How to Practice Slipping Punches Alone

What is slipping a punch

Slipping is a very advanced form of defense in boxing. Boxing is known for its defensive techniques but slipping isn’t usually one for beginners. It is the art of maneuvering yourself out of the path of a punch. This is harder than it sounds: it has to be done in a split second during a fight and needs adequate calculation and practice.

Why should you slip a punch

The advantages of slipping a punch are many: there is the obvious upside of not getting hit in the face, of course. But the negative effect this move has on your opponent should not be disregarded. Firstly, it displaces your opponent. They are off-balance due to punching at the air, and this also saps a lot of energy due to them missing their target and having no solid landing.

Secondly, it gives you the little buffer of time you need to prepare your counter punch. Your opponent’s fist at this point is caught mid-air, and you can use this second of time as well as their disorientation to your advantage. Their ability to block you is also diminished.

Lastly, building solid defenses is a huge part of boxing: it’s not all about throwing punch after punch. Fluidity and defense are at the core of boxing and are what makes it exciting and complex. The better you are at incorporating defenses, the better you are at fighting.

When do you slip a punch

As it is with every defensive move, there’s a time and place to use it. The bigger punches are what slipping is made for. Slipping is not recommended for jabs: it doesn’t give you the buffer time discussed earlier, and can actually leave you with the short end of the straw. Slipping bigger punches is what uses up greater amounts of your opponent’s energy and takes them off balance, so save it for the big ones.

It is not recommended to slip when punches are coming at your body. Keep slipping at hand for head punches: there are risks associated with slipping body punches that can leave you vulnerable to your opponent. For body punches, try blocking.

How to slip punches

If you want to practice slipping punches, you have to go through the positions that slipping entails. These are based on whether you are on the inside of the opponent’s punch or on the outside.

It’s generally recommended that you slip outside because that means that the opponent can’t immediately punch you again from their other arm. The only time you would want to slip on the inside is when you’d like to attack inside as well. So let’s learn how to slip punches:

To practice slipping outside

  • Start in the basic boxing stance
  • Push your front foot
  • Let this movement slightly rotate your upper body to the right
  • With this rotation, let your head naturally move to the right as well (this is when in a match you would be slipping a blow to your head)
  • Return to the boxing stance

To try slipping inside

  • Start in the basic boxing stance
  • Push from your back foot to rotate your hips
  • Let your hips rotate counterclockwise
  • During this rotation, keep your front knee bent for flexibility

This isn’t as easy as it seems. Make it a habit to keep trying these during shadowboxing alone, but it is likely that after practice you will need an opponent at some point to keep those punches coming at you.

Tips for slipping

If you want to know how to get better at slipping punches, keep these in mind:

  • The major muscle groups for slipping are legs and abs, and to slip efficiently you need to build these up. Try compound movements like weighted squats and lunges to keep your legs in top shape. For abs, work on those obliques as those are what drive the turning movements you need for this defense.
  • Keep your gloves lower than you would, at your cheeks rather than your eyes, to keep them from getting hit while slipping.
  • Don’t get lost in your head. Let the movement come naturally and keep your attention on your opponent.