January 2004
Andy and JamieWelcome to this installment of Balazs Boxing's newsletter. In this issue, Andy and Jamie introduce the basics of Target Mitt workouts for fun and improved fitness. They offer inspiration and techniques on keeping your New Year's Resolutions and address one reader's concern as to the efficacy of their workout schedule.

The Balazs Team


Boxing Drill #5: Target Mitts: Getting Started
Training with target mitts improves punching speed and accuracy and adds variety to a training regimen. Because you are working with a partner, the workout can constantly change to meet your specific training needs.

Getting Started:

The person holding the target mitts is known as the Catcher and the person throwing the punches is known as the Puncher. The Catcher is the one in control and instructs the Puncher what combinations to throw.

The Puncher stands in front of the catcher, in a classic boxing stance ready to execute a punch. The Puncher should stay slightly more than a jab length away from the Catcher. With an eye always on the target, the Puncher listens for punches and combinations called out by the Catcher. Each punch should be thrown with the purpose of improving the punching technique, accuracy and speed.

The Catcher holds both target mitts in front of his body, facing the Puncher. Arms should be slightly bent in a semi-tense position ready to receive the punches. The Catcher must keep the Puncher in view at all times. When the Puncher hits the mitts, the Catcher should bend the elbows slightly to allow the arms to absorb the punches. The Catcher is now ready to call the punches.

The Punches:

Assuming the Puncher is in the standard stance (left foot forward), all Jabs (left hand) should be thrown at the Catcher's left-hand target mitt. All Straight Rights are thrown at the catcher's right-hand target mitt. Left Hooks should be thrown at the catchers left target mitt. NOTE: The Catcher must turn the mitt inwards to receive this punch. Right Uppercuts are thrown to the right target mitt. NOTE: The Catcher must turn the target mitt down to be able to catch this punch. To catch Right Hooks and Left Upper Cuts, simply reverse the hand catching the punch.

By having the Puncher throw across to the opposite target mitts, it helps to keep the punches straight and in front of the body. It also helps develop a slight rotation in the Puncher's upper body to assist in improving the execution of the punches and strengthening of the torso.


Putting punch combinations together is as easy as 1-2-3. Each punch to be thrown can be identified with a number. Number your punches as follows:
Single Punches:
1 = Left Jab
2 = Straight Right
3 = Left Hook
4 = Right Uppercut
1-2 = Left Jab followed by the a Straight Right
1-2-3= Left Jab/Straight Right /Left hook in succession

Using the numbers for punches the Catcher calls out the combination and gets the target mitts ready to receive the punches. The Puncher throws the punches called and returns to the basic stance, ready to follow the Catcher's next call.

This workout provides a simulation of what it's like to be in the boxing ring. Using a timer, work out for 1-minute rounds with 1-minute rest, increasing to 3-minute rounds with 1-minute rest. For added fun and aerobic intensity the Catcher can move around the ring (or workout area) back and forth, side to side, to simulate a boxer in the ring while the Puncher concentrates on maintaining his distance and following the targets to maintain accuracy and technique. The Catcher can create his own combinations for the Puncher to follow.

It takes time to coordinate Target Mitt work, but once you have it down, it's an enjoyable addition to your workout routine.

Andy and Jamie's Health and Fitness Tip: How to Stick with your New Year's Resolutions
1. Be positive with yourself. You know you want to keep your resolution, so just do it. Take small steps and acknowledge when you have taken a step in the right direction.

2. If you break your resolution, brush it off and start again. Don't let one minor setback put you on the wrong path, just jump back onto the right path.

3. Make it easy on yourself and stay away from temptation's path. Keep healthy foods close by if you are on a diet or if you want to get up earlier in the morning, turn the TV off and relax quietly before bed.

4. Ensure that the resolution you chose this year is realistic and attainable. Learn from past lifestyle experiences to set your goals within your boundaries. Will you have the energy to train at night or should you work it into your morning or daytime routine?

5. Keep resolution reminders around, notes on the refrigerator or by the door. Keep a record of your successes, like how far or how many minutes, hours you ran this past week. Don't hide your running shoes away in a closet. Leave them out to remind you to go for a run.

6. Remember that your resolution is something that you want to succeed at and is not just a test of your will power. It is a promise to yourself to make a change.

Ask the Trainer:
"On Monday and Wednesday I attend a kickboxing class for an hour, and on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday I workout on a treadmill for 15 minutes. Am I doing enough to lose weight and become toned?"

The kickboxing classes will strengthen and tone the leg and gluteal muscles, as well as train the body core. It is suggested to train at least thirty minutes on the treadmill to increase the chance of reducing overall body fat and obtaining a healthier body.

 - Andy Dumas

Send your questions for Andy to

Product Recommendations:
FP0020 Leather Target Mitts
GB0130 Balazs Multi-Gloves
DV0100 i-Box: Fitness Boxing Fundamentals
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