Boxers are known to be fit and tough, yet agile and rhythmic. The sport is rapidly growing, aided by a recent influx of super models and influencers throwing their dukes up - what Victoria’s Secret Angel doesn’t box? Traditionally, boxing was dominated by crooked noses and gritty gyms where only million dollar babies survived. However, a new breed of boxing studios is emerging that makes boxing a little less intimidating. They alleviate the fear of cauliflower ears, and some even give you lemongrass-scented towels after your workout. These studios promise a "fighter fit without getting hit." UNDRCARD Boxing Studio in Calgary, Canada, is one of the studios at the forefront of this movement. They are putting a fresh new stance on boxing by applying a boutique studio concept; mixing boxing with a big sound system and light show, while adding a dose of street art and culinary culture. A combination that will entice people to try a sport they otherwise may not have
It’s nice to know what’s up before stepping into a boxing class, it can be a bit tricky if you’ve never tried it. We've teamed up with UNDRCARD to fill you in on some boxing basics. Below you'll find 6 basic punches and 3 defense moves to get you ready for your first class. These moves can occur in a variety of combinations and contexts, giving you a solid boxing foundation.
First, get into your fighter stance. Hands in fists. Fists to cheeks. Elbows tucked. Now, take a small step back with the dominant side of your body. The dominant side of your body is the side you may write with, high-five someone with, etc. For example, if you're right-handed take a small step back with your right foot.
Punch power comes from the body, not your shoulders. Your feet, knees, hips, and core all work with your upper body to pack that punch. Shoulder injuries arise from punching with shoulders or arms only. Also, your punch will be faded unless you put your body into it.
For the purpose of this article, there are 6 punches in boxing. Easy right? Boxers number the punches because it’s much easier to explain and work on combos that way. Before we explain the 6 punches below and for the experienced boxers reading this, we acknowledge that there are more cues to these punches. However, this a beginner’s guide. Also, these instructions are for right-handed people. If you’re a leftie, please reverse it.
This is a straight punch with your left hand. Arms go straight out with a 95% extension. Twist your hand at the end so the thumb is almost facing the ground. Imagine punching with your first two knuckles.
3. LEAD HOOK
This is a side punch with your left hand. Arm is bent at a 90-degree angle. Remember, put your body into it. Again, twist your foot, using your knee and hip in conjunction with your punching arm.
5. LEAD UPPER CUT
This is a punch from the bottom with your left hand. Your palm faces up and the punch travels upward, as if you’re trying to get someone in the chin. Remember, put your body into it. Avoid swinging your arm back before swinging it up. Keep it tight.
That’s your offense, now let’s practice your defense so you can duck those punches!
DEFENSE | BASIC RULES AND SAFETY
Keep your hands up to protect your face. Always be on your toes moving around. Don’t bounce up and down like a bunny, slide and swoosh around. Float like a butterfly before you can sting like a bee.
Quick twist away from the punch so that it passes your face, you can slip to either side. Think of how wringing out a towel looks -twist your torso and shoulders at the same time while your lower body stays put. Remember, the movement is subtle.
JAB 1, CROSS 2, LEAD HOOK 3, REAR HOOK 4, LEAD UPPER CUT 5, REAR UPPER CUT 6. SLIP, ROLL UNDER, STEP BACK. Now imagine doing a 1,1 ... 1,2,3 roll under to the left, 3,2,3. That combo feels great!
Punching stuff is fun, sometimes it’s nice to just, you know, slide on some gloves and smash it. Especially when the music is up, the lights are low, and the instructor tells you to fight for something. You’re awake. You’re present. Your strength is real and tangible. The feeling of victory and defeat will make you a champion inside and outside of the studio. What are you waiting for? What are you fighting for? See you, and your 1,2,3,5,6 combo, in class!
Photos by: Asim Overstands