Counter Punching Techniques

Counterpunching is the art of making him miss, then making him pay. A good counterpuncher will hit without being hit. But just as importantly, he can make the opponent so scared to throw a punch that his offense dissolves away, leaving him gun-shy and helpless.

Two main types of counterpunching

Unskilled fighters generally throw one punch at a time, especially when they’re facing someone who has decent footwork. Against this sort of fighter, counterpunchers use footwork and upper-body shifting to make the opponent miss his punch. Then, they subtly shift into range for the counterpunch. This works because unskilled fighters generally use swings and hooks, and these punches don’t have anywhere near the range of a counterpuncher’s straight punches.

But good fighters throw punches in bunches. Against a skilled fighter throwing combinations, counterpunchers generally rely on some sort of blocking move before unleashing their counter punches.

How to avoid getting counterpunched

When you’re in your boxing stance with your guard up, you won’t get hit by a single punch. It’s when you move your guard that you are at risk of being punched.

Good counter punching relies on watching the opponent, then capitalizing on his mistakes. So your goal should be to use proper punching techniques at all time. This ensures that you don’t leave yourself open to shots that you’d otherwise block or avoid.

Counterpunching the jab

After you jab, you must bring your jab back high, to your chin.

If your opponent drops his jabbing hand after the punch, he is open for your straight right hand. Your right hand has a few inches more range than his jab, so it is the logical counterpunch when he is lazy about getting his jab back to his guard.

If he uses the so-called bow and arrow punch, which means he drops his right hand back when he jabs (like pulling on a bow and arrow), you might be able to counter punch him using your own power jab (or maybe even a left hook if you are good at the long-range hook).

Watch how he jabs and when you notice a vulnerability, set him up for a counter punching technique.

Counterpunching the right hand

Like the jab, it’s important to get the right hand back to the guard position immediately after throwing.

The vulnerable part of your opponent’s straight right hand (or right cross) is when it’s half-way back. You can slip your left hook in, just above his elbow, and clip him right on the chin. Watch how quickly your opponent brings his glove back to his face after throwing a right hand. If he’s slow and lazy, you have a perfect opportunity to counterpunch off his right hand.

It’s sometimes a good idea to counterpunch your opponent’s best power punch (which is usually his straight right), because if he’s an inexperienced fighter, he’ll often end his combinations with his best power punch. But if he’s smart, he won’t end his combos with a right hand, so you have to watch what he does and adapt to his style.

Countering the left hook

The normal counter for a left hook is to throw your own left hook.

Unskilled fighters often drop their right hand guard when they throw the left hook. If you see your opponent doing this, you can catch his left hook on your right glove, then hit him with your own left hook while he’s unguarded.

Of course, if he’s a wild swinger and you can slip his left hook, I probably don’t have to tell you that it’s the perfect opportunity for a right hand counterpunch. That’s a punch that should end the fight.

So, remember to always use good technique and avoid creating the defensive holes that counterpunchers take advantage of. And if you notice that your opponent continually exposes a weak spot because he has poor punching techniques maybe you should think about using some of these counter punching techniques against him. Good Luck! (And feel free to let me know what your favorite counter punching techniques are)