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Posted by Matthew Chapman on

Slipping means avoiding a strike by moving the head, body or leg just out of the way. It is a commonly used term in boxing for avoiding punches by using evasive head movement. It is very important when slipping to avoid over-slipping, dropping one or both hands, or losing your balance. Over slipping refers to moving the head too far to either side which takes a fighter out of position for further defensive moves and inhibits the ability to counter-attack effectively.

When slipping the expression “an inch is as good as a mile” is relevant. The punch or kick should miss by the smallest margin possible. If you move your head 3 feet to the right to avoid a punch you opponent will notice you over committing and the next time you do it there will be a shin waiting for your head. The best way to practice slipping is on the focus mitts by having the holder slowly throw straight punches at regular intervals during your pad work. After getting hit a few times you will start moving your head to avoid to strikes.

In the beginning is quite common for people to move too much to avoid the strike but over time they get more comfortable with punches flying back at them and they relax a little more and refine their movements. After a few months of practice most people can recognise and avoid straight punches by a few inches.

The body mechanics of slipping sometimes encourage fighters to drop their hands whilst slipping. Dropping the hands whilst slipping is detrimental as it breeds bad habits and gives an opponent the space to follow-ups, grab or off balance. Keep both hands in good position touching the sides of the face just under the cheekbones whilst slipping. This will allow quick counters and limit any options you opponent has for following up.

Finally make sure balance is never compromised when slipping. It is quite easy to over commit the upper body and fall to either side. Try to keep the movements small and under control and return to stance as soon as possible. It is imperative to be balanced at all times when training or fighting. Any loss of balance will affect one’s ability to attack or defend. When your body is off-balance the brains priority is to regain balance and therefore it cannot be thinking effectively or strategically about the fight, it is only concerned with recovering balance. Try to stay balanced at all times.

Mittmaster Matt

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