No matter which martial art you train in, it’s almost certain you’ll need strong boxing to thrive.
Those boxing skills will help you both offensively and defensively. And above all, having a strong grasp of “the sweet science” will make you a more accurate striker.
Here are four ways to increase your punching accuracy during your next sparring session.
Let The Hands Flow
When your sparring begins, try to get into the flow state – which means being completely immersed in your session.
By getting into this strong mental state, you should be able to dictate your combinations, and your body should do the work effortlessly. This goes for counter-striking as well. When you evade and find openings, your mind will be able to react without your body getting in the way.
ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao is a master at getting into the flow state.
Stay Light On Your Feet
When it comes to punching accuracy, your feet are just as important as your hands – so stay light on your base.
When your sparring partner strikes, you’ll want to avoid getting hit in order to counter effectively. You’ll also want to be sure that after you strike, your rival can’t accurately hit back. Your footwork skills are the only way to make that happen.
This is precisely what Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov did to claim the ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title against “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS in December 2019.
Every time the Russian heavy-hitter finished a combination, he bounced out of Zhang’s range, so the man from China couldn’t accurately counter.
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Go For Speed, Not Power
Great boxers will tell you that speed beats power every day of the week. If you can land first, you’re more likely to score points and prevent your opponent from working their offense.
Speed also helps with accuracy. It’s harder to stop a punch with momentum behind it than to stop a punch thrown only with muscle.
This is why athletes like ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio fare so well. The Filipino standout from Team Lakay relies on timing – not power – when he throws punches, which is why he consistently lands accurate shots.
Feints are a great tool to have in your boxing arsenal. If used correctly, they create openings in your opponent’s guard, which means you’ll have a better chance to land your punches more accurately.
During his clash with Samy “AK47” Sana in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Championship Final at ONE: CENTURY PART II, “The Doctor” feinted with his southpaw jab to set up attacks – ranging from punches to kicks to knees – en route to winning the million-dollar tournament.