The Clinch – Learning boxing at home? Beginner boxer – training alone and need feedback?
Questions, doubts or just feeling plain frustrated with your training?
Another great question sent in by Caspar about the clinch.
Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge. I follow sneakpunch.com from the Netherlands.
I’ve got 2 questions:
1 – what’s the best way moving out of a clinch position without getting hit, or even better: which punches are best thrown when moving out of a clinch?
2- I know stepping sideways is preferred above stepping backward, and certainly above leaning backward, but which foot moves first when stepping right from an orthodox stance. (I would think right because it is fastest, but aren’t you likely to get hit with a left hook to the body or head?) Also is it useful to ‘lock’ you opponent’s front foot by placing your front foot just outside/against his?
Thank you for following sneakpunch and thank you for your questions
1 – What’s the best way moving out of a clinch position without getting hit, or even better: which punches are best thrown when
When I’m stuck in the clinch, I have always used and still teach that sitting down in your stance then stepping back is a great escape. Not only (if done correctly) does this break the clinch it normally makes your opponent fall forward onto you next technique. So if you can imagine that someone is holding and leaning on you in the clinch, simple keep your guard up and bend your legs (sit down in your stance) . Simultaneously step back slightly with your back leg and pull your front foot back in to stance. Then the best bit… as you stand back up into your normal stance, fire off a right uppercut and then a left hook (this is based on orthodox fighters). As your leaning opponent falls forward the added power of you straightening your legs whilst throwing the uppercut, leading onto a flowing left hook can often have devastating results. It takes a bit of practice to get this perfect, but it’s well worth the time in training.
If you go to 1:22 of the above video, this is the sit down movement I am trying to explain – but with the added right uppercut, left hook. There are some other useful clinch techniques shown – I hope this helps.
2 – I know stepping sideways is preferred above stepping backward, and certainly above leaning backward, but which foot moves first when stepping right from an orthodox stance. (I would think right because it is fastest, but aren’t you likely to get hit with a left hook to the body or head?) Also is it useful to ‘lock’ you opponent’s front foot by placing your front foot just outside/against his?
Good footwork is crucial in boxing and you are right, you don’t want to move straight backwards as eventually you’ll hit the ropes and become target practice :-). Having said that, there is no problem moving back one step then stepping off to the sides. When you’re fighting you definitely don’t want to go the same way all the time, you don’t want to become predictable. When stepping to the right, I would advise a 45 degree step back to the right, so moving back and right at the same time. You are correct, the back (right) foot would move first (whilst pushing off with the front left foot) . If you don’t step back when moving right you are likely to to be caught with their left as you suspected :-).
People/Boxers often have a favourite way of moving around the ring, so I always advise training every way / every direction. You want to be able feel natural moving around the ring in all directions and to keep your opponents guessing.
The locking foot thing (I think) is not something you need to worry about, I believe if you train your footwork correctly you will naturally start positioning yourself correctly. I also think if you start worrying about where your feet are compared to your opponents and start looking down, you are more likely to be hit. You quite often hear commentators talking when southpaw and orthodox fighters are boxing together, explaining that they each need to keep their lead foot outside their opponents – This is correct, it is the best position, but the boxers in the ring on the other hand are just finding the right position to throw their punches, they’re not thinking about they’re feet at all. So keep it in mind, but I wouldn’t worry about training it, it should come naturally with footwork training.
Thanks again for the questions Caspar keep them coming.
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Former BBBofC British Super-Middleweight & WBF World Middleweight Champion