  Push your hands tightly against your forehead.

This last part is important.  If you have any space between your gloves and your head, you're going to be punching yourself in the face when your opponent hits your hands. 

Now here is where you need to remain focused and keep your hands and head moving.  If you just assume the position, your opponent is going to beat you like a heavy bag and it's going to hurt -- eventually.  This position as it is does nothing to protect you from hooks and you're still going to be feeling the impact of hard straights.

But, if you keep your hands moving, sliding around your head from front to side and back, you'll end up deflecting a lot of punches and deflecting is a lot better than absorbing blocks.  Plus chances of opponent connecting go way down when both head and hands are constantly moving messing up his target.

Like I said though, covering up is no good if you don't remain focused on what is going on.  You have to be aware and looking for the opportunity to strike and regain the initiative.  That's what Jim did.  He played a smart game, knew his limitations at the moment and what he was capable of, and then adjusted his gameplan accordingly.  Knowing how to cover up effectively gave him options. 

Boxing Tip #15: Pre-Emption

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To preempt someone is to forestall or prevent (something anticipated) by acting first.

It is a mission verb used in combat to describe a situation where you attempt to launch an offensive effort before your opponent in order to seize and then maintain the initiative. You know your opponent is planning something, but you need to beat him to the punch (literally).

Everyone has a decision cycle (also referred to as an OODA loop). When you see something happening, your brain has to process it, make decisions about that event and then cause you to react to it.

In boxing, reaction is bad.

Actually in combat, reaction is bad.

If you are reacting, you are always in the defensive. Proactivity is the remedy for reactivity. I've made it clear you that you can not win without an offense, so to be reactive means defeat.

Back to the OODA loop, if you can launch your offensive before your opponent makes his next decision, you get inside his OODA loop and pre-empt his attack. You always want to be one step ahead of your opponent, planning your next move while he is still reacting to the last one.

A while ago I wrote about universal and idiosynchratic tells. These are the little cues people give off before they do something that basically tell you what they are going to do. For this boxing tip, we are going to look in depth at tells that forecast an opponent has decided to throw a jab so that you can pick up on them and preempt his attack with a jab of your own.

To preempt someone is to forestall or prevent (something anticipated) by acting first.

It is a mission verb used in combat to describe a situation where you attempt to launch an offensive effort before your opponent in order to seize and then maintain the initiative. You know your opponent is planning something, but you need to beat him to the punch (literally).

Everyone has a decision cycle (also referred to as an OODA loop). When you see something happening, your brain has to process it, make decisions about that event and then cause you to react to it.

In boxing, reaction is bad.

Actually in combat, reaction is bad.

If you are reacting, you are always in the defensive. Proactivity is the remedy for reactivity. I've made it clear you that you can not win without an offense, so to be reactive means defeat.

Back to the OODA loop, if you can launch your offensive before your opponent makes his next decision, you get inside his OODA loop and pre-empt his attack. You always want to be one step ahead of your opponent, planning your next move while he is still reacting to the last one.

A while ago I wrote about universal and idiosynchratic tells. These are the little cues people give off before they do something that basically tell you what they are going to do. For this boxing tip, we are going to look in depth at tells that forecast an opponent has decided to throw a jab so that you can pick up on them and preempt his attack with a jab of your own.

A Quick Story

A Quick Story

Once you know what your opponent is going to throw, it causes shock and disbelief when you beat him to the punch. I remember sparring with a young guy and it was incredibly easy to see when he was going to throw a jab. Repeatedly, I would strike first knowing that over and over again, he was going to tell me exactly when he was about to throw his jab. Not only did I preempt his attack with an offense of my own, but I also disrupted his attack. (another combat mission verb).

By the end of the sparring, the lad was completely demoralized. He thought I possessed super speed to be able to beat his jab time and time again with a jab of my own, and his nose was quite sore where he got popped over and over again.

I was completely inside his OODA loop and knew what he was going to do before he did. It's about this time you begin to feel invulnerable.

Once you know what your opponent is going to throw, it causes shock and disbelief when you beat him to the punch. I remember sparring with a young guy and it was incredibly easy to see when he was going to throw a jab. Repeatedly, I would strike first knowing that over and over again, he was going to tell me exactly when he was about to throw his jab. Not only did I preempt his attack with an offense of my own, but I also disrupted his attack. (another combat mission verb).

By the end of the sparring, the lad was completely demoralized. He thought I possessed super speed to be able to beat his jab time and time again with a jab of my own, and his nose was quite sore where he got popped over and over again.

I was completely inside his OODA loop and knew what he was going to do before he did. It's about this time you begin to feel invulnerable.

Preempting the Jab

Preempting the Jab

To preempt anything you need to be quick. Jabs are well suited for preemption because you can throw one from pretty much any situation - off balance, stepping back, down, up, and so on. So first thing you need to do is practice your jab, throwing it out quickly, cleanly, and with decisive force and then recovering to your guard just as quick. Practice from odd angles - in close, and far out. You need your jab to flick out with force and intensity and 100% accuracy.

To preempt anything you need to be quick. Jabs are well suited for preemption because you can throw one from pretty much any situation - off balance, stepping back, down, up, and so on. So first thing you need to do is practice your jab, throwing it out quickly, cleanly, and with decisive force and then recovering to your guard just as quick. Practice from odd angles - in close, and far out. You need your jab to flick out with force and intensity and 100% accuracy.

Read Your Opponent

Read Your Opponent

In order to preempt, you need to know when your opponent is going to launch his attack. So, watch for the signs of an incoming punch. For a jab:

  • weight shifts slightly to his front foot;
  • hips begin to rotate;
  • shoulder drops (in poor jabs);
  • elbow of the front arm begins to rotate up;
  • you can see it in your opponent's face; or
  • you see movement of the glove.

Obviously not a definitive list and it will vary from boxer to boxer, but all of us forecast our intentions in some way. The quicker you can pick up on your opponent's tells, the quicker you can decide how the fight is going to go. 

In order to preempt, you need to know when your opponent is going to launch his attack. So, watch for the signs of an incoming punch. For a jab:

  • weight shifts slightly to his front foot;
  • hips begin to rotate;
  • shoulder drops (in poor jabs);
  • elbow of the front arm begins to rotate up;
  • you can see it in your opponent's face; or
  • you see movement of the glove.

Obviously not a definitive list and it will vary from boxer to boxer, but all of us forecast our intentions in some way. The quicker you can pick up on your opponent's tells, the quicker you can decide how the fight is going to go.

Strike First

Strike First

As soon as you see any of these signs, strike. Do not think about it, just throw the punch. If you are right and he is throwing a punch, by the time yours makes it to him, he will be wide open. Have faith that you will hit first. You will be elated the first time you do this and you connect. It's like your opponent just drops his hands and lets you hit him.

As soon as you see any of these signs, strike. Do not think about it, just throw the punch. If you are right and he is throwing a punch, by the time yours makes it to him, he will be wide open. Have faith that you will hit first. You will be elated the first time you do this and you connect. It's like your opponent just drops his hands and lets you hit him.

Look for the Surprise

Look for the Surprise

A bonus feature - look for the look of utter surprise in your opponent's face following your jab. He will have no idea how you managed to throw a punch that quick. Remember, he is caught up in his decision cycle and is oblivious to what is happening around him. His brain is engaged in deciding to throw a jab. He won't be able to react to yours until his cycle has completed - so beat him to it and you win.

Do you have any stories of pre-emption? Is there some tell you've noticed your sparring partners give before they launch? Leave a comment, or ask a question.

A bonus feature - look for the look of utter surprise in your opponent's face following your jab. He will have no idea how you managed to throw a punch that quick. Remember, he is caught up in his decision cycle and is oblivious to what is happening around him. His brain is engaged in deciding to throw a jab. He won't be able to react to yours until his cycle has completed - so beat him to it and you win.

Do you have any stories of pre-emption? Is there some tell you've noticed your sparring partners give before they launch? Leave a comment, or ask a question.

Boxing Tip #14: Jab Fake

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Similar to how I learned the Jab Tap, I learned this technique the hard way - glove to face in the ring.

When I first started boxing, I tended to hold my hands just below eye level. That's not necessarily a bad habit, but my trainer had a hay day with it.

Similar to how I learned the Jab Tap, I learned this technique the hard way - glove to face in the ring.

When I first started boxing, I tended to hold my hands just below eye level. That's not necessarily a bad habit, but my trainer had a hay day with it.

In The Beginning...

In The Beginning...

Being new to the sport, I didn't have the skill or reflexes to bring my hands up to catch, parry or block what seemed like lightning bolt jabs coming from my trainer. He easily came through my mixed boxing guard - over and over again.

Well, eventually, I got tired of getting hit in the face and reasoned that if I couldn't block his jabs, I'd just hold my hands higher, adopting a much more peek a boo guard at the risk of exposing my body. I have a strong core and figured I could take the punishment the few times that I couldn't get my elbows down to block a body shot.

This actually worked -- for a little while. I held my hands more at the level of my forehead and peeked through the opening between my forearms. My head was completely protected - or so I thought.

Being new to the sport, I didn't have the skill or reflexes to bring my hands up to catch, parry or block what seemed like lightning bolt jabs coming from my trainer. He easily came through my mixed boxing guard - over and over again.

Well, eventually, I got tired of getting hit in the face and reasoned that if I couldn't block his jabs, I'd just hold my hands higher, adopting a much more peek a boo guard at the risk of exposing my body. I have a strong core and figured I could take the punishment the few times that I couldn't get my elbows down to block a body shot.

This actually worked -- for a little while. I held my hands more at the level of my forehead and peeked through the opening between my forearms. My head was completely protected - or so I thought.

My Demise...

My Demise...

Once my trainer wisened up, and it didn't take long, he taught me a valuable tip - again - the hard way.

If you think about my stance, hands held high, body more or less exposed, forearms nearly directly in front of my face, getting a jab in there is pretty difficult. If you were fighting me, you could easily go to my body, but I knew that and I'd be watching for it - I had a plan to adapt to a body assault.

To defeat my guard, my trainer simply said to himself - okay, I won't jab him, I'll pretend to jab and then nail him with a left hook. And that is what he did, over and over and....over.

So every time he threw a fake jab, I braced for impact from the front and somehow he managed to change his jab into a solid left hook that connected every time. I couldn't react fast enough to block the hook when I finally realized the jab wasn't actually going to impact.

Back to the drawing board for me as I was pummeled repeatedly by left hooks the rest of the night.

There was another benefit for my trainer too. He only had to connect once with that left hook to make subsequent punches easier for himself.

Just the fact that he made it through my solid fortress of forearms made me question where his jab was going to actually go. Now, if I made a move to block the hook, he just carried through with the jab. Either way - I was back to getting nailed in the head.

If you perfect this boxing tip - the jab fake - you will have a punch - hook or jab - that will land 90% of the time (or at least until your opponent figures out a way to react to it).

To defeat my guard, my trainer simply said to himself - okay, I won't jab him, I'll pretend to jab and then nail him with a left hook. And that is what he did, over and over and....over.

So every time he threw a fake jab, I braced for impact from the front and somehow he managed to change his jab into a solid left hook that connected every time. I couldn't react fast enough to block the hook when I finally realized the jab wasn't actually going to impact.

Back to the drawing board for me as I was pummeled repeatedly by left hooks the rest of the night.

There was another benefit for my trainer too. He only had to connect once with that left hook to make subsequent punches easier for himself.

Just the fact that he made it through my solid fortress of forearms made me question where his jab was going to actually go. Now, if I made a move to block the hook, he just carried through with the jab. Either way - I was back to getting nailed in the head.

If you perfect this boxing tip - the jab fake - you will have a punch - hook or jab - that will land 90% of the time (or at least until your opponent figures out a way to react to it).

When to use the Jab Fake

When to use the Jab Fake

This works best when your opponent is in a peek a boo stance. With his arms held high, it is much more difficult for him to react quickly - partly because of the position of his arms, but also because his vision is likely partly obstructed by his own arms and hands. This lends perfectly to faking a punch, especially if you manage to change the punch behind one his blind spots.

If you don't know what I mean by a blind spot, sitting where you are, lift your arms up in front of your face as if you were in a peek a boo stance. Anything that happens behind your arms is partially obstructed from view - those are blind spots.

If you can initiate a fake punch from where your opponent can see to where he or she can't - their instinctual reaction will start and it will be too late to change by the time the punch comes back into view and they realize it isn't where it's supposed to be.

This all happens in a split second so you're not going to consciously see it, but what you might see is a flinch in one direction at which point you go the other way.

Granted, throwing something in a blind spot is more a matter of luck than skill, but it is still something you should strive to achieve.

To summarize, use the jab fake against someone who is squared off in front of you in a fairly upright position, with arms held high partially blocking their view.

This works best when your opponent is in a peek a boo stance. With his arms held high, it is much more difficult for him to react quickly - partly because of the position of his arms, but also because his vision is likely partly obstructed by his own arms and hands. This lends perfectly to faking a punch, especially if you manage to change the punch behind one his blind spots.

If you don't know what I mean by a blind spot, sitting where you are, lift your arms up in front of your face as if you were in a peek a boo stance. Anything that happens behind your arms is partially obstructed from view - those are blind spots.

If you can initiate a fake punch from where your opponent can see to where he or she can't - their instinctual reaction will start and it will be too late to change by the time the punch comes back into view and they realize it isn't where it's supposed to be.

This all happens in a split second so you're not going to consciously see it, but what you might see is a flinch in one direction at which point you go the other way.

Granted, throwing something in a blind spot is more a matter of luck than skill, but it is still something you should strive to achieve.

To summarize, use the jab fake against someone who is squared off in front of you in a fairly upright position, with arms held high partially blocking their view.

Utilizing the Jab Fake

Utilizing the Jab Fake

You initiate a jab fake like you would any jab and you have to make it believable (like any sort of feint). Your opponent has to believe a jab is coming at him and it is going to impact. If he believes it and he is in a high peek a book guard, he will brace his forearms for impact (if he doesn't try slipping). If it is not believable, he won't, and you'll have less chance of landing the actual punch.

So - throw your jab, but pull it back about a quarter of the way into it and loop it into a left hook that goes around your opponent's forearm and strikes the intended target. This is hard to do. Stopping the forward momentum is difficult and the more you can loop on the way back, the more powerful the hook will be as you change the direction of the force. Speed is key here.

Another way to aid in making your opponent commit to an incoming jab and brace is to give other cues - such as throwing your shoulder forward. Read the boxing tip on feints for other ideas on making a believable fake.

You initiate a jab fake like you would any jab and you have to make it believable (like any sort of feint). Your opponent has to believe a jab is coming at him and it is going to impact. If he believes it and he is in a high peek a book guard, he will brace his forearms for impact (if he doesn't try slipping). If it is not believable, he won't, and you'll have less chance of landing the actual punch.

So - throw your jab, but pull it back about a quarter of the way into it and loop it into a left hook that goes around your opponent's forearm and strikes the intended target. This is hard to do. Stopping the forward momentum is difficult and the more you can loop on the way back, the more powerful the hook will be as you change the direction of the force. Speed is key here.

Another way to aid in making your opponent commit to an incoming jab and brace is to give other cues - such as throwing your shoulder forward. Read the boxing tip on feints for other ideas on making a believable fake.

Practicing the Jab Fake

Practicing the Jab Fake

You can practice this pretty much anywhere. The biggest thing to master is halting the forward momentum of your jab and re-routing that force into a left hook. It is going to feel awkward but with practice you can do it and even get your torso to throw a little extra force behind it. Do this on a heavy bag and strive to achieve a solid left hook after you fake the jab.

Then find a willing partner. Have him spar with you with hands held high. See if you can get him to believe in your fake jab and trick him into receiving your left hook. It will give you a good idea of how much you need to pretend to commit the jab in order to give you the time required to land the hook.

Strike Fast, Strike Hard...Good Luck.

You can practice this pretty much anywhere. The biggest thing to master is halting the forward momentum of your jab and re-routing that force into a left hook. It is going to feel awkward but with practice you can do it and even get your torso to throw a little extra force behind it. Do this on a heavy bag and strive to achieve a solid left hook after you fake the jab.

Then find a willing partner. Have him spar with you with hands held high. See if you can get him to believe in your fake jab and trick him into receiving your left hook. It will give you a good idea of how much you need to pretend to commit the jab in order to give you the time required to land the hook.

Strike Fast, Strike Hard...Good Luck.

Boxing Tip #13: How to Get Out of the Corner

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Sooner or later you are going to find yourself trying to battle out of a corner.

The boxing ring has four of them and if your opponent is any good at controlling the ring, you're going to find yourself back against the turnbuckle with no avenue of escape.

This is where you want to put your opponent - so it's only logical to reason that he or she is going to try and put you there as well.

Sooner or later you are going to find yourself trying to battle out of a corner.

The boxing ring has four of them and if your opponent is any good at controlling the ring, you're going to find yourself back against the turnbuckle with no avenue of escape.

This is where you want to put your opponent - so it's only logical to reason that he or she is going to try and put you there as well.

Prevention is the Best Medicine 

Prevention is the Best Medicine

First and foremost, stay out of the corners. Control the fight. If you don't let yourself get in the situation then you don't have to deal with it.

Be aware of where you are in the ring and in relation to the corners and maneuver to stay in and control the center of the ring.

The center is where you have 360 degrees of freedom and the ability to use every boxing technique you have. Controlling the ring is an art form of its own requiring agility and excellent footwork. It also known as ring generalship (something I will describe in a later article.)

First and foremost, stay out of the corners. Control the fight. If you don't let yourself get in the situation then you don't have to deal with it.

Be aware of where you are in the ring and in relation to the corners and maneuver to stay in and control the center of the ring.

The center is where you have 360 degrees of freedom and the ability to use every boxing technique you have. Controlling the ring is an art form of its own requiring agility and excellent footwork. It also known as ring generalship (something I will describe in a later article.)

What to Do When You Get Stuck in the Corner

What to Do When You Get Stuck in the Corner

First and foremost - when your back hits the turnbuckle - do not panic. Your opponent knows that he has you in the corner and will take that opportunity to attack (or they should). If the situation is ever reversed - you want to keep your opponent in the corner and unleash a relentless attack.

Being in a corner nullifies half of your opponent's ability - he can't move and has to rely on a strong defense and his wits to get out of it.

Second, if there was ever a time to keep your eyes open, this is it.

What are you looking for?

Two things:

  1. Punches coming in - so you can deal with them either blocking, slipping, or catching.
  2. An opening - for you to get out of the corner.

Getting out of the corner requires excellent timing and decisive action. If you do this right, you can actually change spots with your opponent -- putting him in the corner and you on the offensive.

Concerning the punches coming in - you are just going to have to deal with them the best you can.

With any luck your opponent will start throwing haymakers and getting sloppy. If he stays tight, accurate, and on target you are going to have a tough time spinning him.

People tend to get excited when they corner someone and that excitement leads to a total disregard for technique. Not saying it will always happen that way, but there is a good chance of it.

You also want to lean forward - not backward. You need to be coiled and ready to step forward or pivot in a split second.

Now watch for your opening.

Your chance to turn the tide occurs when your opponent throws a punch that either overextends him or transfers his or her weight. With haymakers or looping rights and lefts, that opening will be quite obvious and you will have a substantial amount of time to react.

If your opponent transfers weight to their right (they throw a left hook for instance) and you let them overextend (by ducking), you'll see an opening on their left. When you see that opening you immediately and without hesitation drive your front foot to the outside of your opponent's lead foot and do a hard pivot left around your opponent. At the same time give your opponent a slight tap/shove.

As you spin around him, he is naturally going to try and realign (spin). He will be off balance and the tap/shove you give him will send him back first into the turnbuckle. You effectively switch positions - now use that opportunity to attack.

It is natural to want to back up and experience freedom - you're wasting a good advantage if you do that. Move right in and give a little back of what you just got.

You are now in control - stay tight and throw controlled, accurate punches. Don't get excited and sloppy.

You may see an opening on your opponent's right side (if they throw a straight right for instance) and you manage to slip to your left. You'll take a quick step to your leftt and pivot hard to your right - attempting to spin around your opponent just like you did when you went to your right.

First and foremost - when your back hits the turnbuckle - do not panic. Your opponent knows that he has you in the corner and will take that opportunity to attack (or they should). If the situation is ever reversed - you want to keep your opponent in the corner and unleash a relentless attack.

Being in a corner nullifies half of your opponent's ability - he can't move and has to rely on a strong defense and his wits to get out of it.

Second, if there was ever a time to keep your eyes open, this is it.

What are you looking for?

Two things:

  1. Punches coming in - so you can deal with them either blocking, slipping, or catching.
  2. An opening - for you to get out of the corner.

Getting out of the corner requires excellent timing and decisive action. If you do this right, you can actually change spots with your opponent -- putting him in the corner and you on the offensive.

Concerning the punches coming in - you are just going to have to deal with them the best you can.

With any luck your opponent will start throwing haymakers and getting sloppy. If he stays tight, accurate, and on target you are going to have a tough time spinning him.

People tend to get excited when they corner someone and that excitement leads to a total disregard for technique. Not saying it will always happen that way, but there is a good chance of it.

You also want to lean forward - not backward. You need to be coiled and ready to step forward or pivot in a split second.

Now watch for your opening.

Your chance to turn the tide occurs when your opponent throws a punch that either overextends him or transfers his or her weight. With haymakers or looping rights and lefts, that opening will be quite obvious and you will have a substantial amount of time to react.

If your opponent transfers weight to their right (they throw a left hook for instance) and you let them overextend (by ducking), you'll see an opening on their left. When you see that opening you immediately and without hesitation drive your front foot to the outside of your opponent's lead foot and do a hard pivot left around your opponent. At the same time give your opponent a slight tap/shove.

As you spin around him, he is naturally going to try and realign (spin). He will be off balance and the tap/shove you give him will send him back first into the turnbuckle. You effectively switch positions - now use that opportunity to attack.

It is natural to want to back up and experience freedom - you're wasting a good advantage if you do that. Move right in and give a little back of what you just got.

You are now in control - stay tight and throw controlled, accurate punches. Don't get excited and sloppy.

You may see an opening on your opponent's right side (if they throw a straight right for instance) and you manage to slip to your left. You'll take a quick step to your leftt and pivot hard to your right - attempting to spin around your opponent just like you did when you went to your right.

An example

An example

Picture the following scenario. It is one of many, but the principles are the same:

  • You are in the corner, back against the turnbuckle and your opponent is throwing punches.
  • Your stance in the corner should see you leaning slightly forward, absorbing hits, slipping, and ducking as required, but always maintain the forward leaning stance.
  • Your weight should be distributed more on your lead foot. Don't let him punch you back against the turnbuckle.
  • Your opponent begins to throw a looping right hand and you realize this is your chance.
  • You duck as the punch comes in, stepping towards your opponent's left side at the same time.
  • As the punch misses its target you find yourself under his armpit and basically grab him around the abdomen, helping him to spin as you step around him, finishing off with a quick tap/shove which pushes him into the corner.
  • You then unleash the fury.

One of three things will happen when you attempt to spin your opponent:

  1. You will succeed - and you will find him and you exactly where you want to be. Enjoy.
  2. You will fail - and you will find yourself still in the corner. Repeat until you succeed.
  3. You will partially succeed - Even partial success is better than the alternative - you will find yourself out of the corner, but you may also find your opponent isn't in the corner either. Now you're back to square one - don't let yourself get put in the corner again - control the fight.

Good luck. Boxon.

Picture the following scenario. It is one of many, but the principles are the same:

  • You are in the corner, back against the turnbuckle and your opponent is throwing punches.
  • Your stance in the corner should see you leaning slightly forward, absorbing hits, slipping, and ducking as required, but always maintain the forward leaning stance.
  • Your weight should be distributed more on your lead foot. Don't let him punch you back against the turnbuckle.
  • Your opponent begins to throw a looping right hand and you realize this is your chance.
  • You duck as the punch comes in, stepping towards your opponent's left side at the same time.
  • As the punch misses its target you find yourself under his armpit and basically grab him around the abdomen, helping him to spin as you step around him, finishing off with a quick tap/shove which pushes him into the corner.
  • You then unleash the fury.

One of three things will happen when you attempt to spin your opponent:

  1. You will succeed - and you will find him and you exactly where you want to be. Enjoy.
  2. You will fail - and you will find yourself still in the corner. Repeat until you succeed.
  3. You will partially succeed - Even partial success is better than the alternative - you will find yourself out of the corner, but you may also find your opponent isn't in the corner either. Now you're back to square one - don't let yourself get put in the corner again - control the fight.

Good luck. Boxon.

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