Difference between a cross and a reverse punch

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by skribs, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. skribs

    skribs Master Black Belt

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    When I started Taekwondo, I learned the basic Jab-Reverse combo. I thought "reverse punch" was just a different name for the cross in boxing. But I've also heard that the TKD reverse punch is different than a boxing cross.

    I don't have any experience in boxing, so what's the difference between the two? Or is whoever said they're different just speaking nonsense?
     
  2. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I assume it’s just different names for the same thing. The mechanics might be a bit different, but they’re going to differ slightly from school to school, regardless of if it’s within TKD, karate, boxing, etc. schools.

    There’s only so many ways to throw any punch. There’s far more things to call them though.
     
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  3. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    My answer based on my own investigation into the differences between karate and boxing is that a punch should be defined by its mechanics and these while outwardly are similar they are different punches due to different mechanics.
    To simplify (perhaps overly) imagine your punching hand turning a crank. In boxing you are turning the crank counter clock wise (assuming your punching with right hand ). With a karate reverse punch you are turning the crank clock wise, in the opposite direction.
     
  4. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    I'll say the

    - "boxing cross" punch from the boxing guard. The may not be any arm twisting,
    - "TKD reverse punch" punch from the waist. There is an arm twisting involved.
     
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  5. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    There's a fair bit of inherent confusion here due to translation and cultural differences.

    In Korea, a "reverse punch" is one from the front hand; what we in the US would most likely refer to as a jab.
    In Western TKD schools, a reverse punch is one from the rear hand. It may be straight, a hook, a cross, an uppercut...
    The term (in my experience) typically tells you nothing other than which hand is throwing the punch.
     
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  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I really thought that made sense, Hoshin, up to the end. Then I realized I really hadn't followed that at all. Can you explain a different way?
     
  7. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    They're the same - as in, you get tagged by a few really good ones, it can flat out ruin your day. But they're real different

    All food is the same....but, no, all motor vehicles are the same, all women, all men, all dogs....but, we know that's not accurate.

    A right cross and a right reverse punch are two different techniques, entirely, and completely different in my opinion. They're thrown differently, their foot work or foot positions are different, the turning of the rear foot [or not] are different, the shoulders are different, both in usual original position, follow through and defensively, they are countered differently, they blend in with other strikes in combinations differently, weight transference on the legs is different.

    And they're different even between themselves - we all have a favorite distance to throw punches from, we all have a favorite height we use as a target. When you catch the opponent in closer than he, or you, planned, you will adapt your cross, or your reverse punch, to that particular circumstance - whether you try to or not, or whether you know it or not.

    And again, they both really suck when you get caught.
     
  8. skribs

    skribs Master Black Belt

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    How are they different? I mean I can tell you that my Mom's cookies are different from store-bought cookies, but if I just say "the chocolate chips are different, the dough is different, the size is different, and the consistency is different" you'd have no idea what's different about them. If I instead say that my Mom's cookies are smaller, but thicker, have creamier chocolate chips and a doughier texture, whereas store-bought cookies are wider, thinner, and crumbly with harder chocolate chips, that would give you an idea.
     
  9. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Ah, okay, I always liked the food analogy thing.

    A reverse punch is smaller, but thicker, and is better dunked in milk than a right cross, whereas a right cross is more crumbly, with a sharper, chocolaty after taste.

    Only kidding, sorry. :)

    When you have time, give this a watch. It's punching from boxing, from a good source. Not any better than any good Karate punching in my opinion, but completely different.

     
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  10. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    The karate reverse punch starts from the hip position while the boxing cross starts from the raised guard. This changes the mechanics. While it might not really be accurate it may help to imagine a line drawn across the shoulders of your opponent. The boxing punch approaches the target over this line to the target while in karate the punch slides up and under that level line to the target. There is rotation of the shoulder and elbow, boxing rotates so the punch goes over the line, karate rotates to go under the line.
    As a disclaimer these comparisons are from my experience in shotokan and uechi ryu karate style punches vs the mechanics of boxing Ken Norton. So other styles and people may do things differently , absolutes are rare.
    Punching is all about body movement and as such it is difficult to express in type. It would be far easier to see and feel.
    It has been my experience that I can hit harder with a boxing punch, but the karate punch is less apt to be seen and perceived by the opponent.
     
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  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Got it. I was imagining the clock laying on the ground. Predictably, that made no sense with your explanation.

    I forget that many styles use a low chamber. We tend to chamber quite high at the ribs - technically, too high when we train it classically, but it never returns to that chamber when fighting. I've never seen a Karateka chamber fully in sparring, either. For styles where the classical chamber is that low, how does that mechanic translate to sparring? I ask because, to me, there's a more subtle difference between my NGA (Shotokan-derived) straight punch (reverse punch, apparently, for this discussion) and when I switch to the generic boxing punch. I'm guessing that has more to do with the way I deliver both punches than with how either is traditionally done.
     
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  12. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Another difference between the TKD reverse punch and boxing cross can be:

    - When you apply TKD reverse punch, you pull your leading hand back to your waist. So the back hand punch out can be helped by the leading hand pull back.
    - I don't think the boxing cross use pull back to help the punch out.
     
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  13. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    Yeah the clock on the floor was not my visual intent.
    In application karate ka should not really be doing a full chamber when sparring or fighting and whether you go to the hip or the ribs is irrelevant. The intent of the chamber is to force the proper shoulder roll mechanics during practice. I would never advocate to draw the hand back like that except in very rare circumstances.
    I'll give one more example that people can play with.
    For a boxing punch, roll your shoulders, pull your shoulder down, then back then up high and then forward. Make a circle in this order....down, back, up , forward..the punch extends on the forward...if you watched buka's clip, he mentions that the shoulder is up to protect the chin.
    Karate is the opposite direction circle.
     
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  14. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Technically in boxing what many call the 'Cross' is a Rear Straight.There is a difference in the rear cross and the rear straight (also called a right punch or straight right) There is a vertical rear straight or a horizontal rear straight though today the horizontal is used predominantly. Mechanically both the rear straight and the rear cross are the same but the cross is thrown as the opponent throws a left jab. The rear straight 'crosses' over the opponent's jab hence the cross. If it doesn't cross the opponent's punch then it is a rear straight or a straight right.
     
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  15. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    Different ways of saying the same thing. Reverse usually means opposite hand and foot.
     
  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I like that explanation. I noticed some time ago that I freely wander between the two uses of the shoulder (and the respective punching mechanics). That's either a smooth merging of two punching techniques, or just a pair of sloppy punches that happen to work - I'm not sure which. In any case, it leads me to having trouble helping people who have trouble with punches, because the mechanics just feel easy to me, and while they are distinctly different, I don't really notice the difference when I'm using them.
     
  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've always wondered where the term came from. "Lunge punch" made sense to me, but "reverse" never did.
     
  18. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    I only use the term reverse punch when standing in a left foot forward stance and punch with the right hand.
     
  19. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    I like to teach the cross, straight right and an overhand right as three different punches. [or lefts]
     
  20. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    What do you teach as the difference between a cross and straight? I've understood the distinction as what Danny posted.
     

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