T Nation

Interesting Striking Concept


I have been reading this boxing bio on a fighter and a very interesting page came up about a conceptual tool he used when fighting........ Staying eye level with opponents and no matter where their eyes go he'd follow them? he explains it like an ocean waves he follows them side to side up/down etc........ (also considering your opponent is shorter or same height)
Heres the actual page:

"the key is always being lined up with your opponents eyes,like you're trying to stay on level with a wave in the ocean. Up and down side to side stay level with his eyes."

He goes on to then explain how it forces you to punch straight, and naturally will protect your face more with your shoulders.
Now ive been to both boxing and kickboxing gyms over years and NEVER heard of this, but seems VERY interesting.
Im asking if anyone else has heard of this and if you havent what do you think of it? Thoughts?


Generally it's not a good idea to throw straight punches up or down on an angle, as it will leave you open. Any decent gym should tell you that if you want to punch someone with a straight shot in the body, you should drop your weight from the knees and punch out at shoulder level (so your shoulders are at sternum level or thereabouts). Obviously if you're generally the same height as your opponents, that quite often means your eyes will be on a level. If it helped your guy express the technique for his book, good for him. I don't think it is anything that a half decent coach would neglect to have you doing where effective, they just might not explain the same way.

That said, as a taller fighter I always found it worked reasonably well to be very upright and on my toes, towering over my opponent and jabbing down from out of his range. Not very effective for power shots, but in terms of dictating tempo and distance, or luring him in for a rear uppercut or something, it was generally a decent approach.


Interesting concept and I believe in terms of defensive body movement there may be something to take from it.

However, as London eluded, this could result in leaving yourself open.
Throwing a punch perfectly straight is almost a romantic idea- it would be terrifcly fast as it would incorporate a lot of the arm.
However, to throw a straight punch would be at shoulder level- leaving your head horribly exposed.

However, as most boxers know "straight punches" actually incorporate a lot of rotation, generating momentum from the core and legs.
Austin Carruth - Dad and coach of Olympic Gold medalist Michael Carruth, used to teach fighters to punch in this manner and have your line of vision just below the connecting fist.
This way your chin is tucked into the shoulder and your head will have cover.

If we consider the push/pull relationship of punching in combination this may be particularly valuable.
With the chin slightly downward because of the line of vision and the orientation of a fighters stance, a fighters head should avail of significant cover when on the attack.

Why, oh why is all of this so simple in theory :smiley:


Interesting annecdote about Carruth. Didn't know that, but makes a lot of sense.

You're bang on there about it being simple in theory though. Can't tell you how many times I've watched back footage of myself where I think I've done a nice, tucked, crisp straight shot, and it turns out I've looped it so much I could almost have tied a pretty bow! Still room for improvement I guess.


Yeah Austin was a legend. My coach was actually selected for the national squad when Austin was high performance coach.

Haha yeah, I know that feeling all too well!
Difference is- you spotted it. A lot dont


Keeping the eyes in line with the opponent's eyes would seem like it would not only make your head a very predictable target, but it would also make body punching far less effective. Maybe I'm just not following the explanation of the concept though.

When I was taught, throw, and/or teach punching the head is repositioned laterally, vertically, and/or distance wise depending on the punch being thrown and subsequent defensive/counter offensive movements of the opponent. This makes the head a much less predictable target (though the head also remains well covered at all times as well while doing this).


Ye, I can only assume it means basically trying to make sure you are punching in a straight line from the shoulder, rather than up or down which obviously leaves more gaps between shoulder and chin, which I would have thought is a fairly uncontroversial idea.

Otherwise, as you say, if it means simply always being on a straight line with the opponent, it is going to make you extremely predictable. If I know that everytime I bob someone is coming down with me, they are going to eat a shit load of lead uppercuts off the feint, as that technique means you are always reacting to your opponent, rather than attempting to dictate with your own movement.


If I'm honest I've always been a much better spotter of things and tactician than pure physical boxer, sadly. While I have mixed it at the national level at times, I don't quite have the top level genetics to execute it physically with the best guys. It's been clear to me from a young age that my greatest potential in the sport is as a coach rather than as a pro fighter.


Well if that's what they meant then cool. Although, even though I agree that this is ususlly the correct mechanics, occasionally breaking this pattern (like throwing a couple jabs to the body and then dropping the shoulders/body as if about to throw a body shot but instead jabbing upwards to the opponent's chin) can be beneficial or catch people off guard from time to time.

Kind of strangely worded though.


Ye, I reread the OP after your first comment, and I agree that it does sound strange, and not at all effective. Definitely agreed on the advantage of breaking pattern. As I mentioned, I've had a lot of success jabbing down from the outside, even though it is 'poor technique'.


I dont know if its just the way its described.... but it sounds bad, it goes directly against what is known to be a huge advantage in striking arts across the board and that is being able to attack on an angle that your opponent is not on/facing is a huge advantage. Similarly, not changing elevation sounds like a good way to catch an uppercut or a hook when you go to shoot at the body.


I hope no other boxers know he does that. Being predictable also means you can be manipulated.