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Types of Boxing Blocks

author image Denise Warren
Denise Warren has enjoyed writing since 2002. Her articles have appeared in the "Los Angeles Herald" and the "Portland Daily Globe." She also writes health and fitness articles for individual clients and education material for the health care industry. In the hospital setting, Warren has instructed patients on health, diet and fitness programs. She holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from Oklahoma State University.
Types of Boxing Blocks
Types of Boxing Blocks Photo Credit: DarthArt/iStock/GettyImages

Boxing is often referred to as “the sweet science” because it requires the athlete to master several skills at one time. While knockout punches get the most attention, new fighters quickly realize that they need to learn how to block a punch. The best fighters in boxing are able to block punches and then quickly counter with an offensive attack.

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Blocking a Jab

A straight jab is the punch used most often in boxing, so it is essential to know how to defend against that punch. Keep both hands up in front of your face at all times to defend yourself. In this position, you can block punches without even trying. When your opponent throws a jab, your gloves and forearms absorb the impact of the punch.

Parry a Punch

In boxing, a parry is an effective way to block a straight punch. You can parry a right cross with a small slap of the left glove. By doing this, you deflect the opponent’s punch and expose him to a counterpunch.

Catching a Punch

This technique is often used to defend against a jab. Avoid catching a power punch because of the speed and momentum. To catch a jab, place your right hand in front of your face and “cuff” or “catch” the incoming punch. Ensure that your chin is tucked in and that your glove stays close to your face; do not reach out to catch the punch. Pivot your back foot to maintain your balance.

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Blocking an Uppercut

Blocking an uppercut differs from the defenses against other punches. Your opponent will usually throw an uppercut when you are in a crouched position. To block an uppercut, keep your right glove under your chin with the palm of your glove facing down. In this position, you can catch the uppercut. Keep your chin tucked toward your left shoulder.

Defend yourself from a punch from your opponent.
Defend yourself from a punch from your opponent. Photo Credit: XiXinXing/iStock/Getty Images

Stances and Sparring

The boxing training manual of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point explains that the foundation of proper blocking is a tight on-guard stance. In addition to a correct stance, frequently rehearse the various blocking techniques; you can do this with situational sparring, in which your opponent throws punches while you work on defense only. Shadowboxing is another effective way to improve your blocking skills. Use your imagination to defend against incoming attacks. With frequent practice, blocking can become second nature to a well-trained boxer.

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