Monday, October 6, 2008

Boxing Fundamentals: Throwing Boxing Combinations

As I mentioned in a previous article in this boxing fundamentals and basics series, boxing trainers will typically number their punches to facilitate training. It is much easier to yell out 1-2 than it is to yell out Jab-Straight Right.

When you learn how to box and throw combination, you will probably be trained using a numbering system that is probably identical to what a number of trainers use. Jab is 1, Straight Right/Left is 2, Left Hook - 3, Right Hook - 4, Left Uppercut - 5, Right Uppercut - 6. If it is a body shot, a B is added to the number - so Jab to the body is represented as 1B.

It's not rocket science and it works.

I've also taken this numbering one step further to classify combinations according to a series. In this lesson you are going to learn both 1 series and 2 series combinations. In total, there are 6 series combinations plus a few addons.

A series of combinations is defined by the number of different punches that make up the combination. So, combinations that consist only of jabs are 1 series combinations. That is, there is only 1 unique punch in the combination no matter how many times it is thrown in sequence.

A 2 series combination consists of two different punches. This means it could be a 1-2, a 2-3, a 3-4, 4-5, and so on. As you can see, the number of possible combinations increases significantly with every additional series.

In reality, you will likely never learn every possible punching combination. You will find the ones you like and that work for you and work them into your own boxing style.

As well, not every combination is ideal while others complement each other very nicely. For instance, the way weight is transferred in a1-2-3 (Jab, Straight Right, Left Hook) is very natural. The Jab pushes the head back to make it a target for the right which transfers weight to the front leg, while the left hook transfers the weight
back to the natural stance position.

Other combinations like say a 2-6 (straight right, right uppercut) are near impractical. After the straight right your weight is forward and you need to "recock" in order to throw a decent right uppercut.

If that is confusing, don't read too much into it right now, just know that some combinations "flow" better than others. So while there are thousands of possible combinations, you're only going to employ the best of them.

Why are combinations effective?

Your opponent can have the best defense in the world and he may be able to stop/block 1, 2, 3, or even 4 punches in a row, but eventually he will make a mistake and if that mistake happens before you are finished your combination, you will connect.

That is the theory behind combinations. In theory, because of the "flow" and weight transfers associated with a good combination, you could throw 100 punch combinations or more (if you had the stamina) and never be off balance.

Of course, practical application never matches the theory. So lace up those boxing gloves, warm up, and learn how to box and throw some killer punch combos!


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