How to Slip & Roll in Boxing

Slipping and rolling are moves used in boxing to avoid being punched. They are very calculated moves that are usually used in the ring, but can still be learned and applied while working on the mitts. If you want to learn how to break down slipping and rolling in boxing, check out this introduction, along with some boxing footwork instructions from our Gloveworx coaches.

Why We Slip and Roll

Two of the most fundamental concepts of boxing are defense and offense. We learn how to slip and roll in boxing for both offensive and defensive functions. When you move to avoid being punched, you’re moving defensively, and when you move to come forward and throw your opponent off balance, you’re moving offensively.

How We Slip and Roll in Boxing

To properly slip or roll, your movement is primarily based on footwork and hip hinging. These are the vital mechanics of executing these techniques effectively and maintaining your balance and control.

The Slip

A slip is when you move your head to one side of your shoulder to dodge a blow. It’s a very subtle movement and, as such, it’s a very effective tactic when executed correctly. Whether your opponent has thrown a jab or a straight right hand, you can slip to the right or the left. A slip is performed in the same way, no matter which direction you choose to dip towards.

When learning how to slip in either direction, slightly bend your knee and drop your upper body through a hinge in your hip. Hinging from your hip, instead of from the spine, allows you to lower your body out of punching range, but still keep your eyes on your opponent and your powerline strong.

The Slip, Slip

A slip, slip is when you move your head from one side to the other side. An orthodox fighter would perform this move by slipping right first and then left, while a Southpaw fighter would slip first to the left and then to the right. When a two-punch combo is thrown at you, you can use the slip, slip to avoid getting hit. Since the slip, slip is just two slips one right after another, you utilize the same bend in the knee and hip hinge pattern as in a regular slip.

The Slip, Slip, Roll

You would typically use this move to avoid a punch combo that starts with a jab, then goes to a straight right hand, and finishes with a hook. When working this combo in your boxing session, you want to learn how to slip the first two punches and roll the third.
The hook is a typical finishing punch to a combo after a jab and a right hand. Fighters in close range also use looping punches that tend to be hooks from both the left and right hands, so the slip, slip, roll is one of the most common ways to avoid these types of combos.

You can perform your slipping movements with the knee bend and the hip hinge, but when it’s time to roll after a jab or right hand, bend your knees, step to the right, and roll onto your foot to avoid the hook. You’ll need to bend your knees a bit more during this move, as you want the hook to pass completely over your head.

Practice Makes Perfect

Next time you come into the studio, ask your coach to teach you how to slip and roll during boxing. When you feel like you’ve got this technique down, come back for part two of the slip, slip, roll technique.