The Boxing Stance – Do it Right!

by Fran on January 26, 2010

About the Boxing Stance

There is a very good reason why the very first ‘skill’ article that I post is about the boxing stance and on-guard position.  If we don’t get the basics of the stance and on-guard right, then any boxing skill that we try to learn will not be as good as it can be.

The need for balance, mobility and a sound body shape in boxing cannot be emphasised enough.  If you understand the boxing stance, and understand why it is so important, then you will be able to more easily develop the footwork, punches and defensive actions necessary to constitute an effective boxing style.

There are two types of boxing stance; orthodox and southpaw.  An orthodox boxer is someone who is naturally right-handed and holds the left hand and left leg in front, closer to the opponent.  Conversely, a southpaw boxer is someone who is naturally left-handed and leads with the right hand and right leg.  If you are a beginner, don’t get caught up in the notion that it feels more comfortable as a right-hander using the southpaw boxing stance.  As a rule of thumb, if you’re right-handed you are orthodox, if you’re left-handed you’re southpaw.

Here’s the boxing training video, then check out the mechanics and common faults below:

The Mechanics of the Boxing Stance

In order to reinforce the points made on the video I’ll outline them here:

  1. The feet should be a little more than shoulder width apart, with the front foot being at an angle of 45 degrees to the imaginary line drawn from the toe on the front foot to the heel on the back foot (the line is not so imaginary on the video, but you get the point).  By ensuring that the feet are slightly offset and a comfortable distance apart, you provide the best possible base upon which to develop the full boxing stance.
  2. Remain on the balls of both feet.  Never allow the back foot to go flat, otherwise you’ll have the mobility of an anvil.  Ensure the knees are bent slightly and relaxed, again maximising the ability to be mobile;
  3. As an orthodox boxer, the right shoulder and left shoulder should align to point in the general direction of the opponent.  This minimises the target area to the opponent and also offers more leverage when throwing punches.
  4. Bring the hands up to cheek level, turning the palms of the hands very slightly toward you.  This will have the effect of drawing your elbows in to provide protection for your body.  Make a fist with your hands, but don’t ‘clench’ that fist, stay relaxed.
  5. Rest your chin on your chest, without tensing up.  Effectively, you look ‘through’ the eyebrows.  By doing this, your chin will remain as well protected as it can be (punches on the chin often have a very undesirable effect!)
  6. Ensure that your body weight remains central or on the back leg.  Don’t fall into the habit of allowing your bodyweight to ‘lean’ onto your front leg.  A simple way to nail this is to not allow your nose to go past the line of your front knee.

Common Faults with the Boxing Stance

Common faults with the boxing stance include:

  1. Turning the shoulders ‘square on’, thereby offering the opponent a much greater target to hit.
  2. Losing the imaginary line from the toe on the front foot to the heel on the back foot, thereby messing up your balance.
  3. Going flat-footed, thereby messing up your ability to be mobile.
  4. Allowing your chin to raise above the height of the raised hands, thereby increasing the chances of being smacked in the mouth.
  5. Allowing your body weight to transfer onto your front leg, thereby being “front-heavy” and vulnerable to attack.

And there you have it.  Every other boxing training video that I post will be demonstrated from the static boxing stance.  It will become second nature to you as a boxer.  I will work in the orthodox position, but this can be easily transposed to the southpaw stance (to those southpaws out there, statistically about 1 in 10 of you, please don’t take offence!  I appreciate the wondrous mysteries of all things southpaw and fully intend to cater for you guys within this site…if you know how to use what you’ve got, you’ll give us orthodox types all the trouble we need!!)

A final tip, it is crucial that you examine your stance with the aid of a mirror (full length if possible).  The mirror is not to admire your fine muscle tone or questionable hairstyle, more to offer a window into what your opponent may see.  Understand the feeling of holding your stance whilst ensuring that no ‘faults’ are creeping in.

Related Video Articles:

Boxing Footwork – Moving In and Out

Boxing Footwork – The Pivot

Boxing Footwork – Side Stepping

Finding Your Range in Boxing

 

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

svenjamin April 24, 2010 at 4:04 am

Thanks for making this site! I come from a Muay Thai background, but I’m finding that the technical analysis of boxing far exceeds that of western Muay Thai currently available. I really appreciate your work here.

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Fran April 24, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Hey Sven

It’s rewarding for me that you find the site helpful, so thanks for the great feedback. More articles are on the way all the time, so keep watching! In the meantime, if you have any questions on the specific skills, I’m always happy to try and help. Just place a post and I’ll get back to you.

Cheers

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Karl June 6, 2010 at 3:41 am

These is an excellent series of articles\videos you’ve put together. As a (very) amateur boxer I’ll be coming back plenty of times to review what you have to teach. Thanks for your efforts in putting all this together!

You’ve pointed out a few things I have trouble with. I only recently started sparring and nothing shows off your vulnerabilities like having an actual opponent in front of you as opposed to a heavy bag.

After 6 months of doing boxing training strictly for fitness, I only recently started sparring. One thing I find very tricky is finding that range. I’m usually well inside my opponents punching distance or so far away that I have to move a great distance to hit him. It’s tricky staying in that zone where his punches fall short by an inch or two. I suppose this will come with time. Perhaps I should spend some rounds focusing strictly on finding the range? I usually try to stay well back but I don’t think this is the right approach. I was thinking about making a game of it and seeing how close I could get to his punches without actually getting hit. I know the goal is to have them barely miss so that you are always close enough to launch a counter attack.

I wonder. Is this something that you only ever know instinctively or are there some tricks or techniques to help you find ‘range’?

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Fran June 6, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Hi Karl

Thanks very much for the feedback, it really helps keep me going knowing that the articles are of use. In response to your question, I’ve added an article on a footwork drill that should give you some help. Give it a go with a training partner and let me know how you progress. Thanks again for your comments and I hope my response proves helpful.

Cheers

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Keith July 23, 2010 at 7:30 am

Hi Fran
Thanks for the videos and articles. I’ve enjoyed them and although I have viewed them a few times I often pick up something new or some concept gets reinforced. For example, last night I was hit a few times with the right during sparring and couldn’t figure out why. After watching your stance video again I’m sure it was due to my shoulders becoming square on during the sparring. Although my left shoulder was initially pointing towards my opponent I allowed them to become square on as the sparring progressed, making it more difficult to keep the chin tucked in.
Thanks
Keith

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Fran July 23, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Cheers Keith

Looking for solutions in the way you are is critical in boxing. Remember also to keep your left hand in a position so that it is always in the path of any incoming right hands. I’ll be getting some articles produced on hand defences; the left hand block is always good against a right cross, as is feinting and side-stepping to your right. If you can draw the opponent’s shot with the feint, there’s much less chance of it landing.

Thanks for the continued interest in the site.

Fran

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Panos December 18, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Hi Fran,

Thanks a lot for the article and the video on the stance. I started boxing three months ago, but still I had not figured out how to draw my elbows towards my body in a way that would just feel natural. When I saw your tip that I only had to turn my palms slightly towards me, I just felt stupid :-) Well, I am pretty happy that I came across your site after three months into boxing and not after three years… Thanks again.

All the best
Panos

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Fran December 19, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Hey Panos

Thanks for the comment. It’s good that you’ve picked up on that arm placement thing, it will work out really well particularly when you check out and use the defensive inside fighting article.

Thanks again Panos

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Dave August 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Fran, this website is a revelation when it comes to boxing.

A lot of people teach things in a sort of hodge-podge manner- “Okay, let’s look at this on it’s own”, and string a series of those together. You’ve taken every boxing technique and more or less dropped them down into two basic categories: “starting from a front foot push” and “starting from a back foot push”. And you make it completely apparent why the stance is so central.

I could see you as coaching champs, Fran. No lie.

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Fran August 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Very well spotted Dave, pretty much everything we do comes down to an initiating push from the front or back foot. It does make life quite simple, and simple is always good!

As for training champs, thank you, it means a lot!

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Dave August 14, 2011 at 4:22 am

Another quick question, Fran- do you have an opinion about whether the weight should be evenly balanced, or on the back leg? I find it a lot easier to keep my weight on the back leg; makes it much more likely that I’m not going to drift forward and have my face smashed in.

Also, are you gonna do any videos on other possible stances? Philly Shell, Peek-a-boo and the like?

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Fran August 16, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Hey Dave, sorry for the delay. Ideally I like to see the weight always be on the back leg. Often by having the weight on the back leg, as a boxer you can hold your feet in range and your body on the edge of range. This really helps when counter-punching. It also makes the process of defending much easier. However, even though I like to see the weight on the back leg, I wouldn’t correct the boxer being evenly balanced. By performing the range of skills as described on the site, the boxer will still spend a significant proportion of the time on the back leg anyway. The cardinal rule for me is that the weight doesn’t go onto the front leg (or more particularly ‘over’ the front leg).

On the Philly Shell and Peek a boo, other than maybe during fight analysis I wouldn’t really produce any skills videos on these. Why? Because I don’t coach them in the gym environment with the boxers that I work with. Well, maybe elements of ‘peek a boo’, but to be honest this is just the notion of keeping the hands really high (like maybe the double arm block) and putting in plenty of body movement. The term ‘Philly Shell’ is something I have only come across since being on line. In my real world boxing life, this had just not come up, even though I’ve read and watched plenty of stuff over the years. Having read some descriptions, it sounds the type of defense Floyd Mayweather uses a lot. I think FLoyd knows what he’s doing, but that’s Floyd isn’t it.

Cheers Dave

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Brett September 22, 2011 at 2:11 am

To follow up on a similar point, I like to box using a high guard. Its not a peek-a-boo, since I dont move my head enough. I just feel more safe and defensive. I feel I can get in range easier, since I am average or slightly below average height for my weight class. I Mostly I block and parry, moving in behind the jab to set up close range power shots while keeping both gloves around my temple area. I know that punching from a high guard is probably not optimal, since I shoot my punches from eye level instead of chin/shoulder level. What advice could you give someone with this stance? Also, I like the idea of members being able to send you videos of their matches, spars, workouts etc for feedback. Are you still entertaining that? That would be worth the price by itself in my opinion. Thanks!

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Fran September 22, 2011 at 10:36 am

Brett

Great comment. You know what, your style sounds very effective to me. Don’t ever feel that holding your hands high as you do will detract from any aspect of your boxing style, least of all punching. Have you checked out the article on the double arm block? Super effective, particularly in modern amateur boxing where blurring the line between a shot landing and not landing is so very important.

On the video submission thing. It is definitely something I’m looking at. Obviously time is the main factor, but I’m always interested to see what’s on offer and yes I do beleive that there may be some commercial opportunities in the longer term.

Thanks Brett, always good to get comments of this nature.

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Dave September 24, 2011 at 3:15 am

Hey, Fran.

I wanna practice this stuff at home, and I’ve got a little area where I can set it up- got a heavy bag on a stand with a speedbag, too, although the heavy bag isn’t heavy enough.

Anyway, can you give me suggestions on the dimensions for the cross you’ve got on your floor there? Feet, inches, paces, even? Much thanks,
Dave

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Fran September 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

Dave. Ignore the blue cross going left to right, that’s a leftover from some other stuff we work on in the gym. Focus on the white line. I’d say about 3 paces. You really need only enough to do a couple of movements forward and backwards, and remember our movements should be fairly small (for example moving forward should involve a movement of the feet of maybe 6 to 8 inches). Hope this helps.

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Chad September 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I have just discovered your website and come with zero boxing knowledge. I am joining a local boxing competition with hopes of winning and so therefore will need all the training and tips possible. Thanks

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Fran September 26, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Look forward to seeing how things go Chad. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the boxing experience!

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Brett November 7, 2011 at 1:41 am

I had another question if I may. Where do you want your lead foot/shoulder to align relative to a same-stance opponet? Let’s say two orthodox. You always hear about the importance of the foot positioning facing a southpaw, but you don’t hear much about facing orthodox opponents. Should it split their feet? Should it be inline with their lead? Or would there be any strategic benefit to being further inside or outside (like if your opponent has a big right hand for instance)? Just curious…

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Fran November 9, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Good question Brett, and apologies for the delay in responding.

I suppose the key thing to aim for is that you keep the opponent in your striking zone whilst spending as little time as possible in his striking zone. So, rather than think of a fixed position as to where your shoulder or feet should be, you could think about using the pivot and some diagonal movement to open angles both inside and outside. And you’re right, when fighting an orthodox you do want to consistently move to your left because as you rightly point out you’re moving into his heaviest shot. It might be worth checking out the report again on Southpaw V Orthodox as there is some stuff in there covering what happens when orthodox meets orthodox. If you can’t find it in your email folder, let me know and I’ll send it out to you. Also, have a look at the Pacquiao Fight Style Analysis article and check out his foot movement, I explain a little more there (on the Ledwaba fight).

Hope this helps Brett.

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Marko December 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm

great vid as usual.after years of training with my boxer friends and on my own i finally started boxing at this gym and my coach tells me i shoud stand much more square than you recommend. he says my feet are way to much in line. he also tells me that the toes of my back foot should be pointing much more inwards, say almos parallel to the line on your floor. now, this does add a little length to the cross and maybe, maybe enables one to throw combinations easier, i don’t know. i’m really confused now. i’m not that much of a boxer, but in my opinion i’m just too square and too open that way. i have the feeling that i would have to have mike tyson’s body movement not to get hit with that stance. btw i shadow box a lot and i kinda got used to your stance… i also have long arms (i’m 188cm tall, my reach is over 200cm) which imho should also be taken into consideration. i mean, maybe i really am doing something wrong, but…

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Fran December 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Marko, thanks for the comment. On the back foot thing, it’s really a personal thing. The great Cuban amateur Mario Kindelan actually has his back foot pointing backwards, and after 4 world titles and 3 Olympic titles I’d say it hasn’t held him back. I really don’t enforce holding the back foot in any particular position, I’d recommend playing around and seeing what happens.

Onto the side on/square on. I want to phrase this carefully. I would never coach any boxer I work with to stand square on, and that’s it. By the sound of it you’ve watched the vids and read the common faults (on the boxing stance article). This for me is convention, particularly in the amateurs. I make sure though that the imaginary line on the floor goes from the toe on the front foot to the heel on the back. A little wider is not a problem, but too much is because it makes the top half more ‘square on’. I just like to make sure that the boxers don’t have the back foot directly behind the front, this is a bad, bad fault.

This said, your coach is your coach and he can see what’s happening. Maybe your back foot drifts behind your front as you move in and out and your coach has spotted this? Check this out in the mirror as its a common fault with movement.

Good luck Marko, and well done for getting properly involved in the sport.

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Marko December 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm

hey fran! thanx for the quick response. yeah i’ve checked it out in the mirror and noticed that i instinctively move my back foot clockwise when i throw more than 1 or 2 jabs. bad habit i guess. so the objection is on point. thnx again.

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Fran December 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm

You’re welcome Marko.

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Mark Brackley March 24, 2012 at 2:55 am

Hi Fran,
I’m loving the site and the foundation. It really helps because I’m currently in Korea so my coach doesn’t speak any English. Not helpful for a beginner. One question about the stance though. On your videos your lead hand seems to remain close to your face even when you are at long range. My coach keeps telling me (at least I think he is) to extend my lead arm to help block incoming shots. To me this seems to take some of the sting out of my jab. Is this just a clash of styles or is one way better than the other? Thanks.

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Fran March 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Hello Mark. Really glad that the Foundation is playing a role in your boxing development, good stuff.

The extended lead arm is quite common in amateur boxing, especially with Eastern European boxers. It does have some positives. Check out the recent Wladimir Klitschko article, it’s covered there. After reading that feel free to ask any questions.

Hope this helps mate.

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Dave March 30, 2012 at 5:34 am

Hey, Fran.

Just a quick question about the position of shoulders in the stance and when one’s punching.

When one’s in their stance- side on to the opponent, hands up- do you prefer the shoulders to be held down, with the lats, or shrugged up, closer to the cheeks?

Similar, when punching, should one endeavour to keep the shoulders down low, or should they allow them to shrug up towards the chin.

I’m pretty sure that you’re going to say keeping them down, because it allows for a better transference of power from the legs through the arms, but I just wanted to make sure.

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Fran April 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Dave

Thank you for the question. My answer, as you say, is to keep your shoulders down. But, the focus is on relaxation rather than being conscious of keeping them down. The shoulders provide great protection for the chin, but this protection is provided based upon the head being tilted downwards so that the chin gently rests on the chest (the ‘looking through the eyebrows bit). By staying relaxed in this way you’ll generate all the power that you need because the shots ‘flow’ rather than being forced.

Hope this helps Dave.

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mel April 10, 2012 at 3:22 am

Hi Fran
Got a question thats been bugging me. When in a boxing stance how much do you turn your shoulder towards you opponent. If i was to lift my arms up at my sides would my left hand point directly at opponent? I feel like this is awkward and Im having to over reach with my right cross not to mention standing sideways to my opponent. I would really appreciate the help; thank you.

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Fran April 15, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Hey Mel

Thanks for the question. I really like to see the lead shoulder pointing ‘almost’ toward the opponent. So, when you jab lands you should be able to take a direct line from the target, down your arm and across both shoulders. This boxing stance works for all the reasons described in the article. Going more ‘square on’ is a kick boxing type stance, I believe is improves both kicking and defending kicks. But, being no kick boxing expert I stand to be corrected on that.

Thanks, hope this helps.

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Kevin June 17, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Fran,

I really feel awkward with my back foot perpendicular to that line. I prefer to keep it about 15 degrees toward the front. When I drill moving in and out with my foot at 90 degrees I’m not as fast or as smooth and I can feel stress in my knees. Am I in big trouble if I keep pointing my back foot a little toward my opponent? If so would you please explain why the perpendicularity is so awesome?

Thanks

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Fran June 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Hey Kev

When it comes to the back foot, you are free to experiment in terms of it’s position. Being strictly 90 degrees to that centre line is really not an issue. Some boxers like to have it pointing a little forward (like you), others pointing slightly backwards. It varies quite a lot. Get comfortable and use that position. It’s only the front foot that I feel strongly on the 45 degree position, very, very important.

Hope this helps

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Kevin June 21, 2012 at 10:05 am

Thanks so much

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Fran June 21, 2012 at 8:43 pm

You’re welcome Kevin, thanks for the comment.

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Connor October 2, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Hi Fran

I just started boxing and want to make sure im doing everything right! I am right handed but always feel more comfortable in the southpaw stance because i dont have much of a left hook in the orthadox stance. Would it be best to learn orthadox or just stick to southpaw?? thanks for any feedback mate

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Fran October 4, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Hey Connor

Thanks for the message. Many right-handers feel more comfortable as southpaw when starting out so it’s not unusual. My advice though would be to stick to learning orthodox. If later you want to try southpaw then fine, but right-handers work better in the orthodox stance.

Hope this helps and good luck with your boxing!

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BenJ October 9, 2012 at 7:50 am

Hi Fran, great site! I’ve been reading up on your posts from the start recently. (I suck at basics even after a year) Keep up the good work!!

I have a question about right handed being in southpaw stance. For my situation, I’m a right handed (when it comes to writing) but a left hander when it comes to sports like basketball and baseball like sports that require throwing with my left.

Also, I’ve been self-training (mostly) for close to a year. My question would be that: am I one of the cases where you have mentioned above (right handed people having the “more comfortable as southpaw” illusion) or is it fine that I’m going southpaw?

An in-depth explanation for as to why you think what you will think about my situation will be much appreciated (PS : I’m a sucker for logic!)

Thanks in advance! :)

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Andrew November 9, 2012 at 6:23 am

Hi Fran

Amazing site, I love it. I’ve been interested in boxng for a while and now I think I want to try the sport. Your site is a great help, so thanks. I wanted to ask a question. I’ve watched a few video and read some books and i found there is other type of stances. would you mind explaning a few other ones and tell me of the advantages and the dis’? thanks for the help.

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Fran November 13, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Thanks for the compliment Andrew. To be honest I coach only this type of stance, especially to novices. More experienced boxers may adjust the stance as part of their approach to a particular type of opponent, for example widening the stance to enable more explosive foot movements. Some boxers will stand more ‘square on’, taking a kick-boxing-type stance. This might improve punching power but has a key drawback of constraining foot mobility, so in the amateurs is a bit of a problem.

Hope this helps Andrew.

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Akshay January 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm

very nice, i always had doubts about the stance! mirror idea is good! il try to improve! thanks :D

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Fran January 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm

You’re very welcome Akshay. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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Shahir January 28, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I love your website! It is so helpful to a beginner like me. I have a question though. Should the heel of the front foot be raised or on the ground?

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Fran January 28, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Thanks Shahir. Always on the balls of your feet, so try to keep that heel slightly raised.

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Gatsby January 29, 2013 at 5:24 am

Hey Fran,

I’ve been training MMA for a little over three years but even so I find your site incredibly helpful. I have read a couple dozen of your articles so far and the advice transcends beyond just boxing, it has truly helped me in my training as well.

With so many years of training it’s kind of funny that I have a question on the most basic of articles but here it goes.

How detrimental do you think it is to stand flat footed? Staying on the balls of my feet tires me out quicker and I am not much of a mobile fighter so I don’t feel at that much of a disadvantage fighting flat footed. I prefer to stand and trade shots with my opponent relying more so on counter punching when they come in my range rather than getting my hits in then moving out of the way. I feel like staying flat footed gives me power since I am one with the ground and I can torque my body more this way.

I have found more success using this stance rather than I was always on my feet and I feel more comfortable this way. I’ve always prescribed to the notion that if something works then keep on doing it but I want to make sure that fighting this way will not become a hindrance as I excel to higher levels.

Obviously there are differences between mma and boxing so maybe you will not be able to accurately answer my question but if you are able to any help will be appreciated!

btw, great site Fran!

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Fran February 1, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Hey Gatsby

Thanks for the compliments and for the question.

Given that you are boxing MMA, then it’s likely that going flat-footed is not an issue like it is for boxing, especially amateur boxing. Foot mobility is vitally important, so being on the balls of the feet is pretty central. It’s why boxers spend lots of time running, jumping rope and generally developing the muscle groups to enable being on the balls of your feet for extended periods.

This being said, it’s not going to cause any real problem occasionally going flat on your front foot. On the back foot though it’s pretty much a no-no. As I said at the start though, you in MMA you have other types of opportunities and other types of threats to deal with so I couldn’t really advise on those aspects.

Hope this helps mate.

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Marc March 1, 2013 at 10:26 am

Hey thank you for this help. I just started boxing and this site is very helpfull.

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Fran March 2, 2013 at 9:32 am

You’re very welcome Marc, thank you for the comment.

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Marcus March 3, 2013 at 11:45 pm

Loving your lessons, and the attention to essential details. I’ve got martial arts experience, but your teaching is redefining the way I train. I’m one of those fighters equally comfortable and strong with orthodox and southpaw stances and love love mixing it up – any advice on effective ways to switch stance without leaving yourself vulnerable in the transition? Again, nice work with the lessons, really impressive instruction.

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Fran March 4, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Thanks Marcus, really appreciate your comment.

As for switching stance, you’ve really just got to experiment. Lots of switch hitters like to switch immediately following the back hand, either hook or cross and at long range. This provides cover for the switch. As I said though, just try it out.

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Marcus March 5, 2013 at 12:09 am

Cheers mate – thanks for the prompt reply. I’m experimenting with switching with a side-step or during bob and weave/peekaboo moves too. I’ve mostly done martial arts in the past and obviously used kicking to switch a lot.

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David Williams May 22, 2013 at 8:10 am

Hey Fran,

I am a right handed southpaw, I have seen you do not agree with this, why does it actually matter if this is how I feel more comfortable?
I have used an orthodox stance on many occassions, but the jab with the left hand always lacks speed compared to the right.

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Fran May 28, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Thanks for the question David. The primary reason that as a right-hander I choose to coach people the orthodox stance is that as a southpaw the back hand will be under-powered (although your lead jab might be a little more powerful). This is an approach that I’m sure the majority of coaches would also apply. There’s no reason though why your left jab should feel slower than using your right hand for the jab. I’d suggest more practice as orthodox, but ultimately it’s a choice for you.

Cheers David.

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pete June 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I Fran what part of the opponent should I be looking at is it their eyes gloves or shoulders or elswhere? Thanks. Top website.

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Fran June 27, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Hey Pete

My experience is that it varies from boxer to boxer and indeed from moment to moment. I for instance in general looked at the torso of the opponent. I suppose that this allowed me to use my peripheral vision to see all parts of the opponent’s body from the feet upwards, looking for clues as to his next move. Other times it’s looking into the eyes, more likely looking for clues as to state of mind etc.

Thanks for the question Pete, hope that my answer makes sense.

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Steve August 19, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Some fighters have really unorthodox stances and are famous for them, but as a trainer, do you try to correct them?

And what’s the deal with the unorthodox stance on somebody like, for example, Chuck Liddell or Anderson Silva? Do they just follow what their trainers say during training, then throw it all out the window when a fight comes? I always wondered about this.

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Dave December 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Hi, I have come to your website after watching a few of your videos on youtube which I found to be the best out there in terms of detail and explaining things properly.

I have never boxed but I am interested in giving it a go, however I do not think that I would be any good. In your experience are some people just not made for boxing?

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Sean May 25, 2014 at 10:18 am

Hi Fran,

Love the site. My gym is great for fitness but it’s difficult to get the time with the coaches to really work on technique. It’s really helpful to have your videos to break it down.

I have a question that I’m not sure where to post.

I still tense up quite a bit, particularly on the left/lead side when trying to maintain my guard or jab. It may be a stupid question but I believe a lot of (newer) boxers get told to relax more and it would be great to hear your input on specifically how to relax and keep your hands up. I’ve got an idea of the anatomy of it but I haven’t seen it specifically addressed.

I read an interesting discussion on how to relax when boxing here: http://www.saddoboxing.com/boxingforum/59936-specifically-how-do-we-relax.html .

My left shoulder often raises when I’m keeping my hand up, which I think causes a lot of the tension. If I lower my shoulder then I become unsure of exactly where or how to place my left hand.

Thanks again,

Sean

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Fran May 26, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Hello Sean

Thanks very much for the question, something a little bit different.

I suppose I could write a pretty major article on this – which I’ve made a note of to do so thanks for the tip :-) However, there are a few points that I suppose I would make to maybe try to help out in the short term (as you become more experienced and comfortable in the ring then your ability to stay relaxed even under some quite tense circumstances will improve:

1. Make sure that you keep your hands unclenched inside your glove until the very moment of impact. This really helps with keeping the arms loose and if your arms are loose (not ‘floppy’ and low) then this will help with your overall relaxed state.

2. When you tuck your chin into your chest (as shown in the vid), make sure that you simply let your head simply tilt; don’t ‘force’ your head down otherwise your tension will increase.

3. There are some tips in this article on managing fear. Relaxation and management of fear are linked.

4. Finally, put pressure on your opponent – you’re a lot more relaxed when putting pressure on rather than trying to deal with pressure. This is not about charging forward, it about being proactive and using things like feinting to ‘be the boss’. Here’s an article on feinting that might help.

Hope this helps mate.

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Sean May 26, 2014 at 6:25 pm

thanks Fran, that’s a great help. Specifics help a lot. I’ll work on those points.

All the best,

Sean

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Fran May 26, 2014 at 8:40 pm

You’re welcome mate, thanks for the question.

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