Boxing is an intricate martial art, with a lot of subtle but technical nuances. Every movement serves a purpose. People spend years trying to master every technique.
To start off, practitioners must completely reprogram their bodies to move in certain ways. From the head all the way down to the feet, boxing requires an acute attention to detail in every technique. The more time you have to practice, the better.
While the majority of focus in boxing lies in its punching and combinations, there are other factors that are introduced when you reach the more advanced stages of training.
When you get to that next level, you’ll shift focus to other equally important facets of the game that need your attention — things like head movement, defense, and the all-important footwork.
The amount of time and effort required to truly learn how to box may seem daunting. Here we have prepared a handful of useful boxing tips to help you elevate your game to the next level.
Today, Evolve Daily shares five boxing tips that will help raise your game.
1) Maintain eye contact
Never lose sight of your opponent. To better anticipate an opponent’s attacks, and not leave yourself vulnerable to counter attacks that you don’t see coming, maintain eye contact at all times through both offense and defense.
By locking on to your opponent, it means you never break line of sight. In doing this, you can better prepare yourself to react correctly in any given situation. You are virtually one step ahead of your opponent at all times.
The unique ebb and flow of a boxing match can sometimes be chaotic, which is all the more important that you maintain eye contact. Fight smart and you make it easier for yourself to execute your offense while still being able to play good defense.
2) Watch the battle of the feet
Not known to many beginners, but inside the boxing ring, there is a constant battle of feet placement. The general rule is whatever you do, you must keep your lead foot on the outside of an opponent’s lead foot, especially when launching an attack.
Keeping your lead foot on the outside puts you in the right position to unload your offense.
Now, you’re not going to win the battle of the feet all the time. There will be instances when your opponent will win this little mini-game. As soon as you sense your lead foot fall to the inside, be prepared to play defense. Either cover up and employ a high guard, or jab step backward to take yourself out of range.
3) Fight low
When dealing with taller opponents, sometimes it’s good to keep a low stance. This means bending your knees an extra bit to minimize the impact of a taller opponent’s punches. The taller opponent usually has to exert extra effort in trying to connect punches on a fighter who keeps his stance low.
It can be very effective at times, but also be wary of the effect it has on you.
Be careful with fighting low too long as it easily dissipates your stamina and energy reservoir. Make sure that you train your legs heavily to be able to sustain this sort of activity. Squats and calf raises are good workouts to build stamina in the legs.
4) Use your side step
Sidestepping around an opponent can be used on offense or on defense. It’s a boxing technique that has been underutilized until just recently when fighters like Vasyl Lomachenko and Manny Pacquiao made good use of the tactic.
Sidestepping works great on defense as it allows you to circle away from your opponent’s power shots. Oftentimes it keeps you well out of range of the straight, or the rear hook. Even if contact is made, the impact is lessened.
On offense, sidestepping an opponent makes his defense vulnerable and creates a lot of openings for you to land punches to the body and to the head. This also relates to point number one, as it breaks an opponent’s line of sight. When you move to the side, your opponent is usually wide open.
5) Learn how to clinch
When the going gets rough, learn how to clinch. It’s a boxing technique that is used in close quarters to provide a break in the action. Clinching is an essential skill that can prove useful in dire situations. As part of a strategy, it can also be used to frustrate opponents mentally.
Opponents who wind up getting clinched a lot in a fight gets the energy zapped out of them quickly. It’s a great way to thwart their game plan.
Knowing how to execute a smooth clinch is a skill that can be trained, just the same as your regular boxing combinations. So practice clinching in sparring as much as you can, to add this technique to your repertoire.