Dirty boxing, as the name suggests, is considered a dark and striking art with tactics considered “dirty”. However, dirty boxing techniques have proven to be effective and become an essential aspect of MMA.
Everything you need to know about dirty boxing and its unique history. It also discusses the legality of dirty boxing in various martial arts and details some dirty boxing techniques.
dirty boxing history
No one ever came up with the term “dirty boxing.” The history of this fighting style actually has surprising origins.
Dirty boxing actually has its origins in the Filipino martial art of Suntukan. The Filipino art of Suntukan is used as a form of self-defense rather than a formal sport.
At Suntukan, students are taught various techniques that are considered dirty in more formal martial arts. Head butts, elbows, forearms, shoulder strikes, back fists all. Everything usually comes from a clinch to stay close to and maintain control of your opponent.
These combat tactics are considered dirty in formal martial arts like boxing, but are great for self-defense.
Legality of Dirty Boxing in Various Combat Sports
The legality of dirty boxing varies by martial art. Some technologies are considered illegal in some countries, but legal in others and highly recommended.
Most dirty boxing techniques are considered illegal in boxing where the term is most likely. That’s not to say most boxers don’t try to get away with dirty boxing tactics.
In boxing, the official rules do not allow clinches and strikes are not allowed. But that doesn’t stop the boxers from throwing quick punches at their opponents before the referee breaks them.
Besides headbutting, dirty boxing techniques are often used in Muay Thai. The majority of fighting in Muay Thai matches takes place within the clinch.
Thai boxers are taught many of the same striking techniques used in dirty boxing. Control your opponent’s arms and head to unleash devastating punches and elbows.
All dirty boxing techniques are used in Lethway’s Myanmar art and are legal, including headbutting.
mixed martial arts
Dirty boxing is an important aspect of MMA and every MMA fighter should know how to use and defend against it. The use of dirty boxing tactics is used for various purposes within MMA. The fighter uses dirty boxing to set up takedowns or score hard his strikes to end the fight.
Former UFC heavyweight champions Randy Couture and Josh Barnett are considered two of the best in dirty boxing technique. Both love to fight from the clinch and use dirty boxing to beat their opponents and score takedowns.
dirty boxing technique
There are various dirty boxing techniques you can use when training/competing in MMA. Here’s a breakdown of some of the more common dirty boxing techniques.
If you’ve seen the fight between Donald Cerrone and Conor McGregor, you’ve seen Conor throw the perfect shoulder strike.
In MMA, fighters usually worry about four things when they stick to clinching with their opponents. Punches, elbows, knees, takedowns.
They usually forget that shoulder strikes are open and legal, just as Cerrone forgot in battle, a grave error brought him into battle.
When Conner set up a shoulder strikeup, he had an over/underhook control of Cerrone’s arm.
When Donald fell, this created space between him and Connor, allowing McGregor to run up with the force of driving his shoulder blades into Cerrone’s face.
Cowboy’s nose exploded, opening an opportunity for Connor to end the fight.
basics of dirty boxing
Let’s step away from Connor’s shoulder strike for a moment and look at some basic dirty boxing techniques. Here are some dirty boxing techniques for self defense. The dirty boxing techniques detailed below are not permitted in major martial arts.
The first dirty boxing technique I’ll show you is the eye gouge. Often when someone tries to attack you, it will put its hand forward and throw a wild shot.
When they come in, you can keep their hands away, step in and stuff your thumbs or eyes. I can.
Clinching is also easy when an attacker is throwing Wild Strikes at you. When they come in, take the inner biceps tie and control them.
From there, you can throw headbutts, shoulder strikes, elbows, dirty boxing punches, or anything else.
Tyson Fury’s Dirty Boxing Technique
Tyson Fury is currently the best boxer in the world and an expert in dirty boxing techniques. He uses a variety of dirty boxing techniques to disrupt his opponents and throw punches out of rhythm. Let’s cover three specific dirty boxing tactics used by the Gipsy King.
The first is to hook the opponent’s lead hand/arm with a jab or hook.
When Tyson finds range, he often doubles his jab or throws a jab hook with his lead hand. It happens often.
Another dirty boxing tactic that Fury is notorious for using is intentionally overshooting his punches to stave off his opponent. If you hurt your opponent, you will overthrow straights and hooks and grab the clinch.
This allows you to throw powerful shots from close range while defending against your opponent’s punches.
Fury also uses dirty boxing tactics just to tire out his opponents. He put this tactic to good use in his second fight with Deontay Wilder.
Tyson bullied Wilder into the clinch every round, making him carry his weight. This tactic tired Wilder and helped set the stoppage.
Randy Couture’s Dirty Boxing Tactics
Randy Couture is an MMA legend known for his dirty boxing expertise. His background in Greco-Roman wrestling, which consists of the upper body clinch, was a perfect match for his dirty boxing technique. Let’s talk about Randy Couture style dirty boxing.
One of Randy’s favorite dirty boxing techniques was off Reed’s left hook. He dove into his opponent with a fake lead left hook and grabbed his opponent’s collar tie.
As soon as he had control over his opponent’s head, Randy fired multiple right uppercuts and hooks. I usually follow them up with knees and takedown attempts.
Randy can even take dirty boxing tactics from defensive moves. He loved dodging his opponent’s punches and then stepping in to grab his tie with an underhook and collar. Once in the clinch, Couture threw a variety of strikes from punches, elbows and shoulder strikes.
Captain America also had a special way of setting up dirty boxing by throwing his opponent off balance. He never stood in the same position when he entered for the clinch and landstrike.
Instead, Randy knocked his opponent off balance by changing his weight, stance, and turning his opponent’s head. Doing this from the clinch allows for a variety of strikes for Randy to keep attacking his opponent.
These are just a few of the many ways Randy Couture sets up his dirty boxing technique.
Should You Learn Dirty Boxing Techniques?
If you practice martial arts or want to learn basic self-defense, you should consider dirty boxing. The technique is easy, effective and doesn’t require much force.
There are no rules on the streets, so you should learn dirty boxing techniques to protect yourself. They help keep you safe, along with BJJ and boxing grappling and striking techniques.