Boxing, although it appears to be very simple on the surface, is actually an incredibly complex martial arts discipline. Every technique consists of many different layers.
Of course, there are the fundamentals — basic punch combinations, basic footwork, standard defensive strategy, among others. But to truly develop your skills, it takes a lot of hard work and practice.
While everyone starts off at the beginner level, there are a handful of useful techniques you can pick up that could add loads of diversity to your game. The techniques on this list are essential to get you over the hump from beginner to advanced level.
These offensive and defensive tools will give you a competitive edge. So make sure to practice and add these weapons to your boxing repertoire.
We’ve already taken the time to break it down for you. Today, Evolve Daily shares five underrated boxing techniques you can add to your game.
Footwork in boxing is an often underrated skill. Many beginners like to approach their offense in a straight line. This can turn out to be very predictable and easily telegraphed. In order to raise your game, you have to improve your mobility in the ring.
Being able to use your feet to reach certain spots with ease is a major offensive and defensive skill to add to your repertoire. Fighters often use this technique to get to an opponent’s blind spot, or to circle over to his weak side.
One of the best to ever use the sidestep is Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko. Nicknamed “The Matrix”, Lomachenko can move his feet in ways many other boxers cannot. His footwork is the most important part of his game and is the catalyst for nearly all of his offensive weapons.
Practice stepping to the side of your opponents, moving in various angles. Try not to fight in a center line, and always keep moving. If you can add this to your skill set, you’ll raise your game to a whole new level.
Feints are one of boxing’s forgotten techniques. They are used to coerce opponents into committing and making mistakes, both on offense and on defense. You will become a much better boxer if you familiarize yourself with the knowledge and skill of feints.
Sometimes referred to as “fakes” or “jukes”, feinting involves partially committing to an offensive attack, which elicits a reaction from an opponent. Based on this reaction, the offensive fighter can then capitalize on openings.
Many of the best boxers of all time often used feints to their advantage. Legends such as Floyd Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Roy Jones Jr. Their feints would stifle their opponents and helped them find success throughout their careers.
Use feints to create openings in an opponent’s defensive guard, then capitalize with power. Adding feints to your skill set is a total game changer.
Under the traditional Marquess of Queensberry rules, the clinch is actually an illegal maneuver. But while in modern boxing, referees deduct points for excessive clinching, it is still tolerable to some extent. The most intelligent and strategic fighters know how to use the clinch to their advantage.
The clinch is basically a defensive tactic, which involves a boxer tying up an opponent’s arms. This renders any attack ineffective and usually frustrates guys and takes them out of the fight mentally. Take note, however, that most referees allow boxers to fight their way out of a clinch, but could intervene if the duration of the clinch becomes too long.
It is important to learn how and when to use the clinch to get the most out of it. The best way to practice clinching is during sparring sessions. Try to catch your sparring partners in a clinch when they try to close the distance. Move in and tie up their arms.
4) Catch and Counter
Defense is just as important in boxing as is offense, if not more important. With the catch and counter technique, defense always comes first.
There are many ways you can throw counter punches in boxing. The use of parries and catch counters, however, seem to be a lost art.
Oftentimes, training is spent honing offensive skills. While it is important to sharpen each tool for pugilism, it is also important to utilize offense with sound defensive techniques. A perfect example of this strategic approach is none other than the legendary Floyd Mayweather.
Mayweather is known for his ability to use a variety of defensive techniques in conjunction with his offense. He is heavily reliant on instincts and muscle memory when catching shots, but is very effective with them. After deflecting an opponent’s offense, Mayweather likes to unleash sharp counters that catch opponents off guard.
Practice the catch and counter either during sparring or during mitt work. The more you practice, the better you will get and soon it will become second nature.
5) Power Jab
Traditionally, the jab isn’t considered a knockout punch. Most often, it is used to set up power shots and serve as a catalyst for combinations. Some fighters, however, are gifted with power jabs — jabs that have the ability to do some serious damage.
When an opponent is hit with a powerful jab, it keeps them alert and wary of that power. The result is that opponents become tentative and wary of initiating offense. It also keeps opponents more out of range than usual because they become hesitant to close the distance. Aimed at the chin, a good, strong jab can be very effective at dictating the pace of a matchup.
Instead of just using the jab as a range-finder or a light punch, practice throwing the jab with force. A power jab can quickly earn the respect of any opponent and is often an amazing offensive tool that can be carried through the beginner and advanced stages.