There are many types of fighting styles used both for self-defence and in competitive events. These styles include judo, jujitsu, wrestling, taekwondo, kung fu, karate, aikido and boxing. Boxers combine speed, power and technical proficiency, and a well-trained boxer can defend himself as effectively as a practitioner of the martial arts. The good news is that you don't have to be a professional-level prizefighter to make use of techniques that help you fight like a boxer.
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Practice the basic boxing stance, in which your feet are shoulder-width apart, your knees are slightly bent and your left foot is in front. Raise your hands to chin level with your right hand lightly touching your right cheek and your left hand out in front. If you're left-handed, your right foot would be in front.
Throw a jab with your left hand, which is also known as your lead hand if you're right-handed. A jab is a short, quick punch in which you lock your left arm in a full extension, strike an object and immediately recoil your hand. A jab is hard to defend because it is thrown with your lead hand, which means you don't telegraph the punch to your opponent by stepping forward into the punch. Jabs are thrown to the head and body of an opponent, and are often used to set up more powerful punches while keeping an opponent at a safe distance. If you're left-handed, throw a jab with your right hand.
Throw an uppercut, which can be executed with either hand. To throw a right uppercut, lower your right shoulder and drop your right hand to your waist as you twist your right hip and punch upward with a powerful motion. To execute a left uppercut, lower your left shoulder and drop your left hand to your waist as you twist your left hip and punch upward with a powerful motion. This punch can be aimed at the body or head of an opponent and packs a lot of power generated by the rotation of your hip.
Throw a hook, which can be executed with either hand. With a left hook, twist your front foot and pivot your back heel as you rotate your left hip and keep your left arm at a 90-degree angle. Unlike the uppercut, in which you drop your punching hand, the hook requires you to position your hand so it's parallel to the ground as you swing your arm. Lower your chin toward your lead shoulder as you punch to protect from a counter jab from your opponent. Throw a right hook by pivoting your right foot, lifting your right heel and rotating your right hip as you come forward with your right hand parallel to the ground.
Throw a cross, which is thrown by the "off" hand, also known as the rear hand. A cross whips across the body in a direct line to strike the target. To throw it effectively, plant your lead foot, pivot off the ball of your back foot as you raise the heel, twist your rear hip and thrust it in a forward motion as you extend your hand straight out at chin level and lock the arm to hit the target.
Throw combination punches by alternating jabs, hooks, crosses and an occasional uppercut. Boxers use these punches as the foundation of their fighting style, and practicing them together will enable you to defend yourself and approximate the fighting technique of a professional boxer.
Tips and warnings
- Use a punchbag or some kind of foam target to practice your punches and improve your punching speed, power and technique.
- Keep your non-throwing hand raised against your chin to protect yourself from a counterpunch.
- Recoil your arm immediately after you throw a punch or you will leave your body exposed to a counterpunch.
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