“Simplicity is the key to brilliance.” Bruce Lee.
Unlike having a game of football or a game of basketball, you can’t play a game of boxing. There’s no point sugar coating it or beating around the bush, it’s not a game, it’s a fight. That’s why I use the word fighting. Same goes for all combat sports like Muay Thai , MMA ect…
This is the first concept any beginner needs to learn to be an effective fighter. Sounds simple right? You would be surprised of the amount of newbie’s that never give it consideration.
They end up going to the boxing gym (especially the rougher ones) for one day and then quitting because they never prepared their mind to understand this concept. To be good at fighting you have to train to fight by fighting, hence the reason for sparring.
Some sparring sessions can be rougher than others, it’s something a newbie should get his head around and get used to. You can never improve your fighting skills by always sparring someone that is at a lower level than yourself, you improve by sparring better fighters than yourself.
Boxing can be a daunting thing at first. Fear will always be in the hearts of us all from time to time, but how we control it is what makes the difference.
Luckily there are a few weapons in our arsenal that we can whoop fears ass with, and the main one is confidence. Confidence comes with improvement through experience.
When you know you have put in your fair share of work and you train hard, you develop confidence in yourself.
When you have this confidence, fear is not some huge raging fire that burns up all your senses and emotions, it’s a tiny little flame that you use to keep you alert and your strikes sharp.
The mastery of fear alone is a great reason to take up a form of martial arts. During a fight you step out of your comfort zone and you are put under pressure.
By doing this you begin to realize your abilities and who you really are. It soon becomes an exhilarating experience and not a daunting one.
A beginner needs to realize that they are not made out of glass. So there is no reason to fear, especially if they train well and use what they have learned.
Here are the Top 7 Fighting Tips for Beginners
1) Go all In
I don’t mean unloading all of your energy and wilding out like a lunatic trying to get out of a strait-jacket when I say ‘go all in.’ What I mean is committing yourself to the fight. DON’T have a lacklustre attitude.
Lacklustre- “Lacking in vitality, force, or conviction; uninspired or uninspiring.”
If you’re not committed to the fight then don’t take it (even if it is a sparring session). Taking a fight when you’re not committed is a sure way to losing or worse; get hurt.
When in a fight you’re there to take the other guy out, no if’s or but’s about it. And if you don’t think in this way you can be damn sure your opponent is and they will jump at the opportunity like a tiger on a dear.
So you need to get rid of the mentality of ‘I’ll just see what happens and take it from there.’
2) Know Your Role
Moving, blocking, countering, striking effectively; these are a part of your role during the fight. You need to focus on these things and these things ONLY. Don’t waste energy and time thinking of anything but what you have to do.
If you’re thinking of not getting hurt, most likely you will get hurt. If you focus on the above techniques and about fighting effectively then you will do just that.
So keep your concentration and focus sharp on what you have to do. Don’t get flustered and lose focus on the task at hand.
3) See it Coming
It can be a scary experience seeing fists (or shins) flying towards your head. However, when you have your eyes open you are able to see them coming.
Flinching and closing your eyes for a split second will allow the opponent to land his punch (or kick) on you with ease. Never close your eyes or allow your opponent out of your vision.
Your vision is your first form of defense and attack. Learn to stay calm and watch every move the opponent makes, this will give you enough time to counter, move or block a strike.
It’s 100 times better to see a strike coming than to not see it at all. There’s a saying in boxing that goes ‘It’s the one they don’t see coming that knocks them out.’
No matter how hard it may seem try not to flinch and don’t close your eyes. Peep through your guard when being attacked and look for openings left by your opponent that you can counter.
4) Exhaling on Every Shot
Exhaling increases the speed and power of the strike. Whenever you strike make sure you exhale, sharply. Beginners have the habit of holding their breath when striking.
This will not only gas you out quicker but it will take the ‘zing’ out of the punch (or kick).
The next time you go a few rounds on a heavy bag; practice exhaling on every shot and notice the difference in your punches.
5) Driving Home the Elbow
Always drive your punches from your elbow. No matter what type of punch you throw, always drive and snap the punch from the elbow rather than your fist.
By doing this you ensure that your strike digs deep into the opponent with force. Your punch will have great form when it’s driven from the elbow and not the fist.
This will maximise the punches effectiveness. It will also help with good wrist alignment to protect you from injury.
6) Space Awareness
When the opponent is unloading punches, you do not have to stand there and try to block them. Use the space you have and move your feet.
Don’t be a sitting duck. It’s a lot harder for your opponent to hit a moving target. Moving out of the way and range of oncoming strikes should be the first line of defence.
If you find yourself stuck in a corner, the first thing on your mind should be circling out of the corner and back into open space. Watch Floyd Mayweather Jr in the video below; he did this exceptionally well.
In the video Mayweather actually knocks Ricky Hatton out cold with a check left hook, whilst circling out of the corner.
7) Mastering the Range
You can be sure that a fighter who has a good understanding of his/her range will be a good fighter. Range is an overlooked concept by newbie’s.
The ‘range’ is the striking distance between you and your opponent. If you have longer arms or legs you will have a longer range.
People that miss-judge their range; end up over extending when throwing a strike in attempt to reach the target. This leaves them open, off balance and venerable; which in turn makes them easy to knockout.
If you can master the distance and know at all times when you are in range to attack and out of range where it’s safe, you will improve your fighting skills by leaps and bounds.
This involves being able to judge the range/distance also when moving and not just when standing still. It will allow you to strike your opponent by moving into range then avoid his strikes by moving back out of range.
Practicing good habits and focusing on the most important things is essential to becoming a good fighter. If you focus on these tips and keep them in mind when training, you will improve a lot quicker than usual.
Got any thoughts or comments to add? Let me know by dropping them in the section below. If you learned something from this post don’t forget to like and share with others. Thanks!