Over the years, boxing has grown in popularity to improve fitness. And so have the many personal trainers and boxing enthusiasts who have turned their hand to coaching boxing.
It's easy to blast the heavy bag with blistering boxing combinations, but what good is it if none of the punches can find the target in a real fight? Because when you miss, best believe that a good counter puncher will make you pay for it.
Honing your basic skills and mastering the essentials of each technique, it is time to put your punches together in seamless sequences called combinations. Because in a real fight, you aren't expected to land every punch you throw, throwing your punches in bunches is the best way to increase your chances of landing clean.
The most important thing to remember when creating punch combinations is that they must flow together with the body's weight as it moves forward or backward. Therefore, all good punching combinations help each punch deliver the power of the whole body as it moves through each punch and set your feet, hands and body weight for the next punch.
The feet must always be moving with the punches to deliver the power to the punches and keep in punching range as the opponent moves away to evade being hit.
The biggest challenge in a boxer's offence is making sure your punches aren't telegraphed. When opponents see your offence coming, it gives them just enough time and room to evade and essentially slip the punch. In addition, using combinations diversifies your offence and keeps opponents on their toes, unable to anticipate your next move.
They say it's the punch you don't see that is the most effective when it lands, so the key to a good offence in boxing is the use of good combinations. The more varied and unpredictable your offence is, the higher the probability of you breaking through your opponent's defence.
- There are several things to do:
- Make a proper fist. Thumb on top, not at the side.
- Twist at the hips and shoulders as you push off and extend that arm for the punch. ...
- Forget about landing the fist.
- Punch through your target, not at your target.
- Do not lean forward.
With continued training, every boxer develops their rhythm and favourite boxing punch combinations. Learning new and advanced combos and incorporating them into your boxing training and routine is key for developing your technique--plus, they're fun!
THE MOST COMMON PUNCHES
Hook - left hook - right hook - short hook - long hook - body hook. Uppercut - Left uppercut - right uppercut. The most important thing to remember when creating punch combinations is that they must flow together with the body's weight as it moves forward or backward.
In boxing, the "one-two combo" is the name given to the combination consisting of two common punches found in boxing – a jab (thrown with the lead hand) followed by the cross (thrown with the backhand). It is one of the most commonly used combinations in boxing.
"The Jab" typically starts at a boxer's chin (medium guard) and is propelled quickly to the target. "The Cross" (aka straight) typically is a long shot with the dominant hand designed to find a target from a further distance compared to the jab.
Tips On How To Land Your Boxing Combinations
Learning devastating boxing combos is one thing and developing the rhythm is another. Your boxing rhythm and combinations must be in line to land your combinations effectively.
If you plan to learn southpaw boxing combos or advanced boxing combos, ensure you are aware of your body movements and rhythm.
The rhythm of your body will help you move in multiple directions and use every possible reflex. To learn the boxer's rhythm for landing advanced boxing combos,
You need to:
- Focus on learning proper stances and balance techniques
- Concentrate on the rhythm of your opponent as well
- Stay relaxed and limber while throwing punches
- Never lose control in the ring physically and mentally
- Always be in motion
Once you grab the nitty-gritty of your boxing style, you must start practising boxing combos with pads. Learning devastating boxing combos is only possible through practice. Practice will help you with motion, balance, exceptional footwork, speed and range, and movement. For example, one can learn boxing combos with slips and southpaw boxing combos by focusing on every dimension, and this exercise will turn your movements into a rhythm.
To have an amazing boxing combo, one needs to focus on everything from footwork to punches. Throwing punches and knocking your opponent will not work in every case. To become the king of the ring, you need to have a classic boxing combination to shock your opponent with unpredictable punches.
Don't Expect To Land Every Punch.
Unless you're fighting against a human punching bag that has absolutely no head movement, you cannot realistically expect to land every single one of your punches. If you're throwing a simple two-punch boxing combination, then expect to land the second, and if you're throwing a 4-punch combination, expect to land two. It's a numbers game when you're facing a slick and highly defensive boxer who has the faster hands and feet. Yes, it's going to be difficult to find the target, but how can you even find the target at all if you only throw single or double punches?
Also, the expectation of landing every punch you throw will only result in disappointment and frustration. But, on the other hand, if you go into a fight knowing you're going to miss, perhaps by a lot, then you can adjust your strategy according to what will be more likely to work against a certain type of opponent.
Strike When Your Opponent Covers Up
It's a lot more difficult to hit a moving target, but certain types of fighters will cover up with a high guard to catch a breather, particularly if you're piling on the pressure. It may even just be part or all of their style (e.g. Arthur Abraham, Joshua Clottey, Winky Wright, you get my point).
This is the perfect opportunity to throw a combination that'll do two things – prevent them from throwing and racking up "points". However, you must be cautious against fighters who like to catch and counter like Curtis Stevens.
Penetrating the high guard can be tough, but using uppercuts to rip upwards through the middle and body shots behind their elbows will prove to be effective.
Limit The Amount Of Punches You Throw
In tip number 1, I mentioned that landing punches against a defensively skilled boxer are a numbers game. By this, I didn't mean to continuously throw 5, 6, 7+ punch combinations (although that'll work against anyone providing you have the stamina to maintain the work rate and the chin to withstand any hard counters).
What's most effective is to put all your concentration and effort into 2, 3 or 4 punch combinations, focusing on quality rather than quantity.
Every punch should have a meaning behind it. For example, the first punch should be a setup, the second to split the guard, and the third to land flush and hopefully produce a knockout.
Back Them Up Onto The Ropes Or Corner
Most boxers are advised to hold the centre of the ring unless it's Floyd Mayweather Jr. or James Toney, who thrives when their back is against the ropes. In many cases, a pure boxer will do worse when they're backed onto the ropes or into the corner.
There are fewer exit points, which means more chances for you to let loose with your punches. If you see them trying to make a swift exit, throw a mean hook to the body in the direction they're moving to, followed by a straight punch to the head immediately.
Know What Follows After Each Punch
Throwing awkward boxing combinations is like a double-edged sword; on one side, it's unconventional, making it hard for opponents to predict, but on the bigger and sharper side, it's slower and leaves you vulnerable to counterpunches.
Take, for example, a simple jab, straight and lead hook combination compared to a double lead hook followed by an overhand; which combination do you think is more comfortable to throw and land effectively? I'll give you a clue – it's not the second one. The point is to keep your combinations simple so that each punch flows naturally following the preceding one.
Go To The Body
What do you do when facing a boxer with a small head and quick feet?
Kudos if you answered, "bang him to the body until that annoying sucker slows down!!!".
Headhunting will only get you so far, and one of the signs of a good boxer is incorporating body shots in their punch selection. Not only are they easier to land as the torso is a bigger target than the head, but it also brings about an element of unpredictability, not to mention they hurt like hell if landed in the sweet spots.
The best body shots to land amid a boxing combination is the rear uppercut or the lead hook to the body from mid-range. That sequence makes a good combination too.
Start Each Combination With A Jab
This tip isn't the rule of thumb, but it's more like a guideline and a great one too. To begin, a combination with a jab can help you land subsequent punches by acting as a measuring stick, a laser guide or a deception; all useful tools against any opponent, especially defensive-minded boxers.
Doing the same thing repeatedly leads to predictability, and predictable behaviour during a boxing match is the appetite of every great counterpuncher. Therefore, it's wise to occasionally mix up the start of combinations with lead punches.
Bear in mind that it's dangerous to throw a jab at close range as you cannot get full length on it, it does little damage, and it's easy to counter at such a short distance. In this case, it may be better to start a combination with a lead hook or rear uppercut instead.
Improve Your Boxing Combinations
If you're new to boxing – whether it be training or observing as a fan – you have likely seen professional fighters throwing a whirlwind of punches so quick and so vicious they appear to be arbitrary and random. But, of course, we know this is not the case. Professional boxers have spent thousands of hours training and perfecting these boxing combinations, that is, the stringing together of multiple punches. So when we observe these boxing combinations by professional fighters, they flow elegantly as second nature.
At this point, you may be thinking that these combinations are difficult and complex. While yes, they certainly can become complex as they get much longer, they are quite simple and stem from only a handful of punches. In what follows, we will cover some of the basic boxing combinations that every beginner should learn, practice, and become second nature.
Basic Boxing Combinations
A good boxing combination refers to different punches in a certain pattern. There are no rules in combinations but tried and tested methods.
Basic combination techniques are simple, which a boxer at any level can easily grasp.
Boxing combinations should be practised so that you can perform them at any angle and, if need be, even with your eyes closed.
It would help if you mastered the combinations to use them while moving forward, backward or even sideways. However, when you possess and sharpen your combination skill, it'll help you in a wide variety of situations. In addition, it gives you a boost and a competitive edge over your opponent.
1-2 (Jab-Right cross)
Yes, the basic 1-2 jab-cross is naturally the first combination you learn how to throw. It's the first two punches you've ever thrown together, and you've probably been doing it long before you started boxing…probably on your little brother or your annoying next-door neighbour. The fast jab catches your opponent off guard, and the right cross takes his head off. You can win entire fights simply by mastering the 1-2.
This one is a way to trick your opponent. The 1-1-2 works because your opponent might be expecting a 1-2. If so, then the second jab has a good chance of surprising your opponent, opening the way once again for your big right hand. The 1-1-2 is also good if your opponent is waiting for your right cross to throw a counter. Instead of throwing your usual 1-2, you will throw endless jabs testing the waters (or your opponent's defence) until he slips up and you put a right cross in there.
1-2-3 (Jab-Cross-Left hook)
This is where boxing starts to get fun. The shift of your weight when you throw the right hand naturally sets the left hook up. The left hook comes after your right cross and can put some massive hurting on your opponent. You can aim it high at his jaw or low at his body. Either way, the left hook is equally dangerous regardless of whether or not your right cross lands.
This is nothing but you throwing LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT. The jab opens your opponent's guard. You follow-up with 3 big power punches: right hand, left hook, right hand finish. When the 3 big punches land beautifully, you can pat yourself on the back.
1-1-2-3-6 (Jab-Jab-Cross-Left Hook-Right Upper)
Mixing it up a little more, begin with a quick, sharp double jab, then cross. Followed up by a left hook and hard right upper. You always want to control your body's momentum. Throw these punches lightly. If you throw the left hook too hard, you risk rotating, which will put you out of place for the hard-right upper.
Stance: Orthodox Vs Southpaw
Before getting into boxing combinations, it would be wise first to cover boxing stances. For example, your left hand is your dominant hand or your right hand.
- Orthodox: Your right hand is your dominant hand.
- Southpaw: Your left hand is your dominant hand.
Basic Boxing Punches And Numbering System
Despite a professional fighter making their whirlwind of punches appear complex and difficult, we can break down nearly every combination into SIX basic punches:
- Jab: The lead hand accounts for a majority of the punches thrown. This is the hand you will use for jabbing. In an orthodox stance, the left hand is the lead hand, while it's the right hand in a southpaw stance. A jab is thrown with speed and is a great setup for more powerful punching combinations. The non-dominant hand is typically the jab hand.
- Cross: This punch is thrown from the rear hand, which crosses your body as it moves toward the target. The cross punch requires a rotation of the back hip and generates a lot of force. It is considered one of the main power punches in a boxer's repertoire. This is your right hand in an orthodox stance, and in a southpaw stance, this is your left hand. The dominant hand is typically the cross-hand.
- Left hook: A left-hook is a versatile and effective tool to perfect. It can be thrown quick and light to set up a great combination or power-punch, or it can be thrown hard at the end of a combination as a potential knockout punch.
- Right hook: Assuming you are an orthodox fighter, a right-hook differs from a left-hook coming off your back foot; it is, therefore, more powerful but much harder to land. A right-hook will typically need to be well-set-up by a combination to create the opportunity.
- Left uppercut: This punch is thrown underneath, travelling vertically toward the opponent's chin or solar plexus region. The lead uppercut is for an orthodox stance, and the right hand is for a southpaw.
- Right uppercut: As described above, this punch is thrown from underneath and travels along a straight vertical line, rising to strike the opponent's chin or solar plexus. This uppercut is considered another power punch in a boxer's arsenal. The rear uppercut is thrown with the right hand in an orthodox stance and the left hand for a southpaw.