WHAT ‘The Optimum positioning of the body which will allow the individual to conduct all necessary actions as effectively as possible’ 

WHY The correct Stance & Guard position, which forms a boxers “Shape”, should provide a stable platform from which all movement, attacking & defending can be carried out.  From this position, Sound balance is vital to enable the boxer to move quickly and smoothly, whilst simultaneously being able to punch, defend and to implement or react to tactical situations.  The Optimal Stance & Guard position will ensure the Boxers Centre of Gravity allows sound weight distribution, thus being able to punch and defend correctly, at any time, without losing the Boxing Shape.

HOW (For the purpose of the Level 1 course, the Classic Stance & Guard Position will be used, however two additional Stance & Guard Positions will be shown in COACHING TIPS below).

Classic Stance & Guard

Coaching Points:

  • Demonstrate good balance throughout
  • Feet should be a little wider than shoulder width apart, with the lead foot forward
  • Rear foot offset from the lead foot i.e. not directly behind to form a straight line
  • Rear heel is slightly raised off the floor
  • Both feet are aiming at approx 45 degrees
  • Knees are slightly bent / flexed
  • Weight should be distributed evenly over the balls of the feet

General Faults:

  • Feet are too wide, hindering rapid foot movement necessary for attacking, defending and general ringcraft
  • Feet are too narrow, giving a poor base of support for punching and body movement
  • Back heel is flat, hindering rapid and fluent foot movement.  Also hindering Trunk Defence
  • Stance too square on to the opponent, offering a large target area
  • Flat footed – loss of balance and fluent movement


A boxers Stance & Guard position will be determined by a number of factors, including height to weight ratio, body type and technical / tactical strengths etc.

Like all skills, the basics should be taught and enforced first i.e. Classic Stance & Guard for Beginners, then conduct adaptations / modifications at correct stages of athlete development.  

Tall Boxer – Stance & Guard

To utilise the height & reach advantage taller boxers at their competing weight have, the following coaching points can be employed:

  • Feet wider than the Classic Stance – this will enable more dynamic rotation around the central axis thus providing additional length in the extended straight punch
  • Feet still to remain slightly offset to aid balance, however closer aligned to front foot in comparison to the Classic Stance

Generally speaking, a taller boxer is tactically advantageous over a shorter opponent when maximising straight punching.  As explained, the wider stance will add further extension on the straight punches.

Short Boxer – Stance & Guard

Generally speaking, the shorter boxer will need to close down the boxing range (reduce the distance) on their taller opponent in order to be in position to throw effective punches, off which in general will be bent arm punches.  Therefore, the following coaching point can be employed:

  • Rear Foot closer to front foot i.e. more offset than the Classic Stance, thus appearing more “square on”

This will assist the boxer to move “quicker”, as the body moves faster when the feet are more aligned (think of sprinting).  The Coach must ensure the correct balance is struck between feet adjustment to aid faster movement, to becoming too square thus exposing more of a target area.