T Nation

Punch Technique: Textbook vs Natural

Started this thread from a discussion we had in another thread in regards to left hooks, mainly, what felt right and worked vs the textbook hook or how you are “supposed” to throw it.

It got me thinking about certain punches and combinations that, while textbook, just feel awkward to throw. Does anybody else experience this?

For example, the left jab, right cross, left hook. To me, to accomplish this combination with speed, your right cross has to come up short, other wise you are out of range for the left hook. It would seem much more natural to throw a left jab, right hook, left hook.

Another one is the very basic 1-2. I’ve never liked this combo and I don’t know why. resetting after the right hand puts your head in a perfect position to be countered, and while you might land the jab, on a fresh, savvy fighter, you’re not going to land the 2. With regards to this, these days I throw a left jab and more of an overhand right, then immediately roll/bend after the 2.

Lead hooks, I can’t say enough good things about them. Most trainers will tell you that it’s a dangerous punch to throw unless you’re considerably fast, but I disagree. Combined with well timed step to the outside, the left hook get’s around most people’s guard, and places you on the outside of their power hand (against an orthodox obviously) and in perfect position to follow with a straight right down the pipe.

Couldn’t agree more. Most of the punches in my arsenal areones that are far from textbook, and are often actively discouraged by trainers. For example, as an orthodox fighter, the right hook is supposed to be off limits. After my jab, it is probably the most consistently effective punch I have, and has done a lot of damage over the years.

I agree on the 1-2-3, I can’t remember the last time I threw it in sparring or competition. My most natural combo is jab right uppercut to the body, short right hook over the top. With effective footwork, this combination has been a fixture in my style for a long time. I would throw in the left shovel hook on the end of this combo if the opportunity presented itself. I like the straight 1-2, but I rarely throw both punches at the same target.

I either vary my aim subtly, so jab higher than usual to the forehead, followed by straight right to the throat, or more usually, I’ll lead to the body with a jab and come over the top with the right, or invert it and lead with a right to the head, bend low as if to hit to the body with the left, and corkscrew up to the head with a straight left from low between the guard.

I also never got doubling up on the straight right. It always struck me as a stupid combo. It is the ounch that has to travel the longest distance, and requires the most set up to land effectively. Why double it, even when you have stunned a guy with the first one, chances are he can avoid the second. I know when it’s happened to me I’ve always got out of trouble and thanked fuck for the fact that the guy didn’t hit me with a hook, or even a left straight/jab.

I agree completely on the usefulness of the lead hook. One of my favorite punches. Also, doubling up on the jab, which gets theguard up, so you can step off unnoticed and land a long hook, is a favorite point scorer.

My biggest beef with conventional boxing training is that so little emphasis is put on developing the jab as an offensive weapon. An elite level jab can be used to hurt your opponent, time and again, and more than any other punch can throw them off your game. Think about how often you have been in the ring with someone and thought, doesn’t matter if i take the jab, as long as i dont get hit by his … Fuck that. You’re opponent should be thinking at all times ‘I’m fucked if I’m taking another one of those jabs, I’ve got to get my head out of the way, then I’ll deal with the other stuff’. If your opponent is thinking that, he is already distracted from your power shots, giving you more opportunity to land them.

A thread much to my liking.

Throwing a textbook 1-2-3 is practically outrageous, because such a combo would be far too long without some extra movement to get the head out of the danger zone.

interesting.

Agree as well on starting with a lead hook.
An old coach advocated 1-3, but perhaps you need long arms with that. Never worked with me.

I don’t like leading with a hook from long range, but if I’m staying in someone’s face and brawling it’s great. Left hook to the body followed by a right uppercut on the chin has scored more than one knockdown for me.

Being a orthodox fighter (MT) a left upper cut has always felt “off”. I agree about the 1-2-3, I have never finshed that combo in real time. My favorite punch is the overhand right.

Any advice on the left upper cut?

[quote]idaho wrote:
Being a orthodox fighter (MT) a left upper cut has always felt “off”. I agree about the 1-2-3, I have never finshed that combo in real time. My favorite punch is the overhand right.

Any advice on the left upper cut? [/quote]

You’re like the second guy here - I think the other was Robert A - that said that he can’t throw the lead uppercut.

Any idea why it feels “off?”

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:
Couldn’t agree more. Most of the punches in my arsenal areones that are far from textbook, and are often actively discouraged by trainers. For example, as an orthodox fighter, the right hook is supposed to be off limits. After my jab, it is probably the most consistently effective punch I have, and has done a lot of damage over the years.

I agree on the 1-2-3, I can’t remember the last time I threw it in sparring or competition. My most natural combo is jab right uppercut to the body, short right hook over the top. With effective footwork, this combination has been a fixture in my style for a long time. I would throw in the left shovel hook on the end of this combo if the opportunity presented itself. I like the straight 1-2, but I rarely throw both punches at the same target.

I either vary my aim subtly, so jab higher than usual to the forehead, followed by straight right to the throat, or more usually, I’ll lead to the body with a jab and come over the top with the right, or invert it and lead with a right to the head, bend low as if to hit to the body with the left, and corkscrew up to the head with a straight left from low between the guard.

I also never got doubling up on the straight right. It always struck me as a stupid combo. It is the ounch that has to travel the longest distance, and requires the most set up to land effectively. Why double it, even when you have stunned a guy with the first one, chances are he can avoid the second. I know when it’s happened to me I’ve always got out of trouble and thanked fuck for the fact that the guy didn’t hit me with a hook, or even a left straight/jab.

I agree completely on the usefulness of the lead hook. One of my favorite punches. Also, doubling up on the jab, which gets theguard up, so you can step off unnoticed and land a long hook, is a favorite point scorer.

My biggest beef with conventional boxing training is that so little emphasis is put on developing the jab as an offensive weapon. An elite level jab can be used to hurt your opponent, time and again, and more than any other punch can throw them off your game. Think about how often you have been in the ring with someone and thought, doesn’t matter if i take the jab, as long as i dont get hit by his … Fuck that. You’re opponent should be thinking at all times ‘I’m fucked if I’m taking another one of those jabs, I’ve got to get my head out of the way, then I’ll deal with the other stuff’. If your opponent is thinking that, he is already distracted from your power shots, giving you more opportunity to land them.[/quote]

Good post.

I agree on the 1-2-3. I’m not sure if it’s because my arms are short or what, but I have to take a big step to actually land a 3 after the 2 lands. I’m still not used to it… it took me a long time to figure out that I simply cannot throw that combo and actually hit the bag without moving my feet.

Like you, London, I’ve also taken to throwing the shovel hook body instead of the 3 after a straight left. I’m still working on coming up on the 3 with power afterwards, but I agree that that’s my natural inclination and, in my opinion, a far more natural move.

I’m pretty orthodox though, even though I’m a lefty, I still tend to work behind the jab a lot - and I’ve got a pretty decent one that I try to use offensively as much as possible. It might be a little easier for me, however, because for the most part I’m a natural righty, so my right is NOT my weak hand.

But the right hook is where I’m getting away from the orthodox style. My first boxing coach tried for a long time to get me to throw it palm-down, and I simply can’t ever pull it off UNLESS I’m throwing a 1-3. Then it works fine. Otherwise, I look terrible with it and never turn my weight into it.

Since I’ve started doing it with a vertical fist - like you’re “holding a cup of coffee” as my other coach says - the hook is coming along much better. It’s like I naturally turn a significantly more amount of weight into that punch if the hand is held in that fashion, so I deal with the fact that I’m terrified of ripping my biceps tendon apart like that hahaha.

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
Started this thread from a discussion we had in another thread in regards to left hooks, mainly, what felt right and worked vs the textbook hook or how you are “supposed” to throw it.

It got me thinking about certain punches and combinations that, while textbook, just feel awkward to throw. Does anybody else experience this?

For example, the left jab, right cross, left hook. To me, to accomplish this combination with speed, your right cross has to come up short, other wise you are out of range for the left hook. It would seem much more natural to throw a left jab, right hook, left hook.

Another one is the very basic 1-2. I’ve never liked this combo and I don’t know why. resetting after the right hand puts your head in a perfect position to be countered, and while you might land the jab, on a fresh, savvy fighter, you’re not going to land the 2. With regards to this, these days I throw a left jab and more of an overhand right, then immediately roll/bend after the 2.

Lead hooks, I can’t say enough good things about them. Most trainers will tell you that it’s a dangerous punch to throw unless you’re considerably fast, but I disagree. Combined with well timed step to the outside, the left hook get’s around most people’s guard, and places you on the outside of their power hand (against an orthodox obviously) and in perfect position to follow with a straight right down the pipe.[/quote]

The point is to land the last punch with the most power in the left jab, right cross, left hook combo hence the second is more a distraction and can come up short. No issue with that. It’s meant to follow up the initial distraction of the jab by getting attention and focus off to the opposing side to open up for the hook. Not meant to be an all out punch.

Throwing a hook after the jab is actually more unnatural unless you’re stance is more square on in which your open for the taking straight down the middle. I fail to see how throwing a hook after a proper jab is easier than a cross.

As for the jab, cross putting you in a bad position, I’d say your mechanics, footwork and weight transfer is wrong if you’re ending up in range. Pretty hard to disregard a 100 year old technique just like that.

I really don’t see how it’s possible to land a 1,2,3 without taking a step (unless maybe you threw the 2 to the body and folded your opponent (thus bringing their hands down and chin forwards). The truth is though that many combinations you throw on a bag or mitts don’t translate all that well to real fighting/sparring IME. People move and react when you hit them, which changes what targets are open and thus what strikes are appropriate. How often do you hit pads with that in mind though (much less a bag)?

For the most part when I throw a 1,2,3 I am not trying to land the hook, but instead am using the hook as cover (we call it a clearing hook) while pivoting out to my left (orthodox stance). If the opponent shoulder rolls my right and tries to return with their own right my hook will deflect it, my pivoting will also take some sting off (or sometimes completely avoid) a counter left hook or jab too. Or, conversely I’ll step forward to my right while throwing the left hook between the guard (either to the body or head) which often sets up either the right uppercut or short right hand under/over their guard (depending on I go to the body or head).

I also don’t like the plain 1,2 (always feel like I’m reaching with the 2), but, if I double or triple up the jab to work my way in first find that the 2 feels much more natural.

Leading with the 3 (or 5) works well if you get your opponent worried about your jab first.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:

[quote]idaho wrote:
Being a orthodox fighter (MT) a left upper cut has always felt “off”. I agree about the 1-2-3, I have never finshed that combo in real time. My favorite punch is the overhand right.

Any advice on the left upper cut? [/quote]

You’re like the second guy here - I think the other was Robert A - that said that he can’t throw the lead uppercut.

Any idea why it feels “off?” [/quote]

Well, I know before start, that I am not going to describe this correctly, but here goes: As one of my instructors used to say all the time,“the sternum is the highway for an uppercut” , meaning imagine your fist traveling in a line straight up the chest to contact the head, accomplished by flexing your knees, lowering your upper body by a couple of inches, and driving the punch up through your toes to the shoulder and arm, never lowering your punching arm, but flexing or twisting that side of the body upward for power. I dont seem to have a problem with the right side of my body with that move, but, with the left I just feel “less fluid, less powerfull”. There is something I am not doing with my feet, or, more than likely, I just plain suck at throwing a lead hand uppercut.

Alright, I have a question regarding the right/rear cross. My recent training is more in the combatives area than in pure boxing but it incorporates a lot of boxing principles. I assume this is because boxers know how to hit shit with their hands better than pretty much everyone else.

When throwing the rear cross my instructor really emphasizes the notion of rotating your right/rear shoulder all the way through until it’s ahead of your left/lead shoulder. He basically wants to see the shoulders switch positions. I think this is more of an exaggerated, best practice thing, from a drilling perspective with the expectation that it will naturally shorten/tighten up when you actually try to land it on someone who’s trying to hit you back. This does land as a fairly heavy shot, but I find that a shorter, snappier rotation (still bringing the rear shoulder forward but maybe just until it’s about square with the lead) still lands pretty heavy and is a hell of a lot quicker and less telegraphed and allows for a quicker recovery. Opinions from the more experienced guys? How far do you tend to rotate through with this punch?

Also, London, I completely agree that the jab is a grossly underrated offensive weapon. Love a stiff jab and find that I can pretty consistently hurt guys with this punch.

[quote]idaho wrote:

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:

[quote]idaho wrote:
Being a orthodox fighter (MT) a left upper cut has always felt “off”. I agree about the 1-2-3, I have never finshed that combo in real time. My favorite punch is the overhand right.

Any advice on the left upper cut? [/quote]

You’re like the second guy here - I think the other was Robert A - that said that he can’t throw the lead uppercut.

Any idea why it feels “off?” [/quote]

Well, I know before start, that I am not going to describe this correctly, but here goes: As one of my instructors used to say all the time,“the sternum is the highway for an uppercut” , meaning imagine your fist traveling in a line straight up the chest to contact the head, accomplished by flexing your knees, lowering your upper body by a couple of inches, and driving the punch up through your toes to the shoulder and arm, never lowering your punching arm, but flexing or twisting that side of the body upward for power. I dont seem to have a problem with the right side of my body with that move, but, with the left I just feel “less fluid, less powerfull”. There is something I am not doing with my feet, or, more than likely, I just plain suck at throwing a lead hand uppercut. [/quote]

I found the same. How are your defensive skills/what is your defensive style?

If you are an orthodox fighter who boxes off their rear foot, then you have a few nice options to correct it. If you are good at slipping punches and use the come forwards into range to strike before transferring your weight backwards, then you can hold your hands a bit lower than you are conventionally taught. Good guys to look at for this are Bernard Hopkins, Chris Eubank, Ezzard Charles, etc. James Toney also does it quite a lot. Holding your hands four or five inches lower than you otherwise would makes it easier to relax into the uppercut.

As you describe above, you sort of want to bounce the uppercut into your opponent by dropping down and exploding up through a very short range of motion. It can be very unnatural for many though. I was hopeless at uppercuts til I made the adjustment of dropping my hands a little, and using my footwork and body movement for defense. Worth studying the fighters I mentioned, as it is quite obvious how they make it effective when you watch them.

[quote]batman730 wrote:
Alright, I have a question regarding the right/rear cross. My recent training is more in the combatives area than in pure boxing but it incorporates a lot of boxing principles. I assume this is because boxers know how to hit shit with their hands better than pretty much everyone else.

When throwing the rear cross my instructor really emphasizes the notion of rotating your right/rear shoulder all the way through until it’s ahead of your left/lead shoulder. He basically wants to see the shoulders switch positions. I think this is more of an exaggerated, best practice thing, from a drilling perspective with the expectation that it will naturally shorten/tighten up when you actually try to land it on someone who’s trying to hit you back. This does land as a fairly heavy shot, but I find that a shorter, snappier rotation (still bringing the rear shoulder forward but maybe just until it’s about square with the lead) still lands pretty heavy and is a hell of a lot quicker and less telegraphed and allows for a quicker recovery. Opinions from the more experienced guys? How far do you tend to rotate through with this punch?

Also, London, I completely agree that the jab is a grossly underrated offensive weapon. Love a stiff jab and find that I can pretty consistently hurt guys with this punch.[/quote]

Personally, whilst I understand where your coach is coming from, I prefer to concentrate on the end position of the fist on a straight/cross. It should cross the centre line of your body (so that the back of the knuckle of your right hand thumb is in line with your sternum), at shoulder height (this does not seem to get stressed enough), with your head up and your back straight. I agree with you that there is no need to excessively rotate through with the shoulder. It is likely to leave you exposed. Although it obviously needs to come through far enough to protect your chin from the counter hook.

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:

[quote]idaho wrote:

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:

[quote]idaho wrote:
Being a orthodox fighter (MT) a left upper cut has always felt “off”. I agree about the 1-2-3, I have never finshed that combo in real time. My favorite punch is the overhand right.

Any advice on the left upper cut? [/quote]

You’re like the second guy here - I think the other was Robert A - that said that he can’t throw the lead uppercut.

Any idea why it feels “off?” [/quote]

Well, I know before start, that I am not going to describe this correctly, but here goes: As one of my instructors used to say all the time,“the sternum is the highway for an uppercut” , meaning imagine your fist traveling in a line straight up the chest to contact the head, accomplished by flexing your knees, lowering your upper body by a couple of inches, and driving the punch up through your toes to the shoulder and arm, never lowering your punching arm, but flexing or twisting that side of the body upward for power. I dont seem to have a problem with the right side of my body with that move, but, with the left I just feel “less fluid, less powerfull”. There is something I am not doing with my feet, or, more than likely, I just plain suck at throwing a lead hand uppercut. [/quote]

I found the same. How are your defensive skills/what is your defensive style?

If you are an orthodox fighter who boxes off their rear foot, then you have a few nice options to correct it. If you are good at slipping punches and use the come forwards into range to strike before transferring your weight backwards, then you can hold your hands a bit lower than you are conventionally taught. Good guys to look at for this are Bernard Hopkins, Chris Eubank, Ezzard Charles, etc. James Toney also does it quite a lot. Holding your hands four or five inches lower than you otherwise would makes it easier to relax into the uppercut.

As you describe above, you sort of want to bounce the uppercut into your opponent by dropping down and exploding up through a very short range of motion. It can be very unnatural for many though. I was hopeless at uppercuts til I made the adjustment of dropping my hands a little, and using my footwork and body movement for defense. Worth studying the fighters I mentioned, as it is quite obvious how they make it effective when you watch them.
[/quote]

Londonboxer,
Thank you for the reply, because this has been especially frustrating since a couple of Peruvian boxers (Peruvian Marines on detail over here) started training with us, and they have been taking me to the school on a regular basis. I really in all honesty, dont know what my defensive style is, because of a heavy background in Kali, I have a tendency to “misdirect” a punch and then counter, like when someone throws a good jab, I will try to “tap” it a little to the left and come over with the right. Over the last year, I have gotten better at head movement,but, I am far from being skilled. I appreciate your advise about lowering the hands a couple inches, but, it is going to be hard to do, becuase for years I have kept my hands higher to avoid head kicks. Thanks, again, I will put your advise in practice.

Idaho, are you an aggressive inside fighter, or are you a taller outside fighter boxing out of a high guard? IMO, if you are the latter, you are unlikely to throw effective uppercuts from that position. You would need to drop your hands, which would give the game away, and get you countered. It is very hard to be an effective outside fighter with a high guard, in my experience. You can get away with it for a while, but against better fighters, it will severely limit you, as it seems you are finding out. The most frustrating thing is you have probably been at a level of ability for a while where having your guard up like that has been limiting your development.

When your guard is very high, you are forced to defend by taking a lot of punches on your gloves, as you can’t see shit half the time. When your gloves are protecting your face, you can’t have them in someone elses face. It also tends to cause a little complacency, since you know it is very difficult for an opponent to land meaningful punches through a tight high guard. This stops you, to a greater or lesser extent, from improving your slipping and footwork, which stops you developing your angles, and your strategy. It also gives an opponent extra split seconds to see every punch coming, since it doesn’t travel along a natural line, and it comes from a point of good visibility for your opponent.

IMO the high guard only has a place for a peekaboo, Mike Tyson style swarming fighter. It is very difficult to be that type of fighter well.

I would guess, without ever having seen you fight, that you are probably a much better fighter than you are allowing yourself to be. Unless you are in the Mike Tyson mould of fighter, I would encourage you to play around a bit with your guard, and your weight distribution across your feet. Small changes in these areas seem to have made big improvements quickly in guys I’ve boxed with, and have started to coach.

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:

[quote]batman730 wrote:
Alright, I have a question regarding the right/rear cross. My recent training is more in the combatives area than in pure boxing but it incorporates a lot of boxing principles. I assume this is because boxers know how to hit shit with their hands better than pretty much everyone else.

When throwing the rear cross my instructor really emphasizes the notion of rotating your right/rear shoulder all the way through until it’s ahead of your left/lead shoulder. He basically wants to see the shoulders switch positions. I think this is more of an exaggerated, best practice thing, from a drilling perspective with the expectation that it will naturally shorten/tighten up when you actually try to land it on someone who’s trying to hit you back. This does land as a fairly heavy shot, but I find that a shorter, snappier rotation (still bringing the rear shoulder forward but maybe just until it’s about square with the lead) still lands pretty heavy and is a hell of a lot quicker and less telegraphed and allows for a quicker recovery. Opinions from the more experienced guys? How far do you tend to rotate through with this punch?

Also, London, I completely agree that the jab is a grossly underrated offensive weapon. Love a stiff jab and find that I can pretty consistently hurt guys with this punch.[/quote]

Personally, whilst I understand where your coach is coming from, I prefer to concentrate on the end position of the fist on a straight/cross. It should cross the centre line of your body (so that the back of the knuckle of your right hand thumb is in line with your sternum), at shoulder height (this does not seem to get stressed enough), with your head up and your back straight. I agree with you that there is no need to excessively rotate through with the shoulder. It is likely to leave you exposed. Although it obviously needs to come through far enough to protect your chin from the counter hook.[/quote]

Thanks for the reply. What you are saying makes sense and it feels natural to me to throw in the way you describe. Because my instructor is teaching to people with a broad range of training backgrounds (most with none at all) I expect he is just trying get people turning their hips/shoulders at all. It seems to me, upon further consideration, that this is less overemphasized with more advanced students.

I boxed for a year or so before I started combatives so, while I was far from proficient I feel I had a reasonable grasp on the most basic fundamentals. I expect this is why it felt so off to me to so exaggerate the movement.

Thanks again.

[quote]batman730 wrote:

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:

[quote]batman730 wrote:
Alright, I have a question regarding the right/rear cross. My recent training is more in the combatives area than in pure boxing but it incorporates a lot of boxing principles. I assume this is because boxers know how to hit shit with their hands better than pretty much everyone else.

When throwing the rear cross my instructor really emphasizes the notion of rotating your right/rear shoulder all the way through until it’s ahead of your left/lead shoulder. He basically wants to see the shoulders switch positions. I think this is more of an exaggerated, best practice thing, from a drilling perspective with the expectation that it will naturally shorten/tighten up when you actually try to land it on someone who’s trying to hit you back. This does land as a fairly heavy shot, but I find that a shorter, snappier rotation (still bringing the rear shoulder forward but maybe just until it’s about square with the lead) still lands pretty heavy and is a hell of a lot quicker and less telegraphed and allows for a quicker recovery. Opinions from the more experienced guys? How far do you tend to rotate through with this punch?

Also, London, I completely agree that the jab is a grossly underrated offensive weapon. Love a stiff jab and find that I can pretty consistently hurt guys with this punch.[/quote]

Personally, whilst I understand where your coach is coming from, I prefer to concentrate on the end position of the fist on a straight/cross. It should cross the centre line of your body (so that the back of the knuckle of your right hand thumb is in line with your sternum), at shoulder height (this does not seem to get stressed enough), with your head up and your back straight. I agree with you that there is no need to excessively rotate through with the shoulder. It is likely to leave you exposed. Although it obviously needs to come through far enough to protect your chin from the counter hook.[/quote]

Thanks for the reply. What you are saying makes sense and it feels natural to me to throw in the way you describe. Because my instructor is teaching to people with a broad range of training backgrounds (most with none at all) I expect he is just trying get people turning their hips/shoulders at all. It seems to me, upon further consideration, that this is less overemphasized with more advanced students.

I boxed for a year or so before I started combatives so, while I was far from proficient I feel I had a reasonable grasp on the most basic fundamentals. I expect this is why it felt so off to me to so exaggerate the movement.

Thanks again.[/quote]

Pleasure mate. You’re probably on the money with your coaches motivations. Exaggerating the movement, although not realistic, doesn’t seem to me like a dangerous ‘wrong’ technique to ingrain. If you think about applying that technique on a resisting opponent, as long as you connect down your own centre line, then you will probably end up in the same position you and I are advocating. The right straight/cross is a more complicated punch to throw well than is usually credited. Fundamentally, though, as you say, it is crucial to get your body momentum into the punch, and punch through the target, both things achieved by the way we describe, and the way your coach chooses to teach. Hopefully, as people progress and he has his fighters on the pads, he will refine their technique, paying particular attention to individual strengths and weaknesses.

[quote]idaho wrote:

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:

[quote]idaho wrote:
Being a orthodox fighter (MT) a left upper cut has always felt “off”. I agree about the 1-2-3, I have never finshed that combo in real time. My favorite punch is the overhand right.

Any advice on the left upper cut? [/quote]

You’re like the second guy here - I think the other was Robert A - that said that he can’t throw the lead uppercut.

Any idea why it feels “off?” [/quote]

Well, I know before start, that I am not going to describe this correctly, but here goes: As one of my instructors used to say all the time,“the sternum is the highway for an uppercut” , meaning imagine your fist traveling in a line straight up the chest to contact the head, accomplished by flexing your knees, lowering your upper body by a couple of inches, and driving the punch up through your toes to the shoulder and arm, never lowering your punching arm, but flexing or twisting that side of the body upward for power. I dont seem to have a problem with the right side of my body with that move, but, with the left I just feel “less fluid, less powerfull”. There is something I am not doing with my feet, or, more than likely, I just plain suck at throwing a lead hand uppercut. [/quote]

I think it is your feet Idaho. Try a light step forwards with your lead foot, and then use that movement to simultaneously dig your left uppercut into the opponents ribs.

So, with the right you are tilting over slightly to create the momentum to throw a heavy R uppercut, but with the left you are creating that momentum with the small step forward instead. Is that helping? That’s what I do and my left uppercuts got far more powerful with the step.

EDIT: I typically don’t go too wild with uppercuts to the jaw. My trainers always steered me away from that. Being as short as I am, I get in tight, and stick the opponent in the body until my fists are numb. Jabs to close the distance, distract the eye, hit the mark. I have a woefully slow cross, but my uppercuts to the ribs open a world of opportunity for hooks.

[quote]humble wrote:

As for the jab, cross putting you in a bad position, I’d say your mechanics, footwork and weight transfer is wrong if you’re ending up in range. Pretty hard to disregard a 100 year old technique just like that.
[/quote]

It’s not so much ending up in range that is the problem, the problem is the textbook 1-2 leaves your head bolt upright. The solution is to roll off after throwing it or lean/duck out while throwing it, but then that’s just what I mean: it’s not “textbook” technique to do that, even though it may indeed work better in practice.

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:
Idaho, are you an aggressive inside fighter, or are you a taller outside fighter boxing out of a high guard? IMO, if you are the latter, you are unlikely to throw effective uppercuts from that position. You would need to drop your hands, which would give the game away, and get you countered. It is very hard to be an effective outside fighter with a high guard, in my experience. You can get away with it for a while, but against better fighters, it will severely limit you, as it seems you are finding out. The most frustrating thing is you have probably been at a level of ability for a while where having your guard up like that has been limiting your development.

When your guard is very high, you are forced to defend by taking a lot of punches on your gloves, as you can’t see shit half the time. When your gloves are protecting your face, you can’t have them in someone elses face. It also tends to cause a little complacency, since you know it is very difficult for an opponent to land meaningful punches through a tight high guard. This stops you, to a greater or lesser extent, from improving your slipping and footwork, which stops you developing your angles, and your strategy. It also gives an opponent extra split seconds to see every punch coming, since it doesn’t travel along a natural line, and it comes from a point of good visibility for your opponent.

IMO the high guard only has a place for a peekaboo, Mike Tyson style swarming fighter. It is very difficult to be that type of fighter well.

I would guess, without ever having seen you fight, that you are probably a much better fighter than you are allowing yourself to be. Unless you are in the Mike Tyson mould of fighter, I would encourage you to play around a bit with your guard, and your weight distribution across your feet. Small changes in these areas seem to have made big improvements quickly in guys I’ve boxed with, and have started to coach. [/quote]

+1

After years of being chastised for dropping my hands, I’ve purposefully moved towards holding my hands at a low/middle position. I feel like I can fire the jab/upjab from the hip much faster than I can from a high guard position, and having a clean line of sight, to me at least, appears to improve my reflexes.

I should be clear however that I’m not holding my guard like roy jones or something, the right is still up near my jawline, and my shoulder is protecting the other side more often than not, so I don’t in any way feel like I’ve sacrificed defense for offense.