Most beginner boxers are focused on their punches; ensuring that they throw each shot with correct form, landing with power and precision. However, most people don’t realize how difficult it is to hit someone who’s moving, especially when they’re throwing punches back at you! Spending time on footwork drills is a worthwhile investment for any striker, so today we’ve put together three essential movements for any striker to practice.
First and foremost is fostering the ability to move in every direction with your punches. In the video above, I demonstrate moving with the jab. The jab is the most mobile punch and therefore a great place to start. The key to stepping as you punch is to ensure that you’re staying in your stance without over-extending or losing balance. One rule to help with this is to make sure that you step the closest foot to the direction that you’re moving. For example, if you’re going forward, step your front foot first. Moving back; step your back foot first. Moving left; left foot first, moving right; right foot first. Next start to focus on landing your punch at the same time as your foot steps.
The next movement demonstrated in this video is the quarter turn. A great way to create an advantageous angle, the quarter turn is a simple defensive maneuver that can set up opportunities for offense. When quarter turning, step forward; landing your foot outside of your opponents feet. From here, pivot on your lead foot, whipping your rear foot behind you until you’ve turned 90°. A good point of reference is that you want to end up looking into your opponents ear.
The final movement demonstrated in this video is the D’Amato shift. Named after Mike Tyson’s main coach, the D’Amato shift is designed to set up flank angles; similar to the quarter turn. Generally, shifting can be done from a closer distance, but can also be executed at range. When shifting, step your lead foot forward next to your opponent. As you step, dip your rear shoulder in, as if slipping or loading for a lead hook. From here, pull that shoulder back, drifting around your opponent to bring your rear foot to where your lead foot just was.
Whether you’re new to striking or a seasoned practitioner, these are movements that you’ll want to drill every day. If you’ve been thinking about beginning to train martial arts, don’t wait any longer! Give Precision Boxing and MMA a call at (845)392-8495 or click HERE! Come be a part of the best martial arts classes in the Hudson Valley.
About the Author
Oliver Swanson is an avid martial arts practitioner, teaching boxing classes in Poughkeepsie six days a week. An amateur boxer and Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt, Oliver spends most of his time on the mats. When he’s not training or working, he loves spending time with his dogs and family.