Positioning

Introduction

For a boxer, positioning or getting into position is as basic as maintaining balance and having leverage with each punch. Though basic, it is very important for practical/winning purposes. Positioning is when a boxer is obtaining an effective angle and distance relative to his opponent. In this post, I will cover how a boxer gets into position and what is a good position and what is a bad one.

What is Positioning:

One part of positioning consists in the boxer’s angle of approach. The boxer can throw punches at a safe angle, i.e. from the opponent’s weak side, at a neutral angle, i.e. in front of the opponent, or at an unsafe angle, i.e. from the opponent’s strong side. The difference between a safe angle and an unsafe angle is the difference between having far less of a chance to get hit and having much more of a chance to get hit with one of your opponent’s strongest punches. For more information about angles, there is a (forthcoming) post about them.

The other part of positioning consists in the boxer’s distance relative to her opponent. The most effective distance is the distance where the boxer can land her punches effectively while minimizing the ability of her opponent to do the same. If the boxer is too close, the boxer crowds her own punches while crowding her opponent’s punches. If the boxer is too far, the boxer cannot land her punches; this is especially disadvantageous if her opponent has a longer reach, and such a situation would mean that the boxer has the least effective position. Practically, the boxer’s distance relative to the opponent should either be near the end of the boxer’s maximum range or outside of the range of the boxer’s opponent.

Given these details on the boxer’s angle of approach and distance relative to the opponent, it follows that the boxer has a good position when she has an effective angle and distance relative to her opponent. For most situations, this means that a boxer has a good position when she is punching from the weak side of her opponent and near the end of her maximum range. This way she maintains leverage, control, and power while minimizing her opponent’s leverage, control, and power. The worst position a boxer can have is when the boxer is punching from the strong side of her opponent and out of her own range but within her opponent’s range.

Not all good and bad positions are made of these angles and distances, but most are; if a boxer doesn’t know what a good position is, she needs to think “where do I want to be in relation to my opponent?” This is a better way to find one’s positioning, because, for example, in-fighters may want to fight very close to their opponents.

How to get a Good Position:

  1. Ascertain the answer of where do you want to be in relation to your opponent.
  2. Distance is easy. Maintain the appropriate distance.
  3. As for angles, capitalize on your opponent’s weaknesses/bad habits.
    1. your (rookie) opponent may look away at times
    2. your opponent may cover up and block her vision
    3. you may simply block your opponent’s vision for her
    4. you may use quick feet or swift footwork (such as an l-step or a pivot)
    5. your opponent may have bad footwork or be flat-footed
    6. (the list goes on)
  4. Try to maintain a good position at all times. This helps very much in boxing’s two goals of hitting and not getting hit.

 

Conclusion

For the most part, a good position for a boxer is when she is punching from the weak side of her opponent and near the end of her maximum range. But this is not the case for every boxer and her opponent, so it is better to answer the question of where you want to be in relation to your opponent. Once this is known, maintain the effective position and you’ll most likely win.

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