Breakdown: Defensive Fundamentals by Aladino Rodriguez and Isadoro Alice
How would you like to learn the sweet science of boxing from the best? That is what dynamic striking has brought you from Cuban boxing coaches Isadoro Alice and Aladino Rodriguez.
These two coaches have helped to produce some of the most elite boxers and Olympic champions in the world both in the junior and adult and now have put together an instructional on the fundamentals of boxing for anyone who wants to start boxing, all the way through to high level boxers who want to fine tune their technique. Fundamentals of boxing are things you see, and you don’t even realize you’ve seen them. Yes, you see a boxer throw punches, and of course basic punches like the jab are part of the fundamentals of even the best boxers. However, there is plenty more to boxing then throwing punches. When was the last time you saw fighters throw punches without moving their feet? Or without defending oncoming punches from an opponent? Anything that can happen in boxing, there will be fundamentals for. Head movement, footwork, blocking, etc. it all starts with the basics.
In this fundamental video, Rodriguez and Alice provide in detail breakdowns of the intricacies of defense in boxing. The two primetime coaches begin the video by explaining how to defend against on of the more basic, yet most used punches, the left jab to the face. As Aladino Rodriguez throws the jab, Isadoro Alice places his back hand directly in front of his face at the exact target the jab is heading for, and opens his hand to expose his palm, blocking the oncoming jab with a makeshift wall, the hand block. Alice states that it is “the first defense we teach and it’s the most easy one”. Rodriguez steps in to explain how fighters can avoid a simple mistake that plenty of boxers have made when using this defense.
Alandino expresses the importance of not extending the defending arm out in order to block the jab, as doing so could leave your face undefended. Fighters defending the jab should wait to defend until the jab has reached the fighters back hand, the hand closest to the fighters chin. Even with this defense being the easiest and first taught defense in Rodriguez and Alice’s curriculums, it is one of the most used defenses in boxing due to the defending boxer’s ability to block and counter with minimal movement. The coaching duo begins to demonstrate the defense with Aladino blocking with the palm of his hand every time Isadoro throws his jab.
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After explaining the hand block, the Olympic boxing coaches show the second technique in their defensive arsenal, the deflection. As Aladino punches this time, Isadoro shows how to deflect the punch by taking either hand then slapping the oncoming punch off to the side of its intended target, Isadoro’s face. Aladino expresses the importance of smacking the wrist of the opponents oncoming punch so that the parry will have maximum effect, then continues to demonstrate the classic deflecting maneuver before proceeding to the next few defensive movements.
Following the initial defensive movements which involved making contact with an opponent’s punch, the top tier boxing coaches move on to head and upper body movement drills to avoid punches altogether. As Rodriguez throws his jab, Alice rolls his front shoulder forward, leaning into his own body and out of the way of Rodriguez’s punch. Alice keeps his hands up as he dodges the punch, and as Rodriguez states, Isadoro keeps his vision by looking straight over the knuckle line of his front hand while dodging. Immediately after avoiding the punch, Isadoro returns back to a proper fighting stance. Being the high level coach that Aladino Rodriguez is, he expresses the importance to other coaches that coaches need to make certain the fighters who are punching, punch where their partners face is, not where they are moving to allowing for proper performance of the technique.
Another way to avoid being hit by an opponent’s punch is by combining another fundamental movement of fighting, footwork. Rather than staying in one spot and using upper body movement to avoid a punch, the coaching duo show how fighters can use their footwork by performing a step back as an opponent throws their strike. As shown in the video, a step back is the defensive equivalent to the step forward a fighter takes when they throw a strike. As the fighter striking steps forward with their front foot as they punch, which is proper technique to maintain balance and power in the punch, the fighter defending simply steps backwards with their back foot, in a sense, mirroring the movement of the oncoming striker and maintaining distance. When experienced fighters are preparing to strike each other, they stand just outside of the range needed to hit their opponent, knowing that when they can reach their partner, their partner can also reach them. This defensive technique utilizes that initial distance between fighters so that in the time it take for the fighter punching to step forward and close that distance, the defending fighter can step back and maintain distance away from the punch, as if nobody ever moved. Fighters stepping back in defense should put enough weight on their back leg to push quickly back to starting position, or even to launch forward into a counterattack.
Aladino and Isadoro continue the video with many other fundamentals of defense against an oncoming jab, including more blocking, head movement, and footwork techniques. Some of the moves in the video require less precision, while other require very precise movement with impeccable timing. Regardless of the amount of work that a fighter might need to put in to develop the correct technique and intangibles, all of the techniques are important, and fundamental.
Now is your opportunity to take advantage and learn them from the best!