It’s time you learned one of the oldest defensive techniques in boxing…
The Shoulder Roll
One of my all-time defensive favorites! JAMES TONEY!
Why learn the shoulder roll?
Easier Than Blocking!
More Effective Than Blocking!
Have you ever blocked a punch only to have your own glove smash your face?
Deflected punches that land,
have less impact than
squared punches through the glove.
Frees Your Hands For Countering
How to Shoulder Roll
Start in your basic stance
- Stand in your regular boxing stance.
- You don’t have to drop your left hand to shoulder roll!
Shoulder Roll Away from Right Hands
- Rolling away from the right hand as I lift my shoulder to cover my chin.
- Keep your back straight and don’t lean backwards.
- Roll just enough to avoid that right hand.
Sometimes the right hand is blocked from the outside…
Sometimes the right hand is deflected to the inside.
- Wide right hands are typically blocked from the outside.
- Straight right hands are typically parried by your shoulder to the inside.
- Just roll your shoulders, don’t worry about where the right hand goes.
Countering the Right Hand
Counter #1 – STRAIGHT RIGHT
Counter #2 – RIGHT UPPERCUT
Shoulder Roll Away from Left Hooks
Roll AWAY from the left hook…
Don’t roll into the left hook.
- Roll AWAY from the left hook, not into it.
- Don’t roll away so much that you get hit in the back.
- If you roll into the hook, you risk getting hit or pushed off balance.
Countering the Left Hook (after the shoulder roll)
Counter #1 – JAB
Counter #2 – LEFT HOOK
The Left Hand Can Be Up
Shoulder roll with the left hand up, blocking from the outside.
Shoulder roll with left hand up, deflecting the right hand inside.
- You don’t have to drop your left hand to do the shoulder roll.
Shoulder Roll Video
Practicing the Shoulder Roll
Shoulder Roll Drill
Stand at arm’s length with a partner.
Partner throws lefts and rights non-stop as you keep rolling away.
- Your partner shoulder be swinging at shoulder level.
- Have your partner randomly mix up straight rights and wide rights.
- Exaggerate the roll, rotate your shoulders all the way during this drill.
- Put the hands down, so you focus on the RHYTHM instead of covering your face.
Shoulder Roll & Counter Drill
Same drill as before but this time, you throw counter-punches.
Shoulder roll with COUNTER LEFT
Shoulder roll with COUNTER RIGHT
- Start off with the same LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT shoulder roll rhythm.
- To punch during the shoulder roll, just release a punch from the shoulder going forward.
- Don’t focus on his punch or your punch, just feel the rhythm and release a punch anytime you want.
- Aim at your partner’s chest; don’t hit hard. (This is just practice.)
- Try countering several times in a row and return to just shoulder rolls without losing rhythm.
- Take turns! Switch after each round.
Push & Shoulder Roll
Have a trainer push you into the ropes during mitt work…
…and surprise you with 3-4 punches. You know what to do!
- As long as you know what side the first punch is coming from, the rest is easy.
The shoulder roll’s essence is IN THE ROLL!
Don’t worry about the shoulder.
You and your partner must match each other’s rhythm.
Don’t try to surprise each other.
Masters of the Shoulder Roll
- Floyd Mayweather – very effective, precision shoulder rolls.
- Kevin Johnson – defensive heavyweight. (Proof that big guys can shoulder roll too!)
Using the Shoulder Roll
The shoulder roll uses RHYTHM as your defense.
Try a slight shoulder roll with every block.
Shoulder Roll Tips:
- Don’t over-rotate. Rotate just enough to avoid the punch.
- Don’t get faked out, your opponent might punch with the opposite hand as you roll into it!
- Keep your eyes on your opponent the whole time.
- Try to add a pivot when you roll the front shoulder.
- The shoulder roll is ineffective against lighter punches.
…think you got the shoulder roll down?
- How to Slip Punches
- How to Roll Under Punches (coming soon)