Boxing Defense and Body Shots for Beginners

New and amateur boxers often overlook the importance of boxing defense. They do tend to change their opinions after stepping into the ring for the first time. You can have all the offensive skills you want but without a good defense you will find it very hard to get past the first round. Boxing movement is the key to defense so if you have been practicing the movement exercises, the following information will help incorporate them into your defense;

Get into your boxing stance. Your normal stance will have your hands placed at a small distance from your face. To get into your defensive stance, you have to bring your hands closer with palms facing inwards. The hands should be close to eye level and elbows tight into your ribs.

Alternative Arm Placement

Another boxing defense arm placement is putting your non-dominant hand in front of your face. Your dominant arm should be placed around your mid-section, covering your chest and belly. Chin placement should be right behind your shoulder.

Dodging Techniques

Slip Punches

A popular term in boxing defense is slipping punches. It is a tricky move to master so pay attention;

  • You will be doing 2 different moves simultaneously to slip a punch.
  • Bend your body at the waist and lower yourself.
  • While you are bending, you have to twist your upper body towards your front leg.
  • You have to be ready to throw a punch when you slip because your opponent will be wide open if you have slipped the punch successfully.

Bob and Weave

The popular bob and weave technique can help you with defense and offense.

  • You will lower your body by bending your knees.
  • Hand placement should be static the whole time.
  • Your head will make a ‘V’ movement as you lower your head and come back up a little.
  • The aim is to get outside of the punch.
  • You do not need to move your feet at all.
  • Quick movement is the key and you can also find yourself in a great countering position.

Backward Lunge

  • Slide your back leg away from your opponent.
  • Bend your front leg slightly.
  • Move your upper body back a little.
  • This will put you away from your opponent’s reach.

Block Punches

Parry Punches

  • When you see a punch coming, it can be slapped away.
  • Lean slightly backwards when the opponent throws a punch.
  • You will ‘redirect’ the punch away from using your palm.
  • Right-handed punches can be parried with the left hand and left-handed punches with the right hand.
  • Parrying can put you in a great position to counter because your opponent will be off balance for a second.

Catching Punches

  • When you are in your basic defensive stance. Your hands will be around your face with palms facing inwards.
  • You have to twist your hand to move the palm towards your opponent and let his/her punch land on it.
  • Lean back slightly to absorb the punch better.
  • Your next move should be to get back into the defensive stance as quickly as possible.

Double Arm Block

  • This is a simple technique and it’s really useful if your opponent is a brawler.
  • Bring your hands up to your eyes.
  • Lock your arms together.
  • Essentially, you will hide your upper body, including your face, behind your arms.
  • Once the impact of the hits is absorbed you can get back to your normal stance.

Body Shots

The next chapter in this post is body shots. You must have developed a decent jab by now. So you can move towards body shots.

Body shots take a lot out of your opponent if landed successfully. They can change the defensive strategy. And can be used to set up combos to do a lot of damage. So read on and you will learn about various body shots and hot to throw them;


  1. Lead Hook body shot

Being the quickest to set up, the lead hook body shot is also the simplest one to throw;

Step 1

Lean towards the lead leg slightly and increase weight on it, which will give you the power needed.

Step 2

Lower your lead hand and start to pivot your back foot in line with the direction of your punch.

Step 3

Aim for the midsection, liver to be exact, and thrust upwards. Bring your hand back to normal position.

  1. Rear Hook body shot

You will have to reach with the rear hand for the rear hook body shot. You will need to set it up with other punches.

Step 1

Bend your knees slightly and take a small step forward, so you don’t reach with just your body. Bodyweight should be centered during the whole movement.

Step 2

You have to target the abdominal area with the punch and follow the hook movement.

Step 3

Get back to your normal stance quickly.

  1. Straight body shot

Easy to get off, you can target moving opponents with this one in a quick cross to the midsection.

Step 1

Bend your knees and lower the body but keep your back and head straight.

Step 2

Throw a straight cross to the midsection of the opponent.

Step 3

Get back to your stance swiftly.

  1. Rear Uppercut body shot

This option is good as a counter body shot. When your opponent throws and misses you can get into position get off a hit to the liver area.

Step 1

Get on the inside of the opponent either by slipping or weaving.

Step 2

Pivot the back foot as you are throwing the uppercut to the abdominal region to generate power.

Step 3

Dig upwards with all your strength to make the hit count.

Defense and body shots both are integral in your boxing training. You need to use the information above in the most effective way to learn and improve both of these elements. You can try these moves on a heavy punch bag at first and perfect the movement during shadow boxing sessions. Practice boxing defense in your sparring session and be very quick with your movements.

Check out our boxing training section for more boxing tutorials.