Slipping Punches with Ease!

Slipping Punches with Ease!

by Fran on February 21, 2010


About Slipping Punches

Slipping punches offers a world of opportunity in terms of capitalising on the openings created.  In this video article I will outline some of the incredible benefits that you will reap from slipping punches.  You can save your good looks as well as make life pretty miserable for your opponent

When you as a boxer successfully slip a shot, you are within range to land any of a battery of your own shots.  By continually slipping punches, ducking punches and rolling (or the bob and weave) during a boxing match, it has the effect of making it very difficult for an opponent to target your head and also acts as a feint or diversion, which applies a constant level of pressure to the opponent during the contest.

It would be easy to consider slipping punches to be a reaction to a shot, as opposed to a proactive measure to control an opponent.  It’s very unwise to wait for a shot to come in order to effectively slip it.  Unless your opponent has ludicrously slow hand speed, then the laws of physics are very much against you!  Slipping punches should be used in conjunction with other skill elements, this approach will maximise the successes generated.

When referring to slipping punches, I talk about slipping ‘inside’ and slipping ‘outside’.  Slipping inside means that the body is shifted to the left of an oncoming straight shot (slips are a most effective defense against straight punches and uppercuts, although because of the slight drop in head height slips also offer some protection against hooks).  Conversely, we consider slipping ‘outside’ to be shifting the body to the right of an oncoming jab.  Check out the video, read the mechanics about slipping punches (inside and outside) and leave your comments below.

The Mechanics of the Slipping Punches

Slipping Punches (Inside)

The mechanics of slipping punches (inside) can be explained as follows:

  1. From the boxing stance, the first action is a push from the back foot which drives the rotation of the hips.  If you think of the stance being held on the face of a clock on the floor, the left hip would be in the starting position at 11 o’clock, whilst the right hip would be in the starting position at 5 o’clock.  Following rotation, the right hip will arrive at 2 o’clock and the left hip would arrive at 8 o’clock.
  2. As the rotation is taking place, the lead leg (left) is bent slightly at the knee.  This bending of the knee enables the hips to rotate as required.  The rotation takes place around the central axis as described in the video presentation covering the right cross.
  3. When the rotation is complete, the body returns to the starting ‘home’ position as per the boxing stance.

Slipping Outside

The mechanics of slipping punches (outside) can be explained as follows:

  1. From the boxing stance, the first action is a push from the front foot which in turn rotates the upper-body slightly in a clockwise direction.
  2. The rotation of the body takes the head to the right, out of the line of any oncoming punch.
  3. The body ‘snaps’ back into the starting position as per the boxing stance.

Common Faults When Slipping Punches

There are a number of common problems that can occur when slipping punches:

  1. The boxer falls into the trap of waiting for a punch to be thrown before slipping.  The chances of avoiding shots are greater if slips are used as part of a passage of skills e.g. throw a jab, slip inside and throw a mid-range left hook.  There is a discussion around this in the boxing combination range of articles.
  2. The boxer bends at the waist rather than using the legs to make the upper body move.  This very much reduces the boxer’s ability to be effective in counterpunching.
  3. The boxer moves too much to the left or right.  This has the effect of a) using more energy than is necessary and b) reducing the chances of taking advantage of your opponent missing with a shot.  If you make this miss, make them pay!

Slipping allows considerable leverage for counterpunching.  When you slip inside, think about the punching opportunities that are offered e.g. the mid-range left hook .  When you slip outside, look at the option of the right cross or the right hook at long range.  At it’s most basic, slipping punches is a simple mechanism for avoiding punishment.  When used as part of a passage of skills, slipping your opponent’s punches is a supremely effective option for landing your own shots, the fundamental requirement of winning a boxing match.



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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Tushar Goel October 27, 2017 at 1:06 am

Hello coach, I have 1 question. As you said we need to be proactive for defence that means we need to continuously moves our head. Isn’t it? The probable options are slipping both sides, lay back head, rolling. But the problem is I can do them separately but unable to do together so that head moves continuously.

Could you plz share some video/drill to practice the same.? Also can u tell whether this needs to be done when standing or moving?


Fran October 27, 2017 at 7:17 pm

Thanks for the question Tushar. Why not try the move before and after a single or group of punches (don’t ignore the duck either) – so slip – shot – duck, duck – 1-2 slip etc. When at long range stick to slip in and out and duck, strung together as feints.

Hope this helps


Tushar Goel October 28, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Thanks Coach. As i am beginner and learning my own as no coach available so it will take time to understand and practice. Also, do you mind to share some training routine that i can follow at home?

I am practicing your drill “Simple Movement and Punching” drill alternate days and have 5-6 combos to practice 1 min each on air and in next 5 min all one after other. I do running 2-3 times a week. Also, sprint, stairs and weight training once a week. 1-2 times a week i do some HIIT as well.

I am confused how i structure my routine, like footwork, defense/counter etc…


Fran November 7, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Hi Tushar

Sounds good. Look at Beginner Boxer Toolkit, that should help.


Michael June 26, 2017 at 7:08 pm

Absolutely wonderful instruction!


Fran June 27, 2017 at 6:31 pm

Thanks Michael, glad it helps


Jimmy Balantyne February 9, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Great site Fran. Always spot on.


Fran February 12, 2016 at 8:46 pm

Thanks Jim


Step February 6, 2016 at 2:28 am


Like the video very much , could u also do slipping for southpaw stance ? Any difference ?


Fran February 12, 2016 at 8:43 pm

No different at all Step, just tactical really in respect of being careful when slipping towards the orthodox right hand!


Anonymous February 15, 2016 at 6:06 am

Thank you


George September 26, 2015 at 4:15 am

Hi, I like the video alot. On the point of slipping giving additional leverage to counterpunching. I was just wondering., slip otside gives more leverage to a right cross or long range right hook. But what about a right hook to the body. Is is any good for that? Cheers.


Timmy Boy September 25, 2015 at 5:36 pm

Great video. Would I be right in saying that you can slip an oncoming jab to the inside or the outside. But that you should only slip a right cross to the outside? As to slip it to the inside means that you’re extremely vulnerable to a jab counter? Thanks


Dave Waterman September 23, 2015 at 4:22 am

I’m interested in your thoughts on the potential dangers of slipping inside, Fran. In an orthodox matching a slip to the outside moves the target out of line from either an incoming jab or back hand lead, which renders it a relatively safe move. Whereas slipping on the inside places the boxer’s head in line to take a right cross. This is a discussion I’ve had at some length recently with a number of coaches and has generated some passionate responses.


Fran September 23, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Hello mate

That is a perennial conversation isn’t it. I actually had one of my boxers (who had recently been on a squad with GB coaches) correct me regarding the the principle of slipping i.e. his view was that you always start with an outside slip, and the inside slip is almost a no-no.

My view in some bullets:

– The outside slip is (like you say) safer than the inside slip, no doubt, because you slip into the ‘safe zone’
– The outside slip allows you to counter with just your back hand.
– The inside slip allows a counter with both hands, so the potential increase in risk may give greater rewards (the risk-reward balance)
– As long as the boxer ‘gets’ the above then that’s my job done.
– There is no way I would stop coaching the inside slip.

To my mind nothing is certain, every move we make in the ring brings potential risk and potential reward in varying measures. An opponent could indeed throw a fast one-two and an inside slip performed at about that time might make both shots miss or might just as easily result in one of the shots landing. But, the left hook you throw back off the slip might put the guy away. Risk-reward.

Hope I haven’t rambled mate


Dave Waterman September 23, 2015 at 10:42 pm

You’ve not rambled at all, Fran. Your comments echo those made to me by a former England coach I was training with a couple of weeks ago. My own preference is for the outside slip by default for novice boxers developing to a combination of both outside and inside as timing, reflex and range appreciation improve.

This video supports your comments above and is an example of how devastating the inside slip can be when timed perfectly with a left hook:


Antonio May 5, 2016 at 12:08 pm

Good morning Fran, pardon my ignorance; in order to really understand the “slip” concept I need to know if “slipping inside” a “left jab” is the oposite procedure to “slipping inside” a “right cross”?.

In other words: When slipping inside a left jab I should move my head to the left of the opponent’s left hand and when slipping inside a right cross I should move my heat to the right of the opponent’s right hand?

Thanks in advance, it is a pleasure been here.


Alex February 7, 2015 at 2:04 pm


I am finding extremely difficult not to bend at the waist when slipping outside. The only way I can make it work is have my backfoot at 90 degrees and allow my front foot to pivot (like what happens to the backfoot when slipping inside). What could I be doing wrong?

Also, you advised below combining slipping with moving forwards/backwards. I struggle deeply not to bend at the waist with this combination (both inside and outside slips) and get all muddled up. Is the forward/backward movement a step (like walking) or a small jump?

Any advice welcome!


Ian June 17, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Hi Fran. I have just signed up for the first introductory videos and loving it. The videos are well presented and broken down in easy to understand segments. On the subject of slipping, could you tell me the best thing to use to make my own slip line for home use please?


Fran June 18, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Hello Ian. Thanks for signing up, glad the videos are helping. On the slip line, you could have a piece of string with a small ball at the end and swing it back and forth a la Mike Tyson, slipping when it’s in and behind you. Alternatively, you could place a line of tape vertically down a mirror. The correct slipping method will leave your head slightly at either side of the line (I particularly like this one, simple and effective).

Hope this helps Ian. Thanks for the question.


Anonymous June 19, 2014 at 7:57 am

Thanks for the reply Fran. I will try both of these methods. regarding an actual slip line, could you tell me the best material. I was thinking maybe a bungee?
Many thanks,


Fran June 25, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Simple string would do it mate. A clothes line maybe?


Ian June 30, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Thanks Fran. Will try both

Ron Karlis March 30, 2014 at 9:25 am

Fran when doing the slips is it acceptable to rotate your shoulders a little more than shown in the video?. These are great lessons, and your site is awesome.


Fran March 30, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Yes Ron, it’s not a problem. Just avoid the common faults and make sure the back is isolated and you’ll be great.


Mark February 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Another question 🙂

Maybe an awkward question, but do you always stay on the balls of your feet when you’re slipping inside and delivering a right cross? If I do that while doing the right cross it feels kind of weird.

Thanks again!


Fran February 16, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Yes Mark, always try to stay on the balls of the feet. The front foot can go ‘flat’ occasionally, never the back foot!

The ‘weird’ thing on the right cross might be over-balancing due to the front foot ‘pointing’ toward the opponent rather than remaining at 45 degrees. Hope this helps.


Mark February 12, 2014 at 10:49 am

Oops, I forgot the actual question: What am I doing wrong?


Mark February 12, 2014 at 10:33 am

Hi Fran,

I really like your website. It got me interested in learning boxing.

My question is when I’m slipping inside (whether it’s my left or right leg in front), the hip of my lead leg hurts a little bit during the hip rotation and bending of the front leg. I made sure whether I was folllowing the instructions correctly though.
My guess is I got some tight hips which in that case I should take things more slowly.

Thank you for your time and keep up the good work 🙂


Fran February 16, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Hi Mark

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

It may be no more than it being a new movement to you, and those muscles that you haven’t used before in this particular way may take a little time to bed in. If it continues though I’d suggest you get it checked out. There’s no reason why slipping correctly should have any detrimental effect on your muscles.

Hope this helps and I’m glad that you are enjoying working with the website.


Chikezie September 24, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Thanks for this. I used to only turn myself from the hips when practicing this. The push from the feet make a huge difference. I realize now how much energy I’ve been wasting. This one video cleared up so much. I owe you.


Fran September 26, 2013 at 8:30 pm

You’re welcome, thank you for the comment!


Justin May 30, 2013 at 8:49 pm

In your video, I noticed lines taped on the floor that I imagine are for working on your footwork. Can you elaborate on the drills please?


Fran May 31, 2013 at 7:05 pm

The lines are all about maintaining the off-set of the back foot. The line goes from the toe on the front foot to the heel on the back foot. The boxing stance video explains this quite well.

Thanks Justin.


Justin May 30, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Great video and explanations. Especially with not waiting for the punches. I tend to slip the first punch and then slip right into getting punched in the head trying to slip the other way. Any tips for avoiding the second and third punch? Thanks!


Fran May 31, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Thanks Justin. Just ‘daisy chain’ the slips, inside, outside, inside, outside. Get the timing right and it looks brilliant making the one-two miss and will really dent the opponent’s ego. Add in your own jab off the inside slip and more’s the better 🙂


Ben March 12, 2013 at 10:19 am

FRAN THE MAN! Love your work mate.


James March 4, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I got it! After about an hour of replaying this video again and again and recording myself to watch my form, I actually have it. It’s not easy at first but it feels more natural now. I actually look more like a boxer. Geez – I’m sweating buckets. Good vid Fran!!


Fran March 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Great stuff. Thanks James. Self-analysis on video is a really effective way of learning.


ste February 10, 2013 at 3:11 am

Sound that Fran. It’s the first time I’ve come across this website, there’s some excellent stuff on here.



Fran February 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Thanks Ste, appreciate it. By the way, starting the sentence with “Sound that” and having an Australian email address? You wouldn’t be from Liverpool by any chance?


ste February 22, 2013 at 3:06 am

Yes, from Walton, the Mrs, kids and I moved to Perth about 6 years ago. I used to train at the Rotunda now and again going back a few years, nothing serious, just general bag work etc.

I’m teaching a few of the boys at work a little bit, so this site is invaluable.


Anonymous March 15, 2013 at 5:14 pm

The family and I are coming home for a few weeks in June, l’ll be calling in at the Rotunda, if there’s a public session at the Sefton I wouldn’t mind popping in.


Matt July 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I love this video mate. So technically precise its brilliant. You have picked up on such a great point that I have never heard a trainer mention before, and that is proactive slipping/rolling. When you think about it, you’re so right! There is no way you can evade a punch by slipping as you see the shot being initiated. Is this the same with the roll as well? That if you avoid a shot by rolling it isn’t necessarily because you ‘see it coming’ but you should be rolling/slipping ALL the time, which will make more punches miss than hit you?


Fran July 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Thanks Matt. If you look at an obvious example like Mike Tyson at his peak (early on), constant and proactive movement was what generated a long list of victims. So many shots missed him and left so many openings for him to land. A moving target is tough to hit.


Novice April 14, 2012 at 2:10 am

Thanks a lot Fran for this great video and the article!

I finally understood the mechanics of Slipping. My grandpa often tells me “You have to move your head or someone else will move it for you”. Now I see what I was doing wrong.

Thanks again Fran and best regards,


Fran April 15, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Great stuff, your Grandpa is a wise man well worth taking heed of. Thanks for the comment, really appreciate it.


Anonymous December 29, 2011 at 7:43 am

can you pls. teach us how to do a broken rythm…thanks!!


Max Loh October 22, 2011 at 8:06 am

lol I’m like Karl; the piece of advice about slipping not being “reactive” is news to me 😀 it makes perfect sense to use it proactively and in combos, and I feel enlightened.


Fran October 25, 2011 at 8:16 pm

🙂 – A moment of enlightenment goes a long, long way Max!


svenjamin July 12, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I have been drilling this far more economical and weight-distribution maintaining technique for slipping since I read this article, and it’s really starting to pay off. When I can slip at least one of a barrage of punches it suddenly puts me a step ahead, able to easily observe and deal with everything else coming…and in a prime position to counter, of course!
This article/video alone make this entire site worthwhile for me.


Fran July 12, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Cheers Svenjamin. Comments/recommendations like yours give me the impetus to redouble my efforts andd keep putting out worthwhile content. This ain’t just a blog….it’s an adventure!!!


Karl July 4, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Quote…Fran ; “It’s very unwise to wait for a shot to come in order to effectively slip it”.

Oh dear oh dear. I wish I had learned this the easy way by reading it here first.

Actually, before I started sparring this is exactly what I thought you were supposed to do. I had a vision in my head of me slipping a punch, it went like this…

1) ah ha – I see my opponent is starting to throw a punch.
2) here it comes – I shall now decide if I am going to slip inside or outside.
3) outside I think, then I can fire a shot into his liver – yes, outside it is.
4) ok – now that I’ve decided I shall begin the movement.

Of course, in reality it goes something like this…

1) ah ha, I see *SMACK*

2) what the hell just happened.

Seriously though, there is one guy at my gym that could almost hit me at will. If he decided he was going to punch me in the face I got punched in the face…. until I began to use slipping as a proactive tactic and not a reactive tactic. I would begin to move in – whilst slipping/ducking – and very quickly about 50% of his punches would miss. That’s a pretty dramatic improvement.

Right now, I plan to focus entire workouts on slipping/ducking. I’ll be doing a lot of slip-rope training and maize-bag drills. But again, you really need strong legs to keep this up for multiple rounds.

Fran, how do you practice slipping and ducking?


Fran July 5, 2010 at 9:36 pm

OK Karl, good comment. Here’s a few tips on how to practice slipping punches:

1. Set a rule for yourself; “I will duck or slip before and after each punch/group of punches.” For example, look at the ‘Boxing Combinations’ category and add a slip or duck before or after each (try this left hook article).
2. It’s vital that you combine slips/ducks with foot movements. Get some space, and begin by moving forward as per the article. You need enough room to do about 6 to 10 moves forwards and backwards. Now, with each move forward or backward, perform a slip; inside/outside/inside/outside etc. Get a rhythm going and aim for consistent repetition. By combining footwork with slips, you’ll be able to unload hooks after making the opponent miss with the jab and better evade shots whilst on the back foot.
3. The above 2 tips involve proactively slipping punches i.e. not ‘waiting’ for a shot. To assist with developing some ‘contest instinct’ in terms of reactive slipping, work with a partner with some simple tech sparring. Standing still in your stance, have your partner throw 5 single jabs to your head (not too fast, and leave a gap between each shot). When the shot comes, slip inside/outside and be economic; the shot should brush past the sde of your head. By doing this, you are doing your ‘waiting’ during a controlled tech spar. With practice, you should make some improvement in terms of ‘instinctive’ slipping during open sparring/contests.

Good luck!


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