Whether you’re going to start boxing or kickboxing, many of the very basics are the same. Kickboxing has all the same punches that are in boxing but with being able to kick too!

Boxing Stance

The first thing to do is to get in your boxing stance and put on your boxing gloves. There are two different stances depending if you’re right-handed (orthodox) or left-handed (southpaw).

Right-Handed (Orthodox)

So, assuming you are right-handed.

In either stance always keep bobbing and weaving and edging forward.

  1. You need to put your left foot forward, with both feet shoulder width apart and slightly bending both knees.  This will give you more balance in your guard.
  2. Lift both hands up to your head with the left slightly in front of your face and your chin tucked in to your left shoulder.
  3. Keep your right hand  close to your chin and keep both elbows into your chest. This tight guard will help your defence.

Left-Handed (Southpaw)

If you are left-handed follow the steps above in the opposite direction.

Now that you are positioned in your stance, just before you throw a punch, practise bobbing and weaving and edging forward in your stance.

This practice of always looking busy and non-static is very important in boxing fights as you will look more active. This will make you seem unpredictable to your opponent and it will also look better for the judges scoring.

The Jab

So, let’s work on the Jab.

Your lead hand is your Jab hand. So if you are right handed, your left hand is your Jab.

The Jab is one of the most important things in boxing as all your other techniques follow the Jab.

  1. Keep your elbows in and punch forward, twisting your fist at the end while you half step forward with the lead leg. This is important to practice as it will close down the gap between you and your opponent.
  2. Imagine if you can hit your opponent without moving, chances are they can hit you too!

Handy Tip: If you find your elbow is coming up, here’s a little trick, practise the Jab standing next to a wall.

The Cross

The cross is also known as a straight and is thrown with your dominant hand when your opponent leads with their opposite hand.

It is known as the cross as the blow crosses over the leading arm and is a power punch.

  1. From the guard position, the rear hand should be thrown from the chin and cross the body towards the target.
  2. The lead hand should be retracted and then tucked against the face to protect the inside of the chin.

Handy Tip: For more power, the torso and hips should be rotated counterclockwise as the cross is thrown as this acts as a fulcrum transferring the weight.

How to block a straight punch (Jab or Cross)

To block either a jab or a cross is quite simple and very effective, but it will take time to master blocking punches as it requires both timing and confidence.

  1. From your guard position if your opponent throws a jab punch (orthodox stance), with your right hand simply wait till their boxing glove is in line with yours and tap their hand to the left. Tapping the punch in this direction will make it harder for your opponent to throw a cross after and you can still remain in a tight guard. As the punch will be coming at a force, a light tap will deflect it away from you. Try not to over block as this will leave you open for their next strike.

To block against the cross, follow the steps above in reverse.

The Hook

A hook uses the core muscles and back to swing the arm at an angle close to 90 degrees, creating a horizontal arc into the opponent. It can be aimed at the head and jaw, or even for body shots too.

The lead or rear hand can be used for this punch, although it usually refers to the lead hand.

  1. To throw a hook, you have to shift your weight to the lead foot, pivoting the body and generating kinetic energy swingin the fist horizontally towards your opponent.

Variations of the hook include the shovel hook or the upper-hook and it is a powerful punch with knockout power too.

The Uppercut

Also known as the undercut, this punch follows a vertical line at the opponent’s chin or solar plexus.

These types of punches are particularly useful when thrown at close range as they cause more damage. They are usually thrown at the chin, but can also be used on the body (like the solar plexus as mentioned above) and cause significant damage when landing on the nose or eyes.

  1. The uppercut starts at the belly, making an upward motion with a hook-like shape.
  2. It is usually used as the second punch thrown after the jab, but can be used to either initiate or finish a combination.

Handy Tip: Staying close to the opponent when performing an uppercut will prevent any countering with a straight punch and will keep the uppercut from losing power the further away you stand.

This is also a power punch.

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The Spinning Back-Fist (Kickboxing Only)

The spinning back-fist has been a trademark move for many kickboxers. However, it is an illegal move in boxing and it also is becoming rarer to see in kickboxing as many sanctioning bodies have banned it. It is because the spinning back-fist can easily be miss judged and it can easily hit your opponent with the foreman. The spinning back-fist is were you rotate your body 180° and punch with the back of your hand.

Even though it maybe an illegal move, it is still a very fun move to practice on the pads and it works many parts of the body. (Please do not practice at home.)

  1. From your orthodox stance position, step your left foot over to the right and pivet it in the opposite way.
  2. Then spin your whole body 180° around with the right hand extended and land your right foot in front of your body past the target so your punch is going through the target.

Watch the video below to see how effective the spinning back-fist is:

Kickboxing Moves

All of the punches used in boxing can be used in kickboxing too, but in kickboxing you get the benefit of being allowed to kick your opponent. Their is only a few types of kicks but their can be used in many variations, like jumping kicks, spinning kicks and reverse kicks.
Here are the typical kicks used in kickboxing:

Front kick

This is probably the easiest kick to perform but can be the most effective. It can be used as an attack or to defend from an opponent coming in.

  1. In your stance position raise your front knee and push out with your foot, striking with the sole of the foot.
  2. Lean slightly back as it will give more force and leverage. The kick can be used from the back leg also.

Round kick

The round kick or also known as the round house is the most popular across all martial arts.

  1. In your stance, if you are going to kick with the back leg right. Step over on the left foot, twisting your hips and kicking round with the right to either the head or body. In K-1 or Muay Thai it can also be used to kick to the leg.

Sidekick

The sidekick has to be our favourite kick just because of it’s name. It is not the most widely used kick in combat sports, especially in MMA, as it has to be performed from a side stance. This kick performed correctly can be the most damaging to your opponent as it delivers a lot of force.

  1. From a side stance position, bring your rear foot upto your front foot with your heal in the direction of your opponent, like in a T-shape.
  2. Lean your body back and raise your front knee up. Then extend out your front leg to kick.

Hook kick

This is a very tricky kick as it requires a lot of speed and flexibility to be considered a weapon as it needs to target the head. The basic step up hook kick is from the same stance as the sidekick and with a similar technique.

  1. Rather than kicking out straight, bring the leg round like as a hook and kick with the heel.
  2. The advanced version is a spinning hook kick which is when your rotate your body 360 degrees. This flashy kick, if landed, the opponent will be definitely getting a 10 count.

Final Thoughts

It is always great fun to practice a new technique or master one that could do with some improving. However, It is always important to remember to use the correct protective equipment before training, especially wrapping your hands. If you would like to learn how to wrap your hands properly for boxing, read our article here.

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