The sport of western boxing has had a lot of fans since the early days of the late 19th century in America. Even when organized public fighting matches were still considered a crime punishable by time in jail and a fine they drew a horde of spectators. But then again, who doesn’t love a good fight?
Fighting way back then looked a whole lot different than fighting currently does. Over the years more science and research has been done, into human movement and fitness. The upright postures with hands held low that make early boxing easy to identify have been changed over the years.
In the 21st century, fighters appear more fluid, more aggressive, and in a crouched stance. Legs bent, body weight forward on toes. Unlike the fighters of yesteryear, today, a fighter today uses his hands as well as shoulders to obscure and protect that path that leads right to the “kisser”, or “button”.
The fighters main weapons continue to be his hands, while they also use a lot of holding, pushing, and leaning on strategies to wear down their opponent. With those weapons, there is generally an arsenal of 8 specific punches that a good fighter will develop. From these eight punches there is an incredible array of “combinations” that can be thrown as he tries to get past the defenses of the opponent in the opposite corner.
This list is a brief description of those 8 punches of boxing:
- “The Jab”. This punch is thrown from the lead hand. It’s quick, sometimes powerful and is used either to “keep your opponent off of you”, or to judge his distance while setting up a power punch.
- “The Cross”. This punch is from the rear hand and is a straight power punch. Usually used as a counter when your opponent throws a punch from the opposite side.
- “The Hook To The Jaw”. This punch comes from the lead hand from the side while keeping your elbow bent. The object is to come around the defense and connect with the side of the opponents face. The hook carries a lot of knock out power.
- “Rear Hand Hook”. Similar to the previous, because this punch comes from the rear, it’s generally used as a counter punch when your opponent has “left himself open”. The target could be the head as well as the body.
- “Lead Hook To the Body”. Again, from the lead hand “hooking” into the body. The target is mostly the ribs or kidney. This particular punch is so devastating that it, when landing successfully, has ended many, many fights with opponent still conscious.
- “The Overhand Punch”. This punch is a power punch also. It comes from the rear hand. It’s similar to the cross, however, it has a slight arcing motion to it. The purpose of this punch is go over the opponents targeting the face of the opponent. Imagine a baseball pitcher’s form and you’ll have the basic concept.
- “Lead Hand Uppercut”. The uppercut is used while the fighters are close. The object of this punch is to go under and behind the defense and land on either the chin or “solar plexus” of the opponent. The first is a knockout punch while the second is a “knock the wind out of you” punch that sets up the knockout punch.
- “Rear Hand Uppercut”. Very similar to the previous. Just as effective, but, carries a little less power. This is because the rear leg is not in position to generate as much upward force as the lead leg.
This list of 8 punches are what most boxers use as their arsenal against their opponent. Anyone can use them and they don’t have to be a boxer per se. Consistent practice is an excellent upper body workout that has many advantages. Not the least of which is building muscle while at the same time burning calories.