About Ducking Punches
There are two main reasons why a boxer ducks during a contest. The first most obvious reason is as a boxing defense to avoid an opponent’s punches, hence the title ‘ducking punches’. The second reason is to engage the opponent with body shots otherwise a boxer may ‘punch down’ to the body and this has it’s problems. There is a third reason, which relates to ‘feinting’ to draw a reaction from the opponent, and this is dealt with in the article Feinting in Boxing, well worth a look. Ducking is one of the most simple boxing techniques to learn, and when executed correctly and at the right time opens up many avenues for attack as well reducing the risk of taking head shots.
When ducking, be it ducking punches or ducking to let loose body shots, it is very important to observe the simple mechanics to avoid introducing the common faults. When bad habits sneak into the technique of ducking, the penalty paid can be severe! To get an idea of what could happen when the ducking technique is not executed properly, check out the common faults! Before that though, enjoy the video!
The Mechanics of Ducking Punches
The mechanics of ducking punches or ducking for body shots are simple. As with all boxing techniques, efficiency is key, and the ducking technique is no different.
- From the boxing stance, bend both legs at the knees, ensuring that you keep your back straight.
- The bending of the knees should almost be a ‘drop’ allowing the duck to happen at the required speed.
- Drop only enough for an oncoming punch to ‘graze’ the top of your head. This brings us back to our point about the efficiency of the technique.
- Return to the starting position as quickly as the knees ‘dropped’ at the start of the technique. At full speed, ducking should be performed as quickly as a punch is thrown.
Common Faults When Ducking Punches
Some basic errors are often made when ducking punches or ducking to throw body shots:
- Bending at the waist rather than dropping at the knees. This bend of the waist results in the upper body moving forward and downward thus restricting the vision; if you can’t see punches coming then you are less likely to avoid them! Moving down and forward also offers a great opportunity for the opponent to land punches, in particular a shot like the mid-range right hook.
- Dropping too low, wasting energy and reducing the likelihood of landing counter punches.
- I mentioned earlier about punching down to the opponent’s body rather than ducking. This is particularly risky when throwing straight shots by punching down to an opponent’s body rather than ducking means that your hand is away from the guard position for marginally longer than it needs to be. OK, it’s only a split second, but it’s long enough!
Consider the benefits of combining a duck with a boxing jab or a right cross. By combining something simple like a duck with something a bit more complicated, a long range right uppercut for instance, should begin to give you a flavour of how the wonderful art of boxing meshes together.
As always, leave your comments or questions below.