About Rolling Punches/The Bob and Weave
It doesn't come much better than slipping punches by 'rolling with them' (also referred to as 'bob and weave'.) It is one of the boxing techniques that opens many doors, either during infighting, on the attack or on the retreat at long range. It's very satisfying as a boxer to successfully execute the roll as it usually means that you have control of the opponent. When using the roll, it's very possible to evade multiple shots during a single execution. The fact that the head is moving in a non-linear way means that it's extremely difficult for an opponent to judge where to throw shots. Add into the mix that at the end of a roll you can unleash big, big shots, and you must agree by now that it's a boxing technique that really does open doors!
This article covers both rolls; the Inside Roll and the Outside Roll. The inside/outside bit relates to the fact that if the opponent threw a jab, we would end up the move on the inside (to your left) of the jab or the outside (to your right) of the jab. Watch the video, then check out the mechanics and faults to make sure that you consider the right way and the wrong way to do the move! Think also about what shots would feel good to throw at the end of the move.
Mechanics of Rolling Punches
- From the boxing stance, the first action is a push from the front foot. The push or 'thrust' provides the force necessary to rotate the body in a clockwise direction around the central axis. You may recognize this, it is actually the skill slipping punches outside.
- The back leg pushes back and the front leg flexes to allow the body to 'weave' underneath incoming shots. The upper body moves from right to left in a gentle arc, ending up back at the boxing stance. It is vital that the legs remain relaxed and flexible.
- From the boxing stance, the first action is a push from the back foot. The push or 'thrust' provides the force necessary to rotate the body in an anti-clockwise direction around the central axis. You may recognize this, it is actually the skill slipping punches inside.
- There is a push from the front leg and the back leg flexes to accommodate a gentle arc from left to right underneath incoming shots, with the move ending up back at the boxing stance.
Common Faults When Rolling Punches
The following problems can occur when rolling punches:
- The boxer's arms become to 'loose'. By this I mean that when slipping left for example (at the start of the outside roll), the right hand will drop, and vice versa for the inside roll. Remember that this move is completed within range, so any major gaps in your defense will be found out at some point!
- The roll is facilitated by bending at the waist. As always, the legs do the work! If the body bends at the waist, the boxer is unable to see incoming shots and is unable to throw any worthwhile outgoing shots. The likelihood of being banged with an uppercut to the head is very significant when bending at the waist, so avoid doing it!
Whether you say 'roll with the punches' or 'bob and weave', as long as you do it right it's a boxing technique that will pay dividends. When we combine this with footwork and punching skills it really does deliver the complete package.