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Slipping The Assailants Punches (instructional video included)

Updated: Jan 21, 2023

Slipping a punch (or multiple punches) is a very important defense to learn because getting punched in the face is one of the most common attacks used by an assailant. This defense works against a straight punch to your face (i.e., sucker punch).

When slipping a punch or multiple punches, you need to move your head off the centerline (away from their punch). A taller assailant will generally have the longer reach, which means they can hit you without you being close enough to hit them back. If you don’t move your head, off centerline, you will get hit easily. Also, slipping punches are a safe way of avoiding a powerful puncher from landing flush on your face.

Additionally, slipping the punch leaves the assailant open to your counterattack. One of the greatest boxers of all time, Floyd Mayweather Jr., made a career of slipping punches and counter attacking. He amassed an unheard of 50 wins and no losses during his career. He also sustained less damage than most other fighters by using the slip and counterattack style.

How to slip a punch:
  1. Start in either a neutral stance or a fighting stance. See my blog on stances for more on that.

  2. Tilt your head and slightly bend your body, from the hip, to that side (laterally); then return to center, and repeat to the other side.

  3. Keep your eyes on your opponent/target at all times when slipping. *Keep your chin down, and eyes up when slipping.

Practice these drills to help you get better at slipping:
  • Tennis Ball - Once you’ve become proficient at practicing slipping in the air, hang a tennis ball from a rope in the ceiling, at your face height. Push the ball away from you and slip the ball as it comes back towards your face. Always keep your eyes on the ball.

  • Double-end Striking Ball - Practice slipping against a double end striking ball; push it out slowly at first to allow for slower reaction time.

  • Partner Drill – Have your partner slowly throw straight punches at you as you slip them, and have him gradually build up the speed (use protective equipment). Begin by doing this drill in a stationary position. As you get better at it, move around with your partner as he/she throws the straight punches at you.

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

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Lawrence Castanon,

Author, The Short Fight

Slipping Head Punches

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