Speed and Power Audio Combo Set

One of the biggest problems beginner boxers face is that they aren’t prepared for the intensity and demands of sparring. I went through this myself, and had a hard time being strong past the 3rd or 4th round in sparring where my sparring partner was really pushing me. We’re not talking casual, light sparring here, but we’re not talking about a gym war either. The level I’m talking about is your typical active and quick competitive session. As a beginner, you often spar against more experienced boxers who work with you just above your level. In other words you are sparring at a threshold pace and by round 3 or 4 all technique goes out the window. One way to help you prepare for that is to make a conscious effort to throw all your shots with full speed and power, while at the same time incorporating in and out footwork (along with side to side footwork). You’d be surprised how hard it can be to train all out on the bag for 4 rounds, even with simple combos. Download this audio set here, there is an introduction to explain how it works. Train through these four rounds in addition

Sparring Advice – Part 2

Some more technical stuff. Next thing: in your sparring, this is just a good habit to get into overall and I’ve mentioned this on my blog as well, don’t let a punch ever be the last thing that you do. What I mean by that is don’t go one, two, three and then you’re just there and then thinking, “What’s the opponent going to do?” Or boom, boom, left hook. The last thing that you should be doing is either be a deliberate cover, a block, a slip, a duck combined with footwork and then that usually is going to give you an angle so you’re going to pop back in and go for a second attack or you’re going to be blocking a counter shot and then coming back with a second attack or you’re going to be moving out around just getting your space. Get in the habit of never having a punch be the last thing that you do. Boom, boom, boom, cover, cover, move. Even if the guy doesn’t do anything, then just step out and create that angle, move, quarter turn, cover, pop back out, then take a look. Be careful, that’s where guys usually

Beginner Boxing and How to Connect the Dots

About a year ago I received a message from a guy in his late 40’s who had been training in the sport of boxing for 10 years, and in this message he emphasized that he still didn’t fully understand what to do with all the boxing knowledge and techniques when he got in the ring to spar.  He essentially wanted to know how to organize his knowledge and apply it in a meaningful way? Similarly, another comment I get a lot when training beginners is that they tell me they  feel “stupid” when shadowboxing, they don’t know what to do without a reference point such as focus pads, a heavy bag or a partner.  In boxing this is quite common. The hard truth is that sparring and reflecting on sparring regarding  what’s working and what’s not is the the best way to gain an in-depth understanding of the flow of boxing. If you take that bold step to get into sparring and then you take time to reflect on each session, you will start to connect the dots while at the same time improving weaknesses.  The problem with learning through sparring is that it’s the most painful way to learn, it’s

Left Hook for Boxing

Lead Hook Tactics In this blog I want to cover the tactics of the lead hook. We’ll discuss how to use footwork, movement and methods of throwing the hook to help you land it more successfully. Remember it’s not enough to just know these tactics, you need to integrate them into your training, until they become natural. To really focus on these skills, aim to dedicate one round per training session to practicing each of the following four sections. Using Fakes One of the most important elements in boxing is being unpredictable. Your opponent is always trying to work out what your next move will be and when. Fakes are critical in being able to disrupt the ability of your opponent to read you. In fact when you get them right, fakes can be used to control your opponent and open up opportunities. Fake the jab or cross – Faking straight shots can really help to bring the opponent’s guard away from side of their head. They may try to parry your shot or front cover, either way the side of their head/chin will open up easier. Fake the uppercut – Faking the uppercut can bring their guard down, opening

Record Your Sparring Sessions

Everybody can throw a punch but not everybody can fight. When I first started sparring, it felt like hell. You feel exhausted and at the same time you need to keep your guard up, keep moving, find openings, throw punches etc… As a beginner, if you start sparring before you fully understand the techniques, you don’t really know what to do other than to throw a barrage of punches and get away when you are not punching.  There is very little counter punching or searching for openings. Also, when you spar against people that also are inexperienced, you both will be excited, scared, and stiff which will lead to a very tense sparring session. If you don’t have the technique to block punches and you are not used to taking punches then you’ll easily be hit and expose yourself to injury.  If you can establish the pace, try as best you can to keep things very technical in your early sparring sessions. Step it up slowly once you and your sparring partner start to feel comfortable at a certain speed and power. Everybody can throw a punch but not everybody can box, learn to box first, then start to increase

How to Increase Punching Power

Punching power is one of the most sought after attributes in boxing, it can turn the tide of a fight, keep your opponent on the defensive, and allow you to end a fight early. Punching power essentially comes from three main aspects of boxing; proper technique, stability and balance, and explosive power.  In this article I’ll discuss key aspects of punching as it relates to both technique and power generation. 1)  The first component to solid punching power is proper position and punch delivery.  The body should remain upright and twist on the vertical axis.  It’s important when punching not to lean forward or tilt sideways.  Of course, you can still get a powerful punch by slipping to the side and throwing, but for the most part a solid punch will come from a clean and well balanced twist with your body upright.  One of the main tools boxing coaches use is a simple broom handle or long wooden stick.  As you are in your stance the coach should be able to hold a wooden stick straight up along your back and have it make contact with the centre of your back along the spine. 2) The next component to solid punching power

What is the best Sparring Headgear for Boxing

I often get asked the question, “Which headgear is the best for sparring?” most commonly in boxing, but also potentially for MMA and Muay Thai.  Of course, the first thing that comes to mind about MMA/Muay Thai is that clinching and takedowns will impact the value of wearing a head gear.  Both practitioners have to have a prior agreement on what’s allowed in each sparring session so as to get the most use out of wearing headgear, without causing limitations. Why Would Anybody Wear a Headgear for Boxing? From my own practical experience, a head gear prevents cuts and minimizes the impact of headbutts, and a headgear with a bar across the face will prevent (but not eliminate) the potential for concussions, or as most boxer’s put it, ‘being rocked’ by a shot.  The other thing that headgear prevents is your ears being popped by a perfectly flush shot.  Without head gear this can happen frequently and you’ll have to take time off to heal. In 2017, the open class men’s amateur division no longer uses head gear, studies have shown that headgear actually leads to more concussions (I’m assuming that the headgear studied did not have a face saver

A Beginner Boxer’s Journey Part 3 – Welcome to the Team!

Sparring in Tampere I went to visit Tampere in Finland for my next boxing sparring session. This was about one month after my first “real boxing” sparring session.  Since then I had changed my game plan a lot, as I explained in my previous post, I noticed I had to skip a lot of “moves” to be effective. I had also worked a lot on my explosiveness and some new combinations that Karre Anttonen showed me. His Warm-up Looked so Professional When I came to the gym there were a couple other guys training MMA, and there was also a boxer warming up with his coach beside him. Karre told me to start doing my warm-up routine, and he said it such a way that made it sound like I already had my own systematic warm-up.  The problem was I should have had a proper warm-up system, but I didn’t, So, instead I just started shadowboxing at a high tempo and simultaneously glancing over at the other boxer who I was going to spar,  In contrast, he actually KNEW what he was doing and had a great routine for his warm-up, it looked so professional that it made me seriously think I was

Beginner Shadow Boxing

Shadow boxing can be pretty tough for beginners. Especially if you haven’t sparred or fought yet, because you won’t have a specific reference point for what to do. This normally means that beginners feel “stupid” when their coach tells them to shadow box. The other thing that can hold you back is mind-set. The ideal mind-set for shadow boxing is ‘alert aggressiveness’. For some beginners it’s not always easy to visualize yourself punching someone. If you’ve ever had a school-yard fight or street fight, then this can serve as a reference point for shadow boxing. It’ll help you to get into that fighting frame-of-mind. So let’s look at the steps you can take to get into that groove, so you can get loose and have more fun with your shadow boxing: Move The first thing you need to do, is start moving. Don’t even worry about punching yet, just get yourself moving and feeling nice and loose. I find the best way to do this is to imagine a hula-hoop laid flat on the floor in front of you. Start to move around it. Start to move closer and further away from the imaginary hoop. You’ll begin to feel comfortable

A Beginner Boxer’s Journey Part 2 – First Sparring Sessions

This is a 10 part beginner boxing series written by Emil “The Rabbit” Alm which follows his journey into amateur boxing.  He reveals his struggles and life lessons learned as he transforms his life and sets out to achieve goals that most of us in the sport can relate to.  At the bottom of the post are his Facebook and Instagram links. My First Sparring Session as a member of Pons Boxing Club When I started at the Pons boxing club (around march/april 2016), I wanted to compete as soon as possible, especially since I had already waited for so long.  But what I understood better now than before was that to get a match representing that club they wanted to know I was serious about competing. Different than sparring a boxer I knew I had mostly been sparring with the guys “at home”, the Muay Thai guys. So the sparring was a lot different than sparring boxers I knew.  I had only sparred twice in Sweden with boxers and with my coach Walle Wahlsten, he is the boxing coach from another club on Aland Islands. He is really good and has been boxing for just a few years, but