A Brief Post on the Importance of Head Movement

Hey guys,

Some of you might know that I am entering a period of semi-hiatus as I have some major deadlines coming up, but I can't keep myself away from the keyboard altogether so I bashed up this quick post in response to some requests for an article on head movement. I will do a proper one at some point, but this film should be enough to show bad head movement at it's best! Once again, thanks for all your support with my book, I've been blown away, and having no means of advertising I would be hugely grateful if you could recommend it to your friends.



Head movement, by most, is thought to be the wobbling around of one's head while in fighting range, making it harder for the opponent to "lock on" to one's head and throw punches at it. Hitting a moving target is always harder, but it is not difficult to hit someone who wobbles their head around at distance and then stands straight upright when they attack.

This is what I am always moaning about in MMA in particular, but it's also happening more in boxing nowadays as the focus on spamming combination punches from a squared up stance overtakes the importance of hitting and not getting hit.

When moving forward with a jab, especially if one only hopes to land the jab, without following up - as it is important to be able to do early in a bout, it is sensible form to dip slightly to the side of the non-jabbing hand. This can be done with a slight slipping movement, or by stepping forward into an almost sideways stance and bending at the waist.


Here is a sketch from J. C. Thomas' great book, How to be an Ass Whipping Boxer, which depicts a slip combined with a jab.

It is important to move one's head when moving straight in with a jab, because against anyone who is not a complete novice, an attempted counter is practically assured.

While exploring ideas for a print book, I spent some time studying the many films on youtube of so called "pikey fights" or bare knuckle encounters between Irish travelling folks. While I'm sure a great many of you find the idea of fighting bare knuckle, on concrete, over ridiculous family rivalries abhorrent (I know I do) it is certainly a fascinating and alien cultural facet - the need to come to blows over things that seem like non-issues to outsiders. This clip also amply demonstrates the lack of offensive head movement.

Take a look at the exchanges of jabs in this film. It should be said that these men had been fighting for almost half an hour during this section of the video, but the sound fundamentals were never there to begin with. Watch as they both move in to jab, and land simultaneously almost every time. The best example is at 0:14.

Fighting Irish: Bareknuckle Traveller Boxing Part 3 (via xAphexTwinx)

Originally from:

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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