Explaining — Boxing stands and two strikes
I will explain the boxing starting position and two strikes; the cross and the lead hook. Explaining complexity in a text can be complicated, and that is why I do this practice. So let’s begin.
The starting position
The starting position can feel unnatural in the beginning. Through practice, you will feel a lot more comfortable, so give it time. Fast and complex combinations and attacks from your opponent can make the most elite boxer fall out of correct stands. This position is important because it gives you the best starting point for both moving, striking, and defending at the same time. Trying to manipulate your opponent's stands is a key principle in the dangerous dance of boxing.
First, you need to find out what your strong side is. For most people, this will be your right side. Stand with your feet at shoulder-wight apart. Move your right foot (or left I that is your strong side) one-foot length behind your left foot. As one foot is forward of your base and one foot is behind your base, I will refer to the foot in front as your leed leg and the foot behind you as your back leg. The same will apply to your hands later on.
Your back legs toes are probably pointing out to the side at this point. Rotate it so that both your feet are pointing in front of you. Now you want to distribute your weight approximately 50/50 between your legs. Then bend your knees slightly. The last detail for your stands is to keep your weight in the front part of your feet. This will result in the heel on your back foot being lifted off the ground.
The goal for this position is to have good stability and balance while staying light on your toes. Feel free to move your back leg a little to find the position you feel the most stable in.
Guard and upper body
You want to close your fists. Place your back-hand (same side as back foot) up to your chin, approximately right under your chin bone. It is going to stay there whenever you are not trowing with that hand. Even when you are trowing with it, you want your hand to go back to this position as fast as possible.
Your lead hand will be approximately the same height as your eyebrow, parallel to the side of you’re head and slightly more than a fist-width in front. You want to have a clear path of vision inside the “guard” of your lead hand. If you can stretch your thumb, so it barely reaches the outside of your eyebrow, the fist should be in position. The lead hand is usually quite active. With this position, you will be ready for both active attack and defense.
Make sure that both your arms are rotated so that both thumbs would be pointing backward. Your forearms should be vertical to protect your body. Therefore, make sure that your back elbow is close to your body. Since your lead hand is not chucked to eighter your head or body, it will come closer and simulate your backhand if needed.
Boxers do not have the best posture when fighting. There is a reason for that. You want to keep your chin down to prevent exposer as it is a target for knockouts. You also want to crouch your back a bit to make your upper body a smaller target.
And there you have it. You are now standing in your boxing position, ready for both attacks and defense, while keeping your balance. I will not address how you should properly move in much detail, but you want to move the feet you are moving toward, then follow with the other one. That way, you will always be prepared and have balance.
“The cross” in boxing refers to a straight punch from your backhand. It has 4 main aspects.
- Weight distribution
- The punch
First, the lower body, where rotation and weight distribution will be addressed. You will need to rotate your hip and shoulders. That is, your back shoulder and backside of your hip rotate forward while your leed side rotates backward. As this happens, your weight wants to transfer from a 50/50 distribution and lean more to your leed side. When you do this and rotate your hip and body, you might feel that your back foot want to rotate as well. It is supposed to do that. You might also recognize that your head also wants to move when doing this. This is a good thing. Moving your head off “the center line” and making you a harder target to hit. Make sure your eyes stay on the target. When coming back, you rotate back your body and shift back to a 50/50 distribution, leaving you back to your Starting Position.
This weight shift and rotation is something you want to practice, as it is a huge cornerstone in boxing.
Now the upper body with the guard and punch. You know how I said that your leed hand would mirror your back hand guard when needed? Well, this is one such example. As you rotate and do the weight distribution shift, your leed hand comes back, protecting both your face and body. I recommend that you do this a couple of times to get used to it.
Combining all of the above components, throw a straight punch with your backhand. Due to the rotation and weight distribution, it should have your body weight behind it. When the hand is extended, you can probably figure out that this side of the head is exposed. To improve this, rotate the backhand when throwing the punch. This will lift your shoulder. Keep your shin down, and the side of your head will be protected. Lastly, go back to your starting position as fast as you threw the punch, rotating back and hand back to guard.
The leed hook
A hook swings around, compared to the cross that wants to go straight forward. When standing in our starting position, you do not have the same loaded energy do rotate the body and create energy as when “firing” the backhand. To fix this, you want to start with rotating, like you did with the right cross, then generate power for the punch when you rotate back.
The steps are, therefore:
- Rotate to your leed side (left if right-handed)
- Weight transferring to your leed leg
- Rotate to backside
- Weight transferring over to the back leg
- Elbow approximately 90 degrees
- Back to starting position.
During this whole sequence, remember to have your backhand glued to your shin.
Without hands, you rotate like with the cross punch, shoulders, hip, and feet. You rotate the other way, shoulders, hip, and feet, making your back foot go back to its initial position, and the majority of the weight leaning to that back foot. When you rotate, rotate your leed foot to complete the movement.
When including the hands, you want to make your leed hand approximately 90 degrees when you start the rotation back and over to the opposite side. Make sure you don’t hit with the thumb, as it can hurt you, and easily give your opponent a black eye through the thin part of the glows.
As a bonus, I wanted to finish shoving you how you now know a combination. Implement your cross into your leed hook, and you're there. That is, do the cross as explained above to the point where you have full extension and rotation of your punch, then retract your backhand while rotating to your leed hook position, and include the leed 90-degree hand hook. Then finish off in our starting position.
You now know the starting position, rotations, how weight distribution is key in balance and power, to always staying protected, and to throw a combination. Congratulation!