About The Pivot In Boxing
Before you watch the video, I think it will benefit you to read these few points. Keep reading....
The pivot is one of those often overlooked aspects of boxing. The main reason that the boxing pivot is overlooked is that on the face of it the pivot is not a 'glamorous' skill. The pivot doesn't for instance offer the potential for an explosive end to a contest as does a short range left hook. Nor does the pivot catch the eye in the same way that evading an attack by using deft slips and ducks can. So, if there's one thing I'd like this article to achieve, it's to provide proof that the pivot is the single most versatile skill that a boxer uses, providing options to unlock many an adversary. So here goes...
Here's 3 examples of the pivot being used in a boxing match. There are many more, but I think that these 3 are enough to win the case:
- You're taking on a boxer who closes the ground very quickly and pulls you into a short-range battle. You're not very comfortable and your opponent is very strong and powerful, looking to use strength to push you back. Use of the pivot allows you to cancel out the strength of your opponent by deflecting their line of attack without you having to retreat. You are free to unleash short range shots without having to give way to your opponent's greater strength.
- You're taking on a boxer who's supremely talented on the retreat but doesn't offer the same threat on the front foot. You can attempt to chase your opponent down, cutting off the ring, but you are aware that by doing this you'll be fighting to your opponent's strength. So what do you do? You take the centre of the ring, maintaining your position by pivoting to follow your opponent, and you are ready for the inevitable attack. You are controlling your environment by using the simple pivot.
- You're fighting on the back foot, with an opponent whose goal is to back you to the ropes and smash you to within an inch of your life. Given the intensity of your opponent's attack, you are aware of the potential for this destructive goal being achieved! Solution? Every time you feel the rope even brush against your back, you combine a pivot with a duck and spin away from danger, leaving your opponent to punch fresh air.
I could go on, the options are wide-ranging to say the least. So I'll assume for now that you are sold on the usefulness and versatility of the pivot in boxing and are now eager to know exactly how to execute this warrior's stealth manoeuvre. Check out the video, read the supplementary points below and let me have any questions via the comments option!
The Mechanics Of The Pivot In Boxing
To perform this gem of a skill, follow the steps outlined below:
To Pivot to the Left
- From the boxing stance position, push from the back foot (right) and allow the front foot to spin on it's ball.
- The objective is to shift our baseline (the line from the toe on the front foot to the heel on the back foot) through 45 degrees. The front foot rotates on the spot enabling the back foot to move across the the left. The stance is retained throughout the pivot.
To Pivot to the Right
- From the boxing stance position, spin the front foot on the spot and allow the back foot to lift.
- The same shift of 45 degrees takes place, only this time to the right. Don't be tempted to allow your body weight to go over the front leg, your weight should remain central or on the back leg...as always!
Common Faults When Executing The Pivot In Boxing
Given that there are very few steps in executing the boxing pivot, the number of commonly identifiable faults are likewise few. Well, actually, there's only one...but it's serious. All elements of the stance must be maintained at all times throughout the move. This means that you don't step across (with the back foot) and you don't allow your body weight to transfer to the front leg.
Hope you've enjoyed this article along with the video. It'd be great to hear your thoughts, especially if you could nail other opportunities for using the boxing pivot. Think laterally. Could the pivot be used in a Muay Thai or MMA bout, or would holding and grappling take over? Is the pivot more effective as an attacking tool, or a defending tool? The floor is yours...