How to effectively anticipate boxing moves?
What is the secret of a good head movement?
You have to understand what a good head movement is and how to do it. You will need to learn the different styles of head movements and how to work this skill. Even with all the tricks I’m going to give you,
For serious fighters, you don’t really have a choice. The head movement is a basic boxing skill where you need to be competitive. Your head cannot be allowed to take a lot of blows against trained opponents. But I promise you that there is no better feeling than being able to completely dodge a blow (apart from the knockout).
It will take you a while to master the art of head movement, but here’s what you need to know:
The art of head movement in boxing
The first time I saw a TRUE head movement
I remember the first time I fought a really slippery guy (who dodges well). To start with, I didn’t even know it was… IT’S how good it was – that you couldn’t see it from the outside. It looked like a heavy footsteps, lazy weight and throwing good buns at random intervals. He didn’t look particularly clever or dangerous except that he was very relaxed. Come to think of it, I should have known that you had to be afraid of anyone so comfortable in the ring. Now it’s good, I’m much more careful.
It was only when I faced him face to face that I realized how good he was. He was not one of those “fast guys” who shake their heads all over the place when you throw suits. This guy stayed with my head INSIDE and dodged each of them with nothing more than subtle movements. He slipped whole suits, without moving, without taking my eyes off! He didn’t even seem to be moving and yet I missed him every time. All this time, I thought: “WHEN IT’S FOR THIS that he’s champion! “
The magic of head movement
The head movement is perhaps one of the largest and most singular of the boxing arts. I have never seen this in other martial arts. In wrestling / BJJ / judo, in muay thai / kickboxing, kung fu. Many of these other martial arts are fantastic and creative in attack, but none offer anything as beautiful as the art of head movement.
The general idea of head movement is to move the target. Instead of trying to defend the target (your head) all the time, you just have to move it. That way your hands are free to attack. The art of head movement is so difficult to understand that for an untrained eye, boxing looks brutal and witty because boxers on TV don’t seem to defend themselves.
A real head movement,
doesn’t always look like a movement.
What makes it even more difficult to understand is that the best head movements don’t even look like it. The more subtle it is, the better! That’s why I don’t expect people to understand boxing in the early years. You cannot learn until you are in the ring yourself. You will never get there if you are only looking for it; you must feel it.
The advantages of head movement
The greatest advantage of head movement is to free your hands to allow you to counter immediately.
- Your fists can make the blows faster if they are not busy blocking.
- You will always be late if you have to defend before you counterattack.
The next best advantage is that it will make your opponent more vulnerable.
- Opponents leave large openings or can lose balance when they hit the void.
- Opponents get more tired when they completely miss their shot.
- Faster opponents can only be countered by slipping.
Head movement is mandatory
at the highest levels of boxing.
At the highest levels of boxing, head movements are no longer an advantage, but a necessity. The faster, mobile and skillful your opponent, the more you will need head movements. You can block anything you want against fast opponents but they will already be gone by the time you get out of your shell to counter. The really clever guys will always be closed. You can wait all day for the opening and you will never find it.
The only guaranteed time your opponent is vulnerable somewhere is when he strikes. And how are you going to take advantage of this moment if your arms are busy defending?
You have to slip shots to make it miss and let it discover itself. Against faster opponents, you may have to slip several shots so that it sways more each time until you see the opportunity to counter. If you are just blocking, it will continue to attack you and you will have the feeling that if YOU open to counter, YOU will be hit first.
Preconceived ideas about head movements
Myth # 1 – Head movements are for defense
The real purpose of head movements is attack.
You defend with head movements so that your hands are free to counter attack. If all you want is to defend, you can take a step back or even move away completely. Unless you plan to fight back, there are very few reasons to stay within reach of your opponent.
Myth # 2 – Head movement is a special technique
Head movements are a matter of conscience.
The trick of head movement is the awareness of the position of the head. You should feel where your head is positioned and feel how it affects your movements and those of your opponent. The position of your head affects your balance and your ability to kick or defend yourself against some. The position of your head can also communicate your intentions or make your opponent react in some way. Even a small head movement can wire (or pretend) your next move.
You should know if your head is too close or too far away, you should feel your surroundings to position your steps easily and safely. The consciousness of the head tells you when and where to move your head.
Just focusing on head movements (instead of being aware of its position) will waste your time and energy because you will move your head everywhere without knowing where to place it. You will end up moving it much more than necessary because nothing you do works. You will be tired and you will continue to take blows too.
I think of head movements in the same way as I will do with my attacks or my balance.
For example to punch … first, you learn how to throw your fists. In this first phase, the technique is your only concern, when you worry so much about the elbow or the wrist, and the foot and everything. But after that, you start to focus on precision and timing. You work more mittens and you value it more than the big sandbag. And finally, you no longer focus on technique or timing, but you just go up to the ring and look for your opponent’s target points.
Ditto with balance. At first, you learn to strengthen your legs, and do all the footwork exercises. But in the end, you develop a better balance because you know where your axis is and how to adjust your body during a fight so as not to lose your balance.
And now the same with head movement. Most people learn head movements as a kind of secret technique or routine to avoid direct ones, the crusaders, hooks, … Then, you start to practice these movements in front of the mirror or with the “slip rope” (rope used for dodging exercises) not true? And then you get into the ring, and the technique goes out the window because you just want to get out of the strike field. The way you dodge in training never looks like the way you dodge in a real fight.
In the end, what matters most is that you are more aware of the position of your head. You develop an awareness of the position of your head during a fight, and you develop the intuition of the blows to come. You then develop a natural reflex to move your head where it is needed, how far and where to move it afterwards, etc. You realize that all the dodging techniques in the world don’t matter because everyone throws their punch in a different way with different angles. And an effective head movement actually requires very small movements.
The ability – or rather – THE CONSCIENCE of head movements is all that matters. It has nothing to do with the back muscles, nor with speed, nor with knowledge of the exact secret dodging technique. If you can see the punch, dodging it will be easy.
The technique of head movements in boxing
*** Look how I move my head. See how subtle head movements are seen up close.
Do not think of head movement as a defensive technique
So now we start with the beginner phase of learning the head movement, which is the technical part.
Just remember that the concentration must be on THE HEAD MOVEMENT. Some of these techniques can be called: slipping, or rolling, or bobbing and weaving … but I don’t want you to think of it as a defense. From the moment you start to think like a defense, you will start to worry about the opponent’s punch and distract yourself from your own rhythm.
I prefer that you think of head movements just as a way to change your body’s position to find a new attack position. The head movements are there to change your position in order to put you out of danger and put you in a new posture which will allow you to threaten your opponent.
Use head movements to put yourself on
in a better offensive position.
The circular head movement
Circular head movement is the first style of head movement to learn because it is easy to do. The circular head movement is often in line with the flow of movements, making energy conservation easy and hitting less penalizing.
The circular head movement
is good for letting it flow and relaxing.
Imagine a circle to move your head.
- It is possible to roll your head completely by going over and under the punch and throw your blocks on the return.
- But it is more likely that you will only use half or a quarter of the circle for each of your head movements.
- You can use the circular head movement to roll WITH the punch (stay inside), or slip AGAINST the punch (outside).
I can divide the circle into an upper semicircle and a lower semicircle.
- If I move my head along the upper half, it becomes a circular dodge. It could also be a shoulder roll if I bring my shoulders more to the sides.
- If I move my head along the lower half, I can roll under the punch. Some of you may call it “bob & weave”.
I can divide the circle to a left side and a right side.
- I can move along each side to dodge or roll under the punch.
Angular head movement
The angular head movement is faster and more surprising for your opponent but also more difficult to do. Angular head movement has more to do with speed and speed than with rhythm because you often move your head against blows.
Angular head movement
is good for fast movements.
Imagine moving your head along 2 triangles.
- Note how all movements are straight lines.
- You will suddenly and quickly pull your head through these lines to pass around your opponent’s punch.
- Angular head movements can be used to dodge as quickly as possible.
I can move my head along the top triangle.
- From the top, I can slide my head down.
- From the sides, I can slide up again, or I can cut through the center and go to the other side (very daring).
I can move my head along the bottom triangle to be under the punch.
- From the sides, I can cut to the other side or slide down to be under the punch.
- From the bottom, I can pull my head to the side I want.
Head placement and hand placement
You can see that I place my head LEGERLY eccentric.
- This allows me to move my head down to my right side, up to my left side, or down to my left side. From here I can move in 3 directions while if my head was centered, I would have the impression of being able to move it only down to one side or the other.
- It’s a small detail, but it makes me feel like I have a lot more options.
- You can use other positions. It doesn’t matter if you are forward or backward or on the sides because you will always move on all positions during combat anyway. The best tip is to move your head and hands where it is necessary to place the counter you want.
“Where do I put my hands? “
Many fighters are still confused as to where to position their hands when they dodge. Many have learned to keep their hands up even while dodging, at the Myke Tyson style “peek-a-boo”. And although this technique is logical, you should know that the ultimate goal of dodging is to be able to counter immediately, from time to time even simultaneously by sliding a punch. This means that you should be more focused on countering than being 100% focused on the punch dodge. If you want to avoid 100%, you better use the footwork or just block. No need to lose energy to slide when you block.
It is also a question of purpose. You can keep your hands warm if you don’t want to fire back yet. Maybe you’re still out of reach (like Mike Tyson) or maybe you’re still waiting for a counterattack opportunity (because the guy is too fast, or you’re looking for the knockout). Allowing your hands to lower your chin can help you move faster because your hands are not going to interfere with your head. This makes it easier for you to dodge because your hands can counterbalance your upper body when you swing your head. Not counting on your hands when you dodge will give you the ultimate goal of throwing punch while avoiding those of your opponent.
Place your head and hands where you need to land your counter. It’s all about cons. Decide which against you want to launch and move your body to this position when you dodge. If you want to counter with a hook, then your head should be inside and your front arm a little loaded. If you want to counter the right, your head should be towards the center or even a little back, and your right elbow ready to give you the angle.
Look this way … the best defense is attack. It doesn’t matter how good your dodge is. Your opponent will continue to strike until he touches you or until you touch him. Whenever you throw punch, you’re basically open somewhere. Instead of thinking of “punching when you dodge”, think rather “use head movements when you throw punch”. Sometimes you will need more head movements, sometimes less. Your fists should be concentrated to launch punch, not to block them.
You will end up eating shots if you don’t throw them back.
Counter with head movements
As I said before, the real advantage of head movements is that it increases your ability to counter. So now you have to add a few blocks, or else you just waste energy by twisting all over the place and exhausting your back.
The simple rule of the cons with head movements :
Throw a punch from the coast from which you have just dodged.
- If you are TRYing the RIGHT to the left, LAUNCH A RIGHT
- If you are CHECKING GAUCHE to the right, LAUNCH A LEFT
You should be able to launch a punch every time you move your head. Sometimes you would prefer to keep your hands inside or throw small punch to dodge faster in order to wait for the opportunity of a bigger counter. Other times you will be stuck in the ropes and you will want to counterattack immediately while you move your head. And other times, you will prefer to be on one side, for example: throw only right blocks when you dodge and leave your left hand warm when you dodge on the other side.
It depends on you. You decide when it’s worth hitting. The important detail is that you should always try to move in a way that will allow you to counter. Avoid the bizarre dodge that leaves you in a bizarre position with no possibility of countering.
Avoid dodging in a way
not being able to strike back.
Counter from top positions
- I can throw jabs on my head or body when I slide down to my right side.
- I can throw right to the head or body when I dodge down to my left side.
- I can launch a nice up-jab when I go from the left side when I go up.
- I can throw a right counter when I bring my head from the right side to the center at the top.
- By combining the previous 2, I can launch a counter-jab when I dodge down on my right, and then a counter right when I slide up to the center.
- I can also throw uppercuts or hooks (head or body) every time I cut from side to side or through the center.
Conter from a quick dodge through the center
- I can throw a against jab, a crusader from the left, or a hook from the left when I pass my head towards MY RIGHT
- I can throw a counter of the law when I pass my head towards MY LEFT
Contrate from circular movements by the sides
- I can roll down to my left to drop hooks to the body.
- I can roll down to my right to roll my shoulder and throw a counter to the uppercut.
- I can also stay low, and drive up on the left side with a left hook over. Or roll on the right side for a beautiful straight over the arm.
Counter from low positions
- I can throw jabs or crusaders (especially at the body) when I slide from side to side in the center.
- I can throw hooks or uppercuts (especially to the body) when I go up from the bottom to the center.
Most common head movement models
In case you start to feel overloaded with all the new possibilities of head movements, I have made a simple list of the most common head movement models below. If you don’t understand some of them, don’t worry right now. I can explain it later with more images and videos.
Stay in the center
I can’t repeat myself too much. You are not supposed to shake your head everywhere. In reality: your head is especially in the center. You don’t have to move much to avoid a punch. Your opponent’s glove is perhaps 15 centimeters in diameter and is probably not aimed at the center of your head. This means that you only need to move your head a few inches to dodge a punch.
A skilled fighter only needs a simple shoulder rotation and a little whim and he will be completely out of range. A beginner fighter will probably rotate his entire body, out of balance, going from side to side, and he will still not be able to avoid punch.
I’m not asking you to be “slippery” in one day, but know that sliding is better. Slipping is subtle and more effective. It’s better because it takes less muscle, less energy, and less effort. If you want to be faster, you have to find ways to move less. Moving more will always make you work harder and tire you more. Moving more always makes you lose in the end because you work harder than your opponent. It’s impossible to be faster by making more mistakes.
The key point for an effective head movement: BE SUBTIL
All these beautiful fan diagrams and pretty arrows that I added with Photoshop simply have a demonstrative purpose. When I fight, I do my best to keep my head in the center (moving as little as possible from the center). This is the most balanced position and it gives me the best options in terms of mobility, or the best opportunity to attack with the other arm. I only move enough to avoid the punch and then I bring my head back to the center.
In any case, I try to force out of the center. Because I know it affects his ability to strike back. The more he has to move his head, the more he becomes unbalanced. And the more he is out of balance, the more difficult it is for him to move, the more it will take him time to counter, the more these tales will come from one side, and the more he will get tired. It is more difficult to fight when you are out of balance.
Evasive head movement models
It’s time to learn some ways to get rid of your aggressive opponents. Try to do it all with the minimum possible movement. Practice with the mittens before shadowboxing and try in the ring. I don’t recommend that you do shadowboxing first (if you can) because that’s how you create unrealistic movements.
Slide down to LINK, slide towards the LEFT, ROLE DESSOUS to the right
- Slip to LINK under the jab
- Slide to LEFT out of the right hand (you may think it’s a PAR-DESSUS slide with your right hand)
- Roll under the left hook
Slide to LINK, slide to LEFT, AGAINST 3-2
- 2 quick slips to pass its fast 1-2
- And fight back with a left hook and the right hand
Slide to LINK, slide to LEFT, ROLE DESSOUS to the right, ROLE DESSOUS to the left
- 2 quick slips to pass its 1-2
- And roll under his left hook
- And roll under the swing with his right hand
1-2, ROLL DESSOUS to the right
- Start a 1-2 combination
- And roll under his hook counter
1-2-3, ROLE DESSOUS to the left, ROLE DESSOUS to the right
- Start a 1-2-3 combination
- And roll under his counter right and roll again under his counter hook
Be low, cut to LINK, cut to LEFT, go up
- Lower your head level by just a few inches
- Slide straight to the right
- Slide clean to the left
- And raise your head to its normal level
Create your head movement style
There is no rule that says you should use common head movement models. It is natural for everyone to find their own defensive style. It’s natural because everyone’s body is different. And each opponent is different.
A faster opponent can force me to use more angular head movements, while a big puncher will force me to use more circular head movements. I like to use angular movements against direct and circular movements against wider punch. I tend to be more circular when I try to bring the guys into a fight, while I prefer more angular movements when I try to anticipate them and want to give them no chance of touching me.
Mix everything. Cut to one side, but roll to the other, and cut to one side and then to the other, and maybe roll over and below again. It all depends on the situation. Each skilled fighter has his favorite combination to free himself from aggressive fighters. Another of my favorites is to cut down on one side, roll under, rotate with my feet and escape or counter.
The head movements in 3 dimensions
Who can tell you that you can only move HIGH-BAS and ONE COUNTY TO THE OTHER? You can also go PRES and LOIN. By moving your head in a 3D sphere, you are giving yourself a lot more space and opportunities to avoid punch. You can do this using all the head movement techniques and models that I shared with you above, but with this visualization :
- Imagine that TO THE HIGH can also be the same as TO THE REAR
- And that TOWARDS THE BAS can also be the same as FORWARD
So for example: instead of raising your head up and over a straight line. You can tip it back out of the right range that will miss. You can also tip your head back to avoid a hook instead of going under it. You can apply all of these changes for circular and angular head movements.
A tall guy will prefer PRES and LOIN movements to AU-DESSUS and DESSOUS movements because it is more difficult for him to go under the punch. A little guy may, likewise, have the same preference because it is more difficult for him to get over the punch. In addition, a small fighter will prefer to position himself closer to be more within his reach, rather than going under it, which makes the task more difficult to counter. If it is small enough, positioning yourself close is more than enough to make your opponent miss. Personally, I like the head movements of the PRES and LOIN type because it allows me to be tall and use my range.
Head movement exercises in boxing
These are my favorite ways of practicing head movements. After mastering the technique, it’s time to tackle its flow … and this consciousness. It has nothing to do with speed or reflexes, but rather to do it naturally and comfortably. Because it is difficult to use a new technique if it is not natural.
Be prepared to spend years of your life mastering this art. Anyone can throw punch … get out of reach, that’s an ability .
Look at yourself in the mirror and FACTS JAILLIR. It has nothing to do with shaking your head all over the place. If it sounds like a sudden movement, it probably won’t work in a real fight. It must look like a relaxation, not a stretch. Kind of like punishing should be a relaxation, not a push. The same theory applies here. You just have to feel that you are releasing your head from place to place.
After a while, you will find a natural rhythm for your body where your head will naturally jump or slide easily to different places without you having to force. I get there knowing how to relax the upper part of my body and the legs in a way that allows me these fluid movements.
The slow Sparring
Slow sparring is the best way to develop head movements for the most experienced fighters. There is nothing as exciting as getting into the ring with new opponents and seeing all the new ways they have to kick. It’s a game for me to spare someone again and find new ways to dodge their punch.
The only reason I didn’t mention slow sparring first is because beginners need to learn a little technique first or they will start doing strange things in slow sparring. Or even worse, they don’t know how to separate with control. (if you don’t have control in slow sparring, you probably won’t have fast sparring).
If you are slow sparring, focus on seeing the punch. Don’t worry about dodging everything. What is important is to expose yourself to the new angles. After you can keep your eyes at 100% and become aware of the punch, you can start trying to move your head on a rhythm. And ENSUIT, YOU establish a rhythm of head movements. Afterwards, you can finally start trying to move so as to avoid the punch.
So here … MAINTAIN THE CONTACT OF THE EYES, ESTABLISH A RYTHM, and try to AVOID THE PUNCHS. Far too many beginners do the opposite. They try directly to avoid punches, which makes them lose touch of the eyes, breaks their rhythm, and puts them in the wrong positions.
It’s really the rhythm that protects you during the fight. Because boxing is a combination of attacks. Getting hit from time to time is okay, but it’s not good to be hit 2-3 times in a row. And the only way to avoid that is to grab your opponent’s pace. Once you have taken the rhythm, you will be OK, even if you are hit.
Establish a fighting rhythm
will help you attack and defend during coveralls.
Mittens in concentration
The mittens are great for practicing common head movements. You will learn the basics for head movements as how to slide through a jab or a straight line, or how to roll under the punch. One good thing about mittens is that your trainer can force you to work on your defense at the same time as your attack. You can also use mittens to simulate and focus on avoiding specific punch (such as a left-wing crusader, hook to body, etc.).
The problem with training with mittens is that you will always end up making more effort than necessary. It always happens that hitting mittens becomes more of a show. The harder you hit, the more noise it makes, the more people will watch, the better you feel. And dodging becomes a race to get the punch as fast as possible rather than developing the ability to be comfortable with the punch.
The best advice I can give for training with mittens is to focus on your relaxed and natural state. When I train a fighter with the mittens, I stop it clean if it is not relaxed or natural. If you shake your head all over the place to avoid punch, it won’t work in the ring. It can work for the first 30 seconds, and then you will be tired and you will no longer be fast enough to use head movements.
Try to relax and focus on the rhythm. If it means hitting with less force, then that’s how it is. If it means lowering the speed of your coveralls to allow you to develop a constant rate of simultaneous defense and attack, do it! You could be hit a few times because your relaxed movements are not as fast as your jerky movements.
Practice being relaxed with the mittens so you can relax later in the ring. Relaxed does not mean being lazy or less effort. It means being more efficient, and moving your body the way it should move. If you feel that you can only move your head 10 centimeters, stay on it. Find a way to make these 10 centimeters effective. Make some technical adjustments to keep it easy. If you make a physical fit and try to slide longer or make more movement, it will become difficult, especially during a fight.
The rope, The Speed Pear, The double elastic balloon
I like these boxing tools because they force you to be aware of the attacks coming upon you. Even if they don’t force you to dodge faster or move better, they at least keep your eyes alert when you start your shots. As I said before: half the dodging work is being able to see the punch itself.
In the end, there is nothing better than having a real opponent who strikes you. But the best part is always slow sparring and working with mittens.
Work with the punching bag
I don’t know why some people think it’s effective to slip on the big bag. At best, it improves your body coordination to move your head. But that will not develop your reflexes and will not teach you how to develop a rhythm of combat against different adversaries.
You can always slip on imaginary punch with the punching bag but know that it is practically useless to develop your combat reflexes. At best, it’s a good way to get used to hitting different positions. But then again, good head movements should not alter your position too much.
Genius head movements
What a good head movement?
Good head movements are so subtle, so intelligent, unexpected, magical so much. It’s so much more than just trying to avoid a punch. It’s being able to do so much with this little movement.
Head movement in boxing is an art.
I hope, oh how I hope so much to be able to teach you how to have a good head movement. In fact, if I could teach you how to SEE good head movements, that only would be enough for you to get there eventually.
At the lowest level, the head movement is simply to avoid the punch without having to use the hands. And a better head movement not only avoids the punch but also allows you to launch a counter at the same time. But then it becomes even more precise, you are no longer preparing a counter but you can start preparing SPECIFIC tales. And finally, you can cause a special punch to be able to drop a predetermined counter from the position you want when you want. (This is how you knock out – hitting your opponent with powerful tales when he gets into it).
At a higher level, the head movement not only disturbs the way your opponent strikes, but also disturbs his feelings. A fighter who slips well may give you the impression that his head is far away but he is able to reach you. Or vice versa, it can make you feel that it is very close but it is never there when you try to touch it. He can find holes in your defense where he can place his head close to you without any fear of being countered. You get more scared as he finds new positions to attack you and you will feel like you are helpless against him.
A good head movement can make you hesitate when you bring your fists back to you, or make you trip over your own legs. You want to hit, you’re about to hit and weirdly, you don’t. You see the guy in front of you but you really don’t know where he is.
These are the kinds of head movements where the guy seems slippery and hard to touch. And there’s also the kind of head movement where the guy seems to know everything about what you’re going to do. Or maybe he . He not only controls his head movements but he seems to control yours too!
A good head movement confuses your opponent and even frustrates spectators! A good head movement baits, teases, unbalances your opponent, cowardly of the cons, and puts you in a position to start all over and over again.