Bruce Lee had the saying he doesn’t fear the man that practiced 1000 moves, he fears the man that practiced one move 1000 times. The basics of boxing are undoubtedly the foundation of how far you are able to go as a boxer. Boxing basics aren’t meant to be practiced until you get it right. They are meant to be practiced until you can’t get them wrong. No matter what level of boxing you are at, practicing the basics of the sport is something you never grow out of. Here we’ll break down the basics and how to excel in each.
The Art of the Jab
One of the most essential tools in a boxer’s arsenal is the jab. A jab isn’t just a simple punch. It’s a complex punch that takes years to master. There are various types of jabs, such as the up jab, stiff jab, fake jab, flip jab, and measuring jab. Each serves a specific purpose, demonstrating the complex depth of this seemingly easy move within the ring. A strong jab not only sets the tone of a fight but also establishes distance and control. As one of the fundamental parts of training, boxers of all skill levels need to continue practicing the jab as part of a strong foundation. There are a ton of resources for learning jabs such as this video from Hit N Move founder Ozzie.
Patience and Discipline
Boxing isn’t just a sport; it’s a martial art that requires both patience and discipline. If you’re looking for instant gratification or a cool clip to post on instagram, boxing might not be for you. The repetitive nature of training the basics over and over teaches boxers to appreciate the journey rather than just the destination. In a day and age where instant gratification can be found anywhere, boxing provides a breath of fresh air into working hard to see results.
Mastering the Basics
The greatest boxers of all time spent years learning the small details – a balance of footwork, precision of punches, and the art of defense. All on autopilot inside the ring. You need to have a focused training method. Be sure to emphasize practicing one punch at a time. Focusing on precise movements around the ring, and using calculated techniques like the “one-two” combination which can also take years to master. These seemingly simple actions are anything but easy and demand quick reflexes, measurement, and coordination.
Small Details: “Holding the Phone”
The concept of “holding the phone” is a metaphor referring to the habit of immediately bringing your hand back to your face after throwing each punch. Failing to use this fundamental move will leave a boxer open to counterattacks. This reinforces the idea that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Details like this in every area of boxing are basics that get picked up with consistent training and learning. It is also important to note that using different methods of training to learn these small details is necessary. For example if you only do bag work and never spar with a partner, the bag will never counter punch you. Therefore never teaching you the importance of a small detail.
In a world driven by instant gratification, the basic ABC’s of boxing are a lesson in patience and discipline. The basics of boxing are what sets apart the good boxers from the great boxers. Whether it’s spending years learning the intricacies of the jab, working on your patience, or consistently working to better your techniques, the journey towards becoming a great boxer is one that undoubtedly requires loads of discipline. Next time you are in the boxing gym, try to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day and commitment to perfecting the basics will help you become the boxer you want to be.