1a. Footwork (GOING AWAY)
Quite possibly the best defensive technique ever invented. (Haven’t you ever heard the best self-defense technique is to run?) Why bother learning how to slip or roll under punches when you can run away? The problem is that you can’t attack when you’re running away. Or at least if you want to counter, you have to spend tremendous amounts of energy to bring yourself back into range again to fire counters. So basically running is easy to do and very effective but there’s little option to counter. This is probably why so many guys start running when they know they’re up on the scorecards.
1b. Footwork (GOING AROUND)
Pivots, side-steps, lateral movement. Great for moving away from a punch while still keeping yourself in range to counter. Good stuff, very effective in theory but not efficient and definitely not sustainable over the long run. Sure you can pivot around a punch or two here and there but it takes too much energy to move your entire body when your opponent is only moving his arm. You end up committing more energy which only pays off if you land deadly counters. Nonetheless, moving around your opponent is a great way to use angles and to simultaneously attack and defend. When you work hard to get into range, good technique will help you stay in range without getting hit.
1c. Footwork (GOING FORWARD)
Smothering is a classic way to avoid punches. Instead of stepping away and being too far, now you step forward and get too close. If you’re able to get close, see if you can get on top of your opponent. Try to project your chest onto your opponent’s head and crush him to keep him from exploding back at you with punches. There’s no easier way to take away your opponent’s weapon by grabbing his arm.
This is your basic boxing defense. Blocking is the easy way to defend without taking yourself out of range. Requires little energy and little skill. If you really think about it, blocking is not your first defensive skill-it’s your first COUNTER-OFFENSIVE skill. Simply cover your vulnerable areas, don’t try to “catch” the punch, fire back after you block.
Blocking covers both head and body and doesn’t leave you open to follow up punches. There are several drawbacks, mainly that it’s slow to counter (because hands are busy blocking) and also that you still absorb partial damage. Blocking is not very helpful for closing distance against longer armed opponents that can push you back, or defending against bigger opponents who can still hurt you through your guard, or faster opponents who retract their arms before you counter. Blocking too much can leave you stuck in your defensive shell and lose decisions for not showing aggression.
It’s like a block but you’re slightly deflecting your opponent’s punch away with your hand. A small carry can take the power of your opponent’s hardest punches, whereas a big parry can guide your opponent off balance and vulnerable using his own momentum. At some point all your blocks should be made with a slight parrying motion to blunt the hardest punches.
The parry is a great way to wear out your opponents by using their momentum against them. It works best against guys that take more energy to commit to their punches, especially power punchers and long-armed punchers. The power punchers are always committing tremendous body force which is an opportunity to parry their punch and create openings for your counters. Long-armed punchers are especially vulnerable to parry since they have take longer to retract their punches. By making them miss and parrying their punches you will tire out their long arms faster.
The drawbacks to the parry is that it doesn’t work well against light punchers (that use no momentum) and also against curved punches. There is also a risk of leaving yourself vulnerable to fakes if you’re trying to parry a punch.
The shoulder roll is naturally the next step up from the parry technique. Instead of deflecting punches with your hands, you use your body now. The shoulder roll is incredibly effective because your body can roll off your opponent’s best shots with ease while keeping your hands free to counter faster. The shoulder roll relies on rhythm for defense and effectively neutralizes entire combinations at even close range.
The drawback to the shoulder roll is that it is ineffective against smaller, faster shots like the jab–which are thrown the majority of the time. The shoulder roll can also leave you highly vulnerable to a punch if you get faked and/or roll in the wrong direction.
Slipping is the most skillful defensive boxing technique. It requires complete evasion of the punch by displacing the head or body to one side, USUALLY by going to the outside of the oncoming punch. It is incredibly effective in that the opponent misses entirely and your hands (and body) are completely free to counter or escape.
The drawbacks to slipping is that it requires very high skill and awareness to pull off successfully. It’s not enough to avoid the punch, you have to be in position to counter immediately since it isn’t realistic (energy-wise) to slip entire combinations. Should you make any mistake during slipping, you will take a direct hit.
Slipping is the best way (sometimes the only way) to counter against really fast opponents. Sometimes it’s the only way to close distance against a taller opponent, or escape off the ropes. The drawbacks to slipping is that it’s very hard to use against body punches and fast volume punchers that throw many sharp fast punches. Slipping can also be very tiring mentally and physically to do throughout and entire fight and leaves you especially vulnerable if you’re faked out.
Yes, offense (or counter-offense) is the best defense. See if you can evade your opponent’s punch by landing one of your own. Maybe your punch cuts straight up the middle intercepting his, or maybe your punch pulls your head out of the way of his punch. If you really think about it, all defense techniques are simply a way of getting you in position to counter–but if you can counter right off the bat, that’s even better.
Interested to push yourself and your limitations, transform your mind and body and strive to become a champion?
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Name: Rox Boxing Gym
Location: Bangalore, India.
Phone: 98455 04564