HUH? What does that mean? Boxing Terms & Phrases : The Basics. Also why do boxing coaches talk so fast? 😅

Two women dressed in workout clothes standing against a white wall with their arms crossed smiling at each other.

Confused by some boxing terms, and why is the lingo different everywhere?

Maybe you have been to one boxing class, twenty +, or none! There are a few basic phrases that we want to help you learn so that you can talk the talk. We will build on this library for you and if you think there is something you have heard and would like to add to this list just comment below! Remember no question is a dumb question... well for the most part! 😆👊🏼

Orthodox – If you are an Orthodox fighter you are most likely right-handed so your lead food is your left and your rear foot is your right within your stance.

Southpaw – If you are a South Paw you are a leftie and your lead food is your right and your rear foot is your left in your stance. Sometimes we have found that if you are 'goofy' as a lefties stance is called in most board sports you maybe comfortable in both stances. This can also be the case of an Orthodox fighter. 

*Remember many coaches have different ways of calling out punches but these are standard.

Jab or 1 – The Jab is probably your most important punch and is executed with your lead hand. 

Power/Cross or 2 –  This is your power punch that you unleash with your rear hand and can be that knockout punch as you should be rotating your full body weight behind this punch.

Hook 3 & 4 - If you are Orthodox your 3 is your Left hook punch and your 4 is a Right hook. If you are Southpaw it is the opposite. FUN FACT: many times your 4 is another straight right/left. A very popular combination is 1-Jab 2-Power 3-Hook 4-Power. 

Uppercut 5 & 6 - Again if you are Orthodox your 5 is a left Uppercut and your 6 is your right. Swap those if you are Southpaw. FUN FACT: in real boxing you don't get many chances to throw 6 punch combinations as 1-6 but its used in more Boxing fit classes and working on your power bunching and the different ranges for the punches.

Long/Short/Mid- Range Punches: Yup this is a real thing. When you begin boxing you should really be working mostly on long range punches which are your 1-2. But as you move closer to someone you will also need to be able to throw these punches just as effectively in close range. 


Parry – a block that redirects the energy of a punch coming toward you. Never reach for the punch let it come to you. 

Slip – a defensive move in which your body rotates left or right (with your guard up) to move out of the way of any straight punch.

Bob & weave – a defensive move in which you squat down and then roll to the left of right depending on the punch you are trying to block. You want to move quickly in more of a V shape then a full U which is a more advanced move that you can throw punches off of.

Footwork: (Also a part of defence) 

Pendulum Step – This is where floating like a butterfly comes into play, when you are in your boxing stance and you are lightly bouncing forward and back together with both feet always in STANCE. You propel yourself with the balls of your feet allowing you to move quickly in the ring and get to where you need to be or get out of the way quickly.

Pivot – A quick change in direction off of your lead foot, you can do this off of your rear as well but that is a more advanced move.

Step & Punch - Being able to move forward using the momentum behind your movement and putting that energy behind your punch. Your punch will land at the same time your foot steps down. *More on this in a footwork blog to come.

These are a great start to building your boxing term vocabulary please comment below if you have any terms or questions you want us to answer. What terms have confused and we promise all questions will be answered, it will be helpful for everyone! xo TEAM GJWB




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