Back

4 Defensive Blocking Drills For Boxing

Defense is critical in boxing. Protecting yourself is equally – if not more – important than knocking out your opponent.

The best way to improve your defensive techniques is with defensive drills, which incorporate both punch blocking and evasive footwork. Here we’ll take a closer look at punch blocking as a key component of defensive boxing, and run through some excellent defensive boxing drills for you to try with a partner.

How Do You Block Punches?

Everyone may block punches a little differently so you will learn a lot of techniques from different trainers. With practice, you’ll start to take what you like best to use in your own fighting style. A great place to start is with these boxing defense basics:

How To Block a Punch:

Jab


  • Put slightly more weight on your rear leg to absorb shock
  • Lift your rear hand up to protect your face
  • Open your hand in your glove with your palm facing your opponent
  • Meet your opponent’s jab with slight resistance

*Don’t use too much resistance or you’ll end up pushing your hand down, leaving yourself open

Cross


  • Raise your lead arm so that your hand is almost behind your head
  • Use your forearm to block the cross

*If you use your glove to protect your face, you’ll still end up getting some shock to your head

Hook


  • Bend the knees slightly
  • Pivot on your feet as you bend your torso and drop your elbow to your hip
  • Use your elbow to block the hook

How Do You Practice Blocking Punches?

You practice blocking punches by doing defense drills. Always start slow so you can train your muscle memory and allow your brain to memorize the patterns in blocking each punch.

Boxing defensive drills with a partner are the best way to start putting these punch blocking moves to the test.

Defensive Blocking Drills

FightCamp Trainers Aaron Swenson and Tommy Duquette have 4 (four) boxing defense drills that you can practice to level up your blocking game.

Boxing Defense Blocking Drill

Jab

  • Both partners face each other in a fighting stance
  • Partner 1 raises their rear hand to protect their face
  • Partner 2 throws a jab as Partner 1 blocks with their rear hand
  • Both partners return to starting position
  • Repeat 5 times and switch

Jab – Cross

  • Both partners face each other in a fighting stance
  • Repeat blocking pattern for the jab once
  • Partner 1 raises lead arm with elbow in front, hand behind their head
  • Partner 2 throws a cross as Partner 1 blocks with their forearm
  • Both partners return to starting position
  • Repeat 5 times and switch

Jab – Cross – Lead Hook

  • Both partners face each other in a fighting stance
  • Repeat block pattern for jab-cross once
  • Partner 1 bends their knees slightly, pivoting their feet to turn towards Partner 2’s lead hand
  • Partner 1 drops their elbow to their hip
  • Partner 2 throws a lead hook as Partner 1 blocks with their elbow
  • Both partners return to starting position
  • Repeat 5 times and switch

Jab – Cross – Hook – Hook Body – Hook Body

  • Both partners face each other in a fighting stance
  • Repeat block pattern for jab – cross – hook
  • Partner 2 follows the lead hook with a body hook to each side of Partner 1
  • Partner 1 adjusts the same hook blocking technique to counter both body shots
  • Both partners return to starting position
  • Repeat 5 times and switch

What Are Defensive Techniques Used In Boxing?

Boxing defensive techniques consist of blocking punches in combination with good footwork. The footwork aspect is all about staying agile and balanced. If you are able to swiftly move away from your opponent, you may not even have to absorb any impact of blocking a punch at all. Still, even defensive punch blocking requires constant shifting of your weight to stay balanced, so awareness of your full body from your hands to your feet is key in every defensive move.

How Can I Practice Defense By Myself?

The best way to practice defensive boxing techniques is with a partner, but you can practice defense by yourself. Since effective defensive boxing moves develop largely from muscle memory, going through some of these patterns on your own can help you find your own rhythm as you move.

Boxing defense can make or break a professional fight. An integral part of defensive training is learning how to block each incoming punch. Defensive blocking drills are an important aspect of boxing training, and it’s ideal to have a partner when practicing punches. Remember to always start slow and use minimal impact force as you’re learning – the speed will come!

FightCamp’s Tribe Package offers at-home boxing equipment for two--perfect for couples and partners who are looking to train together.

Related Articles

Boxing Footwork Drills For Defense and Sparring
Boxing Footwork Drills For Beginners


The Author: Aaron Swenson, aka ‘Speedy,’ began his Martial Arts journey under his father’s guidance in the family’s dojo in Chicago. By 2013, Aaron was an accomplished fighter with two National Kickboxing titles and a USA National Kickboxing Team spot and fought for the prestigious GLORY Kickboxing organization. Since then, Aaron has become a sought after trainer in LA known for his technical approach to teaching, fancy pad-work, and utilizing music to make the workout fun and engaging. Aaron is a Founding Coach at FightCamp, where he leads boxing and kickboxing workouts and plans to make his return to the ring.