Bobbing and Weaving


If you ask anyone what boxing looks like, many people would imagine a boxer bobbing and weaving. Maybe because it just looks slick and skillful. Whatever the reason, any boxer without this maneuver would lack a major part of their basic defense. However, before bobbing and weaving, I recommend the boxer knows how to slip.

What is Bobbing and Weaving:

Bobbing and weaving is also called rolling, or sometimes, ducking. It is a defensive maneuver used to evade any punch, but it is most effective for evading your opponent’s looping punches (e.g. hooks). Many boxers also incorporate their offense with the maneuver. It can be broken down into 3 parts: the slip, the downward roll, and last, either another roll or a reset.

How to Bob and Weave:

  1. Starting from a neutral stance, slip away from your opponent’s punch. For example, if your opponent is throwing a lead hook, slip to your lead side.
  2. Towards your opponent’s punch, move your head and torso in a downward then lateral, looping manner (as if you are drawing a slight U or semicircle with your body) just enough to dodge your opponent punch. Let your knees do most of the bending to create the semicircle. If more natural, incorporate a lateral step to the side of the oncoming punch.
  3. Either reset to your neutral head position or repeat step 2 in the opposite direction to avoid another punch from your opponent.

When to Bob and Weave:

As stated, bobbing and weaving is most effective for dodging a looping punch or a series of them. However, it is still good for dodging straight punches. And if you are really good (or just lucky), it can be used to dodge uppercuts. Just look at Joe Frazier. But this can be dangerous. Bobbing and weaving is a go-to defense when your opponent is swinging in series, but if you do it predictably, your opponent can set up an uppercut as you move down. Another downside to the maneuver is that it is hard on your legs and maybe even your back. And if your opponent likes to lean on you, bobbing and weaving can be even more exhausting than other defensive maneuvers. On a positive note, the maneuver done successfully would tire out your opponent because it is more exhausting to swing at nothing than something. Another positive is that the rolling motion allows you to find your opponents rhythm and load up your own punches while dodging your opponents punch.


Bobbing and weaving looks slick and is a go-to maneuver when your opponent is swinging, but because it requires you to incorporate your legs more than you would with other defensive maneuvers, it can leave you gassed. However, bobbing and weaving can be a great tool to combine your offense and defense seamlessly.

Author: Le Ho

I am currently a law student at the University of North Carolina Law School. As an undergraduate, I boxed for Carolina and earned its first men's national championship title.

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