If you have any questions regarding Boxing, e-mail us and we will answer them.

faz@oxfordboxingacademy.com  

FAQ's:

Q: What If I just want to train and not compete?

A: You don't have to compete - we run sessions also for those that enjoy the training and do not wish to go in the ring.

Q: At what age can you start boxing and at what age do you have to stop?

A: The youngest we will take anyone on is 10 years old. Amateur Boxers can start competing at the age of 10 and will have to hand in their card on their 40th birthday.

Q: How long do you have to train before you can compete in your first Boxing bout?

A: We usually don't allow our Boxers to compete until they have sufficiently learnt how to defend themselve, as well as being able to throw a correct punch. Usually within six months new members would have learnt the basics of Boxing and could go against someone of their own ability, age and weight in a skill bout.

Q: What is the difference between Orthodox and Southpaw?

A: Basically, Orthodox Boxers are right handed people who have their left foot in front, leading with their left hand (Jab). They circle to the left, so they can bring their opponents towards their big right hand! Southpaws are the opposite: left handed people, with their right foot in front, jabbing with their right hand and circling to the right.

Q: What does "to throw the towel in" mean?

A: If a trainer thinks that during a bout, his Boxer has done his best but is not succeeding, to save him from further punishment, he litreally throws the towel into the ring to end the contest and accept defeat.

BOXING BASICS

Footwork -
First thing you need to learn, is the boxing stance. The stance is the basis for everything else you do, so take the time to get it right. The theory behind it is to create a stable platform from which you can unleash your punches and not fall over or be caught off balance.
Stand facing a mirror (it's a great way to perfect your technique), feet about shoulder width apart. Now take a comfortable sized step backwards, moving the foot which is the same as your dominant hand and at the same time rotate your feet about 45 degrees in the direction of the foot that moved.
For instance, if I am right handed, I will take a small step backwards with my right foot and rotate my feet 45 degrees to the right. If you are left handed, reverse the process. The heel of your back foot should be in line with the toes of your front foot.
The position should feel strong. Bend your knees slightly and feel for the floor through your feet. You should be slightly turned presenting a shoulder to your target. You should feel like no matter who came and pushed you, you would not fall over.

Your hands and head:
Protect your chin at all times. One good hit square on the chin could knock most people out.
Tilt your head down bringing your chin to your chest. With your head tilted down, it is as if you are trying to look up out of your eyebrows. Your hands are then brought up so the hand of your side which is forward is just below your eye and the other hand (of the back foot) is right beside your chin.
For example, if I am right handed, my left hand is partially curled and rests near my left eye, protecting my chin, with elbow tucked tightly into the body. My right hand is partially curled to the right of my chin, elbow tucked into the body. This is the boxer's stance and everything you do stems from it. You should be relaxed and loose, never tight. Hands are not clenched into fists, but loose and ready to strike out. You are stable and knees are slightly bent. You are ready for anything, able to defend against punches and deliver your own offensive arsenal.

Movement:
In boxing, you can basically move in four directions:
• towards your opponent,
• away from your opponent
• and to either side of your opponent.
Think circles; to step towards your opponent, your lead foot moves forward and then the rear foot closes the distance so you are back in your stance. To move back, your rear foot moves first, taking a small step back and then your front foot slides back to maintain the integrity of your stance.
To move to the left or the right, move the foot nearest to that direction first, then slide the other foot to get to the right stance.
Basically, the objective is to maintain your solid foundation which is provided by the boxing stance and when you move you take short steps, barely lifting your feet off the ground - it's more of a slide. You never cross over your feet and you never bring them close together. Doing so can land your backside on the floor as your opponent clocks you while you are off balance.

The Jab:
This punch has many purposes:
• Increase the distance between you and your opponent.
• Use it to set up other punches and punch combinations.
• Or, use the jab simply as a solid blow to your opponent's face.
Keep your wrists straight to avoid injury. Also, keep your elbow slightly flexed at the point of impact (otherwise, you might hyperextend it).Return your arm back to your body.
Remember, the punch always remains on one plane-throughout and retract your punch without weaving up or down or side to side. Do not allow your shoulders to lead. This may cause you to bend at the waist when making your punch. Keep your shoulders back. When throwing your jab, keep your muscles slightly tensed. It is important that the movement of your feet coincides with the movement and placement of your punch. Properly stepping with the jab will ensure that your punch is effective. 
 

Boxing Combinations
While one punch can be effective, when they are delivered in vollies of two, three, four, five or six they become devastating. That is the theory behind combinations.
Combinations take skill and stamina. You expend a lot of energy punching away and only through conditioning will you be able to last a whole fight.
Combinations require that you complete each punch correctly so that it sets you up for the next one. For instance, a jab will set you up for any number of punches. A straight right puts your weight in the right position for a left hook.
Combinations flow-they are never awkward to perform as long as all the punches are performed in sequence and with technical precision.
It’s easier to call shots by numbers, so lets familiarise you with some;
• 1-Jab
• 2-Straight Right
• 3-Left Hook
• 5-Left Uppercut
• 6-Right Uppercut
So, a 1-1 is two jabs, a 1-1-1 is three jabs.
These combinations are an effective way to throw a bunch of punches from a distance. It is imperative you recover completely after each jab so subsequent jabs are delivered effectively and accurately.
1-2
One of the most important and famous of all combinations, the mighty 1-2. In this, you throw a jab which closes the distance and sets up the head for the power punch of the straight right delivered right after.
The objective with the jab is to snap your opponent's head back which exposes his chin which you then nail with the right sending him to the mat. Throughout the whole sequence, you should feel firm on your feet, never off balance. If you do, you're not doing something right. It's one of two things, you are either reaching for the opponent or not recovering completely from your punches, both are big mistakes.
1-2-3
The other most important combination, jab/straight right/left hook. This basically completes the 1-2.
Same objective for the first two punches, jab the head to expose the chin, nail the chin with the straight right. This creates a weight transfer to the left side which automatically sets you up to land a devastating left hook. Perfecting these two combinations will take some time but make sure you do, they are all natural and like all combinations must flow. You'll have a pretty good indication when you are doing them right because it will feel right, not to mention the power of your punches will increase.
2-3-2 and 3-2-3
The right-left-right and the opposite left-right-left. The goal here is to time the weight shifts correctly. With every punch you throw, it should set you up nicely for the subsequent punch. The right shifts the weight over the left which is perfect for the left hook which subsequently puts the weight back over the right which naturally makes you want to throw the right again.
The challenge here is to ensure you are not just throwing a flurry of arm punches. You must get your body involved because that is where the power comes from. Then you will see true devastation as your opponent receives your offense from two different angles.
That's part of the beauty of combinations. Delivered correctly, punches start hitting you from all different angles. It makes defense that much harder.
The use of combinations while extremely effective, also requires extreme caution. It is easy to forget to recover after each punch when you send out the flock of arms, but every time you don't recover, you expose half your head and if your opponent realizes it, you’ll be sat on your backside!

Adding uppercuts into the mix: Word of advice, get the four combinations mentioned above perfected first, then worry about putting in the uppercuts.
Uppercuts are used in close and you do need to work them into your combinations but adding them is very hard to do correctly and takes a great deal of time and precision and dedication to master. When you are ready, here is a six punch combination for you: 1-2-5-2-3-6 Good luck with it.

Boxing Defense
Taking a punch is a personal thing and a lot of it is mental but you'll have to deal with it however you can, especially if you want to compete.
Some people can not handle getting hit, it immediately induces panic and instincts of fright while other people can get hit by what seems like a truck, shake it off and carry on.
The truth of the matter is that with 16 oz gloves, headgear, and an ounce of skill there is little chance you are going to be seriously hurt. Full speed blows to the head are absorbed quite well while blows to the ribs will probably cause bruising. Again, it all depends on who is boxing, but that is the generality of it.
The best thing to do, is learn some defense, thus minimizing the number of punches you are going to have to deal with altogether. There are quite a few things you can do to either avoid being hit altogether or at least absorb some of the incoming power so they don't do as much damage.
Another thing you are going to have to deal with is flinching. Again a perfectly natural reaction, but if you end up closing your eyes, you lose contact with your opponent and that can't be good.
Keep your eyes on your opponent you can react to what he is doing!

So what are your courses of action when that punch is coming in?

1. Your stance is your best defense: If you keep your hands up, elbows tucked into your sides and chin down, everything is protected, body, head, chin. This coupled with your constant motion or rhythm will keep you out of trouble 90% of the time. Never forget the basics.
2. Jab Catching: The goal is to absorb the punch as much as possible, eliminating all of its power. To perform, as the jab arrives, put your right hand in front of your face and keep your chin down. Pivot your right foot, brace and catch the jab in your hand which may bounce back off your forehead. (hence the reason for keeping your chin down) Catch them aggressively and immediately recover afterwards.
3. Parries: Stronger punches cannot be effectively caught so they need to be deflected. As the punch comes in, give it a quick tap with either hand, always to the inside which may throw your opponent off balance and give you an opening to take advantage of.
4. Parry body shots: Body shots can be parried as well by using a sweeping motion with your arm to the outside. Then pivot and slide in the opposite direction of the punch to set yourself up for counterstrikes.
5. Blocks: Here the goal is simply to take the punch, but with a part of the body which can absorb the power without sustaining damage. Generally that means bringing your head down slightly which raises your arms up, thus protecting your head and your elbows come in closer to your body to protect your body. The punch is absorbed by the forearms or shoulders. Roll with the blow to further lessen the impact.
6. Ducks: A duck is a flexing at the knees which lowers the torso. You then bend forward to lower your head more, ducking the blow and then return to the guard. You get back into your stance as quickly as you can. By the way, never duck an uppercut!!!!
7. Slips: These are kind of like ducks but they are initiated by your neck and head not your legs. They are quick side movements where you quickly dodge the incoming punch (usually a jab) and then return back to your stance. You can slip to either side, but remember if you slip to the outside, your opponent can not hit you because they are not in a position to throw an accurate punch. If you slip to the inside, you are still within the striking zone.
So what can you do specifically for each punch?

Defense against the jab:
• If you are fighting a right handed boxer, slip the jab to your left, a southpaw to your right.
• Catch the jab, brace your right leg, right foot and catch the jab with your right hand, make sure you keep your chin down.
• Parry right or do an opposite arm parry (left hand). If you do the opposite arm parry, you must recover quickly or possibly throw a straight right over your opponent's jab because you leave your head exposed for a straight right.

Defense against the straight right:
• Slip the punch as you did for the jab.
• Duck
• Parry Right or opposite arm parry, again watch this one.
• Right or left block - Bring the arms up, head down so all is protected, take the punch in the forearms and roll with it to absorb the impact.
• Rock - over flexed knees, rock back to avoid the punch by increasing the distance between you and your opponent. This is different from leaning. When you lean you have straight legs and are off balance, with a rock, you maintain your balance.
• Step back
• Shoulder block - turn your body and catch the punch with your shoulder.

Defense against left hooks:
• Duck
• Right Block
• Step Back

Defense against uppercuts:
• Right uppercut - right glove block
• Left uppercut - left glove block
• Move out of the way

Defense against body shots:
• Parry right - jabs to the body, bring arm down in a sweeping motion then recover.
• Parry left - straight rights to the body, bring arm down in a sweeping motion then recover.
• Right forearm block - against left hooks to the body - lower your forearms by flexing your knees and turn into the blow.
• Left forearm block - against straight rights to the body (or jabs), same thing, flex knees thus lowering the forearms to catch the punch, turn into the blow.

That pretty much sums up your defensive game, remember:
1. Always keep your eyes on your opponent, no flinching. 2. Hands up, Chin Down, Keep Moving 3. Use proper technique, don't overextend. 4. Recover immediately 5. Rock back, but don't lean back to avoid punches 6. Nice if you have defense, but you need to be on the offensive to win 7. Remain calm, calculated and make sure you aren't forecasting what you are about to do. If you're angry, you are making mistakes. This is all the basics you need to know to start boxing.