Regardless of whether you’re boxing for fun or with the hopes of one day becoming the next Muhammad Ali, one thing is certain: you have to start as a beginner.
Boxing, unlike other sports and recreational activities – requires a lot of strength, endurance, skills, and dedication.
And to get these things, you need a lot of practice.
Below are some of the tips you need to become a good boxer.
Pro Tip: There’s no getting around the fact that you need a pair of boxing gloves to get your boxing game started. You can check the range of boxing gloves available here to see which one fits you best.
Working on your punches
When you think of boxing, the first thing that comes to mind is “throwing and trading punches.” That’s what everyone thinks about.
So, it only makes sense that you begin your boxing practices by learning how to throw and trade punches.
Tips for working on your punches include:
Joining a boxing class
It goes without saying that boxing is a textbook game, meaning you can learn so much by simply reading books, watching videos, and taking on instructions from premade materials.
But, in reality, all that might take forever to get you where you need to be.
Instead, you can join a boxing class dedicated to beginner boxers and run by expert boxers. There are so many of them online and around neighborhoods today.
Look around you to see if there’s one that works for you. And if you can’t find, go online and join an online boxing class.
Most of these classes are run by pro boxers and expert trainers, many of whom are happy to teach you the basics of punching, regardless of the level you’re at.
Practice on a punching bag
Watching your tutors train you how to punch in a class is not going to get you anywhere until you start practicing by yourself.
For each lesson given to you in your boxing class, go home and try it on a bag.
However, if you don’t have a punching bag at home, you can look around your neighborhood for gym spots where they have bags. Alternatively, you can make your own punching bags by following these simple DIY steps.
Practice on a speed bag
A speed bag will help you with rhythm, timing, hand-eye coordination, and endurance. Hit the bag with your right hand twice and then hit the bag with your left hand twice. Use the front of your fist for your first hit and the bottom of your fist for your second hit.
Learn boxing stance and positioning
While standing to begin a fight, your left foot should be in the lead position while your chin is kept down. Your knees should be slightly bent, and your feet should be a little wider than shoulder-width. Ensure your right hand is kept at least 6 to 8 inches away from your chin – albeit guarding the chin – and your elbows should be tucked in and closer to your sides.
Finally, your overall body should be slightly tilted sideways to avoid opening your entire chest to your opponent.
The jab is the punch you throw to ward off your opponent.
Usually, a jab is thrown with your lead hand. But while throwing it, you need to make sure your chin is down and protected by your rear hand as you punch.
To throw a jab, quickly outstretch your lead hand and then return it to the stance position.
Unlike a jab, a cross is a far more powerful punch that you throw with your rear hand while protecting your chin with your lead hand.
To throw a cross, position your rear foot in such a way that the heel is up and the toes are on the ground, after which you will now rotate your body counterclockwise as you outstretch your arm and lean forward just a little bit.
The hook is a lead-or-rear-handed punch aimed at the side of your opponent.
To throw a hook, bend your arm perpendicularly to the direction your punch is going. Pivot your foot as you throw the punch as well and bend your knees.
An uppercut is a punch thrown when you notice the opponent’s head’s too low.
Usually, it’s a lead-or-rear-handed punch thrown from the waist.
To throw a lead-handed uppercut, tilt your head to the outside of your lead foot, twist your hips, and rotate your body in an upward motion as you throw the punch.
Once you are good enough to throw all five punches, the next thing is to master the combinations.
Note: do not attempt to throw the combinations until you’ve mastered all five punches perfectly, and they’ve become a part of you.
Basically, the commonest combinations are:
- The 1-2 (jab -right cross)
- The 1-1-2 (jab-jab-cross)
- The 1-2-3 (jab-cross-left hook)
- The 1-2-3-2 (jab-cross-hook-cross)
- The 1-2-5-2 (jab-cross-left uppercut-cross)
- The 1-6-3-2 (jab-right uppercut-left hook-right hand).