Today we’re talking about footwork, specifically how to punch while moving. Now it’s understandable why this is such a commonly asked question because when we’re first taught how to throw the punch, we’re usually taught to pivot on the foot, rotate the hips and extend the arm. But we rarely talk about the footwork that’s involved. We don’t talk about the rhythm or the range. So today I’m going to talk about some drills that you can do to be more mobile and agile in the ring.
Let’s take a look at the first exercise.
Okay, so like I said, oftentimes, when we’re first taught how to throw a punch, let’s use this straight right hand as an example today. It’s usually with a focus on power.
We’re taught how to pivot on the rear foot, rotate the hips so that we get maximum power, the energy drives up our legs, up our back, into our shoulder, and then as we extend our arm the energy transfers down into our fist, and then into our target, and that’s great, that’s not incorrect. However, that only works if we’re throwing a punch with someone standing right in front of us. They’re not moving, we’re not moving, but the fight doesn’t work like that.
When you watch boxing matches, when you watch MMA matches and the bell rings, they come out and they stay in what we call range five, they stay just outside of punching and kicking range. Otherwise, if they walked in, it would be like this. They’d both be getting punched, they’d both be throwing punches and it’d be a rock ’em sock ’em robot fight. You want to get hit without being hit. Okay, so let’s talk about the first drill, which is what I call the puppet string drill. It’s a great way of syncing up your hands and your feet.
So imagine that you have a string around your wrist to the same side ankle. So left to left and right to right. Now what you’re going to do is get in your fight stance.
And when you have full extension of your jab, your left foot should tap on the ground. So let’s say we’re advancing forward. So I throw my jab and it’s almost like I’m trying to create a sound effect with my foot.
Now I’m not stomping I don’t want to over exaggerate it, but it’s just a good reminder that when I’m at full extension, there has to be contact with the ground with that lead foot. So left and left. But look, now my stance is really wide. I don’t want to be too wide and lead into this right hand if I’m throwing a jab cross. So I need to pull that foot up forward the same amount of distance that I stepped with this lead foot.
So if I step six inches from here to here with my lead foot, then I need to step six inches with my rear foot when I throw that punch. Now notice I’m still in that exact same position like I showed you before. But some people will say, “need to pivot on that rear foot, “like you’re putting out a cigarette.”
A lot of people like to use that metaphor. What I like doing is doing that pivot midair and then just making contact with the ground with the ball of my foot. So I kind of stab that into the ground so that I have a nice back in with my right hand. We don’t want to ever have our foot up in the air with the exception of the Superman punch. But with this one, there’s still this contact on the ground and the pivot happens midair, okay, so there’s no extra friction, I’m not standing in one spot, I’m moving. So the way that we turn this into a drill is we step on the jab, step on the cross, step on the jab, step on the cross, we just find that rhythm moving forward and then we can also move backwards too.
So one thing you want to keep in mind is whatever direction you’re moving in, that’s the leg that needs to step first. So I just move forward to the left foot, the lead foot always steps first. Now that I’m moving backwards, the rear foot is gonna step first, then the lead, rear, lead, rear, lead, rear, lead, rear, lead, I’m going forward then it’s lead, rear, lead, rear, lead, rear, so you’re punching and you’re moving.
Now you can also take this to the next level.
You can also move in different directions. I can move out to my left so my left foot is gonna step first and after the jab. Then I feel the cross, left, now I’m going to the right so my right foot goes first so now you’re starting to see I can go forward, I can go to the side. You can really once you find this rhythm, you can really start to play with different angles movement while throwing punches. The next example of punching while moving is what I like to call the alley backpedal and it’s a great way of saying evasive, keeping your opponent at bay.
Maybe you’re trying to catch your breath. We’re just trying to frustrate them. So what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna move your feet in “C” shapes or half circles as you’re on the retreat, circling around the edge of the ring, so it looks like this. Now, what we’re going to do is also throw a jab to keep them at bay.
And it doesn’t matter if the weight’s on your left foot or your right foot, ’cause you’re not focused on power. You’re just trying to stick your hand in their face to keep them hesitant, and then when we see an opening, that’s when we can step in with the powerful one-two. Now we can also throw a punch while moving mid-air Now when I say moving midair, I don’t want you to think height, we’re not jumping high.
In fact, we’re staying very low to the ground, but both of our feet are coming off of the ground when we throw the punch. Just some examples are the Superman punch, the gazelle punch, and the diamond step. So let’s take a look at those. The gazelle punch was used by Mike Tyson very often. It covered distance and throw a powerful left hook. So what he would do is lower his hips up, bend his knees, now he’s gonna spring forward, both feet are coming off of the ground.
He’s gonna rotate midair and throw the left hook. So it looks like this, okay? Both feet are coming off the ground, I’m throwing that punch and by the time my feet land, that’s when the punch lands. Superman punch is another example, we see this in MMA very often, but you’re not jumping up and punching down, I’m staying low to the ground, I’m jumping in to my target. Right, so I’m lift this leg up and shoot it back for that counterweight as I throw the punch, and then this left foot here is just going to come hover off the ground as I move forward.
So it looks like this. Covering the distance, punching midair. And then the last one is the diamond step.
So the diamond step, I’m gonna trace a diamond with my feet. Looks like this. I’m gonna create a little distance, a little angle out to my right. So what I do is, my left foot steps out to the left and back a little bit, the right foot steps out to the right and forward a little bit.
So it comes here. Now I’m starting to get my head off the center line while I do that I’m throwing my jab and then I readjust, okay? So let’s, here, I can even switch to a southpaw stance, and then do it again, boom, boom, okay?
Bunch of different options, can punch while in the air. Alright guys, thanks for watching. So I hope that these drills helped with your understanding of rhythm and footwork because yes, technique is of the utmost importance. But so is range because if you’re not within distance, you’re not gonna land those shots. Guys, don’t forget to subscribe to get the fight tips before your opponent does.