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How to Box | ExpertBoxing

The BEGINNER’S Guide to Boxing

November 23, 2012 by Johnny N Boxing Basics , How to Box 259 Comments

beginners guide to boxing

The ULTIMATE GUIDE to boxing!

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

Let’s begin!

The Greatest Benefits About Boxing

learning boxing basics

First off, why boxing?

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

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

Basic Boxing Technique

Basic boxing stance.

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

basic boxing stance

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

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

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

Read more guides on boxing stance:

  • The Perfect Boxing Stance
  • Perfect Boxing Stance Width
  • Why the Strong Arm Belongs in the Back
  • Deciding Between Orthodox or Southpaw
  • How to Find Your Dominant Hand
  • Boxing Stance 101
  • Boxing Stances and Styles Explained

Basic Boxing Footwork

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

basic boxing step-drag

The basic STEP-DRAG ( see video )

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

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

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

basic boxing pivot

The PIVOT ( see video )

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

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

Read more guides on boxing footwork:

  • 10 Boxing Footwork Tips
  • Basic Boxing Footwork Strategy
  • Boxing footwork technique videos: Shuffle , Bounce-Step
  • Boxing footwork strategy videos: Moving In & Out
  • How to Improve Your Boxing Balance

Basic Boxing Punches

Basic Punching Technique

  • Start from a relaxed position
  • Exhale as you throw the punch
  • Tighten your fist and body muscles at impact
  • Release your hand back to you

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

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

Basic Punching Tips

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

basic jab

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

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

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

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

Great fighters have great jabs.

Read more boxing guides on the jab:

  • How to Throw a Jab
  • 5 Types of Jabs
  • The Ultimate Boxing Jab Guide
  • Jab with Head Movement (INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED)

basic right cross

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

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

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

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

basic left hook

LEFT HOOK – a dangerous power punch ( see video )

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

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

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

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

Read more boxing guides on the left hook:

  • Mastering the Left Hook
  • Setting Up the Left Hook
  • How to Set Up Hooks to the Body

basic left uppercut

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

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

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

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

  • How to Throw an Uppercut

basic right uppercut

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

  • Your body rotates just like a right cross (don’t lean forward or backward).
  • With your elbow pointing down, drop your right fist slightly and swing it upwards as you exhale.

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

Basic Punch Combinations

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

2 = right cross

3 = left hook

4 = overhand right

5 = left uppercut

6 = right uppercut

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

Common Boxing Combinations

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

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

  • Best Boxing Combo (Jab-Jab-Cross)
  • Johnny’s Punching Combinations List
  • How to Throw a 1-2 Punch Combination
  • Breathing Techniques for Fighting
  • Boxer’s Breathing Technique
  • 7 Basic Punching tips
  • How to Punch Harder
  • How to Punch Faster
  • Handspeed Technique
  • How to Throw a Snapping Punch
  • How to Throw a Straight Punch
  • How to Throw a Shoeshine Combination
  • Power Punching Secrets, PART 1 (ADVANCED)
  • Power Punching Secrts, PART 2 (ADVANCED)

Basic Boxing Defense

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

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

basic block

Blocking head punches

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

basic block body punches

Blocking body punches

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

Boxing Defense Tips

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

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

Read more guides on boxing defense:

  • Boxing Defense Techniques
  • How to Block Punches in Boxing
  • How to Parry Punches
  • How to Shoulder Roll
  • How to Slip Punches
  • How to Slip Punches in Boxing
  • Back Hand Guard Technique
  • The Meaning of Defense
  • How to Take Punches Better
  • Aggressive Defense Strategy
  • How to Improve Your Fighting Reflexes
  • Advanced Slipping Technique, PART 1
  • Advanced Slipping Technique, PART 2

Basic Boxing Counter-Punching

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

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

Basic Counters to the Jab

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

Basic Counters to a Right Cross/Overhand/Uppercut

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

Basic Counters to a Left Hook/Uppercut

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

Read more boxing guides on counter-punching:

  • 7 Easy Boxing Counters
  • Boxing Counter-Punching Strategy for Beginners
  • 10 Counters for the Right Hand
  • 3 Simple Counters for Southpaws Against Orthodox Boxers
  • 20 Southpaw Punch Combos and Counters

Basic Boxing Training

basic boxing training

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

Essential Boxing Equipment

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

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

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

How to Wrap Your Hands

  • Everlast Evergel Glove Wraps Review

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

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

  • Best Boxing Gloves Review
  • What Boxing Gloves to Use
  • What’s the Difference in Power Between 14oz and 16oz Gloves?

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

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

Non-Essential Boxing Equipment

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

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

  • Boxing Headgear Review

Boxing Shoes

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

Boxing Training Equipment

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

Gym & Trainer

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

  • How to Find a Good Boxing Gym
  • Finding a Great Boxing Trainer
  • Training at Multiple Gyms

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

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

Double-end Bag

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

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

  • Boxing Jump Rope Review

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

Boxing ring

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

Boxing Workout

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

Boxing Warm-up

  • 3 ROUNDS – run or jump rope (both are good, too)
  • 3 ROUNDS – shadowbox
  • stretch and move around to warm-up the body [how to warm up arms]
  • 3 ROUNDS – focus mitts with trainer/partner (to develop new skills)
  • 3 ROUNDS – heavy bag
  • 3 ROUNDS – speed bag
  • 3 ROUNDS – double end bag
  • 3 ROUNDS – more shadowboxing (to reinforce new learned skills and warm-up for sparring)
  • 3 ROUNDS – sparring, can be for training or learning purposes [sparring link]
  • 3 ROUNDS – conditioning work, can be plyometrics, tabata drills, resistance training, calisthenics, etc

Boxing Warm-down

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

Boxing Training Tips:

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

Read more guides on boxing training:

  • Top 5 Boxing Exercises
  • How to Shadowbox for Boxing Coordination
  • How to Jump Rope for Boxing
  • Boxing Jump Rope Tricks
  • How to Hit a Heavy Bag
  • Heavy Bag Drills
  • Heavy Bag Workout
  • 10 Heavy Bag Training Tips
  • How to Hit a Speed Bag
  • How to Hit a Double-End Bag
  • Double-End Bag Drills
  • Double-End Bag Training (demo)
  • ExpertBoxing EASY Boxing Workout (try this great boxing workout!)
  • Hand Speed Drills and Exercises
  • How to Increase Your Endurance
  • How to Stop Wasting Energy
  • How to Avoid Getting Tired
  • The Perfect Training Pace
  • Most Important Muscles for Fighting
  • 5 Creative Fighting Tips

Basic Boxing Strategy

basic boxing strategy

Boxing is 90% Mental

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

  • Building Your Fight Confidence
  • How to Be Great (inspirational articles) – PART 1 , PART 2 , PART 3 , PART 4 , PART 5

Boxing Styles

A lot of people ask me:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boxing Sparring

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

  • Boxer’s First Spar Checklist
  • Where to Look During a Fight
  • Boxing Sparring for Beginners
  • Why Beginners Shouldn’t Spar with Bigger Opponents

Sparring Drills

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

Sparring Tips

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

Basic Fight Strategy

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

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

Basic Fighting Styles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more boxing guides on fight strategy:

  • The Feel Out Process
  • How to Lose a Fight (Skillfully)
  • How to Beat a Better Fighter
  • How to Brawl

How to Beat a Taller Boxer

  • How to Beat a Shorter Boxer
  • Beating the Swarmers
  • How to Fight a Southpaw
  • Southpaw Guide to Beating Orthodox Fighters
  • Baiting and Forcing Counters
  • 5 Feints for Boxing Tricks
  • What’s Your Fighting Style?
  • Drowning Style – Constant Pressure Without Blocking
  • Anti-Technique and Style
  • Tips for Your First Fight
  • How to Avoid Getting Robbed in Your Amateur Fight

Beginner Boxing Mistakes

More beginner boxing tips!

  • 16 Basic Boxing Tips
  • Top 5 Boxing Mistakes

Beginner Technique Mistakes

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

Beginner Training Mistakes

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

Beginner Fighting Mistakes

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

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[…] https://expertboxing.com/boxing-basics/how-to-box/the-beginners-guide-to-boxing […]

[…] get bonus points if you maintain good form while you do it […]

[…] workout in just using different combinations of these punches in timed segments.  Check out the Beginner’s Guide at ExpertBoxing.com for a really great overview of footwork, basic punches, and punch […]

[…] space to move around, so for the shadow boxing moves (you can find a description of the basic moves here) I just made sure to stay active with my hip twists and keep my core tight. At the end of just the […]

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Last Updated: October 26, 2022 Approved

This article was co-authored by David Engel . David Engel is a Muay Thai Instructor and Self Defense Trainer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. With over 15 years of martial arts instruction and training experience, David runs California Martial Athletics with co-owner Joe Chernay. He has created and maintained martial arts programs at Rise Combat Sports in San Francisco and Round 5 Martial Arts Academy in San Leandro, with a mission to provide students with a level of comfort and competency that manifests both within and outside the martial arts context. He is also a registered cornerman for amateur and pro competitors under the IKF (International Kickboxing Federation). David was the youngest apprentice instructor of the Thai Boxing Association of America under Ajarn Chai Sirisute (2009), and was a top-ranked amateur competitor in his weight class (127-130 lb) in California between 2013 and 2015. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 482,442 times.

Boxing is one of the most physically demanding sports. It requires a blend of power and quickness, plus excellent overall physical conditioning. If you'd like to start boxing, it's important to develop a good workout strategy in order to develop your strength and cardio system. You'll also need to pick up the basics of boxing, including learning some standard footwork plus offensive punches and defensive moves. If you’re a boxing novice, try joining a boxing gym where you can train and spar with more experienced boxers and boxing coaches.

Learning Boxing Fundamentals

Step 1 Develop a stable stance for effective defense.

  • Keep your elbows in and your hands up, with your left under your cheek and your right under your chin. Keep your chin down at all times.
  • If you're a right-handed fighter, the proper stance is to have your left foot in front of you, pointing away from your opponent at a 45° angle. Your left heel should line up with your right toe. If you’re left-handed, reverse the stance and lead with your right foot.

Step 2 Stand on your toes and keep moving to practice your footwork.

  • Keep your spine straight when you’re moving around in the ring. Keep your upper body relaxed so it won’t restrict your legs’ movement.
  • Also, never cross-step (put one foot in front of the other when you step forward). This can put you in an unbalanced, indefensible position.

Step 3 Tape your hands...

  • Bring the tape back down under the pad of your thumb and make “X” shapes in the gaps between your fingers. Do this starting with your pinky and ring fingers. Pull the tape through each gap, then twist it across the bottom of your hand along the upper pads.
  • Cross the tape over the back of your hand from right to left and then go underneath. Repeat the process for the other gaps.
  • When you've completed that, wrap around your thumb once and then around the back of your hand. Wrap your thumb again and then pull the tape across your palm. From here, wrap your knuckles 3 times and end by wrapping your wrist once. Wrap is really useful for keeping the position of your hand in place whilst your hand is in a boxing glove as well as absorbing moisture such as sweat.

Developing Offensive Punches

Step 1 Practice punching on...

  • Before punching, keep your hands close to your face and your elbows tight against your body.
  • Put your weight into the punches you throw, and follow through with each punch. This will help you land punches effectively and accurately on your opponent’s head or torso.

Step 2 Jab...

  • To maximize the effectiveness of the jab, professional boxers twist their arm and wrist just before making contact with their opponent.

Step 3 Throw a cross punch to counter punch a jab.

  • Use the cross on its own to counter a jab, or put the jab and cross together for a 1-2 combo.
  • The shoulder helps power the cross punch. Also pay attention to your feet when throwing a cross. As you throw the punch, move your body weight from your rear foot up to your front foot.

Step 4 Throw a hook when you have time for a slower, powerful punch.

  • The hook’s sweeping delivery is its chief drawback, as it can leave you susceptible to a counterpunch. So, if you and your opponent are exchanging swift jabs back and forth, this isn’t the time to wind up for a hook.

Step 5 Use an uppercut to seriously damage your opponent.

  • Don’t try to throw an uppercut form more than 1 foot (0.30 m) away, or you may miss and leave yourself open to a counter-attack to your body.

Step 6 Combine punches to hit an opponent multiple times in a row.

  • Another effective combo adds a hook to the 1-2 combo. If you're right-handed, this would be a left jab followed by a right cross and ending with a left hook.

Picking up Defensive Moves

Step 1 Learn to take...

  • Develop an effective boxing defense by mixing together various methods of deflecting, blocking, and dodging your opponent’s punches.

Step 2 Parry your opponent’s punches by knocking them away.

  • You’ll need to move fast to parry quick punches like jabs and crosses.

Step 3 Slip...

  • Slipping a punch works best if your opponent throws a punch from at least 2 feet (0.61 m) away.

Step 4 Block punches that your opponent throws at you.

  • Be aware that blocking punches will gradually tire out your hands, and may reduce the effectiveness of your punches.

Step 5 Bob and weave...

  • While the bob and the weave are technically separate defensive moves, they’re commonly paired together.
  • After weaving, strike out at your opponent with a jab.

David Engel

  • So, if your opponent swings at you with a right jab, swing your upper body to the left. While the jab will still strike you, its force will be much weaker than if you hadn’t rolled away from the blow.
  • Rolling provides little protection against side-body blows but is an effective defense against a barrage of punches, as your gloves and forearms absorb most of the impact.

Committing to a Comprehensive Training Regimen

Step 1 Start training at least 3 months before you begin boxing.

  • Most physical-conditioning programs for boxers can be broken down into 3 categories: cardiovascular, core exercises, and weight training.

Step 2 Work on cardiovascular...

  • Fatigued fighters tend to drop their hands and leave their heads exposed. They also can't produce the energy to effectively counterpunch in late rounds of a bout.

Step 3 Weight train...

  • Upper-chest exercises include the flat bench press and dumbbell flies.
  • Target your shoulder muscles with dumbbell military presses and lateral raises.
  • Biceps curls and triceps kickbacks help build upper arm strength needed to increase punching power.

Step 4 Perform core exercises...

  • By performing exercises that involve many muscle groups, a prizefighter can build a powerful core that forces all parts of the body to work cohesively.

Expert Q&A

David Engel

  • To get out of the corner, be sure to block. Then bob and weave your way back to the center of the ring. Thanks Helpful 7 Not Helpful 0
  • Rolling is a technique often used by former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 1
  • Stay in the center of the ring when you're sparring with a boxing partner. Don't get trapped along the ropes or in a corner. Thanks Helpful 5 Not Helpful 1

learn how to be boxing

Things You'll Need

  • Boxing trunks
  • Mouth guard
  • Boxing boots

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Train for Boxing

  • ↑ http://www.mmarevolution.com/learn-how-to-box/
  • ↑ https://www.expertboxing.com/boxing-techniques/boxing-footwork/10-boxing-footwork-tips
  • ↑ http://www.boxing-for-life.com/Boxing-basics.html
  • ↑ http://www.boxing-for-life.com/how-to-punch.html
  • ↑ http://www.saddoboxing.com/learn.html
  • ↑ https://www.expertboxing.com/boxing-strategy/boxing-defense/how-to-take-punches-better
  • ↑ http://www.boxing-for-life.com/boxing-defense.html
  • ↑ David Engel. Muay Thai Instructor & Self Defense Trainer. Expert Interview. 5 May 2020.

About This Article

David Engel

To properly box, stand with your non-dominant foot in front of you, with the toes of your dominant foot lined up with the heel of your front foot. Keep most of your weight on your back foot, and hold your hands up with your elbows in towards your body. Always keep your chin down, and try to stay moving so your opponent will have a harder time hitting you. When you see an opening, jab out with your boxing glove to strike your opponent, and use your gloves to block their hits as well. Keep reading to learn the names of the different punches in boxing! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Boxer Hitting Heavy Bag

Boxing is likely one of the most well-known sports in the world. Some of the most famous athletes in the world were boxers, including the legendary Muhammad Ali —a name you’ll see on virtually every list of recognizable athletes . And even those who don’t actually watch boxing have at least seen it in pop culture through the countless movies that chronicle the lives of fighters both real and fictional.

With that in mind, it makes sense that boxing-style training has become increasingly popular over the years. Who wouldn’t want to feel like Rocky when he reaches the top of that staircase? But working out like a boxer isn’t just punching with reckless abandon—at least not if you want to do it right and get a good workout out of it.

Boxing involves power, strategy, spot-on technique, and good conditioning to help fighters get through round after round against their opponents. In pro boxing, a fight can last up to 12 three-minute rounds with one-minute breaks in-between. That’s a long time to fight.

If you’re interested in training like a fighter, you’ll have to start much smaller than that. To get the basics on boxing training, we spoke with Everlast Trainer Dr. Rick Richey, DHSc, MS, and co-founder of RēCOVER in NYC.

You can get going with some shadow boxing and conditioning right in your living room or backyard with minimal equipment, but you’ll want to make sure you nail some basics and take some safety guidelines into account. It may not seem important while you’re just shadow boxing, but if you plan on actually hitting a heavy bag at home or joining a boxing gym in the long run, you’ll be glad you did.

From the proper stance to the four basic punches and tips for getting the most out of shadow boxing, we’ve got you covered.

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Boxer Wrapping Hands

Satyrenko / Getty

Basic Boxing Gear

Whether or not you join a gym from the start, you’ll want to make sure you have proper training gear. This is especially true if you’re hitting a heavy bag, but it can’t hurt to get used to suiting up while you shadowbox.

If you’re in the market for a heavy bag, there are plenty of options to choose from. Everlast has options you can hang, like the Powercore Nevatear Heavy Bag , as well as some freestanding bags, like the OmniFlex Free Standing Heavy Bag , for those with no room for the former.

If you do opt to get a heavy bag, keep in mind that you shouldn’t be going from zero to 100 right away.

“People love hitting heavy bags hard, but just think about this in terms of fitness. Just like lifting weights or any type of exercise, it’s a progression to get up to full speed,” Richey cautions. “You have to get your joints used to those impacts and get your muscles used to it. If you go right into it hitting hard, you could really hurt yourself.”

And if you’re going for the bare minimum as far as gear, you need to at least wrap your wrists and throw some gloves on before hitting the bag.

“Wrapping your wrists is the most important thing when you’re working with a heavy bag,” Richey says. “People are very intimidated by the wraps, but they’re there to protect those little bones in your wrist. And you have to use gloves.” If you skip those, you risk injury and potentially losing a day or two of training afterward.

Traditional canvas wraps are cheap and simple enough to put on with some practice, and there are countless YouTube tutorials demonstrating proper wrapping technique. Richey is also a fan of wraps that slide right on, like Everlast’s Evergel Hand Wraps , if he’s training at home and wants to get right to working out.

You’ll also want to get your hands in some gloves to protect them. Whether you go for a budget option or something higher-end, buy a weight that suits your needs. If you’re only going to hit a bag, you can go minimal with gloves meant for bag work ( like these ).

If you’re planning on sparring eventually (safely, at a gym with a coach), go for 14 or 16-ounce gloves. As a beginner, heavier gloves will offer more protection for your hands.

Boxer in Ring

Nejron Photo / Shutterstock

Proper Stance

Before you start throwing punches, make sure you’re standing properly.

First, situate your feet so that they’re shoulder-width apart, with one foot in front of the other.

Your front foot should basically be pointed straight ahead at your imaginary opponent. If you’re right-handed, your left foot is going straight ahead. If you’re left-handed, aka Southpaw in boxing terms, it’s just the opposite. Either way, Richey recommends starting off by keeping your back foot out at about a 45-degree angle from the imaginary line your front foot is sitting on.

Your lead shoulder should also be forward, so you’re not standing square facing your opponent. This is key, because rotating your body will translate to more power in your punches.

“The boxing stance allows a much better springing to your step, whether it’s forward or backwards,” Richey says. ”If you watch boxers, you see them move backwards as much as they move forward for an attack—it’s a defensive and offensive position.”

If your feet are too close or too far apart, you’ll be less agile, and you want to be in a position where you’re able to move forward and back as easily as you can move left and right.

As far as your hands, keep them both up in front of your face—imagine you’re in a fight and want to protect your head. Get in the habit of pulling your hands right back in after throwing punches.

Now, you’re ready to throw some jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts.

Shadowboxing Jab

Viktor Gladkov / Shutterstock

How to Throw a Jab

The jab is thrown with your lead hand (left for righties, right for Southpaw boxers), and it’s not going to be the punch you knock someone out with.

“It’s a setup punch,” Richey explains, “so if you see that hand coming, it’s used oftentimes to mask or set up another punch that’s a bit more powerful.”

When you jab, you’ll basically be reaching forward with your two larger knuckles pointed straight ahead and your palm facing down—with your fist closed, of course. Again, you’re not meant to put all of your strength into it.

Richey also stresses the importance of keeping your thumbs outside of your fists. If you keep your thumbs inside your fingers, you risk seriously injuring your hands. That goes for all punches, and it’s especially important for when you graduate from shadowboxing to the heavy bag.

Cross punch boxing

Prostock-studio / Shutterstock

How to Throw a Cross

A cross is similar to a jab in that you’re punching straight into your imaginary opponent, but it’s executed by your rear hand coming across your body instead. Your rear hand should still be pointed forward with your palm facing down, but you’ll use your hips to generate more power.

“It’s not just arms pushing forward, it is the rotation of the hips and waist, and the extension of the arm where you get your power,” Richey says. He compares it to baseball, where you’ll never see someone hit a home run swinging with just their arms. Similarly, the entire body is involved to create the power behind the punch.

Man Throwing Hook Punch

Slatan / Shutterstock

How to Throw a Hook

A good punch to follow the cross is the hook—the lead hook, in particular, according to Richey. That way, you’d be alternating hands. This is probably the most common knockout punch you see in boxing, he adds. You can throw a rear hook, too, but the lead is more common and doesn’t leave your torso as open to a strike.

To throw a lead hook, you’re basically going to hook your fist around your opponent or the bag in a semicircle, hence the name. “Think like your opponent has their hands up in front of them, and if you throw a straight punch, they’ll block it,” Richey says. “If you throw kind of a circular punch, you’re going around their hands in order to get to them.”

For this one, your fist will be coming at the bag from the side. Your elbow should be at about shoulder height or a little bit below shoulder height, and your fist should be in line with that. “It’s almost like you could put a tray on top of your arm in that position and the tray wouldn’t fall over,” Richey says. Your palm will be facing you instead of facing down as it did in the previous punches.

Richey notes that some people opt to execute this punch with their palms down, but that keeping your palm toward you helps ensure that you hit the bag with your whole fist and don’t just clip it with your pinky knuckle and risk hurting your fingers.

Uppercut Boxing

Oleksandr Zamuruiev / Shutterstock

How to Throw an Uppercut

The final basic punch is an uppercut, most often done with your rear hand. For an uppercut, your hand will drop away from your face, down a little bit toward the belly—but not too low.

“A lot of people drop their hand too low, and you know what they’re about to do,” Richey says. “That’s what they call telegraphing your punches.”

Just drop your hand slightly, then it’s similar to a hook in concept, but instead of coming around the body, you’re coming from underneath. Lower your rear hand down, then make a straight line from belly to chin right in front of you.

Those are the four basic punches that you can use as you work into shadowboxing and bag work.

Shadowboxing man

Jon Osumi / Shutterstock

Shadowboxing Basics

Shadowboxing can be a great workout. Keyword: can. But if you’re not doing it properly, you won’t understand what the hype is all about or why it’s considered a great cardio workout.

It’s a simple concept, and you don’t need to be overly concerned with the combos you’re throwing as a beginner. To make sure you get a good workout in, the more important aspect is getting your body involved. Throwing punches without involving the rest of the body is a common rookie mistake.

“If you’re just moving your arms, then you’re not moving your body,” Richey says. “And if you want to burn calories, moving your arms is not the best way to do it. Major muscle groups are how you get the cardio aspect, because they’re a lot larger and they consume more oxygen to burn more calories.”

To get the rest of your body involved, you can change the levels of your punches by squatting down and back up and making sure you really rotate your torso into your strikes. Another aspect that comes into play is stopping those punches, particularly in shadowboxing.

“If you throw a hard, fast punch, you’re also responsible for stopping it,” Richey says. “So there’s work that goes into decelerating a punch. In a fight that’s called pulling your punches, but you have to pull your punches in shadowboxing, otherwise you can hyperextend your arm and hurt yourself.”

Finally, make sure you’re moving your feet, shifting your weight between legs and hopping back and forth. Those aspects make it a total-body workout that’s safe for anyone to try, and it takes minimal space.

If you want to train like a true boxer, you can try doing full three-minute rounds of shadowboxing with one-minute “breaks” in-between. By breaks, we mean conditioning—popular options are core work like jackknives, planks, or crunches, or bodyweight moves like squats to keep your heart rate up and work different muscle groups.

Here are some basic routines to get you started:

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The Ultimate Guide to Learn Boxing at Home

Learn Boxing at Home

Boxing is the perfect workout. Its strength conditioning and cardio fitness rolled into one pedal-to-the-metal, balls-to-the-wall workout, which also teaches a valuable life skill.

Oh, and the other big win, is that you can learn boxing at home.

That’s right. You can teach yourself boxing at home, and this post gives you everything you need to become a self-taught pugilist.

Can you learn boxing at home?

Firstly, let’s address the naysayers. I know that despite my best efforts to convince you otherwise, some people are going to remain skeptical.

I get it! Boxers spend years of their life in a gym honing their skills under the tutelage of battle-hardened coaches. Now, you’re trying to tell me that I can bypass all that and learn boxing on my own and at home?

What, even if I’ve never boxed before?

The answer is still YES .

You don’t need to attend a class or put up with an instructor yelling in your face. You can learn boxing in the privacy and comfort of your home, at your own pace, whenever it suits.

Boxing at home

But let’s be clear on one thing – you’re not going to become a world champion boxer by smashing the bag in your garage for fifteen minutes a day.

To be a fighter, you have to train like a fighter. However, you can become a self-taught boxer and be able to beat most untrained guys your size.

Also, know that boxing at home is no walk in the park. Just because you’re learning in a convenient and comfortable setting, you’ll still have to bust your balls if you want to improve.

Now you know what to expect, let’s move on to the advantages of boxing from home.

Advantages of learning boxing at home

1. unbeatable workout.

Boxing training is one of the toughest workouts. Period. I challenge you to find another sport that pushes you to your physical and mental limits the way boxing does.

For enduring the hardship, people that regularly train in boxing benefit develop great cardiovascular health, an incredible physique, and through-the-roof self-confidence. What other sport produces results on this level?

Boxing workouts are also highly efficient. You would have to spend hours jogging to burn off the same amount of calories as a 30-minute heavy bag session. It’s ideal for people that have limited time to train, but who want maximum bang for their buck.

Boxing is also a workout that remains challenging. As you become fitter, you only end up being pushed further, and the routines never get any easier. You’re always pushed to your limits which makes the workouts exciting while helping you to sustain motivation.

2. Flexibility

Learning boxing at home allows you to train around life’s obstacles. You have the flexibility and convenience of being able to train whenever you want.

Not having enough time is no longer an excuse. Everyone can find at least 20 minutes a day to squeeze in a session on the bag. If you can’t, then you’re not making boxing a priority.

Boxing from home means you can work out a routine that fits into your existing schedule. You don’t have to miss your favorite TV show, give up your social life, or stop spending time with the kids.

All it takes is to block off 20-30 minutes a day (more if you can spare it) to dedicate to learning boxing.

You’ll still have plenty of time for all your other commitments, and this way your usual routine isn’t disrupted, and you’re more likely to form a long-term habit.

3. Makes Boxing Gyms Less Intimidating

Being a beginner at anything and joining a club full of experienced members can be intimidating.  When the club you’re signing up to fight for fun, that experience can be particularly nerve-wracking.

Learning to box at home is a great way of learning the basics before joining a boxing gym. You’ll have the valuable foundational knowledge and a good base level of fitness to hit the ground running.

Having a little bit of boxing know-how and being in reasonably good shape can give you the confidence to start training at your local gym.

How to train boxing at hoe

Disadvantages of boxing at home

Learning to box at home is by no means a perfect solution and it isn’t without its drawbacks. Here’re four reasons why home-schooling doesn’t cut it.

1. Training Solo

Many people would struggle to find a committed training partner outside of the gym. Training without a partner can be limiting, and at times, BORING.

No partner means you’re training will be limited to road work, skipping, exercises, and hitting the bag.

It also means you’ll be missing out on mitt work – which is good for improving hand-eye coordination and lets you practice hitting a moving target – as well as one other fundamental part of your training, sparring.

2. No Sparring

If you don’t spar, your skills remain untested in a fight setting.

While you may be able to make the heavy bag beg for mercy, I’m willing to bet that you’re boxing skills would be useless for self-defense if you aren’t sparring – assuming you didn’t get the first punch in.

Dodging, blocking, and countering are essential boxing skills that will be missing from your repertoire.

3. Lack of Motivation

Another big flaw of training at home is sustaining motivation. Unless we’re being challenged and feel as if we’re making progress, it’s natural for our motivation to dwindle.

You may begin enthusiastically, but give it a week, month, or year of training by yourself, and you may find that you’re training sessions are shorter, fewer, and further apart.

4. No Coach

Without an experienced coach to correct you, you will have to educate yourself on proper form. It’s so easy to pick up bad practices that can take months to unlearn when you’re your own teacher.

Luckily, there’s a good solution to this last drawback that we’ll dive into below.

Best Courses and Teaching Material for Boxing Training at Home

There are thousands of resources you can use to learn boxing at home. Most are absolute crap and just have the same old generic guff while others are phenomenal teaching aids that offer age-old, invaluable boxing advice.

We’ve saved you the hassle of having to trawl through the sea of garbage to find those rare gems. Here’s a round-up of the best books, DVDs, websites, and online courses for learning boxing.

Boxing Basics: The Techniques and Knowledge Needed to Excel in the Sport of Boxing

Boxing Basics is a step-by-step guide for anyone that wants to learn boxing. Through clear illustrations and in-depth explanations, the book breaks down boxing movements into simple, easy-to-follow steps.

The book isn’t solely focused on techniques and also delves into fitness and conditioning, fighting styles and strategies, as well as covering all the equipment you’ll need to get started.

The title of the book is a bit misleading, as this 186-page boxing manual includes way more than just the basics. This book is a complete how-to guide ideally suited for beginners who want a thorough overview of boxing.

Championship Fighting: Explosive Punching and Aggressive Defense By Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey is a former heavyweight champion (1919 to 1926) and legend of the sport who is widely considered to be one of the best boxers of the twentieth century.

In this classic book, Dempsey condenses everything he knows about boxing theory, training, and application, resulting in a complete instruction manual for fighters.

It is an older book – which you can tell by the language used and the pictures – but the boxing knowledge he shares is timeless (and priceless).

Boxing (Naval Aviation Physical Training Manuals)

When it was first published in 1943, the U.S. Naval Institutes boxing manual was given to recruits during World War II to fulfill their hand-to-hand combat training.

The manual far exceeded expectations, and it has since been passed on to generation after generation of navy cadets.

As the book is a reprint, the quality of the images is poor. However, the minute details of stance, punching, combinations, defense, counters, and weight transfer, taken from the minds of coaches and fighters during the “golden era of boxing”, are captured beautifully in this well-written piece of boxing history.




“Ultimate Boxing Lessons” COMPLETE 8 DVD BOXED SET

Boxing Coach Christopher Getz has had a successful fighting career in amateur boxing, kickboxing, and muay Thai. What’s his secret to winning fights in multiple disciplines? Simple, being able to outbox his kick-focused competitors.

Ultimate Boxing Lessons shares what Getz’s has learned in 18 years as a fighter and coach. This comprehensive eight DVD box set imparts Getz’s wisdom on boxing concepts, techniques, and training drills in a methodical fashion.

The depth and quality of instruction on offer make this the perfect training aid for anyone wanting to master the art of boxing.

The only gripe is that for the price of the box set, the production quality could be better. However, what it lacks in visuals, Ultimate Boxing Lessons more than makes up for invaluable boxing knowledge.




There are lots of boxing websites but only a handful of really good ones that are worth learning from. Here’s our pick of the top three with links to their free and paid options.



If you’ve not already done so, you’ll want to check out the 40+ free instructional videos on myboxingcoach.com.

Fran Sands shares a wealth of boxing knowledge on the site gained from 60 amateur fights and many more years of coaching students.

The site comes with high recommendations due to Fran’s clear, concise, and very easy to learn from teaching style.

The Foundation is Fran’s end-to-end course.  It includes 3 hours and 30 minutes of high-definition video and a 140-page eBook all delivered in Fran’s trademark easy-to-follow, systematic style.

The course covers all the fundamentals of boxing – warming up, skipping, footwork, offensive and defensive moves, shadow boxing, bag work – and delves into the nuances of the body mechanics behind the actions.

At $77, the course offers incredible value. However, if you sign up to receive the My Boxing Coach newsletter, you’ll be able to purchase the course for only $47!

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EB Members

Johnny Nguyen has been chronicling his encyclopedic knowledge of boxing on his blog for years. The result? A massive resource on boxing covering every boxing-related topic imaginable.

If you’re not sure where to start, Expert Boxing’s beginner’s guide is a great introduction to the sweet science.

If you like Johnny’s teaching style, then you’ll want to check out “How to Box in 10 Days” which is an accelerated learning product that does exactly what it says on the tin.

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Despite the ambitious title, the course has a very methodical approach teaching a major boxing skill one day at a time. Here’s a peek into what you can expect to learn:

Day 1 – Stance & Footwork

Day 2 – Straight Punches (jab, right cross, 1-2 combination)

Day 3 – Curved Punches (hooks, uppercuts, body shots)

Day 4 – Basic Defense (blocking & parrying)

Day 5 – Advanced Defense (rolling & slipping)

Day 6 – Punch Combinations (basic combos, advanced combos, mitt drills)

Day 7 – Counter Punching (steps and details of over 60 common counters)

Day 8 – Advanced Skills (tips to improve your punching, defense, body movement)

Day 9 – Boxing Training (weekly workout plan to develop fight conditioning)

Day 10 – Sparring (sparring drills, fight tips, fight strategy)

As you can see, the course wraps all the fundamentals of boxing into an easily digestible 10-day package. The course is delivered through a 300-page training manual, 32-page workbook, and 1 hour 45 minutes of high-quality video.

At only $77 – which is similar to what you would pay to join a boxing gym for a month – I’m sure you’ll agree it represents outstanding value.



With 43 amateur fights (40 wins) and 38 professional fights (34 wins) under his belt, Cornelius Carr is the real deal. Sneak Punch is the former world middleweight champion’s free resource on boxing.

Yes, you heard right. Cornelius shares his world champion boxing experiences on his blog…FOR FREE! The blog posts are top-notch, and his videos are packed full of boxing wisdom. If you’re not familiar with the site, a good place to start is the Learn Boxing Online section.



Fight Yourself Fit is Cornelius’s skills development fitness course that will get you fighting fit in just 60 days. Once educated on proper boxing techniques, the high-intensity drills will have you shredding fat and replacing it with lean muscle.

The core of the course is the eight HIIT heavy bag workouts – 4 x speed and power and 4 x technique – but there are also additional videos for skills learning and a tough-as-nails 12 round challenge (completed on day 60 of the course).

The workouts are 30 minutes long and should be done five times a week for maximum benefit.

In total, you’ll receive five hours of boxing training with a former world champion along with an ebook to guide you through the workouts. At $117, it is a little pricier than other courses available, however, there is also a lite version at a more affordable $77.


Equipment – Setting Up Your Home Boxing Gym

If you want to learn boxing at home, then you’re going to need a home gym.

But don’t worry; your gym doesn’t need to be huge, fancy, or expensive. There’s no need to go overboard. There are only a few essential items that can be picked up at garage sales or auction sites (eBay) if you’re on a budget.

A basic, no-thrills home boxing gym

As the majority of your training will be centered on the heavy bag, kit yourself out with a good pair of bags or all-purpose gloves.

This is the only item you have to buy new and where it makes sense to splash out a little to get the best pair for your needs.

Choose modern bag gloves (more padding) over traditional bag gloves, as you’ll want as much hand and wrist protection as possible until you’re used to the impact from punching. Make sure to wrap your hands for extra support.

Besides your gloves and hand wraps, the only other things you’ll need are a skipping rope, heavy bag, timer, and enough clear space to move around.

The most important piece of gym equipment, not surprisingly, is your heavy bag. It doesn’t matter if you use a free-standing or hanging bag, as long as it can hold up to powerful punches.

If you’ve got a buddy to train with, you’ll also want to invest in a set of good-quality focus mitts.

For strength conditioning, free weights, kettlebells, or even TRX tucked away in a corner of your gym are all great options.

A stationary bicycle or treadmill would also be nice to have for warm-ups or cardio workouts. However, none of this equipment is fundamental to your boxing training and it’s your choice if you wish to inject variety into your workouts.

An upmarket home boxing gym

As narcissistic as this may sound, you should have a mirror in your gym. Watching yourself shadow box is a great way to keep your technique on point. Without a trainer overseeing your movements, you’ll need to watch and self-correct your technique.

Your gym can be indoor or outdoor, but if it’s outdoor, make sure there’s shelter protecting your equipment from wet weather conditions.

You don’t want to go through all the effort of setting up a home boxing gym to then have all your equipment saturated and left to rust.

The floor of your gym isn’t too important, but given the choice, I like training on a soft surface.

You can easily convert a concrete floor into a comfortable training surface with interlocking one-inch foam mats.

What to Concentrate On

Now you’ve got your home gym set up, it’s time to actually start learning how to box.

Boxing is a skill – a collection of skills in fact, and just like any other skill, it can be learned by anyone willing to put in the time. The problem is, with so much to learn, where do you start?

If you’ve bought any of the before mentioned resources you’ll have a clear roadmap for your training.

If not, I advise your home boxing training begins with these three critical skills. If you can perform these skills as well as any other boxer, you can consider your homeschooling success.

Your stance is fundamental to you becoming a good boxer. Your stance will determine everything from the speed of your attacks and defense, to how much bang your punches have.

Make sure that a solid and proper stance is tightly ingrained into your muscle memory. As soon as you pull guard, it should feel natural and you should be relaxed in your stance.

Your stance should be your starting point before attacking or defending, and you automatically revert back to after each action.

As regimental and restrictive as it may feel, stick to a classic boxing stance. Have your hands up high, chin tucked, elbows in, lead foot pointing to the target, the other angled at 45 degrees, and your knees slightly bent.

Unconventional, or Mayweather-style stances, are a no-go for the home-schooled pugilist. You want to stick to the basics, and do the basics well, without adding anything fancy that has the potential to set your learning back.

2. Straight Punches

Straight punches can win a fight in the ring, or out on the street. If you only ever learned the jab and cross but were able to throw them with accuracy, speed, and power, you would be well-equipped for any trouble that was to cross your path.

Becoming proficient at straight punches may mean you throw nothing but the jab and cross for multiple training sessions until you have it nailed.

Learn how to throw a solid jab first – it’s your best weapon. This simple punch is highly effective, fast, and can be used for both attack and defense.

Make sure it has both speed and accuracy but don’t worry too much about the strength of your jab – the power punch is the work of the cross.

Your cross is your knockout punch – it has to have devastating power. However, don’t sacrifice speed and efficiency by winding up to put power into the cross.

You still want to make sure you can pop it off quickly or you’ll stand no chance of landing it.

Master the jab and cross before moving on

The strength of the punch is determined by technique more than anything else . Concentrate on proper form, shoulder and hip rotation, and putting your weight behind the punch.

You also want to make sure your straight punches travel directly to their target. Too often, beginners make the mistake of extending their elbow out to the side when throwing straight punches. “Chicken winging” not only makes your punches slower and inefficient but also gives your opponent a warning of an inbound punch way before it arrives. 

In addition to being able to throw a strong jab and cross individually, you’ll also want to master the following straight punch combos:

Double jab, cross

Triple jab, cross

Jab, cross, jab

Jab, cross, jab, cross

You’ll notice that all of these combinations lead with the jab. That’s because the jab hand is closest to your target making it the quickest and the most likely punch to connect. Use it to set up punches with greater power in a combination.

3. Blocking and Dodging

Dodging a punch requires good reflexes

I purposely didn’t title this section ‘Defense’, as I want you to drill down on and master only the block and dodge before working on anything else.

These two defensive techniques are our natural reactions whereas the slip, roll, and counter are learned behaviors. For example, when an object is fast approaching our eyes, we blink to stop (block) it enters the eye. Or consider when we flinch (dodge) when we anticipate getting hit.

Evading or shielding ourselves from an impact is a natural response, so it makes sense to work on and improve natural forms of defense first. If you perfect these two skills, you’ll be able to defend yourself against any attack.

If you’re not familiar with the skills mentioned, check out Boxing Boot Camps Punching and Defense sections for the correct technique.

So that’s all I would advise you to practice in the beginning. Nothing fancy, but all very practical.

If you have a proper boxing stance, tight guard, can throw a solid jab and cross, and you can block and move out of the way of attacks, you’ll be able to fight better than the majority of people and you will have a solid foundation to build upon.

Beginner Boxing Routine

To help you get started here’s an easy boxing routine that you can follow. It will take around 30 minutes to complete. I recommend sticking to it five days a week if you want to see the most improvement.

Exercise. Photo. Time. Description.

Full Body Stretch – 2 minutes. Stretch out all the muscles in your body from your neck to your toes.

Jump Rope – 5 minutes. Jogging on the spot or skipping.

Shadow Boxing – 10 minutes. Preferably in front of a mirror and working on the three focus areas highlighted above. After you’ve got the basics nailed, slowly drip feed in hooks, uppercuts, rolls, feints, etc into your routine.

Heavy Bag – 15 minutes. 5 x 2 min rounds with one minute’s rest. Go hard, and give your cardiovascular system a good blowout, but only after you’ve mastered the correct technique.

Cool Down / Stretching . 2 minutes. Take a couple of minutes to stretch. Now is also a good time to reflect on your workout (what was good? What do you need to improve? What should you learn next?) and fill out your workout diary if you keep one.

There are no rules that state you must join a gym to learn boxing.

It’s certainly possible to learn boxing at home, and it’s made all the easier with all the resources and training mediums available.

Getting good at anything takes time and consistent practice.

We’re more likely to stick to something when the roadblocks are removed. While learning boxing at home eliminates many of the hurdles we face, it will still require dedication and persistence.

However, if you keep learning and developing by engaging in daily practice and devouring anything boxing-related that comes your way, it won’t be long until you’re a proficient self-taught fighter.

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Beginner's Guide to Boxing: How to Get Started Boxing

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Boxing may seem to be not so complicated, but believe us when we say it is much more than just throwing punches. Boxing requires balance, coordination, endurance, strength, proper footwork, and well-performed boxing punches. Plus, despite what many people may think, it’s not just about attacking your opponent—it’s about defense, too. 

If you’re new to this exciting sport and aren’t exactly sure where to start, then you’re in luck, because in this article, we will cover everything you need to know to get you going. So stretch your arms, get some water, and keep reading—let’s dive in!

Boxing 101: Everything You Need To Know To Get Started

First off, why boxing?

Even if you learn the basics of boxing, you will transform as a person. There’s a ton of mental and physical challenges you’d need to overcome, which will ultimately make you much stronger. However, before you start, you must know that just like any other sport, boxing demands discipline, hard work, and grind. In fact, it’s much more than many other sports…

A few of the top benefits that come from boxing include:

Enhanced Cardiovascular Health

We hear it all the time: We need to do cardio to protect ourselves from heart disease, burn calories, and lose or maintain our weight. But “doing cardio” doesn’t have to mean suffering on a treadmill or stationary bike to log your required minutes—how boring is that?

The whole purpose of cardiovascular exercise is to place a moderate amount of healthy stress on your lungs and heart so that they're challenged enough to make beneficial physiologic adaptations to support the higher level of physical activity. But how you choose to place this stress on your lungs and heart is totally up to you -- as long as you keep your heart rate up during your workout, there is really no reason why you can’t punch, kick, and jump your way to a healthy heart at your local boxing gym.

Improved Total-Body Strength

Believe it or not, all that punching, kicking, and jumping you do in boxing requires a surprising amount of strength. Think about it—most heavy bags these days weigh at least 100 pounds. And even more, if it’s a professional bag. During a boxing drill, you may kick or punch the heavy bag hundreds of times, requiring your upper and lower body, as well as your core to engage as you make contact with the bag. 

Additionally, most elite boxing clubs, like LegendsBoxing, incorporate other strength training moves into every workout, such as squats, pushups, planks, and wall-balls. If your goal is to improve your overall total-body strength , boxing can help to do just that.   

Decreased Stress

There are truly a ton of great things that many people experience from boxing, but one of our favorite benefits is that it can really help to decrease stress. And boxing is a great outlet for stress for two reasons: 

First, during a great boxing workout, you typically transition between high-intensity bouts of exercise and moderate-intensity recovery periods. When you are pushing yourself through a few minutes of high-intensity kicking or punching, you don’t have much mental capacity or power left to worry about things that cause you stress, like how terrible your boss is or how the laundry is piling up. 

Secondly, there is an incredibly cathartic release when you get to take some of your stress out on a boxing bag. It’s an empowering feeling to punch and kick your stress to smithereens.

Boxing Gyms: What To Expect

So now that we’ve covered some of the reasons why you would want to start boxing in the first place let’s talk about boxing gyms. 

There are basically two types of popular boxing training: Training that focuses on teaching fighters to compete in the ring and training that focuses on helping “everyday athletes” improve their overall health and get in better shape. Some gyms offer both types of training. 

The primary difference between the two forms of training is that athletes who want to learn how to compete must first learn to not only land punches on an opponent but take punches as well. They have to learn to hit and be hit by a competing fighter. Gyms that teach boxers to compete typically have boxing rings in their clubs and offer opportunities for boxers to fight one another. 

However, if your goal is to not get hit, you’ll want to find a gym like LegendsBoxing that offers classes and programs outside of the ring. The basic skills are the same—you will learn to jab, hook, and uppercut, and you will work on speed, footwork, and core strength as well as power and flexibility—but without the risk of taking a punch to the head. 

What Equipment Do You Need?

Once you’ve decided on what kind of boxing gym you’d like to join, it’s time to get some gear! 

Hand Wraps 

Hand wraps are, without a doubt, a crucial tool for protecting your hands. Why? Well, for starters, they help to make your hands much more compact when you make a fist. This, therefore, protects your knuckles from injuries that you would get without them. 

Always wear hand wraps underneath your boxing gloves so that your hands will be protected at all times. If you’re not sure how to properly wrap your hands, one of the amazing trainers at LegendsBoxing would be more than happy to help.   

Boxing Gloves

To be able to hit either your opponent or the heavy bag, you’re going to need some protection on your knuckles—and boxing gloves can help to do just that. While using the communal boxing gloves is just fine when you’re starting out, you may realize that the wear and tear (and not to mention the smell) in these may be holding you back—not only is it more hygienic, but better for your boxing technique to invest in your own pair.  

Boxing Shoes

Boxing shoes can help immensely to increase your power and mobility in the ring. This is due to their impeccable grip and slim material, which can greatly increase your agility. You’ll not only feel better, but you’ll move a whole lot better, too. Boxing shoes can be a little pricey so if they are out of your budget, stick with a pair of good-quality cross-trainers. As boxing is a movement-based sport, a good pair of shoes will help you a lot.

What Is The Basic Boxing Stance?

In your boxing class, you will learn all of the different types of punches like the jab, hook, and upper-cut, but before you even land a punch, you need to master the boxing stance. A strong stance will help you significantly with your technique while also helping to reduce injury .

Here’s how to master the stance:

First, situate your feet so that they are shoulder-width apart, with one foot directly in front of the other. Your front foot should be pointed straight ahead, facing your imaginary opponent. If you’re right-handed, your left foot is going straight ahead, but if you happen to be left-handed, it’s just the opposite. 

Either way, start off by keeping your back foot out at a 45-degree angle from the imaginary line your front foot is sitting on. To avoid standing square facing your opponent, your lead shoulder should also be forward. This is key because rotating your body will translate to more power in your punches. 

If your feet are too close or too far apart, you will be less agile, and you want to be in a position where you are able to move back and forward as easily as you can move right and left. And lastly, as for your hands, keep them both up in front of your face—imagine that you’re in a fight and want to protect your head. Get in the habit of pulling your hands immediately back in to protect your face right after throwing a punch. 

Now that you understand the benefits, know what kind of gear you need, and have the boxing stance down, it’s time to find a great boxing gym near you and try your first class!

A Final Word

Boxing may seem a little intimidating at first, but once you knock-out your first class and shake the newbie-nerves, you’ll find it’s incredibly addicting! Boxing classes like the ones at LegendsBoxing are fun, challenging, and will help you to push through your comfort zone to reach unimaginable heights that you didn’t even think you were capable of. Whether your goal is to box like the pros or get in shape, LegendsBoxing can help. Try a class today—you’ll be glad you did!   




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Budo Boxing

How to Get Into Boxing: An Ultimate Guide

The ultimate guide on getting into boxing.

Table of Contents

So, I’m sure you’re here because you want to learn how to get into boxing. I know that it seems pretty overwhelming when you’re first starting out and don’t know where to begin, but I’m here to help break things down into bite-sized steps to get you started off on the right foot. You don’t have to listen to me, but I’ve done this long enough to understand the game and I know what it takes to get from beginner to advanced. I was a beginner once too, and I probably had a lot of the same questions as you. Let me be a guide to you.

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How to Get in to Boxing, What Should I Do?

The first thing everyone wants to know – “where do I start?”

First of all, before you go any further, commit. Obviously, there’s a part of you that’s interested and wants to learn boxing, but there’s always going to be that voice inside your head that tells you “this is too scary” or “I’m overwhelmed” or “where do I begin?”. Insert every other possible excuse in the book here. Make a decision today to commit and start taking action. This is by far the most important step.

There’s no way you can learn boxing without commitment. You’ll have to stay committed the entire time through whatever obstacle you might be facing.

2. Run a self-audit

So you’ve committed! Congratulations. The next step is to run a thorough self-audit and really analyze your starting position. Write down your strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself the following questions:

Do you have enough time to train? Am I willing to make the time?

The time commitment could range from 30-90 minutes per training session. This could be from a few times a week to every day, depending on how serious you want to be. Obviously, the more work you put in, the faster you will improve.

Where are you going to train? Is it going to be in a gym or at home?

Do you have a mode of transportation to get to the gym? Do you have a suitable space to train at home? How far away is the gym? Can you commit to getting there every day? Make sure to consider your environment and make sure it will meet you needs.

What is your financial situation?

Be honest with yourself. Boxing isn’t the most expensive thing, but it’s still going to cost money to get started, whether on a gym membership, a program or coaches.

Some gyms will allow you to train for free in exchange for sweat equity. Are you willing to invest more time cleaning/working for the gym?

What is your current physical state?

Do you have any injuries or illnesses you’re dealing with that might impede your training and do you need to take steps to get those corrected first?

Are you obese or underweight? Think about your fitness and physical goals and where you want to end up. Don’t let this impact you too much in the beginning, but it’s just something to be aware of so you know where you’re starting from.

What is your family/social situation like?

What’s your situation at home? Are you going to have support or will you be facing resistance? If your family is against you learning to fight, start thinking about conversations you’ll need to have with them. Examples might be talking about the potential of getting hit in the head, explaining why boxing would be a benefit to you, etc.

This is not necessarily something that will impact you immediately, but you might have to think about this later down the line.

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3. Find your motivators and goals

Another part of this that ties into the self-audit is analyzing your reasons and motivations for wanting to get in to boxing. Why are you doing this? Be 110% honest with yourself. These reasons will turn into goals that will motivate you when times get tough.

Do you have anger issues and are you looking for an outlet?

Boxing is an excellent outlet and a great way to relieve stress. I had anger issues when I was younger so this was one of my main motivators when I first started boxing.

Are you trying to get in shape?

While the main purpose of learning to box is not “getting fit”, it is definitely a side effect and fitness is a huge part.

Are you looking to join a tribe?

Some of the best friendships I have were made in the boxing gym.

Do you want to learn how to defend yourself?

This is definitely an obvious one.

Are you doing it to make chicks to like you?

This one was another big motivator for me. I was a pretty goofy guy before boxing.

Are you simply bored and want to learn a new skill?

It doesn’t matter what the reason is, find your why. To be honest with you, you’ll probably find many more reasons once you start.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth overview of the benefits of boxing and potential reasons why you should give boxing a try, check out my article on Benefits of Boxing here.

4. Take Action

Start moving towards your goal. You’ll be surprised how much you figure out along the way. Keep researching, but make sure to actually start boxing. Get your ass to the gym (or the place you plan to train at) and get involved.

If you choose to take a boxing class at a gym, know that most of the classes available at general gyms (not specifically boxing gyms) are going to be fitness-based, but even that’s a start. While you’re taking action, pay close attention to the list of things I recommend you DO and DON’T DO below. These are great to keep in mind and will help keep your path straight.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of How to Get in to Boxing

As someone who’s been boxing for over 15 years and who’s helped many people start, I’ve compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts that you should keep in mind when you’re trying to start boxing. You want to become a boxer but don’t know where to start? Look no further. Here’s an ultimate list of things you should and shouldn’t do.

1. DON’T Preplan

Getting into boxing is already intimidating as it is. Don’t spend hours overthinking what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. You’re not going to get everything figured out before you even start. Don’t be an obsessive type A personality person that thinks they’re going to get to the bottom of everything before they even step foot into a gym.

2. DON’T think you need to ‘Get into shape first’

Getting into shape is going to be a result of learning to box and you would be wasting valuable time just working out separately, thinking that it’s going to improve your boxing experience. Is running going to help you box? Not necessarily. Boxing helps you get good at boxing. Will running improve your conditioning? Of course, but you can just as effectively do that through boxing.

Kill 2 birds with one stone – when you learn to box, fitness and working out will be a HUGE part of it.

3. DON’T drink raw eggs in the morning

If you’ve seen Rocky, everyone thinks that drinking raw eggs in the morning is part of the game. It’s really not. You don’t need to get salmonella to be a boxer. There are plenty of healthier and tastier protein options you should be reaching for, for instance try boiling your eggs! Here’s a tip for you – 17 minutes to the perfect hard-boiled egg.

On another note, don’t overwhelm yourself with some sort of strict diet before you even start training. However, make sure not to binge on beers and cheeseburgers either. Nutrition is more about common sense then you might think.

4. DON’T punch a cow corpse in a meat locker

Again, we’ve all seen Rocky punching some corpse in a meat locker. Please keep in mind that you’re not Sylvester Stallone and you have much better options for punching bags. Try a heavy bag before PETA finds out you’re punching animals and comes after your ass. You won’t look cool and it’s honestly not that effective.

While we’re on the subject of movies, stop watching cheesy action movies and thinking that the training montage will be relevant to your boxing journey. The realities of training are going to be quite surprising once you start, and I promise it’s going to be a lot less glamourous than any movie ever shows.

Have you ever seen Rocky just sitting there stretching for 15-20 minutes straight in various Yoga poses? I didn’t think so. You better get ready for it because maintaining flexibility and taking care of your body is going to be part of the game.

5. DON’T rush the process

Learning to box is going to take time. This is a self-paced journey and you’re not going to learn everything in a week, a month or even a year. People spend anywhere from many years to an entire LIFETIME perfecting this art. Have patience and trust the process.

This also includes rushing to spar or to make hard contact. As guys, we’re always trying to prove how big our balls are, sometimes by getting into fights that we’re not ready for. Don’t be an idiot and hurt yourself trying to prove something. I know we all want to think we’re tough but wait to do that until you have some skills you can fall back on. The ring can be unforgiving.

Additionally, don’t get overwhelmed. There’s going to be a lot to learn and work on, but that’s all part of the fun.

learn how to be boxing

6. DO start boxing

What do I mean by this? I mean you actually need to start getting involved. You can’t learn boxing without actually boxing. You’d be surprised to know how much you’ll learn just through trial and error. Now I’m not saying that you’re going to learn everything all at once, but this journey will take a lot of trial and error through repetition and experimentation until things click.

Make it a point to start before you actually feel ready. I know that sounds like a scary thing, but you’re never going to actually feel 100% ready. Take the leap, you’re stronger than you think you are.

7. DO look up videos on how to stand, how to move, and how to punch

Look up a few basic videos on how to stand, move and punch. With the advent of the internet, there should be no excuses that you don’t have access to information any more.

Check out videos on YouTube and check out my channel too, while you’re at it. If you’re wondering why I’m not speaking in the videos, it’s because my book has the explanations plus QR codes that link to the videos. If you’re interested, you can find it here.

While looking up videos, don’t look up overcomplicated combos and crazy workouts just yet – start simple and keep it basic. We need to learn to stand before we can run.

Let this blog be a valuable resource to you and if you want more information, check out my products and my FAQ page if you’ve got questions. I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have that haven’t already been covered.  

8. DO watch boxing fights

If boxing is something you’re going to be doing eventually, you might as well see what it looks like when it’s performed by professionals at the highest level. Pay attention to the way they move and to their techniques. See how much you can pick up from them and what you might want to apply to your own style someday. Keep in mind you have access to an entire encyclopedia of fights online, which wasn’t accessible 30 years ago. Use the resources you have access to.

9. DO get a punching bag

You’re going to be punching things eventually and a punching bag is a great investment. They’re easy to obtain and start punching. Granted, you won’t know how to correctly work a heavy bag right off the bat, but you’ll get the feel of punching something solid and it’s a great tool to let out aggression and start working with. Plus as a boxer, you’re going to want to hit something.

While you’re at it, consider purchasing some other beginner equipment . Tons of equipment isn’t necessary when you’re starting. At the end of the day, the best tool that I can recommend will always be a mirror.

Keep in mind that heavy bags are just another tool, but they’re not the be-all-end-all of boxing when it comes to learning how to box.

10. DO research boxing clubs or gyms in your area to join

It’s a great idea to start doing some preliminary research to find a gym that might be a good fit for you. Not all gyms are created equal and there are definitely gyms that might work better for you than others. This difference could absolutely be better in terms of time, money and your health. Here’s a link to a great post if you want more specifics on how to choose a great boxing gym.

11.  DO start to find training partners

Boxing can be hard on your own. If you can’t find a gym nearby that would be a good fit, it’s a great idea to at least find a partner that you can train with. This doesn’t just mean someone to fight and spar with, but someone to grow with as well. Eventually, you’re going to need training partners to push you and make you better. Iron sharpens iron.

12.  DO put in the work

Like with any skill, this is true in boxing. You need to put in the work, even when you don’t want to or don’t “feel” like it. In order to master this art, it’s going to take tons of hours and a lot of sacrifice. You can’t fake fighting – you need to put in the hours. You can’t exactly buy this skill, it must be earned.

While you can’t buy this skill, you can speed up the process by training smart and finding the right programs, mentors and coaches.

*Wink, wink* My Budo Boxing Blueprint is an excellent resource to learn boxing. If you’re interested, check it out here.

If books are more your style, Budo Boxing  – The Way of Boxing is a resource that I put 15+ years of knowledge into.

13.  DO follow REAL boxers on social media

If you’re researching how to get in to boxing, you’re probably already following some famous fighters on social media. I urge you to understand that not every fighter is a great coach, and we live in a fitness-guru and influencer generation where everyone thinks they’re an expert when that’s not always the case. There are a lot of phonies out there, just make sure the people you’re following are legit. Here are a couple of good resources I recommend:

  • Frank Boxing on IG ( @frankboxingcoach )
  • Coach Anthony on IG ( @coachanthony )
  • Budo Boxing (of course) on IG ( @budoboxing )

14.  DO just start boxing

It’s funny how we come full circle, but this is honestly one of the most important things you can do. Just get started. The learning should never end, definitely keep reading and researching, but take action and apply what you’re learning.

learn how to be boxing

How to Get in to Boxing at Home with the Budo Boxing System

In the age of Corona, gyms might be closed and/or you might not want to leave your home. You might also be having trouble finding sparring partners or people who are willing to train with you.

I’ve developed a complete system to effectively learn boxing by yourself at home, without the need for super expensive equipment or a gym. I have been developing this system over the past 6 years and have used it to effectively train over 100 clients remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m offering you the opportunity to sign up for my 6-week online program to help you truly unlock your boxing potential.

Get in to Boxing with Budo Boxing - The Way of Boxing

Another great option for beginners who want to get into boxing at home is my book, Budo Boxing – The Way of Boxing. Available on Amazon, I give you in-depth explanations and QR codes to video demonstrations to help you on your journey.

If you enjoy this blog, have any questions or suggestions for future posts, please don’t hesitate to contact me at  [email protected] .

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Boxing Life

How To Start Boxing On Your Own in 10 Steps

How to start boxing

If you are considering taking up boxing and are a complete beginner it can be quite an overwhelming process of how to actually make a start in the sport. Also, like with most things in life if you want to start a new hobby, get a new job, or just try something new it comes of your own accord!

When I first started boxing it came from my own motivation to finally take a leap of faith to start practicing a sport I had watched all my life, but never took the courage to begin till my early 20s. If you are reading this and are not quite sure if boxing is for you yet, starting is the only way you will find out .

Boxing is a serious sport, first, you need to identify what you actually want to achieve from the sport. Is it just to get fit? Is it to help defend yourself? Or is it to become a world champion? Whatever your goal every beginner needs to start from somewhere, so set your goal.

Below are 10 steps/recommendations for someone who really wants to invest in the sport for the long term. Boxing is one of the loneliest sports in the world, but also one of the most rewarding in terms of giving you confidence and getting yourself in the best shape of your life. Like I said above, it all comes of your own accord.

Here are my 10 steps on how to start boxing on your own.

1. Start Running


Now I know you probably came here thinking the first thing you would need to do is to start learning to box, but if I’m being honest it’s actually road work! Running is quite often the first thing lots of beginners completely overlook! It’s no wonder I see so many gas out when they first start training.

As a boxer, you need to have good cardio if you are going to be doing this type of training. So if you are a complete beginner you need to start slow, but it will gradually build up your endurance the more you do this each day. Ideally, you will get to a stage where you can run 2-3 miles,  4-5 days a week. Remember, start slow and build up to this.

I recommend you check out my article on the benefits of running for boxing here or why running is important for boxing here .

2. Learn how to jump rope

Jumping rope for boxing

Another form of cardio training, which pretty much all boxers and boxing gyms will implement. You don’t need to be the world’s greatest skipper, but it’s important you become comfortable with this form of training as almost all boxers know this skill.

Now if you are a complete beginner to skipping/jumping rope, you will soon realize it takes A LOT of practice before it becomes comfortable and easy. But just like with anything in life the more you practice the better you will become, I highly recommend you do this 10 – 15 min before you start any gym session – it’s a great warm-up tool!

If you want to learn how to jump rope for boxing, check out my article guide here .

Or I recommend you check out the Crossrope program here , which is a great way to learn how to jump rope quickly. You can also check out my in-depth review of Crossrope here for more detail.

3. Get Used to Basic Exercises and Interval Training

Press up

Now if you are going to the gym right now and sticking to a regular routine and not putting on a sweat, you will need to change this habit if you are to start boxing training! You need to get used to the basic exercises – press-ups, sit-ups and squats, burpees – you’ll be destroyed in a boxing gym if you can’t do these!

I also recommend you get a timer for interval training as this will really help when it comes to boxing training. You work hard then rest. A typical boxing round is usually 3 minutes with a 1-minute rest period between rounds, try to incorporate this timing into your training.

Getting your overall fitness up will be vital if you plan to become great at boxing. Check out some of these useful online fitness courses which could come in handy.

4. Get yourself boxing gear and equipment

boxing gear and equipment

After you have got yourself in good physical condition, you can now get the appropriate boxing equipment and gear to start your training. Now you don’t need to spend hundreds, but it may totally depend on your circumstances and budget. I always recommend you get yourself a decent starting pair of gloves, but don’t break the bank as you won’t need something like that at this stage.

Check out my guide to boxing gloves article here or my recommended boxing gloves for beginners for some ideas.

First and foremost as a beginner the two primary things I recommend you get are boxing gloves and hand wrap. If you are wanting to box from home get yourself a punching bag. I understand that many people, may live far away from a gym or boxing gym and this may be the best option for you.

You can check out my top 10 free-standing bags or top 10 heavy bags for some ideas here.

5. Start learning the fundamentals

Shadow Boxing

Jab, Cross, Hook, Uppercut…you will need to start learning the boxing fundamentals. It may not seem like there is a lot, but trust me there are so many ways to throw a punch you wouldn’t believe. It takes years of practice to perfect these skills, however, you need to start from somewhere.

The best way to do this in my opinion is to  shadowbox.  It makes it a lot easier to practice the technique at first before hitting the punch bag. You can then start perfecting this on the punch bag after you feel comfortable throwing any punch.

Now if you are still learning to own your own at this stage that is fine, it’s good to get your confidence up before you head into a boxing gym and are used to throwing punches. However, as you try to teach yourself, I’d recommend you take up an online boxing course to complement your training. This was something I did when I first started and it definitely helped me recognize mistakes I was making and other skills like footwork and defense.

6. Head to a boxing gym

Boxing gym

After you have got yourself in a good physical condition and have learned the fundamentals you need to get yourself down to a boxing gym and learn from a real boxing coach. If you feel confident enough you could even skip number 5 and start learning in the boxing gym straight away.

The coaches and boxers in the gym will be able to really reinforce and teach you the fundamentals properly. They will be able to help amend and coach any bad habits or mistakes you have picked up on. As you will be in a good physical condition the coaches will already have a lot more respect for you as it shows you are putting in the effort.

My points 1-5 may seem tedious at first, but trust me they will make a massive difference when you actually take your training inside a boxing gym.

( If you don’t live near a boxing gym, I’d continue to follow online boxing courses and soak up as much as you can. If you are serious about taking it up, you may have to move closer to the gym to achieve your dreams. )

7. Learn the ropes

learn the ropes in boxing

There are a lot of different things to learn inside the boxing gym which you will need to get used to practicing. By really getting yourself involved in the gym and absorbing everything within the gym you will continue to improve physically and your technique.

Make sure to try out other pieces of equipment so training doesn’t become too repetitive as boxing can become a very repetitive sport at times. Here are some different ways you can improve:

  • Continue to improve technique on different punch bags that allow uppercuts.
  • Practice your combinations on the mitts (With a Coach or Partner)
  • Perfect your shadow-boxing technique
  • Use The Double End Bag – improve your timing and reflexes
  • Learn how to use the Speed Bag – useful for timing and conditioning

8. Start Sparring


Now that you have got yourself into great shape and are training in a real boxing gym, it now gets down to the real stuff – if you choose to! If you have the desire and ambition to go somewhere and compete in the sport, you will need to put all of what you have learned into practice.

This can be quite a scary thing if it is the first time you have ever sparred and you will no doubt be extremely nervous. All I will say is there is nothing quite like being punched in the face and you will very quickly realize it’s a lot harder to do everything you have learned when someone is throwing punches back at you.

However, on a plus side to this, there is something absolutely exhilarating about being in the ring and getting punched at, it really does make you feel alive. There is nothing quite like it and it will make you want to come back for more.

If you are a complete beginner and you are thrown in with a guy with lots of experience, make sure to let them know you are a beginner and to take it easy, or else you will be in for a real beating. The other thing to keep in mind is to not get yourself down if you do get beat up, it even happens to the best at times.

9. Compete in a bout


After you have been boxing training and sparring for a while and gathered up your confidence, you need to go to your coach and ask about competing at some level. They will know better than anyone if you are ready or not take part in a fight. (Make sure you trust them first and foremost)

By doing this, your coach will be expecting a lot from you in terms of showing complete dedication to preparing for the fight and staying in the gym. They may put you in their amateur setup or recommend you take part in a white-collar or semi-professional capacity.

Whatever happens, it is up to you how serious you want to go with this!

10. Continuously Improve

For any fighter that competes it’s not about having ‘training camps’, but always staying in the gym at a certain level so you can continue to hone and progress your skills.

Boxing skills take years to completely master and if you want to be the very best, it’s so important to stick at.

By staying in the gym and aiming to continuously improve you will definitely have an edge over the vast majority of fighters out there.

Boxing is a brutal sport, but it can also be the most rewarding to those that truly dedicate themselves.

I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to start boxing and hopefully, it can inspire you to take up or try boxing in 2023.

Please let me know in the comments below if you are thinking about taking it up this year and what goals you have.

I’d recommend you check out these articles below for more useful content :

  • Best Online Boxing Course Lessons
  • Top Online Fitness Programs
  • 6 Ways To Get Motivated To Change Your Life

Jamie - Boxing Life

Hello, I'm Jamie, a boxing enthusiast with over a decade of experience as an amateur boxer, analyst, and blogger. As the founder of 'Boxing Life,' I'm committed to sharing my passion for the sport. Join me for insightful fighter analysis, training tips, gear reviews, and more. I also host a thriving YouTube channel with 100K+ subscribers, where we explore the world of boxing together. Welcome to 'Boxing Life,' where expertise meets passion!

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How Can a Beginner Start Boxing at Home?

How Can a Beginner Start Boxing at Home?

Ready to start boxing at home? Here are some tips on how to do a proper boxing stance, punches, and exercises to get you ready for your boxing workouts!

Published: May 18, 2021

Topics: Tips & Technique, Training

Author: Tommy Duquette

How do you do boxercise at home?

Boxercising doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, you can boxercise at home by simply doing basic boxing moves such as:

Jumping rope

Shadowboxing drills

Heavy bag drills

Jumping rope is great for boxing because it helps with concentration, speed and agility, and cardiovascular endurance. You can start by jumping rope for a 2-minute warm-up or doing 5-10 minutes for an extra cardio kick.

You don’t need any boxing equipment for shadowboxing drills, which makes them convenient to do anywhere. Shadowboxing can help you practice perfect form, stance, and punches, by being able to play out different scenarios that can happen when you’re facing an opponent. You can start with a jab, cross drill, or practice your defense moves such as slipping, where you slightly bend your knees with your hands up guarding your face, and slightly move your head to the side.

Heavy bag drills can help give you power. You can do a simple drill with a couple of quick jabs, resetting, and throwing 2 more quick jabs, repeating for a 3-minute round.

Boxers need to have a strong core. Even though you’re always engaging your core when boxing, you can do extra core work like sit-ups, flutter kicks, and elbow plank (push up position on your elbows) to high plank, etc.

How can a beginner start boxing at home?

If you’re a beginner, the first thing you want to do is to get familiar with the boxing basics:

Punches (jab, cross, lead hook, rear hook, lead uppercut, and rear uppercut)

Boxing Stance

Your stance is extremely important because if you aren’t using the proper form, you can lose your balance and your punches won’t be as effective. For the boxer’s stance, imagine your feet are on either side of an imaginary line and are parallel. Your weight is evenly distributed. Both of your hands are up to protect your face and your chin is slightly tucked. Your dominant arm will be your back arm.

The common punches are the jab, cross, lead hook, rear hook, lead uppercut, and rear uppercut.

The jab is the most important punch in boxing. It is used to set up more punches and disorient your opponent. From your fight stance (hands up, elbows in, looking through your eyebrows), begin the jab by lifting the lead foot, slightly. As the weight comes back down, extend the lead hand fist directly out in front of you. Make sure to turn your knuckles inward so that your palm is facing the ground.

From your stance, throw your rear hand from your chin, crossing the body and traveling toward the target in a straight line. The shoulders should rotate 180 degrees while the arm crosses the body, knuckles rotating inwards on the rear fist upon extension. At the same time, the lead hand is retracted and tucked against the face to protect the chin. For more power, rotate your torso and hips as the cross is thrown.

From your fight stance, begin by transferring the weight from your lead foot to your rear side. As the weight transfers, the shoulders should rotate towards the rear side while lifting the elbow to a 90 degree angle while aiming for the target. The lead foot should pivot and rotate at the end of the punch for power.

From your fight stance, the rear hook should begin by pivoting the weight from the ball of the rear foot. As this occurs, the weight should transfer to the lead side while the hook elbow is lifted to a 90 degree angle while aiming for the target. At the end of the punch, the rear foot should pivot and rotate with the hook for maximum power.

Lead Uppercut

Starting in your boxer’s fight stance, slightly shift your weight to your lead leg. Quickly push your arm out in a sharp motion so the back of your hand is facing your opponent and your knuckles are facing up. Rotate your hips in and pivot on your lead foot. Make sure to keep your rear hand up to protect your face.

Rear Uppercut

From your fight stance, throw your rear side hip forward while pushing your arm out and up ending with your palm facing towards you. Keep your lead hand up, to protect your face.

How can I get more out of an at-home boxercising workout?

If you’re looking to take your boxing training to the next level, FightCamp has you covered. If you need some more instruction for your boxing workouts, you can take boxing classes from the comfort of your home with the FightCamp App or the FightCamp YouTube Channel. FightCamp has lots of at-home boxing workouts and equipment to help you train at your convenience and reach your personal fitness goals.

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Tommy Duquette

About the author

Tommy Duquette

Tommy Duquette is a Co-Founder and Head of Content at FightCamp. He is a former US Boxing Team member with 136 fights under his belt & qualified #2 seed for the 2012 Olympic trials. Tommy is USA Boxing Coach certified.

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8 Must Know Boxing Techniques – Beginners Tactics Guide

Boxing Techniques

When you first start out as a boxer, you may feel overwhelmed by all the new things that you need to learn. Thankfully, boxing isn’t nearly as hard it seems (theoretically, not practically), especially when it comes to its techniques.

If you’re new to boxing and have no idea where to start, keep reading, as in this article, I’ll go over all the essential most important boxing techniques that you must master.

Before proceeding, keep in mind that the following techniques are described for right-handed boxers. If you’re left-handed, just use the opposite arm or leg of what’s being described.

So, let’s get right to it, shall we?

Most Important Boxing Techniques You Must Learn

Listed below are the must know techniques you need to learn as a new boxer. I listed these starting with the most important technique.

Basic Boxing Stance

best stance technique in boxing

I cannot stress this enough: your stance can make or break your experience as a boxer. Mastering a proper stance is critical for both your attack and defensive techniques.

Should your boxing stance be off, you’ll easily lose your balance when throwing a punch, which will make it easy for your opponent to get close and knock you down.

If you’re a beginner just learning how to boxing , the basic boxing stance should be more than enough for your hands to be ready to attack easily. As you hone your boxing skills, you’ll learn different boxing stances that are suitable for more advanced movements.

Here’s how to assume a balanced basic boxing stance:

  • You must stand sideways to your opponent, leading with the shoulder opposite to that of your strong punching hand. So, if you’re right-handed, your left shoulder should be pointed towards your opponent .
  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart , then step forward one pace with the right foot until the front toe and back heel are aligned on the centerline.
  • Turn both feet at a 45-degree angle to your opponent. Keep your weight evenly distributed between your feet for a steady platform.
  • With your back kept straight, bend your knees slightly and lift your back heel off the floor.
  • Shield your chest with your forearms while keeping your elbows close to your sides .
  • Raise your hands up, with the right glove just underneath your chin and the left glove at shoulder height.
  • Keep your chin slightly down, and make sure you can see clearly over your training gloves .

Remember to stay relaxed and to breathe calmly and adequately. Also, practice this position so that you get used to returning to it after every movement.

This video below illustrates the basic boxing stance. Throughout the article, we will be sharing videos that demonstrate the different boxing techniques for the visual learners reading this article.

Basic Boxing Stance Video Illustration

Boxing footwork.

The step-drag and pivot maneuvers are also essential to learn for every boxing beginner as they’ll allow you to attack or defend without losing your balance.

Here are the golden rules of boxing footwork:

  • Keep your feet on the ground so that you don’t lose balance while attacking or defending.
  • Always move the foot that’s the closest to the direction in which you want to move first .
  • Don’t let your feet get to close when moving, as you may lose your balance that way.
  • Avoid jumping off the ground, as it’s a big waste of energy.
  • Use short, sliding steps when moving around the ring.
  • Keep the weight balanced on both feet.
  • Avoid crossing your feet.

When it comes to boxing footwork techniques, speed is key. That’s why you ought to focus on your legs when working out and improving boxing skill and strategy. I suggest everytime you are doing a bag workout always make sure to keep your footwork in mind. Over time it will become second nature.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s how you can master each of those techniques:

Basic Step-Drag

The Step-Drag is a basic boxing footwork technique that’s easy to learn . As the name indicates, all you have to do is step forward with the lead foot then drag the hind foot.

This technique goes for both boxing and MMA . This is to keep your weight always grounded allowing you to always be ready to attack or defend.

So, if you want to move forward or to the left, step with your left foot, then drag your right foot. Do the opposite if you want to move backward or to the right. Seems easy enough, doesn’t it?

Basic Step-Drag Video Illustration

The pivot technique is usually done by pivoting off your front foot, and it’s used to find new punching angles or to avoid attacks.

There are both small pivots (45-90 degrees) and big ones (90-180 degrees), so make sure to practice everything.

The Pivot is a very simple boxing technique that you can master very quickly. Watch the video below to show you how.

Pivot Technique Video Illustration

Basic punching techniques.

I hear you; all of that seems fun, but you’re here to land some powerful punches and landing powerful punches is what you’re going to do.

When you are just starting out you are going to want to practice on a punching bag rather in the ring with an opponent. I would suggest a standing bag like the Century Wavemaster XXL , it’s the best there is and it’s the bag that I use.

You can check it out by clicking here .

Punching, in theory, is simple: all you gave to do is:

  • Accelerate your hand towards the target as you exhale
  • Tighten your first at the moment of impact
  • Relax your hand so that you can throw more punches

The key here is to use all of your body weight when throwing the punch without losing balance, which should be acquired with practice.

As a beginner, the first thing you need to master is the proper punching form. As you advance as a boxer, you’ll learn a plethora of punch variations. With time, you’ll be able to develop your own punching technique – one that goes flawlessly with your style.

Before delving into the different punches that you need to learn as a beginner, here are the golden rules of basic punching:

  • Stand your ground and maintain your stance as you punch for more power and better mobility.
  • As you punch with one hand, make sure the other hand is protecting the other side of your body.
  • You need to turn your entire body and pivot your feet when punching, except when you’re throwing a jab.

Basic Punch Combinations

One last thing. In boxing, punches are delivered in combinations. For that, there’s a punch numbering system that makes it easy to learn new combos, which is:

  • 2 = Right Cross
  • 3 = Left Hook
  • 4 = Right Hook
  • 5 = Left Uppercut
  • 6 = Right Uppercut

Following that system, a 1-3-5b combination would include a jab to the head, followed by a left hook to the head, then a left uppercut to the body.

Jab (Left Straight Punch)

punching technique in boxing

Topping the list of basic boxing punches is the jab, which is the most important punch in this sport.

Because it can be used to attach, defend, counter, make space, score points, and a helluva lot of other things.

Furthermore, this punch uses the least energy, lands the fastest on the opponent’s chin, and leaves you the least vulnerable. All of that makes it easy to understand why many trainers recommend starting every combination with the jab.

To perform a basic jab, follow these steps:

  • Lift your left fist up high and keep your elbow close to your body.
  • Extend your left fist straight forward, aiming for the opponent’s chin.
  • Exhale sharply as you’re throwing the punch.
  • Rotate the fist so that it lands with the palm down and the thumb making a small clockwise rotation inwards.
  • Pull your hand back immediately after impact so that it’s ready to deliver other punches.
  • Hold your right hand up high to block any counter punches.

Of course, there are other variants of the jab that you can learn as you go, including the step jab, pivot jab, and backstep jab.

Jab (Left Stright Punch) Video Illustration

Cross (right straight punch).

striking technique in boxing

Just like there’s a straight left punch, there’s also a straight right punch, and it’s called the right cross. The right cross is not only very effective in boxing, it is also an extremely effective kickboxing technique .

The cross is your strongest and most damaging punch. That’s because it comes from your dominant hand, and it leverages the strength of the back.

On the flip side, if it fails to connect, it may leave you open to a counter-attack. That’s why this punch is best used in a combo after opening up the opponent’s defense with a stunning jab.

To land a powerful cross, follow these steps:

  • Pivot your right foot and rotate your hips and upper body counterclockwise for maximum strength.
  • Extend your right fist from your chin while exhaling sharply.
  • Rotate your fist to land with your palm down.
  • Hold your left hand up to avoid a counter-attack.

You can combine the jab and the right cross to perform the 1-2 combination, which is basic yet very useful.

Cross (Right Straight Punch) Video Illustration

left hook punch boxing technique

Straight punches are powerful, but your opponent will almost always expect them. That’s where the left hook comes in.

The left hook comes from the side, making it hard for your opponent to defend it against it. Not only is this punch tricky, though, as it’s also incredibly powerful. After all, it basically turns the opponent’s head and makes them dizzy, which is why it’s common for knockouts.

The perks of this punch don’t stop there, as it’s also pretty flexible since you can land a left hook with your fist horizontal or vertical. If you’re a beginner, stick with what feels more natural, and you shall be fine.

Here’s how to land a left hook punch:

  • Pivot your feet clockwise while dropping the right heel and lifting the left one.
  • When you pivot your feet, your body should rotate as one block.
  • Swing your left fist into the target while tightening your left arm.

As you can see, the left hook is simple, yet powerful.

A right hook is also possible, and it can be thrown by following these steps:

  • Bring the chin down to protect the left shoulder
  • Pivot your feet as well as hips and hand in the direction of the punch
  • Swing your right fist into your opponent’s head while tightening your right arm
  • Turn your hand over so that the palm faces down at the point of impact

What’s unique about this punch is that it can be used to attack not only the head but also the body. In fact, it’s the most common way to attack the body.

In other words, you can use a left (or right) hook to land a body shot, such as a liver shot. Body shots are an excellent way to kill your opponent’s legs and hamper their ability to move. They can even lead to knockouts, so don’t exclude them from your training sessions.

Left Hook Video Illustration

uppercut boxing technique

The uppercut can work as a great knockout punch, and for good reason. This punch is delivered at close quarters, and it comes from underneath, giving it an exceptional element of surprise. Unfortunately, just like the left hook, this punch exposes you to a higher risk of counter-attack if it doesn’t take your opponent out immediately.

Here’s how to land a powerful left uppercut:

  • Drop the right heel, lift the left heel, and pivot your feet clockwise at around 90 degrees.
  • Drop your left fist slightly, then swing it upwards towards your opponent’s chin. Keep your elbow facing down throughout this movement.
  • Return to your stance quickly to prevent a counter-attack.

Here’s how to land a powerful right uppercut:

  • Rotate your hips and shoulders counterclockwise while pivoting your right foot at around 90 degrees.
  • When you pivot your foot, your body should rotate as one block.
  • Drop your right fist slightly, then swing it upwards towards your opponent’s chin. Keep your elbow facing down throughout this movement.

When throwing an uppercut, avoid leaning forward or backward as you may end up losing your balance that way.

You can land an uppercut punch to the head or the body, and you can throw it in a straight or curved manner.

Uppercut Video Illustration

Boxing is an art, and just like any other art, it includes several basic techniques that you can combine to create some unforgettable masterpieces. Although the techniques mentioned above may seem simple, they’re still very powerful.

Master them, and you shall end every boxing round with a win!

Related Readings:

  • Best Heavy Bag Stand for Kickboxing
  • Boxing Tips for Beginners
  • Best 100 LB Punching Bags
  • Youth Punching Bags
  • https://expertboxing.com/boxing-techniques
  • https://www.stack.com/a/basic-punches
  • https://expertboxing.com/7-basic-boxing-combinations

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How to Start Boxing at Home (The Ultimate Guide)

Want to know how to start boxing at home? This guide will teach you step-by-step what to know to get started.

You'll learn basic moves and tips for beginners. No fluff, just useful stuff to start boxing.

We'll cover:

  • The boxing “number” system (to quickly build up combos)
  • The fundamentals of boxing
  • How to rapidly progress your boxing skills.

Let's get you throwing punches!

This guide has all you need to begin your boxing journey.

Key takeaways

  • Your boxing fundamentals consist of the following:
  • Find a boxing gym with skilled trainers who can teach you the correct techniques and styles.
  • Go to group classes to improve cardiovascular health, learn the boxing number system, and refine your skills.
  • Consider getting a coach or taking private lessons for personalized teaching and efficient mastery of basics.

How to start boxing at home as a beginner

To start boxing at home, I would suggest learning these skills in order:

  • Learn the proper boxing stance (this is your foundation).
  • Learn the boxing number system (each number correlates to a punch).
  • Learn how to throw adequate boxing technique (with each punch).
  • Learn to incorporate defense (head movement, trunk movement, etc.)
  • Learn to throw boxing combinations.
  • Learn boxing strategies and tactics.
  • Learn how to stay calm under chaos. (controlling your mind).
  • Combine everything.

Yes, it is a lot, but boxing has a deep history. The more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know.

Focusing on the basics is key to getting good at boxing.  You should also film yourself training and review the footage.

Doing this lets you look at your technique and use that info to get better without a coach there.

You won’t have a coach to provide real-time feedback. So, for now, focus on being critical of your form. Be your own coach until you can join a gym.

Learning boxing is difficult without a coach to guide you through your progress. You may learn “bad” habits that will be harder to break in the future.

To improve faster, joining a gym or getting a coach after following these at-home boxing basics is best.

The boxing number system

Now that you know the fundamentals of boxing, it's time to learn the boxing number system. This system offers a shorthand way to remember and do key moves. It's an essential tool for improving your skills.

Here are the main moves in the boxing number system:

  • 1 (Jab):  The jab is a quick, straight punch with the lead hand. It sets up combinations and keeps your opponent away.
  • 2 (Cross):  The cross is a powerful punch with the rear hand. It's a straight punch with lots of force, often after a jab.
  • 3 (Lead Hook):  The lead hook is a punch with the lead hand in a circular motion. It targets your opponent's head or body from the side.
  • 4 (Rear Hook):  The rear hook is like the lead hook but with the rear hand. It can generate power and is often a counterpunch.
  • 5 (Lead Uppercut):  The lead uppercut is an upward punch with the lead hand. It targets your opponent's chin or body up close.
  • 6 (Rear Uppercut):  The rear uppercut is a punch with the rear hand directed upwards. This punch can be devastating if timed correctly, usually landing on the opponent's chin or body when close.
  • 7 (Lead Body Shot):  The lead body shot is a punch aimed at your opponent's body using the lead hand. It's a quick, direct punch, often used to wear down an opponent's defenses.
  • 8 (Rear Body Shot):  The rear body shot is a punch with the rear hand targeted at the opponent's body. It can be a powerful punch if delivered effectively, causing significant damage.

Memorize these numbers and the boxing moves tied to them. Practice the combinations regularly in different orders.

This will help you get familiar with various fighting combos. Say the numbers as you do shadowboxing and hit the bag. It's an effective way to practice.

The jab (punch #1), done with your lead hand, is a swift, straight punch that can become the cornerstone of your boxing training.

Here’s how you perform a jab:

  • Start in a basic boxing stance. Your jab hand, usually your non-dominant hand, should be slightly forward, with your rear hand on your cheek.
  • Your largest two knuckles should be pointing to the floor. They should also sit slightly lower than your elbow.
  • This creates the “torque,” which makes your punches “snappy.”
  • Retract your hand back immediately. Jabs should be a quick, direct hit used to cause damage or as a distraction.

That jab is the foundational punch that will open plenty of opportunities to go on the offense.

If you are to master one punch, I would recommend mastering the jab.

The cross (punch #2) is thrown with your rear hand. It's a strong, straight punch that often comes after a jab.

Here’s how you do a cross:

  • Start with your fist on your chin, with your body in your boxing stance.
  • Throw your rear hand in the straightest line possible. Visualize throwing it at your opponent’s face.
  • As you reach 50% of the distance, twist your hand as if giving a thumbs down. Your largest two knuckles should be facing the ground.
  • While throwing your punch, you should also pivot your back foot like you’re stepping on a cigarette. This should also engage your hips, which will be driving the power.
  • Your fist should travel in the straightest line possible. Your chin should be tucked, and your shoulder should protect your chin.

Keep your wrist straight when you land the punch. Quickly pull your hand back to defend.

The cross is more about power than speed, unlike the jab. But it would be best if you still had good timing and aim.

Regularly practicing the cross after a jab will give you a potent 1-2 combo that's key in boxing.

3 = Lead Hook

After mastering the cross, it's time to learn the lead hook, or punch #3, in the boxing number system.

The lead hook is a powerful punch that can surprise your opponent, going around their defenses to hit the side of their head.

To deliver a solid lead hook:

  • Start with your weight on your back foot. This allows you to pivot on your front foot and turn your body into the punch, increasing its power.
  • Keep your elbows bent and your back arm protecting your body. This ensures your defense stays solid, even when attacking.
  • Twist your left shoulder and hip forward as you throw the punch.
  • Aim for your opponent's chin, temple or past their guard (if in front), as a well-placed hook can lead to a knockout.

4 = Rear Hook

Mastering the rear hook, or punch #4, is your ticket to dominating your opponents with a powerful surprise attack.

In your ultimate boxing lessons, the rear hook is a crucial tool that can shake up your opponent when done right.

Here's how to do it:

  • Begin in your boxing stance with your hands up and elbows tucked in.
  • Pivot your back foot, turning your body to the lead side.
  • As you pivot, swing your rear hand in a hooking motion.
  • The power comes from your hips and legs, not just your arm.
  • Always keep your lead hand up to guard your face.

5 = Lead Uppercut

The lead uppercut (punch #5) is a strong vertical punch that goes upward.

A lead uppercut thrown at the right time can sneak inside an opponent's guard and cause damage.

To perform the lead uppercut, do the following:

  • Start by standing correctly. Your left foot should be forward if you're right-handed and vice versa. Always keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Practice a similar motion to the left hook but upward. Remember to use your hips and legs for power.
  • Your hips should twist as you drive your lead arm 90 degrees.
  • Aim for your partner's chin or body, but avoid leaning in too much.
  • A well-timed lead uppercut can easily follow double jabs, creating a powerful combo to keep your opponent on their toes.

6 = Rear Uppercut

The rear uppercut, punch #6, is a fierce upward punch thrown with your backhand.

Done right, this punch can be a game-changer. It comes from underneath to penetrate the defender's guard to land a heavy blow to the chin.

Here's how to throw an effective rear uppercut:

  • Start in your boxing stance with your hands protecting your face.
  • Bend your back leg a bit and drop that hand down slightly.
  • Drive the uppercut up using leg and hip power. Your hips should twist as you drive your rear arm 90 degrees.
  • Aim for the chin or body. Don't overreach or lose balance.
  • Use the rear uppercut in combos to keep your opponent guessing and off-balance.

7 = Lead Body Shot

The Lead Body Shot, also known as punch #7, is a dynamic punch aimed at the opponent’s body using the lead hand.

It’s designed to target sensitive areas like the ribs and liver (if they’re in an orthodox position.

You can wind an opponent or even finish a fight if executed correctly.

To deliver an effective lead body shot, follow these steps:

  • Start in your usual boxing stance, maintaining good balance and control.
  • Keep your hands up to protect your face, as body shots often expose the head to counterpunches.
  • Drive the power through your hips.
  • Ensure that your rear hand is guarding your chin to minimize the risk of a counter punch. Return quickly to your guard after punching for added defense.
  • Mix the lead body shot into your punch combinations to add versatility to your style.

8 = Rear Body Shot

Punch #8, or the Rear Body Shot, is a powerful blow delivered with the rear hand, targeting the opponent's body.

Like the lead body shot, it aims at the ribs but on the right side (or left if you’re a southpaw), causing significant discomfort or even incapacitating the opponent.

Here's how you throw a potent rear-body shot:

  • Assume your regular boxing stance with your hands up to shield your face.
  • Pivot your rear foot, activating your hips and legs to generate power for the punch.
  • Remember, the power of your punch should come from your legs and hips, not just your arm.
  • Ensure your lead hand is safeguarding your chin as you punch to protect.

Know your boxing fundamentals

Your fundamentals are what’s critical to improving your boxing game.

If you can master the fundamentals, you will rapidly improve your skills.

Newbies like to get to the “fun” stuff. But really, the fundamentals are what make you  most effective.

Your balance, footwork, punches, and defense are the pillars of your boxing foundation.

By mastering these fundamentals, you'll get better technique and increase your effectiveness  and safety  in the ring.

Your boxing stance (balance)

Your boxing stance is your base, where all your punches and movements come from.

If you stay balanced, you will always have opportunities to defend or counterattack.

Balance is the foundation of all great fighters.  As you study more of the legends, you’ll realize they’re perfectly balanced.

Here’s a great clip on “balance” which starts from your stance by Precision Boxing:

<iframe width="467" height="830" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/x-yZ0ZPTJnE" title="How to Fix Your Boxing Stance" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>

To make a proper boxing stance, imagine your feet on either side of a narrow line on the floor.

Your left foot (if you're right-handed) should be slightly forward, with both feet pointing slightly sideways.

Keep your knees bent and your body weight balanced equally on both feet. This is your boxer's stance.

Here's a simple explanation:

  • Lead foot and rear foot:  Your lead foot (left if right-handed, right if left-handed) should be slightly forward, and your rear foot should be slightly back, around shoulder-width apart. This allows more effortless movement.
  • Knees bent:  Keep your knees slightly bent for better mobility and to generate power in your punches.
  • Shoulder width:  Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart for stability and quick footwork.
  • Heel-toe alignment:  A line should cut through from the top of your lead foot down to the heel of your rear foot. You can test this by finding a straight line and seeing if your feet match up.
  • Upper body position:  Lean slightly forward to give your punches more power and to protect your upper body. Your hands should be up in a defensive position – one by your chin and the other in front of your face.
  • Chin tucked:  Keep your chin down and covered by your lead shoulder. This is a critical point in defense and can
  • Guard up:  Keep your fists near your face to protect from incoming punches. Your elbows should be close to your body to protect your torso. Remember, a good boxer never drops their guard.

Your footwork

Your footwork ties into your boxing stance.

The key is to  stay balanced at all times.  You do this by following this principle:

Whatever foot is closest to the direction you’re going, you move that foot first.

For example, if you are in an orthodox stance and want to move to the right, you’ll move your rear foot (right foot) first, followed by your left foot.

You always want to follow up with your other foot and return to your neutral boxing stance (shoulder-width apart, heel-toe alignment, etc.)

You can practice your footwork by moving in all four directions (up, down, left, and right).

Your punches

We’ve already covered each punch under the “Boxing number system.”

The trick is to learn the number system and start combining sequences.

These are “boxing combinations” practiced through what’s known as “pad flow.”

<iframe width="467" height="830" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/t3iSH7nvikg" title="Learn This 9-Punch Combo By DMITRY BIVOL " frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The perfect boxing combination includes the following:

  • Punches that blend seamlessly together (each punch should set the next punch. Think of a “1-2” combination)
  • They should include defensive movements in between to get you anticipating counters.
  • They should end in an exit strategy, AKA how to disengage from your opponent.

The above is beyond the scope of this blog post, but it’s good to know what you’ll eventually be learning as you upskill in the sweet science.

Your defense

Now that you’ve learned how to punch, it's time to focus on your defense.

Remember:  The goal of boxing is to “hit” and not “get hit.”

Boxing isn't just about throwing punches; it's also about avoiding your opponent's punches.

You’ll always want to defend yourself at all times.

Here are some basic defensive principles to get used to:

  • Tuck your chin into your chest:  This will protect you from hooks and uppercuts, and you’ll be able to absorb more impact should you get clipped on the chin.
  • Always keep your hands up, guarding your face:  This is your primary defense against jabs and crosses.
  • Reload your punches:  After every punch, remember to bring your fist back to its guard position to block any counterattacks.
  • Keep your elbow bent and close to your body:  This prevents body shots.
  • Always keep your eyes on your opponent:  This will help you anticipate their punches and react accordingly.

Remember, mastering defense is just as important as mastering offense in boxing. So, be sure to focus on it.

What to do to improve your skills rapidly

When it comes to boxing, the fastest way to learn is to get a coach.

You can only do so much on your own, studying and critiquing your own form.

But the real-time feedback is what will rapidly improve your skills.

So, to start, I would recommend these steps:

Find a boxing gym

A boxing gym will provide you with everything you need to improve your skills:

  • The right gear:  Boxing gyms have heavy bags, speed bags, and other essentials you might not have at home.
  • Guidance:  Trainers can help manage your techniques and keep you on track.
  • Cardio workouts:  Boxing gyms offer intense cardio you might struggle to replicate at home.
  • Sparring:  You’ll be able to test your boxing skills in a controlled environment.

Your boxing gym will be your home.

One of the underrated aspects of a boxing gym is the relationships you build alongside other fighters on the same path as you.

Friendly rivalries are always a great way to push yourself in boxing training, which often results in rapid improvement.

Attend group classes

Once you've found the perfect gym, dive into group classes.

These aren't your average cardio/boxercise sessions; they're designed to get you in fighting form.

Each class should include the following:

  • Punching technique (generally performed with a partner)
  • Boxing drills
  • Conditioning

Hire a coach to oversee your progress

A coach's value is providing  real-time feedback  for you to implement immediately.

They can stop you and tell you when they see something to correct. This helps rapidly correct “bad habits” and learn new skills through repetition.

Like how you would build muscle, your boxing skills improve by  putting in the reps.

Experienced coaches from top gyms will guide you through all things boxing, with the most important being:

  • Boxing technique
  • Boxing strategies

Having a coach by your side that you trust entirely can also help boost your confidence.

Frequently asked questions

What equipment do i need to start boxing at home.

You'll need boxing gloves, hand wraps for protection, a punching bag to practice on, and a jump rope for conditioning. A mirror is all you need to get your form checked.

How can I prevent injuries when practicing boxing at home?

To prevent home boxing injuries, always warm up and stretch before practice. Use proper form, avoid overexertion, and wear protective gear. Regularly rest to allow body recovery and prevent burnout.

How can I stay motivated and consistent starting boxing at home?

Film yourself training and review your footage. You can also track your workouts and see improvements.

You’ll feel the most motivated when you progress, which will translate into consistency.

How do I know that I’m improving?

Record your training sessions and be critical. Review them, noting fluency and accuracy, executing perfect technique. Compare to previous sessions to track improvements and areas needing work.

You can also track your boxing workouts. Aim to get better time on your runs, see how many more punches you can fit into a minute, etc.

There are many things you can measure that when you build up data over time, you’ll be able to see which areas you need to work on.

The bottom line

Starting boxing from home can effectively get you into proper shape, learn the fundamentals, and start your boxing journey.

If you follow the advice outlined above, you should be able to learn the foundations of sweet science.

Couple that with recording your training sessions, tracking your boxing workouts, and reviewing the data; you should be able to progress quickly.

But as I said, if you want to improve your skills rapidly, I highly recommend joining a gym, hiring a coach, and immersing yourself in the sport!

Happy training!

Richard Magallanes

I'm an Amateur Boxer who fell in love with the sweet science after it had saved me from rock bottom. Elite Striking Gear is my attempt to document my Boxing journey by providing helpful boxing guides to excel your skills and expose the "secrets" you would only learn by attending various gyms.

Want to join A Community of Elite Strikers?

Evolve Daily

23 Boxing Tips To Be A Better Boxer Quickly

23 Boxing Tips To Be A Better Boxer Quickly

Boxing is one of the easiest and most accessible martial arts disciplines to pick up and learn. Beginners can step into the boxing gym and learn all of the basic punches on the very first day. But while the learning curve isn’t particularly steep, mastering the basics and advancing through training requires extra focus and dedication.

To start off, practitioners must completely reprogram their bodies to move in certain ways. From the head all the way down to the feet, boxing requires an acute attention to detail in every technique. The more time you have to practice, the better.

While the majority of focus in boxing lies in its punching and combinations, there are other factors that are introduced when you reach the more advanced stages of training.

When you get to that next level, you’ll shift focus to other equally important facets of the game that need your attention — things like head movemen t, defense , and the all-important footwork .

People learn at their own pace. Some are fast learners, while others take a little longer to grasp specific concepts. Obviously, the more effort you put into training, the better you will understand the different techniques, and the quicker you will pick things up.

If you’re new to the sweet science or are planning to take up boxing soon, we’ve listed down a few pointers to help set you on the right path of learning. These tips will aid you in your boxing journey and will help maximize your time and effort.

Today, Evolve Daily shares 23 tips to be a better boxer quickly.

1) Master The Fundamentals

A lot of people forego training the fundamentals , when it’s exactly the fundamentals they should be focusing on. Boxing is a lifelong commitment to training. By getting a good grasp on the basics and learning the fundamentals, you put yourself in a tremendous position to succeed. The importance of paying attention to basic skills and techniques cannot be overstated.

Learn how to throw textbook punches with the proper form. Discover the most commonly used punching combinations, and how to defend against them. Learn how to move your feet and use footwork to glide across the ring. All these skills and more will help you learn boxing quickly.

2) Maintain Eye Contact


Never lose sight of your opponent. To better anticipate an opponent’s attacks, and not leave yourself vulnerable to counter attacks that you don’t see coming, maintain eye contact at all times through both offense and defense.

By locking on to your opponent, it means you never break line of sight. In doing this, you can better prepare yourself to react correctly in any given situation. You are virtually one step ahead of your opponent at all times.

The unique ebb and flow of a boxing match can sometimes be chaotic, which is all the more important that you maintain eye contact. Fight smart and you make it easier for yourself to execute your offense while still being able to play good defense.

3) Watch The Battle Of The Feet

Not known to many beginners, but inside the boxing ring, there is a constant battle of feet placement. The general rule is whatever you do, you must keep your lead foot on the outside of an opponent’s lead foot, especially when launching an attack.

Keeping your lead foot on the outside puts you in the right position to unload your offense.

Now, you’re not going to win the battle of the feet all the time. There will be instances when your opponent will win this little mini-game. As soon as you sense your lead foot fall to the inside, be prepared to play defense. Either cover up and employ a high guard, or jab step backward to take yourself out of range.

4) Fight Low


When dealing with taller opponents, sometimes it’s good to keep a low stance. This means bending your knees an extra bit to minimize the impact of a taller opponent’s punches. The taller opponent usually has to exert extra effort in trying to connect punches on a fighter who keeps his stance low.

It can be very effective at times, but also be wary of the effect it has on you.

Be careful with fighting low too long as it easily dissipates your stamina and energy reservoir. Make sure that you train your legs heavily to be able to sustain this sort of activity. Squats and calf raises are good workouts to build stamina in the legs.

5) Use Your Side Step

Sidestepping around an opponent can be used on offense or on defense. It’s a boxing technique that has been underutilized until just recently when fighters like Vasyl Lomachenko and Manny Pacquiao made good use of the tactic.

Sidestepping works great on defense as it allows you to circle away from your opponent’s power shots. Oftentimes it keeps you well out of range of the straight, or the rear hook. Even if contact is made, the impact is lessened.

On offense, sidestepping an opponent makes his defense vulnerable and creates a lot of openings for you to land punches to the body and to the head. This also relates to point number one, as it breaks an opponent’s line of sight. When you move to the side, your opponent is usually wide open.

6) Learn How To Clinch

When the going gets rough, learn how to clinch . It’s a boxing technique that is used in close quarters to provide a break in the action. Clinching is an essential skill that can prove useful in dire situations. As part of a strategy, it can also be used to frustrate opponents mentally.

Opponents who wind up getting clinched a lot in a fight gets the energy zapped out of them quickly. It’s a great way to thwart their game plan.

Knowing how to execute a smooth clinch is a skill that can be trained, just the same as your regular boxing combinations. So practice clinching in sparring as much as you can, to add this technique to your repertoire.

7) Focus On Technique, Not Power

Here’s How To Increase Your Punching Power! WBA Boxing World Champion Drian Francisco from the EVOLVE Fight Team demonstrates how to increase your punching power! Posted by Evolve MMA on Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The knockouts will come, but especially as a beginner in this sport your primary focus should be tightening up your technique. By having sound technique, you ensure that you are maximizing the potential behind each punch.

Every martial artist will tell you that there is always some area of your game that you can improve upon. Whether that’s making your punches shorter, or better selling your feints, technique is the most important thing you should enhance as a fighter.

Too many beginners focus solely on increasing power, or trying to punch as hard as they can, which really only wastes energy. By focusing on technique over power, you gain better energy expenditure, and you make every move count .

8) Pick Your Spots, Be Mindful Of Energy Expenditure And Don’t Waste Your Punches

It is also important not to throw punches for the sake of throwing them. You must always keep in mind that every punch you throw expends energy, and you only have so much energy to use up in each fight . It is very tempting to go on an all-out relentless attack, but doing this will cause you to punch yourself out.

Boxing is both an aerobic and anaerobic physical undertaking. The more punches we throw at a rapid pace, the harder our cardiovascular system works to keep blood flowing. At about 80% of our maximum heart rate, which is normally how hard we work during a fight, lactic acid starts to accumulate in our muscles.

If we throw too many punches, we breach our lactic acid threshold. The effect of this is that we are unable to lift our arms, and our punches moving forward begin to lack power. This is why some boxers who aren’t particularly well-conditioned can appear extremely tired after just a few rounds.

One way to make sure that we don’t experience this is by being mindful of our combinations. Don’t just throw your combinations for the heck of it, make sure every move you make serves a purpose. It is important to throw punches in volume, but also to not waste energy by throwing wasteful punches.

Look for openings that may uncover during fights. Use your jab to keep your opponents constantly engaged, then attack with your power shots when they let their guard down. Advanced boxers also love to use feints , which is a tremendous technique that doesn’t require a lot of energy but is really effective in creating openings.

Boxing World Champion Drian Francisco Shares The Secrets To His Success https://t.co/roIhOu8wmr #EvolveMMA #Boxing pic.twitter.com/WQ18tgZQpL — Evolve MMA (@EvolveMMA) October 27, 2019

By being smart with your offensive and defensive output, you will more often than not be much more effective than your opponent when it comes to areas of punching accuracy , and energy expenditure.

9) Try Not To Get Hit

boxing head movement

WBA Boxing World Champion Drian Francisco teaching a boxing class at Evolve MMA (Far East Square) in Singapore.

The name of the game is to hit and not get hit. Too often, beginner boxers forget this very basic concept.

Defense is a huge part of boxing, and many boxers, especially beginners, tend to forget this. Moreover, you don’t want to be taking too much punishment, nor get hit in the head too much. Every punch you absorb sucks away at your energy and stamina, and it slows you down over the course of a bout.

How To Set Up And Land A Perfect Liver Shot In Boxing https://t.co/JRvKXG5vee #EvolveMMA #Boxing pic.twitter.com/8gwrxrpa1s — Evolve MMA (@EvolveMMA) October 17, 2019

The primary objective should always be to land your combinations while sustaining the least amount of damage. They don’t call boxing ‘The Sweet Science’ for nothing. A lot of technique goes behind every movement.

Learn to master the art of defense and mix it up with your offense to create a seamless fighting style .

10) Don’t Throw The Same Punch To The Same Area

The beauty of offense in boxing is that there are so many different combinations that we can work with. There are basic combinations like the 1-2, and the hook-straight, and then there are more advanced combinations. The key to diversifying your offense is mixing it up. In boxing, punches that land in the legal scoring zones, namely the head and body, are the only punches counted towards a boxer’s merit. This is important because, in boxing, scoring areas are limited .

Punches that land on the arms and elbows are not given any merit, while punches that land on the back and below the belt are illegal moves. This limits the area where boxers can land punches, making it difficult to connect cleanly.

Keeping your punch output varied is the key to great offense. Practice your combinations on the focus mitts, honing proper technique while cultivating power on the heavy bag. When you’re comfortable with the movements, apply your techniques in sparring. Sparring is a great way to get accustomed to the unique ebb and flow of a real fight.

The important thing is to not always throw the same combinations, because, after some point, your opponent will begin to anticipate your offense. Diversify your combinations by constantly going both upstairs and downstairs on your opponent, shifting between targeting both the head and the body. In this way, opponents have a much harder time predicting where your offense will be focused on, keeping them unable to anticipate where your next punch will be coming from.

11) Move Your Head

Good head movement isn’t just a component of defense, it’s also a method of making your punch combinations more unpredictable. Bobbing and weaving from side to side makes you harder to hit, while at the same time, shifts and transfers your weight and momentum with seamless motion.

Moving your head constantly is a trait of a good boxer. It is hard to concentrate on head movement in a fight while having to worry about the many other subtleties in the ring, especially if you are a novice. But concentrating on incorporating solid head movement to your game means you are laser-focused on all aspects of your pugilistic technique.

Furthermore, head movement means you are also less likely to get hit clean. It adds a layer of unpredictability to both your offense and your defense. One way to practice head movement is through the all-important shadow boxing. Stand in front of a mirror while you shadow box and pay very close attention to how you move your head.

12) Learn Positioning

Song Ka Yeon Boxing

Knowing when to execute your combinations is essential to increasing your punch accuracy. A common pitfall of novice fighters is not being able to properly gauge their distance . Some initiate their combinations from too far out, in the process, they overextend on their punches and are left open to counters. This can be solved by improved footwork and thus better positioning.

Learn how to move your feet to cover distance quickly, closing the gap and getting within optimal punching range. At the same time, focus on your exits because your opponent isn’t just going to sit there and take it. They can and will strike back. It’s best to step back at angles as opposed to moving backward in a straight line. This makes it harder for you to find.

As a general rule of thumb, always circle away from your opponent’s most powerful punch. That way, when they counter with this, the effectivity and power is immensely diminished.

Good positioning is an important part of knowing when to unleash your best combinations. Couple this with amazing footwork and you’ll be dancing circles around your opponents in no time.

13) Shadowboxing


Shadowboxing is more than what its simplistic nature shows it to be. In fact, shadowboxing is one of the most important tools in training for both beginners and advanced practitioners alike.

For starters, shadowboxing has many significant benefits to impart to practitioners. First and foremost, it enhances form and execution, by allowing you to see yourself performing a myriad of techniques in front of a mirror. Secondly, it enhances your speed and fight IQ, while also developing your spatial awareness. Lastly, shadowboxing accustoms you to the unique pace of boxing and teaches you how to move properly 

14) Listen To Your Coaches  

tips to learn boxing quickly

Once you begin to grow more confident in your abilities, it becomes very easy to think you can do it all by yourself. Don’t fall into the habit of ignoring your coaches and instructors , they are there for a reason. Coaches possess a wealth of boxing knowledge well beyond your years. The wisdom they encapsulate in their minds is essential to your learning and development as a fighter.

Make it a habit to always listen to your coaches in all stages of training. They can see things in your form, notice bad habits you may be developing, and understand every movement you make. When they instruct you to move a certain way or punch a certain way, it’s because they are trying to steer you in the right direction whereas otherwise, you may have deviated from the correct path. After all, they know the common mistakes people make in training because they’ve been there before, and they exactly how to mold and shape you into the potential you possess.

As martial artists, humility is the key to learning. In order to maximize your potential, be humble enough to listen to what your coaches have to say and to do your best to put it into practice. By remaining humble and incorporating their technical knowledge into your game, you’ll no doubt be a great boxer down the road.

15) Participate Fully In Class  

boxing class instruction drian francisco

Furthermore, it also becomes easy to take the class for granted once you think you have a firm grasp of the basics. Don’t allow yourself to become overconfident to the point where you are too cocky to participate in class, especially with students of a lower level.

Remember that boxing is a lifelong journey. People spend years training in the discipline and have yet to master it. And you always learn something new every day.

Boxing class may appear easy to you, but pay closer attention , and you might pick up a new skill that you may have missed before. If you’re looking for increased challenges, tell your instructors. They know exactly how to make certain drills more challenging for you.

16) Be Punctual For Class

boxing benefit hiroki

Kyokushin Karate World Champion Hiroki Akimoto from the EVOLVE Fight Team trains boxing at Evolve MMA (Far East Square) in Singapore.

Punctuality should be the norm in everything, but especially if you want to have a good experience in the boxing gym. No instructor appreciates a student who arrives late for a class, so always strive to show up a few minutes early. It’s the first sign of respect. Also, being punctual shows commitment.

Being late will cause you to miss those precious few minutes of training, where you could have learned something valuable. More importantly, tardiness interrupts the flow of every session, not to mention that it’s terribly distracting.

There will be times you are late. You can never achieve perfect attendance, that’s understandable. But try not to make it a habit.

17) Show Respect

muay thai respect

Respect is an important value of martial arts.

Respect is one of the biggest words in martial arts, and it’s the same in the boxing gym. In general, you want to treat others the way you want to be treated. Being respectful to not only your coaches, but also your teammates is the way to go.

As always, leave your ego at the door. Don’t go into the gym acting like you know everything. Even the most advanced practitioners are always learning something new, despite having trained for years.

It’s easy to become too overconfident in your skills when you start to get better. Don’t fall into that trap.

18) Get Ample Sleep The Day Before Training

sleep better

Again, another basic necessity, but nonetheless important. Getting ample rest and sleep the day before training (or every day, for that matter), is so essential to having a good training session.

Sleep is the body’s time to rest and recover after a long day at work, or a hard day training at the boxing gym. It’s the reset button for both the body and the mind. Lack of sleep will leave you feeling lethargic, whereas being fully rested will ensure you are sharp and focused.

Boxing training requires complete effort from the body and mind, which is why getting enough sleep is crucial to your success .

19) Make Friends In The Gym

funny laughing boxing

The friendships made in a boxing gym are special.

It might not seem like the best place to make new friends , but it is. When you join a boxing gym, that means you will be spending a lot of time there. It then becomes obvious that it’s best to get to know the people you’re in there with.

Having a solid support system, people you can trust that will uplift you when you’re down, motivate you when you don’t feel like moving at all, can make a world of difference.

People often think that boxing is a solo journey, that you work out alone in a dark, musky gym as you see in the movies. That’s far from reality and totally not the case. In truth, boxing is a team sport. Everyone — from your coaches to your sparring partners, to strangers you’ve only just met in class — will help you become a better boxer.

Get familiar with your instructors, your gym mates, the staff, and everyone you will come in contact with. The quicker you make friends in the gym, the faster and easier it is to share progress.

Some of the friendships you build in the boxing gym are for life , and your gym mates become your closest allies.

20) Don’t Skip Conditioning


Conditioning plays a vital role in boxing, which is why a lot of the workouts involve improving your conditioning overall. Workouts like running and jogging, light resistance training , the agility ladder , and even skipping rope , all play an important part in your overall boxing regimen.

Being in a great physical condition is a prerequisite of being a boxer. The more physically fit you are, the more physically capable you are of performing certain movements, the faster and more powerful you become. You can go further in training and really push yourself to the limit.

All of this works together to make you a better boxer and fighter. So don’t skip the physical conditioning aspect of boxing , even when it’s so tempting.

21) Consume Boxing Content

What to do outside of the gym? One of the best ways you can learn boxing quickly is by consuming loads of boxing content . Become a fan of the sport, and guzzle up every boxing video you can find on the internet.

A host of boxing tutorials exist on YouTube , teaching you everything from basic punches to advanced combinations. Fight breakdowns allow you to better understand key moments in a given fight.

Sometimes you may just want to watch boxing to enjoy some fun fights. The fastest way to learn how to box is to make it a part of who you are.

22) Study Boxing History  

pacquiao roach

Boxing has existed for decades, and there have been many incredible fights scattered throughout history.

From Filipino superstar Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao ’s epic rivalries with Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, and Juan Manuel Marquez, Mike Tyson’s heavyweight exploits , Roy Jones Jr .’s incredible prime years, to the next generation of fighters like Ryan Garcia and Gervonta “Tank” Davis, boxing enjoys a very rich history with loads of fights you can study. 

You don’t have to become a boxing historian. But maybe just watch the most recommended fights to better understand how boxing has evolved throughout the years.

23) Emulate Legends

If you want to understand how Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s shoulder roll works , you have to watch the man in action. If you want to add Muhammad Ali’s flicker jab to your arsenal , you have to witness how he does it. 

Fortunately for us, we live in a digital age where this information is now so easily accessible.

Like studying how Michael Jordan pulls off his patented fadeaway jumper and then trying it yourself on the court, you can learn boxing by emulating legends and then applying their techniques the next time you’re in training.

You may also like:

15 Basic Boxing Combinations You Should Master First

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Why it's important for women to learn muay thai for self-defense.

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Boxing is a great cardio workout and stress reliever. No fighting required!

Wear lightweight clothes. You’ll also need: 

  • •  Cross-training shoes 
  • •  Hand wraps — to help protect your knuckles and wrists — and boxing gloves. Most gyms offer both. 

Find your stance

Try each stance to determine which is most comfortable: 

  • •  Southpaw: Left leg back 
  • •  Orthodox: Right leg back 

Punch it up

The six punches 

  • 3. Lead hook 
  • 4. Rear hook 
  • 5. Lead uppercut 
  • 6. Rear uppercut 

Use your legs

Don’t just use your arms — boxing is actually a leg-driven sport. 

Bend your knees and use your legs to propel your punch. 

If you don’t want to fight, don’t worry. Practicing the basics with a partner — or even by yourself — is still a great workout. 

A training method that involves hitting padded mitts worn by another person.

A small punching bag used to work on timing and rhythm.

Shadow boxing

Practicing punching techniques in the air, often in front of a mirror.

Exchanging punches with another person in the ring.

Ready to start?

Classes can cost around $30. Glove rentals are typically between $3-$5. 

Scroll or use arrow keys to continue

Swipe to continue

About this story

Video by Alexa Juliana Ard. Text by Kelyn Soong. Design and development by Carson TerBush. Additional design and art direction by Chelsea Conrad.

Editing by Emily Codik, Christian Font and Neeti Upadhye.

Instructors: Monica Jones and Angela Jennings at BOOMBOX Boxing Club in D.C. Additional details provided by Daniel Mangual, Arturo Reyes and Dani Burrell.


  1. How to Box in 4 Minutes

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  2. How to Box 101

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  3. 8 Must Know Boxing Techniques

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  4. How To Teach Your Child Boxing

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  5. Practical Guide for Perfecting Your Boxing Stances!

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  6. Learn How to Box: Boxing Basics for Beginners ⋆ MMA Revolution

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  1. if you want to learn boxing to watch this

  2. Boxing basics technique

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  4. Defense tutorial / Look, see, learn 👌🏼#box #boxing #boxingtrainer

  5. Unethical Boxing Series Part-1 #letspushpastourlimits

  6. Learn This Simple But Deadly Boxing Combo


  1. The BEGINNER'S Guide to Boxing

    Exhale sharply as you punch, rotating the fist to land with the palm down. Pull the hand back immediately after impact to defend. *** Try throwing a jab with a forward step (aka "step jab"). Also try a jab to the body by bending your knees & waist slightly as you jab. The jab is the most important punch in boxing.

  2. How to Box 101

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  3. How to Box At Home

    Keep your knees and hips bent slightly. Place elbows close to your sides and use your forearms to shield the chest. Keep the glove at shoulder height. Position the right glove underneath the chin with the wrist turned inwards. Footwork and stance are key elements of boxing for beginners to build and develop successful boxing skills.

  4. How to Train Like a Boxer COMPLETE BEGINNER'S GUIDE

    Here's some common training variations performed by boxers. Strength training: 2-3 times a week. Punching bag work: 2-3 days a week. Speed bag: 2-3 days a week. Many boxers will also run daily in order to improve endurance and stamina. The cardio-intensive nature of boxing allows them to drop body fat while getting ripped.

  5. 4 Ways to Box

    You'll also need to pick up the basics of boxing, including learning some standard footwork plus offensive punches and defensive moves. If you're a boxing novice, try joining a boxing gym where you can train and spar with more experienced boxers and boxing coaches. Steps. Method 1.

  6. The Beginner's Guide to Boxing Training

    First, situate your feet so that they're shoulder-width apart, with one foot in front of the other. Your front foot should basically be pointed straight ahead at your imaginary opponent. If you're right-handed, your left foot is going straight ahead. If you're left-handed, aka Southpaw in boxing terms, it's just the opposite.

  7. How to Box for Beginners

    Learn Even More Boxing Moves. In this article, we've outlined everything you need to know about how to box for beginners. These are the basic boxing moves every learner should start with, evasive techniques, and tips that will help you bring it all together. Fore even more lessons, explore the rest of the videos in this series below!ABOUT THE ...

  8. The Ultimate Guide to Learn Boxing at Home

    All it takes is to block off 20-30 minutes a day (more if you can spare it) to dedicate to learning boxing. You'll still have plenty of time for all your other commitments, and this way your usual routine isn't disrupted, and you're more likely to form a long-term habit. 3. Makes Boxing Gyms Less Intimidating.

  9. Beginner's Guide to Boxing: How to Get Started Boxing

    In your boxing class, you will learn all of the different types of punches like the jab, hook, and upper-cut, but before you even land a punch, you need to master the boxing stance. A strong stance will help you significantly with your technique while also helping to reduce injury.

  10. How to Get Into Boxing: An Ultimate Guide

    The Do's and Don'ts of How to Get in to Boxing. 1. DON'T Preplan. 2. DON'T think you need to 'Get into shape first'. 3. DON'T drink raw eggs in the morning. 4. DON'T punch a cow corpse in a meat locker.

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  12. How To Start Boxing On Your Own in 10 Steps

    5. Start learning the fundamentals. Jab, Cross, Hook, Uppercut…you will need to start learning the boxing fundamentals. It may not seem like there is a lot, but trust me there are so many ways to throw a punch you wouldn't believe. It takes years of practice to perfect these skills, however, you need to start from somewhere.

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  15. The BEGINNER'S Guide To Boxing At Home

    Starting in your boxer's fight stance, slightly shift your weight to your lead leg. Quickly push your arm out in a sharp motion so the back of your hand is facing your opponent and your knuckles are facing up. Rotate your hips in and pivot on your lead foot. Make sure to keep your rear hand up to protect your face.

  16. 8 Must Know Boxing Techniques

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  17. How to Box in 4 Minutes

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  19. 23 Boxing Tips To Be A Better Boxer Quickly

    Boxing is one of the easiest and most accessible martial arts disciplines to pick up and learn. Beginners can step into the boxing gym and learn all of the basic punches on the very first day. But while the learning curve isn't particularly steep, mastering the basics and advancing through training requires extra focus and dedication.

  20. 6 Steps to Self-Taught Boxing: Learn Boxing at Home Now

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  21. How to start boxing

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