This is the first in what will be an ongoing series of articles that explore what it takes to build the perfect fighter. These articles will lead you through the processes of laying the proper groundwork in the gym through the various stages of competition. The series will touch on some of the fundamental aspects of boxing, like delivery of punches and ring generalship, but will focus primarily on the mental and philosophical aspects of the sport. The basics are the basics the world over and, although most coaches have their own way of doing things, there is also a science behind the sport and there is little room for interpreting that in any other way than the way nature intended. There is a reason boxing is called the “Sweet Science.”
Approaching this series in the same way you would when you’re building anything correctly, we’ll begin in the same way…starting from the ground up.
A Need for Speed – Proper Footwork
An underutilized resource of many fighters is their footwork. Although they realize how important it is in relation to balance and movement, they fail to understand what a vital role it plays in both offense and defense. As a fighter, quick movements can carry you within your opponents range to connect and rapidly move you out of range before your opponent is able to counter.
A small step on the inside can quickly put you in position where you can hit and not get hit. By constantly moving, this puts your opponent in a reactive mode where he is continually being forced to readjust to be in a position to mount an offensive attack. Using footwork to step to the side of your opponent, you also take away their forward momentum and can then use that against him.