Purpose of Boxing Combinations
Boxing combinations are designed to maximize the vulnerabilities opened by patterns of punches, and to use your own weight and balance from one punch to generate power for subsequent punches.
Shifting Weight in Combinations
A primary element in forming boxing combinations is your weight transfer. As discussed in the basics of boxing punches, many punches involve a transfer of weight from left to right, and a twist of the hips and upper body.
Instead of resuming our guard after twisting right, we can alternatively use that weight on the right to feed a new twist to the left. For example, you throw a left hook, which transfers weight from left to right, followed by a right hook, which then takes that weight on the right and transfers it back to the left.
Basic boxing Combinations
The following are some basic boxing combinations. These combinations are explained for orthodox (right-handed) fighters. If you are a southpaw (left-handed) fighter, the motions are reversed (a three becomes a right hook not a left hook).
The old 1-2 is the staple boxing combination and is often used as part of larger more complex combinations. It is both fast, and can be powerful.
When throwing a 1-2, your cross should extend at the same time that your jab is recoiling. Make sure that when a hand isn’t extended it should be guarding your head.
1-2-3 (Jab-Cross-Left hook)
Follow the 1-2 with a left hook and you have a 1-2-3. Often an opponent might be occupied or slow in reacting to your cross, which leaves the side of their face wide open for a hook.
At the end of your cross, your hips and shoulders should have twisted to bring your back shoulder forward. Use this position as the beginning weight-transfer for your hook. With your body already pivoted, raise your front elbow and throw your hook as your back hand recoils from the cross.
2-3-2 (Cross-Left hook-Cross)
This combinations heavily relies on weight transfer.
Like in the 1-2-3, you throw a hook using the already pivoted position that resulted from a cross. But this time, as your cross twists your body and transfer weight to the right, you use that point as the starting position for another cross.
Visualize your right shoulder coming forward with a cross, the left hook rotating your right shoulder back into it’s original position, ready for it to return once more with another cross. Lots of power is generated from the hips in this combination.
3-2-3 (Left hook-Cross-Left hook)
This is exactly like the 2-3-2 but with hooks at the start and end.
Throw a hook, which pulls your right shoulder back as a result of the hips/shoulder twist, then rotate with a powerful cross which puts you right back in position to throw another left hook.
3-6-3 (Left hook-Right uppercut-Left hook)
The 3-6-3 catches many opponents off guard because they might be expecting a 3-2-2 and because the punches come from both high and low.
Throw a left hook, and then when your weight is on your right/back shoulder dip your waist to the right, raise your back heel, and throw a right uppercut. The uppercut should leaves shoulders open – in perfect position to return another left hook.
Mixing It Up
Basic combinations can be changed and tweaked in many ways. Here are several ways that you can get more out of these combinations:
- Since you don’t typically want to lead with a cross, throw a jab prior to a 2-3-2. This makes 1-2-3-2.
- Throw a variable number of jabs before or after a combination. This makes a 1-2 into a 1-1-2 or a 1-2-1-1
- Throw a jab before a left hook to catch an opponent off guard with two left handed punches.
- Mix up high and low punches. Try 3-6-3 where the first hook is low and the second is high, or reversed.
- Combine combinations. An example is 1-2-3-2 or 1-2-3-6-3 or 1-2-1-2