I came across his whilst looking at a boxing club that Knight_errant is conidering going to - good stuff! Toway Amateur Boxing Club A word of warning before you clik the above link - their web designer needs a kick up the pants - he's embedded some pretty big (1-2mb) mp3 sounds into their pages! ====================== The following are some tips that will help you improve your boxing ability. (1) Stance Chin tucked. Lead shoulder slightly shrugged (though not unnaturally). Elbows in. Hands up (measure your eyebrows with your fists now and then). Knees slightly bent. Feet shoulder width apart, nearly parallel. Groin not open. (2) Range Learn to become really comfortable standing just out of reach of your opponant. Develop the sensitivity to gauge people's reach, and allow them to just barely miss. This will give you two valuable things: The ability to not freak out because things are flying at your face and barely missing, and the posture and positioning to hit your opponant with little adjustment. Everything "defensive" is really a matter of doing AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE to make your opponent miss while not messing up your alignment to hit him back. This is why multi-step blocking and highly eccentric movements (literally, "far from center") are not practiced in boxing. (3) Never, ever, ever take your eyes off of your opponent. Don't always try to stay out of your opponents reach, or you'll always find him out of your reach. Train your slip and bob to stay in range and let the punch go right by so you're still in range to throw it out. Don't weave too much. (4) Everything has a reason! "Do nothing that is without a reason". Beware of wasteful moves that don't serve any purpose. For example, jab when you slip your opponents jab. Cross when you slip your opponents cross. Don't let your opponent become comfortable, or secure in the knowledge that you're going to stand there while he does what he wants. The thing that weakens an opponent's offense is your own offense. Everything else (e.g. slipping without countering, blocking as an isolated movement) is just prolonging the inevitable. (5) Read your opponents hips Learn to read your opponents hips. Whenever a hip comes toward you, that is advance notice that something is coming from that side. Some also telegraph with their shoulders too. (6) The jab the art of boxing is founded on the jab. If you've got a jab, you can box. If you don't, then boxing is hard. Simple as that. Without the jab, expect to get hit a lot. The jab helps to make you a good boxer. Without one, you're just a puncher (which can also be effective, but requires specialized attributes to pull it off). (6) The Can Opener, and the Spoon There's a saying in boxing that your jab is a can opener, and your cross is a spoon. The opponent is a can of meat. You've got to use your can opener to open the can BEFORE you can use your spoon to dig out the meat. If you try to use your spoon first, you'll generally fail. Even if you like to lead off with a cross (not usually advisable, unless you're Roy Jones, Ali, or a ****ed off Jack Johnson), it is advisable that you at least feint a jab to conceal the load-up of your rear shoulder for the cross. (7) The Hook Two things to remember in throwing your hook. Lead foot rotates on the ball like you're crushing peanuts. Lead arm hooks horizontally and tight, like you're grabbing one of your friends around the neck with your arm and saying, "Come here!" (the noogie position). Also regarding the hook, THERE IS NO WRIST. Your wrist does not exist. You can use horizontal or vertical fist -- matter of what range you're hooking at. Balls of the feet are the gas, heels are the brakes (8) Speed Speed is very important. But quickness and suddenness are even more important. Don't build up in speed. If you do, you will tend to miss against a person with movement, even though your punches are fast at full extension. This is because there is a discernible buildup in your acceleration. Relaxation is important for speed. Don't tighten your fist up until you're almost fully extended. (9) Shoe in the Bucket It describes a failure to shift the weight off of one foot and onto the other when throwing a power punch. Classic example is in the cross -- at full extension, your rear foot is on the ball, allowing the weight to shift and that hip to come forward. This contradicts the planted rear foot of many traditional martial arts in their "reverse punch" -- what in boxing we call shoe in the bucket. (10) Barrel of a gun Look down your punching arm like you're looking down the barrel of a gun. This will help that arm to provide cover for your chin on that side while you're punching. Common mistake is for people to leave their chin open on the side of the arm they are punching with. Depending on your personal style, it can also help to turn your thumbs downward to help bring the shoulders up and provide better cover. Your arms are like two soldiers guarding a fort. When one of them leaves the fort to make war, he has to build a wall to protect his post while he's gone. Also, in keeping with this analogy the other soldier at such times is extra vigilant. (11) Where there's weight, there's power loading is essential for power punching. But, do not telegraph. Conceal the shift of weight in your combinations. (12) Hourglass stance This is a dangerous but necessary position in hitting. It happens at the tail end of your cross. Be ready to duck and cover. Your cross will put you in a bob position. You should be ready to stay low and elbow block, weave under, or jab to correct your posture. DO NOT just stand there fully extended with nowhere to go. (13) 60/40 Rule In your stancing and movement, do not put more than 60 percent of your weight on either foot except in brief extreme situations. i.e. In the course of regular movement stand in balance. One- legged stances, stilted and straight knee stances, overextended forward stances, etc., are a big mistake both offensively and defensively. (14) Dancing Don't dance around, or bounce up and down. Quick, short, even-keeled adjustments are what you want. Stay mobile, but don't waste any motion. In keeping with the gas and brakes analogy , stay on the balls for quick range adjustment, but SETTLE IN on your punches. You get your punching power from the ground, through the legs, and off the hips. (15) The generator Everything you do needs to derive power from somewhere. Your hips are your generator. Plug everything you do into your generator. Throwing punches without the hips is like fighting a duel with an unloaded gun. You might get the first shot off, but he'll be the one who really connects. (16) Better to make him miss by an inch, than by a mile When you make him miss by a mile, you'll often find yourself too far out of alignment to fire back. Make him miss by an inch, and it's as if he's not punching you at all -- as far as your ability to counterpunch is concerned. (17) Head at the level of your punch You have to drop your head to the level of your target. THIS INCLUDES BODY SHOTS. Not to do this is to get hit. Some say you should put your eyes at the level of where you're punching, some say the chin or shoulders. (18) Punching Power The power of your punch is on the very end of it. This is one way in which boxing is a range game. You've got to find your distance, in order to tee off. The real art comes in catching him at the right time and place when your punch is at its max. Both of you are on the move, though, and this takes timing. (19) When to catch him Often, an opponent is ready to move once off of your first attack to make you miss. But, usually after this first movement he has nowhere to go unless he's pretty good. Often you can catch him flatfooted at this time, if you're ready to follow up and keep gaining range. Most common of all is simply leaning away from your initial attack. If you're ready to follow up from that, you can usually catch most people. Throw something up at his face, and you'll see his reaction. Then you can know exactly what to do, since he has tipped his hand, and show his intention. Example: You throw a threatening jab (good safe angle, well-covered, but believable) and he reacts by moving slightly back away. This tells you to do the same thing, but follow with an overhand to catch him -- because you know where his head is going to be after the jab. (20) The chin The chin is the magic button. Tuck yours, exploit his. Some people look really tough, but they go down from a tap on the chin. Whereas, trying to knock a guy out by punching his skull can take a while, unless you hit really hard. Head's like a helmet. Not a good target, unless you can already break patio blocks with your fists. I've knocked people out by punching their skull without hurting my hands, but it takes a while to get your fists tough enough for it. (21) Jab like a fencer Jabbing is a game of controlled lunging in coordinated footwork to achieve the right range for other things. Some people use the jab in a light way, like a fly swatter. I like to use it light, but also as a heavier punch as well -- a dichotomy which comes from originally learning to box at 175 lbs., but finding myself now at a trim 215-220 lbs. with enough speed AND weight to use it both ways. (22) Sparring The quality of your sparring partners will influence your skill level. Highly skilled fighters do not need to go full contact all the time to get a lot from the exchange. Moreover, you can't explore new combinations and options if there's too big a price to pay. When somebody is out there trying to knock your block off all the time, you'll tend to fall back on just surviving instead of consciously enforcing actions that are intelligent if not yet reflexive. (23) Shadowboxing You should shadowbox EVERY DAY. The most valuable training experiences for me have been those little 15 or 20 minute sessions where I shadowbox and play with different angles and combos. Keeps you sharp, too. (24) Number your angles Start with a basic numbering system: Jab Cross Lead Hook Rear Overhand Lead Uppercut Eventually add other angles (e.g. from close range, squared face-off, or opponent moves to inside): Rear Uppercut Lead overhand Rear Hook Now. When working the focus mitts, have the feeder call out combos by number: "1,1" "1,1 while circling" "1,2" "1,2,3" "1,3" "1,2,5,4" Etc. The feeder should collide the mitts with your punches so that the mitts do not snap back, making it possible for him to stay with you on faster combinations, and to give you a satisfying impact when you punch. Next, work into advancing combos where the feeder throws angles after your first one or two shots, you evade and continue with your counter. "1,2,weave,2"