Your boxing questions answered! Questions about punching technique, training, over-training, incorporating different styles, and more.
1. How do I improve my hook? And what should I do to make myself stronger and tougher? – Lina
As I told you before about how hard to box as a girl, i always tray hard to get to the gym and join boxing class, and i play even harder to be a good boxer. Am tough on my self and thats how my life is in general,Although my face shows the oppisit. My jab is good and strong and i like that but i dont know how to improve my hook, and i sometimes skip it and do uppercut instide..My componant is from Germany and she is taller and stronger , she always punsh my face and head and i reach her chest and body . I get used to pain BUT what do you think i should do to make my self stronger and tougher? And i use Everlast gloves,are these suitabl for my hands? I wanna be a strong fighter and challenge those who say I can’t because I’m a girl.
- Hooks are probably the most difficult punch in boxing because of how far the elbow is from the body while it’s thrown. Regular practice on your form and technique during shadowboxing will teach you how to throw it with balance. Some people pick up the left hook naturally whereas others have to practice it for years.
- You get stronger and tougher by training hard and not letting yourself get too beat up everyday in training. Strengthen your mind as well as your body. Challenge yourself but don’t go so far that you see how weak you are. Don’t break yourself everyday in training.
- Everlast makes cheap gloves and good gloves. If yours cost less than $50 US, they are probably the cheap ones.
2. How can I do aerobic training without losing weight?
I have been training for around 6 months now and recently started sparring. After a few weeks of it I have decided that I want to improve my fitness further as I think my sparring would benefit from more aerobic endurance. I have started running 3 times a week along with my normal boxing routine to improve this fitness aspect, however the weight now seems to be falling off me. I am already in a shape and weight I am happy with so this is starting to annoy me.
Would you have any tips for adding more aerobic training without it affecting my weight so much ?
Ps the website is great and has seriously helped with a lot of pointers on how to improve technique !
Keep up the good work.
Regards from across the pond in the UK !,
- Graeme, the simple answer is that you can’t. Your body will adjust itself to fit your type of physical activity. Doing aerobic exercise will tell your body it needs to transform into a shape and muscle type that performs better aerobic activity. Maybe you can tone down the intensity. Otherwise, let your body adjust itself so that you will perform better in physical activity.
3. How do develop muscles to take rib shots better? – Gerry
While sparring, about once every 4 months I seem to take a shot to the ribs that will put me out of commission for a week or two. I have worked on my defense and feel as though I am doing a much better job of blocking these shots, but no matter what they are going to sneak through once in a while. I can take a shot to the gut but the rib shots do me in. I am pretty thin and my ribs are pretty exposed so I feel as though the best thing I can do is build up my chest muscles. Reading different articles seem to make all kind of recommendations for building up the chest, but they are not really aimed at a boxer s needs. What would your recommendations be to build up the chest muscles and become better at taking rib shots?
- I’ve heard of muay thai fighters that develop their lateral and oblique muscles to build the muscles around the ribs. The muscles don’t cover the ribs but they pull the ribs in tighter. I’ve also been taught that strengthening the lateral muscles will squeeze the ribs tighter to the core so that shock is transferred faster to the core and down to the ground instead of only dispersing across the ribs. For stronger obliques, lats, and core muscles I would recommend more sit-ups, crunches, and pull-ups.
4. Should I fighter at cruiserweight or heavyweight? – Kam
just like to say firstly brill site, very usefull.
just got a little question, im 19 and im an amature boxer in the uk, the last fight i had was back in jan this year fighting at heavyweight, however, i had a lot of exams i had to retake and prepare for, and was extreamly stressful thus i lost waight along with not training.
iv just moved away from home to university, and i am training at the local boxing gym, the main trainers have left the country for a while due to a competiiton, although they have put me on a program (stregnth and conditioning) as expected im sparing cruiserwaights, who are much faster and quicker than i am used to fighting heavywaights.
what would you recomend, should i adapt my style of fighting so that it suits the crueserwaights im fighting, but also to highlite the previouse fights iv had at heavy iv enjoyed and found i was at my comfort zone to fight and prepar as i wasnt a really heavy heavywaight i stayed a couple of pounds over the limit of heavywaght devision, i had a heavywaight stength but was much more sharper and quiker and light on my feet.
so what would you recomend, should i adapt and fight a cruserwaight and gradually build up to heavy again which will take long or should i concentrate and gettin back to heavy .
once again thanks for time and the effort
- From everything you just said, stay at cruiserweight. Get in superb shape and see where your weight falls. Why fight bigger/stronger opponents when you don’t have to? If you’re truly a cruiserweight, stay at cruiser and become the most amazing cruiser the world has ever known.
5. How do I move with better flow and rhythm? – Fernando
Hey I enjoy reading and watching all the articles you and your team have written about. I have just a new at boxing and well I am on and off with it but I love how much of a great workout I get out of it. My deal is that I move too stiff, such as when I roll I don’t look like if I am in rhythm, hence too stiff. I am also terrible at dancing and following the rhythm. Is there any advice or techniques I can use to be able to move more freely or with a better flow?
- Relax and box at a slower pace. Don’t jerk around so much and don’t try to be so powerful. Move slower, move more relaxed. Don’t pick up the intensity so much that you can’t relax anymore. It also helps to stretch and do a lot more shadowboxing. Minimum 30 minutes a day.
6. How many workouts should I have per week? I’m getting married and want to be in the best shape of my life. – Scott
Hi there and greetings from the UK.
Firstly congratulations on the great site and YouTube channel, I’m finding it my first reference point for my training.
I’m just getting started boxing training my first session was yesterday. I’m 29, 5′ 9″ and in pretty bad shape. My main motivation is I’m getting married at the end of March next year – so the clock is ticking to get in the best shape of my life – and stay that way.
I’ve had read through your articles and I’m already hooked.
After my first session yesterday, it’s pretty apparent I’ve a long way to go. I just wanted to know a few things:
– How many sessions should I be training p/week for the best improvement. And how long should each session last?
– Should I do a mixture of boxing specific training and general CV conditioning and what ratio?
– From where I’m at now (rock bottom), how soon should I notice results?
Sorry for all the questions, but you being the expert I can think of no-one better to ask.
- 3 workouts per week is all you need. Any more than that is overkill and doesn’t offer too much results. Stick to 3. Even 2 workouts per week is ok. Warm up is about 30 minutes, the intense part is about 45 minutes. You don’t need any more than that. Eat 5-6 small meals a day, I’m serious about this. It will take as long as it takes, I think you’ll see results in 30 days if you eat right and follow the instructions to the “t”.Enjoy being in the best shape of your life. Congrats on the marriage, Scott!
7. What style is best for me? – Robby
I was reading your site for tips about form, how to begin, and basically almost every beginner article you have. I recently started training in MMA, (I decided to wait for the craze to die down, and for me to actually start as soon as I lost all the weight I wanted to so when I started lifting again I could rebuild muscle for function.) and I’m actually enjoying it a lot. Being someone who’s never really sat down and watched a fight, or expressed interest in fighting, I was told on my first day that I did exceptionally well for a beginner, and learned basically everything they taught me immediately. Since then I’ve asked two people to train me, and started going to a gym to learn. I’ve been trying to refine my punches, and kicks, and I’m hungry for more. As soon as I learned the techniques I was ready to spar. I do have a habit of correcting myself mid punch though. I think too much in the technical realm, and if its not perfect when I execute, I berate myself immediately. One night I just decided to say screw it and stopped thinking about form, and I did so much better. I guess the main reason for my email is to see if you had any time to help me understand myself. I’m not sure if I’m offensive or defensive, my left hand is dominant, but my right hand is slightly stronger. My left kick is stronger, but my right has better form, and I kick right whenever I play football. I prefer southpaw, just as when I skate I’m goofy footed, but I keep my left in the back and push with my right. Both sides are comf to me when fighting, and I can move back and forth between stances. My elbows are much more powerful and faster when striking, but I’m heavy footed, so my speed when kicking or bringing my knee up is kind of slow.
I don’t know, I’m trying to figure out what style is best for me to learn, I’m comf with anything I learn, and I’m very passionate about learning. If you need any info from me please let me know and I’ll be more than happy to answer.
Thank you for your time,
- Judging from what you said, you only have a collection of natural skills right now. Some movements feel more natural than others. You have no style, you’re a developing fighter. Learn everything. Give yourself a chance to learn how to use your body. Develop the coordination and muscle control everywhere. Many great fighters are actually great at EVERYTHING, it’s just that they prefer to use a certain style. So do the same, learn how to do everything and your style will show itself even when you’re not conscious of it…just like your sparring performance.
8. If you were to improve your footwork on dancing which type of dancing classes would you take? – Eduardo
- I would do ballet. Hands down, it’s probably the most brutal dance if you ask me. If you can handle that, boxing footwork will be easy for you.
9. I’m a woman. Should my trainer be a man or a woman? – Kristen
My name is Kristen and I like your site and I am new to boxing. I was just wondering if my trainer should be a man or a woman? I am currently looking for gyms in Colorado. I am a little nervous about men thinking women shouldn’t box. I want to get into amateur fights and hopefully go pro.
- Your trainer should be anyone who truly loves boxing and will share his or her knowledge of the art without discriminating the student. I will say that having a woman trainer with previous fighting experience can be very helpful because she understands more about the human body.Male boxing trainers are more common, though. Choose a trainer you feel comfortable with.
10. I got a black eye in a professional gym. How can I tell a good gym from a bad one? – Miguel
I love ur site. From the bay area in California.Been checking out the articles about finding a good gym n trainer. I came out a professional gym as u say n experienced more bad things than good. They had a lot of amateur fighters. Some hard sparring and some light but I was a beginner n walked out with a black eye more than once. I had to ask for help n most of the time they said they were too busy. Sounds like a bad gym but I still learned alittle. I wish there was controlled sparring so I could see the punches coming. Anyways I left I don’t think they cared for me personally. I’m looking for another gym n u suggested to look for a.gym that has more women n children if I don’t want to get hurt I found (boxing for health) is the name of the gym one but looking at the website it looks like u call it a fat camp. Did some research n the owner is a pro fighter. I called n he said they had amateur n pro fighters n he said if I’m interested in competing they will assign a trainer. It seems like a lighter boxing gym so this way I won’t get hurt but at the same time it looks like a fat camp. Any advice u can give me or signs to look for whether its a good gym. Thanks
- This is a tough call. I can’t really blame the gym because some gyms have multiple trainers and it all depends on who you get. A good trainer will really understand and know how hard you want to spar without putting you on the spot and making it uncomfortable. From what I’ve seen, almost no one will back down out of sparring. It’s something about most guy’s having too much ego to say “no”.
- You have to decide what you want out of boxing. If you just want to have fun and not get hurt, then going to a commercial “fat camp” boxing gym will be more fun for you.
11. How can I enjoy sparring more? – Chris
Expert boxing i need some advice
I have sparred twice once with my friend who i joined boxing with 3 weeks ago and that was ok and then yesterday to bigger fellas that are around 63.5 and im only 53.5 there a bit taller than me aswell i got a bad hiding in sparring and didnt enjoy it one bit i love boxing i like hitting the bags skipping i didnt mind sparring the first time against a more fairer person but my experience yesterday really turned me of sparring any advice how to make me feel better on it? thanks.
- Stop sparring with guys that want to hurt you. It’s like playing basketball with Michael Jordan and all he does is dunk on you instead of moving around and giving you a chance to shoot the ball. Spar with guys who are willing to give and take and match your level of intensity. Box more instead of brawling. That’ll make sparring more fun because you’re both working with each other and learning something instead of trying to knock each other out.
12. How do I throw a corkscrew blow? And should I use it? – Samuel
Hi Johnny I was wondering on how you do a corkscrew blow and if i should use it?
I’m 6’0 with very long arm reach
- A corkscrew blow? I’m guess you’re talking about punches where your rotate your arm so your palm faces the ground when the punch lands. It’s standard practice for all traditional straight boxing punches. It’s sound technique so yes, please use it. It decreases the chance of wrist injury and also rotates your shoulders up to protect your chin.
13. How do I clean and take of boxing gloves? – Jonathan
I’m a big fan of your website, as I started boxing (and Muay Thai) almost a year ago. Your articles and product reviews have helped me immensely, so thank you. I haven’t seen any articles on your website on how to clean/take care of boxing gloves, and when I run a Google search I have been getting a lot of conflicting information (put them in a plastic bag in the freezer, spray lysol inside of them, put cedar chips in a sock in them, etc.). I was in Thailand over the summer and bought a pair of 16oz. Twins gloves, so I’m looking for the best way to take care of them. So in addition to cleaning inside the gloves, do you have any recommendaitons on how to keep the leather soft as well? Thank you in advance for your help.
- Gloves that are being used everyday will stay soft from the sweat and constant moisture, so don’t worry about that. I do know of leather care products that can help. The same ones you use for car seats or furniture. As for the smell, some people wash the gloves or purchase the little smell thingys that you put in the gloves so they smell nice. Here are some links for boxing glove products…http://store.titleboxing.com/odor-aid-equipment-disinfectant.html
- You can also buy the products that people put in shoes to keep them from smelling.
- Most gyms I see, wash the gloves maybe once a month IF THAT. The gloves are being used everyday so they just leave them hanging around the gym.
14. How do I condition my upper shoulder muscles?
I’ve got a fight on 2nd oct ! What’s best way to get my top of shoulder boxing fit ? As I think I’m going to struggle !!! It’s only 3 rounds of 2 mins Any help would be gr8
- Keep working the speed bag! Constant speed bag work will burn and condition those upper shoulder muscles. It also helps to aim higher when you hit the heavy bag. Try aiming at head level instead of chest level.
15. What is your opinion of training or sparring with a cold? – Billy
- If you feel up for it, go ahead. It’s a bit hardcore when you should be giving your body a break so it can come back stronger. Squeezing a workout in when your body is weak is not going to do anything but feed your ego.
- My opinion is to be considerate and don’t get other fighters sick before their fights that weekend. Stay home and don’t spread the illness.
16. How do I develop more power and speed in my left hand? – Mike
How do you work on your less dominate hand. I was wondering how to develop more power and speed in my left had. ( I’m naturally right handed) But in an interview, I saw Freddie Roach talking about developing Manny Pacquaio’s right hand. What exercises and techniques did he do to make his other hand more effective.
- I don’t know of any special exercises or techniques to develop the weak hand. I imagine coordination drills and constant practice will do it. If anything, it helps to be more aware of the hand. Be aware of everything it’s doing instead of focusing only on your dominant hand.
17. Will doing 1-arm push-ups, handstand push-ups, and pull-ups help me punch faster? – Malik
- I would prefer clapping push-ups because it’s more explosive whereas the exercises you mentioned seem to be a bit too slow. Unless, you’re so strong that you’re doing explosive handstand push-ups…I think there are far better exercises for building hand speed.
18. How can I box like Winky Wright? I keep backing up during sparring. What should I do to stop that habit? – Javier
How can I box like Winky Wright? and I keep backing up during sparring what should I do to stop or replace that habit? and for my last question what boxing techniques should I use for a street fight and what shouldnt I use? thanks for taking the time to answer.
- If you’re falling off balance, just make sure you drop your weight when you block so you don’t get pushed back. If you’re intentionally running away, then STOP THAT! Many boxing techniques can be used for a street fight. Be careful, though.
19. How do you become a boxing expert and how to become a boxing promoter thank you for your time. – Porter
- Tough question, I don’t have any straight answers for this. I would start by trying to get a job with the promotion companies.
20. Is it ok to use other martial arts style of punching in a boxing match? – Leo
Is it ok to use other martial arts style of punching in a boxing match? for example using a karate style straight punch in a ring and a wing chun style of punches?
- You can use whatever techniques are legal by boxing rules. As long as you’re hitting with the knuckles and not the palm or the back of the hand or the bottom of the hand, I think it’s ok. Realistically though, boxing does have punches you see in karate style and wing chun just that they aren’t used commonly because they’re not as effective. You’ll find out for yourself soon enough which ones are useful and which ones are not.
21. Is it true that if a boxer lifts weights, it makes him slow? – Srinivas
I heard that if a boxer lifts weights that makes him slow. Is it true???? I know Ali didn’t use weights but tyson used weights and he is fast. I got confusion please clarify my confusion.
- It’s not the weights that makes you slow, it’s how you lift it. If you’re using the weights to mimic a speed exercise, then you will be fast. If you use weights to mimic a slow, muscle-heavy exercise, then you will build muscle (perhaps at the cost of losing speed).
22. How difficult is it to train myself to switch stances?
I have a question about fighting stance. wats up man…i just found out about ur site and been reading for the past cuple hours lol great site with alot of good info….i had a question for u tho….i recently started training and since i was young i always fought with my strong hand in the front…so my feet are used to it and body movement is to……what i am basicaly asking is how difficult is it to train my self out of 22 years of fighting with my strong hand in the front lol…..thanks for any info and pointers as well
- If you’ve spent your life doing something a different way, then yes it can be very difficult to switch your stances. You might even fight less effectively and hate it. If it’s worth the effort, then you’ll do it. If you really want to fight better, you have no choice. Thousands of fighters were trained the wrong way and then ultimately had to change the way they did things because they wanted to improve themselves. It’s not easy to keep improving…which is why a lot of people suck. Constant improvement will require constant change.
23. What are your credentials? – Jesse
Johnny, first off I would just like to compliment you on your site…you must be very passionate about boxing w/ all the info. on it….and I have just come upon the site but am already finding a lot of useful tips…my question is a basic one…what are your credentials? I didn’t see any bio about you on the site in relation to your boxing creds…just curious…no disrespect intended…thanks…
- My credentials are that I’m really passionate about boxing, did it for a really long time, and did it with other people who did it for a REALLY long time. Some of the coaches and fighters I trained with won national and international titles.
24. Can you explain the mechanics behind whipping punches? – Aaron
In one of your other articles you mention tall fighters (Tommy Hearns) punching in a WHIPPING motion could you explain the mechanics behind those punches if you can?, Im 5’11 fight at Welter and have a 76″ reach, some times i throw rights with a slight loop that feel as if my waist is ‘flinging my shoulder into the punch is this the same principle?
- I was going to save this for a full blown article but I’ll explain it in just one sentence since you asked…… Relax the chest before you throw the punch. That’s your whip right there.
25. What weight gloves are for super, heavy, light heavy, and middleweights? – WI
Hi Johnny Im Wi from New Zealand,really like your site very helpful,question about sparring,what is the best weight gloves for super and heavy weight and light heavy and middle weight and weight unders,24 oz? 20 ,18 or 16 and 16 oz for lighter weights?
- Anywhere from 18 to 24 oz is a good idea. I’m assuming you’re talking about sparring.
26. How can I fully extend my straight punches? – Bobby
I’m having difficultly with stiffness and fully extending my straight punches what can better these mistakes.
- I didn’t really understand your question. Are you saying that it hurts to extend? Or that you have a bad habit of not extending?
- If it hurts to extend, make sure you warm up your joints, especially your elbows before you begin punching hard. It helps to shadowbox slowly.
- If you have a bad habit of not extending…well, you can start extending your punches more. Do it slowly and make sure you feel your arm fully straighten out before you pull it back. DO IT SLOW.
27. How do I keep my shoulders from getting stiff? – Jack
My shoulders get very stiff and sore from over use, my left especially (jab). I incorporate foam rolling and stretching with therabands into my training, but just wondering if there are any specifics that might help keep them healthy?
- Stretching and all that will help. I get massages and do stretching myself. Ultimately it comes down to how you use the shoulder. Ultimately, you have to keep it as relaxed as possible. The pros use good relaxed punching technique that allow them to workout all 5 days of the week.
- Try to use less power, especially on the jab. Also when you’re not jabbing, be more aware of your shoulder and see what you can do to keep it relaxed.
28. How do you condition your core to be able to withstand punches? – Ainsley
Ali had abs like steel! You could hit him there all day and not even faze him. I’m not looking to get hit, but if I do I want to be able to withstand it, rather than double over with the wind knocked out of me.
- Tons of ab work. Sit-ups, crunches. It helps to exhale and contract your core muscles when you’re taking punches. Protect that solar plexus, never let yourself get hit there.
29. What weight class should I fight at? – Alex
I’ve been boxing overseas for about 6 months now, I want to fight but I don’t know what weight class would I could fight competitively in, I’m 5’4 and walk around usually at 155, I’m a power puncher so that gives me an edge but I still want to fight intelligently.
- 5’4″ should not be fighting any higher than 147. At your weight, I think you can make 136lbs if you really wanted (assuming you’re not already super lean). Many guys do it.
30. Am I working out too hard? – Sven
Hi Johnny, I’m in the gym 3 times a week for 2 hours (Mon/Wed/Sat) and road running 7km Tue/Thu.
Is that enough / too much for a 37 year old, back after a loooong time without boxing?
My calves are suffering but other than I feel ok. Should I increase or decrease either the road running or the gym time? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for all the good advice you post – please keep up the good work!
- If you have to ask, the answer is yes. That might be a bit much. Start slow and give it a month before you ramp up the intensity. Sounds to me like you’re super athletic and will be ok regardless.
31. Can you give me some tips on breathing during a fight? – Joe
I breathe out when punching just fine, but I’ve noticed that I’m getting tired in fights because I’m not deep inhaling, I’m guppy breathing in the first round. I know this and I still can’t seem to master it. thanks!
- Here’s a good drill: walk around the ring while having a partner punch at your elbows. You keep blocking but focusing on breathing as best you can. Of course, you might tense up when blocking but catch your breath when you get the chance. It’s really a relaxation drill so you can maintain YOUR PACE during the fight.
32. Do you have any tips for getting in shape, gaining mass, strength training, workouts, etc? – Gordon
Hello. My name is Gordon. I am a 19 and begin MMA/ Boxing training tomorrow at my local gym. Since this is all relatively new to me, i was wondering If you have any tips or information that could be of help to me regarding getting in shape, gaining mass, strength training, workouts, diet..etc..
The only prior experience i have is working out with friends and using a punching bag at my house.
I weigh around 165, am 6’0″ tall.
This has been my dream for awhile and Its finally happening. Any help that you could give me would be great Thanks!=
- You’re asking for thousands of years of knowledge…I suggest reading www.expertboxing.com www.bodybuilding.com www.criticalbench.com
33. Why is it that you never go back in a straight line? – Kareem
I’ve been commenting in your forums about styles (nerds vs. brawlers) and defense (shoulder rolling). I have a question for you that I’ve never heard a good answer for.
I hear trainers say, “you should never go back in a straight line”. But exactly why shouldn’t you? I don’t do it but I see several pros do it and I’m not sure why. Is it that if you go back in an angle you’ll present a harder target to reach for the counter of your opponent??
Btw, if you want to see me in action go to youtube and type “marzblkman”. My videos (and one of my students) should be there.
Love to get your thoughts on this though. Thanks and keep up the awesome work.
- You never go back in a straight line because it’s assuming you’re using distance as your defense. It’s a faulty way to fight because you never know if your opponent will jump in and catch you. Relying on distance is like relying on speed, relying on space. A fast guy might catch you, an aggressive guy might catch you. The only way to be really sure is to pull all the way back…which means you have to spend a lot of energy and take yourself out of distance…AND, you never know for sure that you’re really in the clear.
- Instead you should use an angle, so that you can avoid all punches with just a few inches of movement. You’ll save energy, be far more elusive, and still be in position to counter. Think of it this way, you can waste a ton of energy bouncing back and forth to avoid everything. Or you can just slip side to side by a few inches. At the elite levels of boxing, you might not be able to back up faster than a punch travels…in which case, using an angle is the only way to really escape.
- Your videos are awesome, btw. Fun to watch.
34. Why do some coaches teach the vertical fist jab instead of the horizontal fist for jabs? – Ian
I have recently begun training at a gym in Seoul, South Korea. The coaches here have been instructing me to use a vertical fist jab instead of the orthodox, parallel fist jab. Due to language barriers, I haven’t been able to figure out why, but I am curious as to whether this method of instruction is standard for newbies, unique to Korea, or if anyone has encountered this sort of thing before. Thanks for any and all help and input.
- I don’t know too much about martial arts, but I’m guessing the vertical fist style of punching comes from martial arts. My guess is that they punch that way because it’s much easier to throw fast combination punches with vertical fists than with horizontal fists. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well for boxing because using vertical fists doesn’t rotate the shoulders up to protect the chin and doesn’t carry as much power as horizontal fists.
- Vertical fist punching to me is very weak, especially the way many martial artists throw it. They seem to drive the elbow forward, leaving it down for as much as possible whereas the boxing style of punching lifts the elbow high right away. Also, it’s easier to injure your wrists with vertical punches because your shoulders rotate the punch in from the side which makes it highly likely for your wrist to bend sideways upon impact.
35. Do cross dominant/lateral fighters (those who are right handed but left eye dominant, and vice versa) have any advantages? – Wil
I read one of your articles to keep your more powerful hand in the back so that your dominant eye is also in the back. However, since I’m cross dominant, I feel that i will have a disadvantage. Is this true? Do you know of any well accomplished boxers who are cross dominant/lateral.
- I don’t really know the answer to this and I don’t think it matters too much. I’m cross-dominant (in your words) myself. I am left-eye dominant but right-handed, and I fight orthodox. I don’t feel it hinders me at all.
36. What are the benefits to body shots? What is the best (most effective) body punch to land? – DKL
- The number one benefit to body shots is that they can end the fight. It doesn’t how tough or how strong your opponent is, if you can target his body…you can potentially end the fight. This can be a great tactic especially for a guy with a good chin. The second benefit is that the body is a muscle, so it gets bruised and the pain lingers internally. It affects his legs and overall body movement. He will throw weaker punches because it hurts for him to use his core.
- The most effective body punches are to the solar plexus, the liver, or the kidneys. Getting hit right will hurt like hell. Everyone I know would rather take a head punch than be hit there.
37. Can you recommend some good training videos to watch? – Eddie
I am training my 9 yr old son he is showing Interst in boxing I am looking for training videos for beginers and dos and donts on training. Can you help.
- Kenny Weldon, Freddie Roach, Roger Mayweather, Russ Anbar. All these guys have some great boxing instructional videos on youtube. Look them up and copy what they do. They have different ways of doing different things.
38. How do you move your feet when throwing punches moving forwards? – Wil
For instance, how do you throw a 1-2b-1-2 moving forwards and other long punch combinations? I’m confused as to how to position my feet when moving.
- Great question. So many guys do this all wrong. For beginners, you move only when you throw the jab. If you’re more skilled, you can move with the right hand. Try not to move your feet with every punch. The problem most fighters have is not the moving part, it’s the stopping. They know how to move but then they don’t know how to stop their body and ground themselves to hit with good follow-up punches. They leave their bodies un-grounded and their opponents counter back with harder shots.
39. How can I get started in some amateur fights? There are no boxing gyms in my town. – Shane N
I’m from a ok size town but it has no boxing gyms, i have been trainning for about 6 months now and just wanna know how i can start to get in some amature fights, im very well in shape just got out of basic training.
- See if there are some MMA gyms that do boxing fights. Otherwise, it looks like you might have to move. I’ve gone to basic training before for the military and I must say it’s not tough enough to prepare you for amateur boxing. The guys fighting in the amateurs are monsters.
40. Can you write some articles of the basics of good footwork – what I should and should not be doing with my feet? – Matt
- On the way, Matt. There are so many basics that need to be put out.
41. Does anyone actually throw different jabs? – Lou
You have an article with different types of jabs and I’ve also seen other articles n interviews with people showing and talking about different jabs. But to be honest does anyone actually throw different jabs? I mean maybe 1-2 fighters but is it uncommon or useless….. because it seems to me that people just throw there arm out there like a power jab…. is it always good for me to train other types? Thanks!
- The jab is the #1 weapon in boxing, thrown more than all other punches COMBINED. Yes, there many different ways to throw it and every fighter amateur or pro will throw it in different ways. Since you can’t tell the difference from watching videos, I recommend the best way for you to find out is to box with someone experienced and you will see how many ways they throw it.
42. What’s your opinions on alcohol, it’s effects. I mean like prefight. what and/or why do we have to avoid alcohol? – Genius
- Taken from my “Common Sense Boxing Diet” article. Here are some studies to show you the effects of alcohol on athletic performance:
- Alcohol and athletic performance – University of Georgia
- Alcohol effects on athletic performance – Bodybuilding.com
- Alcohol and athletic performance – UC San Diego
- If you don’t want to read, alcohol decreases: testorone, accuracy, balance, reaction time (reflexes), visual tracking, power and muscle endurance, body hydration, absorption of vitamins/minerals, aerobic capacity, muscle recovery, muscle growth potential, etc.
43. Why dont you write a artical about ring generalship or bout progression in how to control a adversery with skill and experience? – Curtis
- It’s on the way. So many articles to write!
44. How do you deal with injuries and training? – Laura W
I was wondering how you deal with injuries and training. Recently (five months ago) I was involved in a serious motorcycle crash where I was hit head on by a mobility van (out of all things!). I broke the bones in my lower leg clean in half, to make matters worse I also caught a flesh eating disease in which large amounts of tissue were removed (I was lucky not to loose my leg).
Being recently turned 21, I was looking forward to doing my first amateur fight. My age hasn’t put me off, but my injuries have been getting in the way. My doctor says that I won’t be able to spar for a few more months until the swelling and everything else has settled.
What would you do in this situation?
- Those are serious injuries so I would listen to your doctor and wait it out. Give your body all the time it needs to heal before you put it through the stress of boxing training. It sucks but it’s not safe to fight before your body heals.
45. Is there any other way to beat a taller fighter other than just being a puncher using bob and weave (i.e. joe Frazier, Mike Tyson style)? – Jack
- Oh yeah, Jack. It’s possible to beat taller fighters even without slipping at all. Sometimes I like to walk down tall guys with a high guard and let them punch themselves out. Instead of slipping, I’ll jerk my head back so their arms swing at air and get tired faster.
- Other times, I throw lots of body jabs to push the taller fighter off balance, then I rush him for the kill. Sometimes, I’ll stand right in front of him and trade right hands with him. I’ll block all his jabs but the moment I see his right hand, I trade mine with his. (I do this intelligently, of course. Slipping my head slightly outside his as mine lands.)
46. Will gaining knowledge of other martial arts convert your style into a more unique boxing style? – J
Do you feel that gaining knowledge of different types of martial arts will convert your style into a more unique style? obviously wing chung hand-trapping seems like a bad idea in boxing, but rather to use the knowledge of different martial arts to take more unique angles and throwing punches in a more unique way to make your style even more different than others?
- Excellent question, J. Ultimately, you have to expose yourself to as many styles as possible to learn more. The key is not to let the styles limit you. It should open your mind and make you think of new ways to approach fighting, but when the style doesn’t fit the situation you have to be willing to let it go.
- Regarding martial arts and different striking styles, I suggest you learn all the different styles of boxing before you go into entirely different fighting arts. Other arts have alternative mindsets and combative objectives that are vastly different if not entirely conflicting with boxing. The point of being a great fighter is not to be unique, it’s to fight the way your body was made to fight. If you’re boxing, you should box the way your body wants to box. Taking techniques and principles from another art might not be such a good idea…I’ve seen other guys try it and with disastrous results (using wing chun in boxing ring).
- Either way, a true student always seeks more knowledge. You’re well on the right path.
47. What are the steps to being a pro aka a paid boxer ?
- Find a gym where professional boxers train at. Come in there and talk to the owner, tell him you want to go pro. He’ll introduce you to some trainers and managers and they’ll check you out. If you’re willing to train hard and put up a good fight, they’ll pay for your boxing license and medicals and off you go!
48. How do you avoid getting sore after a workout? – Boxer
Hey, can you tell me how to not get a sore body after a boxing workout please.
- Stay relaxed when you workout. If you feel your body tense throughout the entire workout, that converts into soreness. When you’re not punching, your body should be relaxed. Many beginners are still 50% tense when they’re not punching. Try to decrease that to 0%. When you punch, don’t contract your body for longer than a split second. Any longer than that and you’re probably just pushing your punches or adding unnecessary tension that will contribute to your soreness later.
- Try to punch using the least energy possible. Think of a quick explosion, not a long explosion.
49. Do you know of any exercises that will replace running? – BD
I do a little running as a part of my boxing workout. I’ve seen different opinions about distance running and amateur boxing. I have shin splints and flat feet but I normally run a mile before I go to the gym for a 2 hour workout.
I’m 33 years old and female and my teammates are males in their 20’s. I want to be competitive for them and for myself. My coach said that I will be sparring soon.
And he doesn’t want me running before I get to the gym because of the fatigue factor. I want to make sure I am properly conditioned in case I actually do get a chance to compete in the ring other than sparring in a controlled environment. My questions are: 1. What is your opinion of distance running for an amateur boxer? (I believe we do 3 rounds that last 1.5-2 minutes) 2. In addition to jumping rope and the heavy bag, are there any exercises that will replace distance running? I dont want to gas out in a match or during sparring.
- Hi BD, typical running distance for boxers is 3-5 miles a day, 3-5 days per week. There are few exercises that replace running…because it all depends on how you do it. Some people try to replace running with swimming or the jump-rope. Ultimately, there is something about running and moving your body with your legs that makes it a great workout. You have to understand that humans were made to run. It’s one of our most natural actions. Our anatomy makes running one of the most efficient ways to move (and exercise) our bodies.
50. How do I land combos without taking a random wild punch? – Mac
I have a question about my boxing. Last night, I sparred for the first time in 2 weeks, and I went with someone with a lot less experience than me. The wierd thing is though, it felt like my defense actually got better than before, even though I haven’t sparred in two weeks. Im glad about that, but my offense just felt horrible. Everytime I went in to attack, he would throw some wild punch and land it while taking my shot, so I just ended up defending pretty much the whole fight. Even though I landed more shots than him, and he barely hit me, it was just difficult to land many combos on him so I had to pot-shot him. I just wanted to know how I can throw my combos without taking his random and wild punch.
- Mac, learn his movements. If you’re sparring someone less skilled, just know that he’s going to be jumpy and panicky when he fights you. See if you can get him to tire out. Don’t try to chase him with combinations if you know you can’t hit him. See if you can throw a faster chain of weaker punches as opposed to loading up on big punches that have too much time in between. Put some feints here and there to make him throw his wild punch first, then counter him.
- You did say that you were forced to fight with potshots. Well, maybe you can try more of that if you feel that counters him best.
51. What’s the difference between MMA and boxing gloves?
I started doing MMA (boxing, kickboxing, jujitsu) almost a year ago and since I found your site I go to it atleast once a week. Great site, great info. Has helped me so much with my footwork, stance, and drills. Sometimes we use boxing gloves for sparring and I’m ready to buy my own. Your review of the gloves above was very informative. I’m curious about what you think of some of the MMA companies that have their own boxing gloves (Fairtex, Hayabusa, etc)? I don’t mind spending a little more on a pair of gloves since I know they will last me a long time. Specifically I was trying to decide between the Rival’s and the Haybusa Elite. They both look really nice and from the reviews I ready have good quality as well. Any feedback you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance. Keep up the good work on the site.
- If you’re using the gloves for boxing, stick to the boxing brands. In my opinion, the MMA gloves don’t compare. They might look the same and feel the same but they don’t hold up for as long. I’ve used and also been hit by Hayabusa gloves and they’re good quality but they don’t compare to Rival and Ringside. I don’t know what it is but MMA gloves are usually way too hard and terrible for sparring. I imagine this is because they are filled with inferior padding and so they have to make it hard so it lasts longer. Boxing gloves have great padding that stays strong throughout years of abuse.
52. How does Miguel Cotto throw left hooks without being countered by a right hand? – Sicnarf
hey johnny as i watched miguel cotto box.still dont have any idea how he moves and throw multiple left hooks without being counter with a right hand..all i know is stop the lefthook as you throw it and slip right..any advance tips johnny?
- It’s very funny that you asked this. I asked one of my trainers this very same question a couple years ago. The answer was to see where he plants his feet and where he places his head. Imagine the perfect line of where you should place your head if you wanted your opponent to punch you with his right hand. Now place your head on the side FURTHER from his right hand. This baits the right hand to come far at you…making it easier to slip and come in on him. Of course, it helps to have superior timing and practice and good slipping technique but essentially, that’s the trick. I have a guide on this coming out.
Now it’s YOUR turn to ask me something….