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The Three Basic Punches of Boxing for Beginners

First off, there are more than three punches in boxing but for beginners we don’t want you getting confused and messing around with all that stuff. It can be easy to mix up the technique and get everything all wrong; so to keep things simple and clear, we’re going to show you how to execute the three most basic punches that you absolutely must know as a beginner.

Once you’ve mastered these techniques, then perhaps you’ll be ready to learn the other slightly more complicated boxing techniques. Before we delve into the details of how to throw a punch correctly, though, you must first learn and master the basic fighting stance. You stand with your weaker foot forward (the foot on the same side as your weaker hand) and diagonal to your other foot. Your feet should be on what boxers refer to as the toe-heel line i.e the big toe of your forward foot should be on the same line as the heel of your other foot. Once you’ve mastered this, you’ll be ready to learn how to throw these punches listed below, with the swagger of a pro.

  1. The Jab

In the most straightforward terms, a jab is what it sounds like. You throw your fist by extending your forward hand (usually till it is fully extended) in a straight line motion. The jab is a powerful multi-purpose weapon. Think of it as the first line of defense and also the first line of attack. You can use it to keep opponents at bay and you can also use it to pin them down. An effective jab will be quick and accurate. You can throw jabs with your stronger hand as well but usually this will be done in combination with jabs thrown by your weaker hand. Here’s a great video we found, on how to throw a good jab:

  1. The Hook

Picture of the hook

A hook is made by throwing your arm in an inward curving arc. If jabs are the first line of defense and attack, then think of hooks as the heavy artillery and many a fight has been ended with a solid hook to the head or body. To throw a hook correctly, you should bend your arm at a 90-degree angle to generate more power. Also, a hook will have a lot more power when you throw it from your shoulder. Most people simply swing their arms and extend their elbows when throwing a hook, but to do it effectively, you should literally throw your shoulder as you swing your arm (still inclined at a 90 degree angle). Below, in point three  is a good video that demonstrates how to throw a hook.

  1. The Uppercut

The upper cut in action

The uppercut is probably the fanciest punching technique on this list, but it is relatively hard to perform and not always very efficient. The power required to execute an uppercut is generated from the hips, so you’ve got to bend your knees and rotate your body through your hip, swinging your arm in an upward motion (like the hook, keep your arm locked at a 90 degree angle) and with your hip below your punching arm at all times. Here’s a really good uppercut and hook demonstration that we found on youtube:

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There are other punching techniques you will have to learn as you develop as a boxer, but most of these will really be more elaborate versions of the three basic techniques described here. Make sure you learn them properly and practice as much as you can so that the movements become second nature to your body.

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