Now that we’ve established the standard Ready Stance and the basic Defensive movements, let’s take a look at the basic Boxing Blocks and Covers. These are simple textbook techniques that can be utilized against punches and high-line kicks (from the midsection up).
The beauty of standard boxing cover techniques is that the training of defense requires that you recognize the angle of attack, and not the individual attack technique. In that end, a high kick is defended with the same cover for a hook from the same side (but with more body movement to help mitigate a lot of the force of the attack) as it is the same the angle of attack. Granted, there are certain counters that exist for particular techniques. However, these specific counters are learned through drilling and sparring. Since the block is your last line of defense (literally) it is best to learn it first. Once your cover techniques are instinctive, it is a lot easier to add layers over that.
There are 5 basic Boxing Covers: The Jab Catch, High Lead Cover, High Rear Cover, Lead Body Cover and Read Body Cover. I will detail each as if you are in an orthodox stance, and your opponent is also in an orthodox stance.
From the ready position, place your rear hand in front of your face by about 12 inches (it should end up right next to your lead hand) to receive the punch in your palm. Do not just hold the hand out in front of you
, but smack into the punch so that it does not force your hand back into your face. Resist the urge to pat the punch away to the side, as that will bring your guard hand out of position. Many times this is used in conjunction with a slip or pull to bring you out of range or away from the direct line of the punch, and also with footwork to bring you in range for your own counter attack. This technique can be used against straight punches to the face.
High Lead Cover:
From the ready position, bring your lead hand up by your ear (as if you are doing an Uppercut/Up Elbow) and rest either your fist or your fingertips on your skull above the ear. Turn your lead shoulder toward your opponent, tuck your chin and dip your stance to cut into the angle of their attack as you receive the attack on your forearm or upper arm. If you lean far into the attack, the attack will connect with your upper arm and shoulder. Do not place a flat palm against your ear
as the suction created by your palm impacting your ear can ring your bell fiercely. Do not hold your arm out to the side of your head
as you bring up your cover. I’ve seen many competitors hold up their arm in a high cover as they block a head kick, only to get rocked as the kick continues through and sends their own fist into their temple. By keeping your lead hand in contact with your head and turning your shoulder into the attack, you create an oblique angle for the attack to be deflected with, while offering your arm as a barrier. This technique can be used for hooks or high kicks coming to your lead side. When blocking a kick, you want to incorporate footwork and movement to take a lot of bite out of the impact.
High Rear Cover:
Just like the High Lead Cover, but you bring your rear hand up and turn your rear shoulder toward your opponent as you dip your stance to cut into the angle of the attack. All the above prescribed conventions apply. This technique can be used to block hooks, overhand punches, and high kicks coming to your rear side. Again when blocking a kick, you want to incorporate footwork and movement to take some of the bite out of the impact. The legs are natural shock absorbers, and much of the impact can be mitigated by bending your knees and dipping your stance a few inches.
Lead Body Cover:
From the ready position, bring your lead elbow tight to your ribs and turn your lead shoulder into the attack, and bend your knees to lower level a few inches as you receive the attack on your forearm and upper arm. Try to receive the punch on both the forearm and upper arm simultaneously to lessen the amount of cumulative tissue damage to your arms (this can cause a lot of muscle fatigue and can slow down your defense and offense with that limb). With your chin tucked, your lead hand will still be high up next to it. Your rear hand should still be held up high next to chin ready to block any subsequent attacks coming from the other side, or (even better) ready to launch a counter punch of your own. This is real simple and economic in movement. No dropping of the hands and you still cover your vitals
. This can be used against uppercuts (both to the body and head), hooks to the body, and mid-level kicks to your lead side.
Rear Body Cover:
Similar to the Lead Body Cover, bring your rear elbow tight to your ribs, turn your rear shoulder into the attack, and bend your knees. Same rules as the Lead Body Cover apply. This can be used against uppercuts, hooks to the body and mid-level kicks to your rear side.
And that’s a simple summary of Boxing Defense over the last 3 posts. It is an intuitive, simple and economic system of defense. However, as simple as it is, it is probably a larger task to train this portion of stand up than any attack technique. Rounds upon rounds, and hours upon hours have to be committed into the training of defensive techniques, upper body movement and footwork in order to become an elusive opponent with air tight defenses. Unfortunately, it doesn’t yield results as quickly as straight stand-up offense which is probably the reason why we see so little of it in MMA competition. Besides that, causing your opponent to miss is hardly ever considered highlight reel material (unless you’re Emmanuel Augustus
In the next post (or so) I’ll apply the above theory and techniques to the OP’s questions.
and Savage Strikes
by, Mark Hatmaker.