The Four Most Important Punches in Boxing

Known as the ‘sweet science’, boxing takes decades to master. Even the greatest boxers in the world are still students of the art, in the gym day in and day out to pursue perfection in their craft. 

Every boxer, from the beginners to the Floyd Mayweathers, works on their basic punches. While it is certainly true that the more you train, the more complex combinations and angles you can work with, at the end of the day, the basic punches are what matter most.

As Bruce Lee once said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

This doesn’t just ring true for kicking, or even fighting in general. To be an expert in anything, you have to hone the basics again and again until they become second nature.

At Ironfist Gym Brisbane, we will teach and help you to refine the four most important punches in boxing.


The Jab


Walk into any gym, and the first thing you will learn, after finding your stance, is how to throw a jab. If you are an orthodox (right-handed) boxer, your jab will be thrown with your left hand. If you are a southpaw (left-handed), your jab will be thrown with your right. The jab is the most important fundamental punch in boxing; as the old boxing idiom goes, a right hand will take you around the block, but a good jab will take you around the world

The jab is a quick punch with your lead hand, and therefore usually your non-dominant, where your fist extends out to strike, and your knuckles rotate 90 degrees as they land on their target. 

The jab is useful because it is both fast and doesn’t leave you too exposed, as it is the hand closest to your opponent’s head or body. It is therefore the most commonly thrown punch. 

The jab has many applications, but is usually thrown to set up further combinations of punches, to gauge distance, and to disrupt your opponent.

As Ironfist Gym Brisbane will teach you, the safest way to land the jab is with your index and middle knuckles, because they are supported by your wrist and forearm.


The Cross


The cross is a rear straight punch which involves the rotation of your whole body. This punch recruits your entire kinetic chain and relies on the torque of your lower, core and upper body in generating maximum power.

The cross is often preceded by the jab. Known as a ‘jab-cross’ or a ‘one-two’, this is the most basic combination, and also the most effective; the jab is used to get the opponent to react, and the cross shoots straight through into your opponent. 

Because the cross starts from the rear, as opposed to the jab, it has more time to accelerate and involves more of a whole-body movement. For this reason, the cross is a seriously powerful punch that can damage your opponent.

As with the jab, the safest way to land the cross is with your index and middle knuckles.


The Hook


The hook is a punch that comes in from a 90-degree angle. It is thrown with a bent arm, and the power is generated by the rotation of the core and back. 

There are two main ways to throw the hook: either with your knuckles facing upwards, or outwards. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses, and it generally comes down to the boxer’s preference for either method. Many boxers utilise both hooks for different purposes.

The hook can be thrown by both your lead and rear hand. Similar to the jab, your lead hook is a safer option because it leaves you less exposed and can be thrown quicker. The rear hook generates more power, but leaves the body more rotated and open for counter-punches.


The Uppercut


The uppercut is a punch thrown at an upwards trajectory, usually from close range. The power from an uppercut is generated from the legs and is then transferred to the upper body. 

If your opponent has their chin tucked into their body, it is an effective way to push their head upwards and disrupt their guard, which also leaves them more exposed to further punches.

Like the hook, uppercuts can be thrown by either the lead and rear hand.

The uppercut is usually landed with all four knuckles.


Practice Makes Perfect!


These four basic punches are deceptively simple, but require an enormous amount of skill to perfect. When throwing these strikes, your entire body must work in tandem to maximise their effectiveness. As you progress in your boxing journey, you will gain an understanding of the intricacies of these punches which require a proper activation and alignment of your muscles, bones, and even your breathing.

Think you’re ready to step into the gym and learn all about the sweet science? If you are living in Brisbane, now is your opportunity! Ironfist Gym Brisbane runs frequent boxing introductory classes catering to absolute beginners, along with all-levels training classes as well. Grab a 3-session pass now, or call Ironfist to book in a time today!

Any other questions? Ask away! We are happy to help.

Get in touch.

Address: 2/4 Devlan St, Mansfield QLD 4122

Phone: (+07) 0431 685 085

Check out our timetable for more details.



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