In boxing, you can’t just learn everything from a textbook. Experience will always be the greatest teacher. The lessons you learn in the ring are far more valuable than anything you can find on YouTube.
But sometimes, you need that external push. You can’t learn everything yourself. You can rely on your coach and your seniors, those who have more experience, your training partners, and more. Boxing was never meant to be a solo game. You’ll be surprised at the amazing things you can pick up if you truly begin to listen.
There’s a lot of value in what your more experienced seniors can share with you. Those who have been caught in the line of fire inside the ring have lots of stories to tell, and there’s so much you can learn from them. They can teach you tricks of the trade that can instantly make you a better fighter.
We’ve come up with a list of a few weapons and tactics you can add to your game that could end up spelling the difference between victory and defeat.
Today, Evolve Daily shares five boxing secrets only the pros can teach you.
1) The Piston Jab
The jab is one of, if not the most important punch in boxing. It can dictate the pace of any fight, control the distance, and set up the all-important power shots.
However, a pro boxer’s jab has much more to it than just the obvious. It is thrown with speed, power, and can be executed at any given moment — like a piston firing on all cylinders. Often referred to as “The Piston Jab,” this jab has the ability to stop an opponent in his tracks in any sequence.
It can counter the straight, the hook, and any punch in between. It can stop an opponent from coming forward and closing the distance, and it can shock an opponent who is moving backward.
What’s the secret? The two ingredients for landing a successful Piston Jab are timing and speed. You have to have great anticipation with what your opponent is doing, and at the same time, execute the jab with enough speed to connect undeterred. Some professionals like to throw this jab with a fast, snapping motion so opponents don’t see it coming.
With the Piston Jab in your arsenal, you can interrupt any opponent, no matter their plan of attack.
2) Make Them Miss, Make Them Pay
There’s a lot of training that goes into dodging punches. Bobbing and weaving, ducking under, slipping to the left or right — it’s all pretty basic. However, pro boxers take this stuff to the next level. Instead of just being reactive and dodging a punch that comes your way, you need to learn how to bait opponents into throwing certain punches, make them miss wide, and then hit them with a sharp counter.
The amount of practice it takes to reach this level of skill, however, is immense. You’ll need lots of sparring time and experience, in order to know how to set your opponent up to miss badly. Pro boxers are excellent in knowing which positions bait certain punches.
Digging your head into your opponent’s chest, for example, baits the inside hook. Extending your lead arm out to paw with the jab invites your opponent to throw the overhand over the top. In summary, pros are able to guess that from a certain position, an opponent is likely to throw a specific punch, and then effectively evade that punch and hit back with a counter.
3) Fire In The Phonebooth
Amateur fighters are traditionally taught to fight from a distance, executing their combinations from far out or even up close. But they’re never brought up learning how to fight in close quarters. This sort of inside fighting is what’s fondly referred to as the “phone booth.”
Pro boxers love fighting inside the phone booth for a variety of reasons. One, they’re comfortable in there, having logged hours of training in the clinch and know how to defend against attacks from that specific range. Two, pro boxers use clinch situations to manage energy levels and stamina across a 12 round fight, which many times can be quite grueling.
Years of experience develop comfortability in every fighting position, especially at close distance. Pro boxers have a deep understanding of punching rhythms and how to move in accordance with what opponents are showing them.
This kind of slick movement is what separates the amateurs from the pros. In most cases, pro boxers can stick and move, and slip punches without even looking at them.
4) Hit The Body, The Head Will Fall
At the elite level, body work plays a major role in a fight. It’s another aspect of the game that separates the professionals from the amateurs.
Beginners like to headhunt a lot, focusing on only a few targets which severely limits potential scoring and damage areas. Pro boxers invest in body work early to open up the head in the later rounds.
Body shots can really slow down and debilitate foes over the course of a fight. When you tag the body, you take away an opponent’s legs and movement. Eventually, you even cause the glove guard to lower, opening up avenues to land headshots.
Pro boxers have the skill and technique to land precise body shots in critical damage areas without getting countered. They can throw a shot to the ribs, for example, in the exact moment an opponent’s elbows lift as he throws a punch. And it’s usually these body shots that opponents don’t see coming that really suck the wind out of their sails.
5) Deceptive Distance Control
Footwork is an amazing skill to have in the ring. The ability to move in and out of range quickly and control distance is a prerequisite in the elite levels of fighting. But pro boxers just do it so effectively, without their opponents even realizing that they are.
Pro boxers have that deceptive distance. You feel like they’re out of range and can’t possibly land something on the inside, but then you get hit and you’re disoriented. You never saw the punch coming. That’s because pro boxers know not to telegraph their movements.
Just when you think an opponent is too far away, he’s suddenly within perfect range and throws that punch you never anticipated. Or he could be in close quarters, and just as you throw your punch, he vanishes. In both instances, you never noticed him moving in or moving out. He just did so effortlessly.
The secret is having that slick footwork that doesn’t allow an opponent to read your movements. You’re always incredibly relaxed, moving fluidly, almost as if you’re gliding across the ring. Opponents will try to read your movement, but they can’t.
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