What is Boxing?
The best place to start is to understand what boxing is. Boxing is a contact sport. It is played by two people who throw punches at each other, following a set of rules, for some time. It is played inside a boxing ring.
A boxing ring is an area where the combat sport takes place. It is set on a raised square platform with four posts, one at every corner. A boundary is formed around the ring using four ropes attached to the posts in parallel lines. The average boxing ring is 17 and 20 feet inside the ropes and 2 extra feet outside. The raised platform where boxing takes place is 4 feet off the ground with a 1-inch thick padding to protect the boxers on the ring.
Amateur boxing is professional boxing that takes place at the level of college, and in international games which include the Commonwealth games, the Olympics among others. Amateur boxing rounds take less time. Male boxers only have three rounds each lasting three minutes while female boxers have four rounds of two minutes each. All competitions are monitored by referees whose mandate is to enforce the rules of boxing.
Venturing into the world boxing takes a lot of guts. You are willingly serving yourself up to be punched regularly. The best way to start on the right footing is to learn all you can about it. This will help prepare you for what is to come and relay any fear you may have. It is normal to be fearful and a little intimidated especially when you step into the gym and see hardened boxers. Remember they all had to start where you are now, by deciding they want to box.
Take your time before stepping into the ring and think of why you want to be a boxer. It might be for fitness reasons. You want it to be your way of exercising. You also could be interested in the profession itself. All across the world, boxers compete on a professional level and earn a living from the sport. Deciding your main motivation for venturing into boxing will help you know what level of training you need.
Simply learning the basic technique of boxing can be transformational. You may just want to get and remain fit. Going to the gym can get monotonous. Boxing can be a great way to train and spice things up. Before your first training day, learn some basic techniques. There are a host of training videos online that can help you learn a few moves. Better to know one or two things before stepping on the ring for the first time.
Basic Boxing Methods
Boxing is a combat sport that both men and women can participate in. Anyone can do it and there are even children who take part in the sport. The best way to get started is to learn a few facts about it. This guide aim is to arm you with as much information as possible before you get started in training.
Basic Boxing Stance
As a beginner, mastering the basic boxing stance will help you attack your opponent and guard yourself too. A strong stance will help your technique a lot.
- Start with your dominant side. If you are right-handed, let your left shoulder face your opponent by turning your body in a clockwise manner.
- Keep your feet apart, the exact length of your shoulders.
- Remember to bend your knees slightly. Do not lock them.
- Let your left foot face your opponent by turning it.
- Follow this by raising your back heel a little.
- Raise both your hands close to your face and make fists that are not too tight. Your elbows should remain close to your body.
- Place your right fist next to your chin.
- Place your left hand in front of your face.
- Raise your eyes and place your chin down.
- Let the weight of your body rest on your back foot.
Mastering this basic boxing stance is very important. This is the position you will get back to after moving around on the ring. Practice, practice until you can do it in your sleep.
You cannot punch while standing still all the time. You have to move around in the ring. Your footwork is an important part of your basic boxing training. The agility of your feet is what will help you cover the distance required in training. Learn as much as you can about feet movement and watch seasoned boxers too. They have been at it for some time and know one or two helpful tips.
The trick to effective foot movement in the ring is mastering how to balance your weight evenly. This will help you move around with ease. Always ensure your feet are spread apart but not too wide because this can make you easily lose balance. The basic width between your feet should be the same distance between your shoulders.
- Always start your footwork with your dominant leg, followed by the other side. If you are right-handed, start with your right leg and let the left leg get dragged.
- The importance of dragging your left foot is to help you not get off balance by getting your feet crossed.
- A good attack on your opponent starts with you advancing with your right foot and dragging the left foot.
- A good defense starts with you retreating with your left foot while dragging your right foot.
In boxing, there are four main punches that you have to learn. They include Uppercuts, Hooks, Jabs, and Cross. You may have heard of them, now it’s time to learn how they are done.
Even without having trained before, you have heard of the legendary uppercut punch. This is a punch that calls your whole body into action. You must rotate your entire body as it originates from the waist. An uppercut aims to make contact with the chin of your opponent using your fist.
- To perform an uppercut, start at the basic boxing stance. By now you should be able to do it in your sleep.
- Move your feet in a clockwise manner. Lift the heel of your front foot and drop the heel of your back foot. Remember not to lock the knees.
- Move the palm of your right hand by raising it towards your opponent’s face.
- As you make contact with the chin of your opponent, add your whole weight to the punch ensuring you attack with force.
- Follow this by immediately returning to the basic stance and lift your hands to guard your face.
A hook is what delivers a knockout punch and is performed horizontally. Mastering this is very important. When you deliver this punch the correct way, it is very hard for your opponent to defend themselves against it.
- Start at the basic stance. Lift the heel of your front foot and drop the heel of your back foot.
- Rotate your whole body at once.
- Raise your front arm to be at a 90-degree angle with your body with your fist resting vertically.
- Land the punch backed by the weight of your entire body.
- Immediately after landing the punch, get back to the basic stance and guard your face with your raised fists.
A jab is known as one of the most basic moves in boxing. It is a punch delivered quickly meant to destabilize your opponent leaving you with an opportunity to deliver stronger shots their way.
- While on your basic stance, punch with either hand.
- Your knuckles must be facing up and your palm down while you deliver the jabs.
- Take a small step towards your opponent as you connect with them.
- Return your elbow in position as you take back the stance after delivering the jab.
A cross has to be delivered using your dominant hand always to add as much power and force to it as possible. This is how you finish a set of punches called combinations. You have to deliver it to your opponent when they are standing on a straight line.
- Start by taking a basic stance.
- Face the knuckles of your dominant hand up and your palm down.
- Punch your opponent at a 90-degree angle adding weight to your punch as you connect with them.
- Return to your basic stance as soon as the punch is delivered.
You have to learn how to defend yourself. Do not be the punching bag who easily gets knocked out on the ring. Learn the best way to defend yourself so that you last longer. In boxing, you use most of your body to defend yourself.
One way to defend yourself on the ring is to use your head. This can be achieved through a slip which is when you bend your waist to escape the punches from your opponent. Try and keep your head away from your opponent as much as possible by bobbing around.
You also defend yourself by using your arms. This is through blocking your face with your raised arms. Your arms absorb the force from your opponent’s punches keeping your face away from them.
When you need to catch a breathe and your opponent is raining punches your way, you can defend yourself using the trunk of your body. This helps to slow down your opponent giving you a moment to respond.
Everything you do on the ring to defend yourself on the ring will be aided greatly by your footwork. Every move your feet make is important. Good footwork starts with a well-placed basic stance. If you get the stance wrong, then every move you try will not work out effectively. Be as light as possible on your feet for quick responses.
Have you ever heard of combinations in boxing? If not, do not worry. Combinations are simply a series of punches delivered at lightning speed causing your opponent as much strife as possible before retreating to a basic stance. You have to master how to deliver the best combinations if you are to last in the ring.
a. First Combination (1-2 Jab-Cross)
This is the first boxing combination you will learn. These two punches are thrown together. Think back of a fight you had in your childhood, you will be surprised to know you did the jab-cross without knowing what it was! You make contact with your opponent using your less dominant arm first, followed by a punch from your dominant arm to tip them over. This combination is so effective you can easily knock out your opponent with it.
b. Second Combination ( 1-1-2 Jab-Jab-Cross)
Take your opponent by surprise using this combination because they may be expecting you to deliver the 1-2 combination first. Punch them twice using your less dominant hand before delivering a forceful punch from your dominant hand. Test how alert your opponent is by delivering the 1-1 combination until the best opportunity opens up for you to clip them with your dominant hand.
c. Third Combination ( 1-2-3 Jab-Cross-Left Hook)
Now you can start making some real moves on the ring. Jab your opponent with your less dominant arm then shift your weight as you deliver the punch from your dominant arm. This shift in your body weight helps you prepare to deliver the left hook either on their chin or body.
d. Fourth Combination ( 1-2-3-2 Jab-Cross-Hook-Cross)
Now it’s time to get serious with your punches. Start with your less dominant arm followed by a punch from your dominant arm then the less dominant arm and back to the dominant. An example if you are right-handed is left-right, left-right.
e. Fifth Combination (1-2-5-2 Jab-Cross-Uppercut-Cross)
This combination is very similar to the fourth combination. The only difference is here you replace the hook with an uppercut to be delivered by your less dominant arm. Your opponent will be caught off-guard due to the direction in which the uppercut originates from. The correct delivery of the uppercut will expose the face of your opponent giving you a chance to clip them hard with your dominant arm.
f. Sixth Combination ( 1-6-3-2 Jab-Uppercut-Hook-Cross)
Do not let your opponent learn your moves by being too predictable. Switch up how you start the fight now and then. Jab them with your less dominant arm, uppercut with your dominant arm, hook with your less dominant arm then finish with a cross with your dominant arm. Remember to remain alert as you deliver this combination because your head remains fully exposed and you might get a serious punch too.
g. Seventh Combination ( 2-3-2 Cross-Hook-Cross)
You may find yourself in the ring with an opponent who is just coming at you with all their might. This leaves no room to formulate a complex attack plan. You have to respond immediately or risk getting knocked out. Use your dominant arm to deliver a cross, then a hook from your less dominant arm and complete the combination by a cross from your dominant arm. Remain at a powerful basic stance and deliver the punches with all your force.
Basic Boxing Gear and Equipment
Now that you know a little more about boxing, you may be confident enough to finally step on the ring right? Not so fast. You need some basic boxing protective gear and equipment before you can start training. You do not need to go out and purchase every last gear and equipment in the market. In this guide, you will learn the few that you need and will use in the ring.
Boxing is a contact sport that involves punching each other. This means you are prone to injuries making it very necessary to get some protective gear. Before you can box, you will need boxing gloves, mouth guard, headgear, hand wraps, training shoes, and a groin protector. Do some research and refer to guides to select the best from the market.
Boxing requires training outside of the ring too. You have to exercise and condition your body before stepping into the ring. This ensures you are fit and agile to perform at your best level. Stepping into the ring unprepared will see you run for the hills. There is some basic equipment which you will need to train. They include jump rope, sparring pads, speed bag, heavy boxing bag, and double end bag.
Boxing is fun! It can be enjoyed by all including male or female, adult or children. You get to test the limits of your body and learn some great fighting techniques. Decide whether you want to box to keep fit or be a professional boxer before you get started. Learn all the information provided for you in this guide by heart before stepping on the ring. Going at it blank can result in frustration and injury.
Select a good trainer who is knowledgeable and will train you effectively. Start off by mastering the basics of boxing giving your body time to be conditioned to it. Get yourself the right boxing protective gear and training equipment before you get started. Enjoy!