ORTHODOX BOXING STANCE
When it comes to the fundamentals of boxing, there isn’t anything more important that you need to get correctly more than your stance. The stance is the foundation of basically every movement you can make in boxing, from your footwork to your head movement, especially in your punches.
If you don’t have a proper stance, you can't move well, you can't hit as hard as you possibly could and you can’t take punches as well as you could, meaning that you could get knocked down or maybe even knocked out.
What this article covers:
- What is the Orthodox Boxing Stance
- How Does a Boxer Become an Orthodox Fighter
- Defense from an Orthodox Boxing Stance
- Footwork from an Orthodox Boxing Stance
- How to Train the PrimaryBoxing Stance
That's why it's very important to train and understand your stance so that you will always be in the best position to fight, to move and to take hits.
The first thing that you need to know about your stance is what stance you are taking. When it comes to boxing stances there are several that you can find, especially when you watch the sport at the highest level. However, stances like the philly shell or the peek-a-boo are not ones that you should start using when you first step into a boxing gym.
When you first step into a gym, you’re most likely going to learn the most fundamental stance in boxing and this is the standard orthodox method of standing. If you’re really a novice you might be asking what does this particular stance mean in boxing?
What is the Orthodox Boxing Stance
To keep things very basic the orthodox boxing stance is where a fighter has their right hand and right foot in the rear, with their left hand and foot in front. This is done because most people and therefore most boxers are right-handed. That is what most people are going to hear when they ask about this particular stance.
If you are new to boxing you might be wondering why a fighter would have their dominant hand in the rear, when if they had it in their lead they could use it more often. However, a big reason that fighters tend to put their dominant hand in the rear is that it is often the harder-hitting hand and most fighters simply do not want to waste that power by having it in the lead, where it will get less rotational force to use on its punches. Having the dominant hand in the lead also means you will be using it more often and therefore you are more likely to tire it out, possibly leaving you with a less powerful other arm in the rear.
This is why it is recommended that right-handed fighters put that side in the rear and have their left in front. However, fighters who are left handed are also told to put their dominant side in the rear, that side being their left, which means that their right side is in the lead. This is what is known as being a southpaw fighter or taking a southpaw boxing stance for southpaw stance boxing. Now there are plenty of examples of fighters that were right-handed fighting from southpaw, as well as vice versa, but for now, we are just going to focus on the standard orthodox boxing stance.
Some fighters even do something called switch stance boxing where they move in and out of each stance
How Does a Boxer Become an Orthodox Fighter
When a fighter is focused on orthodox style, they will predominately be using their lead hand, that being their left one, as a probe, mainly using weapons like a long and quick jab to maintain distance and step up other shots and combinations. This is especially the case when trying to land bigger punches with your rear hand. Since the right hand is in the rear, it will take longer for it to reach your opponent, that's why it is advised to throw a strike with your left side first, before throwing anything with your rear so that you can disguise your attacks. This will make it so that your opponent is less likely to block or even counter your more powerful strikes.
When it comes to how to properly throw your strikes, it all starts from the stance and the movement of the feet to create rotation. When it comes to jabs, these will mostly be arm punches, from the orthodox boxing stance you will throw your jabs frequently and they will mostly be arm punches. If you want to add more power to this punch you can rotate your lead foot inward or move forward with the strike. Doing either or both of these will at power and range to the jab.
When it comes to throwing the left hook you are going to get your left arm into a horizontal position with either the palm facing towards you or towards the floor. You are then going to rotate your left foot, knee and the left side of your hip to the right to get rotation in the strike. The same is done fro the left uppercut.
When throwing the right hand straight, also generally known as the cross or the 2 in orthodox boxing, you are going to rotate your right leg so that the right heel is off the ground and you're on your toes. You are also going to want to let your right knee sink and point straight to the floor. This will cause a drop in your level which is commonly known as sitting on your punches. During that rotation, you are going to clench your right fist and let the fist come forward, ending with the palm of the right hand facing the floor. The same motion is done for both the right hook and the right uppercut.
If you’re trying to target the body of your opponent, then you don’t want to punch straight down from a tall posture, this will leave your head opponent to counters. This is why you need to change your level when you target the body to keep yourself safe. You can do this by bending your knees and squatting down and then throwing your strikes.
Whenever throwing punches from an orthodox boxing stance you will always want to keep the non-punching hand raised to the temple. It is common to drop the opposite hand when punching but this is a big opening that opponents can take advantage of.
Defense from an Orthodox Boxing Stance
When it comes to defense from an orthodox boxing stance, there are generally two kinds. The first is blocking, where you put your arm in the way of your opponent’s target to defend it. The second one is head movement, this is obviously only done when punches are coming at your head but this way you dodge the punch and also set up counters.
Focusing on blocking first, to defend straights from an orthodox boxing stance you are going to want to either catch or parry the straight punches from your opponent. You can catch your opponent’s straight by putting the palm of your glove in front of your opponent’s straight punch to stop it. Parrying a straight is very similar, to do this you basically slap down the straight at the top of your opponent's glove to push it down. Doing this is slightly riskier than catching but it does leave your opponent open for counters. If you are doing either of these make sure that they are on the same side. That means that if you are catching or parrying your opponent’s left straight you should use your right hand and if you are countering the right straight you should use your left.
For uppercuts, you will want to do the same thing as parrying and keep the same rules that you would for dealing with straights.
When it comes to blocking hooks to the head you are going to want to get the glove to cover at least your ear but ideally, you’ll go to cover the back of your head. Think about this motion like going on the phone but try not to bring your elbow up too high so that you don’t expose your body.
When it comes to blocking punches to the body from an orthodox boxing stance it is best to just drop your elbow in front of the shot, whether it's a straight, hook or an uppercut. This will protect your body while minimizing the exposure your head gets.
When it comes to head movement, for straight punches you will always want to be on the outside of the punch, so that your opponent can’t easily hit you with the other hand. This means that if you are slipping a left straight you want to move your head to your right and the other way around for the right straight. To do this you are going to bend your knees and bring either shoulder to the side that you are slipping to. Think about bringing that shoulder to your knee. This gets your head off center to dodge the punch. When it comes to head movement you don’t actually want to move your head its mostly about the movement of your legs.
When you bob away from hooks you want to focus on bending your knees and squatting low to get under them. This way the shot goes right over your head. You don’t want to just look down or bend at the waist as this puts you in a bad position that your opponent can take advantage of.
Of your bobs you can also move to take a superior angle on your opponent.
Of course, if you don’t like either option there is always the very first form of defense, not being there in the first place and you can have that be the chase using footwork.
Footwork from an Orthodox Boxing Stance
In this stance, as it is with all other stances it is also important to move and use proper footwork to cover or make distance. In basic boxing terms what does went the distance means in Boxingthat is the direction that you’re going in, that foot moves first. For example, if you are trying to move forward in an orthodox boxing stance, you should move your left foot first as it is in front and vice verse when you want to move backwards.
If you are going to move to your right you will want to start the movement by moving your right foot into position first and then following up with the left and the opposite way if you are moving to your left. When you move you should always end up back into your stance with the same distance between your feet that you had before you moved.
You are going to want to avoid crossing your feet at all cost when you are fighting in this manner as this will leave you massively vulnerable. From a position where your feet are crossed, you can’t properly throw any strikes with power, as from a crossed position you can’t add any rotation into your punches and therefore you get no power in them. You are also much more susceptible to being hit when your legs are crossed and if you are hit while in this position they are going to be much more damaging.
Getting hit while having your feet crossed is more likely to have you be knocked down, which could lead to a standing 8 count or even a stoppage if the ref deems it so.
This is why it's important to practice your basic movements and footwork with basic footwork drills.
How to Train the Primary Boxing Stance
When it comes to training your orthodox stance for boxing, there is really nobody better at it than the creator of A Million Styles Boxing, coach Barry Robinson. Barry Robinson focuses on what many people would call beginner drills however you should not overlook these drills, even if you’re a pro.
Doing his drills in will help you develop footwork patterns that will always have you in your boxing stance with no extra fluff that could put you out of position. His drills include movements like front back and side-to-side, as well as circling. On top of that, he also covers topics aside from footwork that every fighter should know about.
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