Boxing Combinations – Complete the Jigsaw!
This article is one of the most popular on the site and I believe there is a good reason for this. I think that people interested in boxing (including experienced fighters) are always looking for the edge when developing their boxing combinations. In this article, I think that you may well have found exactly the advice you needed to provide that moment of inspiration for you to become self-sufficient in building successful boxing combinations. At the bottom of the article, I have inserted links to suggested combinations in order to get you started. I hope you find this article (and the links) useful and would urge you to leave some comments or questions and I’ll do my best to respond.
It’s interesting that when you surf the net, there are lots and lots of videos, posts, articles and websites that promise to teach you how to throw groups of punches, otherwise known as boxing combinations, like a pro. There seems to be a common theme for these resources, and that’s the principle of issuing a number for a shot. An example of this is:
- 2-Straight Right
- 3-Left Hook
- 4-Right Hook
- 5-Left Uppercut
- 6-Right Uppercut
I believe that having issued the numbers, the boxer should join them together in random order (or alternatively a coach may shout them) in order to build combinations. This is not the occasional site that recommends this approach, it actually appears to be very common, go see for yourself! Now look, I understand the principle of a numbering system, but I have some big, big problems with it! Let me give you just a few reasons why I have a big problem with this system. If you don’t believe that my concerns have any grounding, then ignore me and get memorizing those 6 little ol’ numbers! OK, some concerns in no particular order:
- The implication of issuing a number for each shot is that there are only 6 shots in boxing. At time of writing, I have published advice on 13 shots…and there are more to come! If you can apply AND remember a number for every one of our shots so far, then my guess is that you’re now reading this article from the canteen at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (you clever thing you!)
- What about body shots? I think we may need yet more numbers…..
- What about executing ‘phased combinations’, where we sub-divide groups of shots into smaller groups by inserting body movements such as the slip or duck or elements of footwork such as a side movement or pivot? This is a core principle of successful combinations! By now, we have that many numbers that for all use they are we might as well be issuing Roman Numerals to shots!
Can you see how complicated (and unworkable) things get by restricting your thoughts by applying a rigid numbering system to combinations? It stifles creativity. It forces you to think in linear, predictable patterns. My advice, ignore the numbering advice given by these sites (I won’t name them, but you know who you are!) Don’t apply a numbering system. Whilst the number system advice is issued in good faith, it’s not helpful and should be ignored!
So How Should I Develop Boxing Combinations?
What I’m not going to do here is say ‘Here are my Top 10 Combinations’, go ahead copy them like a robot. In future articles, I will offer suggestions for combinations that work well, but for now I think it will be much more helpful if I recommend some things for you to consider when working out combinations:
- An opponent will respond in a particular way to a shot (or threat of a shot.) For example, the threat of a right cross to the body may make an opponent drop their left elbow to block the shot thereby leaving the left side of their jaw open.
- At what range are you? If you are at long range, then the opening shots of a combination will be different than if you are infighting at short range.
- The bio-mechanics of a given shot, body movement or footwork element naturally leads you to consider a particular subsequent shot. An example of this is that an inside slip provides great leverage for a mid range left hook. It feels natural for a right cross to follow a jab. Be fully aware of this urge to follow the bio-mechanics, but mix things up by going ‘against the grain’ as well. Doubling-up on the same shot is a prime example of this as the second shot can carry more power than the first.
- Don’t restrict yourself to thinking of combinations in terms of just shots. The chances of creating successful combinations will be greatly increased by aiming to ‘join up’ shots with body movements, footwork and feints…be dynamic!
- Learn the individual skill element and ensure that the mechanics are correct and that the common faults are not creeping in. Use the mirror so that you can be your own coach! If you perform each skill element correctly, then it stands to reason that the combination will be correct! Go back to the skill articles on this site and reinforce them in your thinking!
There are lots of suggested boxing combinations on this site, along with an explanation of why they are effective and what to be careful of when using them, so waste no time and check them out! Here’s a few to be going along with:
- The Jab and Left Hook – Simplicity Wins!
- Double Right Cross Left Hook – Power all the Way!
- Boxing Combination Hagler Style!
I hope I’m not coming across as bad-mouthing these sites, I’m just eager that as an individual you have options that you may select based upon sound reasoning. Boxing is a technical sport that requires a basic framework of learning upon which a creative mind may build a whole range of effective boxing combinations. If you think I’m talking utter garbage or alternatively that I may have struck upon something here, please let me know in the comment box below. If you are feeling observant, check out the article on the old man doing some heavy bag punching, you may spot some of the boxing combinations that are on this site.