T Nation

Bouncing on the feet

When, how and why did the teaching of bouncing from foot to foot start?

I honestly have never seen any benefit to it unless its being done for a specific purpose, like trying to throw the opponent off the real direction you are taking.

But for most fighters it seems to be purely a waste of energy. You’re not set to punch, it doesn’t make you quicker in foot or hand, and a good opponent will time you so that he hits you when you cannot possibly get power into a counter punch.

If someone has a differing perspective by all means please tell.

I’m with you mate. It’s madness. It works fine against gun shy fighters, or guys in the lower ranks of the amateurs who want to play point scoring boxing. I never got why some guys still did it when they got to higher levels - it doesn’t work and you reach a point where you actually cant get better as a fighter. It’s fine when you might dazzle an inexperienced fighter, but as you say, once your in with another seasoned guy, you’re going to get found out. There’s a reason you don’t see it in the pros too much.

I’m a big believer in hit and don’t get hit being number one in boxing, but against these guys (as you know), early in the first round you just got to step in through all their fast, weak punches, and smack them in the teeth. Because they aren’t set and are upright fighters, it’s pretty easy to get them a count or two.

Also agreed that it doesn’t really provide much if any benefit.

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
When, how and why did the teaching of bouncing from foot to foot start?

I honestly have never seen any benefit to it unless its being done for a specific purpose, like trying to throw the opponent off the real direction you are taking.

But for most fighters it seems to be purely a waste of energy. You’re not set to punch, it doesn’t make you quicker in foot or hand, and a good opponent will time you so that he hits you when you cannot possibly get power into a counter punch.

If someone has a differing perspective by all means please tell.[/quote]

I thought that as a training tool it was to get people in the habit of moving so they don’t eat something flat-footed. I agree that bouncing around a whole bunch while fighting though is a waste of energy and movement. With less skilled boxers it supposedly takes the power out of incoming fire, but I when I tried doing it for a while, I felt like it screwed up my evasive footwork. Bouncing means you just can’t bob & weave as well.

So, maybe doing it for a bit for someone who just can’t seem to stay in motion, but otherwise probably not worth it, IMHO…

– jj

[quote]jj-dude wrote:
I thought that as a training tool it was to get people in the habit of moving so they don’t eat something flat-footed. I agree that bouncing around a whole bunch while fighting though is a waste of energy and movement. So, maybe doing it for a bit for someone who just can’t seem to stay in motion, but otherwise probably not worth it, IMHO…

– jj
[/quote]

I agree. I bounce a bit when fighting and sparring, not to try to confuse my opponent but to remind myself “Don’t just stand there like a stone footed jackass.” Same reason I tap my head to remind me to keep my hands up.

This seems to be a pretty neglected topic, so Aussie Davo, thanks for bringing it up.
I’ve been thinking about this issue for a while and I’ve taken perspectives from a number of sources - all coaches really.
Unfortunately i can’t ascertain when this practice was introduced to boxing, but I can appreciate some of the benefits.

  1. Movement.
    In movement a boxer can easily compromise their stance, eager to move quickly. “The bounce” when used correctly encourages the boxer to utilise the feet as one unit, retaining distance between the feet and keeping that center of gravity required to move and react.

  2. Power.
    The cliche; “sit down on your punches,” isnt such a cliche. It is very difficult to hit hard with straight legs. knees bent, lowering your base and utilising the glutes and flexors to rotate your body is how power is generated.
    But keeping these muscles tense and ready constantly is not only near impossible- its exhausting.
    Boxing from the toes, the bouncing movement means the muscle required are being tensed and relaxed as required; you are ready to strike without tensing up/telegraphing.

  3. Endurance.
    Standing in front of an opponent with feet planted on the floor allows the boxer a solid foundation, but from experience the force of the opponents punches is absorbed down through the body’s structure.
    on your toes the exertions of the opponent are more likely to push you away than have the same concussive effect.

  4. Rotation.
    It is very difficult to employ leverage correctly with flat feet.
    I’m not explaing anymore though…
    tahst my thing :stuck_out_tongue:

First, welcome to the forum, mate, look forward to seeing some good stuff from you. Thanks for taking the time to put down a valuable first post.

Despite all that, I do disagree with you on most of what you put.

[quote]donnydarkoirl wrote:
This seems to be a pretty neglected topic, so Aussie Davo, thanks for bringing it up.
I’ve been thinking about this issue for a while and I’ve taken perspectives from a number of sources - all coaches really.
Unfortunately i can’t ascertain when this practice was introduced to boxing, but I can appreciate some of the benefits.

  1. Movement.
    In movement a boxer can easily compromise their stance, eager to move quickly. “The bounce” when used correctly encourages the boxer to utilise the feet as one unit, retaining distance between the feet and keeping that center of gravity required to move and react.[/quote]

For me, movement in range should always be accompanied by something else, whether that is a feint or a punch. Admittedly, If you’re just trying to bounce backwards out of range of a punch, then there’s nothing wrong with it. If you’re trying to move your opponent around under pressure, create angles, move sideways, or more or less anything else, I personally feel like bouncing around on your toes leaves you a lot more open, and makes your movements less effective. It often leaves a fighter bouncing back out of range again and again, and resorting to it as a defence. It’s fine up to a level, but it stops you developing your slipping and rolling, and your blocking, as it helps to have your feet set for all of these. Bouncing fighters tend to be one dimensional in my experience (that’s not to say they can’t be decent one dimensional fighters).

[quote] 2) Power.
The cliche; “sit down on your punches,” isnt such a cliche. It is very difficult to hit hard with straight legs. knees bent, lowering your base and utilising the glutes and flexors to rotate your body is how power is generated.
But keeping these muscles tense and ready constantly is not only near impossible- its exhausting.
Boxing from the toes, the bouncing movement means the muscle required are being tensed and relaxed as required; you are ready to strike without tensing up/telegraphing. [/quote]

Of all your points, I disagree most strongly with this. I would agree if footwork was the only factor, but it’s not. Controlling distance (from the centre of the ring obviously), as I’m sure you’d agree, is one of the fundamentals. I can’t see how it is more effective to be bouncing around, constantly set and unset, than it is to make small shuffles forwards and backwards keeping your opponent at the limit of your jab. Off the top of my head, if you look at Mayweather, Dempsey, Hopkins, Sweet Pea, Tyson, or any great defensive fighter, however different their style, control of range was never done by bouncing around, it was always done by controlled half stepping, stalking movement.

[quote] 3) Endurance.
Standing in front of an opponent with feet planted on the floor allows the boxer a solid foundation, but from experience the force of the opponents punches is absorbed down through the body’s structure.
on your toes the exertions of the opponent are more likely to push you away than have the same concussive effect.[/quote]

They are also more likely to push you over for a cheap knockdown, or push you into the corner or the ropes, where you will struggle as you’ve not developed the solid stance rolling and slipping techniques that come with being a more ‘static’ (as in not bouncing) fighter.

In fact, I might disagree most with this one. As you rightly said in your earlier posts, you need to sit down on your punches to hit hard - ie plant your feet. Rotation is, in my mind, easier with planted feet, it’s just a question of where you have planted them relative to your opponent. For example, If you can take a little half step even further outside your opponent’s lead foot when hooking to the body, you’ve just given yourself the opportunity to create a shitload more torque on a hook to the head or body.

I have to agree with the chorus here: the bounce is mostly a waste of energy. I think a lot of young guys think it’s flashy (looks great with a little shinebox move when you’re trying to show the girls what a badass boxer you are), and may even have convinced themselves that it makes you move better. I was tought shuffling half steps, never crossing up or being too extended. That seems to be a consensus “best practice” across at least three separate disciplines. My footwork might be a little plodding (I’m no B Hop), but I’m not eating many big shots and the ones that do catch me aren’t any kind of terrible shock.

And thinking on it, a great many very dangerous fighters in boxing and mma both were meticulous stalking predators. Can’t remember the last time I saw a great fighter bounce for the sake of bouncing.

Yeah, I’ve also gotta disagree with the power and rotation points.

Power in striking comes from essentially 2 things

  1. Mass transfer (could be in the form of footwork, rotation, or body lean) + speed (which comes from relaxation of the antagonists and maximal contraction of the agonists)

And

  1. Having a solid bracing structure which will effectively absorb the equal and opposite force that is produced (Newton’s 3rd law).

I suppose one could argue that bouncing could add to the mass transfer aspect of power (or at least maybe that the subsequent increase in calf/leg strength endurance would lead to an increase), but you would have to be able to line up your structure perfectly on impact and be able to time all of the necessary actions accordingly to really make use of this. In application though, this is not how punching power is maximized.

Rotation is going to be even harder to perform while bouncing than power punching as moving the body in multiple directions simultaneously (especially if trying to do do powerfully) is going to require significantly more effort, balance, coordination, and generally going to result in neither being done as well as if done in isolation or from a more stable position.

Now, the movement point I can somewhat agree with from the perspective of creating constant movement/rhythm and thus disguising the start of the movements or making it more difficult to decipher when one is “set”, but that can also be accomplished through the use of good head, hand, and body rhythm (which can be used to fake and feint and keep the opponent guessing about one’s timing) and small fluctuations in footwork as London pointed out.

Bouncing generally requires more energy though, so you’d better be in great shape if you’re going to go that route. So I suppose from an endurance training/conditioning perspective it would have some merit.

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:
First, welcome to the forum, mate, look forward to seeing some good stuff from you. Thanks for taking the time to put down a valuable first post. [/quote]
Pleasure is mine; I’m sure I’l learn a lot here

I agree with all your points and feel that I may have expressed myself poorly.
I feel I should have taken the time to differentiate between “bouncing around” and being on your toes with a bounce in the legs.
I found it very well expressed in the charley burley video- efficency of movement.

we’ve started to take a lot from the eastern boxers.
one of our boxers boxed with GGG in the amateurs and adopted the spring in his kness, while only moving for a purpose.

For me- I try and maintain contact with the floor as I find leverage impossible without this base. I do retain a bounce in my knees hips which I find prevents tension and allows a cohesion between my upper and lower body.
I will then “bounce” pushing off the opposite foot to generate momentum.

Does this site have the option of uploading video and I’ll see can I upload example?

[quote]donnydarkoirl wrote:

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:
First, welcome to the forum, mate, look forward to seeing some good stuff from you. Thanks for taking the time to put down a valuable first post. [/quote]
Pleasure is mine; I’m sure I’l learn a lot here

I agree with all your points and feel that I may have expressed myself poorly.
I feel I should have taken the time to differentiate between “bouncing around” and being on your toes with a bounce in the legs.
I found it very well expressed in the charley burley video- efficency of movement.

we’ve started to take a lot from the eastern boxers.
one of our boxers boxed with GGG in the amateurs and adopted the spring in his kness, while only moving for a purpose.

For me- I try and maintain contact with the floor as I find leverage impossible without this base. I do retain a bounce in my knees hips which I find prevents tension and allows a cohesion between my upper and lower body.
I will then “bounce” pushing off the opposite foot to generate momentum.

Does this site have the option of uploading video and I’ll see can I upload example?[/quote]

It’s a fantastic video. We may well be talking along the same lines then, as that video was invaluable in my development as a fighter.

As Robert A kindly explained to me recently, all you need to do with a video is find it on youtube and copy the link straight out of the bar on your browser.

Look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Tremendous video indeed.
Some others; like the Joe Louis analysis and Ezzard Charles video- attempt the same, but dont quite reach the Burley video.

Ah, I see; not too keen to upload to youtube, so I’ll see what alternatives I can source

[quote]donnydarkoirl wrote:
This seems to be a pretty neglected topic, so Aussie Davo, thanks for bringing it up.
I’ve been thinking about this issue for a while and I’ve taken perspectives from a number of sources - all coaches really.
Unfortunately i can’t ascertain when this practice was introduced to boxing, but I can appreciate some of the benefits.

  1. Movement.
    In movement a boxer can easily compromise their stance, eager to move quickly. “The bounce” when used correctly encourages the boxer to utilise the feet as one unit, retaining distance between the feet and keeping that center of gravity required to move and react.

  2. Power.
    The cliche; “sit down on your punches,” isnt such a cliche. It is very difficult to hit hard with straight legs. knees bent, lowering your base and utilising the glutes and flexors to rotate your body is how power is generated.
    But keeping these muscles tense and ready constantly is not only near impossible- its exhausting.
    Boxing from the toes, the bouncing movement means the muscle required are being tensed and relaxed as required; you are ready to strike without tensing up/telegraphing.

  3. Endurance.
    Standing in front of an opponent with feet planted on the floor allows the boxer a solid foundation, but from experience the force of the opponents punches is absorbed down through the body’s structure.
    on your toes the exertions of the opponent are more likely to push you away than have the same concussive effect.

  4. Rotation.
    It is very difficult to employ leverage correctly with flat feet.
    I’m not explaing anymore though…
    tahst my thing :stuck_out_tongue:

[/quote]

i agree with what this feller says…

i’m not talking about kids bouncing around in TKD, but lightly flexing on one’s toes…

I was watching the latest episode of TUF and in the first fight, both guys spent a lot of time bouncing around. Samman especially. When he’d go to strike, he’d plant his feet - made it easy to predict when he was going to attack. In the second fight, Uriah spent very little time bouncing around, making it difficult to judge when he was going to throw a punch or kick.

Also:

[quote]Steve-O-68 wrote:
I was watching the latest episode of TUF and in the first fight, both guys spent a lot of time bouncing around. Samman especially. When he’d go to strike, he’d plant his feet - made it easy to predict when he was going to attack. In the second fight, Uriah spent very little time bouncing around, making it difficult to judge when he was going to throw a punch or kick.

Also:

http://youtu.be/CAP-Xj4Fz18[/quote]

This video neatly demonstrates the effectiveness of bouncing on the toes.

What would Ali have to say about it?

[quote]Hold Up wrote:

What would Ali have to say about it?[/quote]

Did you even read the OP? I already adressed this, what ali does is not bouncing front to back front to back in repetitive fashion, he glides across the ring and when hes out of range he stops being up on his toes at all.

EDIT: okay my bad i didnt bring it up at all, but anyhow point remains

x2

No one is saying being up on your toes moving and controlling distance as a mobile fighter is a bad thing. In fact, as an outside fighter it can be an extremely effective tool for changing the tempo of a fight. Done well it is also very frustrating for an opponent. That is a very different thing from what Aussie Davo was suggesting.

Although, using Ali as your example might not necessarily prove much anyway, given he was highly unorthodox, and 99% of all time great champions would have been smashed if they fought like him. If the entire Cuban amateur boxing team were bobbing about all the time, I would eat my words.

This video was taken two years ago in my boxing club.
This encapsulates what I failed to articulate and also reinforces what some of the others were suggesting.

I like Katie Taylor as a boxer, and think she comes across well as a person. I do also think she wastes a lot of energy in that video. Fine in an amateur bout, if you like that sort of thing, but personally I don’t think it translates well into the pro ranks. I think a stalking, economical boxer would make her life very uncomfortable, and any one else’s who boxes like her.

Just my penny’s worth.