Combat Simulation: Getting the Most from your Sparring Session

Two men spar in the boxing ring

Sparring offers fighters, from Boxing to MMA to Judo, an opportunity to test their skills against real live opponents. The experience of facing off against another human, even in a controlled setting, teaches you things that you can’t learn from hitting a bag.

To get the most out of a sparring session, though, you don’t just step into the ring and start brawling. If you don’t take a few key things in mind when you set up your sparring session, you may end up doing more harm than good.

In today’s article, we’ll discuss what you should keep in mind before, during, and after every sparring session.  

Continue reading “Combat Simulation: Getting the Most from your Sparring Session”

Using a Punch Shield for Boxing Training

coach holds punch shield for boxer in blue gloves

A lot of folks don’t understand the value of the Punch Shield. Why use a punch shield, when lighter, smaller punch mitts offer a more versatile training option?

But the Punch Shield absolutely has a place in your training. Held properly, a punch shield gives a fighter a similar experience as a heavy bag, but with more mobility. You can throw heavy punches, while your training partner moves you around the ring. 

Further, a Punch Shield reduces some of the wear and tear on the coach. Punch Mitts are great, but they don’t allow a coach to tolerate very many full power shots.

Read on to learn more about the Punch Shield and where it fits into your training program. 

Continue reading “Using a Punch Shield for Boxing Training”

5 Ways to Improve Hand Speed

Fighter hits the speed bag to develop fast hands
A fighter trains hand speed by hitting the speed bag.

They say, “Speed Kills”. People get excited about punch power. But fighters who can throw more punches than their opponent usually win the day.

You don’t need some innate, natural-born talent to have fast hands. As with every other aspect of boxing, you develop fast hands through deliberate training. It takes time. 

And like many other aspects of boxing training, you need to train your mind as well as your body. 

We gathered together five of the most fundamental exercises for improving hand speed. Read on to learn more.

Continue reading “5 Ways to Improve Hand Speed”

Focus on Fighting Styles, Part 1: The Swarmer

The fighter on the left has come in close to land a punch.

Once you’ve gotten past the basics and begin sparring, you may notice that the art of boxing is more than just standing toe-to-toe trading punches. 

A fighter should enter the ring with an overall strategy and specific tactics to make that strategy happen. How you box in the ring, though, doesn’t just begin from a blank slate. You have to understand fighting styles, the kind that you use and the kind that your opponent will use. 

There are many different fighting styles out there, but typically, most fighting styles fall into one of five categories: The Swarmer, The Brawler, The Out-Fighter, The Boxer-Puncher, and the Counterpuncher.

In our post today, we’ll focus on the Swarmer style.  Over the next few months, we’ll dive into each of the other four to give you a feel for the main fighting styles you might choose or see in the ring. Continue reading “Focus on Fighting Styles, Part 1: The Swarmer”

Core Strength Training – Boxing from Your Center

Preparing for core strength trainingCore strength is the unsung hero of a fighter’s physical development. It is the link in the chain that transfers strength and power from the legs to the arms and fists.

It is the central platform that provides stability to a fighter’s defensive movements.

It is the engine that powers a fighter through round after round of constant motion.

In every aspect of the game the success of a boxer relies on core strength.

Read on to learn how core strength fuels your in-ring performance. You can also see what kinds of exercises will help you build your core for maximum benefit in the ring. Continue reading “Core Strength Training – Boxing from Your Center”

Shadowboxing Fundamentals – 6 Tips for Improving your Training

For new fighters, shadowboxing looks kind of silly. You don’t hit anything, you make weird sounds, and you seem to be bouncing around at random. Shadowboxing with black hand wraps in the ring.

But if they really paid attention to a fighter who takes shadowboxing seriously, they’d see a fighter that is focused. They’d see a fighter that moves with purpose and precision. They’d see a fighter honing their technique like a pro. 

Shadowboxing forms one of the foundations of boxing training. Everything you want to do in the ring, you’ll perfect, by yourself, punching the air.  Continue reading “Shadowboxing Fundamentals – 6 Tips for Improving your Training”

Bagwork Fundamentals – 6 Important Tips when Hitting the Bag

We asked our friends at FighterCulture.com to write up their thoughts on some of the fundamentals of bagwork for us. This is a pretty good outline on some of the key concepts to making sure you’re getting the most out of your Heavy Bag work.

Hitting the heavy bag, commonly referred to as bagwork, is one of the most essential drills in combat sports like boxing, Muay Thai, or MMA. However, using the punching bag properly is a skill on its own.

man hitting heavy bag during bagwork training

In this article, we are going to talk about bagwork fundamentals and will give you some tips on how to utilize the punching bag the best way possible. Continue reading “Bagwork Fundamentals – 6 Important Tips when Hitting the Bag”

Conditioning Fundamentals for Boxing and Martial Arts

female shadow boxing in ring

Before a match, we often compare fighters based on their power and their reach. We tend to break opponents down based on how hard they hit.

What often gets left out of that discussion, because it’s hard to quantify, is a fighter’s overall level of conditioning. And a fighter’s level of physical endurance is often a more critical indicator of success than any other factor. 

But it doesn’t matter how hard you punch, if you can’t last long enough into the fight to land it.  Continue reading “Conditioning Fundamentals for Boxing and Martial Arts”

Interval Training for Boxing and MMA

interval training bag work with free-standing heavy bag

High intensity interval training (also known as HIIT) is perfect for boxers, MMA fighters, and other fight sport athletes. 

Interval training can help fighters increase power and improve endurance. In addition, HIIT routines mirror the pace of a typical bout by incorporating multiple intensity levels over the course of the workout.

For fighters looking to give themselves an edge over their opponents, or just a way to add some variety to their training routines, consider HIIT and other interval training options. Continue reading “Interval Training for Boxing and MMA”

Boxing Drills: Agility Training for Boxing Footwork

 

agility training for boxing - athlete doing side step with resistance bands at ankle and holding medicine ball

A lot of boxing training is oriented on what’s in front of you. Running, jumping rope, shadow boxing, bagwork–all of it tends to focus primarily on linear movement forward and backward.

But when you’re in the ring, you don’t just move up and back, you step in all directions. And that’s where agility training for boxing comes in.

Agility training teaches your feet to step quickly and smoothly out to the side, without losing your balance. It also builds up the muscles that support these movements to reduce the risk of injury.

If you want to be able to slip and slide in all directions around the ring, then you need to incorporate some form of agility training into your routine. Continue reading “Boxing Drills: Agility Training for Boxing Footwork”