After stance, footwork is the second most critical aspect of boxing because it is fundamental to your ability to perform offensively and defensively. Proper footwork can maximize the power and effectiveness of your punches, assist your defensive techniques, and allow you to effectively navigate the ring.
Footwork is all about balance.
Without balance you are both an easy target for a knock down, but also are incapable of generating powerful punches yourself.
For this reason, at all points of movement, a boxer should be balanced. Just like in our basic boxing stance, your weight should be distributed evenly between your front and back foot, with you weight primarily on the balls of your feet.
Short and Quick Movements
When you are moving, you are vulnerable. Because of this we must avoid long strides that hinder our balance and make us an easy target.
Short and quick movements let us spend as little time as possible in the process of moving, and more time in a balanced stance.
Which Foot First?
When moving, you always move the foot closest to the direction you want to move in first.
- When moving forward, you move your front foot first
- When moving backwards, you move your back foot first
- When moving right, you move your right foot first
- When moving left, you move your left foot first.
Moving your first foot leaves you momentarily in a wider stance, but this is better then a stance with legs crossed. Keep your first step short, so that your stance is not so wide that you are vulnerable.
Step and Slide
After your first step in the direction you want to move, your second foot always slides into place following your first foot.At the end of this slide, you should be back in your basic boxing stance.
Movement in boxing consists of many of these steps-and-slides in succession. As you attack, retreat, and rotate around your opponent, you are continually stepping and sliding in short, quick, bursts.
You’ve learned the proper boxing stance and footwork, now learn about: