Boxing is one of the best combat styles for self-defense despite only allowing you to use your fists as weapons. While it lacks the kicks that other effective striking styles like Muay Thai have, some would say that isn’t a big issue when it comes to self-defense since throwing kicks leaves you unbalanced, which can be dangerous in self-defense situations where you generally don’t want fights to go to the ground due to the potential threat of multiple attackers.
Boxing teaches you how to strike without losing your balance, making it easier to keep a fight upright in self-defense scenarios. You also learn how to use your footwork, head movement, and hands to evade strikes and put yourself in a position to counter.
Fundamental Boxing Techniques Everyone Should Know For Self-Defense
Ready to find out which boxing techniques are most useful in self-defense situations? Let’s jump right into our list:
1) The Basic Punches
Defending yourself would be highly challenging if you don’t know how to throw any strikes. Boxing uses six main strikes: The jab, cross, lead hook, rear hook, lead uppercut, and rear uppercut. A number system is used in boxing to designate these punches. It goes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, respectively, with a jab being a one and a rear uppercut being a six. That’s all you need to master to be able to throw meaningful offense.
The legendary Bruce Lee once said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
Lee might have been talking about kicks, but the same rule applies to boxing. When you first start boxing, you don’t need to worry about more advanced techniques like shovel hooks. Master these six basic punches, and you’ll be a force to be reckoned with. Even boxers at the highest levels of the sport rarely deviate from these fundamental punches.
Train these six punches consistently and always use proper form. It’s often better to practice these punches slowly to get the mechanics down before speeding things up and adding power to your punches. Master the mechanics and drill these punches on a heavy bag to develop serious punching power to go with the technique.
2) The Basic Stance
Mastering the basic boxing stance keeps you balanced during fights, allowing you to put more power behind your shots and move faster. The most common stance used in boxing is the orthodox stance, developed for right-handed fighters.
To get into the orthodox stance:
- Put your left leg in front while placing your right leg behind. A straight line drawn between your two legs should form a 45-degree angle with your body.
- Keep a slight bend in your knees and tuck your chin.
- Place your left hand slightly in front of your face while your rear hand rests next to your chin. You’re now in the orthodox boxing stance.
The second stance used in boxing is the southpaw stance, and it’s made for left-handed fighters. It mirrors the same things you do to get in the orthodox stance, but with your right foot ahead of your body and your left hand tucked next to your chin.
3) Basic Defense
Knowing how to block a punch comes in handy in self-defense situations. The first thing you must learn regarding defense is to keep your hands up. Beginner boxers often struggle to keep their hands up as they work on their punches. That’s a glaring weakness since it leaves you vulnerable to counters.
The general rule in boxing is always to keep your hands up. That means keeping both hands close to your face, even as you throw punches, so they’re in a position to block punches. You can then parry, block, or use head movement to avoid the punch.
Parrying a punch involves hitting your opponent’s arm as the punch comes toward you so it misses its target. It’s an effective way to block a punch and create openings for counters. Head movement involves using techniques like slips, bobs and weaves to avoid punches as they travel toward your head. It’s the most effective way to deal with a punch since you don’t take any damage when done correctly. Blocking a punch only reduces its power; you still feel some of the force behind it.
Mastering blocking, parrying, and head movement put you ahead of the average person. Most people who haven’t formally trained in a fighting style have no answers for fighters with good head movement and defense.
Clinches are typically broken up in boxing, but it’s an essential skill in a street fight. There are no guarantees an opponent won’t overwhelm you by bombarding you with punches in self-defense situations, so it’s only prudent to learn what to do when you feel you’re not getting the better of the exchanges.
Clinching allows you to slow down the action so you can regain your composure. Many professional boxers have been able to prevent knockouts by clinching their opponents after getting rocked. Practice getting into a clinch regularly, so it’s part of your muscle memory if you ever get rocked in a street fight.
It’s rare to see the entirety of a street fight taking place on the outside. Outside fighting is something people who have trained in a fighting style do. Regular untrained people typically crowd their opponents as they unleash their emotions.
That means improving your ability to fight inside increases your odds of successfully defending yourself and your loved ones. You should know how to defend against salvos thrown at you at a close distance while landing powerful shots of your own.
A Never-Ending Journey
You shouldn’t stop learning how to defend yourself after learning a few basic boxing techniques. It should be a life-long journey as you add more techniques to your arsenal. Don’t restrict yourself to only boxing since other martial arts also have unique techniques that could come in handy. For example, learning how to grapple will only improve your ability to defend yourself if you already know how to box.
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