February 01, 2007
When most people think of martial arts, they think of the striking arts--karate, kickboxing, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, etc. As children we instinctively resort to throwing punches to resolve disputes and as adults we have made boxing a multimillion-dollar industry. Mixed martial arts (MMA) has been exploding in popularity the last couple years, and it is the phenomenal knockouts that are most popular with American crowds.
Boxing and kickboxing are not just for spectators and professional fighters though. They can be successfully incorporated into strength and conditioning programs for people of all fitness levels and ages. Additionally, some gyms are experiencing an influx of MMA fighters looking for help preparing for their fights, and it is useful for trainers to understand the fundamentals of what the fighter does in order to program an effective strength and conditioning routine.
This article will be the first in a four-part series addressing basic boxing and kickboxing techniques. As with any other exercise in strength and conditioning training, form is of the ultimate importance in martial arts. It is proper form and technique that allow the speedy and powerful delivery of a knockout punch. I will begin by addressing the basic fighting stance and then describe the elements of the left jab and right cross and how to drill them. All techniques will be described for a right-handed individual; left-handed fighters will need to reverse the left and right directions in all the techniques (e.g., right jab and left cross).