Just as there are different kinds of punches (learn how to punch here), there are different types of blocks.  This guide will teach you everything you need to know, when it comes to blocking punches.

Before we get started, lets go over some basic rules:

How to block a punch
An example of why it’s important to apply an equal and opposite amount of force against a punch when blocking. Rigondeaux vs Donaire
  • Never reach or “paw” to block a punch — You don’t want to leave your guard and expose your face or body
  • Apply and equal and opposite amount of pressure — When you block, you have to make sure you are applying enough force back, so that you don’t punch yourself in the face when you try to block.
  • Stay relaxed and react to the punches — Don’t expect or wait for the punches to come, just react when they do.  Of course, this take a lot of practice and patience.  Also, keep your eyes open (learn how to keep your eyes open) when punches are flying towards you, and be calm enough to react accordingly.

The Parry or Catch

The parry is used to redirect straight punches (Jab & Cross).  It is a subtle movement, which simple redirects the punch away from the face.  You can also catch the punch, by twisting your hand and letting your opponent’s punch land flush into your palm.

The Helmet Guard

Different Types of Boxing Blocks
Austin Trout in a low helmet guard block against Canelo Alvarez’s left hook.

Also known as the “cover-up”, the helmet guard is used to block wide punches like hooks or haymakers.  It is done by bringing the wrist up to the ear, and letting your opponents punch land on your shoulder/bicep/forearm area.  You want to roll and move, to take the direct pressure off of his/her attack.  You can also use the helmet guard to block uppercuts, by turning your hips and blocking with your elbow.

The Intercept

Intercepting a punch is a mixture of both the helmet guard and the parry.  Without reaching, you want to pop your shoulder out just enough to catch your opponents punch before it lands.  Instead of letting the punch land, like with the helmet guard, you “intercept” it just before contact.  This is a great block to set up a counter-punch.


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