C.J. McAllister is very passionate around his training together a professional MMA fighter and also teaching martial arts and physical fitness.

You are watching: How to do the dempsey roll

At 187 pounds through a 77-inch reach, Jack Dempsey was much from the largest man to complete in boxing's heavyweight division in his day. Yet he to be able to dominance that department with a combination of toughness, ferocity, and also an incredible understanding of how to usage his framework to his advantage. Among his favourite techniques happened known as the "Dempsey Roll," which he supplied to overwhelm much larger opponents. Various other athletes indigenous a range of combat sports, including Mike Tyson from boxing and Mike Zambidis native kickboxing, have also used the Dempsey roll with destructive results.


Jack Dempsey vs. Gus Wilson ~ above Sept. 25, 1925

By Summerville, H. L., photographer , via Wikimedia Commons

The view to Take for a Dempsey Roll

To carry out the Dempsey Roll, first, assume a stance the is lower and more comprehensive than a traditional boxing view by bending the knees and widening the feet. The specific distance will count both on her height and also build and that of your opponent, yet on average, your feet have to be spaced about 1.25 to 1.5 shoulder-widths apart.

Do no lean forward more than a few degrees in ~ the belt or you will be breakable to an uppercut counter.Before you start moving, keep your weight focused over your hips and also your feet. You have to feel comfortably balanced.Keep her chin tucked, yet your eyes forward. Look at the center of her opponent's torso, no his feet.


Guard and Range

The Dempsey role is draft to permit you to land a really fast, very an effective series the hooks. By definition, then, you need to be fairly close come your adversary for it to work—either because you have crowded him right into the ropes or due to the fact that he is play an aggressive, heavy-pressure game.

For this reason, you should maintain a chop guard before, during, and after you usage the Dempsey Roll. Tyson's usage of the Peekaboo Guard to be one example of this kind of defense, however you can also use a much more traditional tight guard by dealing with your palms together, placing her gloves just listed below your eyes and also pulling your elbows right into your sides.


A chop guard will aid keep you safe in the close variety required to use the Dempsey Roll.

Fort Sam Houston MWR, CC BY-ND 2.0, via Flickr

The moving or Weaving movement of a Dempsey Roll

With your stance, range, and guard established, begin weaving your top body and head in a figure-eight motion. Together you weave to her left, journey off your appropriate foot and pivot your appropriate hip forward; as you weave back to your right, drive off your left foot and also pivot your left hip forward.

Your load will transition about 70 percent to your left foot as you weave left, then around 70 percent come your right as you weave right.Make certain that the mean position of your weight throughout the motion is centered over both feet; perform not permit your weight to over-commit previous either foot as you weave, or you will fall off balance, shed power and be breakable to counters.

Dempsey role Damage

Finally, as soon as you feeling comfortable with the figure-eight motion, include a fast collection of hooks to it, one hook in ~ each finish of the figure-eight. Begin with body hooks till you gain the rate of the technique, then mix head and also body hooks as you wish.

The strength of the hooks in a Dempsey roll is driven generally by the inert of her body weight relocating through the figure-eight weave as your hip, core, and shoulder rotate, rather than through a an easy pivot, together in an ordinary hook.Drill this movement gradually in a winter at first.When you feel comfortable in the mirror, begin training the roll on a heavy bag. Slowly increase the speed and also power the the drill until you feeling comfortable, smooth, and balanced at full speed.When you feel comfortable ~ above the heavy bag, start experimenting with the Dempsey roll in sparring.

Tips for Perfecting the Dempsey Roll

The hardest component of the Dempsey roll to discover is coordinating the movement of her body with the time of her punches; practice the figure-eight weaving movement without punches till you feel really comfortable with it. The hook have to be thrown simply as you are rounding the bend of the figure-eight motion to come ago the the contrary direction.

Remember, do not weave in one direction, stop, and weave earlier the other direction—you will shed all her momentum. The pressure of your bodyweight weaving one direction, then continuing roughly a chop circle and back the other direction, is what offers this method its remarkable speed and power.



Remember, to minimize the threat of potential injury, boxing should only be trained in a ideal facility under a default coach's supervision.

Is the Dempsey roll still an reliable technique? Why or why not?

Milton Maxwell ~ above November 26, 2019:

Very huge Advantage against bigger higher opponents

F. C. on October 12, 2019:

To expand on my previously point, the straight blast has actually several benefits over the Dempsey roll:

1. Selection - due to the fact that the straight blast offers straight punches instead of hooks, that is frontal range is exceptional to that of the Dempsey roll

2. Learning curve - all the is compelled for the directly blast is an onslaught the rolling directly punches, and also as together it requires less coordination 보다 the Dempsey roll and can it is in learned and mastered lot quicker and also easier.

3. Focus - the directly blast is to the Dempsey role as a rifle is come a shotgun. That is come say, it's a barrage that centrifugally required punches focused towards the facility of the target's mass. The Dempsey roll, though powerful, doesn't focus on any kind of specific part of the body.

4. Versatility - the directly blast deserve to be supplied from a front stance, Bruce Lee's signature sideways equine stance, or a crouching stance, if the Dempsey roll has actually strict requirements for stance.

F. C. on October 12, 2019:

If friend ask me, Bruce Lee's straightblast method is a far much more practical alternative to the Dempsey roll.

the following american featherweight champion on June 06, 2016:

honestly the dempsy role is a bunch of continuous hooks comes in an the end of a boxers peripherial vision but the fence to every one of those strength punches is the it can be easily countered due to the fact that it is a repetitive motion that much more or much less never transforms so including the damages to the counter of a powerblow such together the dempsy makes it one iffy selection move but if the beat were come land very first the enhance would more than in an instant

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