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Boxing Basics


boxing basics

Boxing Basics: How to Do the Jab, Straight, Hook and Uppercut



If you are just learning how to box, the most important thing that one should learn is the boxing basics, which is the four basic punches. These fundamental punches are the key to winning a fight, either by knockout or by unanimous decision. Over the years, many boxers have developed their own styles of punches and call them by their own names, but all those variations and combinations were grounded in these four basic punches.

Boxing Basics: The Four Fundamental Punches

Learning how to box is not easy. Even though there are only four basic punches, learning to do them by heart may take some time. It is important that a boxer should know the differences between each punch, their purpose and proper execution.

Here are the steps on how to do the four basic punches:

  • Jab

  1. To do the jab, shift your body weight forward.
  2. Prepare your hand for throwing the punch.
  3. Move your full body twist to support full power to your hands.
  4. Throw a snappy but powerful punch to your target.
  5. Twist your wrist just before it reaches the opponent’s face.
  6. Quickly withdraw your hand back to the on-guard position.


Mastering the jab punch can be a great weapon for the boxer. This is usually the punch for preparing the distance before throwing another punch, usually a straight.

  • Straight

  1. For a left straight, your right side of the body should be slanted towards your opponent as you throw the punch. Do the opposite for the right straight.
  2. Shift your body weight to the forward feet to support the punch.
  3. Assure a good balance before you extend your hand.
  4. Extend your hand fully and powerfully and target the face.
  5. More importantly, expect a counter attack from your opponent, so pull back your hand to the guarding position.


A straight punch is good with combination. Always anticipate a counter punch, so a straight punch is best accompanied by a hook or uppercut for best results. For someone just learning how to box, a good practice can begin with one-two combinations.

  • Hook

  1. Keep a short distance from your opponent.
  2. Bend your arm about 90 degrees, preparing your body to initiate the strike.
  3. Your body weight should be 70% in frontward.
  4. Quickly snap your punch to the side of the face or body of your opponent.
  5. Pull back your hands to the original position.


A hook punch is hard to block, therefore it should be mastered for perfect execution in a fight. Also, in learning how to box, blocking should also be studied.

  • Uppercut

  1. Maintain a short range with your opponent.
  2. Try to keep a space where you can throw an uppercut. Once you see a chance, prepare your hands by moving it backward/downward.
  3. Bend your knees slightly but make sure you don’t lose balance.
  4. Twist your hips from the direction where your uppercut will come from.
  5. Throw your punch in an upward direction targeting the chin or the upper abdomen.
  6. Go back to the original position and anticipate for a counter punch. Prepare for blocking.


An uppercut is thrown in close range positions. Avoid throwing an uppercut if you’re far from your opponent because he’ll be able to see the punch coming.


More Tips on How to Box Effectively

  • Practice more often.
It may sound cliché but practice indeed makes perfect. It can help you master the basic skills in boxing.

  • Learn it by heart.
Keep in mind that boxing is a mental game as well, so every technique taught by your instructors should be memorized.

  • Discover yourself.
Know your own strengths and weaknesses and work on them. Find out your dominant hand, your best punch and practice using them in a sparring session.

  • Set a goal.
Always measure your improvement. By doing this, you would know if you are scaling up or not. Some exercises may work for you and some may not. At first, you will have to discover which one is best for you.

More lessons on boxing basics can be provided by your trainer. It would help if you can read more resources and check out the tips given by the professionals. You can join a forum of boxers and learn from their stories and sharing. Ask away questions to the people whom you know could give you the best answers. Of course, you can get the best answers from the professional trainers in a gym.