Advanced boxing combinations with stylish offensive and defensive moves are often goals for boxers to master. However, before any single punch is thrown, a boxer must establish a solid stance as the foundation for all future combinations. A proper stance is something that every boxer should establish early on and should often be revisited, ensuring a good base as boxers progress in difficulty. While it may seem basic, problems with technique in boxing moves can often stem from an improper stance.
A proper stance brings a boxer balance, stability and readiness. To begin with, keep your feet at a comfortable width, which should be a little farther than shoulder width apart. This ensures a stable base is created before moving any further. While you should not be standing completely straight up, it is helpful to remember to ‘fight your height.’ This means when you’re in a ready position, you are not crouched too far down or locked to straight in the legs. Remember that height is an attribute and you should use it to your advantage. If you are a tall person, don’t be afraid to use that height and arm length to your advantage and really stretch out with each punch.
When you are actually in a fight you can’t predict what your opponent will do next, so it is important to stand in a position where you can step in any direction. If your feet are too wide apart or too narrow, you won’t be able to step in according to what your opponent does without losing balance. Whether you need to advance in order to throw an offensive movement or retreat to avoid your opponent, a stable stance is key. You should keep your front foot between 2 & 3 o’clock and your rear foot between 1 & 2 o’clock. Everyone differs slightly so you should play around and see what feels most comfortable.
For your back foot, keep your back heel up like a sprinter coming out of the blocks, this is a critical cue. Make sure your feet are always positioned this way, and that you revisit this stance throughout your boxing workout if you stray from it. Keep your knees slightly bent in an athletic stance. Since you want to remain elusive against your opponent, always keep your torso moving, breaking at the waist, twisting and changing levels. You want to think about making your waist almost like rubber, reacting quickly to any scenario that might occur in the ring. By doing so, this makes it so any offensive movement your opponent can come up with, you will be able to react and make it into a positive situation for yourself.
Once you find the stance that works best for you, you can confidently proceed with advancing, retreating and learning other defensive movements like slip, slide and pullback. Maintaining a proper stance allows you as a boxer to stay in constant movement, stay aggressive, create space and distance between yourself and your opponent and create new angles to find your target. Boxing is an exciting sport with many offensive and defensive moves to learn, but everything is built off the basic stance and relies on a proper foundation.