Boxing lessons from A to Z — The best boxing training DVD series
In his 8-DVD set of boxing lessons, Coach Christopher Getz starts with the basics, then builds up to full-scale boxing drills that require a partner. Later, he covers sparring, boxing strategy, fitness routines appropriate for boxing, and ways to use boxing skills in self-defense situations.
Coach Getz’s teaching style is characterized by attention to detail. There is nothing flashy or self-serving about his presentation. Instead, his lectures are chock-full of information and devoid of surperfluous fluff. It’s obvious that he spent a great deal of time thinking about how to introduce each concept so it builds upon and reinforces what comes before.
Chris Getz gives away the farm in this boxing training DVD series. The wealth of information packed into these DVDs could have been broken up and made into more than 8 videos. I get the impression that this was a labor of love rather than a cynical money-making scheme.
The 8 DVDs included in the full set cover these topics:
- Counter Punching
- Focus Mitt Training
- Sparring and Ring Strategy
- Workout Routines
In the following sections, I’ll briefly describe the contents of each DVD.
You’ll learn all the basics. Chris Getz and his assistant teach every aspect of footwork and all the punches.
This DVD is an especially good overview of basic punching technique. Every movement is defined down to the smallest detail. You’ll gain an understanding of, and appreciation for, flawless technique.
Coach Getz first demonstrates each punch slowly and from at least two angles while mentioning the important points to keep in mind when you practice. Often, he’ll use his assistant to show how to deal with an opponent’s defense while you throw a punch. Then, he shows the punch at full speed on the punch mitts from many different angles, giving you a chance to see how the upper body works in concert with the footwork to generate power and speed. Finally, he moves to the heavy bag and shows how to train your punching power.
After you watch this DVD, you will know how to throw each punch in a fundamentally sound manner, and how to move around the ring.
As you can imagine, there is more to boxing than just throwing isolated punches. Throwing effective combinations isn’t easy. You need to understand how and when to step and shift your weight. And there are very good reasons why some combinations are better than others.
Coach Getz starts out with some basic two-punch combinations. He goes into exhaustive detail about how to throw the combos effectively, how to incorporate defense into your offense, and when it is appropriate to use each combo.
Later, he demonstrates the standard three-punch boxing combinations. By this point, viewers will begin to understand that punching combinations are not just random collections of punches, but meticulously-practiced strategic moves designed to penetrate and break down the opponent’s defense.
Finally, he shows some multi-punch combinations that, for various reasons, have become favorites of boxers the world over.
After watching this DVD, you’ll be an effective offensive fighter, with the knowledge to get into range, hit an opponent with a scoring blow, then retreat back into your boxing stance, all the while exposing as little of yourself as possible to your opponent.
You’ve heard it said many times: “the best defense is a good offense“.
Coach Getz explains that every offensive move — punches, footwork, body shifting, etc. — incorporates a solid defense within itself. If an offensive move leaves you open to attack, it is worthless.
Later, he shows the standard defensive techniques:
- Crouching or ducking
- Catching and blocking
- Slipping punches
- Rolling with punches
Finally, he gets into some unconventional moves like the cross-arm position (Philly shell) made famous in modern times by James Toney and Floyd Mayweather.
After you watch this lesson, you’ll know how to give yourself a chance to avoid getting hit while remaining ready to counter attack as effectively as possible.
Potent counterpunchers are exciting and dangerous. But do these lightning-fast fighters have reflexes better than everyone else? The answer is: no. You can learn to be a competent counterpuncher if you study it in detail.
Counterpunching: Make him miss & make him pay
In the previous DVD, Chris Getz showed how to make opponents miss. In this one, he shows how to make him pay. Counterpunching is the art of extracting an advantage out of the opponent’s missteps.
The easiest counter punching techniques are those directed against your opponent’s jab. Coach Getz starts off with these simple but effective variations. Then, he moves on to various counterpunching strategies used to neutralize the rest of your opponent’s arsenal of punches.
After watching this installment (and the previous ones), there will be no major holes in your understanding of boxing technique and strategy.
Focus Mitt Training
Coach Getz says that focus mitt training is the most important type of boxing training. It’s where you learn combinations, accuracy, and distancing. This is the video where everything learned in the previous DVDs coalesces into a unified whole.
From the point of view of a trainer, he shows how to hold the mitts in conjunction with a belly pad, so your fighter can work both the head and the body.
Partner training on the mitts is what elevates gym-trained fighters far above the self-taught. It turns one-punch wonders into combination machines. If there’s a combination that you can’t find in this video, that so-called combination is probably useless.
Sparring and Ring Strategy
Finally, when you’re ready to face an opponent, this is the video that will prepare you for the unpredictable nature of actual sparring and fighting.
Instead of stepping into the ring with no clue how to operate, you’ll know how to plan out your moves in a sensible way, and how to react to your opponent’s moves.
Some of the many topics covered in this DVD include:
- Basic equipment used, and standard protocol during sparring sessions
- How fundamentals are applied against a resisting opponent
- Strategies to use at the beginning of a match
- How to alter your game when fatigue begins to appear
- Dealing with being against the ropes or in the corners
- Hand wrap techniques for training, sparring, and fighting
- Mental aspects of training and/or coaching
- A guest lecture by pro boxing referee Tony Crebs
If you’ve never spent 2 or 3 minutes sparring, you have no idea how exhausting it can be. Likewise, if you’ve never been hit by a solid shot, you have no idea how the best laid plans can fall to pieces the second you get drilled.
You may think you’re in good shape, you may even think you’re fighting fit, but unless you train for fitness like a boxer, chances are you’ll fall apart in the ring.
While there’s nothing revolutionary in this video, it does give you a realistic view into what it takes to get in fighting shape. If you’re not doing the things you see on this DVD, you’re probably not going to be able to train as hard — and fight as well — as you should be able to.
Some topics include:
- Calisthenics and strengthening exercises
- Abdominal training
- Basic boxing gym workout routines
- Different types of bagwork
- Rope skipping and plyometrics
- Medicine ball work
This video stands on its own; it doesn’t refer overmuch to the previous videos in the series.
Basically, Coach Getz shows how boxing can be modified and used during a self-defense situation. Obviously, without gloves and handwraps, allowances have to be made.
Video production quality
The series was filmed in Coach Getz’s boxing and muay thai gym. Some segments take place in the ring, and others by the punching bags or in the workout area. Although it’s not filmed on a soundstage with perfectly controllable conditions, the gym is closed, quiet, and well-lit.
They used a single camera, but you get a good overview of the action and a closeup view of the important details. The cameramen are obviously pros: panning and zooms are smooth and unintrusive. The light and sound are adequate; there is never a problem understanding speech or seeing what’s going on. Background noise is kept to a minimum.
I read one review that said the production quality was “low”. I don’t think this is a fair assesment of the quality of this video.
It is an analog video recording (not a digital video), and it’s not HD, but it is definitely a professional production that serves its purpose very well.
If you insist on flashy graphics, snappy music, and artistic video editing, this is not the instructional for you. But if you want clearly-presented information, you’ll be very happy with this video.