The science of body punching in boxing: tips and techniques
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The body punch is one of the most effective weapons in boxing. Yet despite this fact, body punches are still largely underutilized. Many fighters often go head-hunting too much, when they should be focusing on digging to an opponent’s body.
Every boxer should invest in body punching early, but not many do. That’s because body punches aren’t that easy to execute and require a level of understanding for both distance and defensive management.
Why Throw Body Punches Anyway?
In boxing, body punches have a crippling effect on opponents. When executed correctly, they can even score gut-wrenching knockouts. If you’ve ever been hit to the body with a clean punch, especially one that you weren’t expecting, you know just how much pain there is to be had.
There’s a loss of breath, also known as getting the wind taken out, which causes fighters to crumble to the canvas as they writhe in pain. Chances are, when an opponent hits the ground due to a body shot, he’s not getting back up. It takes real will and determination to recover from a well-placed body shot, not to mention supreme physical conditioning.
But aside from the flashy knockout effect, body punches are also strategic tools that boxers can use early in fights to sap the energy from their foes. By investing in body shots early, fighters can drain their opponents of stamina and by the later rounds, they will be ripe for the picking.
Against aggressive boxers, going to the body early can weaken them. There will be a sharp decrease in offensive output and punching power.
Boxing legends like Mike Tyson and Miguel Cotto often went to the body because they understood the debilitating effect it had on their opponents.
Other Advantages And Effects Of Body Shots:
Causes opponents to bring down their guard to protect themselves from body shots, opening up the head
It’s harder to recover from body shots than it is head shots. The pain usually lasts the entire fight and beyond
Impairs an opponent’s mobility. This is a great strategy against elusive boxers
It’s a great strategy against taller boxers
It’s also a great strategy against boxers with good head movement
There’s an age-old adage in boxing that says: “Go to the body, and the head will fall.”
What this means is that if a boxer puts enough work into the body of an opponent, eventually his opponent’s defense will fall and will open up pathways to land combinations on the head. If you’ve ever encountered an opponent who moves his head well and is incredibly elusive and hard to hit, perhaps the best strategy would be to go to the body.
Body Punching Tips:
1) Don’t telegraph your body punches
Always maintain eye contact with your opponents and try to mix it up. Go to the head, and to the body in variation. Never look down at an opponent’s body when you’re going to attack. This is an obvious giveaway and a beginner mistake. This also bodes well for your defense because your line of sight will remain alert to an opponent’s counters.
2) Pack on the speed
The distance has to be short and compact to maximize the power transfer. Also, speed greatly increases the probability of connecting on body punches. Of course, the more punches you land to the body, the greater the benefits. They have a compounding effect the longer the fight goes on. And no man is immune to body shots.
3) Don’t overcommit on your body punches
Being careful to not overcommit is something that can be said for all punches, but it is especially true for body punches. The reason being that when you overcommit on body punches, you are left wide open to sharp counters. It’s hard enough to close the distance on an elusive opponent, so make sure you strategically work your way on the inside before unleashing your combinations.
4) You can land a multitude of different punches to the body
With body shots, you can throw the whole arsenal: jabs, straights, hooks, and uppercuts to the body. The secret is having enough confidence in yourself to throw body shots with conviction and make a conscious effort to consistently go to the body every chance you get.
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