How to Block Punches (step by step for beginners)

By Stevie Adams / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Hi there I’m Mike Gales for Everlast
Nutrition. In this video we’re going to go over basic blocking techniques for
boxing. My friend who’s going to help me out in this video has just started
boxing a couple weeks ago. He wants to try some sparring to burn some
extra calories. First he’s going to need to learn, the mantra that every
boxer knows,and that’s how to protect yourself at all times. If you’re
already an advanced fighter then maybe this video isn’t for you. In which case I
thank you for checking out this video anyway. You probably already know all
the things I’m about to show you. But, if you’re anything like my friend here, then this is what you need to know. You’re going to want to make yourself a smaller target by assuming a proper boxing stance. I’ll put a link about how to
do that in the description below. Basically you’re going to have your lead
shoulder angled towards the center of your opponent. Have your weight evenly
distributed between both legs. Keep both your hands and your shoulders up high
protect your face from any punches that you might not see coming. Don’t flare
out your elbows too much. Try to keep them in towards your body as much as you can. Now that you know how to stand and before you even block a single punch,
your first question should be where is exactly that you should be looking. I
know what you’re thinking duh you stupid dummy obviously I should be looking
directly at his hands. But you are what I like to call wrong! I like to use this
little analogy of looking straight down to the lines on the road while you’re
driving. Do that and the lines seem to be moving awfully quick. Look up ahead
and use your peripheral visions to look at the lines and they now seem to be moving quite slow. Even though you’re moving at the exact same speed. The same thing
goes here. If you look directly at the punches, you’re going to get punched in
the face. so I suggest that you look at your opponent’s upper chest. You’re
going to see everything by using your peripheral vision to pick up the punches.
I know you heard Mr. Miyagi say always look at the eyes. But in close quarters you’re never going to see your opponent’s eyes. That is unless you look up which is going to expose your face. Trust me on this keep your eyes fixed on
your opponent’s upper chest and you’re going to see everything. You’ll even
find it over a period of time that your brain is going to recognize certain
movements of his upper chest as being specific punches. Let’s
block a jab and for the purposes of this video, I’m going to pretend that your
opponent is not a southpaw. Your opponent is going to throw his jab towards your
face. To block it, you’re going to put your
rear and let me emphasize rear hand open and in front of your face. I turn my hand
open, so that it takes up more space. I do not block my vision. I also make
sure that I keep my lead hand up high just in case there’s a right hook or a
cross following that jab. Also make sure that your rear hand is
stiff when it comes out to meet the jab. Or else he’s going to punch right
through it. I also put my hand only a couple inches in front of my face. That’s an important point. You want to let the punches come to you. If
you don’t and you try to catch the punches out in front of you, you’re going to decrease your reaction time. Also some of those punches might
get through your outstretched hands and hit your face. As the jab comes in
you put your hand in front of your face to kill it. Nothing fancy, just have your
rear hand firm, palm open and right in front of your face to kill the jab. Next
up, let’s block a straight right hand. You may see some other tutorials that block straight right by using the lead hand like so. You can do that
but I find your opponent then has good leverage to throw a left hook right
through the middle of your guard. In a perfect world, I block a straight
right hand the same way as I blocked the jab. I use my rear hand as I take a small
step to the outside, to cut off the angle and a leverage of a follow up shot. I
also then have my lead hand to fire my own jabs or a counter hook back. The
world is not always perfect and sometimes the straight comes in too fast.
Or behind a jab, double jab or from an awkward angle. Then I’m left with this
second option. I placed my lead hand against my head and I used it as a
shock absorber. I rotate my shoulder to cut off the angle directly to my face.
This will happen often when a straight follows a jab, a double jab or a left
hook. If I tried to catch the punches like they do in the matrix, I guarantee
you that I’m going to get punched in the face. I catch the jab or a double
jab with my rear hand and then I place my lead hand up against my head as a
shock absorber. I then cut the angle to block the shot. Let’s move on to
blocking a left hook to the head. Once again we’ve all seen those old
karate movies where people block the hooks like so. Don’t get me wrong, I
those old movies. Realistically by putting my arm all the way out there I’m
giving my opponent openings. He will find a way around my
outstretched guard. What you want to do is, as your opponent throws a left hook
to the head, raise your rear hand and shoulder up, to limit the amount of
soft target exposure. That basically means that a punch landing on my gloves
forearm or shoulder is a much better option than having the punch land on my
face or my head. I’m going to keep my hand up against my head and it’s going
to act as a shock absorber. I let the punches come to me. I do not go out to
meet them. My arm just slides up against my head. I shrug up my shoulder. I keep my elbows in as close as possible. Most of all, I don’t block my vision. I keep my eyes on that upper chest of my of my partner. How about a left hook
to the body? Many beginners have a habit of
covering up their body like this. This will definitely block a shot to the
body no doubt. What’s going to happen if there’s a quick follow up to the head? Or
if you predicted that it was going to be a body shot but it happened to come a
little bit higher than expected? Maybe in your case you have some super
quick reflexes and for you it won’t matter. For most of us, it’s going to
be a better option keep our hands up as high as possible just in case. What
you might want to do keep your hands high and shift your torso towards the
incoming shot to cut off the angle. The punch land on your arms rather than
hitting the soft target of your body. Once again do not go on to meet the
punch. You need to let it come to you. Angle your torso to cut off
the shot to the body and catch the punches on your arm. Blocking a right
hook to the head. The principle will be pretty much the same as blocking the
left hook to the head. Let the punch come to you as you raise
your lead arm up. Keep it tight against your head. Shrug your shoulders up.
Try to cover up as much area as possible. You want your arms and shoulders to act
as shock absorbers to kill the punch. Remember to keep your eyes on your
opponent. Use your peripheral vision to pick up the shots. Blocking a right
hook to the body? Remember unless you got spider reflexes, then don’t block body
shots like this. Angle your torso towards
that incoming shot to cut off the angle. That way the shot lands on your arms
and not your ribs. You can keep your hands up high enough to block
combinations if you need to. Keep your hands up as high as possible. There is no doubt that they’re going to come down a little bit once you block the punch to
the body. But they should still be up high enough to make blocking
combinations to the head much much easier. Blocking uppercuts
uppercuts a tricky little shots. You may see a lot of people trying to block
the uppercuts with their palms facing downward and their arms outstretched.
That may work from a distance. The problem is that uppercuts
are usually very short-range shots. If you out stretch your arms,
there is a higher the chance that the punch is going to pass your guard and hit you in
the face. From a distance you could try and block the punch with your
rear hand have your palm facing down. Only slightly in front your face. I
always prefer to simultaneously shift my torso in a similar manner that you block
the body shot. Then also rotate at the same time so that I cut the angle of
any uppercuts splitting my guard. Keep both hands up high and tight. Then
angle your torso but also rotate. That will have uppercuts landing on your
elbows and your forearms. Not your face. You have now cut off the angle
of the uppercuts being able to come from underneath and split your guard. Blocking combinations. To block combos,
you can use all the individual blocks in this video and string them together.
Don’t worry with some practice and some repetition your brain is going to begin
to recognize certain patterns of movements. That’s really going to
help you to predict which punch is actually being thrown at you. The most
important principle is to relax and stay calm and to keep your eyes on your
opponent. Remember to use your peripheral
vision so you can actually see which plunges are coming. Even the best in
the world can’t predict all the punches being thrown in a quick combination. So sometimes you’re going to have to shell up and cover up, to protect as much
area as possible. I know this video is getting a little long. I’m
sorry about that. Let’s take a quick look at your defensive shell. This is
when you use your arms and your shoulders to cover up as much area as
possible. Think of yourself as being a turtle.
Where you raise up your hands and you keep your gloves tight against your head. Your
elbows staying close to your body. You shrug up your shoulders. You want to
keep your eyes on your opponent. If he is about to start blasting you, Then just sit there. Move your head or your feet to get out of the way. Try and get to a safe distance so that you can reset. We are not all Ali
who can pull off a “Rope a Dope” Again don’t just sit there and let
someone blast on you. One last little thought. Why not to shell up or block your
punches while you back up in a straight line? Your opponent can generate more
force going forward. He can also move forward faster than you can go backwards. For that reason it’s not wise to block punches or shell up going
backwards in a straight line. Instead of going straight back, it’s preferable
to pivot off to an angle. Contrary to what your brain may be telling you, if your opponent is about to start blasting you with shots, that you’re not going to
see, it is actually going to be safer to shell or block the punches moving
towards your opponent. That way you can smother his shots. this has been Mike Gales for Everlast
Nutrition. Please click below to like or subscribe. W’re constantly posting
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10 thoughts on “How to Block Punches (step by step for beginners)

  1. Hey Mike! I'm going to karate and we mostly use the more pretty looking blocks rather than effective ones. I like going there but I feel like my trainer would disapprove of me using the blocks demonstrated in this video even if proven more effective. What do you think about this and how should I handle it?
    (I understand that I'm going to a karate dojo and the blocks we use are part of karate I'm just interested in hearing your thoughts)

  2. This is better than 99% of the other Boxing tutorials out there!!!! Good, clear Voice Over description of what to do & not do,  & excellent camera work. Solid production values. My only (minor) criticism, is that I would have one of the fighters in a contrasting color, not both dressed in Black.                                                                                                                      Also, if you are going to wear Black tops, then make sure that BOTH boxers gloves are White to make the CONTRAST really POP out! I would (maybe) bring the camera a tiny bit closer on SOME shots, but that depends if you're trying to emphasize the upper or the entire body.                                                                                                                                            But thumbs up for this excellent Video. Whoever was involved put in a lot of thought & attention & work into this & knew what they were doing. Your work & effort is GREATLY appreciated by me & I'm sure many, many others who've been disappointed in so many obviously amateur tutorials made apparently by guys whose  sole qualification is they owned a camcorder, a computer & had a basement or gym available to them – but needed to learn "Basic Film Making 101" Thanks again!!! .  – – DJ,   NY, USA.

  3. My biggest problem in kickboxing is not being able to see my opponent when blocking a combination… any tips for that?

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