How to Slip Punches

September 29, 2011 September 29, 2011 by Johnny N Boxing Techniques, Defense Techniques 134 Comments

Slipping punches is good advice, but hard to follow. You probably already know the concept of moving your head and staying outside the punch. You heard, “Make him miss, make him pay.”  a dozen times before.

But how are you supposed to slip exactly?

Knowing WHERE to move your head and HOW to move your head requires proper slipping technique. Good slipping technique allows you to avoid punches AND come back with a good counter-punch. I’ll show you the 3-point slip, the 2-point slip, and also how NOT to slip.

How to Slip Punches

Today you’re going to learn how to slip punches CORRECTLY!

What is Slipping?

Slipping is an advanced defensive boxing technique that allows you avoid a punch without having to sacrifice an arm for defense. This allows you to counter-punch faster and from a deadlier angle while your opponent is still missing the punch.

A slip is a superior defensive maneuver to a normal blocking defense because you are not sacrificing an arm (a potential counter-punch) to shield the blow. You also avoid taking any partial damage through the guard and by slipping your opponent’s punch, his punch will take longer to return giving you more time to counter. The dangers of the slip is that you rely on reflexes instead of a physical barrier to protect yourself. Should you fail to move completely out of the way of the punch, you will get hit cleanly!

Slipping punches without getting hit requires timing, reflexes, and most important of all–PROPER SLIPPING TECHNIQUE! (That’s where I come in.)

My video demonstration explaining how to slip punches correctly.

 

The 3-Point Slip – to slip HIGH punches

What is the 3-point slip? It’s a made up name for a system that I teach. First we learn the basic positions and slipping technique. You’ll learn to slip by transitioning from one position to the next. Next, I’ll show what to do from those positions.

 

slipping outside punches

3 points of movement.

The 3-point slip gets its name from the 3 positions of moving your head. The focus of moving your head across the three points is to slip OUTSIDE the punch. This system will allow you to slip jabs, right hands, and left hooks.

 

slipping outside punches

Sideways view of the 3-Point Slip.

A proper 3-point slip will move your head across all 3 axes:

  • side-to-side
  • up & down
  • forward & backward

 

 Position 1 – back to the right

slipping right of a punch

Pull your head back to the right.

  • Shift your weight to your right leg slightly.
  • Bend the knees as you crunch your abs.
  • Pivot your feet and body slightly to your right.
  • You can counter simultaneously with a jab to the body, or wait until after the slip and then counter with the overhand right.

Position 2 – forward to the left.

slipping left of a punch

Pull your head UP & OVER to the left.

  • Swing your head up (past the starting position), then down to your left. Bringing the head up is CRUCIAL! Even if you can’t get your head to the outside in time, just lifting your head up will be enough to slip the right hand.
  • Bend the knees as you crunch your abs.
  • Pivot your feet and body slightly to your left.

Position 3 – neutral stance.

slipping away from the hook

Pull your head straight back to neutral position.

  • Come back to your normal stance.

 

Using the 3-Point Slip

If you’ve paid close attention, you’ll notice that slipping has 4 essential movements:

  • Starting position (point 3)
  • RIGHT slip (point 1) – to get outside the jab
  • UPWARD slip (back to point 3) – to quickly get over the right hand
  • LEFT slip (point 2) – to get outside the right hand
  • PULL BACK (back to point 3) – to pull away from the hook

When any of these movements are combined into repeated cycles, you will have the perfect slipping rhythm to keep your head moving as you avoid punches. Let’s go through the motions one at a time…

 

slipping the jab

Position 1 – Slipping OUTSIDE the Jab

  • To counter simultaneously, I jab to his body or face as I slip his jab.
  • To counter after, I throw an overhand right or right cross over his jab.

 

slipping the right

Position 2 – Slipping OVER & OUTSIDE the Right Hand

  • To counter simultaneously, I throw a right as I slip his right.
  • To counter after, I throw a left hook to his head or body.
  • Pay attention to your opponent. (Don’t be like me and look down at the ground! Haha)

 

slipping the left hook

Position 3 – Slipping OUTSIDE the Left Hook

  • To counter simultaneously, I throw a left hook as I pull my head out.
  • To counter after, I throw a right hand to his head or body.

…what have we learned?

The 3 point slip keeps you on the OUTSIDE of the punch.

You are always slipping to the outside of the punch. Slip outside the jab, slip outside the right hand, slip outside the left hook.

You may have noticed that I carefully chose the 3 points (1), (2), and (3) for a reason. Position 1, is best for avoiding the jab, which your trainer calls the “1″. Positions 2 & 3, avoid the right hand and left hook which your trainer calls “2″ and “3″.

It is very important that you DO NOT swing your head straight from points (1) & (2). You should always swing your head past the neutral point (3). You need to move your head past all 3 points to effectively slip all jabs, right hands, and left hook. The upward curve is crucial to avoiding the horizontal punches. (Later on, I will explain this in a guide on how to REALLY slip right hands.)

Just remember: a good 3-point slip moves your head sideways left & right, up & down, forwards & backwards to avoid all types of punches.

Every slip sets up the next slip.

Standing in your neutral stance will bait your opponent to throw the jab. Slipping the jab puts your head in position to bait your opponent to throw the right. Slipping the right will bait your opponent to throw the left hook. If you feel your opponent repeating right hands and left hooks, keep slipping between Points (1) and (2) but making sure you swing your head past Point (3).

Now let’s talk about baiting and setting up your slips. If you want to slip your opponent’s jab, it’s best to leave your head at the neutral position. If you want to slip your opponent’s right hand, put your head in POSITION 1. This will give you more time and more room to slip that right hand. Too many beginners try to slip the right hand from POSITION 3 and they end up getting caught or can’t seem to come back with a counter.

Slipping 1-2′s and 2-3′s

Theoretically, you can slip your opponent’s 1-2 combination (jab, right hand) by just moving your head back and forth between positions #1 and #3. If you think about it, the left hand threatens upwards which means it’s easy to slip any left hand by pulling your head down. On the other hand, the right hand threatens downwards making it easy to slip any right hand by lifting your head up. So again, a long-range fighter can slide his head back and forth between positions 1 & 3 as he throws the long jab to keep his opponents away. You will see this a lot with Bernard Hopkins when he’s trying to establish range.

On the other hand, you can slip your opponent’s 2-3 combination (right hand, left hook) by just moving your head back and forth between positions #2 and #3. You’ll see a typical inside fighter do this as he stands on the inside and pulls his head in and out to slip his opponent’s 2-3 combinations. The fighter will also be countering with his own 2-3 combination as he slips his opponents’ punches.

Another IMPORTANT NOTE: you slip right hands from position #1, and slip left hooks from position #2. If you think about it, waiting from these positions gives you more room to slip because you are on the opposite side of the punch. His punch will take longer to reach you, given you more time to avoid it. If you try to slip the right hand from position #2, you will end up going under the punch and getting crushed. If you try to slip the left hook from position #1, you will run out of room and end up leaning back off balance.

How NOT to Slip Punches!

(My video demonstration of bad slipping technique.)

Now I have to warn you all about this crazy thing I’ve seen guys do. It’s a dangerous way to slip and I highly recommend for you not to do it. I call it the “2-point wobble”.

bad slipping technique

Left wobble & right wobble. BAD!!!

  •  The body is too square, making it an easy target.
  • The body isn’t turned to any side, no counter punch is loaded.
  • The head only swings side to side, it’s missing and UP & DOWN, FORWARD & BACK motion.

 

wrong way to slip punches

Your head only moves side to side, leaving you vulnerable to left hooks and curved right hands.

 

MISTAKE #1 – leaning outside the punch

slipping outside the right

Wrong way to slip outside the right hand.

  • Hooray, I managed to avoid the right. But I’m too off-balance. I only pulled my head out of the way instead of pivoting my entire body. I’m too squared off and any counter I throw from here won’t have any power. Make sure you move (or pivot) your whole body when you slip, not just your head.

 

MISTAKE #2 – slipping under the punch

slipping under the right hand

(BONUS) Here’s ANOTHER wrong way to slip punches. 

  • Your hips aren’t under you.
  • Leaning too far over makes you lose balance and power. Your opponent can easily push you off balance or hold you down. If I was an over-aggressive puncher, I’d fall into Richard and crush him under me. If you’re going to slip and aggressive puncher, stay OUTSIDE his punches, not under…or else you won’t be able to counter. Notice how Richard can’t explode up on me if I fall into him.
  • Also, how are you going to see follow-up punches or countering opportunities if you can’t even see him?

 

The 2-point wobble is just bad! Don’t do it! Don’t practice it! Every time I see this, I’m like HOLY CRAP, WHAT IS THIS?! It squares up your body making you an easier target and doesn’t load your counter punch. Your hips are not under your body which means you lose power and balance.

The “wobble” still leaves you vulnerable
to right hands and left hooks.

WORST OF ALL, you’re STILL in the line of fire! Most punches come from a side angle and because your head is not moving up/down or forwards/backwards, you are basically swinging your head into the punch! The only thing this movement can slip is a perfectly straight jab or perfectly straight right hand.

The move isn’t completely useless. Some fighters use it to slip a 1-2 and then counter with a left hook. It can be done if you’re only doing it slightly and skilled enough to avoid the punch by just a centimeter. I don’t recommend it for the beginner boxer. The 3-point slip can slip the same punches with slower movement and less risk.

NOW…there IS such a thing as a 2-point slip…and there IS a proper way to slip on two points.

 

The 2-Point Slip – for slipping LOW punches

Watch my video to learn how to slip low punches and read on to for the details.

 

slipping under punches

2 points of movement.

  •  To do it properly, you have to bend your knees more and get lower to the ground. The goal is to cut under punches.

 

DOWN FORWARD to the Left

slipping down left

Pivot your feet and body as you swing your head forward to the left.

  • This sharp movement must be done as fast as possible. This movement can defend both the right hand or left hook. Your head would either slip outside of a right hand or roll with a left hook (deflecting its power).
  • Even though the movement is DOWN FORWARD, you’re really just going down and facing forward. Don’t let your head go forward past your front knee.

 

DOWN BACK to the Right

slipping down right

Pivot your feet and body as you pull your head down and back to the right.

  • Notice that I am pulling my head BACK as I swing it to the right. This movement can roll with a right hand deflecting its power, or pull you head back away from a left hook. Don’t let your head go past or over your back knee. Make sure you’re pivoting your body slightly to the right.

 

You must get low to use the 2-point slip.

The 2-point slip is used for getting under punches and slipping lower to the ground. It can also get you out of tight situations when your opponents are throwing wildly. Never forget that it’s almost always better to slip on top using the 3-point slip. Slipping on top makes it easier for you to counter or move away since you’re standing up. Use your knees to bend, not your waist. This way you can keep your eyes on your opponent. Use your leg muscles, not your back.

Using the 2-Point Slip – to slip LOW punches

slipping low right

Slipping a low right hand.

  • Keep your waist under you, stay upright and not leaning over or sideways. Stay OUTSIDE the punch, not under it. Keep your eyes on your opponent.
  • I could have slipped using the  3-point slip, it’s not necessary to get low.

 

slipping a body hook

Slipping a low left hook.

  • Same rules as above. Stay upright, bend the knees to get low. Stay outside the punch, not under it.
  • I could have slipped using the  3-point slip, it’s not necessary to get low.

 

Countering off the low slip

Countering the low right

I stand up out of the downward right hand,… and throw my own counter right!

  •  This is one of the most brutal counters used by the pros all the time. When you get good at it, you can throw the counter as you pop up over the right hand. It’s such an easy counter to do because right hands usually come at a downwards angle. Just pop your head over the top and knock him out.

 

The 2-point system is for breaking your opponent’s rhythm.

The only time I use the 2-point slip is when I get caught during a 3-point slip or my opponent has me cornered. That’s when I drop down to a 2-point slip, cut left and right a few times to shake him off. I bait the downward punches, then stand back up and counter on top.

 

Tips for Slipping Punches

Practicing the Slip

Practice the 3-point slip first. Start with basic drills where your partner throws the 1-2, pauses and then 1-2 again. Then do drills where your partner mixes up jabs and 1-2′s. You have to look for the next punch when you slip; don’t slip until you see the punch coming. Each slip sets up the next one. Don’t slip at the air. Have your opponent chase your head. START SLOW!

Once you get the hang of it, do the drills with all three punches, 1-2-3. First keep repeating the 1-2-3, then practice with different combinations thrown at random. Keep your eyes on your opponent, NOT his punch.

When you practice slipping,
make sure your partner is ALWAYS aiming for your head!

Once you get the 3-point slip down, the 2-point slip is simply going side to side but with your knees more bent. Once you’ve mastered both, immediately practice your counter punches after the slip! (I’ll have some slipping drills later on.)

“Make Him Miss, Make Him Pay”

Good Slipping does more than avoid a punch,
it prepares your counter-punch.

Slip with your whole body, not just with your head.

Pivot the feet, turn the hips, turn your shoulders as you turn your head. This is what allows you to have maximum control of your body at all times. At first, it may seem easier to just move your head because your body is not yet coordinated; don’t worry, this will improve with practice. When you slip to one side, load up a counter-punch from that side. Be careful not to stand off balance when you’re loading up the punch.

Slip OUTSIDE or OVER the Punch, Not Under

Notice how I showed you how to slip “high punches” and “low punches”. I never said to slip “inside” or “under”. You are always trying to get to the outside of the punch by going OVER them at the middle. I don’t recommend to swing your head straight through sideways because that’s how you get hit. With the 3-point slip, you move your head side to side by swinging OVER the center. The 2-point slip on the other hand swings your head past the center, but you should still visualize that you are keeping your head on the outside of the punch and over it. The moment that you try to slip “UNDER” a punch, you end up getting caught under your opponent. He’ll lean on you, pull your head down, or somehow block you from exploding with a counter.

You generally want to avoid slipping inside because punches naturally curve inwards.

The reason why you avoid slipping to the inside of the punch is because it doesn’t allow you to keep slipping. Think about it: if I want to slip multiple punches, bringing my head to the outside each time allows me to keep moving side to side. If I slip punches by bringing my head inside, I’m going to run out of room and eventually get hit with something. Sure you can slip to the inside, but you have to know what you’re doing and counter immediately.

Bend at the Knees, Not the Waist

Always keep your hips under you.

Too many boxers bend at the waist because they haven’t built the leg strength to slip quickly to one side. Bending at the waist leaves them off balance and less likely to come back with a counter punch. Sure they avoided that punch, but they won’t be able to avoid the next punch. Always try to keep yourself upright and bend more at your knees. It’s ok to bend a tiny bit at the waist. I suggest you watch videos of your sparring to see how much you’re bending at the waist, most beginners are shocked to see how poor their technique is.

In the pictures above, it looks like I’m bending my waist because my head has so much room, but in reality my head is moving because my hips are moving. I don’t need to bend at the waist because bending my knees brings my hip (and upper body) in and out of range as well as up and down. The body rotation furthers the APPEARANCE of a pendulum effect, but in reality my body is upright the whole time!

Always pivot your feet and body as if you’re throwing punches. This keeps your balance and power with you. And you’ll always ready to come back with a counter punch.

Keep Your Hips Down

Stay grounded when you slip. This allows you to slip and punch quickly because you’re not un-grounding yourself with each movement. When you come up from a slip, be careful not to pop up so much that you lift your hips. Keeping your hips down allows your to counter-punch more powerfully.

Look For the Opening, Not the Punch

Too many fighters are too busy looking for punches that they don’t see the counter-punching opportunities. Always remember Where to Look During a Fight, look at your opponent and not his punches. If you can’t keep your eyes on your opponent while slipping punches, your technique is probably wrong.

Slip as Little as Possible

Slip just enough to avoid the punch.

The point of slipping instead of blocking is to free your hands for a punch. You want to counter as soon as your head clears the punch. Your goal is not to avoid the punch as much as possible. Making too much movement is ineffective for slipping multiple punches and probably takes you off balance more than anything. Save time, save energy – slip as little as possible.

Move Your Feet

Slipping doesn’t always have to be about counter-punching. There will be times when you slip punches so you can get away. Slipping shouldn’t be your only defense. Use your legs. Not bending over and not squatting down too low will make it easier for you to pivot or step out of bad situations.

Exhale When You Slip

Think of your slip as a punch, an explosive movement–which it is. It’s an explosive defensive movement so you have to exhale sharply as if you’re punching. After all, your body is kind of rotating similarly to how you would when you punch. The breathing will also help you get into a punching rhythm so you can come back with a counter.

Slipping in Boxing

When used properly, slipping offers you a whole new level of evasive movement and counter-punching opportunity. Not having to use your hands to defend allows you to counter-punch sooner and punch from more unexpected angles. Learning how to slip takes your fighting defense and boxing ability to the next level. Did I forget to mention how cool you would look?

The only way to use the slip is to throw a counter punch. You cannot slip forever! You have to punch back or else your opponent will punch until he catches you. This is why you need to slip with your body to always be in position to come back with a powerful counter.

Make him miss, make him pay.

 

Watch how the defensive masters slip punches:

Got the hang of slipping?

  • How to Shoulder Roll (learn how to roll punches)
  • Learn how to REALLY slip the right hand.
  • Learn how to slip hooks.
  • Learn the up & down slip.
  • Learn how to REALLY slip jabs.
  • ALL COMING SOON!

 

The SLIPPING CHALLENGE:

Ok, for all your experts at slipping…here are some trick questions for you to think about. Work on the technique and post your findings in the comments. There’s no right or wrong answer. Share your experience and tips with us. Together, we will learn how slipping works.

  • Slipping Challenge #1 – how do you slip using less movement?
  • Slipping Challenge #2 – when and why should you slip more than one punch in a row?
  • Slipping Challenge #3 – what slipping tactic do advanced boxers have that beginners don’t? (HINT: the answer is NOT athleticism, timing, or reflexes.)

…I shall reveal MY answers in a future slipping guide!

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134 Comments

Jerome September 29, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Slipping Challenge #3 – what slipping tactic do advanced boxers have that beginners don’t?
It must be experience, for what I have seen they can also make the oponent throw the exact punches they want to slip.

Reply

Johnny N October 1, 2011 at 1:27 am

This is a great answer.

Reply

sawma October 5, 2011 at 11:27 am

isn’t the hook supposed to be thrown and the thumb directed upwards? I noticed that it is thrown incorrectly plz correct me if i am wrong

Reply

Johnny N October 5, 2011 at 11:33 am

Hi Sawma,

The hook can be thrown with the thumb upwards OR sideways. There’s different uses. Thumbs up is usually for longer wider hooks. Thumb sideways is for shorter more compact hooks. Some people may prefer one over the other because it feel mores comfortable for their shoulder or fits their style of fighting.

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sawma October 7, 2011 at 11:05 am

ok thank u i just posted this because I watched a video of the legendary freddie roach explaining the left hook and he said you must keep your thumb towards the sky.
it’s good to know that you can use both variations. great article keep them coming !!! :)

Reply

Johnny N October 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm

It’s funny he says to keep the thumb towards the sky. In the Pacquiao vs Cotto fight, Pacquiao threw a lot of horizontal hooks.

JaketheSnake September 29, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Wow, I’ve been waiting for this for long time and it was worth it. Never knew I was doing things wrong by just doing the wobble slip. But doesn’t Iron Mike wobble a bit by just slipping with his upper body? How do you think he manages to be a counter position despite doing that?

Reply

Johnny N September 30, 2011 at 1:27 am

Great question, Jake. Iron Mike gets to do the wobble slip for a number of reasons. 1) he’s a short stocky guy with big hips and a big core. Think of his body as a big ball with short limbs. So he’s able to “wobble” more without sacrificing his balance and power. 2) he does the wobble slip to bait his opponents into punching down at him, that way he can pop up and counter over the top. Watch his videos and you’ll see him exploding off the sides.

Another thing you have to notice is that he’s still pivoting his body as he “wobbles”…so it’s not a pure wobble. Watch his training videos and you will see.

Reply

okei September 30, 2011 at 4:03 am

Nice one johnny,
It was an elightening piece but you seem to forget that doing such good work is extensive to the extent that the skill set has to be in two’s, here i am referring to the southpaws and the orthodox. In short the question is that i need you to put up the reverse for us “southpaws” to slip to. Then here again you owe me the article on the aaron pryor/manny pacquiao/Napoleon bonarparte’s “Manoeuvre De Derrière” style of flank attack since posting the “Drowning style” article.
OK here goes…..once again i do not know if you remember me, Okei from Nigeria you used to send articles to me for conditioning drills? well i am still over here in lagos and i am seeking a trainer/coach ready to take an amateur with not more than 3 fights, but countless of sparring sessions ending in knockouts, stoppages, surrenders!!(i dare say).
Since the last time i talked about the economic strain bearing on my going pro here or moving up as an amateur, i have improved tremendously as a southpaw with a crazy left. Got some speed and agility drills and they have maxed my speed and power like crazy,at least i go on 1-2.30 mins- 3hr of training in the am and the same in the evenings, with non stop shadowboxing for 30mins inbetween which improved my speed and endurance. Ending most of the evenings with 1 hr road works and i am basically a race horse, i kid u not,this i do almost everyday.
Look Johnny i can’t tape this training thats whats sad about this, but if given the chance, boy am i ready to explode. Can you get any trainer who can fine tune me, i need an invitation letter from any in Canada which is closer to the States, any that can accommodate and train me for the pro’s. Johnny i know if you have it in your heart to help this is definitely a good shot.

Reply

Johnny N October 1, 2011 at 1:27 am

For southpaws, you learn the same thing but switch around positions 1 & 2. Southpaws rely a bit more on pulling their head in & out of range. You know what, I need to write a slipping guide for southpaws. Hahaha!

About getting sponsored, I’ll let you know if I hear of any opportunities. Around here, we’re loaded with so many talented amateurs. Have you tried posting up videos of you training & sparring on youtube? Then send them to management companies around the states and trainers of popular gyms in the states.

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okei October 1, 2011 at 10:34 am

Hey johnny, all i need is to get there as i understand the politics and talents also looking for a chance. if you can help with any certified coach to help me with an invitation letter from Canada as that’s what i need to process a sure application . when i get there i think i can navigate my way, i know who i am and what i would become if given the chance so that’s about it, sorry if i sound too direct, i guess i am just high octane with all the training and no podium to prove it, that’s all.
this is the first fight though its old and i am not opportuned to any fights for now. the other was an old padding session as well, which i was heavier in both too, but i think i am far, far above this now. no joke.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycH4-xCJOvs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hyzo4oDpVew

Trying for a management outfit now, to me is too early, i know i might not be polished enough and finished product right now but i certainly would want to get walk into this game with my eyes open that’s all. if i am being naive then its ok if i am better advised from you.

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Rod October 12, 2011 at 2:12 am

a southpaw slipping guide would be great! I try and concentrate on slipping to my right but find its just not as quick as slipping to the open, left side. however, slipping left as a southpaw does leave you open to more counters.

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Johnny N October 12, 2011 at 4:26 am

Slipping to the left side is actually very useful. You just have to know how to set it up. I’ll definitely have to put a guide out for this.

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Mac September 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm

“The only way to use the slip is to throw a counter punch. You cannot slip forever! You have to punch back or else your opponent will punch until he catches you.” I learned this from experience last night haha. This brawler would always put me in the corner and force me to cover up and move my head, until one time he did it and i came off with a nasty counter. Every time he did it again, I would just keep landing counters. Great tips Johnny!

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Johnny N October 1, 2011 at 1:22 am

Make him miss, make him pay! ;)

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spyrosk September 30, 2011 at 3:52 pm

First off all, this is one the BEST EXPLAINED articles you ever wrote, with many videos as examples.
As for the questions in the end, without considering myself even close to expert in boxing, here are my thoughts/asnwers:

Slipping Challenge #1 – how do you slip using less movement?
MY THOUGHT–>It’s all in the hips & head. Also being protected a bit by your shoulders to your chin helps you reducing your movement.

Slipping Challenge #2 – when and why should you slip more than one punch in a row?
MY THOUGHT–>You do multiple slips for many reasons. One reason: trying to get the best stance with balance for your counter punch. Second Reason: trying to get closer for a better counter punch, and Third Reason: if your oponent is really good & no counter punch is possible, by doing multiple steps you’re trying to get away safely from his “shooting” area.

Slipping Challenge #3 – what slipping tactic do advanced boxers have that beginners don’t? (HINT: the answer is NOT athleticism, timing, or reflexes.)
MY THOUGHT–> Technique! To be more exact, they’re able to calculate much better the distance and use that to their advantage & also read their opponents movement.

Reply

Johnny N October 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Excellent answers, Spyrosk!

For #2, I suggest you do more slipping in the ring and instead of looking for opportunities to do multiple slips…try to think about how using multiple slips can get you into a better position. Your answer is in the right direction but not exactly what I’m looking for.

For #3, having better technique is a given. Try to think about what else a pro has or does that beginners don’t.

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King Lion October 1, 2011 at 11:53 am

Hey Johnny, good article, but I once noticed in a post on another thread here, that Saber Khan mentioned a site called My Boxing Coach.com. Saber said it was for pro fighters. Well I checked out that site and got a few free tips and I have to tell ya, that guy really knows his stuff. So much so, that I took his Boxing Training Foundation course and have learnt a ton of great boxing science. My eyes have been opened quite a lot these past few weeks. When it comes to ‘slips’ inside and outside, he states that it’s all about ‘economy of movement’ and not just to be used as a reactive measure, but as a proactive measure. The point he made that is different from your example above, is that a slight push from the legs will drive the rotation of the hips – front leg for slips outside and back leg for slips inside. Once the pushing leg rotates the hips, it is just a matter of slightly bending the opposite knee to allow the head to avoid the opponents punches. This bending of the knee enables the hips to rotate as required. Then the body snaps back into the boxing stance. Simple, economical and very effective!
This is quite different from the pivotal rotation of your feet and (un-intentional) dropping of your guard (likely due to pendulum effect) as demonstrated above.
Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m a heavy-weight and all the gyrations above will tire a brother out, sooner, rather than later, not to mention that the abiltiy to counter punch is limited with the focus on avoiding a punch that may never come.
It would be easy to consider slipping punches to be a reaction to a shot, as opposed to a proactive measure to control an opponent. It’s very unwise to wait for a shot to come in order to effectively slip it. Unless your opponent has ludicrously slow hand speed (as seen in the video), then the laws of physics are very much against you! Slipping punches should be used in conjunction with other skill elements, this approach will maximise the successes generated.
Here are some common problems that can occur when slipping punches – 1. The boxer falls into the trap of waiting for a punch to be thrown before slipping. The chances of avoiding shots are greater if slips are used as part of a package of skills e.g. throw a jab, slip inside and throw a mid-range left hook. 2. The boxer bends at the waist rather than using the legs to make the upper body move. This very much reduces the boxer’s ability to be effective in counterpunching. 3. Too much movement to the left or right, has the effect of a) using more energy than is necessary and b) reducing the chances of taking advantage of your opponent missing with a shot. As you said, if you make him miss, we want to make him pay – right?
Slipping does allows considerable leverage for counterpunching, no doubt about it, if done correctly. When you slip inside, think about the punching opportunities that are offered e.g. the mid-range left hook. When you slip outside, look at the option of the right cross or the right hook at long range.
Slipping punches offers a world of opportunity in terms of capitalizing on the openings created. By definition, when you as a boxer successfully slip a shot, you are within range to land any of a battery of your own shots. By continually slipping punches, ducking punches and rolling (or the bob and weave) during a boxing match, it has the effect of making it very difficult for an opponent to target your head and also acts as a feint or diversion, which applies a constant level of pressure to the opponent during the contest.
On a more personal note, I want to share with you the fact that I’ve been training in boxing with a pro MMA fighter friend the last month and the lessons I’ve gotten here and from the my boxing coach.com site have been extremely helpful to me. So a heartfelt thanks to you Johnny and thanks to Saber Khan too, because if not for your site and the guys who share their knowledge and experience I wouldn’t have gotten so much enjoyment out of the ‘sweet science’.

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Johnny N October 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Welcome back, King Lion!

Excellent excellent post. Comments like these help out everyone! I will address your concerns below!

Pushing VS Relaxing (the way I teach)
- You never want to push to slip. In fact, you should never be pushing when you box. You don’t push when you move, you don’t push when you punch. Why? You ask. To push something requires you to “load” a weight. Therefore when you push yourself to move or punch, you must first load a weight and therefore waste energy to CREATE UNNECESSARY TENSION. Tension when you then you have to spend energy to release. It sounds so silly, right? You first use energy to load the weight…now you have to use energy to unload it off you. Doesn’t it sound illogical?

Now I’ll explain why PUSHING your hips during a slip can be ineffective or inefficient. When you are responding to an opponent, by the time that he’s punching…he’s already released his attack. If you’re slipping his attack by PUSHING yourself out of the way, you lose. In fact, I almost guarantee that you will be hit. Because you have to LOAD the weight, and then PUSH the weight. All that takes too much time. Or well…you can walk around with loaded hips all the time, which means you’re wasting energy.

- So what’s the proper way? To RELAX. When you want to slip, you RELEASE yourself. Letting your body freefall into one direction, for just a tiny bit. And then release into the other direction. So by the “pushing” theory as you explained, the fighter slips by PUSHING himself to one leg, then using that leg to PUSH himself to the other leg.

The way I would do it is to RELAX myself into one leg, and then RELAX myself into the other leg. Instead of pushing with one, and then with the other. I relax with one and then with the other. If I was to slip multiple punches, I would get tired quickly and be too slow because it’s too hard to push back and forth. If I’m just relaxing, I can easily relax back and forth avoiding multiple punches WHILE STAYING RELAXED. This way, I am ALWAYS ready to slip, counter, move, or respond in any way that I want.

Dropping the guard (from the pendulum effect)
- This a great point that you brought up and one that other fighters at the gym ask me for all the time. They say, “But Johnny, YOUR DEFENSE IS DROPPING!” To which I laugh because THAT’S THE POINT! You’re either blocking or you’re slipping. If you’re slipping, that means you’re using your hands to counter. It’s going to be very hard to slip CLOSELY to a punch if you’ve got gloves glued to your head like giant earmuffs. Btw, holding big gloves to the head while slipping can off-balance lighter fighters.

My suggestion is that you watch the pros fight and look at where they hold their gloves. They usually stick them BELOW the chin, sometimes in front of their chest, instead of at the cheekbone level. This way their head is a really small target and can “SLIP” around punches. Another important note to mention is that slipping can be done WITH a punch. You don’t have to wait until after the slip to throw a counter. Watch knockout videos and you will see that many pros are throwing a right hand as they slip the right hand.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQeqquW1ugo (The pendulum effect works beautifully, doesn’t it?)

Slipping Inside vs ROLLING
- You have to think very carefully when you say slip inside. Anytime that you slip inside a punch, you’re actually ROLLING a punch. If I slip INSIDE the right hand, I’m actually ROLLING it and catching it with my left shoulder. The roll also loads up my right hand to come back with a big counter. It’s very hard to slip inside right hands…because to slip implies that it misses you entirely. I’m not saying it isn’t possible, but it’s very hard and not always practical. It’s bound to make contact with your body somewhere (because punches arc inwards) and when it does, rolling that punch would take off the steam. Even if it lands on your shoulders or arms, you still want to roll so it doesn’t take you off-balance.

Waiting vs Not-Waiting
- I never wait for punches to come, but I do respond to them when they happen. My technique allows me to move faster than the punch because I’m not worried about pushing my body anywhere. I simply pick a side and RELAX. No energy is wasted. My slips are a response to punches. When I’m not getting punched at, I will move my head but not in a slipping manner. Moving your head & slipping are 2 entirely different things although I can see how some people might confuse the 2.

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Brendan October 1, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Hey Johnny, I just have one quick question that I dont know if it was covered or not. When slipping from your start position would you say to turn your head as you slip so it stays in facing your opponant rather than slightly turning away from? Eg just like when you punch you shouldn’t turn your head with a right cross but your should rotate your shoulders around your spine/neck to keep your head facing your opponant.

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Johnny N October 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Hey, Brendan. When you slip, you turn your head slightly in the direction that you slip. You can see in the pictures above, too.

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Gordon October 1, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I’ll take a crack at it even though I suck at slipping.
Challenge 1: Think about letting the punch graze you just a bit so you don’t over slip and ruin your counter opportunity.
Challenge 2: You actually mentioned this in your “Counter-baiting” article. You should slip multiple punches to get your opponent to over reach when they go for the right hand. This increases your time to land the counter hook.
Challenge 3: I’m still poor at slipping, but I notice I slip better against weaker or lighter opponents. I know that their punches won’t hurt me if I mess up the slip, so I can go for it with full confidence, even if they are punching faster than the heavier opponents. So maybe it’s confidence that they won’t get hurt too bad if they mess up that makes them so good.

Alternate answer for Challenge 3: This is from reading your article on automation and where to look when fighting. They have reached the point where after countless slipping drills, slipping has become automatic. They are now at the point where they are simply looking for counter opportunities. They are no longer thinking of slipping, so it becomes instinctual.

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Johnny N October 1, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Great answers! #3 is a little tricky actually.

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Gordon October 1, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Scratch my alternate answer for Challenge 3. I just realized that that is “reflex”, which is not the answer.

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King Lion October 1, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Wow, thanks a lot Johnny! I really appreciate the kind words from you man.
I just wanted to share some of what I learned from the BTF, because I always say – Each One, Teach One.

Re: Pushing vs Relaxing – IMO, the ‘relaxing’ sounds good in theory, but it doesn’t feel as sure-footed or quick as the fast response and minimal hip and torso rotation given from the (slight) push (or transfer of weight) off the leg.The difference could be down to individual styles and nothing more, but for me, the boxing stance is neutral. My balance and weight are evenly distributed between both legs – until I make my inside slip and push off the back foot, or the outside slip and push off the front foot. It is similar to a coiled spring in essence. Too little or no tension and it loses it’s effectiveness, like a Slinky – great toy, but has no control and appears lazy. Too much tension and body movement becomes stiff and hard to utilise effectively. Neither of those two situations lead to optimal performance and are counter-productive. The hips don’t do any pushing and only rotate by my understanding and experience with the BTF, only the foot/leg needed for whichever direction I want to slip towards, shifts weight or pushes – SLIGHTLY. This ‘slight’ push, or transfer of weight off the foot and bending of the knees, is what rotates my hips for me. The feet don’t even need to move out of position, just support my shifting weight, because it’s all about the economy of leg and head movement and not wasted energy.

Re: Dropping the guard (from the pendulum effect) – If using minimal body and head movement, there should be no pendulum effect at all.
Sure, I’ve seen some pros and others drop their guard and it’s all good – until they get tagged – like Rahman did above. Great 1-2 and knockout Johnny, but it looks more like Maskaev was setting him up with the jab for the specific intent to throw the overhand right at him.

Here is a perfect example imo, of a reactive slip inside by Donald Curry, to set up a left hook and knockout of Milton McCrory after Milton dropped his guard just a bit.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh477BpDH6U
I think we can both agree that reactive and proactive slips and counters are a very effective weapon for any boxer to have in his arsenal.

Re: Slipping vs. Rolling – To my understanding, those are two different principles and are not to be confused with each other.
An effective slip would cause the opponents jab or cross to graze just past my head and OVER my shoulder. The bend of the legs, rotation of the hips and slight movement of the head, will take my head out of the line of the punch – then allow me to counterpunch. If the punch is arcing towards me, I can then slip/bob/weave and counter with an uppercut, or duck and counter, or lean back/parry/roll with the punch and jab or follow up with an uppercut and hooks. The slip inside provides the necessary leverage to increase the delivery power of the left uppercut, as well as acting as a great defence to any incoming jab. The impact of an uppercut landing more often than not causes the opponent’s head to lift high above the guard.
Can you see where I’m going with this?
The final shot, the mid-range left hook, takes full advantage of that lifted head. Even if the uppercut fails to land cleanly, the opponent will not be expecting a left hook (or any other left hand punch) and therefore the chances of that hook landing are increased significantly.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHnL7wqtQLs

Re: Waiting vs Not Waiting – I think you misunderstood the point I was making. I’ve learnt that although the slip is used often as a defensive move, it is most effective as an aid to setting up offensive moves, feints and counters. When one gets punched at, they must immediately return a punch, or two, or three and smash the opponent’s will. The better I become, the fewer shots get through. But without my capitalizing on my opponent’s lack of success at hitting me, he will continue to try. I want him to equate ‘trying’ against me, to getting punished for his effort. Tyson was a master at this approach. He conditioned his legs greatly and slipped/feinted pro-actively, far more than reactively. It was mainly to set up his hooks and uppercuts to devastating effect and that is why he could finish his fights and opponents very quickly. A sign of a great fighter is this ability to be out of range one second, then in the next second be in range and unleashing killer shots.
Basic physics says that an object at rest, tends to stay at rest and an object in motion, tends to stay in motion. I used to play football in high school and university and the one thing I remember about what seperated the potential pros from the joes, was that the pros hustled more and reacted quicker, while the joes, or bench-warmers just took it too easy. When they were getting blown away in drills at practice, I used to think to myself…..You Snooze – you lose!
It’s not about relaxing or ‘pushing’ anything, other than my will. It’s about me making the opponent doubt his ability to throw a shot without him getting clobbered by a counterpunch, because I will have scientifically used the best defence, which is in fact – a good offence. To become a hard target, to make him miss and then make him pay!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICAJXqUXygo
Confidence is key, but over-confidence is a liability and there is nothing confusing about that.

Peace.

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Johnny N October 2, 2011 at 4:48 am

“Each one, teach one.” Such a vital principle to learning. You can always learn from someone else. There is always something that they contribute, whether conscious or sub-conscious.

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Ram October 2, 2011 at 6:51 am

This is great!! Thanks for this!

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Ross October 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm

This might be a lame question but I got a little confused. I understand what ur talking about with the 3-point slip system. The video helped a lot. And I understand the benefits when theres distance and the opponent throws straight punches.
What I was wondering is there a difference in movement in slipping vs rolling. Let me explain a bit. So with slipping, mainly using the 3-point system, it makes perfect sense to train using something like a slip bag. The movements, loading up on ur counter punches, all of it. But when you train on the rope tied across the ring it almost seems like the opposite movement. Can you explain if there is a difference between the two methods of training and why? So with a slip bag you can utilize the 3-point slip, but with the rope u are constantly ducking under “punches” so how do those two go together?

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Johnny N October 2, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Hi Ross,

There’s definitely a big difference between slipping and rolling. With slipping, you are moving your head to avoid the shot entirely (usually moving to the outside of the shot). Whereas with rolling, you are turning your body away from the punch so that it lands on your shoulders.

The funny thing about the slip rope is that it’s for practicing your roll-unders. It’s not really for “slipping” but it will drill your awareness and the amount of which you have to move your head to avoid a punch. It gets you use to making quick little movements with your legs that somewhat mimic an actual slip.

The slip bag is for working the slip. Shadowboxing as you avoid the swinging bag. The swinging bag helps to imitate a punch but gives you time to throw counters so you’re not constantly slipping back and forth. The swinging bag also builds your eye awareness you get used to paying attention to a moving target (like a punch).

The slip rope is for working your roll-unders and leg muscles as you shadowbox while moving through, under, and around the rope. Some gyms will tie 2 slip ropes so that they form a cross at the middle of the ring. And then you duck and roll under constantly as you shadowbox across all the ropes. It’s all just different ways of training your drilling the defensive movements into your body to develop your defensive boxing skills.

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Radd October 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Thanks for another great article j. And congrats for the brand new view of the site. I have some knowledge about it but im not sure and explanation from an expert like you would be perfect; can you explain what is the pendulum effect and why is it a reason for dropping the guard ? I guess its something about the momentum and the balance. THX.

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Johnny N October 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Don’t worry about the “pendulum effect’. It doesn’t really exist. My head LOOKS like it’s moving like pendulum but it’s really not. It’s only a pendulum if I’m bending at the waist. But in actuality, I’m bending from the knees and rotating my body from side to side. So in reality, it’s not a pendulum because my whole body is displacing it self when I slip.

As for dropping the guard, this isn’t a requirement or “feature” of the slip. My guard is “dropped” when I counter while I slip. Suppose I threw a counter jab to your body as I slipped your jab, you wouldn’t say that my defense “dropped” because I was simply using my hand to attack.

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fernando October 3, 2011 at 1:02 am

After looking at this, I see why you didn’t have me duck under punches in class. I have been doing “air situps” all this time… Damnit. LOL

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Johnny N October 3, 2011 at 6:12 am

LOL, man!

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Radd October 3, 2011 at 9:38 am

Thanks bro. In your avatar picture you’re looking like you took some weight than before :) i guess you earn millions from the “expertboxing.com” and now i guess you stop training and eat that money with hundreds of girls and lot of food :)) That can be the only reason for that avatar, yes i watch too much “lost” in the past :)

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Johnny N October 3, 2011 at 9:53 am

Hahaha, don’t worry man! Just gimme me a few hours in the sauna. I can still make the weigh-in!

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Okei October 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Johnny u know its quite turning me 2 a monster, training like this with no shout out from anyone. Well as 4 slipping & paying, i believe the best example is Jersey joe walcott, only problem is he was a ballerina when on the move which in turn affected d solidity of his foot anchored to his lower body core & then the pivot & ultimately his pivoting shoulder snap. A piece which late Edwin valero mechanically engineers to his left slip but genetically lacked a solid lower core.

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Johnny N October 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Hmmm….do you have some good footage of Jersey Joe Walcott that shows what you’re explaining?

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John Taylor York October 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Johnny is there any exercises we can do other than sparring to build slip reflexes? Do you have to be born with the pernell Whitaker and Floyd mayweather reflexes? Hahaha

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Johnny N October 3, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Drill with the mitts and do slow-motion sparring so you get used to looking at punches. Lol. The reflexes come naturally. The first part is learning how to see the punch. Learning how to FEEL the punch before it’s actually thrown.

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AB October 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm

I would love it if you made Southpaw guides hahaha. I feel left(no pun intended) out reading these. Although I know flipping or reversing most of the stuff you right will do the trick its just not quite the same. Other than that these articles are pure gold.

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Johnny N October 4, 2011 at 12:38 am

Thanks, AB! Actually a southpaw guide would be very good since southpaws are slipping orthodox fighters. I’ll be making a guide for orthodox/southpaw fighters to slip & counter each other. I’ll be doing it from the orthodox view but for sure that one you can flip around. I’m going to have to do another southpaw-only guide.

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Okei October 4, 2011 at 1:21 am

Oh! Sorry 4 memory “unprecision”, theres : J-J Walcott v Joe Louis. Then a host of others in combined view on THE GREATEST DEFENSIVE ARTISTS OF ALL TIME 2 , on youtube to see. His is beautiful that its the classic, “miss by an inch, not a mile”, and he does it with ease, on any angle, in motion and finally it seems too easy and unpremeditated watching that, the untrained eye won’t see. Valero’s left slip which i copied and have alternated too is done countlessly on- EDWIN VALERO GYM WARS on youtube. Thats what he nearly decapitated Urbano Antillons head with while coming on the top of his 2. Pacquiao does it too, but he normally moves left to bait you to shoot the 2, and his emphasis is on speed alone so it might sting not stun. Valero is the best southpaw counterpuncher i think i’ve seen. Then kostya tszyu v Vernon Forrest in the olympics which u can see on youtube was a nice way of subtle and in place slipping & countering on the top 4 orthodox too especially for a smaller fighter.

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Johnny N October 4, 2011 at 2:32 am

Great videos! I’ve seen them all except for the JJ Walcott one. Thanks, man.

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adnan October 4, 2011 at 2:16 am

johnny u said its not good to duck under punches /. my question is guys like mike tyson and joe frazier used to slip by moving the head in a U motion. which to me by the looks of it is ducking under the punch?? i recon i am missing something here. explaing it to me please?

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Johnny N October 4, 2011 at 2:25 am

Adnan, those guys are ROLLING under the punch. That’s a roll, not a slip. Entirely different technique. Although it uses the same muscles and can feel similar or used in a similar manner, it’s really a different technique.

There are several key differences between slips & rolls. The biggest difference is that with slipping, you stay on the outside of the punch. With rolling, you’re on the inside of the punch. With roll-unders, you start from the INSIDE of the punch, but escape to the outside. How confusing, huh? The roll-under is really a roll technique but combined with the leg motion of “ducking”.

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Josh October 4, 2011 at 3:31 am

“Always pivot your feet and body as if you’re throwing punches. This keeps your balance and power with you. And you’ll always ready to come back with a counter punch.”

This sentence alone was incredibly helpful; thanks.

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GQ October 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Great article as always Johnny.

Could you perhaps expand on the concept of ‘moving your head’ being different from slipping?

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Johnny N October 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm

CQ, moving your head is like breathing from your boxing stance. Letting your body flow in a natural rhythm as you shift your head back and forth slightly. It should feel rhythmic and natural.

You’re not forcing yourself to stay still like a statue and you’re not forcing yourself to move to as if you were doing a slip dance. Think of it like when you’re walking. You’re not forcing your body into a rigid upright position, but you’re not posing your body and every mid-step (like a slip). You’re just kind of letting the natural rhythm of your walk take you. When you’re moving your head, it should feel like the same natural rhythm of walking except only you’re not moving your feet, you’re just shifting your head and upper body a bit.

Now I’ve over-complicated it. The point is…just be natural.

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Matty October 5, 2011 at 9:56 am

Great guide Johnny. Probably your best so far, very well explained and the videos really add to the main article. Very helpful as usual.

The new site looks great as well!

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Johnny N October 5, 2011 at 11:34 am

THANK YOU!

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dayne October 15, 2011 at 6:22 am

hey ..thanks man..u kept the promise..to write something about slippin puches..wht\ich i asked for..few months befoe

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Johnny N October 17, 2011 at 10:56 am

Dayne, I remember every single request! I’m still writing articles I promised a year ago. Hahahaha…eventually, everyone gets their request answered.

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Sergio November 4, 2011 at 3:33 am

hey Johnny… thanks for TUDO AMIGO, i really apreciate your work…solamente una cosa puedo hablar… Obrigado ,im brazilian johnny, your site already famous here.
thank you MANO

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Johnny N November 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Sergio, obrigado! I didn’t know ExpertBoxing was famous in Brazil but thank you for reading my site! Good luck and thank you for writing.

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Mac November 13, 2011 at 9:18 am

Hey dude, this may seem like an amateur question, but for some reason I have it stuck in my head and I’m having trouble figuring it out. I was just wondering which technique is more defensively sound, Parrying, or Slipping? Like which one would have less risk to perform, and which one is safer, and more defensive, as opposed to which one is more offensive?

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Johnny N November 14, 2011 at 3:55 am

Hi Mac.

Parrying is far less risky. Think of it like a block but you’re slightly deflected the punch away.

The slip is generally more offensive because it allows you to counter faster. In certain cases, the parry can be very offensive especially against bigger punches because you can deflect them way off target and make your opponent more open than he is.

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saber khan November 13, 2011 at 11:43 am

coach wonderful add on to slipping. man kinglion i find it impossible to believe u got in the ring 3 months ago u sound like u got great technical knowledge bro :) i agree with coach J on the relaxing or falling aspect, slipping and ducking feels very much like im falling to one side very slightly and then good stance catches it. bobbing (ducking) and weaving (moving circular sideways under a punch) feels very `springy’ though, theres a push required to strafe the puncher. if ur talking about a push for turning a slip/roll into a counter however then i totally agree, it does feel very springy and shots planted with slips and weaves and far more power. and the `pendulum’ thing, its a way of counter balancing ur self. its necessary only when youre really low or circling fast, and working on avoiding punches (like your strafing right and slipping inside a straight. its not needed if a fighters balanced but try going one direction backing up or circling moving away, and slipping, ill bet u find yourself more in control if u put the opposite arm out. i agree it seems a bit weird in the vid cuz el gran coach is doing it w/o movement. loved ur bit on proactive use of the slip, it definitely shud used as a premeditated set up, its a great trap to bait a puncher and counter, doing it with a jab or right overhand to get inside an opponent without being tagged by the same punch

i love the technicality of the site, it picks up on things i really wondered if other boxers thought about except when complaining about their trainer

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King Lion November 16, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Thanks for the compliment Saber.
I have taken this ‘sweet science’ stuff seriously and am just glad to have found this site. Both it and your contributions and mention of MyBoxingCoach.com really helped to propel my learning. I have practiced alot and have tried to utilise everything I’ve learnt so far. I just wish I had perhaps boxed when I was younger. Instead I got caught up in the martial arts scene. Nothing serious there, but I never considered studying boxing at all, even though I was a big fan of the sport. Too bad, because now I think boxing is the superior fighting art. It just feels simply more natural and effective, both as a sport and combat form.
It recently started with cardio-kickboxing as a way to get in shape for me. The kicks and stuff I was already familiar with, but the boxing aspect was what I had desired to learn properly and so here I am, older and a little wiser. My goal is to get in the best shape of my life and then maybe enter a boxing tournament in the ‘Masters’ category within a year or so. Hey, if Dewey Bozella can get his first pro fight at 52, and George Foreman could win a heavyweight title at 46, then there is no excuse for me at 50, not to at least try and get into the ring.
Thanks again guys!

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saber khan November 19, 2011 at 11:07 am

that is awesome liono, i hope when i get 50 ill feel like talking a walk without the help of my android horsey much less go boxing. very happy to interact with fellow pugs and keep working on your aggressive defensive tactics, they are a goldmine of counter opportunities. and i feel that defensive moves when pulled off make one feel more proud of the fight than offense which lets face it is more commonly found and requires less brilliance

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Johnny N November 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I think that’s my fantasy, to still be moving slick and strong when I’m 50. I’m going to be like Bernard Hopkins, teaching AND demonstrating the principles. ;)

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J December 10, 2011 at 6:09 am

I know im late but. you UPDATED this Thank you

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curtis c December 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm

why dont you write a notice board on your web site to tell us when your going to put another artical on their. just a idea. and why did you change the layout of your website anyway like getting rid of the grids and the mailbag? hope to here from you soon

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Johnny N December 13, 2011 at 10:18 am

The noticeboard is a great idea, Curtis! I changed the website because I feel this layout makes it easier to read and keep track of all articles.

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J December 16, 2011 at 2:57 am

So im guessing its also good to slip and counter with an uppercut, hook, jab etc. Right?

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Johnny N December 17, 2011 at 10:58 pm

You can definite counter with anything after a slip as long as you set it up.

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J December 16, 2011 at 3:07 am

One more doing the 1-2 slip what happens when someone throws a low left or right hook or even an uppercut? arent you vulnerable?

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Johnny N December 17, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Yes, you’re vulnerable if someone catches you with a punch while you slip. That’s why you have to be trained to react correctly to the punch they’re throwing. Again, it’s hard to slip low punches.

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J December 17, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Thank You boxing itself is complicated that why one just needs to practice it

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J December 24, 2011 at 10:16 pm

doing the one two slip. it seems very similar to the bob and weave. is the one two point slips your showing on the same boat as bobbing and weaving?

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Johnny N December 25, 2011 at 12:39 am

Tough question, slipping (at least defined by this guide) is a defensive move. Bobbing and weaving can be defensive but can also be for baiting attacks and being hard to catch. Think of it like a preemptive defense. But the answer is yes, they’re both similar.

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J December 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm

when bobbin and weaving whats gettin baited?

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Johnny N December 28, 2011 at 6:07 am

If you’re doing it like Jack Dempsey or Mike Tyson, it’s usually to bait the punches coming downwards. And then you pop up (lifting your head out of harm’s way) and throw big hook counters over the top.

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J December 27, 2011 at 11:59 pm

The hooks? or?

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Smiling Assasin December 28, 2011 at 5:55 am

Hey Johnny,

Will you make a footwork guide for lateral movement ie. getting to the side of your opponent like Tyson and Hatton mastered to open up the body.

Thanks!

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Johnny N December 28, 2011 at 6:09 am

I’ll make the guide later but I can tell you right now how they do it. They both basically switch stances from orthodox to southpaw and vice verse. Basically, they’re cutting one foot around the opponent’s lead foot so that they can throw punches from behind him or from his side. The young Shane Mosley did that a lot, too.

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Smiling Assasin December 29, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Okay thanks! I will try and look at some of his videos.

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Oscar P December 30, 2011 at 7:40 am

Hi Johnny! Nice article mate! Are there any exercises or “workouts” to slip punches faster? I heard Mike Tyson’s secret was to workout the neck, would this work? How would I do it?

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Smiling Assasin December 30, 2011 at 8:41 am

Training the neck is not going to make you slip faster (unless you are just going to shift your head side to side to slip punches). Try standing in front of a mirror for 10 mins every day slipping 1, 2, 3 and 4 punches left and right. Also use a slip bag if you have place to put one. Ten minutes a day I guarantee will improve your slipping in a week.

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Oscar P December 30, 2011 at 8:59 am

Will do! Thanks mate :)!

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Johnny N January 3, 2012 at 1:30 am

Slipping is 2 parts: movement & reflex. You develop the movement by doing it in front of a mirror with perfect form. Do it everyday non-stop until you think it’s good enough. You drill the reflex by working with a live opponent or somebody doing the mitts with you.

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Ricky March 1, 2012 at 8:03 am

I think the answer for number 3 has to do more with anticipation. When you have experience in the ring you develop a sense of timing which helps you to “sense” what’s coming and then to counter, all of this based more in a mental reflex. At the beginning I had a hard time with this but I found that the double end bag helps a lot to improve these skills although the only way to actually see your improvements is sparring. Sometimes I do a couple of rounds only throwing the jab so we can get used to slip and get the timing and after that we do full sparring rounds.

I found this website yesterday and I find it fantastic. Thank you for posting this kind of articles, they’re very helpful.

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srinivas March 9, 2012 at 1:43 am

im a kung fu student. i didn’t have proper boxing coach. so started learning through on line videos later i found you i got more information from your articles & videos you are my BOXING GURU

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Johnny N March 10, 2012 at 2:29 pm

It’s an honor.

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tumppi March 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm

My trainer taught me to slip hooks by doing U (with right hook I do U from right to left, and with left hook I do it from left to right) just below opponents hand. When I succeed with doing U, i can punch back with uppercut or hook and then quickly return out from his reach. I’m still far away from good boxer, but that style makes sense in my mind.

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Johnny N March 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm

That’s known as rolling or “weaving” under punches, totally different from slipping technique. It’s not a different style, simply a different technique.

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srinivas March 13, 2012 at 7:08 am

A boxer how to improve strengt and speed. i read that most relaxed muscle can move speed is it true?

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Johnny N March 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm

It’s true, srinivas.

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srinivas April 2, 2012 at 4:20 am

i’ve been doing shadow boxing with total power and speed it causing sore in my elbow joints
shadow boxing cant be done in that manner?

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Johnny N April 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Take it easy if it hurts. Give your body more time to warm-up before you starting using maximum effort.

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marquay April 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm

wats best way to hav gaurds

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f May 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm

no it is go in strong and fast

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Charles May 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm

So yesterday i work a lot on movement and tried to make it look like constant, today i have this one spot on the right side of my lower back that is abnormally sore,do u think this is a sign that i am doing somthing wrong or just adjusting to the movements?

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Johnny N May 24, 2012 at 2:43 am

Slipping uses a lot of muscles you don’t use regularly so it’s expected to have a sore back. Make sure you’re using the right technique that relies on leg muscles more than back.

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J June 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm

do you think paul williams is great at slipping? i watched your video and i realized what it appears your doing is rotating your feet and doing a slight crunch like you said, i did it that way now i see myself in the mirror and it appears i look similar to the way your doing it, i put way too much thought into it, can you please let me know so i can improve? i know your honest and authentic so i can always count on you to help me improve

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Johnny N June 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm

You’re headed in the right direction so keep working on it. I do like the way Paul Williams slips. He’s a tall guy and his method looks natural and works for him. He is a former champion after all so I would say his technique is at least championship-level.

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J June 22, 2012 at 4:04 pm

excuse me please let me know if i have the right idea so i can see if i need improvement thank you.

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J July 14, 2012 at 5:25 am

i went back to your previous article “how to slip punches in boxing” and i noticed you said move the heel and i literally just tried that, not only did it feel like i conserved energy it felt natural and more smooth :) wow i just love how i can go back to your articles months before and learn so much more after reading them, you are a special breed Mr. Nguyen you inspire me man, all the time you put in is sickening like Will Smith would say, “i dont consider myself as talented but where i excel is ridiculous, my work ethic is sickening when the next man is eating im working when the next man is sleeping im working,” this reminds me of you, your going to inspire many other people to build persistence above and beyond boxing, i cant wait to read a book about your life ten years from now :) keep it going buddy its strongly appreciated,

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J July 14, 2012 at 5:28 am

but real quick advice ill spar some guys and ill slip the right hand to the out side and he would like to move to the right laterally and when i slip the jab hell move to his left, what do i do with that? maybe pivot or roll? wait or maybe like you always say “make him pay with a counter” that might work do you agree? ive also noticed i cant slip a 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2 back to back without countering im starting to figure it doesnt work that way lol

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Johnny N July 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm

You’re right, it doesn’t work that way. You have to exchange a counter immediately. If all you do is slip, you’ll eventually get caught.

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OA7 August 12, 2012 at 1:12 am

Hey Johnny, long time reader but first time poster. Been following all the tips you’ve given and they’ve worked great. I am training the reflex aspect of slipping as best I can however I have some questions on the movement aspect.
I’m not a short fighter but most of my sparring partners either have a longer reach than me or are simply much taller, and so I focus a lot on amassing knowledge, technique and strategy to counter the taller fighter.
One weapon against the taller fighter is the ability of some fighters to seemingly move forward while slipping their jabs and crosses. A good demonstration of this is at 0:49 and 1:37 in this video of Iron Mike [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6zlaIl0yh0]. The movement is fluid and a beautifully effective way or closing the distance and would be grateful if you could enlighten me as to what footwork to drill to obtain proficiency in it.

I box in an orthodox stance. When slipping to the right if i want to move forward, as I slip I take a small step with my left foot placing my weight on my right foot and shuffle forward as I bring my body back to point 3. If I slip to the left I again place my weight on the back leg and step my front foot forward during the slip and return to point 3 as I slide my rear foot forward to return to the neutral stance. However when i try to slip actual combinations of jabs as mike does in the video it feels awkward and clumsy, despite me drilling at a quarter of the speed shown in the video. Have I got the footwork completely wrong or do i need to practice, practice practice and then practice some more? I thought I would ask you for your opinion before committing to practicing something that might be incorrect! How would you approach moving forward whilst slipping in order to close the distance?
Thanks in advance.

ps. take as long as you want with the reply, one thing I love is the detail in your explanation. It often sets off a light bulb in my head and makes me think “but of course! when you put it like that its so simple!”

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Johnny N August 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Ok ok… the technique Mike Tyson is using is a little different. It suits him a little better because he’s very stocky and can pull his head off center without his whole body coming off balance. Unless you’re that solidly built, that’s a very hard way to go about it.

There are many ways to approaching slipping. From everything you described and in your particular situation, I would say that your problem is too much movement. Try to slip without moving. Instead of thinking that your head is moving and your feet is stepping. Imagine that you’re simply jogging forwards into your opponent. Except instead of a jog, your feet is shifting more closely along the ground. Try to keep your body weight at center, if you shift it back and forth between your feet, the weight transfer will slow down your slipping (especially if you have a heavy center). As for your head… try to imagine this. Don’t try to escape from the punch or get out of the way. Try to catch the punch with your ears. When you first start doing this, it’ll tip you in the temple but you will get better with time. Again… try to catch the punch on your ear. So when you see the punch, simply tilt your head to the side just a tiny bit (even bending the knees slightly) and let the punch hit your ear.

Give it a try and let me know if it works. ;)

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OA7 August 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Thanks! I tried the “jogging” method the way you described it and it sure is helping me keep a tighter center of balance whilst moving forward and keeping it to one fluid movement rather than thinking of the head and feet as separate components.
The whole “catching the punch with your ear” is a great example of how you put things in a way that simplifies something seemingly complex; often after sparring i would analyse whether when slipping punches i was slipping too much, or not enough (the times the glove grazed me somewhat). Catching the punches with ears is a good way to demonstrate how much someone should slip so thank you for that.

Also what you said about tyson seems correct because from what I read cus made sure he grew the way that suited his style. But in what way is the technique tyson using a little different to slipping? I have strong and durable core and legs and I would like to know if i could make use of that kind of movement, provided it suits my body type and boxing style of course ( after all I want to use the techniques, not imitate them!)

Thanks!

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Johnny N August 27, 2012 at 9:42 am

Generally, all good boxers typically use the same technique. But even the same technique will look different when used by individuals with different body types and levels of physicality.

Now about Tyson’s slipping. He anchors the hips down and then moves his head. Imagine a ridiculously hard crunch. He has a shorter torso that doesn’t lean so far past his knees so it’s easier for him. A long torso guy like me doing that would easily come off balance. But he doesn’t only slip this way he slips in many other ways as well including the technique I taught in this article.

Later down the line I suppose I could go over other slipping theories. For now, I don’t recommend the way Tyson slips for the average person. If it was easy for you, you’d be doing it naturally already.

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hey hey August 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Thank, Really Johnny Thank you

I don’t even know why I’m paying money for my boxing club. I’m not learning a damn thing. What a shame. You’ve really been my home boxing coach…I got to sparring and that’s about it. I gotta get a new gym membership.

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Johnny N September 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm

It is a shame! I hope you find a gym with better instruction and quality sparring partners. Keep it up.

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curtis carpenter September 18, 2012 at 2:50 am

When will you realse the further guides on slipping? I would love to know how to slip threw a body shot or slip to counter with one.

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Johnny N September 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Probably in a couple months. I’ll need an assistant to help me demonstrate the more advanced slipping maneuvers.

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Alan October 21, 2012 at 10:05 am

Answer for #3: Pros don’t wear headgear which gets in the way of slipping.lol

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Jason November 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm

#1 Let it graze you ? Lmfao
#3 Anticipation, like if you’re inside, he will throw hooks uppercuts
Hopefully right!

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gian February 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm

im trying to slip for position. My trainer wants me to slip to 3 and then to 2 when im not moving as thats how im getting iinside mostly. is it possible with your 3 point system to get better position and move forward while slipping to 1? Maybe to slip 1 and move forward when im slipping to 2, while passing 3 as mentioned above?

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Johnny N February 15, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Once you’re comfortable with the system, you can change it up as needed and do whatever is necessary. Every opponent uses different punches and fights to his own rhythm. Different strategies of head movement will be effective for different opponents.

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malik March 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Would it be more benifcial to practice slipping with head movement from your head movement guide?

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Johnny N March 21, 2013 at 2:27 am

Why not?

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patrick April 29, 2013 at 8:42 am

Whats the best way to practise slippin hooks ?

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Johnny N May 6, 2013 at 11:46 am

On the focus mitts and also slow sparring.

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Danny April 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Awesome video Johnny. Your website is a godsend to me, I’m a 21 yr old college student with no trainer out here, all I’ve got is my gloves, a jump rope, and a heavy bag at our gym. I was wanting to become a more slick boxer and I knew something was wrong with my slips, and moving my head side to side was EXACTLY how I was getting caught with a right hand even though I’d made it past the jab. For my circumstance though, is there any recommendation you have for improving this on the heavy bag? just always mix them into combinations I assume? Same with shadowboxing?

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Johnny N May 6, 2013 at 11:48 am

Focus mitts and sparring. The bag and shadowboxing will do almost nothing for your slipping ability.

You have to understand that slipping is 2 parts:

1) sensing the punch
2) reacting to the punch (slipping/rolling/blocking/parrying/etc)

Everybody keeps practicing #2 but it never works because what you really need to do is develop your ability for #1 first. And the only way to increase your punch awareness is to actually have some realistic punches being thrown at you.

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Nour Eldin July 1, 2013 at 6:03 am

Awesome article as always Johnny , I read all ur articles on slipping , it proves to be a very important subject but somehow it’s also a very elusive concept so bear with me if Im not totally getting it …
I have a couple of questions …
First : You said that doing the 2- point wobble is not correct in boxing and that even though Mike Tyson appears to be doing it , he’s actually not … Ive seen his training videos with the slip bag , he actually does the 2-point wobble … Is there any time when its “okay” to do the 2-point wobble ?

Second: Do you recommend using a slip- bag? , I think it can be a good way to practise “seeing punches” along with slow sparring like you said earlier …

Third: Wouldnt it be a better idea to use head movement as a way to “prevent” getting punched in the first place rather than keep your head in a neutral position and move to slip punches …??

Fourth: When countering ,given the freedom to choose , do you slip outside a punch ( as in away from the body) or inside ( closer to the body) ?

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Johnny N July 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm

1) Training muscles to be stronger and working on a reflex is one thing. Actually using it in fighting it another. To some degree, Tyson does do a 2-point wobble from time to time and gets away with it because he’s so stocky. A tall lanky person, like say Thomas Hearns, cannot do something like that. But of course, in a real fight, sometimes you just move in whatever way you can to avoid a punch. If you’re trained and you know how to fight, you can break all sorts of rules…like dropping your hands, 2-point wobble, etc, etc…for tactical purposes. For a beginner, the 2-point wobble is pretty bad technique and I’ve already explained this in the article.

2) A slip bag is not as useful as you think. Focus mitts and slow sparring is MUCH BETTER because it teaches you how to see incoming punches.

3) This is a very flawed way of looking at slipping. The goal is to move as little as possible. The better you are, the less you have to move. Too many beginners have the mindset of actually having a lot of movement and so their movement never feels good enough…because they need too much of it.

4) You slip in whatever direction you need to make your next move (whether that’s a counter, a clinch, another slip, an escape, depends on what you want).

I have many more videos on slipping on my Youtube channel that you should watch. The article “The 3 Axes of Boxing” is also a good read for you.

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Nour Eldin July 4, 2013 at 1:36 am

Thanks alot Johnny, I appreciate your tips. Ill work more on focus mitts and slow sparring and let you know how everything turns out.

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Ivan July 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Hello! as always a great post! also saw some that explain as slip as Tyson, Mayweather, but I would like a guide on how to slip as Nicolino Loche, which in my humble opinion is the master of defensive boxing

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Johnny N July 8, 2013 at 9:21 pm

I’m definitely not on his level and I’m sure many people wouldn’t even dare try what he does. This guy stands straight in front of your (even legs together sometimes!) and does nothing but slip. It’s so crazy but at the same time amazing and beautiful!

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Miguel Angel Matthysse August 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm

http://web.stagram.com/p/526270601062285737_19790799 Johnny ,wath do you think about danny garcia slipping shots ?

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Johnny N August 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm

He looks good to me. Very smooth and relaxed, using minimal movement. He’s elite level after all.

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Josh February 8, 2014 at 6:16 pm

First: Thanks for all the great articles, I love to test all this out when sparring and am loving it but I have 2 questions.

1: Whitaker and Locche seem like they’re ducking punches a lot, bending at waist and losing sight of opponent. Am I just crazy and not seeing proper slip technique? I get how slipping your war sets up better for counter punching so I prefer it.

2: This isn’t about slipping, but i fought someone who just ducks down and keeps their head near my waist when i start hitting em too much and then they come up with a big hook as i’m trying to figure what to do with em. What should I do when they duck down there? can’t get a good uppercut with that distance, don’t want to punch them in back of head and they’re staying close so i can’t jab side of head.

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Johnny N February 12, 2014 at 3:47 pm

1. Whitaker and Locche are legendary pros. They can break the rules and do whatever they want. I’m sure you’ve noticed much of this. I’m pretty sure no boxing coach is going to teach you to stand with your legs straight and feet together like Locche does at times.

2. Great question. The best answer is NOT to aim for their head because they’re especially prepared and have set up their counters specifically for that response from you. Side-step them and then throw. You can also throw at their body. Or you can walk into them and wear out their back muscles.

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Samuel April 2, 2014 at 3:33 pm

When doing the slip rope drill do you slide the foot slightly to the other side of the rope your slipping to or not

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Johnny N April 8, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Yes, I do. But some guys won’t if they’re doing only a little head movement and then weaving right back to the original side.

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Gaëtan April 16, 2014 at 4:07 pm

When I see Mike Tyson’s fights, I see him slip to left and not to the right when his opponent throws a jab. Why?

Greets from France.

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