Many fighters are forced to fight more defensively because of their coach. They are usually yelled at constantly to keep their hands up and fight smarter rather than emotionally. Other fighters simply fight defensively out of necessity. They are either smaller, shorter, or younger than their opponents or they want to protect themselves.

A good defense does more for you than just avoiding damage. It also allows you to read your opponent’s attacks and intentions and match their fighting rhythm or break it. It can give you comfort when you are faced up with any opponent. It allows you to create some time and space for yourself to think about your strategy. You can use it to set up exchanges on your own terms. Defense helps control the fight by not allowing your opponent to use their weapons.

Unfortunately, not many people believe that they could ever be a defensive fighter. But that’s not true. Almost anyone can develop defensive boxing skills, no matter how uncoordinated or unskilled you may be.

Many people think that being defensive during boxing means “hands up” and some head movement, but it can be more than that. Good defensive boxing consists of keeping your hands up, good head movement, footwork, fast reflexes and slipping drills. But there is also more to it. Real boxing defense will have vision, meaning that you will be able to see the punches even before they are thrown. It will also have versatility, where you adjust to different opponent’s styles of fighting and try to understand their attack angles. It should also have rhythm, you should use your body’s natural rhythm to move easier when you are defending and countering. It should also make you feel relaxed and comfortable, so you won’t need to do more work than you need to. And a good defense makes your opponents more defensive, not aggressive or offensive.

Without having any vision or versatility, you will just be blindly memorizing defense habits. You still won’t see anything and will still get hit if opponents do not fight in the same way you were trained. Without having any rhythm, you will use more energy and you will miss opportunities to counter them.

Defense is ultimately a state of mind. Many fighters will have a defensive mindset where they are scared of fighting their opponent, and they don’t know what their opponent is going to do next which makes them even more afraid. But good defense techniques won’t work if you are showing your fear.

Your defensive presence will still need to be a defensive presence. You should be able to convey confidence and show you are cool, collected and pretty much daring your opponent to make a move on you. You should be at home in the ring, and this inner confidence will only come when you know exactly how you can deal with your opponent through your defensive skills.

Boxing is a wonderful sport that will allow you to have fun while you get into shape, and Beyond Boxing offers classes in the Vancouver area. Our boxing gym is the perfect place to learn boxing defense, so contact us today if you are interested in lessons or training sessions!