TITLE Boxing Blog

From inside the gym to around the world of combat sports, the TITLE Boxing Blog keeps you up-to-date with the latest MMA and Boxing news, training tips and fighting techniques. This is the kind of info you need to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.

mixed martial arts

  • The Pre-Fight Hand Wrap

    The Pre-Fight Hand Wrap

    By Jacob "Stitch" Duran

    With over 30 years experience in combat sports, to include boxing, MMA and kickboxing, I have been fortunate enough to work with many of the great fighters, past and present, to include Johnny Tapia, Raul Marquez, Tony "The Tiger" Lopez, Andre Ward, Amir Khan, Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, Randy Courture, Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva and many more.

    One thing I have learned through the years of working with these fighters is that every one of these gladiators depends on a trainer or cutman to make sure their hands are properly wrapped.

    Having wrapped over a thousand hands, I have seen just about every pre-fight injury such as bruised knuckles, damaged metacarpals, sprained thumbs and weak wrists.

    Having a good hand wrap is essential in making the fighter feel comfortable knowing that his hands are secured enough to minimize the probability of getting injured.

    Does gauze and tape make a difference? Yes it does!

    Along with using Old School Super Gauze from TITLE Boxing, I also use my new and improved STITCH PREMIUM Athletic Tape.

    STITCH PREMIUM is the first of its kind in combat sports to be water repellant. It also offers serrated edges for easy ripping.

    Along with those benefits STITCH PREMIUM Athletic Tape easily conforms to the hand giving you that knockout power.

    Bio:bio - Stitch Duran image

    Jacob "Stitch" Duran is professional boxing and mixed martial arts cutman. He's worked with
    the top athletes in both sports, including Urijah Faber, Forrest Griffin, Cain Velasquez, Anderson Silva, Andre Ward, the Klitschko brothers, Chris Algieri and plenty more.

  • Taking a Punch, Better

    Taking a Punch, Better

    How to Take a Punch

    How to condition yourself for getting hit.

    Being able to get hit and keep coming forward has always been an admitted trait in boxing.  Hearing that you have a granite jaw or a good "beard" is about the best compliment you can pay a fighter.   On the other hand, no one wants to be suspected to having a glass jaw or a “questionable chin.”

    Let's hope you don’t fall into the second category, but if you have any doubts or just want to go the extra mile to be able to "eat leather," there are a handful of exercises you can do to improve the strength of your jaw.  Obviously you want to avoid taking a clean blow, but if it happens, there are steps you can take to make your jaw more shatterproof.

    Your first line of defense is a quality mouthpiece. Don't cut corners or try to save money here. Your sense and cents are both precious, so in this case, don't be afraid to put your money where your mouth is.  Even if a high grade mouthpiece provides a small increase in your ability to absorb a punch, it’s worth the investment. Don’t you think?

    There are also a couple of exercises you can do to strengthen your jaw muscles:

    1. Place your fist under your jaw and apply upward pressure. While doing this, slowly open your mouth. Keep the pressure and the amount of resistance consistent. Perform this movement about ten times.
    2. After that, make a fist and place it against the right side of your jaw. Apply steady pressure and push your jaw against it and out of alignment. Reverse this movement and do the same thing on the left. Doing these two movements each ten times will work well.
    3. Next, place your fist on the point of your chin and jut your jaw out, again applying steady resistance. Do this ten times too.

    Another trick is an old timer’s approach. Fighters from the past have been known to chew on flexible, but tough materials to strengthen their jaw muscles. Jack Dempsey, for instance, constantly chewed on a piece of leather and HE had a rock solid chin. Although it's not as hard or doesn't sound as tough, gum chewing has some equal benefits. It might not be as demanding as gnawing on a piece of leather, but it's a little more socially acceptable and certainly more convenient.

    In the end, frankly, it all comes down to the fact that some guys are blessed with the ability to take a good shot, while others just aren't genetically gifted in  that way. In either case, the more you can do to NOT leave it all up to chance, the better off you'll be when that chin-checker moment happens.

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