It is essential that before you begin incorporating boxing & padwork into your training that you learn how to stand correctly with good posture and where to position your fists and arms to protect your chin and your ribs. You also need to learn how to move correctly to avoid being caught off balance and to also help you punch more efficiently. Even if you are bringing boxing into your training for fitness purposes only and have no intentions on sparring an opponent I believe if you are going to do something at least try to do it right.
Teaching points of boxing footwork
Like with most movements we can break boxing footwork down into basic teaching points. Understanding them is pretty simple but before it becomes an unconscious movement pattern you will need to practice practice practice. Be patient it wont come overnight. Try moving around your front room, gym, garden or where ever you have space whilst focusing on the following 7 teaching points:
1. Never cross the feet
When we cross the feet we no longer have a good strong base to throw punches from and to absorb punches, you also increase the likelihood of tripping over your own feet.
2. When moving forward lead with your front foot
When moving towards your opponent, punch bag, or focus pads step forward with your front foot first followed by the back foot.
3. When moving backwards lead with your back foot
When you move backwards always step back with your back foot first. You should only need to take small steps, just enough to get out of range of your opponent or whoever is holding the pads.
4. When moving left lead with your left foot
Try to get out of the habit of just moving backwards and forwards. When you want to get out range you can also move to the outside of the punch. If you are facing a Southpaw moving to the left should put you on the outside of their jab.
5. When moving right lead with your right foot
When you want to get out range of an orthodox boxer moving to the right should put you on the outside of the their jab.
6. Punch when stationary
You may have heard of the expression ‘You cant fire a cannon out of a canoe’. Which means if you want to produce any significant force you need a strong and stable base to do this from. What is more stable one foot or two? So when you throw a punch make sure you have both feet on the ground.
7. Keep your guard up
This goes without saying. If you drop your guard your chin is exposed and then it could be Goodnight Vienna!
Once you can move well then it is time to learn how to punch.