Learning to block blows is just as vital as learning the proper techniques to throw a punch as part of a full boxing workout, whether it’s fitness boxing or training for a fight. As a beginner, it can feel natural to want to always be on the offensive by focusing on throwing effective punches. However, defensive positioning is crucial to protect the face and anticipate your opponent’s next move.
Getting hit not only damages you, but it also sucks up a lot of your energy. Being quick with your blocks will become one of your biggest advantages while sparring if you learn the proper technique. In a complete boxing training session, Gabriel teaches you how to block a hook by completely protecting the side of your head.
Gabriel goes on to explain how you can angle your block to also protect from quick jabs down the middle. This is a great boxing method to protect your entire head from your opponent's power hooks or other punches when they are looking to whittle down your energy, or when the time comes, secure a knockout.
Technique Overview for Blocking a Lead Hook
Boxing fundamentals require simple instruction before putting the individual steps together into a fluid motion. Once you have the basic punch down, practicing speed and agility comes next. Here are the steps:
- Hands connect to head
- Lift elbows up
- Slide hand to the back of the head
- Tuck in elbow to block straight shot
These basics are for blocking a right or left hook to the head, though you’ll take a slightly different stance to block one to the body. For this, you’ll want to lower your blocking arm but keep your boxing glove connected to your chin. It’s a good rule of thumb to never leave your chin exposed.
For right-handed fighters, use your left arm to block the punch and the right arm for left-handed fighters. Regardless of where the hit is aimed for, you’ll want to create a proper boxing stance since a well-placed hook can easily knock you off balance.
In addition to knowing how to defend against a lead hook, you’ll want to practice avoiding one altogether. Here is where agility makes a difference. Throwing impactful punches is only part of boxing. Staying light on the feet is another valuable element.
Shadowboxing using Hayabusa boxing gloves is a helpful way to practice blocking a lead hook. Going through the motions will help you improve your technique and blocking accuracy. Also, incorporating bob and weave motions into your boxing workout will help with agility.
When “bobbing,” slightly bend the knees, tuck your chin, and move up and down to bob. Pair the move with the “weaving” motion of turning your torso, shoulders, and head to dodge a punch. Also, referred to as a slip, this movement gets you out of the direct path of incoming punch.
Securing Quality Fighting Apparel
As you advance as a fighter, you’ll want to invest in protective boxing equipment like sparring gloves and Hayabusa Pro Boxing Headgear. This traditional design is crafted of supple top-grain cowhide leather and maximizes facial protection and comfort without sacrificing your vision range.
The T3 Boxing Headgear is another popular option and emulates a Mexican style design for maximum protection without the bulk. Equipped with the patented T-Cross closure, it ensures you have a secure, customizable fit to prevent shifting mid-fight.
Sourcing the best boxing gloves and fighting gear is important, but the clothes you wear matter, too. You’ll want lightweight, comfortable apparel that can move with the body but isn’t so loose that it’s distracting.
The Hayabusa Layered Performance Shorts and Icon Fight Shorts are two of the most popular items for men. They have a relaxed fit to ensure maximum mobility. Similarly, the Hayabusa Women Boxing Shorts have both a built-in base layer and flowy outer shorts which are light and perfect for mobility.
Prepping for a fight starts well before you go against an opponent. Make sure you have the basics - both in apparel and technique - covered.
Hayabusa Icon MMA Shorts
Hayabusa Women’s Mid Rise Layered Shorts
Hayabusa Icon Mid-Thigh MMA Shorts
Hayabusa Icon Kickboxing Shorts
About the series
Check out the previous video in the series, and learn to throw a lead hook. The Striking Basics series offers boxing fundamentals for you to learn at your own pace. Whether you have aspirations to compete or are just getting started with boxing, this series is for all levels.
Gabriel Varga and Hayabusa developed this series to cover a range of boxing techniques, such as the Jab, Cross, Hook, Breathing, kicks, and more. Also, if you're a coach who wants to inspire students to have a stronger grasp on the boxing fundamentals, consider sharing this series.
Gabriel Varga is a world-renowned martial artist, with boxing knowledge and an overall approach to life that is inspiring. We got the chance to get to know him better, and our respect quadrupled. If you aren’t familiar with him and his journey, we suggest giving him a follow. Even if you’re not into kickboxing, we guarantee you’ll learn something and admire him as much as we do.
YouTube: Gabriel Varga