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Ducking and Slipping Punches To Your Head (instructional video included)



Ducking allows you to evade a horizontal strike to the head like the hook punch, whereas slipping allows you to evade diagonal punches like the overhand punch, or wild punch. Evading a punch is crucial when defending yourself against a powerful, aggressive puncher. By evading the punch, you will not take the brunt of the blow at all, like you would from blocking the punch.

How To Perform:
  1. From your stance (neutral or fighter), quickly bend both knees (like a squat), and keep your back straight.

  2. “Squat” just enough so the punch goes over your head, keeping your eyes on the assailant.

  3. Quickly rise up returning to your stance.

  4. Slipping a punch, starts just like ducking, but after you squat down, you are going to move your head off centerline as you come back up. Think about making the letter "U" in your movement.

Note 1: Do Not bend at your waist or you will expose the top and back of your head to other punches.

Note 2: Do not “squat” lower than the punch; it takes too much time and you may get hit on your way

back up.


Hook and Slipping Punch Ducking Drills:
  • Stationary Ducking/slipping – From either neutral or fighting stance, have a partner slowly throw hook punches to your head as you duck them. Have your partner gradually increase the speed as you become more proficient.

  • Movement Ducking/slipping – Move around with your partner while having him slowly throw hook punches to your head as you duck them. Have your partner gradually increase the speed as you become more proficient.

  • Ducking Random Punches/slipping – Moving around with your partner, have him throw random hook punches in succession to your head (i.e., right, right, left, right, left, left etc.) as you duck them. Start slowly; then have your partner gradually increase the speed as you become more proficient.


Below is a short instructional video of how to duck and slip punches.


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Lawrence Castanon,

Author, The Short Fight



Ducking and slipping a punch to your head:


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