Boxing 101: The Punches


Boxing 101: The punches

Rhythm is everything in boxing. Every move you make starts with your heart.”

– Sugar Ray Robinson

There are two kinds of members at Choices Fitness Studio — those who love boxing and those who do but don’t yet realize it. The Boxmaster and its sequence “math equations” can be daunting. Here’s a quick course on the eight punches commonly used in a Choices workout:


This is the “aloha” of the boxing world. It’s hello. It’s goodbye. And it sets up everything. It gauges distance to opponent, closes the distance, and can keep the opponent off you. It's very quick and snappy.

Extend your lead hand, in a straight line, quickly to the head or body of the opponent. Get power from the legs, hips, and core. Turn your thumb down to the ground as you extend your hand and pretend you are trying to connect your shoulder to your chin. Bring your hand quickly back to cheek to protect your face!


Pure power — this is the closer. Like the jab it’s a straight punch, and the two punches are often used in combination. 

Generating all of the power from your back foot, hips, and core; drive off of the ball of your back foot. Pretend you are squishing a bug with that back foot and drive your hip and knee to the ground. Extend your back hand as you turn your thumb down to the floor. Bring your shoulder as high up to your chin as you can. Quickly shatter the soul of whatever you just hit and quickly bring that hand back to your cheek to protect your face.



“What the …?”

These are the sneaky punches that loop over your opponent’s guard.

Bring your elbow high to your shoulder, seeing it at a 90 degree angle. Hold your hand like you are holding a mug of hot cocoa or coffee. Turn your hips into the punch and squish the bug with the foot that’s on the same side as your punching hand. Nice! Now return to defensive mode.


Lights out…the party’s over. These are the punches that crush hopes, dreams and aspirations! These are power shots to the body or the chin.

Using your hips and legs to generate power, shift your weight to the leg on the same side as your offensive fist. Extend that hand up keeping the elbow bent at a 90 degree and and the palm-side of your fist facing you. Drive the punch through your opponent, then resume your fight stance.


Generally not packed with power, but Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali used these flashy shots to draw a ton of points from boxing judges. Bear paws can come from the lead hand or back hand, and are almost exclusively thrown to the side of an opponent’s head.

When a shot to the side of the head but the angle is too extreme for a traditional hook (without risking injury to wrist) these are the “go to” punches for speed fighters. Think snappy slap.

David Stone