Today I’m going to respond to a reader’s email as part of my post. I enjoy interacting with you guys, so if there’s any of you reading this that have questions please send them on over to jstamey@atlanticmma.com.

Hi Jonathan!

My name is Abner, I’m from Brazil

I downloaded your e-book “Boxing Bible” for MMA, very good book! Congrats!_ 

I’ve been training Muay Thai for 4 years, and I’m very good with kicks, elbows, knees, clinchwork…. BUT, I started to train boxing last month, and I’m having LOTS of problem with boxing. 

For example, I don’t know how to break my opponent guard with punches.

When I start to hit the guy, I always leave a opening and the opponent punches me

It’s being very hard for medo you have any tips to help me out with boxing?

Thanks!

Abner

Thanks Abner. Well, I can respond to your question a couple different ways.

The situation you’re describing is a common issue in Muay Thai and Boxing competition because you’re wearing 8, 10, or 12 oz gloves. It is possible for your opponent to cover up with a high guard or to put on the ear muffs as many trainers would say and effectively block shots.

The best guys I’ve ever seen with it are former and current World Champions Winky Wright and Arthur Abraham. They put on a damn ear muff clinic. I don’t like the tactic, but they make it look like art.

But if we’re talking about MMA, your problem of breaking through that guard completely disappears. When guys are wearing 5 ounce gloves there simply isn’t enough surface area to make ear muffs work. I’m not saying you can’t block shots off your gloves and forearms in MMA—I’m just saying if that’s your primary form of defense you’re going to sleep against an aggressive puncher.

Since breaking through someone’s guard in MMA isn’t difficult I’ll respond to your issue from a boxing or thai boxing standpoint.

Where Are The Targets Against a High Guard

Alright so your opponent has his elbows in and hands up glued to his chin, cheeks, or ears.

Where are the openings?

1. Between the Gloves
2. Behind the Gloves
3. Behind the Elbows
4. Middle of the Abdomen

Now depending on where his hands and elbows are will depend on where you’re aiming. But I guarantee you two of those targets will be open at ALL TIMES.

Regardless of which guard he uses, he can’t cover everywhere.

And who says that hitting someone on the arms and shoulders doesn’t work? Rocky Marciano use to bust guys blood vessels in their forearms cus he hit them so hard. My favorite boxer Edwin Valero makes his sparring partners PAY for it when they cover up on the ropes.

Try to dislocate their fucking shoulder and bang their own gloves into their face if that’s what they want to do.

You may not knock them out, but you sure as hell can beat them up. Take what they give you.

Back to our targets.

Which Punches Break the Guard

To connect behind the gloves go with overhand rights or wide hooks.

To get behind the elbows hook to the body.

To get to the abdomen sit down on a straight right hand.

And the number one guard busting punch, ram uppercuts right up the middle from underneath.

One concept you should get use to is working these targets in combination. It’s fine if the first two or three are blocked. We’re looking to set up our third and fourth shots to land.

An example of that might be: jab to gloves, right hand to the gloves, left uppercut to the chin pops the head up, and bang’em out with an overhand right behind the gloves to finish.

Or you give’em the ol’ Iron Mike combo, hook behind the elbows and launch their head into outer space with an uppercut using the same hand.

I hope that gives you some ideas, at least from a boxing standpoint.

As for you leaving openings…

How NOT to Get Hit When Throwing Combos

You said when you ”start to hit the guy you leave openings and he hits you”. I can take that to mean a couple different things. I’ll do my best to based on your statement.

If you’re leaving openings after you throw it could mean that you’re not retracting your punches back to guard fast enough. You got to bring your punches back in just as fast as you throw them out, don’t be lazy!

Secondly, anytime you throw expect to see something coming back at you. The way to alleviate getting hit after throwing your combinations is movement.

So get off and then take one step to either side. Or use a little in and out motion, get off and then jump back out of range. If you get off your combination and then stand right in front of him he could be blind and still hit you.

I hope this helps!

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