September 4, 2022

What is Dirty Boxing & How to Incorporate?

We understand that we have got you anxious and thrilled with the words Dirty boxing. After all, we did hear about boxing in general as a sport but when did it ever get ‘dirty’!

Give your curiosity some rest with the explanation right here.

Let us take you back in the historic times to draw relevance to the whole thing. Dirty boxing is native to Philippines. It was brought to the country by the Americans who apparently set their military camps out here. In those days, the Philippines locals and the Americans practised the art between them. What started as a way to develop fighting skills among the men, soon evolved into a thirst to adapt. So basically, the people here made it a point to learn the boxing skill and modify it to give it their signature features.

Today, dirty boxing is the modified version of martial arts skill.

So what basically is dirty boxing all about?

fighter gets ready for dirty boxing

What you need to know about Dirty Boxing?

Much more popular as Filipino boxing today, think of it as a hand to hand combat system. It is locally given several other names such as Suntukan and Panantukan. If you are familiar with the art of Muay Thai, you would know that it is regulated by quite a few rules. Same goes for the low regulated dirty boxing.

The traditional form of dirty boxing makes use of almost every body part that can be envisaged. However, the focus still remains at the use of hands and elbows. The sport is more centred at the use of punches rather than kicks. However, the player can certainly make use of elbows, knees and hands to achieve the target on his opponent.

A quick evaluation of the local names of the sports reveals that it involves the trading of punches between players. So there is no doubt why it is practically an exchange of punches between the players.

The reason why a Filipino fight is called dirty is because of the use of knives, which can spill some dirt, quite literally. The dirty boxing incorporates every secret in the trade book to cut out the opponent’s stance.

The Specifics of Dirty Boxing

Usually, the sport does not involve the use of boxing gloves. This is why the fighter is left with ample scope to use his fingers, palms and knuckles to attack his opponent.

Let us tell you about some of the tools that are typically used in dirty boxing, which are otherwise banned in any other form of boxing.

From claw slaps, fish hooks, hammer fists, clinching and head butting to knee attacks, a player can use a sequence or combination of these attacking methods to attack his opponent. The target of every player is to use these options in an offensive manner as possible.

However, you must be wondering what makes dirty boxing so unique!

In the present day, dirty boxing, rightfully called the Filipino boxing is combined and integrated such that it makes the sport quite functional. Take any form of boxing and add the element of dirty boxing to it. You would understand then, why dirty boxing is practically on top of the food chain in the world of boxing.

How can you incorporate dirty boxing in your game?

Given the type of punching techniques that boxing involves, it is a very pure form of sports till now. Boxing is a charm for many players, simply because they get to engage with a partner, solely with their fists. It does not involve any blatant attack by the opponent from all fronts.

However, believe it when we tell you, not all players make merry of this fact.

Some actually find tactics to go around this singular barrier and find ways to get a lead during a competition. The fact remains that whatever the local people in Phillipines might have done, it is not on you to brutally bring down your opponent. When engaging in a sports of boxing, make sure that you are going by the rules and batting with a fair foot.

Rush and Push

Although not completely legal, it is common to fake it as an accident. For this reason, you got to use this at a time when you are constantly taking the pounding from the opponent. Push them back with your arms and towards the floor. Probably the ropes around the ring can give you extra momentum.

Arm Grab

Probably, the best way to rescue yourself for times when you are in trouble within the ring. You can use your opponent’s extended hand to grab yourself towards his body. This will reduce his range to act upon you with any punch. Holding the opponent is not exactly legal in a boxing game but when it comes to dirty boxing, there are only quite a few regulations.

Shoulder Push

If an opponent is giving you a really hard time, it might be a good idea to implement this move. Start by leaning your head towards your opponent’s shoulders. This will reduce the possibility of a head punch from your opponent. In the mean time, also pull back your shoulders a bit. After this, you can thrust them towards your opponent’s chest which will literally knock him back and throw him off his stance.

When this act is performed as described, the opponent is likely to stumble backwards and lose his balance. All this will buy you enough time to give them a huge uppercut. Never forget that you can get a counter attack in return. It is best to prepare for it in advance. 

Elbow Push

This one is a simple bully method, where you use your elbow to tackle an opponent. In dirty boxing, you can use your elbows for as much damage to your opponent as you like. However, under a competition environment, you may have to relax. This is when the use of your elbow can be made to disturb your opponent and make him retreat. Sometimes, this is all you need to win the race.


Due to the manner of fighting in dirty boxing, it appears quite ruthless to many. Many find it violent and a lawless way to fight. The most practised and disciplined players of dirty boxing understand the contours of the play very well. At most times, they make sure not to flout these rules. For a spectator, it is impossible to know anything about these boundaries. For a structured fight though, players sure know what they are not supposed to do.

Dirty boxing can really be a boon for the players or a curse. It all comes down to how well they are able to tackle the unique structure of the sports. For the uninitiated, dirty boxing can be a tough ball to handle. Players can find themselves under extreme conditions, unable to bear the brunt of the opponent. However, for seasoned players, dirty boxing is nothing strange. They are adept at the skill and art of tackling an opponent. At the same time, they are well versed with the little rules that exist in this game, to respect them.

Have you ever played dirty boxing? Let us know about your experience. 

Eugene Hardy

Eugene is a professional Muay Thai fighter, with several years of experience. Also, a black belt holder. He actively participates in tournaments and provides training to his students. Eugene started this blog to share his experiences with Martial Arts.

View all posts by Eugene Hardy →

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