Boxing Mailbag 7-31-12

July 31, 2012 July 31, 2012 by Johnny N Boxing Basics, Boxing Mailbag 272 Comments

It’s been a while but the boxing mailbag is back! I answer nearly 80 questions on boxing training, use of punching bags, defensive methods, and ideas to get started on training.

Due to the amount of emails I get, I will have to filter questions in order to increase quality and deter repeat questions in future mailbags.

I will not answer the following questions:

  • stuff that’s already in existing guides (unless you pose the question in a new way)
  • stuff that’s already explained in past mailbag articles
  • requests for a training routine
  • requests for a diet plan
  • requests for me to email everything I know to you personally (yes, I actually get these—LOL)

 

 

1. Why aren’t beginners taught to punch without weight-shifting?

I’ve been researching your punching with two feet and find it interesting. I’m confused though as if this is a progression from shifting/dropping why don’t we start this initially as it does seem similar to a karate punch? Great articles on the site

- J

  • As mentioned in the article, beginners are usually not taught this method of punching because their rotational body mechanics is not yet fine-tuned to use their entire body weight…thus, “falling” is more powerful for them. If you tell a beginner to use 2-legged punching, he will end up rotating only his upper body and not his hips because he doesn’t have the leg coordination for it yet.

2. What shoes do you recommend for an over weight person?

What kind of shoes do I need to use cause I’m a little over weight and I walk a lot? I can’t jog or run cause I messed up my cartilage in my left my knee from jogging. Ya I tried to jog to soon while over weight. I used to weigh about 400 lbs but I’ve lost about 60 or 70 pounds already by walking. The only thing is my feet hurt after my 3 or 4 mile walk. I can’t do my routine like a normal person.

Thanks for your time!

David

  • Check out a local running store and have them analyze your stride. Some running stores will have machines that you can walk on or they watch you run and explain how your feet arches, turns in or out, etc. And from there they will be able to recommend the best shoe for you. Congratulations on losing the 60lbs!

3. How can improve my conditioning and lose the remaining flab?

Johnny,

A big, big fan of your videos and site. Thank you for freely and willingly sharing all you know.

I have a question about my conditioning and strength. Quickly: I started training in January. I weighed about 197 lbs as the result of lifting weights. I am 6’2″ by the way and 33 years old.

I’m now at 182. I’m trying to comfortably get to 178 and fight at amateur light heavy weight at some point early next year. Once I got a look at 190lb fighters in great shape, I wanted no part at that weight

At any rate, my body, conditioning, and strength isn’t at all what I envisioned when I started losing weight. I’ve lost muscle, strength, and feel skinny and puny. I get muscle fatigue when I’m in the gym. I’m not cut and I still have a bit of a “table” gut. If you looked at me you’d swear I could get down to 165 comfortably. Maybe I could but I seem to be burning more muscle than fat. Also, I quit lifting weights, or at least “weight lifting” as we know it. I instead do strength sets a few times a week for the major muscles: chest, shoulders, back and legs.

I’ll admit my functional strength, speed, and coordination have come leaps and bounds. I just don’t have that lean, finished look. I estimate I get at least 3,000 calories a day. I drink about 3x protein shakes a day. I try to eat healthy. Greek yogurt/oatmeal, bananas, egg whites for breakfast. Chicken/fish, broccoli, beans/rice for lunch. I have at least two protein/meal bars for a brunch and afternoon snack before the gym. I drink water all day besides an early morning Amp energy drink. After the gym, I eat salads with meat, Greek yogurt, and a protein shake. A few times a week I may get adventurous and have pizza or a huge steak but I’m mostly pretty consistent.

I’m not saying we can all look like Victor Ortiz, but I definitely feel like a much weaker man now. Any guidance you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Jason

  • A 182 should definitely be cutting down! January is not that long ago so congratulations for sticking with boxing. The first initial months can be quite difficult. Ok, let’s talk diet, training, and appearance.
  • Diet: you’ve got a solid diet and it’s good that you’re consistent. Here are some suggestions I would make. 1) chop down the protein shakes to 1 or 2 a day. They’re not as effective and I doubt you need that much. I would also eat more greens. See if you can get more of your carbs from greens/leafy vegetables instead of rice. I would also chop down the protein/meal bars to 1-2 a day and substitute with a handful of nuts and an apple. If you’re going to have “cheat” moments, make sure you do it right after a workout because the adrenaline after a workout gives you an hour timeframe to eat whatever you want without an insulin spike. It’s also better to do all your “cheating” on one day instead of spreading it out over numerous days. I think 3,000 calories a day should be your max if you’re trying to trim down. Anyway, try to get more nuts and fruits in as a snack instead of protein bars. (apple or watermelon or blueberries are great choices).
  • Training: the real secret of the body is the core. The core is the number one most important and most effective muscle. The more work the core does, the less the work the rest of your body has to do (especially with punching/defending). Unfortunately, it’s hard to measure the strength of your core since it doesn’t benchpress or squat like your chest/arm/leg muscles. The core is also a hidden muscle that can’t be seen and can’t be shown off like biceps/chest. (Your REAL core muscles are hidden deep inside you.) Nonetheless the core is the most important muscle. For starters, I would rack up a minimum of 1000 sit-ups a day and 1000 push-ups a day. Don’t bother with the weight-lifting for chest/shoulders/back/legs for now. I’m serious about this one… if you want to try something new, try this for a month and write back your results. (The number one reason why anybody gets tired is because their core is weak as hell. Once the core is weak, the rest of your body has to work so much harder. Which then makes your shoulders tired of punching, legs tired of moving, back tired of holding you up…everything goes down when the core fails.)
  • Conditioning: feeling weak is obviously a sign of something going wrong. If you’re still lifting weights, that might be the problem. Calisthenics can be done every day without requiring recovery time (once you get used to it). The same is not possible with weights–weights always requires you to rest. And if you keep training when you need rest, you will eventually feel weak. I would also limit your training to 2-3 hours TOPS. I don’t know how you train but I recommend you take 1 hour to warm-up (jumprope/shadowboxing/stretching/wrap-hands), than 30 minutes doing whatever you want at an intense rate (sparring/mitts). After that you cool back down with the usual core exercises and bagwork and footwork drills.
  • Function & Appearance: ultimately, you will look the way you eat/train/function. Right now you’re eating right. I think the training could be adjusted. Focus on moving with more speed, more movement, and some sharp power punching…not strength power punching. Use your legs more often. Even the way you breathe can affect the way you move and ultimately the way you look. Look around the gym and compare your breathing to the other guys. Are you breathing with sharp hisses like the slick athletic guys? Or are you breathing with a big whoosh like the big strongman guys?
  • I’m in the process of writing a 30-day diet guide I think might help you. In any case, I hope all goes well and that you get a chance to try my suggestions.

4. Which punches are more effective in a street fight? Push punches or snap punches?

Hi thanks for making such a great site to get boxing info. I have been reading it for a while. I was wondering if I could ask you a ? if you don’t mind. It is a ? about push through/snap punches which is best in a situation.

I am a musician and play out frequently and mostly in bars. Most of the time everything is fine and if a scuffle happens I go outside or to a safe place. Unfortunately once I went to the bathroom and a guy came in there and thought he girlfriend was eyeing me etc. I wasn’t looking at her. I was just playing in the band and doing what I normally do. He wouldn’t let me leave the bathroom and I think he had a friend keeping people from coming in. I yelled but couldn’t be heard over the loud DJ music. So while he was yelling and threatening I could tell he wasn’t going to let me out so unfortunately I hit him. I know it may seem cowardly but I knew he was going to start a fight soon and he was bigger so I hit him as soon as I saw the opening. I mainly used push through punches and threw them as fast as I could until he wobbled so I could run out of the bathroom. I was really lucky and hope it never happens again.

What is my best strategy in case I get cornered and can get away. Should I just through as many push through punches as I can until I can escape or should I really concentrate on snap punches. My goal is not to stay and fight. I just want to get that person away from me so I can get out of the situation. Would the best approach be through as many and as fast as I can in hopes to make an opening where I can get away?

I have some boxing training but not a lot. I do work the heavy bag as regular exercise and am left handed. I have pretty good strength in push through punches and am still working/learning snap punches properly. I am 160 lbs and 6’3.

I greatly appreciate any help you have to offer.

Thanks, GREG

  • The snap punch will always be better, especially on the street. Their speed can surprise and stun your opponent faster allowing you to finish off with whatever you want. Besides, with bare hands, you don’t need much to knock out an unsuspecting opponent assuming you hit him clean.

5. What boxing routine and diet would you recommend for a female?

Hi Johnny my name is Danni i am 25 female weight 58 kl,1.69height from Spain i woud like a boxing routine and diet, i work in a bar from 6pm till 3am.

Boxing has changed my life big time i started last year got away from a hard relationship,and started to learn how to live again!

Recently i was over training doing hard cardio from 9am till 1pm skipping,push ups sprints,steps crunches,circuit training,heavy bag,ill have a nap there yes might sound sad i practically live at the gym, then start again at 3pm till 5pm,skipping,sparring,pad work

and at work at 6pm,not resting enough and only eating fruit,result burn out and not being able to concentrate think straight lack of motivation.

At the moment i have taken a couple of days off and am feeling down lost a bit depressed and exahusted,dont know how to relax or how to recover

I really want to start again but i want to start the right way my trainer thinks the world of me and never tells me what to do because i give the impression that i am recentless and want more all the time, everyone at the gym looks up too me and expects me to carry on wich sometimes can be hard ,i never complain or put a bad face and i always give a 100% in my training,i can get nervous and block sparring sometimes due to having a bad time in the past ,its very frustrating

so any help woud be grately apreciated!

wow sorry your the first person i unloaded all that onto feel a bit better already!

  • Don’t burn yourself out. Over-training is a common problem amongst athletes. Keep working hard but learn to appreciate your progress. When you feel tired, it is because your body needs a break and because it DESERVES a break. Feeling tired is a result of working hard, not because of weakness.
  • Eat everything, not just fruits. Please check out my common sense boxing diet.

6. Can you create a weight lifting program for boxing?

Hey Johnny

My name is Shane I live in Auckland new Zealand all i was wondering are you able to do me up a weight lifting programme for boxing ? i am a aiming to fight as a middle weight but currently weigh 89kgs I want have a problem stripping the weight.

  • Sorry, I don’t have one right now. Most conditioning routines will use some form of resistance whether it be from your body weight, lighter weights, or even resistance bands. I will let everyone know when I put something like this together.

7. How can I find a good boxing gym and also avoid a black eye?

Hey man..kudos to you man cz ur tips are rily helpful…first of all,I am a nigerian, 6’4,20yrs and 195 pounds and i have a passion for boxing but the problem is that is not rily a sport that people engage in over here because everybody wants to be a footballer so finding a good boxing gym is my first problem and secondly,I also model so I want to know what possible ways I can take in order to avoid being hit on d face to avoid a black eye…thanks for your reply in anticipation..God bless

  • Ask around, look online, or check out every boxing gym in your area until you find the one you want. If you want to avoid injuries, where a boxing headgear with more coverage and avoid tough sparring.

8. Do you have any tips for improving my boxing stance?

Hi

Thank you, and as soon as I know I have a fight I’ll let you know

Any tips on improving my posture for boxing, kind of an oxymoron! After spending all my life having perfect posture drilled into me for horse riding I find it hard to hunch my shoulders and tuck in my chin, I guess just practice. Properly when I get hit hard a couple times I’ll learn quicker ;-)

Fiona

  • Tips for improving posture: stand with a stronger back, not a hunch! Tuck your chin BACK towards your neck, not down towards your chest! That should make it better and feel more natural.

9. Do you have any advice for body punching?

John,

My name is A. First off I want to say that I really like your website as I have been reading it for about a year now, especially the articles on technique and training, and mental focus. I’m an amatuer fighter in the ____ area, I have 2 fights under my belt and alot of sparring, my last fight in the Golden Gloves tournament I got robbed of a close decision but the reason I’m emailing you is because my last fight I had some real success with one of my favorite combos(left jab to the head, right to the body, left hook back upstairs). I like using this combo but I have been watching some videos of Ricky Hatton, Mickey Ward, and Roy Jones on youtube to try to find some different ways I could attack the body more in the future. I couldnt find any articles on your site about body attacks, so I figured I would ask you directly what your philosophy is on attacking the body. Also let me know if I missed an article you may have written about this strategy I was looking last night for about 30 min. but I could have missed it so let me know. Also if you want to see the video of my fight I can send you the link, if you have time let me know what you think, if not I understand either way.

Thanks for the help hope to hear back from you,

A

PS I know you post emails in the mail bag portion of your website, Its ok with me if you put this in that section as long as you take out my name and where I’m from and my experience just so possible oppponents don’t look me up and scout me out.

  •  I have a body punching guide coming out in the near future.
  • My #1 philosophy about body attacks is to always maintain the threat of throwing to the head. Most fighters make the mistake of ducking too low or positioning in a way that it becomes so obvious that all they can hit is the body. If you always position yourself in a way where you can threaten BOTH the head and body, you will find endless opportunities to raid the body. Learn how to reach your opponent’s body by rotating your body forward, NOT by leaning your body forward. You can also confuse him with ambiguous shots like ones to the chest (at high speed, they can be hard to decipher as head punches or body punches).

10. Can you send me complete notes on footwork?

dear friend,

First I thank your team for sharing your informative boxing notes with me. And I will appreciate it more if you plz send me complete notes on footwork. I really need it.

many thanks,

Rahman shah

  •  I will post this information on the website as soon as I finish writing it.

 

11. How can I figure out my natural boxing stance? Orthodox or southpaw?

Good morning/evening!

First off I have really enjoyed reading your website, every single article is easy to understand and extremely useful! I have trained a little bit of everything over the years trying to find my perfect style and done some boxing, Taekwondo, BJJ, Muay Thai and finally found myself in Kempo Jiu Jitsu. While those styles have their strengths none of them teach me grace under pressure in the same way boxing does, i.e. staying calm and applying my training when my face is being pummeled in by some random dude on the streets, so I’ve decided to add boxing to my Kempo. That’s where stuff goes downhill..

I’m left footed, right handed and with a dominant left eye. I’m used to orthodox stance but everything feels a little awkward due to one, or more, of my body parts being on the wrong side.

Considering your substantial knowledge and expertise I figured you’d have some tips or recommendations concerning my odd issue.

Thanks for taking the time to read my essay and take care,

Bjarni

  • I would guess you are right-handed. Especially if your right cross feels more powerful and more accurate than the left cross.

12. How can I develop a stronger left arm if I’m a right-handed southpaw?

Thank you alot for all the articles u made, they helped alot; i hav a question if u could answer me plz, would appreaciate alot :)

so the thing is im right-hander and fighting in southpaw because i enjoy it more like this – finding holes in ym opponents defence and throwing quick punches with my lead arm, never could do that with my left lead hand. And here the question; how should i train my left (rear) arm the quickest way to gain some power, because its kinda weak?

  • Develop it the same way you would with any hand. Drills, exercises, speed bag, mitts, etc. No matter what you do, that left hand will not develop as effectively as your dominant hand. You will always find that the right hand hits harder and more effectively with less effort. Training will make the left hand more effective but not as naturally effective as your true dominant hand.

13. How can I train through a hernia?

Greetings johnny! am from Venezuela, i have a herniated lumbar disc at L4-L5 discs and a discopathy in S1, went i get notice of that, i felt desvastate because i have 27 years. I would like to know if I can train Boxing or some exercises of the rutine of boxing? One doctor say you can’t another doctor say yes you can, and thats why a prefer your opinion. I know the boxing its great to get confidence and thats what i need right now, Not in a competicional level of course and obviating some exercises like jumping rope, but yeah like “LA Boxing”, or something like that, I am already training weights in a regular gym, and i feeling great, the exercise works better than therapy at the clinic and my confidence is returning. Thats why I am feeling motivated to train boxing, to continue building my lost confidence…. thats why i would like to know if you have some testimonial of people that could train boxing whith hernias and discopathy or if there exit some kind of method to do it… thanks in advance for the time, i really apreciated your help and orientation!

  • We had a great fighter at our gym a few years back that tried to train through his hernia. He dream was to go pro after he competed in a national amateur tournament. He was able to do very well in the amateur tournament and make it to the semi-finals. But when he preparing for his first pro fight, his back couldn’t take the pain required for professional-level boxing training. He ended up retiring and becoming a coach. The risk is yours to take, maybe you can and maybe you can’t. The real risk is in injuring yourself further. I think lower level boxing training is ok but not the crazy serious ones. I’m sure you might have to adjust all your technique and stay away from the risky conditioning exercises that place stress on your back.

14. How do I train with the Mexican double-end bag?

hi i was wondering what are some tips and workout when working with the Mexican double end bag? as my gym has lots of them but i don’t know how to use it properly (my gym doesn’t have single double end bags). Will this still work on my hand speed, and reactions? how does it compare to the standard double end single bag?

thanks in advance :)

  • Use it like any other double-end bag. Hit it with rhythm and when you like, mix in some body shots with some head shots. Mexican double-end bags will usually move around less than the single ball ones.

15. How should I start training for boxing from home?

Hey expertboxing

Im an 18 year old college student, out of shape and 260 lbs, and for some reason, for the past couple of weeks I have had a spark of interest for boxing, mma and the like. I don’t know what it is but this is the first time I have ever actually been interested in something athletic, and I want to use that interest as an avenue for finally getting into shape. I have been reading and reading about boxing online and I think I really want to do it. My older brother has been into MMA for a long time, even traveled out to Oregon to train with Dan Henderson for a year, so he will make for a good sparring partner if I can get him to do it. Also, I go back to college in september, where I have access to a full student Gym for free, so it really won’t be hard to start boxing. What is hard however, is starting to actually get my body into boxing shape. The only equipment I have is a set of 10 lb dumbells a heavy bag, and gloves currently coming in the mail. I guess I just want an expert’s opinion on how to make the first steps toward getting into shape. I already have the mindset, which I think is the hardest part. What do you think would be best for me at this point? When should I start sparring? What can I do at home with what i have before moving back to campus?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

- Alex

  • I would start by getting on a good diet. And then you can follow as much of my easy boxing workout as you can. Sparring is not necessary unless you actually want to be a good fighter as well. In which case, I would start slow sparring at a local gym or something.

16. Do you have a 7-day diet for boxers?

I was wondering if you had an eating boxers 7 day diet that i can follow i would really appreciate it i do well following work out but i suffer with eating properly please help….

  • At this point no. I am however writing an extensive premium diet guide to be released in the near future.

17. Can I build lean muscle without weight lifting?

Hey, i’ve been skinny all my life. I’ve joined a boxing gym and have enjoyed it so much. I want to go further now! Im jus asking that if I was to have 6 meals a day, good ones, and stick to boxing which I love as a sport, will I look more lean without weight lifting? I mean you used to be skinny right? Did u lift heavy weights etc? Or do I stick to js boxing? Im thin and jus want good tone and look average, in good shape, I dont want to be hulk

  • Yes, boxing conditioning alone is a great exercise and will give you that incredible muscle tone–just look at the typical competing boxer’s body! I got mine without any weights, but I still had to train hard.

18. Is it ok to drink alcohol in moderation at the amateur competition level?

Hi Johnny, I would like to know if drinking alcohol in moderation is still okay for competition at ameteur level? Many thanks Will.

  • There are all sorts of factors that contribute to victory. Good factors like good training and good diet will help. Bad factors like skipping training or bad diet will work against you. I suppose if you are more talented, you can get away with more. Is it ok? Well it depends on what level fighter you want to be. If you want to compete at 100%, then I would focus 100% on the best winning factors. Whichever fighter that stays more focused will probably win. You get to decide which one you want to be.

19. How can I start boxing better?

Hey..!!

I’m from india and i am of 15 years n i have recently started boxing..can u help me by giving suggestion how can i do my boxing better

  • The easiest answer is to find a good trainer and do everything he tells you. Also find good sparring partners and copy everything they do.

20. How can I get better at boxing through sparring?

Johnny,

First, I want to say I really enjoy your website and keep up the good work! Currently, I am a 17 year old who is a year into boxing. I have spent day after day working on the mitts, bags, jumprope, etc, and I have seen a steady improvement! I am thankful my handwork has shown in that area. I am emailing you because I am ready for the next step and it is unclear for me on how to get there. I have sparred in the past but have not recently because, like your article states, it always ends up in a brawl between me and some amateur who is at least 20 lbs heavier than me. I don’t mind this kind of sparring, but I believe it isn’t making me a better boxer. Any idea on how I can overcome this obstacle?

Thanks, Mark

  • Find better sparring partners. You need someone that is better than you but willing to tone down the pace and let you learn. He will know how to test you in a way that improves you instead of breaks you down. There are many skilled fighters out there. Keep working with one. You may have to find a new gym.

21. Why do I feel like puking when I spar really hard?

What does it mean if I feel like im gonna puke sometimes when I spar really hard. I dont get why either, because i dont really get hit often or hard, and im never out of breath or build up lactic acid and its really annoying because i have good cardio, its just sometimes i feel sick. Would it be because of when and what im eating before sparring?

  • You’re right about your guess. It might have to do with your digestion. Make sure you don’t spar with food or water in your stomach. Take sips of water before and during sparring but not gulps. Intense exercise can easily upset your stomach if there’s anything in it.

22. Is this workout good enough?

Hey, I was wondering if this workout is enough or not enough. I don’t want to hurt myself training but i want to be the best i can be so here it goes:

Warm-up:

15 minutes shadow boxing

15 minutes jump rope

15 minutes stretching

 

Workout:

3-6 rounds of punching mitts

6-9 rounds of sparring

100-200 push-ups (depending on the day)

200 sit-ups

3 sets of 15 ab roller

3 sets of 15 pull-ups

 

Cool-down

5 mins of shoulder rolls

15 mins of stretching

 

Just wondering if i should amp it up or cool it down. It usually takes about 2.5 hours to 4 hours 7 days a week.

Thanks,

Tanner

  • Good enough for what? For weight loss? For amateur competition? For world champion? Your workout should take you towards a goal. A good workout should be hard enough to push you but careful enough not to injure you or prevent your body from recovering. I would add more variations of exrcises and mix it up more on different days of the week. And always adjust to your body!

23. How should Cotto beat Mayweather?

Hi Johnny !! I want to congratulate you for your awesome website . Its fun and very helpful, it helped me a lot with my counterpuncher combos.

Also one question that most people doesn’t seem to have a great answer. If you were training a fighter with Cotto style and skill what would be the game plan to fight and possibly beat Floyd Mayweather??? Attack the body , short punches , feint punches like Mosley did and landed that great right hand?? I really want to know your thoughts on this subject . Thanks

  • I liked what Cotto did which was walk in behind the jab and hammer shots at close range. Of course there’s more to it than just that but I’m not going to write a theoretical guide on beating a fighter I’ve never fought before. I’d rather just get in the ring with him and see for myself. Cotto doesn’t have a killer right hand like Mosley, all his power is in his left. Nonetheless, Cotto did a good job.

25. When should a fighter start full contact sparring?

What are your thoughts on when it’s time to start full contact sparring, at least a few rounds at a time? I’ve been working out at a boxing gym for a year. I’m having a hard time getting over my reaction to good boxers and their punches (lean back, expose chin). Never do more than 1 round of light contact, no gear sparring. Feel like I’m never going to get over the hump until I start doing full contact, gear on sparring to get over my reaction to punches.

Thoughts? Ideas?

  • All aspiring fighters should start sparring ASAP, but under safe conditions. Doing light contact is good, I would try going for an hour straight to really start developing those reflexes. You should always be using gear though, I have no idea what gym you came from that didn’t tell you to do it. Without gear, the punches hurt harder and stun you more making it more difficult for you to learn. Anyways, even if you do it right it will still take time. Boxing’s a tough sport.

26. Is my gym treating me right?

Dear Expert Boxing,

I have been regularly read your articles about boxing and when I built up my cardio, I decided to join a boxing gym. The boxing gym I managed to find was an amateur gym in a university. I paid for a whole year of tuition but refund is possible.They have several coaches and amateur fighters which train 6 days a week. The thing is, I am having doubts about this gym due to a few things:

1. I am a beginner and have no background in any form of striking based arts aside from hitting a heavy bag at home and watching combat sports.

So, bearing this in mind when I did my first two sessions, the coach that was assigned to me taught me the basics very fleetingly- he showed me the jabs, hooks and straights. Without critiquing my form (although he did say to keep my hands up all times). Didn’t really teach me footwork or other fundamentals. Is this normal for a beginner or am I asking for too much since its only been two days (2 hour sessions per day)?

2. The second day I sparred with a beginner. I busted a my lip open due to my sparring partner going at full intensity.

Is it normal to start sparring at the first few sessions?

3. It feels like as if the trainer/s ignore me while they pay more attention to the other beginners. I read on your column that this happens and maybe I don’t fit the archetype of what they want from a boxer?

4. Should I look for a new boxing gym due to my above concerns?

Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you.

-Nicolo

  • Your suspicions are correct. Either the gym isn’t a good one or the coaches don’t care much for you. Real boxing trainers drill many techniques and yell at you for every single detail. They pay close attention and don’t let you get in the ring until you EARNED your right to be in the ring. They shouldn’t be letting a more experienced destroy when you don’t even know how to defend yourself. Maybe this gym is feeding you to the better fighters. I would find a new gym ASAP and preferably one that cares about you. To be fair, you must know that many good trainers do not like to spend time with people that are only boxing for fun. They prefer to work with only the serious boxers and the ones that really want to fight.

27. Do you know any good boxing gyms in the San Fernando valley, California?

Hi Johnny, I’m a CSUN student and i’ve recently gotten a lot of interest in boxing and I was wondering if you had any recommendations around the area that would be a good places for a beginner to start out in the SFV? Thanks,

-Kevin

  • Ten Goose, Outlaws, the CSUN boxing gym is good for learning the basics too. Those are some good places to start.

28. Would the 2-legged punching technique apply to hitting a baseball?

The two legged boxing stance is a very interesting read. As I was taught to jab and then roll up on my toes to extend the reach by several inches. It is a hard habit to break but I’m trying. Do you think the same thing would apply to hitting a baseball. I see some lift a leg and step into the pitch. Thanks again, Bruce.

  • Rolling up on the toes during the jab is not the best idea although it can be useful in some situations. For the common scenario,  it’s best to leave the front foot flat and stay grounded so you can prepare a more powerful follow-up punch. As for comparisons to baseball, I really don’t know.

29. Which manufacturer makes the widest boxing shoe?

I love the site and been using it for quite some time to supplement my training! I was hoping that you had a minute to help. I’ve been boxing for the last 5 years with a wrestling shoe because of my very wide feet (4E). Well, the shoes are worn down and I was hoping that somebody now makes a wide boxing shoe. Who makes the widest shoe?

I’ve looked all over the Internet and really cannot tell so any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks again for the great boxing resource,

Dan

  • I have the widest feet of anyone I know and I use Nike shoes which feel great. I would say Adidas are definitely more narrow than Nike.

30. What kind of diet do you recommend for building muscles and getting in shape fast?

Hi,

I’m 40 years old. I am just getting into boxing. I’m a wife, mother & a grandmother. I promised my husband I’d get into shape before joining a gym. That’s how I found your website on Youtube. That’s how I train for now.

Question: What kind of diet do you recommend for building muscles and getting in shape fast? The do’s and don’ts.

Gwen

  • Please check out my “Common Sense Boxing Diet” guide. The only diet I recommend is a healthy diet and unfortunately, it’s not easy to answer. The short answer is: eat the right foods, at the right time, in the right portions.

31. Is my training good enough?

I am 63 kg, 1,79cm tall.

Give me an advice about running, i dont want to lose my mass beacuse I dont have much.

I was training boxing 5 months, now i cant beacuse i look for better club. I train near my house. I know some technics, and thanks to you for sharing information on your site.

I do what i can , training etc. its much beacuse i will get a lot of information from you. So i can train to make me better.

I did push ups routine so now i want pull ups. And after that circuit routine ;) will be that good?

  • Good enough for what? If your goal is to get in shape then yes, a circuit routine will be helpful. If you want to be good enough for boxing competition, I would look for something more complete.

32. Is it good to run in the morning?

I have a questions..

what do you think about running at the morning? is that good…

Beacuse today i run 3 miles but i did not eat before running… then i used my jumping rope then i went my home and took a shower, and ate 2 sadwiches with natural honey, (not from a store)

Of course i drunk water enough much.

When i was running i run not quick but slowly , but sometimes quick.. what about mass? will morning running make me lose fat?

  • Yes, running in the morning can help jumpstart your metabolism and also help burn off stored fat.

33. Does anyone know were I can buy a good heavy bag thats durable for outside?

  • I would get a canvas bag from any reputable place online. Some leather bags get too easily worn out in the sun. Here in the United States, I order from Titleboxing.com.

34. Can I be a boxer even without A-level athleticism?

Hi Johnny,

I’m currently a high school junior. I play football at my school, but I’m not technically very athletic in a classic sense. I can’t dunk a basketball and I don’t have great straight line speed, but I’m strong, I have good hand eye coordination, and my reaction time is good. As such, I’ve been looking into the combat sports (primarily boxing and BJJ) as a way to give me an athletic challenge for the future. Because of my lack of speed, future team sports at a highly competitive level seem pretty much out of the picture. I love sports because of the competitiveness, and boxing seems like a pretty accessible sport to get into going into college that can keep me competitive and in good athletic shape for the rest of my life. Would you recommend boxing for these reasons? I know I’d be no Olympian, but it looks like there is a niche for people of all skill levels. Also, how easy is it to walk into a gym somewhere and begin training even if it may be on an incredibly basic level?

Best regards,

-Arthur

  • Yes. Give it a try. Find the best local gym you can and go have fun. Trainers will be happy to work with anyone willing to learn and work hard.

35. What are some good drills for slipping techniques?

Thank you for your website. It is super hard to come by good sites these days with legitimate information on boxing.

I have one question. What are some good drills for slipping techniques?

Thanks, Tanner

  • Lots of shadowboxing while doing SLIGHT slipping motions will help you drill the muscle memory. Mitts and slow sparring will help you develop the ability to see and react to incoming punches. You can do stuff on a slip rope. Also have one person following you while throwing constant jabs and you keep moving your head while pivoting into him and around him.

36. How do you improve at sparring?

Hello,

I came across your site months ago when I was looking for a good resource for boxing advice and assistance. I’ve been learning boxing for maybe about 6 months now, which means I attend a class three days a week where we run through drills. Many people attend this class mostly for fitness. I wanted to learn boxing. In the last week or so I have begun sparring. At first it was fun but the more I spar with boxers who have been boxing longer than I have the more I realize that getting hit is getting old.

Do you have any advice on how to improve at sparring? Do you know of a good resource (books, videos, anything) that give advice on strategy and what to do in sparring? It seems like all of the technique and everything I’ve been practicing is almost useless in sparring because it’s too fast and too spontaneous.

I did look over the three articles on your website about sparring. We could use some more articles on sparring up there!

I’m starting to get frustrated with it, like I’ll never improve, because I really don’t know what to do except to keep stepping in there and taking hits. Any advice from your experience would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you for your website and for all you do to help people advance in boxing. Your articles always seem pretty wise and balanced, more than just the “get out there and be a man” type of advice.

Thanks in advance,

Ron

  • Work on sparring with only the jab. Non-stop jab sparring until you stop getting out-touched by your opponent’s jabs. Theoretically, you will only keep improving but you’ll never feel your improvements if your opponents are that far ahead of you. The better you do, the better they do. If you want a confidence booster, spar someone below your level and you’ll see how good you really are. Ultimately, you may need to use a more advanced mitt drills. And again like I’ve already said a million times on the site: you need more slow sparring. Your body will never learn or develop any muscle memory until you first learn how to see everything through slow sparring.

37. How can I increase speed and snap of my punches?

Iam gopi from india (chennai). Your tips are very useful for my training . And i want another tips for snap punches . And how to increase my speed .tell me please. In recent matches i lost due to my opponent throw counter punches no me . I go only back for right punch but it not work . Please tell any idea.

  • Shadowboxing and relaxed punching technique on the heavy bag. Throw 3-5 punches, move, throw 3-5 again, move again. Work on that breathing and staying absolutely relaxed. If you have to decrease your power, do it.

38. How can I develop faster reaction?

Hey johnny

i was wondering whats another way of building my reactions up faster?

i can’t do the slow spar stuff because i havn’t got a partner willing to do it. So what other drills can i do?

i have a jump rope and heavy bag.

Also i noticed in sparring yesterday that my opponent telegraphing his jab but i only noticed this when i asked myself these questions:

“wow he has a lot of power in his jab”

“where is that power coming from?”

me noticing him telegraphing his jab

so what other questions can i ask myself to pick up my opponents bad habits?

Thanks Nooby boxer :)

  • Without someone throwing punches at you, you will not be able to develop the awareness to see punches. It’s like asking me how to get good at hitting a baseball without having someone actually throw one at you. As for figuring out opponent’s habits, try throwing the same punch over and over again and see how he responds. Then do something else, next time.

39. How fast should I do my roadwork?

Hey Johnny,

I read one of your articles where you suggest to run 5 miles 3-5 times a week to improve boxing fitness. I am currently doing this run twice a week. What time should i be aiming for? What time is also an indicator of good fitness? I done the run last night in 38:30. Im 5’9 and weigh 82kg.

Also do you have any suggestions on different running methods, techniques, interval running, etc?

By the way, youve developed a brilliant website, ive been boxing for 2 months now, and ive probably spent more time on your website then in the gym. :)

regards

Moe

  • I do have many suggestions on different running methods but that is way too complex to answer here. I’ll do a post in the future. For now, I would suggest for you to work on your breathing and never run on your heels–stay on the ball of the foot always. Do long distance, short distance, uphill, downhill, on the sand, on the grass, rubber track, etc. I like doing interval workouts that sprinters do.

40. What is the best filling for heavy bags? How high should I hang them?

Hey Johnny,

I love your site and all the great info. You have some great tips on equipment, but there is something I want to know about punching bags.

Most bags are bought empty – so what is the best filling? Do you use different ones for different reasons, or is one type good enough? When should you change it? Can it be too hard or soft? Choice of bag – short , tall, nylon, leather… How high should I hang it? Where should the top or bottom of the bag be? With a double ended bag or floor to ceiling bag/ball, at what height should it be? Head height? Lower? What degree of tension should it have?

If you have this info already, please point me there, if not, it would make an interesting article.

Thanks mate, and keep up the awesome work on a great site.

Cheers Stan

  • I would fill with whatever the manufacturer recommends. Usually, I buy the punching bags already filled. I don’t like bags that are too hard or too soft. Also a good idea to make sure it’s packed consistently so you don’t feel weird lumps inside when you hit it. I like to hang the bags so the middle of it is about my shoulder level or neck level. Double-end bags can be both tight for fast punching rhythm or loose for more defensive work and accuracy practice.
  • Thanks for the idea, I will make an article out of this.

41. Would this be good boxing equipment to buy?

Hi Johnny,

I highly appreciate your page. It’s written in a clear & logical way. I’m 25 years old, 170 cm tall and weigh 70 kg, my head size is 57 cm. I’m studying medicine. I’ve been practicing boxing for 1 year & I think it’s time to upgrade my weapon & armor (just kidding ^^) So, with your experience, can you tell me that this list of item here is worth buying or not ?

My budget is around 200$

1/ Shock Doctor Nano Double Fight Mouthguard – 15 $

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006ZYTMNG/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&m=AAS1JA9J9CGH3

Question: we need double jaw mouthguard or just only upper jaw one ? What is pros & cons of each type ?

 

2/ TITLE Mexican Style Handwraps – 4 $

http://www.amazon.com/TITLE-Boxing-Mexican-Style-Single/dp/B00115KZE4/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1336926450&sr=1-1

 

3/ IMF Tech Training Gloves – Elastic Cuff- White Color – Size 16 oz – 69$

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006CV85I0/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&m=AAS1JA9J9CGH3

Question: at this price, is it the best one among the gloves that you’ve ever tried ?

4/ Rival Traditional Training Headgear – Medium Size – 69 $

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002XOXWQK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&m=A5X6NM59UFSU8

Question:- I don’t have the chance to try it on my head. So, with my headsize cited above (follow this method http://www.genaconti.com/Measuring.htm) , does the Medium suit me ?

- I practice boxing not for fun, but I won’t take it so seriously. In that case, Rival Traditional Vs Rival D3o (more expensive, better protection !?), which one you suggest ?

Thank you for your sincere support.

Warm regards,

Linh.

  • The equipment you chose is excellent. The Ringside gloves are definitely a great deal at that price. For headgear sizing, you can contact Rival directly and they will give you the measurements. As for Rival Traditional vs Rival d3o, you should read my headgear review to decide which one you want. The d3o will definitely go over your budget.

42. What do you think of this Mayweather amateur fight as an example of the drowning style?

Hi Johnny,

I just wanna say thanks for all the work you’ve put into your web page and the lessons & advice people are getting from it all around the world, massive respect to you.. its a God send and people’s skills are only going to get better from spending the time to read your articles.

One thing, just focussing on strategy a lot more now and I’m trying to work on the ‘drowning style’ as you say, not my most natural instinct but is very good for counter punching and beating a more aggressive fighter, or to mix it up for a round or two in sparring or a fight, I was watching this mayweather amateur fight and thought it a good example, what do you think? or do you have a better video to demonstrate? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4VvSi2OQMI

anyway! massive respect and very best!

McBain

  • It’s not so much of a drowning style since he’s standing his ground right in front of Sanchez. I would recommend watching the videos I showed in the drowning style article.

43. How can an experienced fighter improve to the next level?

Hey how you been well I just wanted to say your articles have lots of good tips and also wanted to ask u a question I have boxed for about 2years. And iv been getting better but recently it seems I got stuck in that level and I can’t improve

  • This is a GREAT question. So many guys jump right past the beginner level and master everything but then can’t seem to transition to the next level. Well here are some things you will have to do to break beyond the beginner level:
  • 1) Relearn the basics. There is more than one way to stand, more than one way to jab, more than one way to throw the right hand. It’s great that you have an amazing jab, now you need to have 10 different versions of that amazing jab. You will notice that the technique will start to change which brings me to the second tip:
  • 2) Learn to break the rules. You don’t ALWAYS need your hand up all the time. It’s not ALWAYS bad to back straight up. It’s not always bad to bend from the waist or cock your right hand back before you throw it, etc, etc. You’re not a beginner anymore, so stop fighting like a beginner and stop following the rules. Break the mold and add some variety to your movements. If you change the technique in the right way, it CAN be an advantage if you know how to do it right. It’s possible to lean forward for extra reach and without coming off balance…but you have to figure out how to do it!
  • 3) Start sparring different guys. Sometimes, your sparring partners are the ones that limit you. They keep doing the same thing which causes you to keep doing the same thing. By changing your sparring partners, you ultimately have to change yourself to adapt.

44. How can I stop myself from letting the elbow out during the right cross?

Hi,

I really enjoy reading your website and get loads of useful tips from it. But I have a question for you, relating to getting power from my right cross.

Bare in mind I train in Muay thai boxing, so my stance is slightly different to that of a boxing. We tend to stand a bit less narrow, with a wider stance to help with kicks. We also stand more upright rather than lowering ourselves into a stance. However i have noticed that when throwing the cross I tend to lift my elbow out too far, causing me to lose a lot of power and run the risk of extending my elbow. I am guessing that this results in me using my tricep to throw the punch more than my body, obviously resulting in a loss of power.

What can I do to drill this out of me? Any tips?

Thanks,

Michael

  • Actually, bringing up the elbow during the right cross makes it more powerful (depending on your body type). Bringing up the elbow solidifies that arm better. It’s not so much that it makes you punch with your triceps, it’s more because it helps you rotate your entire arm better.

45. What’s your opinion of using boxing training for cardio?

Hey, first of all thanks for the awesome website, it’s extremely informative, but I have a quick question.

So as far as I know, there are no boxing gyms in my area, but I’m interested getting started with boxing. I currently lift heavy weights four times a week, and there’s a heavy bag at the gym where I lift. I was thinking that if I can’t spar or fight, I might as well do some training. I realize that weight training and boxing don’t really complement each other extremely well, but I’m pretty focused on the weights right now and would rather not give that up.

I’ve been doing hill sprints for cardio for a while now, but they’re getting kind of dull. What’s your opinion on using a boxing training routine for cardio? Is it effective, and if so, can you recommend me one?

Thanks,

John

  • Boxing is a great cardio exercise. Check out my “easy boxing workout”.

46. How do I get started with boxing?

Jonny, my name Is Matt and I got alot of time on my hands which Is a very bad thing for someone like me. Last week I was at a friends house and was very upset. “This also Is a bad thing for me” I went to the basement where there was an old pair of gloves next to an old heavy bag. I put on the gloves and tried to throw a few blows. After I messed around for a minute I felt so good I didn’t even remember what I was mad about. The reason I say that this could save lives Is because I am a recovering addict who up until last week was having to sit on his hands to keep from relapsing. Since the day with the Bag I have been going to the YMCA for practice. Today was different though. Last night I singed up to Expert Boxing.com and started to read. What I read helped me so much today. What Im trying to say Is that I believe that God put that bag in my friends basement for a reason. I don’t think about using anymore, all I think about Is how can I get better at boxing. I really was hoping to continue to learn but I don’t know where to go or what to do. I know I need to find a gym but do I need to find a trainer? If you could email me back some advice on where to go from here, It would help me so much. Thank you.

  • Find the nearest boxing gym (not a fitness gym!) and come inside. They should be able to pair you up with a trainer and off you go!

47. How many times should a beginner amateur spar per week?

Johnny,

I came across your website a few months back while I was learning how to box and preparing for the Regional Golden Gloves Tournament in El Paso, TX. I was impressed with everything on there!

Thing is, I’m 38, soon to be 39 and although I love the sport and the only male in my family to not become a boxer (Puerto Rican Heritage), I had never stepped in to the ring before January.

A lot of good came out of my venture. I dropped weight from 187 to 165lbs. My cardiovascular endurance took a 180 turn, and I a saw abs that I’d never seen before; our sparring sessions seemed more like brawls than opportunities to learn. My first sparring session went to my advantage. I was facing another over 35 year old fighter who had been doing it for a few months now. We were told to just get in there and apply what we’ve learned over the last few weeks and let our punches fly. Well, I did. The sparring session didn’t last very long and I was able to knock him down twice. He stopped. I felt great, a bit guilty but great. Since the match only went one round, the gym owner had me spar his protege. A 19 year old, 7 year veteran. That only lasted two rounds. I continued sparring this kid on a few occasions and could never figure how to overcome his flurries or counters. In the process, I injured my nasal septum, had to get my neck adjusted at the C4-C5 level and was in constant pain. We were sparring at about 75% three times a week. At 38, my body couldn’t take it. I withdrew from the tournament but continue training 3 times a week. I have been able to maintain my weight at 165lb but it haunts me that I did not follow through. I still want to pursue this dream and keep a promise I made to my father before he died. I want to fight in a novice, sub-novice tournament….Win or lose, I want to give it my all and be able to look up at my dad and say, “I did it.”

Just looking for some guidance and advice. As a beginner, how should a sparring session flow, and how many times a week?

Thanks,

Rafael

  • Sparring sessions for someone at your level can just be 2-3 light sessions a week. Keep it light or you’ll hurt yourself. You should only increase the intensity when you can do it without getting hurt. Let me know how you do in that first fight and good luck!

48. Is it a good idea to buy weighted boxing gloves?

Great site! I have learned so much thanks to you. I now have a question. I am currently trying to buy a weighted pair of boxing gloves from Title. Do you think it is a good idea? I am looking to hit the heavy bag with them.

  • Personally I don’t use weighted gloves and neither does any other competing boxer I know. Speed comes from speed training (fast shadowboxing or other types of speed training like speed bag) and power comes from good technique. If anything, having weighted gloves on will only apply downwards force on your arms instead of a force opposite of your punching motion (which is probably what you wanted). You can use those weighted gloves to develop better shoulder conditioning but don’t expect to increase your punching power by much if at all.

49. How can I tell if my opponent is throwing a straight right or an overhand right?

Johnny,

First off let me Commend on this masterpiece of a website, the manner in which you describe each counter and exchange is inspired.

I have a question regarding the proper evasive maneuver for overhand rights/ straight rights. I have a very difficult time telling whether my opponent’s imminent punch is a straight right or overhand right, this results in me often trying to slip left only to slip directly into a nasty overhand. Likewise I often think the opponent is throwing an overhand and accordingly I try to weave under it but this often leads to me catching a right straight in the skull. I have even tried to adopt the shoulder roll style to help reduce this threat but the style is so different from what I’m used to I’m not very effective in its use.

Is slipping far to the left to avoid the over hand right a viable defense? any advice or suggestions at all regarding defense of overhand rights and straight is greatly appreciated,

Thank you,

Austin

  • GREAT QUESTION, Austin! Damn, I wish all questions were as fun as this one. Ok, yes: it’s AWFULLY hard to tell if it’s a straight right or a wide right. The reason why is because the right shoulder almost opens the same. (Unlike a jab vs left hook where the left shoulder will open differently.) So since you can’t watch the right shoulder, you now have to watch the fist and see if it’s coming straight or around…but the problem is if you wait for the fist it’s too late by the time you see moving.
  • The trick is not to watch his hand but rather to see where YOUR HEAD is positioned. The farther away you place your head, the more likely he is to throw straighter. The closer you place your head, the more likely he is to throw a little wider. Now let’s go over the “what if’s”. IF he throws it wide from long distance, you have little to worry about because you can see it from far away. IF he throws it straight from short distance, any evasive movement you would have done for a wide right would still be effective.
  • It’s also not only your head placement but your foot placement. Are you standing more squared up? Or more sideways? The way you stand might be leaving you open for the right hand.
  • Another question to ask yourself…IS your left hand down? ‘Cause if it is, then that’s what’s making it easy for him. If you leave you left hand up more often, you can more easily influence his decision to throw straight or wide. Another thing to do is to keep your left hand busy. Keep sticking that jab in his face so that his right hand is never thrown for free, it always has to work around your jab. This greatly cuts down the vulnerability of your face while allowing you to score some points. (Of course, don’t jab in a way that leaves you vulnerable to right hands.)
  • Slipping far too the left works but it can leave you off balanced. A better idea might be to slip “UP”. Lift your head a bit so his right hand will miss and pass under you. Most right hands have a slight downwards trajectory and so you can slip them by raising your back (NOT YOUR CHIN) and even firing a simultaneous right hand counter. Please read my guide on [countering right hands]. There are many ways to evade a right hand using head movement, body movement, foot movement, or a combination of more than one.

50. Are you going to put up tips and drills for the double-end bag?

Hey Johnny, love your site! Just wondering if your going to do some training tips and drills for the double end bag?

I’ve been boxing for about a year with one smoker fight (win). Recently I had to switch my training to early morning, and it’s very hard to get training and sparring partners. I can only make it to my gym sometimes once a month at night hours when everyone else is there. Apparently training at 5:30 am is “too early” for all these guys, HA. I am very serious and dedicated to the sport and will do anything to get better. Shit, I’d love to come train with you for a week! Haha

-Drew

  • Yes, I will. It will happen when I do it. Hmmm, I’ve never trained a reader before…

51. How would you teach boxing to beginners?

Hey Johnny,

I found your site the other night and I have to say I love it. You have tons of great information and as a complete newbie to the boxing world it’s really helping out. Thanks for putting in the time to make it.

On the other hand I have a question. There’s not really any gyms around here so I’ve pretty much been reading, filming myself shadowboxing, looking at what I did right and wrong, and working from there. In an attempt to find some people to spar with I decided to talk two friends into trying it out.

When it comes to teaching others, especially those already a bit reluctant to try the sport, how would you introduce it to them, and how would you go about actually teaching?

Thanks for all the help!

Sincerely,

John

  • I would probably teach the basic punches along with their numbers: 1-6. And then work with them on the mitts until their technique is good enough to shadowbox on their own. Let them shadowbox and hit the bags. Then teach basic defense techniques and start slow sparring.

52. How can I train my punches without injuring my joints?

I’m worried about the snapping damage done to your elbow when you shadow box at 100%. My trainer says go for 100% speed, not 100% power when shadow boxing – but that makes no sense, to go 100% speed you need to go 100% power to increase the velocity. Which leads me to believe you should never (or sparingly) throw 100% punches (whether you class it speed or power) when you are shadow boxing – because it is actually safer for the ligaments and joints to have something to hit instead of just snapping the punch in the air.

Many guys in my club have had issues with their elbows and shoulders, I noticed a correlation between the injured members and the way they shadow box. The one’s that had nickling injuries over the course of their time in boxing were the ones who were throwing it all in shadow boxing, going as fast as they possibly can. My theory is for long term safety you shouldn’t punch at 100% without something to hit – h.bag, double end, speedbag, pad etc and that when shadow boxing you should concentrate on the technique and movement behind throwing. Do you have an opinion on this, seeing as you are obviously a fan of the speed shadow boxing?

  • Your trainer is correct. Go for 100% speed, not 100% power. It’s possible because speed comes from the speed of your limbs (hands and feet) whereas power comes from the core (which you will leave unactivated or don’t activate as much).
  • Injuries can result from hitting objects (impact on the joints) or even hitting the air (hyperextension of the elbow). The guys that are putting full force in shadowboxing are the experienced ones. It’s better for them to throw at full force at the air than into an object, it will save the joints over time. I wouldn’t say they got their injuries from shadowboxing. Boxing will injure your joints eventually if you stress them with repeated impact. Even the most well-trained technically correct boxers will eventually experience some joint pain. It’s inevitable when you’re hitting a moving target like the human head/body which can be at imperfect angles and impact the wrist unevenly when punches land.
  • The best way to avoid joint injuries while punching is to properly warm-up the joints. There are a list of wrist rolling and elbow rolling and shoulder rolling exercises you can do to prepare the arm before using them.

53. What’s the best way to get in shape for a boxing tournament?

Hello, this is Anthony…I would like to know the best way to get in shape for a boxing tournament ex) Golden Gloves or National PAL Championships

  • Train like hell. I’m not going to type out a full training program so I would say go to a gym and train like how the pros train.

54. How can I look more aggressive to the judges?

Hi Johnny,

Thanks for your help man. I was wondering what to do to make judges believe that you are the better one when it is hard to chose from the two boxers. Or, put simply, how to show that you are the agressive one?

  • Show more effort: throw more punches and harder punches. Use more forwards and sideways movement instead of backwards movement. Always counter instead of passively defending. If you get hit, immediately score one back to even the score.

55. How should your body feel while throwing a left hook?

Hi Johnny,

After doing some research on the internet, I found your site. I enjoy all the tips I found on your site, thanks for putting them up. However, I am currently a beginner in boxing and currently I am seeking how to understand the movement of a hook (inside and outside). What I mean by that is not necessarily the visual mechanics of your body alignment, but also how it feels through out your body when you’re throwing a hook. I find it is helpful for me to learn a new technique if I can span my awareness to feel the correct motion. When I am throwing a hook, where should I feel it in my body? Thanks for your help on this ahead of time.

Cheers!

Bryan

  • First is the relaxed tension. Your body is relaxed but poised to strike. Then comes the release where you let the left fist and elbow out. Then comes the contracted turnover, where you exhale explosively (with a small short compact breath) and while contracting your left shoulder, left chest, and left bicep all simultaneously, you pivot to the right as your left hand impacts the target while being pulled back home. The left elbow swings just as powerfully as your left fist.

56. How should I train on the double-end bag?

Hi Johnny – Love the website and visit regularly.

I was wondering if you could provide a workout guide for training with the double-end bag. I have one and feel that I’m not getting the most from it. In fact, I’m not entirely sure what to do with it.

I don’t know if I should treat it like a heavy bag where I need to use perfect punches, or, more like a speed bag where punch technique takes a back seat to fluid contact with the bag. For the most part, I’ve been doing something more in the middle, combined with defensive body and head movement.

Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks!

–John=

  • Treat it more like a speed bag. Use a speed bag rhythm, but hit it with normal boxing punches like you would throw on a heavy bag. Again, you’re supposed to be hitting it with a speed bag rhythm—which is consistent hits and not too hard if you can’t maintain non-stop hits. Mixing in some head and body movement is ok but make sure you can hit it first.

57. Can you email me stuff to eat?

i recently startedd boxing and i was wandering if u can email me soome stuff to eat im 15 years old about 149 lbs and 5’8 …i would like u to give me the food schedule to eat please

  • LOL. You mean like send you pictures of food over email? I’m jk. Ok here’s a super easy diet. Breakfast, eat a bowl of cereal. 2 hours later, eat a banana and some nuts. 2 hours after that, eat a sandwhich and salad for lunch. Then protein bar before workout. Then some pasta for dinner. And maybe another fruit or yogurt before going to bed.

58. How should a beginner be training?

Hey, I’m a beginner boxer at the age of 25 (started a month ago at 24 years old) and I’m definitely just out of shape. I’m overweight by quite a bit for where I want to be, and it’s difficult for me to get into a lot of the conditioning that you recommend on your site. I realize I’ll have to work towards this before I intend on doing any actual fighting of any kind, outside of basic sparring. For example, your beginners workout would be way above the intensity level that I can currently do. Would you recommend doing a bite sized version of these exersizes in order to get myself in better condition so that I can actually do the rest of these workouts or do you think there is a better way to condition myself for these things that I am not doing? Currently I’m working out probably 4 times a week for about an hour each time, mixing in mitt work, shadow boxing, jump roping, running, and just general technique work with my trainers.

I also had a couple questions on a few more specific things…

First, do you ever think it is “too early” to spar? Or that there should be a certain amount of training that takes place before you actually spar with somebody? I’m not talking about the stupid version of sparring where the two people are really going after each other, but the sparring with intention of learning that you talk about a lot on this site. I’ve only been boxing for this one month, and I’ve only done about one round of simple sparring with one of my trainers. I don’t want to over extend myself, but I do want to get myself better at boxing if at all possible.

Second, an issue and/or difficultly that I have with my own boxing is that I really want to nail the fundamentals of each punch down so that they look pretty much flawless – that doesn’t sound like a bad thing necessarily, but I find myself being a little bit mechanical at times and even though the form is definitely there my trainer is constantly reminding me (and everyone in our class) that we need to relax more… Got any tips for helping me relax while maintaining form other than just practicing a lot so the form is second nature? Being relaxed while fighting will also likely come to me more when I have better conditioning.

Third, this is a more specific questions… How do you fight against the shoulder roll defense? As a boxer who primarily knows straight punches well (and the left hook) I was having difficulty landing shots against this technique. Is it a matter of movement? Having a larger repertoire of punches and angles that you can throw from? Specific positioning? What are the weaknesses of this technique and how can boxers more adequately make an offensive push against it? Just curious as to what you had to say, as even when I watch professional fights there are certainly boxers who have a lot of trouble against this technique.

I love your website and all the work you do, especially the simple videos.

Thanks,

Tony

  • Ok, this is a lot to answer and already explained in guides on my website. Please read everything on the site. It will answer all your questions if not more.
  • If the workout I suggested feels too much, then simply adjust it to your needs. There’s no rule saying you can’t remove or change anything. It’s never too early to spar as long as you don’t spar beyond your level. You should relax by breathing and letting your body move instead of always trapping it into rigid forms. The shoulder roll can be beat with effective aggression and timing. Stand behind his left shoulder and bomb him with left hoks around his left arm and throw right hands over his right shoulder.

59. How can I train boxing without a gym?

Hello brother,

Namaste

I m a BE student of 18 from nepal. Boxing is my only passion and desired aim so i am wishing to take an formal boxing course and wanna be a the one who i want to be. On your site i found many important tips requires for me. But there are not any such better boxing traning institute for my formal course so i am jst doing exercises like running 6 km , push ups , skipping and sit ups . Are they sufficient for me. I need your help brother as you are expert.

Moreover i want to be your student so i wanna learn from you..

I hope for your positive suggestions

yours sincerely

Sanjaya

kathmandu, Nepal

  • You should purchase my How to Box in 10 days guide and follow it to learn the fundamentals. Ultimately, you will have a disadvantage against those who train at boxing gyms.

60. Can you teach me how to be evasive?

Can you teach me how to bob and weave and duck punches and how to set up deadly attacks and how to dance around the ring?

  • Yes, I can. You can start by reading the guides in the defense techniques and footwork guides. Some of the basic footwork guides are in the boxing basics section.

61. How can I improve my stamina?

Hi, I know you must get a bunch of questions and requests all the time so i’ll try to keep this brief. My name is Simon, I’m 21 and I started boxing roughly a and a half ago. I’m at the awkward stage where I’m not a begginer but I’m not at the amateur level either. Technique and form I have down well enough and can improve on my own. I’m only really concerned about my conditioning. Stamina has always been my problem. What are some good ways i can tweak my workouts to improve my stamina? And could you give a basic ballpark schedule on how many times I should train in order to prepare for amateur level boxing. As of right now I go to the boxing gym 3-4 days a week and workout 1-2 times at my school gym.

Final thing, I want to get a trainer but am strapped for cash. Do you think that they are absolutely necesarry in order to compete and excell? I want to start sparring asap but unsure if anyone will let me if I have no trainer. I’m not new to fighting, I can take hits and fight back. I think if I spar all the time, the experience alone should be sufficient. Getting there seems to be the real issue.

  • You will need a trainer if you want to compete. Otherwise, you will be competing against guys with far more experience in their corners than yourself. I’m not saying it’s impossible but I’m saying you’ll be at a heavy disadvantage. Unless you like fighting with disadvantages, you have no choice but to find a trainer. Depending on where you live, there may be some good FREE community boxing trainers available to work with you.

62. Can you make more videos on boxing basics?

hey your website is awesome you should make videos on the basics in boxing

63. Can you write more guides on footwork?

Dear Expertboxing(i’m sorry I don’t now your name):

I wish to thank you for your excelent and very complete channel of information and your emails with very helpful tips. (Im sorry if it is a bad english mine but I am from Chile)

The way you transmit a complex and excelent sport like boxing in such a simple and easy way its helping me in notourios measure. I wish to thank you again and asking by the way, if you could please write some articles refering to the improvement of footwork, I think that will help me and others.

Sincerely yours,

David

  • Hi David. I’m Johnny. Yes, I will be writing more guides on footwork. Just for you ;)

64. Should I use weighted vests for calisthenic exercises?

Hey there, Johnny!

I recently read your article on weight lifting and found it very enlightening. My question is this: what is your opinion on weighted vests used for calisthenic exercises (pushups, pullups, squats, dips, core work, etc)? Would you still classify it as weightlifting or is there some sort of middle ground it falls into? If the movements performed are explosive, would it be still be helpful? What about gradually increasing in weight?

Let me know what you think!

Matt

  • I think you can if you absolutely have expert-level mastery of bodyweight exercises. Personally, I wouldn’t use a weighted vest. Instead of adding weight to a regular push-up, I would find a new way or new angle to do push-ups. Some bodyweight exercises can definitely be considered heavy weight-lifting depending on how you do it but I would say the calisthenics will help you balance your body out better. My focus is not on increasing the weight but on increasing the difficulty and level of FUNCTIONAL ABILITY. Adding 10% effort is not as important as adding 10% overall functional ability…as in developing strength in new angles or new muscles.

65. How can I stop being afraid of injury and make my body move faster?

Hi

Im 19 years and im doing boxing from 5 months.In this months i’ve done sparing 3,4 times,1st time while doing sparing my nose was broked and i got serious injury second time it broked again and also third time from this i’ve got lil bit of fear inside me so how can i remove this fear and make my body move faster to defence pls help me

Thanks & Regard

Siddhant

  • To improve your defense, train your defensive technique! To remove your fear, start working on building confidence, stop sparring beyond your level!

66. How can I create openings in a fight?

  • Openings present themselves because your opponent is punching or focusing his defense somewhere. So you can either wait for him to punch first (not always a great idea) or you can attack him somewhere to draw his defense to it and cause him to reveal himself somewhere else.

67. How much do you charge for personal boxing lessons?

hey was sip my name daryl and would like to know do you train? if so how much would you charge?

  • I would probably charge an arm and a leg! Well, actually I am not a personal trainer for hire because all my free time goes to training my own competing fighters. If someone really wanted personal lessons from me, he can email me and I will see what I can do. I’d be more interested in teaching at workshops/clinics/seminars where I can train more than just one person.

68. How can I fight with contacts? Any tips for inside fighting?

Hi Johnny,

Been following your site for a while and appreciate all the material you put out. Just thought I’d put out two quick questions:

1. I have contacts and I normally train and spar in them. But as soon as I get hit in the eye, my contacts pop out and throws off my vision/depth perception til my eyes refocus. Besides just not getting hit, any suggestions to deal with that?

2. Got any tips for inside fighting (combos, defense, footwork, everything)? Maybe another awesome article?

Thanks and keep up the good work,

Wes

  • I fight with contacts and don’t have that problem. Then again, I don’t get hit as much. Your contact lens might not be the proper steepness for your eyes. You should check with your optometrist to see if he/she can get you some contacts that more closely matches the steepness of your eyes so the contacts don’t slide around as much.
  • I do have inside fighting guides on the way. For now, the big tip I would give you is to try and SURROUND your opponent on the inside. When you go inside, imagine that you are surrounding him instead of him surrounding you. This way he feels more trapped in his shell while you feel like you can blast him from all angles and evade in whatever direction you want.

69. How do you use the reflex bag?

hi johnny i have recently been given a reflex bag but am unsure the correct way to use this could you advise me how to use it effectively thankyou

luke

  • We have one at my gym and I have no idea how to use it either. I hate that thing, it swings too slowly and isn’t particular effective for developing power or rhythm. I guess you could say you could use it for timing but it just doesn’t inspire me as much as the other bags (heavy/speed/double-end). Let me know if you ever figure it out.

70. How can I get into boxing competition?

Hi, my name is Jacob, im 17, and go to highschool in Missouri. First of all i’d like to say that your website has helped me alot to get started somewhat and get me excited for a possible future in boxing. Ive been looking and have yet to find a gym or trainer(that i can afford) to do any proper training but i do have handwraps, gloves, and a heavy bag. I also have access to my highschools weightroom before and after school that has a jump rope for me to use. I wont be able to devote myself fully to it until this summer but im very anxious to throw myself into the world of boxing and see how far i can push myself. I do have a history of weightlifting and am currently enrolled in a weight training class at school so i wont be able to stop that until summer either. Id like to train up and have some amateur bouts and possibly even get into the pro ring.

Im contacting you for advice though, im kind of running around in the dark on how i should be training and wondering if you could give me any idea of what i should be doing and in what amounts to get myself ready for this all? I will continue reading your site trying to get a better idea on what to do and a response would be GREATLY APPRECIATED! Thanks for taking the time to read this. i hope that you could help me with my problem!

From a highschooler hoping to become a boxer!

  • You have to look up some local boxing gyms and check them out. See how they train, see if they have any champions in there. They should be able to hook you up with a trainer and get you started. Good luck!

71. How do I deal with a hyper-extended elbow injury?

Hey Johnny,

I just saw your post on straight arm punch and I actually replied on there. My range has gotten me into trouble though. I still haven’t figured it out. And while I know I have a range on my opponents, I have yet to figure out how much and how to work it. thus, I have hyper extended my elbow. It isn’t too bad, and gets better when I take a day off but I can’t straighten it all the way. do you have any suggestions for fixing this other than rest? I plan to spar (only with my jab), and take classes (not punching with my cross – right arm at all). I know icing helps inflamation but are there any exercises to speed up the recovery? I fight my first fight in the golden gloves in a month so I just want to get this thing taken care of so I can train properly before my first fight! I really enjoy your website, it is very well done in my opinion. The pictures you post which show what you are explaining is SO HELPFUL as well! Thank you for sharing! 

M

  • Good rest and rotating your elbows around helps to loosen up the joints. You can prevent hyper-extension by giving your arms a good warming up before you start throwing hard punches. It really helps to shadowbox slow for a bit. I have long lanky arms so I hyper-extend every now and then too. Hurts like hell!

72. Do I have to wrap up or wear gloves for the speed bag?

To Johnny or whom it may concern,

I have recently started using a speed bag for cardio/warm up work. I have found a lot of info on boxing sites about gloves but not specifically when using the speed bag. Unless I am missunderstanding. Do you recommend using gloves or wrapping your hands/wrists? If so, follow some info on other websites about type and/or size?

I appreciate your help.

Thanks,

Shane

  • Gloves are definitely not needed for the speed bag. Most people use handwraps or nothing at all. Personally, I like being barehanded so my hands can “feel” and “grip” the speed bag better. Hitting it with handwraps can be annoying as the speed bag slips off the wraps. Some people do not like hitting bare-handed because it feels like the bag is skinning their knuckles although I suspect this might also have to do with poor timing.

 73. How should I slip to avoid getting hit?

Hi Johnny,

first of all thank you for all that wonderful info on your site. I am a boxing beginner and have trouble covering the distance to even land my punches. When I do land a hit – i often have to eat some punches myself, also i don’t have a very long reach. So figured I try out those combos that incorporate slips, like the 1-slip-2, slip-2-3-2 or slip-2-1-1. Now you said that you should always slip to the outside of the punch. So when I start with a slip i figure that I expect an (orthodox) jab – but when I punch 1 then slip then punch 2, where do I slip to, or I just mix it up? Or do you look out for his punch before I slip -everything happens so fast…

thank you very much for your time and all the best from Germany

Stefan

  • Well you don’t ALWAYS have to slip outside. And yes, you have to mix it up instead of evading the same way every time. If you’re new to boxing, I would suggest working on blocking and parrying techniques before your learn to slip. Slipping is pretty advanced and quite hard to do if you haven’t yet developed the reflexes and coordination.

74. Is my workout good enough for amateur boxing?

Hey Johnny

I’m 21 years old now. I train with a trainer for 5 months then he went back home to korea. I than joined golden glove boxing gym here in Goldsboro nc I paid for my private class $225.00 a month for 5 month I took my classes 5 day a week from 2:30pm to 3:30pm monday to friday…i work 9:30am to 2:00pm train at the gym 2:30pm- 3:30pm work at 4:00pm to 10pm but he never train me only hit heavy bag and little pad work and jump rope and go run. out of the whole 5 days a week I’ll only train with him one or two days all the other days I’ll only run and hit heavy bag. Most of the time he’s never there… So I stop going to there gym… Here my what I do now… I train at my house what can I do to improve? Dose my hight matter? People say I’m to short to fight in boxing… I’m 5’2 130lb 8% body fat… I really want to go amateur boxing….

My work out for 3 months now

Monday– Thursday

3.5-4 mile run 2:30pm

10:30pm

10min jump rope

5min shadow box

10 min Speed bag

10min double end

15min pad with my brother

Abs wheel 3 sets of 25

Squat 3 sets of 40 no weights

Abs sit up wit 15lb weight 3 set of 25

Sipper man push up 3 set of 16

 

Tuseday and wensday

2:30pm 3.5-4 miles run

10:30pm

10min jump rope

5 min shadow box

15 speed bad

Slip line 3 min

Foot work T cone 10 sets

Pad work 15 min

Pull up 3 sets 16

Abs set up 200

Push up 100

 

Friday

2:30pm run 3 miles

11:30pm

100 push up

100 sit up

 

Sat/sun ….rest

Kengkeng=

 

  • It looks like you have a nice routine but I think you’ll need to do a little more than that especially for amateur level competition. Training at home is going to be hard for success in the amateurs. I would at least visit a gym every now and then to learn their routines and also spar.

75. When should I “suck it up” vs when to “let the body rest”?

Hey Johnny,

First of all, love the site: great layout, great content, and I really look forward to updates.

I’d like to know your opinion on rehabbing minor injuries – when to “suck it up” vs “listen to your body”. For example, I recently pulled a muscle in my upper back, and will probably miss a week of training. I’ve worked through injured toes, shoulders, etc. in the past, but I think this one is going to linger if I don’t give it some time. How do you make a call on when to dive back in?

Regards,

Dan

  • I usually let my body rest as much as it needs. Either you’re training way too hard or not resting enough or a combination of both. A general rule is to train extra hard only on one or two days of the week. The other days can be hard but not excessively extremely impossibly hard. As for injuries, I will let them rest if I their presence affects the productivity of my training. “Suck it up” is something you say to a little kid that’s crying in discomfort, or a boxer in the middle of a fight, not something a serious athlete training through chronic injury should do. Injuries are a common cause of premature retirements in young athletes!

76. Which hook is good horizental or verticle?

  • Both. Use them at the right time. Horizontal ones are better at close range and vertical ones are better at long range.

77. Why is it not recommended to train without wraps or gloves?

Dear Coach

I practise boxing on the big bag without gloves or wraps. My fists, wrists and the skin on my knuckles have become super hard as a result of the ‘conditioning’.

My punching power has also radically increased. However, i have heard that this is not a good practise, why is that?

Yours sincerely

Riaan

  • Wraps and gloves are there to protect your hands. The day will come when you punch hard enough to injure your fragile wrist. Hopefully you’re not barehanded in that moment. It’s also a good idea to train with gloves so you can get used to their weight during sparring or in competition. Hitting a bag with perfect form is easy. The hard part comes when you land punches with your wrist at a bad angle because your opponent was moving.

78. What punch will deliver the most force in a punching game(its a bet)?

  • The right cross will probably have the most force if all you’re measuring is pure force in the punch. However if you’re look at the most force applied to your opponent, it might sometimes be the left hook if it catches him in the right angle at the right time.
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272 Comments

j July 31, 2012 at 11:04 pm

I remember watching the 2012 olympic boxing and the announcer was saying not to move your head for no reason what does he mean by that? only move with a purpose? or only move in punching range? would a good source of head movement be moving immediately after a punch? thank you for the boxing mailbag good stuff buddy :)

Reply

Johnny N August 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Move with a purpose… could be anything, for defense, for offense.

Reply

Gordon August 1, 2012 at 1:36 am

Hey Johnny. When you write the infighting article, could you add an infighting section against southpaws? Thanks!

Reply

Johnny N August 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Infighting against southpaws will have to be a seperate guide. A lot of the theories will still apply although the tactics must be changed.

Reply

curtis carpenter August 2, 2012 at 2:35 am

if i was a body puncher would it be a good idea for me to pin my opponent against the ropes and push them up against the corner.?

Reply

Johnny N August 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm

That’s one way to go about it. Try finding other ways.

Reply

Chris August 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Johnny,

What would you say is an acceptable price to pay for a boxing gym membership and/or a trainer?

The reason I ask is because I’m having a hard time finding a good gym that wont cost more than 100-150 dollars but will also give me a good trainer to work with. At the current gym I go to, its 42 dollars per month but 20 dollars for a 30 min session with a trainer (usually just mit work). One trainer straight up denied to work with me basically because I was a little older.

I’m from Connecticut and I’ve realized by going to 3 different gyms, finding the opportunity to work with a trainer and get good sparring sessions is very difficult to find. This can be very frustrating for just turning 30 and having a goal of competing in the amateur arena. I’m trying to stay motivated and excited but its getting harder and harder as time goes on.

Thanks for your time,
Chris

Reply

Johnny N August 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I’m sorry for you, Chris. Unfortunately, that’s the case with boxing. If you’re a young kid with lots of potential, you get free training. If you’re older you have to pay for it and still they may not be excited about working with you. The best you can do is call around and let them know from day one that you are looking to compete and hopefully they will take you seriously. Keep looking, there are always coaches out there who appreciate having another good student.

As to cost, I would say $80-100 a month is fair. And maybe a little more is fair if you’re getting a lot of private training time. But the sport of boxing is all about coaches dedicating themselves to their boxers. My trainers spent at least 1 hour with me daily and watched over me for another 3-4 hours daily.

Reply

Benny August 24, 2012 at 9:40 am

Hey Johnny,

I have all the detemination the world to be a skilled boxer. When I went to a boxing gym, because of my lack of skill, no trainer in the gym took me seriously. In fact, they even went as far as to mock me by making rude sarcastic comments. I’m suprised I didn’t hit one of them in the mouth. But nonetheless, i’m willing to do whatever it takes no matter how long and hard the road may be t become a skilled boxer. All I need is a trainer who believes in me and inspite of the fact that my skills are limited, will devote whatever is necessary to help hone my skills.

P.S-Is there a such thing as just “not having it?”

Reply

Johnny N August 27, 2012 at 9:01 am

It definitely exists. I’ve tried all sorts of sports before where I stood there and decided I didn’t have it. And then there were other sports where I loved it right away. And then there some sports in between.

You have to decide for yourself. And if you can’t, then maybe you just don’t have it. Boxing is different from other sports in that you get punished for being scared and indecisive. All the while you’re trying to decide if you like fighting, others are deciding on how to beat you up. So please find that confidence and put yourself together because everyone else will be working to break you down.

Reply

J August 3, 2012 at 3:33 am

Hey Johnny

Why is it that when i do mitt drills and shadowboxing etc. i have good stance but whenever i spar it seems like it all goes away. I sparred a friend that went to a boxing gym for about 2 months and all they did was spar he had basic technique still alot of beginner mistakes but he beat me pretty good. But i have trained for boxing for more than a year now with always doing good technique on everything but sparring. I feel like im panicing during sparing and just forget everything i learned how can i fix that?

Reply

Johnny N August 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm

You will always have worse performance in actual fighting than you do in training. This is why you must train so hard that it becomes natural enough to you during the fight. The worst case scenario is to revert to bad technique during a fight because you didn’t drill enough to make good technique natural.

Reply

Alexander August 5, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Hey Johnny,

I’m 16 and have always wanted to box and lately have been following a boxing work out with out the speed bag and heavy bag. There isn’t any gyms in my neighbor hood that offer boxing. Any suggestions to what I can start doing to help me improve with out a trainer?

Reply

Johnny N August 15, 2012 at 10:06 am

Get some friends together and watch some youtube and try some of it without hurting yourselves! Be safe and have fun.

Reply

sicnarf August 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm

hey johnny im thinking of getting the cleto reyes training gloves 16oz and do u know werr i can order a good aunthentic one? any sites youl recommend

Reply

Johnny N August 15, 2012 at 10:08 am

Try ringside.com

Reply

DaJube August 15, 2012 at 12:11 pm

hey Johnny,

how many times a week should I train boxing specific training if I’m a beginner? Been going on and off now for 6 months, but I’ve taken weeks off at a time.

Reply

Johnny N August 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Beginners can go at whatever pace they want. If you’re looking to compete, 5 days a week is the standard.

Reply

Patryk August 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Would somebody please tell me, why am I keep huritng my thumbs, everytime I throw an uppercut, and the opponent blocks it with an elbow? I wear bandages and good gloves, and still I’m afraid of throwing uppercuts, because my thumbs are screwed.
Sorry for my english, I’m from Poland.

Reply

Johnny N August 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm

It’s supposed to hurt if you hit someone on the elbow. The elbow is a very hard bone. Stop attacking his elbows.

Reply

Alonzo August 24, 2012 at 9:58 am

Do you know of any “GOOD” boxing gyms in the dc, Md, VA area that actually CARE about you and are interested in teaching boxing to someone who really wants to learn how to fight? Not ones that insult you, and that are only interested in making money. And who only focus on the ones who look like the have potential and just ignore fighters who although are lacking in skill, practically live at the gym.

Thank you

Reply

Johnny N August 27, 2012 at 9:03 am

I’ve never been there so I don’t have any personal experience. You’ll have to keep visiting different gyms until you find one you really like.

Reply

Gil August 24, 2012 at 10:50 am

Alonzo..Check this out:

http://www.downtownboxing.com/

I’m about an hour and a half from there, but will stop in when i’m in town for the weekend. This is a straight up no frills boxing gym. There is also Sugar-Ray Leonards gym in MD as well. When I lived down there I went to Llyod Irvins, but that is more MT/MMA focused. Still a great workout, though. Good luck

Reply

Alonzo August 25, 2012 at 7:06 am

Thanks Gil

Reply

Jake August 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Hey johnny

You know what I could do to increase athletic ability and or mobility? Whether it be by dieting or just plain excercise.

Reply

Johnny N September 4, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Exercise, drills, and technique!

Reply

Jason Dawson September 4, 2012 at 4:47 am

Hey Johnny

Really good website since I found it on the Internet I have read it everyday very informative and interesting I have now a question I would like your view on.

I used to box when I was younger since then I have roughed my left hand up I have broke all 8 tiny bones in the wrist and did a number on my shoulder which didn’t bother me as I am right handed but since reading your website I have got back into the sport I loved as a kid.

My issue is this I have been very hesitant in using my left hand when i use the heavy bag in practice, when I boxed before I was confident with my left as with my right but now I don’t have much confidence with my left even using weights as well as my punches.

How would you recommend I get over this reluctance in using my left hand to punch as I feel my right getting stronger and my left isn’t as tight as it should be thus when my right arm gets tired I would be disadvantaged.

Many thanks

Jason

Reply

Johnny N September 4, 2012 at 3:17 pm

You have a good reason for doubting that left hand. I would recommend wrapping it better using a method more specifically suited for your hand and injury-areas. Good form always helps. The most important thing is to respect your body’s limitations and to work around that. If the bones are strong enough for power shots, maybe you can develop more speed and accuracy for that hand.

Reply

Jason Dawson September 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Thanks for the advice Johnny and keep up the good work

Reply

Pablo September 6, 2012 at 11:16 am

Hey John,
I’m just beginning to box. I’m 6’3 and but idolize Mike Tyson. I desire to be a ferocious swarmer. I’m a little bit out of shape. But i’m in the gym everyday. What should I first focus in perecting the craft of a “peek a boo swarmer.”?

Reply

Johnny N September 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Get used to a high guard defense. Get used to walking forward while moving your head when necessary.

Reply

Pablo September 24, 2012 at 7:01 am

What doyoumean when you say “walk forward and move your head?”

Reply

Johnny N October 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Keep moving towards your opponent and move your head to avoid his punches.

Reply

Sean September 12, 2012 at 5:59 am

Hi John,

I have no fighting skill whatsoever. But I have relentless determination and a heart full of anger and rage. Is that good enough to become a good boxer?

P.S- What do trainers look for that will make them take a boxer seriously?

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Johnny N September 12, 2012 at 9:28 am

You’ll have to find out for yourself whether you have what it takes.

As for trainers, every trainer is different. Some want somebody athletic. Others want natural aggressive fighters. Others want thinkers. Most trainers want a hard worker with potential.

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Sean September 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

One thing I notice is that i’m picking up on things very quickly. People tell me it took them month to get the hang of the speed bag, it took me 3 days and I was hitting it like a pro. And this is just one of many aspects. But thanks John

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Yosef September 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Johnny do heavy duty hand grippers help with punching power?

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Johnny N September 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Maybe they do, but not very much. I can’t imagine the strength of your hand having very much power over the strength of your legs. All in all, you need everything but don’t put too much emphasis on one muscle group.

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Bruce September 20, 2012 at 8:06 am

John what benefits can the weight jacket bring me in boxing?

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Johnny N September 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Strength?

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Bruce September 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Can it make me quicker at dodging and bobing and weeving?

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Johnny N September 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Not really if you ask me. The weight vest only applies downward force. Bobbing and weaving requires you to move in a circular direction, not only up. Not only that but bobbing and weaving is part technique, part reflex, and part conditioning. At best, the weight vest can only help you with the 3rd part and it doesn’t do this totally. I would pick crunches as a better exercise for developing your slipping muscles.

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Harold September 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Hey Johnathan

What are the basic necessities a person should have before even thinking about taking up boxing?

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Johnny N October 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Arms? Legs? Basically, a capacity to think and move.

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Harold October 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm

So anyone can succeed in boxing?

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Johnny N October 7, 2012 at 2:58 am

Yes and no. It depends on the individual and the training.

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Joey September 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Johnny,

Thanks a lot for mantaining this website. I really enjoy reading the guides.

I’m a college kid who is just getting into boxing. Throughout highschool, I was a pretty competitive distance runner. As a result, I have a good base of endurance, but I’m skinny and I don’t really look like a fighter at all. What areas of training do I need to focus in on? Is having the background and body type of a distance runner a severe disadvantage in boxing, or could my endurance work in my favor? Basically what I want to know it, how badly am I going to get my butt handed to me? Thanks for your time.

-Joey

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Johnny N October 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm

If you trained like a long distance runner, that’s what you’re going to look like. If you trained like a boxer, who knows how your body might have adapted differently. Endurance is at first a minimum in boxing, and then if you have a lot of it then it becomes an advantage. I have no idea how well you’re going to do if you haven’t done anything at all.

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Bo Bo September 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Jon

How have you faired with actual street fighting since developing boxing skills?

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Johnny N October 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I don’t fight on the streets. I can say that I’m a lot more confident knowing that I have boxing skills.

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Bo Bo October 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Has your popularity with the ladies increased since learning boxing?

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Johnny N October 7, 2012 at 2:59 am

Yes, but not because of boxing.

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Ellsworth October 9, 2012 at 5:41 pm

John I’ve learned that in order to be successful in boxing, you have to have a trainer devoted to you. So i’ve decided to to workout heavyily and get chisled up that way hopefully i can impress a trainer at a gym and maybe he will be excited about working with me. Do you think this an effective strategy?Or would you go about a different way?

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Frank October 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm

he started going and cause he was out of shape, uncoordinated, and kinda unathletic, the trainers werent too fond of working with him. But he decided to work out and get into athletic condition and then go to another gym. i was wonderign if thats what you would advise to him?

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Johnny N October 11, 2012 at 10:42 am

A ripped body is not going to impress any serious trainer. It doesn’t matter what shape you are, you WILL become a fighter and eventually look like a fighter if you have the desire to become one. However, showing good conditioning will definitely be more fun for the trainer since he can teach you more things.

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Tommy K. October 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

H Johnny,

Is the things we see i the movies realistic when a bully victim who has no fighting skill learns some form of martial arts and then he destroys the bully in a dual? And if so, are there any boxers who started there career because suffering from bullying?

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Johnny N October 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Yes…. a ton of fighters started their career because of bullying. Their fathers put them in boxing to learn self-defense. Joe Calzaghe, Sergio Martinez, I believe Mike Tyson too.

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Danielson October 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Jonny

Just out of curiosity, ho do you think would win fight between ali and iron mike? And who in your opinion was the greatest boxer of all time pound for pound?

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Johnny N October 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm

No comments on both of these questions.

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Kenny D October 11, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Johnny how an you tel if a trainer is ACTUALLY a trainer and some hire fraud who only has a few boxing lesson under his belt? Because i was reading online and it talked about ho most trainers today are just ex “studs” who are next to broke and there not really passionate about teaching boxing.

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Johnny N October 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm

It helps to find a trainer who already has other boxers working under him. You can see the other boxers for yourself and see if you like how they move. See how many amateur fights they’ve had, if they’ve won any tournaments, etc.

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William Davis October 12, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Johnny,

Could you please do a video to demonstrate the “target areas” on the head and body for scoring a knockout or weakening an opponent? Thanks.

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Johnny N October 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Yes, I can. Great idea!

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Matthysse Garcia October 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm

as strengthens the jaw to withstand more blows??

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Johnny N October 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm

You could bite on a towel and do some neck strengthening exercises, I suppose.

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Matthysse Garcia October 18, 2012 at 5:13 am

Thank you !

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Rivi October 22, 2012 at 11:44 am

John I watched a video by eric kelly (the famed amatuer boxer) is it normal for a trainer to be obnoxious as him?

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Johnny N October 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Yes. I actually like that kind of trainer. It takes years of brutally hard work for an individual to become like that. There’s a lot you could learn from him and you’ll eventually enjoy his sarcasm in the process. Of course, there are many other jerk trainers or even nice trainers but you’ll never learn a thing from them.

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Flacco October 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Johnny,

In my experience at this boxing gym it doesnt seem like this is a sport for the weak… A guy who hadnt boxed before became the laughing stock of gym… Everyone made fun of him. Suprisingly he kept his cool and calmly went to find another one… The trainers there insulted him without being restrained by the owner. I felt bad for the guy. Is this just a bad gym or is this just the sport of boxing?

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Johnny N October 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm

That kind of atmosphere doesn’t help unfortunately but some people like that. Different gyms have different atmospheres.

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Bubba October 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm

John do you have any idea where what gym Teddy Atlas trains at?

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Johnny N October 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm

No. But I’m sure you can look it up somewhere on the internet.

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Mego October 24, 2012 at 6:27 am

John what i think i need is a “Cus D’amato” trainer. One who is passionate about teaching boxing and willing to teach anyone who is willing to learn. Do you know where those trainer are most likely to be found at?

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Johnny N October 26, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Probably in a good boxing gym.

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Antonio October 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Cus D’amato wasn’t willing to teach anyone who was willing to learn… he was too pragmatic, too professional, and too realistic. He was looking for mega talents. There are good trainers, but most likely you will have to prove yourself to attract their attention. The best bet would be to go to a good boxing gym and train, show your passion, talent and speed… and you will get it:)

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George October 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

I agree. Im not really athletic never was good at any sport so my first experience at a gym didnt go too well. But since then ive been excercising by myself. Ive notice a significant improvement in my coordination, strentgh and punching ability. Hopefully I can tone my athletic ability up enough so when i go into another gym, I can earn the trainers commitment…

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little tyson October 31, 2012 at 4:50 pm

hi Johnny N
i couldn’t manage to paste my question on the mailbag , so i’ll post it here if you don’t mind

I am a 16 years old intermediate boxer, i weight about 97 kg and my height is 175 cm(mostly muscles not so much fats ). i’ ve got a lot of power , and probably fast punches compared to my weight division, i ‘am thinking about dropping too much weight. what is the weight division you most recommend for me, and how do you think dropping in weight will affect my body performance, will i have less power more speed or what ?

Thank you,

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Johnny N November 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm

You have to try it out. I haven’t seen your body or seen you fight so it’s hard for me to answer you without more knowledge about your situation.

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Uber November 2, 2012 at 10:33 am

Johnny N are there any trainers who specifically like working with beginners? And if so, would that be the best route to take since i’m just starting to box?

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Johnny N November 5, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Yes, there are. You’ll find them in after-school centers and kid programs. There are many trainers out there even in regular boxing gyms that love sharing the sport.

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Canshar November 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Hey you think I can use the 2$ walmart double mouthguard for semilight sparring?

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Johnny N November 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm

I would never recommend anything less than at least the $5-10 Everlast ones.

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Alex November 7, 2012 at 5:01 am

Hey Johnny ! I broke my nose 2 month ago in sparring…. The doc propose me to get a surgery because of a nasal septum deviation. It’s embarrassing when I sleep. But the doc told me to think about it because if I get my nose broke again I probably should get a surgery again…. What do you think ? Thank you

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Johnny N November 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm

I honestly don’t know. I imagine your doctor’s advice would be more qualified than mine.

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hugh November 22, 2012 at 4:51 am

Hi Johnny … i recently went to a gym where the trainer likes working with beginners..n after two days he gave me my money back and told me to find another gym… it was so insulting i laughed it off… maybe i just dnt have it…

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Justene December 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

Johnny what are the best ways to improve speed in punching.. dodging, and bobbing and weaving…?

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Johnny N December 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm

To develop slipping skills technically, shadowboxing, slip rope and focus mitts. To develop slipping skills strategically, do it on the mitts and in sparring.

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Bumbawayatuna December 14, 2012 at 5:12 am

Johnny,

A friend told me that you have a dvd package for boxing beginners. How much does it cost and what does it consist of?

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Johnny N December 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Check out the banner on the right side of my website and you can look up all the information on it. It’s called “How to Box in 10 Days”.

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Fred December 19, 2012 at 10:38 am

Johnathan,

I’ve notice that i have pretty good punching power. But the problem is i need to learn how to snap it to get the full potential. Any advice on how to start?

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Johnny N December 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I have a guide and also video on youtube for this. Check them out, Fred.

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Mobaka December 30, 2012 at 10:09 am

John,
If you saw a beginner who had limited talent. But powerful desire. Would you be willing to work with him or would you tell him boxing isnt for him?

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Johnny N January 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm

If he had powerful desire, it wouldn’t matter if I worked with him or not.

There used to be a time when I helped anybody in the gym. Nowadays, I only work with my fighters and guys who are looking to compete. The average coach will be more than happy to work with you until he’s unable to improve you anymore. Having desire is nothing special; it’s the bare minimum for a tough sport like boxing. If you don’t like fighting, you won’t last very long.

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Antonio December 30, 2012 at 11:37 am

Mobaka,

sorry… fucking stars’ and celebrities’ culture…:) everyone wants to be a champion of the world, and doesn’t want to live his own life… Boxing is useful for every man whether with big talent or not…. and boxing is for everyone… becoming a world champion isn’t for everyone though, but who cares…

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Robert January 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Johnny,

I havent jumproped since the second grade. What jumprope routine would you recommend for beginners?

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Johnny N January 22, 2013 at 8:32 pm

3 rounds straight. Keep jumping whatever way you can with whatever jump rope tricks you know how to do.

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Kevin January 13, 2013 at 11:05 am

Hi Johnny!
How are you?
I have a question for you,my name is Kévin from France, i’ve started boxing two months ago and i would like to know if it is possible for a guy like me who is rather small (1m71) and weight 90kg, to outbox somebody taller than me? Thank you and keep doing what you’re doing! You’re a great guy!!

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Johnny N January 22, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Yes, it’s possible but it’s a tricky challenge of course.

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William Davis January 16, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Johnny,

Could you please do a video to demonstrate the “target areas” on the head and body for scoring a knockout or weakening an opponent? Thanks.

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Johnny N January 22, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Yes, I have one on target areas on the way.

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William Davis January 22, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Johnny,
Thanks. Much appreciated.

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Jub February 3, 2013 at 9:34 am

Hey Johnny,

Is there jealousy in the boxing sport? Do conflicts ever erupt because of jealousy?

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Johnny N February 6, 2013 at 10:25 am

There’s jealousy everywhere in life. Especially in boxing.

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Fred April 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

John I have a 10 inch fist circumference. What size boxing gloves should I buy? I had some 16 oz gloves but I relized that my punches were slower then when I wore a 8 oz gloves…

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Johnny N April 11, 2013 at 10:09 am

Heavier gloves will definitely weigh you down. You should get the size that corresponds with your training. Read my guides on boxing gloves to decide what size gloves you should be wearing.

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Harry April 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Hey jonny they say you shouldnt life weights when first starting boxing. Is this true and if so when should you start lifting weights?

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Johnny N April 11, 2013 at 10:11 am

Most beginners generally need more focus on technique rather than weightlifting. Weightlifting can help you later down the road once your technique is mastered but generally other types of exercise like running, calisthenics, and jumping rope will give you the more useful type of conditioning for boxing.

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Joube' April 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Is there a such thing as being “too old” to box?

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Johnny N April 11, 2013 at 10:11 am

No. Maybe there’s such a thing as being too old to compete or do extreme sparring but I’ve seen people of all ages enjoy boxing.

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Bobby April 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Jon my trainer told me to keep my left foot in front of my opponents left foot. And he moves right I move right I move right. And if he moves forward I move backward etc. Do you know what drills are good for this? And what drills are good for working onmy pivoting?

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Johnny N April 11, 2013 at 10:12 am

Practice your footwork while shadowboxing and bagwork and also on the mitts. Whatever type of movement you want to improve, do it in training!

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Bobboy April 12, 2013 at 9:58 am

Is jumproping good for this?

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Johnny N April 12, 2013 at 10:01 am

The jump rope can help many aspects of your boxing footwork but not so much the pivoting.

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George April 8, 2013 at 9:15 am

Johnny do u reccommend every boxer do callastetics…?

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Johnny N April 11, 2013 at 10:12 am

Yes, definitely!

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Tom April 13, 2013 at 8:04 am

Jon do suggest the HGH stimulate supplemants for boxers..?

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Johnny N April 19, 2013 at 9:34 am

NO. It’s unnecessary.

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Hu April 26, 2013 at 7:33 am

Jon what is HGH Stimulate?

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Johnny N April 26, 2013 at 11:36 am

It’s a supplement some guys take to improve physical performance. You can read up more about it on Google.

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Martyn April 15, 2013 at 11:32 am

Johnathan what is the best excersise for hand-eye coordination?

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Johnny N April 19, 2013 at 9:35 am

I don’t know about “THE BEST” but the double-end bag, speed bag, and focus mitts are great tools for developing hand-eye coordination for punching accuracy. Sparring is great, too.

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Gary S April 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Thank you for such great articles and the motivation that you add. I am 33 ,box for exercise and peace of mind, I have a repaired ACL in left knee and my foot work is decent in my opinion but my knee not as quick to follow the rest of me so to speak. I run 5 miles a week and bicycle added to boxing sessions 3 times a week for 1 hour each session. I read in your articles in fighting is good for aging legs what else can I do ? How do I need to change my current style? how do I turn this into something good? Thank You.

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Johnny N April 19, 2013 at 9:36 am

Fighting is great for aging legs. Puts that quickness and agility into your step. In the ring, work on constantly walking around. Not so much jumping. Keep your feet under you instead of being really wide.

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yousef April 29, 2013 at 8:07 am

Johnny, what are the best excersises for improving your jab and your upper cut…?

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Johnny N May 6, 2013 at 11:45 am

Focus mitts, shadowboxing. Double-end bag.

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Hoorhay May 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm

john what is the proper way to shadowbox?

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Johnny N May 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

Stay balanced, move around however you like, throw punches however you like. I made a video shadowboxing on my Youtube channel, check it out.

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Leo May 11, 2013 at 10:20 am

John you know those sit ups that boxers do where they put there hands by there face as if they were holding there guards up. And they hold that position and do situps.. what is the exact name for those situps?

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Johnny N May 17, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I don’t know the name or if there is even a name for them.

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Leo May 21, 2013 at 11:45 am

Are those situps good for something or are they just a different way of doing a situp?

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Johnny N May 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Try it and see for yourself. To me, it makes the sit-up harder because your hands are creating more weight. But if you’re swinging your arms to help you come up, then it makes it easier to do sit-ups.

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TranHuy May 12, 2013 at 7:42 am

Hello Johny!!My name’s Huy.I’m Vietnamese boxer.Last 2 year ago,i’ve injure my pinky knuckle(i throw a lot uppercut to sand bag).Up to now,it’s still sore.My coach tell me quit boxing,if i go on box, i will destroy my hand and my knuckle will be useless.But i don’t want to quit boxing,i really love this sports.Can you give me advice,i know my knuckle is very bad now,it’s bigger and discolor(turn white).It’s feel sore when i making fist and pick some thing big.I’ve stop boxing for 3 month.I really want to go to train.May i can train with a double end bag and do some body weight like push up,pull up???(I’ll stay away from bag work for long time).I really want to know your advice!!Thank for reading!!!

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Johnny N May 17, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Don’t hit with the pinky knuckle. Training with a double-end bag would be a much better idea.

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Billy May 17, 2013 at 6:14 am

Your videos on Mayweather and Pacquiao top ten tricks were epic! I remember using a couple of pacquiao’s tricks in a fight and they went down a treat.

I’d really love to see you fight, at least a proper round of sparring. Is there a video somewhere?
I’ve also resigned myself to simply not lose all the fitness I gained but as much as I love boxing, I couldn’t keep up with boxing training lifestyle.

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Johnny N May 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm

I plan to release a highlight of my sparring footage later. There’s a short sparring video of me demonstrating tactics against southpaws on the Youtube channel.

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TranHuy May 19, 2013 at 4:18 am

Jonny.Does grip training help my bruise pinky knuckle heal faster or help my knuckle feel less pain??Could I add some push up exercise when i recovery my bruise knuckle???

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Johnny N May 24, 2013 at 1:10 pm

This is a tough question. I don’t know exactly what the problem is and even if I did know, I’m not a doctor. If you feel the problem is serious, go see a doctor.

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Paulie May 28, 2013 at 6:25 am

Johnny have you ever personally seen an aspiring boxer that u at first felt had no chance to succeed, but then as time went by they started showing signs of potential? and are trainers ever suprised by someone who they thought had no chance to succeed in boxing?

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Johnny N June 2, 2013 at 12:14 pm

This happens all the time.

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Paulie June 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm

So anybody can succeed in boxing?

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Johnny N June 12, 2013 at 11:46 am

…anybody who puts in the work, yes. It’s possible…it doesn’t mean it WILL happen.

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M. Lawrence Pineda June 11, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Just thought I’d drop in to say (again) that knockout punchers are born, NOT made.

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M. Lawrence Pineda June 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Punchers are born; not made.

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Coach Charles March 18, 2014 at 11:04 am

Just thought I’d drop in and say I’ve been training for 33 yrs and I’ve seen plenty of boxers come in the gym whom I thought were nothing short of hopeless. But these mighty warriors had the heart of lion and they refused to quit. Over time they began to catch the attention of many of the trainers and few of which surpassed some of the boxers who had natural talent. So no, punchers CAN be made. The human body is a highly trainable organism and whatever is lacking athletically can be developed with time and work. In my 33 years of training I’ve learned, WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY.

-Coach Charles

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Johnny N March 23, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Thank you for inspiring, Charles. I’ve witnessed similar miracles myself and I totally agree….IT’S POSSIBLE!

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GOLIATH June 12, 2013 at 6:04 am

Hey johnny boy.. ive heard it said that u show never be one dementional fighter… that u shud always have 3 styles in ur arsenal. Im tall 6’4.. i have a long reach.. lean muscular build .. i have a pretty good jab.. but my right cross is devastating… and i also have a pretty good jaw jaw
Naturally i should focus on being an out fighter.. with other 2 stylt wud u reccommend i include into my Boxing arsenal?

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Johnny N June 12, 2013 at 11:46 am

Learn every style. Not just 1, not just 3….learn every style. Learn how to do it and how to fight it.

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tobucky June 13, 2013 at 8:52 am

John u no those long thick ropes that u wrap around a pole and u shake up and down.. there really starting to blow up the fitness world… wat aspect of ur boxing skills would they help the most?

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Johnny N June 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Assuming you’re talking about battle ropes, they don’t improve your boxing skills, only conditioning.

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jj June 13, 2013 at 6:32 pm

John wat role do ur front deltoids play in ur punching?

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Johnny N June 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm

They let your lift your arm up from the shoulder. They play only a very small role in punching power. At best, they help transfer power, they don’t really generate any.

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General Washington June 18, 2013 at 10:19 am

john im starting to to get good at jumproping… when i first start doing it at the gym i skip like a pro.. but for some reason as time goes on… i start to mess up… is this normal for a beginner…? or is there a different reason for this?

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Johnny N June 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Messing is common as time passes because you’re getting tired.

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jack June 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

jonnny what should beginner boxers focus on the most?

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Johnny N June 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Listening to your coach. Technique. Conditioning.

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Colin June 21, 2013 at 7:40 am

John I saw a 48 second video of you shadowboxing. I wanna learn how to shadow box like that. That was beautiful.

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Johnny N June 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Thank you. It takes time. Work on rhythm and flow.

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Gabo June 22, 2013 at 2:07 pm

john wat would u suggest to someone wanting to learn how to box like muhammad ali?

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Johnny N June 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Lots of jabs, shadowboxing, and footwork.

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Roy Jones III June 25, 2013 at 7:20 am

jonny where are the cheapest places you know of to get those plastic speed ropes…?

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Johnny N June 30, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Read my boxing jump rope training guide. I have a link in there to the online site I use.

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walnut July 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm

what callestectic works do u reccommend a beginner boxer should prioritize?

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Johnny N July 10, 2013 at 10:00 am

Push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, pull-ups–these are the common ones. There are many other ones you can look up.

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yomoho July 16, 2013 at 6:55 am

Johnny ive noticed that the boxers who are phenoms at jumproping have been doing it since they were kids. Does it truely take years to master the art of jumproping.

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Johnny N July 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm

“Master” is a very subjective word. You can learn the jump rope at any age and get good if you keep working at it. For boxing training purposes, you can learn all the basic jump rope tricks within 6 months of constant training and attempting new tricks.

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Mike August 3, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Hi Johnny,I know it is always best to parry with an open hand but when blocking hooks to the jaw or side of the head do you favour having a closed fist or open hand?

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ali August 15, 2013 at 11:03 am

Hey john I wanna be fast like cassius clay… what advice would you give me?

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Johnny N August 27, 2013 at 11:02 am

Start learning how to throw fast punches and work on your footwork.

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Steph August 22, 2013 at 3:01 am

Hi folks
What do you do when you have lost a hard fight. You climb out of the ring dejected, bruised and possibly cut while everyone is hailing the winner. You go to the dressing room and maybe your trainer takes off your gloves but in my case I have to peel off a soaking bra which sticks and hurts as I try to wrestle it off. Do I go to the shower first or try and have the cuts seen too. I feel so low and want to cry. Come on, let’s hear the other side of the story

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Johnny N August 27, 2013 at 11:04 am

Spend some time with yourself. Feel down, cry, but at the same time be proud of your hard work. Know that what you did is not easy. Most people can’t even take failure, they’ll quit long before they put themselves in position. Just getting inside the ring can be the toughest thing in the world and you survived it. I mean it, good job!

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amir khan August 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm

aye jonny if i do callestetic leg work outs will that hinder my agility….?

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Johnny N August 27, 2013 at 11:09 am

Not at all. I like calisthenics.

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ryan August 28, 2013 at 10:11 am

john i punched my trainer in the mouth for embarrasing me. is it common for a fight and trainer to get into a fight?

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Johnny N September 26, 2013 at 1:51 pm

It’s not right but I’m sure it’s happened before. It’s not a good relationship if you guys get to that.

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Edo August 30, 2013 at 5:25 am

Hey johnny i was bully victim in my community. But i recently found the courage to stand up for myself and ive discovered some hidden talent. now i wanna box. but im afraid people in my neightborhood wont respect cuz there gonna think i had to learn boxing skills to learn how to fight…

any thoughts?

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Johnny N September 26, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Ignore those people. Focus on doing your thing, Edo. Enjoy the sport!

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king Qin September 11, 2013 at 7:46 am

Johnathan is it physically safe to exercise everyday for 1 hr?

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Johnny N September 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm

I’ve exercised for 5 hours a day before with no problems. I’m sure an hour is fine. Whatever you do, do it safely. Warm-up, stretch, don’t increase intensity beyond what you can handle.

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shane September 16, 2013 at 6:34 am

Johnny i got 2 questions… i think shane mosely has the best coordination of any boxer in the history of the sport… what advice would you give me if i wanted to become well coordinated like him… and do u no of any popluar boxing apps?

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Johnny N September 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Start shadowboxing, and more focus mitts, more skill training and drills will help develop your boxing coordination. I don’t use any boxing apps except for the one from Precision Striking. You can look it up. It’s a nice interval timer.

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John Todd September 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

Johnny do you know of any boxing social networking sites?

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Johnny N September 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm

No, I don’t….but you’re welcome to join the ExpertBoxing Facebook community.

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mason September 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

john would learning physiology be beneficial to BOXER?

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Johnny N September 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Beneficial in what way?

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mason September 27, 2013 at 5:12 am

I mean learning how the human body works and how to use to its best ability…

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Johnny N October 6, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Not really. Even if you understood complicated concepts, that knowledge is still only mental understanding of the concept. You would still be missing the hard hours in the gym to develop the muscle coordination to act out that understanding. I’m not saying knowledge of physiology is useless to a boxer, but perhaps it shouldn’t be prioritized over actual boxing training.

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santo trafficante September 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

John have you ever came across a vegan boxer?

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Johnny N September 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Yes, I have! They trained and sparred just like everyone else.

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Left Side October 8, 2013 at 11:13 am

John I wanna start a boarding school that teaches people with aspergers boxing skills… and also that helps them obtain athletic acheivement… and do you know of any programs like this…

any thoughts

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Johnny N October 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm

It’s a great idea and I’m sure there are many institutions (in the past and present) that have used boxing to teach physical education and discipline.

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Kenny October 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm

In your opinion what is the best way to build leg strength for boxing?

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Johnny N October 17, 2013 at 7:45 pm

You mean to ask me for ONE way? Just one? I would say it doesn’t exist.
But if you could give me two. I would have to say running and skipping rope.

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Chris October 26, 2013 at 7:05 am

John what percentage of boxers would you say started boxing because of bullying?

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Johnny N November 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm

I have no idea. I would say almost everybody has been bullied before but when and why they went to boxing, I don’t know.

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Terrell October 28, 2013 at 7:16 am

Hey Johnny would i benefit from reading the book “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu?

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Johnny N November 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm

What kind of benefit?

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Terrell January 18, 2014 at 7:11 am

It’s supposed to be a book written by an ancient general who taught how to Psychologically defeat your opponent, how to take advantage of his weaknesses and how to tilt every aspect of a battle in your favor. It basically teaches you combat IQ.

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Johnny N January 24, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Whatever that book would teach you is not going to be worth the experience that you get from training in a gym. Boxing is more-so a game of trained reflexes and not so much a drawn out war where you have more time to think and strategize.

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quentin October 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm

John in my boxing stance are both my heels supposed to be lifted off the ground?

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Johnny N November 8, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Your heels CAN be lifted off the ground but they don’t need to be. If you’re a beginner, keep your front one down. And then your heels can alternate as you throw punches.

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Fink November 4, 2013 at 9:44 am

John will taking ballet classes help with my boxing?

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Johnny N November 8, 2013 at 6:19 pm

It’ll help with your footwork and leg strength for sure.

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BrianBent November 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I’m 16, male and want to box I have been told I have a ton of potential and would like to expand on that. I have read your site extensively but haven’t really seen anything for home trainers. Am I just missing an article? I also don’t have the opportunity to get a partner nor the space for any bags. I also can’t go to any gyms because I can’t drive and my parents won’t take me. What do I do? Thanks.

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Johnny N November 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm

This might be because serious boxers are all in the gym. Make some friends and train with somebody. Training alone is probably the slowest and least fun way to do anything. Do what you can with what you have.

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Zeus November 21, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Hey Johnny,

Is it allowed in boxing to push or hold down the opponent’s guard in order to punch him in the face or simply prevent him from punching you? I’ve seen this done before in kickboxing and it looked very useful, not sure whether it’s OK for boxing thought. Thanks in advance!

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Johnny N November 26, 2013 at 8:57 am

This specific action you describe is not legal but there are several clever ways to accomplish this using a similar strategic mindset. Some guys will jab in a way that paws down the guard or they’ll jump on you and kind of pry down your guard with their forearm and punch with the other arm.

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Underdawg January 21, 2014 at 8:26 am

Hey Jonny I recently attended a boxing gym and the trainer told me not to ever come back cuz of my lack of skill… but I now my physically athelticism is starting to arise… but i’m just afraid of facing another humilating experience like before… do you think I should give boxing another try?

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Johnny N January 24, 2014 at 11:49 pm

Don’t go back to that boxing gym, that’s for sure. Nobody needs to be put down like that. Get another trainer or if you’re going to go back to the same one, make sure he respects you before you let him tell you what to do.

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Underdawg February 19, 2014 at 9:44 am

Thank Johnny!!!

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Tony M. January 22, 2014 at 9:22 am

Aye Johnny if i do all my cardio workouts with ankle weights on will that help me become quick on my feet….?

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Johnny N January 24, 2014 at 11:41 pm

I don’t believe in ankle weights very much. I would say skipping rope and footwork drills are much better for developing quick feet.

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Mike January 27, 2014 at 5:53 pm

John you know how some people jog while throwing combinations at the same time…. what’s the proper way to jog like that?

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Johnny N February 12, 2014 at 2:19 pm

I wouldn’t know or personally do that myself but I don’t imagine there’s any “proper technique” to running and throwing punches.

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henry January 30, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Johnny im a boxer but im not a violent person so whenever i get provoked to a fight i just walk away. Does that make me any less of a man?

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Johnny N February 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Why would it? It doesn’t make you “manly” to be getting into every fight possible.

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King Zhou February 2, 2014 at 12:31 pm

John where do you get this boxing shoes from that you wear in your videos?

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Johnny N February 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Titleboxing.

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Tuck February 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm

John how can i become fast like Roy Jones?

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Johnny N February 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Read my guides on punching technique and hand speed. I also have some great videos on my youtube channel.

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Phelp February 6, 2014 at 8:24 am

why does boxing have weight classes?

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Johnny N February 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm

To make it fair and prevent fighters from facing opponents much bigger or smaller than them. From a financial point-of-view, it’s so you can have more champions and more “championship fights”.

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Rachel February 7, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Johnny what is the most important exercise for boxing?

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Johnny N February 12, 2014 at 2:22 pm

If I could only pick one, I’d say sparring.

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Bill February 11, 2014 at 10:14 am

what boxing gym do you coach at? and how much do you all charge

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dna February 25, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Hey johnny I’m about go to a boxing gym next week… I’m really nervous….I’m fearful of making a bad impression….but I really wanna box… any advice?

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Johnny N March 4, 2014 at 8:35 pm

It’s your first time, what do you expect? Go there and train with the other beginners. Everyone has been “the new guy” at one point.

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Jacob March 6, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Johnny whats the most important thing with being a outside fighter?

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Johnny N March 22, 2014 at 1:17 pm

It really depends on your level of skill and existing ability. Being an out-fighter usually requires good footwork, fast jabs, and great counter-punching ability…which then again is probably necessary for a good in-fighter.

Some things that come to mind are….good endurance, speed, jab, control of range.

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Lynus March 12, 2014 at 5:46 am

Hey John im beginning to perfect the boxing stance, but everytime i shadowbox and throw a jab my jab is kinda weak. What are tips of throwing a quick effective jab?

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Johnny N March 22, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Check out my articles on the jab and my videos on Youtube as well, Lynus. I have many great tips on the jab. If I could give you one tip right now, it’s NOT to reach and pull your head into your opponent when you jab.

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sonny liston March 18, 2014 at 4:19 pm

hey johnny I’ve been boxing for 3 days… today my trainer had me spar for the first time… i have to admit it’s not as easy as i thought… although impressed with my punching power.. he told me “no more boxing for you, i want chu to just shadowbox” is he tryna something subliminally?… second he keeps telling me to keep my eye on my opponents collar bone.. any reason for that?

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Johnny N March 22, 2014 at 1:19 pm

He probably doesn’t want you in the ring anymore because he wants you to develop some more skill and control before you go in again. As for keeping the eye on your opponent’s collar bone, that can be helpful for figuring out what and when he’s going to throw next.

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sonny liston March 18, 2014 at 5:31 pm

im not a quitter… but i do feel kinda demoralized…

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Johnny N March 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm

It’s a normal feeling. Every failure demoralizes you for a bit and then you settle down, and learn, and improve! :)

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Larry Jr March 27, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Johnny how can I learn to jab like larry holmes?

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Johnny N April 8, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Do you mean “how to improve your jab?” or “how to jab with larry holmes’ jab style?”

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Larry Jr April 14, 2014 at 2:06 pm

throw with a larry holmes jab style

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kenneth April 2, 2014 at 2:04 pm

John is it true that with every punch I throw I should push off the opposite foot

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Johnny N April 8, 2014 at 2:19 pm

No, not true. It changes. Sometimes, both feet, sometimes one foot. Sometimes the same foot, sometimes the opposite foot. Depends on the situation, what punch you want to throw, and what you’re setting up for.

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Keith April 26, 2014 at 6:56 am

Johnny when I shadowbox am I supposed to punch with full force or just relax and throw soft punches?

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Johnny N July 15, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Everything…the whole range. Hard shots as well as quick shots.

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Paul W May 14, 2014 at 7:36 am

Johnathan when I’m hitting the focus mitts am I supposed to be watching my coach’s collar bone, or am I supposed to be watching the mitts?

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Johnny N July 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm

For a better answer, check out my guide called, “Where to Look During a Fight”.

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ryan June 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm

hey my boxing gloves brand is Everlast, and I got you video of avoiding hand injuries. and you said to wrap the gloves. do I have to wrap the Everlast gloves, or clench my hand in the gloves to get the right position? because right know they look like a open heart shape, but when I close the gloves, it looks like a close heart.

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Johnny N July 15, 2014 at 6:09 pm

I don’t understand what you said about “wrapping the gloves”. Can you elaborate?

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Robert June 3, 2014 at 8:58 am

how can I learn to put my combos together? I know all the basic combos but I’m trying to figure out how to configure them in a fight…

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Johnny N July 15, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Practice! And then try different things. Some combos work better for certain opponents than others. It takes time to figure stuff out. It’s not a one-size-fits-all mentality. You have to adjust!

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Big Phil June 14, 2014 at 7:08 am

When I throw a punch am I supposed to slip to the opposite side? For instance, when I throw a left jab am I suppose to slip to the right or the left?

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Johnny N July 15, 2014 at 6:49 pm

It’s a tough question, it’s possible to slip to either side when you’re punching. This is especially true when punching with the front hand and not as much when punching with the back hand. But what are “supposed” to do? That depends on what you want to do. Sometimes you slip to evade a punch…if so…then you should slip to wherever he’s not punching. Other times you slip to set something up…in that case, slip to wherever you want to set the next punch up from.

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Paulie June 18, 2014 at 12:38 pm

How can i learn to fight like paul williams

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Johnny N July 15, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Maybe see if you can locate his trainer? Or start by watching videos of him and break down what you see.

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kyle June 25, 2014 at 7:57 am

Hey John everytime I throw a punch should i move my head?

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Johnny N July 15, 2014 at 6:04 pm

If you want to…you might not have to if your strategy is real efficient.

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Sean June 26, 2014 at 8:56 am

John you’re not dead are you?

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Johnny N June 28, 2014 at 7:34 am

Not at all! I’m just on vacation right now.

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Jordan P July 27, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Hey Johnny, I was reading these questions, searching for one that was similar to mine, but couldn’t find it; it’s about sparring. I understand, as a beginner, my performance in training feels better than in the heat of sparring, and I also have a fear of getting hit that “clams me up.” My question is about reach; I feel like I have difficulties “getting in” my opponents space, being aggressive without going in too far, and almost like I have issues with my reach. I’m an even 6′ tall, long arms, could my tension just be mental? Have you ever faced or been described a similar situation, where it feels like your opponent has no openings, like you just can’t throw a punch because their lead hand is right there read to hit you? I am aware of the likelihood that this is all due to inexperience, but was curious if there was any advice you could give for utilising my reach.

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Johnny N October 15, 2014 at 5:03 pm

It’s common to feel this way. Very normal for inexperienced fighters.

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nicky s. July 30, 2014 at 11:44 am

Hey Johnny when someone is throwing a bunch of haymakers at me what’s the best way to defeat that?

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Johnny N October 15, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Hit him in the face, move away. Do this in a way that doesn’t make you tired.

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Marvin August 3, 2014 at 2:50 pm

John when I throw a jab am I supposed to twitch my hips a little bit or no?

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Johnny N October 15, 2014 at 5:18 pm

NO!

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Jose August 3, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Hey Johnny I have a YouTube channel that I’ve created that using boxing to help people who suffer from autistic disorders. do you mind If I repost your videos to my page and I give you credit for it?

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Johnny N August 4, 2014 at 10:42 am

Hi Jose,

You are most welcome to repost my videos to your page as long as you do so using the Youtube embed. (You are not allowed to re-upload my videos to your own Youtube channel.) Thanks and good for you for helping those with disorders.

Johnny

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Jose August 6, 2014 at 11:06 am

Thanks!

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Ajit August 30, 2014 at 3:43 am

Johnny how do I improve my accuracy fast ?

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Johnny N October 15, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Spar more and also mitt drills. Double-end bag drills.

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Chump November 6, 2014 at 2:19 am

Hey Johnny I just sparred a female and although she didn’t beat me she land a few clean shots on me. Do you have anything you would like to tell me before I commit suicide?

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Chump November 6, 2014 at 4:53 am

like Johnny I really feel like dying. I’m ready to quit the sport. that was not supposed happen.like I think what I did wrong was I wasn’t watching her collar bone. So I wasn’t able to see the punches coming. But when I started watching it, she couldn’t hit me nor get close to me. it was the most humiliating day of my life. u don’t have any cyanide poisoning do you?

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Chump November 12, 2014 at 10:16 am

Not to rush you johnny but i really need some encouragement

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Phong November 23, 2014 at 7:02 am

Hi Johnny,
do boxing reduces fingers dexterity. I am really curious about this because my job requires dexterity to perform task.
Best regards,
Phong

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