Boxing Drills – It’s All In The Mix!

by Fran on December 8, 2010

Boxing Drills – Familiarity Breeds Success!

This article is about boxing drills, but allow me to drift off just for a moment into the world of music, and in particular guitar-playing.  For the last couple of decades I’ve had a real interest in playing guitar.  I do own a guitar and have, over he years, learned to play to a pretty basic standard.  It has to be said I’m not in any way musically talented.  But, due to some bloody-minded perseverance in the early years I managed to get my hands to work in some co-ordination and my fingers to land in the approximate position that I intended.  The net effect is that I can bang out a tune to a reasonable standard (although not a standard that I would consider charging people to watch, hell, I’d end up being bottled off stage in true ‘Blues Brothers’ style!)

Now, one of my musical heroes is Jimi Hendrix.  Many people consider that Hendrix had bestowed upon him some mystical powers that enabled him to play guitar like a demon.  However, life just ain’t that simple.  The fact is that sure Hendrix was a musical genius, but his guitar playing success had a more conventional basis.  Hendrix used to take an acoustic guitar with him everywhere.  I’ve read accounts where Hendrix had a guitar slung around his neck for over 10 hours in any given day, working through the riffs and licks that he had developing in that wonderfully musical mind of his.  Hell, he even used to take the acoustic to the toilet with him, this is an almost ridiculous commitment to his art!  As stated above, familiarity breeds success.  Which brings us neatly back to boxing drills.

As a boxing coach my view is that boxing drills are as important a part of a boxer’s development as sparring, bag work, pad work or anything else for that matter.  Boxing drills are wonderfully effective primarily because they combine simple skill elements executed at a mechanical pace with the result of developing muscle memory.  The adage of “Learn to walk before you can run” is never more true than in a pursuit such as boxing.  All of this, and boxing drills can be performed outside of the gym environment.

So what are boxing drills?  Well, in their simplest form, boxing drills consist of at least one skill element which is repeated in a slow and mechanical fashion.  That’s it.  Of course things can get more complicated, but in essence a boxing drill is simple.  If you have been using this site for any length of time, you will know that I’ve de-constructed boxing to it’s core skill elements, each illustrated with a video.  So, moving in and out is the basis of a drill.  Side stepping is the basis of a drill.  But boxing drills can evolve, which leads me on to our next learning venture!

I’m in the process of filming a series of boxing drill videos.  Now make no mistake, these videos are proper boxing coaching.  I’ll explain in detail the logic behind each of the drills and demonstrate the method of the drill.  And believe me, these drills work.  But best of all, these videos will be free.  They will be available only to those who download the free reports Southpaw Versus Orthodox Explained! and 10 Equipment Essentials For Boxing Success!  I’ll have the videos complete at the beginning of 2011.  By downloading your reports and getting the MyBoxingCoach newsletter you’ll receive the videos straight into your ‘in box’ commencing in January/February 2011.  So, waste no time, enter your email address in the box on the right and get ready for a new year of learning!



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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tushar Goel November 2, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Where are these drills? Fran, could you please provide link for the same?


svenjamin December 24, 2010 at 7:49 am

I second Fredog. This site has provided some of the most concentrated functional combat sport knowledge I have had the pleasure of absorbing since I first started training and everything was new.

I love drills. In fact, my friendly training sessions with fellow site viewer Lawrence consist of some warm ups and conditioning, some padwork and fine-tuning of mechanical skills, and the rest is all drill drills drills. And drills.

Here are some of our favorites, which somehow evolved to have numerical names. They are all multi-skill drills, and we often talk about how both sides of a given drill are learning something:

ONE: one partner throws single punches of all varieties while other blocks/evades while maintaining attention to good weight distribution, footwork, and form.
Skills: defensive mechanics, maintaining technical composure under offensive pressure.

TWO: one partner fires any hard two punch sequence, the other partner must block/evade and immediately return the same two punch sequence.

skills: the ability to mentally take notes on what an opponent is doing. This is an important ability for the thinking fighter to develop! Also: technical composure under offensive pressure. the retaliator must defend in a way such as to preserve their balance for returning. Initiator has opportunity to experience with different pairs of punches and play with ways to create openings.

THREE: partners alternate throwing three punches with slight pauses, but no break between partners. The (very slight) pause between punches is because the partners are supposed to observe what targets open up in response to the previous punch and select the next blow to exploit openings.
Skills: creating combinations the create openings, reacting to the openings an opponent gives, NOT reacting in ways the produce openings, and the usual: technical composure under fire.

FOUR: one partner throws a four punch combination, the other defends (and uses footwork to get the hell away from a bloody four punch onslaught!) and immediately returns with a jab-cross-jab-cross (1-2-1-2 for those who don’t hate numbering systems).

skills: this is mostly a demanding footwork drill. evading while someone is coming at you, tracking someone down someone is running away (while maintaining good form!).

Hope this is of use to someone! I normally wouldn’t broadcast our personal training methods, but I figure I have gained so much from this site that I am obligated to share some.


Fran December 27, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Some excellent information there, you guys really have developed some excellent methods of developing skills! On the number system thing, I love the old 1-2, but other than this (as you’re aware), I try to avoid long numbering systems.

You’ll be interested to note that I’m putting together 12 drills (all on video) which will combine some of the skills on the site, but interestingly no punches. These vids will reach you via email some time in January/February. I hope that these will add to your existing regimen.

Well done on developing your ‘skills drills’, stuff like this is pure gold and I hope that some of the other site users are motivated to develop their own drills along the same lines; it’s a thinking business in the gym, and a reaction business in the ring!


Fran December 11, 2010 at 9:41 pm


Firstly, thanks very much for the compliments. I’m really happy that the site content is of use to you. The best way to get hold of the videos on the boxing drills (due for January) is to enter your email on this page (southpaw versus orthodox) You’ll get the 2 reports free and you’ll be receiving the extra videos when they’re ready. Take care and all the very best for the new year!


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