General & Technical Tips

General Hygiene and Personal Pointers
  • Keep toe and hand nails neat and trimmed.
  • If you have long hair, keep it tied back, otherwise sweat will cause the hair to go into your face during training.
  • Always wash your gym clothes after EACH workout. We all get used to our own odors, but others don’t!
  • Keep all jewelry at home.
  • Have a light snack before a workout. Avoid junk food and have fruit or an energy bar instead. Those who have a big meal right before class will end up paying the price.
Boxing Hand Wraps
  • Always roll up your hand wraps when not in use to prevent them from bunching up.
  • Always wash them after each workout, otherwise they’ll stink. If that is too much trouble, have several pairs that you can alternate with.
Can’t remember how to put on hand wraps? Click here to see step-by-step instructions.



Eight Points to Remember from the Beginner Curriculum
1. Fighting stance
  • First determine if you’re right-handed (adopt an Orthodox fighting stance – right leg and arm are back) or left-handed (adopt a southpaw fighting stance – left leg and arm are back)

The fighter on the left is in an orthodox fighting stance
while the fighter on the right is in a southpaw stance

  • keep your chin down, hands up, knees slightly bent and chest turned slightly to the side
  • a gap between your legs must be established or you will lose your balance
  • always have 50-50 weight distribution in both legs so you’re not leaning forward or backward
  • always remain RELAXED

Which 1988 movie is this from?

2.  Movement – Forward, backward, left and right
  • do NOT cross legs when moving
  • must remember to keep that gap between your legs when moving, otherwise you’ll lose balance
  • stop once in a while and check to see if that gap is still there. If not, reestablish it
  • always take small steps, so recovery can be quicker
3. Punching – Jab and cross combo
  • first learn how to make a proper fist (a three step process shown in class)
  • keep wrists and fists straight and don’t tense up
  • must remember to keep both hands up when punching. Never drop your hands
  • must remember to pivot and use hips to generate power for the right cross
  • always remember to remain relaxed and don’t hike the shoulders
  • do NOT lean forward or backward (always maintain that 50-50 weight distribution in both legs)
  • punch straight and retract, do NOT sway or trail punches
  • never lock out or hyperextend your elbows when punching.
  • CORRIDOR EXAMPLE – Imagine throwing the jab down a corridor. When the jab comes back and the right cross follows, it travels down that same corridor. So if your body is swaying or you’re leaning forward, your punches will not go straight down this corridor.
Click here to see some examples of the different types of punches

4.  Kicking – Swing and push kicks
  • for the swing kick, front foot steps and angles out, shoot the hip, and the rear leg follows through. Kick with the shin and always remember to kick THROUGH the target. Do NOT bend leg, use only a slight bend when kicking. The leg is like a baseball bat swinging through a target. Spin all the way around and reestablish fighting stance
  • then do switch kick, but first make sure front foot is pointed and angled properly before kicking
  • when kicking high, kick with the instep, as the picture to the right shows
  • for push kick, raise rear knee and thrust hip into the kick. Push with the ball of the foot. Do not snap kick. Return leg to the rear
  • Always remember that after throwing a kick, come right back into fighting stance

The LINKS section of my website has an excellent link that shows the mechanics of kicking and comparisons between the different styles of kicking.

U.S. Rangers practice Thai swing kicks

5.  Knees

  • must thrust hip to get power
  • when kneeing: keep leg tucked in, point toes down and keep your arms up
  • then do a switch knee

6.  Elbows 

  • bring elbow up and slice down on a 45 degree angle, like a sword cutting down on a target
  • must pivot and use hips to generate power, much like the right cross
  • Bring up the other hand to the forehead in order to protect the face


7.  Working with a trainer – Thai pads

  • never put your thumb on the inside of the handle when holding Thai pads
  • give a bit of resistance when someone is about to hit the pad
  • pads should be held close to the body
  • must adjust pads to your partner’s height


8.  General points to remember

  • the more relaxed you are, the faster your reactions will be and the more energy you’ll conserve
  • power is generated from the hips, not from winding up
  • when doing the switch, do not jump and make sure it’s quick and small
  • body remains straight in fighting stance or when striking. So don’t sway or bend the body
  • do NOT lean forward when executing techniques!
  • always tighten abdominal muscles and breathe out when striking
  • and finally…as we all know, dedication, discipline and hard training are essential for developing a strong mind, body and spirit

Being unconquerable lies with yourself; being conquerable lies with the enemy. – Sun Tzu, The Art of War