What is Slap Boxing?

Slap boxing is a really good training technique for improving various elements of your fighting game: 

It will give you a feeling for range;  improve your reaction speed and timing, and develop your footwork.

It involves two fighters sparring against each other using open handed strikes instead of punching with clenched fists.  Essentially it’s a simulated sparring contest between individuals.

The idea is to land hits or slaps on your opponent.  These might be either to the head or the body.

The practice is performed in a non-aggressive and controlled fashion.  You’re not trying to injure or knock out your opponent, merely to find a way through their defenses to land a light tap or slap.

Of course, you’re not only trying to slap your opponent but also avoid being slapped yourself.

In this way it mimics boxing and fighters will employ the same bobbing and weaving techniques to avoid being hit.

It’s also a really good way to practice how to react when haymakers are thrown in a street scenario.  Most people don’t know how to punch so will throw punches that travel in a wide arch – the typical haymaker.  This is the same path that many slaps are thrown and so you’ll naturally get better at defending and dodging this type of attack.


Do you need any equipment for slap boxing? 

One of the advantages of slap boxing is that it doesn’t require any equipment.  You don’t need boxing gloves or headgear in order to practice it.  Two individuals can box slap anywhere where there is enough space to move around.

Is slap boxing illegal?

Box slapping is not illegal but should only be practiced by consenting boxers.

It’s important that slap boxing is practiced in a light hearted fashion and with no intention to cause injury.  

What are the rules of slap boxing?

The rules of slap boxing are made up by the participants and generally speaking they follow the rules of boxing:  No slaps are made to below the belt or to the back of the head.  

Participants might want to agree on how long each round will go on for but usually it’s much more free form

Is Slap Boxing dangerous?

The one thing to be very careful of is unintentional finger jabs to the eyes.  This is why it’s important to be extremely careful.  If you’re too worried by this, you could try ‘tag boxing’ where you try to tag your opponent’s thigh instead.

Is slap boxing a real sport?

Slap boxing is not a sport.  It’s a way of sparring with an opponent without hitting them with a clenched fist, which could be painful and cause significant bruising   

You’re still able to practice your footwork to change your distance and also your bobbing and weaving techniques when trying to avoid being struck.

Is Slap Boxing the same as Russian slap fighting?

Slap boxing is not the same as Russian slap fighting.  In this Russian game, two contestants will stand opposite each other either side of a waist height table.  They will take turns in slapping each other on the side of their face as hard as they can.  The idea is either to knock your opponent out or to get them to submit when they can’t take the pain any more.

Slap boxing is done without the intention to injure your opponent.  It’s a way to practice sparring in a relatively safe way.


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