About the Mid-Range Left Uppercut
Uppercuts are technically the most difficult shots to master. If we look at the two mid-range uppercuts, the right uppercut (back hand) involves more actions for the body to undertake and as such is more difficult. This said, the mid-range left uppercut is still a challenge, in particular because it requires a modified rotation of the hips, unlike that described in the other shots covered such as the right cross , mid-range left hook or mid-range right hook .
As with the mid-range left hook , the mid-range left uppercut is not in isolation a 'power' shot, it is more appropriately described as a scoring shot or a set-up shot for other power shots (e.g. as a pre-cursor to a right cross ). To generate true power in the shot, it should follow a skill that provides extra leverage, for example an inside slip or a mid-range right hook .
When learning the mechanics of this boxing technique, ensure that you keep an eye on the trajectory of the shot. Don't let the left hand drop too low as the shot goes, otherwise you could be on the very wrong end of a big right hook coming back the other way! Boxers always look good when they land a well placed uppercut, it's a shot for the purists. Master this shot and other shots will come easy!
The Mechanics of the Mid-Range Left Uppercut
When throwing the uppercut, be aware that the left forearm will provide some defensive cover, allowing oncoming straight shots to be blocked.
- From the boxing stance, the first action is a push from the front foot. The push or 'thrust' should be ’sharp’ and should drive the left hip upwards and clockwise at the same time. The right hip rotates in line with the left hip.
- As the rotation is taking place, the left hand rotates clockwise by 90 degrees, so that the palm faces you.
- As the shot approaches the target (accelerating as with all other punches), the forearm should be perpendicular, with the elbow pointing directly at the ground.
- As the shot lands, the fist clenches, 'snapping' onto the target.
- On completion, the arm is returned to the starting position as quickly as possible, providing effective defence against counter attack.
Common Faults with the Mid-Range Left Uppercut
The following problems can occur when throwing the mid-range left uppercut:
- Remember that if an uppercut lands and the arm is not vertical, then it's technically not an uppercut it's a hook. Whilst this isn't a particularly troublesome problem (based on the logic that if a punch lands then it's a good punch), understanding the distinction between hooks and uppercuts will assist your understanding of boxing punches. It's also worth noting an uppercut should travel between the opponent's guard, so if it's vertical it has more chance of not being deflected.
- The left arm drops before the shot goes, exaggerating the uppercut. The boxer can feel that by winding the shot up in this way that more power will be generated. This is not true as all that happens is that the punch is telegraphed and a big hole is made in your defence before your shot even gets near the target.
Work on the uppercuts, they really are masterful shots to throw and provide an excellent weapon, particularly against the kind of opponent who seeks to rush forward to get inside a longer reach. Leave any comments or questions below and I'll post a response.