The BEGINNER’S Guide to Boxing

November 23, 2012 November 23, 2012 by Johnny N Boxing Basics, How to Box 157 Comments

beginners guide to boxing

The ULTIMATE GUIDE to boxing!

Are you new to boxing and don’t know where to start? I made this complete basic boxing guide for all beginner boxers, filled with explanations, pictures, videos, and links to more detailed guides. Please share it with other aspiring boxers and fighters.

Let’s begin!

 

The Greatest Benefits About Boxing

learning boxing basics

First off, why boxing?

This question couldn’t have been any easier. Boxing is a great workout, perhaps the most challenging of all sports. Requires speed, agility, finesse, power, endurance, and ultimate mental toughness. Boxing pushes you like no other, pitting the finest and highest level athletes against each other. It’s a sweet science but at the same time also a raw and brutal sport.

More importantly boxing takes you further than you ever thought possible. Boxing makes you more alive than ever, more humble in defeat, and most glorious in victory. Boxing reveals the true fighter deep inside every single one of us.

 

Basic Boxing Technique

Basic Boxing Stance

The basic boxing stance is supposed to be easy for beginners to attack and defend easily. You’re well covered in this stance with both hands ready to attack easily. More advanced fighters will use different boxing stances for more advanced body movements and counter-punching opportunities.

 

basic boxing stance

The proper boxing stance – ready to attack or defend (see video)

  • Front toe & back heel on the center line. Dominant hand in back (if you are right-handed, put the right hand in back).
  • Weight evenly distributed across both legs, knees slightly bent.
  • Feet diagonal, little wider than shoulder width apart, back heel raised.
  • Elbows down, hands up.
  • Head behind your gloves, chin slightly down, eyes see over the gloves.
  • Relax and breathe!

*** Get used to returning to this position after all boxing movements!

 

Read more guides on boxing stance:

 

Basic Boxing Footwork

Beginners absolutely need to master the step-drag and pivot maneuvers. This type of movement may seem difficult at first because many people have a habit of always jumping off the ground. In boxing, you want to keep your feet down on the ground so you’re always ready to attack, defend, or move away. Also, jumping around is a huge waste of energy. The flashy footwork will come naturally once you develop better conditioning and technique.

 

basic boxing step-drag

The basic STEP-DRAG (see video)

That right there is the basic boxing footwork. Step with the lead foot and drag the rear foot. This stepping and dragging boxing footwork technique ensures that your weight is grounded and always ready to attack or defend. It also prevents you from walking or crossing your feet which can make you fall off balance.

  • To go FORWARD or LEFT, step with your left foot first and then drag the right foot after.
  • To go BACKWARD or RIGHT, step with your right foot first and then drag the left foot after.

*** TIP: try to finish all steps with your feet at the same distance.

 

basic boxing pivot

The PIVOT (see video)

The next most important boxing footwork technique you’ll need is the pivot. It’s usually done by pivoting off your front foot. You can use it defensively to avoid attacks, or offensively to find new punching angles. A pivot can be useful for counter-punching by taking you out of harm’s way and still keep you in range to throw counter punches.

  • Pivot CLOCKWISE by swinging your right foot and letting your body pivot over the left foot.
  • Practice small pivots (45-90 degrees) as well as big pivots (90-180 degrees).

 

Read more guides on boxing footwork:

 

Basic Boxing Punches

Basic Punching Technique

  1. Start from a relaxed position
  2. Exhale as you throw the punch
  3. Tighten your fist and body muscles at impact
  4. Release your hand back to you

Throwing punches is simply the act of being relaxed, then quickly accelerating your hand towards the target as you exhale sharply. You tighten your fist at the moment of impact and then relax the hand to throw more punches. The trick is to utilize your entire body weight behind the punch without falling off balance. Skills and experience will teach you over time.

For a beginner, the most important thing is to learn the proper punching form. Later on, you will be able to throw many different variations of punches from different positions and develop your own punching technique to fit your style.

 

Basic Punching Tips

  • Turn your whole body and pivot your feet on ALL PUNCHES EXCEPT THE JAB.
  • Maintain your stance and balance for better power and mobility.
  • Make sure the non-punching hand is defending the other side of your body.
  • Exhale sharply on every shot.
  • All boxing punches are basically a variation of straight punches (elbow straight), hook punches (elbow sideways), or uppercut punches (elbow down).

basic jab

Left Straight (JAB) – the #1 most important weapon in boxing (see video)

  • Keeping the rest of your body still, extend your left fist straight forward.
  • Exhale sharply as you punch, rotating the fist to land with the palm down.
  • Pull the hand back immediately after impact to defend.

*** Try throwing a jab with a forward step (aka “step jab”). Also try a jab to the body by bending your knees & waist slightly as you jab.

The jab is the most important punch in boxing. It can attack, defend, counter, score points, make space, and many other things. It’s your longest, fastest punch, uses the least energy, and leaves you the least vulnerable. A boxing trainer will usually tell you that every combo must start with the jab. It’s a fast punch that stuns your opponent just long enough for the big punches to land.

Great fighters have great jabs.

Read more boxing guides on the jab:

 

basic right cross

Right Straight (RIGHT CROSS) – your strongest punch (see video)

  • Rotate your hips and upper body CCW as you pivot your right foot (about 90 degrees).
  • Exhale sharply as you extend your right fist straight out from your chin.
  • Rotate the fist to land with your palm down.
  • Do not let your head lean past your front knee.

*** When necessary, the right elbow can bend to create a slight looping angle (overhand right) or even a wide looping angle (hayemaker) to come around your opponent’s guard. Many boxing trainers stress the importance of a straight right for beginners because it telegraphs less and doesn’t leave the fighter as open. It’s uncommon to see a “right hook” because it would likely be blocked by their opponent’s left shoulder. Bend your knees and waist if you want to throw a cross to the body.

The right cross will naturally be your strongest punch because it comes from your dominant hand and gets leverage easily from the back. When combined, the jab and right cross become known as the basic but incredibly useful 1-2 combination.

 

basic left hook

LEFT HOOK – a dangerous power punch (see video)

  • Pivot your feet clockwise (about 90 degrees) as you drop the right heel and lift the left heel.
  • Your body rotates as one solid block when you pivot your feet.
  • The left arm tightens as you swing your left fist into the target.

*** For a left hook to the body, leave your left hand down and throw with a vertical fist.

The left hook is easily one of the deadliest punches in boxing. It comes from a side angle making it tricky to defend when an opponent is expecting straight punches. It’s also common for knockouts because the punch turns the head and easily makes opponents dizzy. You can throw left hooks to the head with your fist horizontal or vertical; for a beginner, I recommend you to use the ones that feels most natural.

Left hooks to the body are the most common way to attack the body. The “liver shot” (located under your right ribs) is known to be incredibly painful and has led to many body shot knockouts. Body shots typically take the wind out of you and kill your legs, hampering your ability to move. A well-placed body shot can momentarily paralyze your legs and keep you from standing even if you’re conscious and still willing to fight.

Read more boxing guides on the left hook:

 

basic left uppercut

LEFT UPPERCUT – dangerous short to long-range punch (see video)

  • Pivot your feet clockwise (about 90 degrees) as you drop the right heel and lift the left heel.
  • Your body rotates just like a left hook (don’t lean forward or backward).
  • With your elbow pointing down, drop your left fist slightly and swing it upwards as you exhale.
  • The punch lands with the palm facing up.
  • Keep this punch compact, and recover to your stance quickly.

*** You can throw this punch more straight or more curved, and to the head or body.

The left uppercut is a great punch to use on the inside or even mid-range. It’s more powerful than the jab, comes fast, and can be quite unexpected. The only risk is that you have to be closer to your opponent and your left shoulder is not up to defend against your opponent’s rights.

 

basic right uppercut

RIGHT UPPERCUT – dangerous short to long-range punch (see video)

  • Rotate your hips and upper body CCW as you pivot your right foot (about 90 degrees).
  • Your body rotates just like a right cross (don’t lean forward or backward).
  • With your elbow pointing down, drop your right fist slightly and swing it upwards as you exhale.
  • The punch lands with the palm facing up.
  • Keep this punch compact, and recover to your stance quickly.

The right uppercut is a devastating punch to use at close range or mid-range. It’s very powerful to throw at the head or body. The greatest risk is that you’re dropping your right hand and exposing yourself to a counter left hook.

 

Basic Punch Combinations

Basic punch combinations for beginners! Learn the punch numbering system below and then try out all the basic combinations. You can throw these combinations in shadowboxing, on the bags, the mitts, or even in sparring. Every seasoned boxer will have mastered these combinations as second nature.

1 = jab

2 = right cross

3 = left hook

4 = overhand right

5 = left uppercut

6 = right uppercut

b = body

*** Example: 1-2-3b combo would mean a jab to the head, then right cross to the head, then left hook to the body.

 

Common Boxing Combinations

  • 1-1
  • 1-1b
  • 1-2
  • 1-2b
  • 1b-2
  • 1-1-2
  • 1-2-1-1
  • 1-2-3
  • 1-2-1-2
  • 1-2-3-2
  • 1-2-3b-2
  • 1-2-5-2
  • 1-6-3-2
  • 1-2-3-2-1

There’s no rule to boxing combinations. You can throw whatever punches you want in whatever order you want. There are definitely SOME guidelines, such as throwing fast feeler punches (like the jab) before you commit to the hard shots that leave you open longer. It’s also more natural to alternate punches between your right and left hand but also a good idea to throw double lefts and double rights to confuse your opponent.

You’ll eventually learn other combinations later (some with fancy defensive moves embedded) and ultimately make up your own to fit the situation.

 

Read more boxing guides on punch technique:

 

Basic Boxing Defense

There many kinds of defensive techniques you may have heard of out there, some fancier than others. The first thing a beginner boxer needs to learn is how to block. Blocking is the easiest way to stay in punching range without getting hurt. And for beginners, blocking is the safest way because it closes off the punching angles. Once you’ve mastered blocking, then you can move on to the more advanced stuff like parrying, rolling, and slipping. The main benefits of more advanced defense techniques is that they allow you to defend yourself without using your hands, this way your hands are free to punch back!

Blocking is the easiest way
to stay in punching range without getting hurt.

 

basic block

Blocking head punches

  • bring your gloves closer to cover your face
  • raise right glove to block left-handed punches
  • raise left glove to block right-handed punches

 

basic block body punches

Blocking body punches

  • bring your elbows closer to you
  • lower the right elbow block left-handed punches
  • lower the left elbow to block right-handed punches

 

Boxing Defense Tips

  • It’s safer to cover yourself, instead of chasing the punch (which still leaves you open).
  • Keep your eyes on opponent (the punches you see don’t hurt you as much).
  • Stay balanced, it’s easier to block punches without getting pushed back when you’re standing on both legs.
  • Fight back, the only way to go from defensive to offensive is to punch back.
  • Step back, moving out of range is the easiest way to avoid all punches.
  • Watch for the strong hand, if you can’t defend everything at least watch for the big punches.

Of course, there is more to blocking than simply bringing your gloves to you but this is a good start for beginners. No need to do anything fancy, or get confused about where to place your hand. Pull your hands to your face, or pull your elbows to your body.

 

Read more guides on boxing defense:

 

Basic Boxing Counter-Punching

You’ll eventually realize that boxing is almost always non-stop counter-punching. You will always be attacking and defending simultaneously so you will need to combine your offensive and defensive boxing skills. For a beginner, this easiest way to counter is to block first and then counter immediately after. Jabs can be countered by simultaneously throwing another punch, or blocking first and then countering.

As your skills improve, you’ll eventually learn that any punch can be countered with any punch. The tricky part is figuring out how. For now, you should focus on the easier counters for beginners that don’t require high-level defensive movements.

 

Basic Counters to the Jab

  • throw your own jab (head or body)
  • throw another punch (head or body)
  • blocking first and then countering after might not be fast enough to counter the jab

 

Basic Counters to a Right Cross/Overhand/Uppercut

  • Intercept the right hand with a long jab.
  • Or throw a fast left hook before or after your opponent’s right.
  • Block first, then throw your own right hand.

 

Basic Counters to a Left Hook/Uppercut

  • Throw a long left jab.
  • Block first, then throw a counter right.

 

Read more boxing guides on counter-punching:

 

 

Basic Boxing Training

basic boxing training

The best way to get trained for boxing is to enter a real boxing gym full of licensed boxing trainers and competing amateur and professional boxers. There you would only have to follow instructions from the more experienced guys and eventually customize routines to fit your needs. Now if these options aren’t available to you, here’s what I would recommend.

 

Essential Boxing Equipment

These are the absolute essentials EVERY BOXER needs to have. Sure you can borrow, but it’s gross/un-hygienic and not as safe as having your own.

 

Handwraps

A crucial tool for protecting your hands. Do not go around punching a heavy bag without hand protection, as this will likely screw up your wrist and injure you quickly. You should be wearing handwraps everytime that you plan to put on boxing gloves.

Having your own handwraps is like having your own socks. It will be filled with your sweat and your nasty odor. You can get away with one pair but it’s probably better to cycle between 2 or 3 pairs depending on how often you train.

 

Gloves

Using the community gym gloves might be ok for a while but you’ll eventually fall in love with your favorite pair. And then it gets annoying when you want to train but somebody else is using “your” gloves. Or you arrive at the gym heartbroken one day to find “your” gloves ripped open with the wrist strap torn off. At which point, you’ll realize it’s best to have your own training gloves, because it smells better, has newer padding, and always available when you need it.

If you could only have one pair, get 16oz training gloves. If you can afford to have a second pair, get 12oz or 14oz for when you want to do some speed work on the heavy bag or double-end bag. (For sparring, always use 16oz.) Smaller guys, women, or kids (below 120lbs) can train with 14oz gloves or less but otherwise I highly recommend the 16oz standard.

 

Mouthguard

This is a must if you’re going to do any sparring. I don’t know why there are still people out there who think it’s ok to spar without mouthguard. Possible consequences: A) you lose a tooth because the impact lands perfectly on one tooth instead of dispersing itself over your jaw. B) You injure your jaw (making you weak-chinned for a long time) because the lower jaw swings freely and isn’t secured against the upper jaw. Higher likelihood of concussion for you. C) You bite your tongue. I’ve actually bitten STRAIGHT THROUGH my tongue once. Imagine how painful it is to give yourself a tongue piercing with your own teeth.

Don’t share a mouthpiece either. Unless it’s molded to your teeth, it won’t give you the maximum amount of protection. Also, people bleed on their mouthpieces all the time and you might get someone else’s disease (i.e. hepatitis, aids, herpes, etc). The best mouthguards cost at least $20 but anything is better than nothing.

 

 Non-Essential Boxing Equipment

Ultimately, all boxing equipment is “essential” if you plan to box seriously and even compete. However for a beginner just learning how to box and testing the waters, the following equipment may or may not be required. Do what you can with what you have.

 

Headgear

You’ll eventually want your own headgear if you’re going to do regular sparring. It’ll fit you better and always be available instead of always being used or draped with somebody else’s sweat. The padding will be a lot better since it’s not being used by 30 other people. Headgear is ALWAYS a must when you’re sparring; don’t go without it.

 

Boxing Shoes

Boxing shoes increase your mobility and power in the ring. This is due to their superior grip and slim material which increases your agility. You’ll not only feel better but move a whole lot better. There is no other equipment that can improve your boxing ability faster than simply putting on a pair of boxing shoes. My favorite brands are Nike and Adidas. Everlast and Rival are also ok. Title, I don’t like so much.

 

Boxing Training Equipment

In order of most important to least important. You’ll likely need EVERYTHING to be a successful boxer but if you’re not going to compete, then it doesn’t really matter anyway.

 

Gym & Trainer

The fastest way to learn is to learn from somebody who knows what he’s doing. The people and environment you surround yourself with have a great effect on your self growth. Training with trainers and better fighters will improve your skill level quickly. Training by yourself or with lower level fighters will slow your progress. With that said, being in a gym and working with a trainer is the best way to go. It will be tough and scary and out of your comfort zone but it will make you a better fighter!

 

Partner

A partner can hold mitts for you, spar with you, run with you, train with you, motivate you and push you beyond your limits. Boxing, like many other endeavors, is a thousand times more fun when done with others. Trying to box without a partner is like learning how to play chess all by yourself. You’d be imagining all sorts of irrelevant possibilities only to lose later when you finally face a live opponent. If you don’t like taking forever, get a partner so you can progress exponentially.

 

Heavy Bag

For a beginner, you’ll need the heavy bag to develop your punching form, punching power, punching speed, and punching endurance. It will probably be tons of fun for you at first because you’ve never had a chance to exert all your energy like that. Eventually you’ll move on to bigger and better things but for a beginner, the heavy bag is plenty of fun.

 

Double-end Bag

Awesome way to develop accuracy, timing, and hand speed. I highly recommend this as a complement or even a substitute for the heavy bag, especially for higher-skilled boxers.

 

Jump-rope

For $5, you can’t find a better piece of boxing equipment that will help develop your overall boxing conditioning, balance, footwork, and even punching abilities. The jump rope is a common way to warm-up, workout, or warm down for boxers.

 

Speed-bag

Great for developing rhythm, timing, accuracy, hand speed, and arm endurance. The speed bag is absolutely crucial for serious boxers but not truly necessary for recreational ones. If you have access to one, great.

 

Boxing ring

You can spar anywhere but a boxing ring is best if you want to learn how to box according to the common rules and scenarios of boxing. Having a ring helps limit the area so neither you or your opponent can run out of range. It also forces you to develop long range as well as close range fighting skills. On a more psychological level, being in a ring forces you to confront your opponent without any option to quit.

 

Boxing Workout

Below is a general idea of a basic boxing workout. It might be too easy for the natural athletes but also too hard for others. Do what you can and work your way up. If something feels hard to do, then you know you need to do it more. If something hurts, STOP. Last but not least, TAKE YOUR REST. Don’t be a noob and train until you’re completely sore and injured. No intelligent athlete does that, only noobs (because they don’t know how to be productive other than to completely exhaust themselves).

 

Boxing Warm-up

  • 3 ROUNDS – run or jump rope (both is good, too) [how to jump rope]
  • 3 ROUNDS – shadowbox [how to shadowbox]
  • stretch and move around to warm-up the body [how to warm up arms]

 

Boxing Workout

  • 3 ROUNDS – focus mitts with trainer/partner (to develop new skills)
  • 3 ROUNDS – heavy bag
  • 3 ROUNDS – speed bag
  • 3 ROUNDS – double end bag
  • 3 ROUNDS – more shadowboxing (to reinforce new learned skills and warm-up for sparring)
  • 3 ROUNDS – sparring, can be for training or learning purposes [sparring link]
  • 3 ROUNDS – conditioning work, can be plyometrics, tabata drills, resistance training, calisthenics, etc

 

Boxing Warm-down

  • 100 push-ups
  • 100 sit-ups
  • 100 crunches
  • stretch again so you don’t get too sore or cramped for the next day

 

Boxing Training Tips:

  • Ask for tips from everybody. it’s amazing what you’ll learn when you get advice from many different angles – there is more than one way to do things, you must learn them all (there is no “best way”)
  • Eat right. It will give you more energy and speed up your recovery. Common Sense Boxing Diet

 

Read more guides on boxing training:

 

 

Basic Boxing Strategy

basic boxing strategy

Boxing is 90% Mental

Once it comes time to competing whether in the gym or a tournament, you’re bound to run into confidence issues at some point or another. It’s natural for people to start doubting themselves at their first major failure. You start to wonder if boxing is even for you. Or maybe you feel like you’ve reached a plateau and can’t get any better. Here are some guides to help you overcome these mental challenges.

 

Boxing Styles

A lot of people ask me:

  • What’s the best style of boxing?
  • How do I fight like Mike Tyson? How do I fight like Floyd Mayweather?
  • What boxing style should I use?

Ok listen, this is hard to explain but I’ll do my best. Here’s the thing, there really is no such thing as a “fighting style” or even “the best style”. The only style that has ever mattered is YOUR NATURAL STYLE. Which is to do things the most natural and easy way for you. In fact you don’t even have to think about style. Just keep improving your boxing technique, training, and strategy over time—and your “style” will be a result of that. What matters is that you win, not the way you look.

Your number one goal is to
always make the best choice.

And the best choice is what feels the easiest and most natural to you. A tall guy might find it easiest to fight tall. A short guy might find it easiest to find short. Mike Tyson fights the way he does because it’s the easiest way for him. He throws hard punches because he’s already a strong dude, it doesn’t take extra effort for him to BE strong.

Muhammad Ali can dance around the ring because he has great footwork. If you want to do that, you have to develop your footwork to the point that it’s easy. Otherwise, trying to be Ali when you don’t have his skills nor conditioning will only waste energy. All the best fighters you see have their distinct style because they found the easiest way for THEMSELVES to be successful. And you will have to find the EASIEST way (not the flashiest) for YOU to be successful.

Of course, this doesn’t mean your style never changes. That’s nonsense. Your skills, physicality, and mentality will change over time and so will your style. Your style will continue to evolve as new movements and new approaches in fighting become more natural to you. But this only happens if you focus on yourself instead of trying to copy somebody else. It’s good to find inspiration elsewhere, BUT FOCUS ON YOURSELF!

 

Boxing Sparring

I really hope that you either know what you’re doing or at least training with someone who knows what he’s doing. Sparring can very quickly become a dangerous thing for untrained wannabes. There’s a ton of fun Youtube videos of people doing backyard fights…and then when you do it, the worst happens–your nose is broken, you get a concussion, injury, or even death. These things actually do happen. Boxing is not a game; it’s a serious sport. Go slow and work your way up to full speed, this is the only safe way to learn something.

 

Sparring Drills

It’s important to work your way up to full contact sparring especially if you’re a helpless beginner. Go easy, go slow. If it hurts, then you’re going to fast. If one of you is flinching, then you’re going to fast. I recommend to shadowbox fight against each other first (mimic a fight without contacting), then going jabs only, before throwing all punches possible. It’s also a good idea to start with 2 minutes rounds at first. Getting tired fast doesn’t mean you suck, it’s a natural thing that happens to many fighters especially if they’re not used to the stress of fighting.

 

Sparring Tips

  • Wear safety equipment (mouthpiece, headgear, etc).
  • Spar with someone who will help you LEARN how to fight better (not just beat you up).
  • Do not spar with anyone who is TRYING to hurt you (save this for when you’re better trained).
  • You don’t owe your trainer anything, do not let him force you into dangerous situations.
  • HANDS UP, LOOK AT YOUR OPPONENT, BREATHE.
  • Throw no more than 3-5 punches at a time.
  • You will ALWAYS get tired. it’s better to get tired punching than get tired defending.

 

Basic Fight Strategy

Every beginner should at least start with this basic fight strategy. You can use this in hard sparring or even in a fight. The goal is to score some points without leaving yourself completely open. You can get very far if you do this right.

  • 1st round: move around and try to touch your opponent. See how he moves and see where he’s open. Learn about him and hit him without committing too much energy. Save your energy for the later rounds.
  • 2nd round: you should have a feel for his rhythm of moving. Start throwing harder punches, and fight back without being reckless. Keep your back off the ropes and remember to throw punches or else you’ll end up as a punching bag.
  • 3rd round: go all out. Throw your most effective punches, as many as you can. Be aggressive but not reckless. It’s the last round so work as hard as you can. Empty your tank before the bell rings.

 

Basic Fighting Styles

These are some general ideas to fighting different kinds of opponents. It’s not a complete guide by any means. Ultimately, you will have to improve your conditioning and technique to improve your fighting ability. As your boxing skills develop, so will your ability to handle different kinds of opponents. And even then, there will always be someone who easily negates your style.

Power puncher – either use a good defense or move alot. The goal is to avoid his punches without using more energy them him. You need to tire out so you can attack him when his punches don’t hurt as much.

Speedy runner – attack fast opponents like you would with a speed bag, not a heavy bag. That means to use fast punches, not power punches. Use many many fast punches and you’ll eventually catch him. Once you do, you can try more powerful shots.

Defensive shell – throw lots of punches and you’ll crack through. Try to get to his side or behind him before you attack, don’t just stand in front of him or you’ll get hit by a counter. Take your time, there’s no rush since he’s not throwing anything.

Aggressive swarmer – these guys can be a nightmare for beginners. You have no time to think, so all you can do is fire back and hopefully you don’t get tired before he does. Be smart and aim with good punches. Come closer to him to take away his punching space or use a solid guard to block many of his punches. Make sure you fire back to at least keep the fight even or you’ll end up as a punching bag.

Tall or long-reach – Come forward with a high guard and throw some sharp overhand rights. Try to trade punches and see if you can get them to tire out. The goal is to get into range without getting hit or using too much energy.

Short guys or duckers – if you can’t hit the head, aim for the body and work your way up. A good idea is to aim for the chest to force him to block there, then go for the head or the stomach.

 

Read more boxing guides on fight strategy:

 

Beginner Boxing Mistakes

More beginner boxing tips!

 

Beginner Technique Mistakes

  • Letting the head lean past the knees.
  • Having a tight body and tight fists when not punching.
  • Letting your feet lift when you punch (decreases balance, grounding and power).
  • Covering the eyes when defending.
  • Having too much ego. Make sure you ask for tips from everybody. It’s amazing what you’ll learn when you get advice from many different angles – there is more than one way to do things, you must learn them all (there is no “best way”).

 

Beginner Training Mistakes

  • Not having a good trainer, thinking you can learn everything on your own (a fighter with a coach can easily learn 3 times faster than one training solo).
  • Too much heavy bag. (8 Reasons Why Heavy Bags Suck)
  • Focusing too much on power (instead of speed, endurance, balance, accuracy, etc).
  • Not enough shadowboxing.
  • Not taking rest days during the week.
  • Responsive training (sparring, mitts) is far more beneficial than drill training (shadowboxing, bagwork, etc).

 

Beginner Fighting Mistakes

  • Dropping your hands.
  • Jumping around instead of using the step-drag.
  • Not looking at the opponent (especially during exchanges).
  • Throwing too little or too many punches, the best combos are thrown 3-5 punches at a time.
  • Reaching with punches instead of waiting until you’re in range.
  • Not using the jab regularly.
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157 Comments

curtis carpenter November 23, 2012 at 7:18 am

why dont you do a guide like this with body punching creating openings, splitting the guard, gaining the dominant angle of attack, throwing a opponent off balance and or making him over reach his punches.

Reply

curtis c November 25, 2012 at 11:56 am

did you see hatton get knocked out?

Reply

Johnny N November 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I did see the knockout. The body punching guide will come later.

Reply

Spaniardguy November 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm

IN-CRE-DI-BLE!!. GREAT GREAT JOB TO SUMMARIZE ALL PAST ARTICLES. THANKS GRAND MASTER!!

Reply

jhe November 23, 2012 at 10:26 pm

hi johnny,

is it ok to exhale through my nose when i’m punching? Is there a difference if i exhale through my mouth?

Thanks

Reply

Johnny N November 25, 2012 at 12:17 am

Exhaling through the mouth will slow down your breathing which can help you reserve more air for more punches. When you exhale through the nose, it’s easier to exhale more air and have to inhale sooner.

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Dongor November 23, 2012 at 11:34 pm

This is simply the best guide to boxing we can find in the internet.
Thanks Johnny

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John C November 24, 2012 at 11:32 am

Johnny,
A fantastic central location for all the information I’ve been digging for, but in one convenient place.
By the way, thanks for your advice – I think I might have found a gym nearby with a heavy bag that will let me train.
Keep up the awesome work!
John

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Stephen C November 24, 2012 at 11:59 am

incredible… huge thanks to johnny once again

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Anonymous Boxer November 24, 2012 at 10:55 pm

John N….Thank you so much for all this material! I’m sure you’ve dedicated plenty of time and resources for completing it. Is there anyway we can make donations to your website? I know you have your shopping section, but still I’d insist on contributing some other way.

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Johnny N November 25, 2012 at 12:20 am

Hi, donations would be humbly accepted. Please send me an email is on the contact link (bottom of the website) and I can give you my paypal address from there. I’m really flattered. Thank you.

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Ahmad November 25, 2012 at 3:38 am

I’ve seen step-drag many times on tutorial but i have never see anyone using it outside tutorials. many people will usually walk around without crossing their leg or dash with their feet for fast moving in and out of range. Could you explain this?

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Johnny N November 25, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Everyone uses it. It’s a crucial basic step that teaches you how to keep your weight grounded when you move. The thing is: pros look much more slick at it. When pros do the step-drag, it looks effortless and natural. When beginners do the step-drag, they look awkward and stiff/heavy. And so if you’re watching a pro fight, you won’t notice the step-drag because you’re looking for the BEGINNER’s step-drag.

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Nick O'Doyle November 25, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Outstanding compilation sir! That aside, I am curious how often you run across trainees that, after a few months, develop lower inner shin splints from the combination of jumping rope and jogging 5-6 days a week (my current issue). I chose to take two months off for the holiday season to rest up as well as using the money saved for Christmas. Back to my main point, I thought I could work through the shin splints (more irritable on left than right) but this proved to be a mistake. I followed the R-I-C-E proceedures and it didn’t help much. We have a foam-rubber padded floor at my gym and I wear my runners unless I’m getting in the ring. Prior to boxing, I hadn’t been doing hardly any physical activity. I am 5’8, 155lbs., and 31 years old. Is this just a case of too much too soon? I jumped into their “regular routine” of 3 3+1/2 minute rounds with 1 minute breaks on the rope and 1.5 mile jog daily from the get-go. Any information or suggestions would be great because I don’t want to stop! I did consult the coach/owner (who is an RN away from the gym) and all I got from him was “just lay off the rope for a week”…

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Johnny N November 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Shin splints are a result of many things:

– over-training
– improper training surface (too hard to too soft)
– poor footwear (shoes that don’t match your foot shape and/or force you to step improperly/unnaturally)
– poor technique (feet are turned too inwards or outwards)

You’ll have no choice but to take some time off. I used to get shin splints all the time in track and field.

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Nick O'Doyle November 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Thanks J

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abbey September 29, 2014 at 3:23 pm

hey i am an accomplished high school hurdler, but i am interested in boxing and do not want to wait until i graduate to start. will boxing help my speed or strength on the track or would it be working my body in a completely different way? thank you for your time.

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j November 26, 2012 at 8:43 am

Lay flat on your front Nick come up do your knees are off the ground some what like a plank and lift your ankles so your laces face the ground, don’t t to much pressure. But that will stretch you

r shins,, try it’s :

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j November 26, 2012 at 8:45 am

My apologies for the spelling I’m on an android

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Frank November 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm

This website is definitely encyclopaedia on boxing technique.

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Jonny November 26, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Hey Johnny, I’ve been keeping up with expertboxing for years and want to say thank you, so much good advice and info here! I really wish you lived in Australia so I could come and train at your gym hahaha

On a more serious note, I was wandering if you could an answer a question about overtraining.

I’ve been boxing for 3 and a bit years, 2-3 nights a week with kickboxing/normal gym work on the other 2-3 nights. For about a year now I’ve also been doing morning sessions 4-5 times a week, and my training has been geared towards amateur comps for about a year too. With the the odd few days off with injuries/sickness, I’ve not had more than a week off continuously for about 2 years.

The past month or so I’ve been trying to give it 100% like always but it just isn’t there. My diet is pretty damn good and I get decent amounts of sleep every night. It has begun to feel like I’m not tough enough anymore, that I need rest because I’m not cut out for boxing. I’m in my early 20’s too, so I don’t think my age should be affecting me yet.

In your opinion, should be taking a little time off to rest and recover? Have you felt the same way before, and if so how did you push past it?

Thanks in advance mate, keep it up!

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Nick O'Doyle November 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Jonny,

Just a quick note; I went through something similar my second month in and I’m the type to give %100 in anything I do. One week I noticed that I was tiring out and not able to perform as well as usual. I consulted my coach who discretely obseverd me that day. Before I left, he asked how my water intake was because he noticed I was hardly sweating despite my usual efforts. I told him that I hadn’t really been paying attention to it. He informed me that I should be taking in about a gallon (just under 4 litres) a day. I followed his advice and was doing much better the next week.

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Johnny N November 27, 2012 at 9:07 am

Whether it’s mental or physical, you obviously need a rest. Even pros don’t go 24/7/365 at 100% everyday. Learn to cycle your training and give yourself breaks. The breaks give you time to realize things and your muscles to come back stronger.

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Dennis November 26, 2012 at 10:50 pm

hey
its me again i was wondering if you have an article on dirty tactics in the ring.

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Johnny N November 27, 2012 at 9:07 am

No, I don’t. But maybe I should.

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Duracell November 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Hey Johnny, I need some advice… I am a 18 year old short and muscular guy. I’ve been kickboxing for a year and then i switched to boxing, i have been boxing for about 6 months but with big pauses, like 2 months of training and then a pause of about 3-4 months. Now i started again and even though i am a very fit guy , with more punching power, speed and stamina than most of my opponents, i still get my ass kicked in every fight, and my trainer doesn’t even bother trying to correct me because he thinks that i’m too old for boxing. Another problem is that at my gym all the people are assholes who doesn’t know what sparring is… so in every “sparring sesion” we actually end up fighting for real , because they want to feel like they were the winners… So when we are training (like working the heavy bag, shadow boxing, running, power training, you know…) I am superior to most of the guys in the gym in terms of punching power , stamina, technique, punching speed and even motivation , since i always train hard and give 100% to whatever I do, but when it comes to fighting i get my ass kicked… I need to find out what i do wrong and start winning matches so i can prove my trainer that i’m not a lost cause and start competing…
Here’s an example of a fight of mine: Bell rings — I throw a jab — opponent blocks or backs away from it and strikes back with a jab of his and then follows up with a lot of punches so i cant defend myself or even strike him back — I usually cover up (ending up covering my eyes too…) trying to get inside , since i am like always the guy with the lower reach , taking all the punches while he backs away and keeps hitting me…
Please help me find what i might be doing wrong , my trainer doesn’t give a shit about me and i got to figure it out by myself so i need your help… It is my dream to become a good amateur boxer and start competing… ***sorry for the wall of text and thank you for your time if you’re going to reply (please do)***

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Johnny N November 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I think your obvious problem is a lack in skill. Now if you’re really stronger/faster than your opponents as you say you are, then you better use that to your advantage (because they’re obviously using their skill advantages against you).

Since fighting is the way they do things in that gym, you should just knock out one of the fighters to get your coach’s attention. Otherwise, you have no choice but to continue getting beat up or go to a new gym. In the meanwhile, it might be a smart idea to work more on drills & skills rather than mindless bag work & conditioning.

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Keitharino November 30, 2012 at 8:39 am

Too old for boxing at 18? That’s pretty ridiculous. Bernard Hopkins started at 26, and look at him. I would say, ignore what your so-called “coach” says and keep on moving. Or better yet, find another gym.

As for fighting…I would say that you need to work on keeping your distance with footwork. Don’t cover your eyes for Pete’s sake! Trying to stay inside (or anywhere) without being able to see your opponent is asking for a knockout. If you’re going to try and fight in the pocket you just have to start throwing punches and use your superior punching power etc. Try to relax and don’t freeze when you’re being punched at. Look for openings. Remember, every time he punches he leaves an opening, so take advantage of it!

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Duracell November 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Thanks Keitharino, it seems you understand what i’m talking about. Sadly i can’t find another gym because this is the only boxing gym in the city… but I’m going to work on what i need to and prove my coach he is wrong.

It’s been over 2 years of training my technique, punching power, etc, but the lack of sparring is showing up now and I easily get lost in a fight, becoming a punching bag for my opponent… but as I said, I’m going to work on what i need to and I’m not willing to give up.

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J December 4, 2012 at 4:53 am

Duracell check this story out

I too started out in rural town in Southwest New Mexico. My heavybag was hung between two trees and my speedbag platform was attached to the Clothes line (when people used to hang clothes to dry). We had a 14×14 concrete slab that I would invite all my buddies to so we could spar. I also sparred with my dad alot. It doesn’t matter where you come from, no excuses, if it’s in you you will find a way to make it work for you. In 2008 I was ranked #8 by the WBC and currently have a record of 18-4-1 (12 KOs). It has not been easy but growing up in a small town is no excuse not to follow your dreams. If you want it bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen.

Joaquin Zamora

He told johnny this in one of Johnny’s articles!

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Duracell November 29, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Thank you for the fast reply. Isn’t working the bag the same as working on drills? and what do you mean by skills? Sorry, English is not my main language ,i learn it at school so i can’t understand some terms.

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Johnny N December 2, 2012 at 8:21 am

A bag can be used for developing technique or developing conditioning, or even both. My point is to focus more on the skill aspect.

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SANJAY December 1, 2012 at 3:31 am

SIR I REALLY LIKED THIS WEBSITE OF YOURS. I AM SO CRAZY ON BECOMING A BOXER. THANK U FOR GIVING LOTS AND LOTS OF INFORMATION ABOUT BOXING. IF YOU CAN PLEASE CONTACT ME.

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J December 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm

say johnny my friend has his books, he said usa boxing going to change the rules for the amateur boxing. they are switching to a 10-9 scoring system, have you heard anything about this and what are your thoughts?

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Johnny N December 2, 2012 at 8:20 am

I did hear about this and I think it’s an interesting change. I think the biggest problem with the scoring system is corruption, not necessarily the scoring system itself. Whatever rules the organization uses, it has to abide by them. If they’re going for points, then they better count the points. If they’re going for effective aggression (like in professional boxing), then they better abide by that. No scoring system is going to solve the problem of corruption and politics but we’ll see.

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Chris December 3, 2012 at 3:29 am

this may be off topic but i have been wondering about power in combinations.

I have just started sparring at a gym and i have only been training for 2 months. My coach says im way farther than most beginners but i still have a lot to work on. One of the things is being able to punch through my target and my whole misunderstanding of power in my combination punches.
The next thing is, should i be utilizing power in every punch for a combination or should i use it for the one punch i feel i can tag him with?.

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Johnny N December 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm

This question is far more complicated than you think. Because you’re a beginner, I’ll give you beginner advice. You can throw power punches in combinations only if they land. If even one misses, you’ll probably swing off target. Which means you should only throw a hard power shot when you know for sure it’s going to land. Otherwise, committing to a big shot could leave you vulnerable.

If you ask me this question 2 years from now, I’ll probably tell you something else.

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Jacob December 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Got any tips on finding a sparring partner? Is going to a boxing gym the only option? Thanks!

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Johnny N December 7, 2012 at 9:06 am

Well, if all you need is a body then any person will do (friend, local martial arts club). If you want a skilled sparring partner who can push your limits and teach you things, then you’re most likely to find them in numbers at a boxing gym. MMA gyms are another option.

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J December 4, 2012 at 4:44 am

Johnny i absolutely admire how you never look down on peoples questions, even tho they may seem so basic to you, you still answer with positivity and well guidance, thank you for treating the beginners and showing us all what hard work and dedication is all about :) your the man sir! now closing with the utmost honor integrity respects and loyalty

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J December 4, 2012 at 4:53 am

Duracell check this story out

I too started out in rural town in Southwest New Mexico. My heavybag was hung between two trees and my speedbag platform was attached to the Clothes line (when people used to hang clothes to dry). We had a 14×14 concrete slab that I would invite all my buddies to so we could spar. I also sparred with my dad alot. It doesn’t matter where you come from, no excuses, if it’s in you you will find a way to make it work for you. In 2008 I was ranked #8 by the WBC and currently have a record of 18-4-1 (12 KOs). It has not been easy but growing up in a small town is no excuse not to follow your dreams. If you want it bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen.

Joaquin Zamora

He told johnny this in one of Johnny’s articles!

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Duracell December 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Thank you for sharing your motivational story with me, Joaquin. I know there is no excuse for someone to not pursue their dream. As long as I am alive and I have a dream to follow, I’m not willing to give up.

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J December 4, 2012 at 4:56 am

Check out Joaquin Zamora EXPERTBOXING!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm_jHD3mHHQ

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Frank December 4, 2012 at 6:33 am

Johnny, what is your prediction on the outcome of the 4th fight by Manny Pacquiao VS. Manuel Marquez

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Johnny N December 7, 2012 at 9:08 am

I honestly don’t know because it’s such a close fight.

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ali December 7, 2012 at 11:16 pm

All were excellent. Severe your link.

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The Kid December 10, 2012 at 2:43 am

Random question: I am attending a MMA gym that teaches boxing and thats all i want to learn. The gym always has the same people, all of them are pro mma fighters and no true boxers. There are virtually no beginners, just the same 5-6 pro mma guys. The owner is still fighting and is in his late 30’s so he trains with them. I have to pay $300 for 15 sessions (basically train 15 times with him) in the hopes of gaining technique but all i have learned are new drills, no technique. Sparring isnt an issue but im not learning anything new. Basically im seen as another guy in the gym, more so a new kid. All i do is go in and hit the bag, there are no classes, and the supposed head boxing coach always looks at what i do and laughs. I ask him what am i doing wrong and he says sarcastically “nothing”. Should i continue this little game or part ways and find a better gym? I have been on the prowl for a good gym that actually teaches for 2 years and no dice. Im in Georgia.

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Johnny N December 11, 2012 at 3:50 pm

If you don’t like the gym, you’ll have to go elsewhere. If there’s nothing else in your area, you’ll have to move elsewhere. Look up the local amateur boxing shows and see where the teams are located.

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Stretch armstrong December 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Hi Johny

I’ve been learning to box now for six months the first 3months were spent trying to get my fitness up and learningbthe basics.

I’m now sparring but my coach has pointed out i need to fight using a heavyweight style. I am 6’3 100kg.

I have been learning with much smaller faster guys and have been trying to emulate their style rather than use size/weight/power/reach to my advantage

Are there any specific skills and drills and explanations of ” heavyweight style” boxing. I am working on my jab and standing tall which is giving me great results against the smaller faster more skillful guys but isn’t reaping any rewards when I spar with bigger heavyweights ( i still get owned by big powerful jabs)

Can you help illuminate

Many thanks for an excellent website

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Johnny N December 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I honestly don’t know what your coach means by “heavyweight style”. Maybe he means a tall fighter’s style? I recommend heavyweights to do all the same drills as any boxer. Watch Lennox Lewis spar and you’ll see he’s a very big but still very agile guy.

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Jorg32 December 16, 2012 at 3:34 am

To Johnny N,
Thank you so much sir! I have been a big fan for boxing for over 3 years now and have been trying to get involved in the sports for this time and have been struggling. as there is no gym in my area I am left with no options. your guide will help me greatly!

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Johnny N December 21, 2012 at 11:14 pm

I’m sorry to hear about your situation. Keep looking around at local clubs, maybe the MMA ones. You might also want to check out my boxing course “How to Box in 10 Days”. It would be a good fit for someone like you.

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Hayden December 27, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Do you have any dumbbell workout tips?

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Johnny N January 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Use really light weights and only do slow motions with them.

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cheerupmya January 10, 2013 at 1:15 am

hey johnny can you write about how to throw a right hook properly..thanks

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Johnny N January 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Yes I can!

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shad January 14, 2013 at 3:56 am

Hey johnny,

I’ve been reading a lot of your articles and watching your videos. I think they are really great and has inspired me to get into boxing. I use to be really into weight lifting working out 5 days a week 1 hour a day. I use to workout at home never wanted to join a gym because of it being crowded and expensive to join, but now I’m bored of lifting and can’t motivate myself to get back into it. I’m wanting to try something new and get into MMA. I’m interested more so in boxing because I like how boxers are so quick on their feet and so good with their hands then other styles of stand up, and the fact that I can’t kick that high. I’m not doing this to go pro or anything but more so for a workout and staying in shape. For that reason I’m also not wanting to join a gym but get the necessary equipment to workout at home. I was wondering if you do any workouts at home and if you could write an article or video of the equipment you would need to do so? Also if you could do videos of a full one round of your workout? Videos that shows one round on heavy bag, speed bag, double end bag, shadow boxing and etc. just for those of us who are beginners who want to see what it should look like. Kind of like a workout dvd and your our own trainer for us who want to do this at home for a workout. I know that’s a lot to ask and i’m sure your busy enough as it is but I think it would be great idea and a lot of people would be interested. Thank you again keep up the good work.

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Johnny N January 22, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Watch all my Youtube videos and start from there!

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John January 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Hi Johnny,

1. Basically just a begginner and having trouble relaxing whilst training, always very tense and whilst being tense all the time i run out of energy real quick.

2.How do you practice punching quicker without loading up? When im told to snap the jab out i just naturally load up to speed my punches up and having trouble loosing this bad habit?

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Johnny N January 22, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Keep training. Beginners will have to spend some time before you get any good at it. Boxing is hard! Learn to relax by doing more slow relaxed shadowboxing.

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Mutahir January 25, 2013 at 9:55 am

Thanks so much Johny…….Your articles are magical……….And I’m so impressed everything in one thats what everybody wants

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Jonathan Cousins January 30, 2013 at 8:00 am

Do you have any articles on the step-drag technique?

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Johnny N January 31, 2013 at 10:57 pm

No but I do have a video on the step-drag. Watch it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHUutXudf8o

Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel! ;)

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Jonathan Cousins February 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Ohhhhhhh. Okay. I do that while I box and train already, I just didn’t know what it was called. I thought when I heard the name it was that, but I wasn’t sure. I do that when I throw like a stepping jab or a lunging hook.. Is that a bad habit? I always find more power that way.

&&I’ll be sure to subscribe. Thanks Man!

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Johnny N February 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm

If there’s a purpose, and you find the purpose to a move, then it’s a logical move and no longer a bad habit. A bad habit is when you don’t realize you’re doing something and that the thing you’re doing is giving you a different effect than what you were going for.

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Chris N February 26, 2013 at 2:47 am

Great site, I’m coaching some 11-15 year olds at school and this will be an excellent guide for us to use. Thanks very much.

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dexter.picardal March 8, 2013 at 10:52 am

Hi Johnny,
Great article and I appreciate your time and effort in sharing your boxing knowledge. I want to train my midsection. Do you have any tips how to train my midsection that is functional to boxing. I started training this year and I really enjoy boxing. How I wish I was 10 years younger. I am 28 yrs when I started to have a formal training in this sport. Thanks and God bless.

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Johnny N March 21, 2013 at 2:36 am

Well…there are a ton of core exercise routines. You can look them up online and try some. All core exercises are pretty functional to boxing. Some more so than others.

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Bin A March 18, 2013 at 1:07 am

Yow johnny i have an important question. i have a poor eye sight about grade 200 nearsighted and in sparring its a bit hard to see punches coming without my glasses, may know if i can use contact lenses in sparring, because i have an upcoming fight this may 26 so, may i use contact lenses in fighting?

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Johnny N March 21, 2013 at 2:37 am

Yes, you can use soft contacts for sparring. I wear them myself and my optometrist says they’re perfect for that.

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Bin A March 21, 2013 at 8:07 am

o thank god men, by the way what is your grade in the eyes?

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Johnny N April 2, 2013 at 11:58 am

3.75 in the left and 3.25 in the right.

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Bin A March 18, 2013 at 5:41 am

BTW its my firs amateur fight xD

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maida March 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

Hi what would you recommend for my grandson to learn via video /s

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Johnny N April 2, 2013 at 11:58 am

You can check out my instructional guides for sale on this site and also the free videos on my youtube channel.

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ryan April 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm

hey there! love the guide,
also what kind of weight training do you recommend?

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Johnny N April 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Very minimum light dumbbell weights as most for beginners. Calisthenics are more important for beginners.

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Jalen May 4, 2013 at 7:28 pm

I just starting boxing this year n this guide is really helpful. I was wondering if u have any advice for me because I am really skinny n really want to bulk up thnx again!!

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Johnny N May 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Being skinny is actually a good body type for boxing. If you want to bulk up, be a bodybuilder.

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Kim May 14, 2013 at 12:43 am

Is it ok that I can only do a 20-push up, run for about 9 minutes and train with my boxing gloves(A pair of cheap Everlast gloves unfortunately)? Also, there aren’t many boxing gyms and good equipments since boxing isn’t popular in Vietnam, what am I supposed to do for the time being? I’m 17 by the way.

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Johnny N May 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Do what you can. Everyone has to start somewhere. Keep improving what you can do and go from there. Good luck, Kim!

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Becky May 20, 2013 at 11:48 am

Hi! I’ve just recently taken an interest in boxing and my 13yo daughter and I are looking at boxing lessons. I’m over 40 and if fairly good shape but I’m wondering what to look for in a boxing trainer for two girls :D
Love your site and have already learned a lot! Keep up the great work!

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Johnny N May 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm

You’ll have to go through several gyms until you find an atmosphere you like. Preferably, find one with other women in it. Good luck, Becky. You’ll both have fun.

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Rick May 21, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Hey Johnny
How can a person develop the ability to see all the action that’s happening when watching a fight. It makes me feel slow when I hear ringside commentators that have NEVER fought , much less sparred explain BOTH fighters every move down to the last detail. Any tips on attention?

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Johnny N May 24, 2013 at 1:21 pm

You learn how to watch fights by being in them yourself. After you’ve felt certain things in the ring, you’ll know how to look for them when you’re outside the ring. Don’t worry about the TV commentators. Most of them are just guys with journalism or communication degrees or hookups and have probably never been in the ring. They only mention the obvious details and don’t commentate the way fighters would when they talk to each other.

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tim May 22, 2013 at 11:53 am

Johnny; Thanks so much for your videos and expertise. I am 57 years old and my son recently dragged home a heavy bag and so I have gotten hooked on working out with it. I have been working out for a bit under a month and am up to about 25 rounds per week. I am working on snapping my jabs, keeping my hands up and learning hand speed. Soon I am going to try adding combinations. I usually throw thirty left and right jabs per round along with some rapid intervals. I am trying to pays arrention to head and feet movement too. I augment my boxing with training for a road race (10K). Right now I am focused on learning technique rather than power. I am not sure where I want to take the boxing but it does help with confidence and conditioning. Any additional advice for an old but game guy? Thanks again. Your videos are wonderful teaching tools!

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Johnny N May 24, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Train in a gym. There’s so much inspiration from being around so many hardworkers and potential champions. Keep boxing!

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azhar May 24, 2013 at 10:37 am

Thxx a lot man… I learned the basics I.e mentioned above… Ill jus practice thm in shadow boxing and on a heavy bag… There’s no gym here man :/.. And I can only afford a heavy bag… So how’s tht :)

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Randi May 29, 2013 at 12:55 pm

I’m one week away from what seems like my first fight ever. No exp. whatsoever. All I do is weight train run and am 197 5″11 good shape. I only have looked at your videos. And I think I can fight. Lol. Yea ok. No training for boxing at all. What am I gettin myself onto. I guess you gotta start somewhere. Get my feet wet. It’s a competition on seeking potential boxers. Whoever competes good will be considered to training. Well. Here goes Johnny the experts videos. I’ll put all the advice in effect.

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Johnny N June 2, 2013 at 11:53 am

I hope you do well! Let me know how you do, Randi.

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Gil May 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Randi..Of course we have to start somewhere, but if I were you, I would have joined a gym and had the guidance and experience of a coach along with the proper training and sparring. Not the right way to go about it, but It’s your call, bro. Good luck.

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Mark May 29, 2013 at 9:45 pm

I want to start boxing, but don’t have the money to join a gym, is it possible to develop my skills at home without the guidance of a trainer?

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Johnny N June 2, 2013 at 11:54 am

You’ll improve if you definitely keep working at something. With that said, learning at home without a trainer would be 10 times slower compared to someone training at a gym.

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Gian June 8, 2013 at 1:08 am

The most definitive, the most extensive article on boxing for beginners. I learned so much from this.
This will help me become better in boxing.

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Matt W July 17, 2013 at 6:24 am

Hi Johnny,

Just wanted to drop a line of thanks for all the outstanding content on this site.

Like many, I’ve spent years pushing iron in my garage and switched from lifting plan to lifting plan to stop boredom creeping in. More recently, I’ve started to train for better conditioning and bought a 4′ bag and gloves to beat on to build up a sweat.

I figured that as I was hitting this thing, I may as well find out how to do it properly and found this site. I’ve spent the last few days reading as much as I can and I’ve fallen in love with boxing! I knew boxers were fit but I’ve only appreciated HOW FIT after a few days working the bag with simple jab and cross combos (thanks so much for the videos on stance, footwork and pivoting; my throws are weak and slow but I’m building it up bit by bit), bodyweight exercises and jumping rope (I learned how to jump rope a few years ago but haven’t used it consistently). I got my ass handed to me with 50 (yes 50!) push-ups. So much for benching big!

I’m determined to build up my conditioning. I’ve ditched the toy gloves and ordered a decent pair along with a double end bag and started looking around for local boxing gyms.

Can’t wait until my next workout, thanks!

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Johnny N July 22, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Welcome to boxing, Matt! It’s certainly one of the most challenging exercises you’ve ever tried. Keep working at it.

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Sam September 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Hey man, if you keep your body and arm completely relaxed will your fist naturally tighten at the moment of impact, or is it something you have to learn how to do.

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Thesa September 25, 2013 at 2:07 am

Hi! Glad to see this website! I am very new in boxing and I could say I am extremely enjoying it.. :)

Much love from Dubai

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Thesa September 25, 2013 at 2:12 am

Thank you John for all the information you punched in here! :) :)

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Johnny N September 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Hahaha, very clever. Thanks, Thesa. :)

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Nathaniel Washington September 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Hi Johnny,
I’ve started boxing at uni (so far 1 session) but I’m having trouble keeping on my toes and bouncing while still throwing out punches, ducking and blocking. It’s very tiring and heavy on my back leg. Do you have any tips since the pictures look like you planted your feet.
Look forward to your response
Nathan

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Johnny N October 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Staying on your toes and bouncing is definitely tiring. It’s far more work. Stay on the ground more and take smaller steps if you’re going to be moving around a lot. The more you want to move, the more you have to relax to allow your body to move easier.

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Tamilselvan October 5, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Hi, this is really interesting. I am 21 yrs old.5’10” wgt 49 kgs. I want to learn and practice boxing. somebody says my DNA might not allow me to improve my physique. I am total beginner in case I start to box and workout exercises. And I couldn’t find anyone boxing in my town. Someone help me, i am waiting to hear advices…

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Mister T October 6, 2013 at 7:04 am

Somebody told you your DNA might not allow you to improve your physique? Ahahaha, oh man please slap them and tell them to pull their head out their ass lol. ANYONE can improve their physique, and certainly everyone can get fitter, as that’s what the human body is built to do. Even if you’re a ‘hardgainer’ (thats what bodybuilder’s call skinny guys basically) you can definitely improve your physique through boxing training, I know this because I am one myself and it’s had a huge impact on me :) Go for it buddy, dont let anyone tell you your ‘DNA isn’t good enough’ or some bullshit, probably jealous they’re too lazy to do it themselves so they attempt to pull others down with them. Also if you’re a beginner that’s great, it just means you havn’t picked any bad habits up yet :) If you can’t find a gym (starting off in a certified gym is preferable IMO), just start off doing some sit ups and pushups every day, then maybe get a heavy bag in your garage or bedroom ect. and when you’ve caught the ‘fitness bug’ you’ll be trying new things out yourself just for the fun of it

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Tamilselvan October 15, 2013 at 9:03 am

Thanks Mister T. I’ve already started to workout. I have down rope jumping ( with multiple times of tripping) for 10 mins and dumbbell workout for biceps and some body weight squats. My toe skins are teared and my knees really hurt. I know no pain- no gain. So please guide me and encourage me..

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Johnny N October 17, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Maybe don’t jump rope with bare feet? How about wearing some socks or shoes?

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Martin M. October 22, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Hi Johnny,

just want to say thanks for this in depth guide for beginner boxing. It sparked a genuine interest in boxing. I will be looking into taking boxing sessions in the near future.

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Johnny N November 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Martin, that’s great news to me. Good luck and have fun boxing!

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Billie October 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Hello, I took up kickboxing a few months ago and found this website incredibly helpful in kickboxing as well. Thank you for posting a lot of good information. BTW- I’m interested in translating some of your postings into Korean so that many Koreans can also benefit from your website. Then, I’d like to post them on my blog if you don’t mind. Let me know what you think about this, please.

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Johnny N November 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Thank you so much for the offer, Billie. I’ve sent you a private message.

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kassy November 13, 2013 at 12:36 am

I have been in boxing classes for a year already but for some reason i just haven’t gotten the hang of head movement. It feels really awkward to me and I just can’t seem to loosen up. What can i do to improve that? I really want to be prepared for when i have my first fight, I’m a girl and I don’t think i want to go pro, but i do want to do amateur fighting later on. Any advice?

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Johnny N November 22, 2013 at 9:37 pm

It sounds like you need more than “boxing classes”. Keep working and training on things as much as you can. Some movements can be very awkward. I have several videos on Youtube you can watch for head movement. Go through them and try the different suggestions I make in the videos.

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Hamza Khan November 17, 2013 at 3:25 am

really great tutorial on boxing this will make me great at it im happy you showed them now i can train real good and improve my boxing skills

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Tamil November 24, 2013 at 9:19 am

Hey, I can’t clarify this one, how much energy we lose when having sex or musterbating. would my weight (muscle) gaining programme get affected by this, i.e if I have to eat 500 cals more in a day with a light workout, having sex or mstbtn would affect this? Two more questions what should be the time gap between workout and breakfast for weight gaining morning workout?
Is kickboxing an advanced version of boxing?

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Johnny N November 26, 2013 at 9:25 am

Eating more food will not revitalize the energy lost during sex.
Time gap between workout and breakfast–don’t look at it like that. If you need to eat, EAT!
Kickboxing is a different sport. It has more weapons than boxing, but it’s not more advanced. Boxing has less weapons and less complexity it seems but in fact goes far more into detail in all the tiny nuances of technique and strategy.

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Faisal Razzak December 20, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Hi I just turn 26 can I start boxing and become a good boxer .I really like boxing and I think this is the thing I should do its late .how many years you need to become a good boxer cheers

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Johnny N January 8, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Probably at least 5.

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Stephen Bezzina December 21, 2013 at 4:41 am

Hey I just wanted to thank you for all you hard work putting this site together and sharing your boxing knowledge. Greetings from Australia

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eastside_juan14 February 6, 2014 at 9:10 am

thanks your guide is nice and detailed!!!!!

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Anna February 22, 2014 at 7:31 am

Hi Jonny, thanks for this fantastic guide and all your videos.
I am a 26yr old girl and began boxing about half a year ago, but in French which is not my best language, so it is great to see some things clarified and laid out so clearly. I box in a welcoming but totally guy-dominated gym, and was wondering if you have any plans to write a guide for girls?
Thanks again. I have totally fallen in love with this sport and wish more girls would give it a go!

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Anna February 22, 2014 at 7:32 am

Aack, sorry I spelled your name wrong Johnny.

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Johnny N March 4, 2014 at 8:21 pm

I do have plans to write a guide for girls eventually, Anna. Hang in there and please don’t beat up the boys too badly! ;)

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Anna November 7, 2014 at 10:40 am

Hi Johnny!

I ended up writing one myself: let me know what you think!
http://www.annahartleywrites.com/essays/#/punch-drunk-love/

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Johnny N November 8, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Hey Anna, sweet write-up! I enjoyed reading it. I loved all the little details you put about how males look at females in boxing gym. :)

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Irvin. M March 2, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Hello Johnny. My name is Irvin and i want to get back into boxing again. I trained for a bout a year and a half but I havent been able to train since May of last year. Unfortunately, I’ve lost quite a bit of my technique and skills. However, I do run cross-country and track and I’m ok to say the most. I really want to get back into boxing but I’m at a bit of a situation nowadays. Is there anything I can do to help regain my boxing skills? Any help would be appreciated.

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Johnny N March 4, 2014 at 8:21 pm

I would recommend going back to the gym and starting with the basics again.

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Irvin. M March 10, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Ok, thanks for the help. If I can’t go to the gym, what can I do? As of now, I’m unable to go to a gym due to financial situations. I mean, I shadowbox in front of my mirror at home and I run but that’s really I can do as of now.

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Johnny N March 22, 2014 at 8:16 pm

You’ll have to be creative…maybe find or start a boxing club at school or with your friends. Find a way. Or offer to do some clean-up work at the gym so they let you train there a few hours. I’m sure many businesses would love to have a helping hand.

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Fhian March 20, 2014 at 2:31 am

Hi Johnny N
I love your articals ! so im a 13 year old boy I have been boxing for about a month now I need some advice on weather I should buy some boxing gloves but not sure which ones im quite small with small hands haha. And also when do you think I spar im not sure as I am so young !
please email me AS Soon As Possible thank you :}

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Johnny N March 22, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Check out my guides on boxing gloves and go from there! Good luck to you. Boxing is a fun sport.

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Kevin March 30, 2014 at 9:48 am

First of all, I am well impressed with your 30 day fighter’s diet Johnny, a damn fine guide (from purely a fighter’s perspective) and I will purchase your boxing instructional guide in a 2/3 months time too (when I’ve got my diet sorted out and my KFC spicy Zinger Burger addiction and spicy chicken wings fixation under control ;)

I did a search on ‘How long should a boxer train’ on the Internet and what came back was a whole wealth of “How long is a piece of string?” type answers. I then put in something like ‘How long to train for?’ in expert boxing’s search bar and I couldn’t find what I was looking for, although it is no doubt on this site but worded differently and I’ve yet to stumble across it. So my question is . . .

How many hours do amateur and/or professional boxers train for intensely per day? I’ve seen comments ranging from 20 mins up to 8 hours. (I’m purposely ignoring the 8 hours advice as it would kill me lol) Should this be split or done in one intense block? I’m interested specifically on how much training competing amateur boxers do per day and at what intensity. I’d very much appreciate it if any competing boxers could answer this question. (Not interested in low intensity training here).

Any comments replying to my question here would be appreciated. Yeah, it might be a ‘As long as a piece of string/how comfortable are you?’ answer etc. But I’d really like to know what training times people feel comfortable pushing themselves to personally are in reality, even though it may differ form person to person. Working a job is a big factor, so it would be interesting to know if the times are when working or on days off.

So, in a nutshell, although I already know that there is not a specific answer to this question – how long do you push yourself to train for intensely per day? And for how many days? And why have you decided on this time per day schedule?

Cheers. :)

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Johnny N April 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Kevin, I think your answer is complicated as you already know. How long does a person workout in the gym for? It could range. Same with boxers, even competing boxers. Some spend only 2 hours, some spend 5. I imagine somewhere in between is a solid range. As for splitting it up, some do it all at once. The usual routine is to run in the morning and train in the afternoon.

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Kevin April 9, 2014 at 7:01 am

Thank you Johnny, this advice helps me out as I now have a rough guide for how many hours boxers in general train for & most importantly it gives me a rough gauge on how many hours my future opponents might be putting into training. Much appreciated.

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Glen March 30, 2014 at 12:53 pm

This is a great article.

I have a rather unusual question for you – do you know of any resources for people with specific disabilities who would love to box?

Here is my issue – I have a specific disability that means I cannot take body shots. Can’t do it, period! It would put me in the hospital or kill me (ostomy, research it for more info). But I love boxing and Muay Thai, and would love to be able to actually spar or even compete in a setting where they have allowances for specific issues like this.

Have you any knowledge of groups like this, or specific protective equipment that could help someone like me?

Great article, great site. Thanks for all the work on here.

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Johnny N April 8, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Wear a huge body shield shield and go for head shots only. I don’t know of any other resources but that would be my best recommendation. Perhaps you can also ask your doctor about this.

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Kevin S April 27, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Hey Johnny!

I just finished all 8 days and am going to redo all of them again, they really are killers! They already made a LOT of improvement in the way I stand, move, and box. I can feel the improvement in my balance when I throw punches while moving in shadowboxing and sparring as well as leg speed and precision, and also my punching power! I was surprised myself to see how they’re getting more snap and power after doing all the core twisting exercises you showed and I’m sure I’ll get even more if I continue doing those exercises. Those $84 are worth it just like you told me, I’m glad I purchased your program!

I’d be happy if you could help me by giving more information regarding those drills such as how they apply when you box, you did explain some of them but some are left unexplained. Although I already felt the results, I’m sure I’ll gain more skills and knowledge when I understand how to apply them in a fight, be it for punching or moving in and out of range.

Overall I’m really happy with this product, it really is awesome and worth the money! Thanks a lot Johnny, keep up the great work!

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Johnny N April 27, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Hi Kevin,

Thank you for the awesome feedback. Do let me know which drills you were confused about and I’ll be happy to go over them with you. I know it’s so much new stuff that many people have never seen before.

Johnny

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Zia May 6, 2014 at 11:37 am

Awesome article Johnny N! The best Boxing Blog on the internet, hand down. Thanks for breaking everything down and keeping it simple.

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Sean June 4, 2014 at 9:48 am

Will you update this with the newer articles please?

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Johnny N June 5, 2014 at 1:35 am

Hey Sean, I’ve got more on the way!

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Kevin July 6, 2014 at 9:33 am

I must have driven you nuts Johnny with the question ‘How long should a fighter train for?’ and now fully get it that the question should have been ‘How long can I train for?’

I am terrible for over training and going to extremes. So I was looking for a sensible cut off limit, but that’s also elusive because it depends on so many factors. But, most importantly I get what you said about looking to train as often as you can – much more positive and driven than ‘How long does a boxer train of?r’ which by contrast is pretty weak and lazy sounding.

In a nutshell: ‘I get it’ :) Boxing like any other skill needs dedication and passion. Time spent doing what you love shouldn’t be even a factor to consider at the end of the day, just do it.

Great website and you expose the sport of boxing as beautiful as it always has been by focusing on nuances and approaches that can only be picked up on by someone who loves and analysis the sport in detail with passion.

A big thank you for helping me so much with your insights about this fun sport.

Cheers buddy :)

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Johnny N July 23, 2014 at 12:21 am

I agree with your changes in attitude, Kevin. It’s true that “How long does a boxer train for?” sounds like a lazy guy trying to get away with the bare minimum.

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nisarg July 24, 2014 at 11:01 am

hey grand master your training is best.i want to learn boxing and become boxer at home so can you guide me how to train at begginer level at your website.plzz tell me what should i learn stepwise and what should i learn before and what should i learn after.their is no one in my area to give me training related boxing.so plzz plzz give me training related boxing.its my dream to become a boxer

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Johnny N September 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Well you’re certainly on the right article. If you’re looking for more specific step-by-step directions. You might want to try my premium guide called, “How to Box in 10 Days”. It’ll give you the exact roadmap for building your boxing foundation.

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Robert August 19, 2014 at 5:02 am

Thank you so much for this site! I’m in my 40’s now and starting to get back into shape. This is great inspiration to get in the best shape of my life and have some fun doing it. I plan to get your videos and books, and find a local gym. When my sons are old enough, I’d like to make it a family thing. What age do you think a child can start learning to box?

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Johnny N September 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Children can and should learn from any age. Don’t let them spar until at least 8 years old. Don’t expect “HARD TRAINING’ until they’re about 13. Keep things fun and light and they’ll build a lifetime of passion for the sport.

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kingi garner September 30, 2014 at 11:51 am

my name is kingi garner .and im a great street fighter cuz im from the streets and a very bad place but thank god im still around.i have had somuch pain happen in my life and I got a real story to tell the world im 63ht 170 pounds.very fast and I got lots of power that’s what everybody tells me.im 32 but look and fill 27 lol.and I got a great body I just need somebody to help me cuz I have no where to go in my life and I no I can be the best in the world if somebody could just help me or just see me fight I wont let you down I came way to far to let me or anybody else down.everythin I love have been tookin away from me now I stay alone just waitin on that day to show myself to the world.so if anybody out there that can help me please give me a call 252 6761768 or just call this number ok and ask for me 252 5291474.alote of people tell me I should try and make a movie about my life cuz its really crazy that im still standin but im here and im here for a reason im a very very very great basketball player as well and need to be in the nba yes that good but was bless with hands as well and fast feet.god bless the world hope I get a call and all im askin is for is to just try me out that’s all.amen

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Dayne October 5, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Hey Jonny Id like to start boxing, Im 16 and this was the first website i clicked on for the basics and training….I used to be in Tae Kwon Do for a couple months but it just wasnt my kind of thing, other than that i have never tried any type of fighting and have never gotten into a fight myself. Ive always had an interest in boxing since i was a kid but just never had the time to start any training for it. I would appreciate it alot if you could give me any other advice for a beginner and im hoping that i can have a future in boxing. I have the mentality for it and i know that if i try hard enough i can be very good some day.

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Beginner boxer October 22, 2014 at 6:06 am

Jonny N.
I am a 16 year old who wants to be great in boxing and compete. I hope to become a great boxer and become proud and feel victorious. I was just wandering if I should lift weights to gain strength first then go into boxing training or should I only do boxing training. Because I have heard that it is bad to lift weights for boxing.
Thanks for your time

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abdullah ellahib October 22, 2014 at 10:41 am

Hey man liaten my story is a bit long I a, from lebanon and live there I cant find any gyms that my father can accept he says that there are dirty minded people in this club that takes drugs and exct… ok i get it but i have been telling for a year to find a club at saida so please if u can try to find me a club at sidon,lebanon i am really excited for boxing I will admit it i dont have thatmuch power and muscles i am only tall and skinny but I have a strong heart please tell me any club for a 15 year old boy pleade man and thank you

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ayush October 27, 2014 at 8:40 am

hey i am 20 i used to do taekwondo when i ws 16 at beginners level i left because of acl surgery can i start boxing now ? please reply

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pouyi October 31, 2014 at 5:50 am

Hi,thanks for your useful tutorials

“LEFT UPPERCUT – dangerous short to long-range punch (see video)”
“RIGHT UPPERCUT – dangerous short to long-range punch (see video)”
these two videos are the same! Is it right?
thank you so much

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ljp12 November 10, 2014 at 10:40 am

Hey Jonny first of all thanks my life changed alot since i start trying boxe in this website… I am not in a gym and there arent gyms here or near, so i think you guys could think about who boxe at home some tips and tricks… Thanks once again!

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KATHIR November 14, 2014 at 10:46 am

Hello Johnny,
I’m 25 yrs old. 6.2 tall. I luv boxing. But due to my family commitments I need to work. So I can’t afford 4 r 5 hrs fa boxing. Bt still I want to learn boxing nd compete. Despite of my age factor and time restrictions can I become victorious in boxing? Pls guide me

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shylo November 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Hi I am completly new at boxing I am 14 years old. 120 pounds 5″4.I wipl be working out 5 times a week usuallyfy average 50 minutes outsidee of boxing training. I eat little junkfood .I Know the basics of boxing and I am looking for tips and work outs strategies.

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