Power of a Punch

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by skribs, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    I've been using my StrikeMeter again this weekend. For those who haven't seen the previous threads (or a refresher for those who have), it's a meter you attach to a standing target to measure the relative impact when you strike. This isn't a scientific number like PSI or foot-pounds or anything like that. The number by itself isn't very useful, but can be useful to compare techniques used on a similar target.

    This time, I decided to test the chambered reverse punch, the cross from the boxer's guard, and other similar techniques. For each punch, I did 5 tests, after which I dropped the lowest and highest score, and averaged the remaining 3. All punches were done with my right hand, wearing a boxing glove, aimed at BOB's chest.
    • Body Motion Only: 286
    • Right Front Stance: 432
    • Left Front Stance: 516
    • Boxer's Cross: 579
    • Horse Stance Arm Punch: 620
    • Ducking Cross: 647
    • Superman Punch: 660
    • Chambered Reverse Punch: 663
    • Horse Stance With Hip: 670
    • Lunge Punch: 702
    • Bicycle Superman Punch: 810
    Body Motion only was a punch done just for comparison. I extended my arm before the punch. Then I pivoted my hips into the punch. I'm honestly surprised it was as high as it was.

    Right Front Stance and Left Front Stance indicate which foot was forward, in a typical Taekwondo or Karate front stance. These punches were purely arm punches. I'm honestly surprised that it was 20% stronger with the left foot forward, I didn't think that would make a difference. I'm guessing this is because your right foot is pushing straight into the punch in the left front stance, where your left foot is pushing at an angle to the punch in the right front stance.

    I'm also surprised at how high the Horse Stance Arm Punch was. This is the same as the front stance punch: arm motion only. I'm guessing this is because both feet are engaged, while in most of the other punches, you're only engaging the back foot. This is also why adding the hip motion to the horse stance punch doesn't add much more power; because you're adding your core and getting more push from the right leg, but you're also taking pressure off of the left leg.

    The boxer's cross is the punch from the guard position. The ducking cross is similar, except instead of aiming the punch down, I'm dropping my body down so I can punch straight into the chest. I'm not sure if it's the weight dropping, or the angle of the punch that makes this stronger than the regular cross. But ducking into it provided a roughly 12% increase in power. (And I haven't trained that punch nearly as much as the regular cross).

    One thing that's clear is the chambered reverse punch (hand chambered at hip in a back stance, twist the hip like a boxer's cross) is stronger than the boxer's cross. I've heard claims that the boxer's cross is stronger than a reverse punch, and I think that is simply untrue. I'll circle back to that discussion in a minute. It is true that the cross is stronger than just doing an arm punch in front stance. But the horse stance punches, or the proper form of a reverse punch are stronger than a cross.

    Last, we have the punches which use a significant amount of body weight. The lunge punch, superman punch, and bicycle superman. The lunge punch is the punch you see in many Taekwondo and Karate forms, where you step with the right leg and punch with the right hand as you land. It makes sense that this is the strongest punch on the ground, since all of your weight is being pushed into that punch (instead of a reverse punch or cross, where some of your weight is on your lead leg).

    The superman punch (right knee up, right foot back when you punch) I think loses some compared to the bicycle superman, because your right foot is going back, which takes some of the power off of your right side. The bicycle superman (left knee up, right knee up and punch) seemed to have all your weight on the punch.

    Coming back to the discussion of the boxer's cross. I'm not trying to make the claim that the traditional punches are better than the boxer's punch. The boxing punch has plenty of advantages over the chambered punches. It's faster, and it's an easier guard position. However, I think it's a complete myth that the boxer's punch is the stronger punch, a myth I've seen in several discussions. Of course, a boxer probably trains more for punching, which results in a stronger punch...but that's going to be true no matter what style of punching is used.

    Last thought, I forgot to do a lunge reverse punch (left leg step, right leg punch). If I remember, next time I will compare the two types of lunge and see if there's a noticeable difference. If it's anything like the front stance punches, there probably will be.
     
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  2. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    thats interesting, specifically it throws doubt on the common claim that most punch power come from foot movement and not arm, upper body twist movement..

    something i have doubted for a long time

    clearly hurling your whole body forward has a notable effect, less so a simple step forward into the punch

    the horse punch is surprisingly high, but again, that would seem to come from the lack of foot movement ie both feet glued to the floor giving maximum purchase

    the problem with static feet punches and horse stance punch in particular is its difficult to hit people at all in a ring environment, you can only really counter punch, perhaps less so in street encounters where people might stand still long enough for you to hit them
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
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  3. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    I agree. It's mostly used as a beginner punch to start working on the basics of the stance and the punch. We do use the horse stance a lot in our sweeps (it's a very strong base to trip someone over if you're at the right angle). It's also used as a counter. For example, if our opponent kicks with the right leg, we'll step towards them with our right leg and turn 45 degrees into horse stance. It's not a place we'll stay, but a stance we'll enter momentarily for a few shots.
     
  4. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    I think it's about 50/50. One thing my meter doesn't show well is the follow through, which is a lot stronger with the hip motion or step motion.
     
  5. Gweilo

    Gweilo Master Black Belt

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    It would be interesting to measure ridge hand
     
  6. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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  7. Gweilo

    Gweilo Master Black Belt

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    In this post you admit to inadequaces in your application, what is your criteria for measuring or the application of the strike, because the correct application of the ridgehand, or indeed dropbears strike, should be up there in terms of power, either of the strikes in this post to under the nose/ top row of teeth, or bridge of the nose is night night, send your teeth to a forwarding address, same as spinning back fist, done correctly its reconstructive surgery time, unless their name is iron face mc clinty, are you sure you are getting the application correct?
     
  8. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    Uh...what?
     
  9. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    Not really.


    None of those guys had reconstructive surgery. Knock out for sure, but it was more from the idea that they didn't see the punch coming, rather than it was uber powerful.

    The big reconstructive surgery we saw in UFC was from a jumping knee as the other guy shot for a take down. Sure we see broken eye orbitals... but those are usually from more conventional punches and kicks.
     
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  10. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    he seems to get very poetic and surreal and verbose at about 10 pm,( UK time)

    cant think of any particular reason for that :):)
     
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  11. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    Sorry it took me a while to update this. I went ahead and tested the lunge punch vs. lunge reverse punch. The lunge punch will have a different number than last time, which is to be expected. I may have been aiming for a different spot, or any number of things over the last 3 weeks. So I tested both. Same methodology: 5 tests, drop lowest and highest, average the middle three.

    Right Leg Step; Right Hand Punch: 750
    Left Leg Step; Right Hand Punch: 918

    If you divide by the ratio of 750:702 (to compare to my last test), this gives the lunge reverse punch a value of 859 compared to my last test. That would have topped the chart.
     
  12. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Yeah a spinning back fist is more likely to hit the side of the head rather than the Face
     
  13. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    This has been a good thread.
    I think it has value for people with experience but can also be misleading for someone new.
    Your last test makes sense from an experiential point of view. There are people/styles out there who can rival power with either arm when stepping. The choice of lead/rear arms has a lot to do with the target, and sometimes the rules (WT).
    Have you thought about a progression for your experiment? Such as picking a pair of over and under performing strikes to see if you can improve the results?
    Or documenting and factoring in the benefits of the different strikes?
     
  14. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    think you can over do the whole power thing to be honest,

    there a line of the power thats needed, anything that exceeds that is of academic interest

    if you have a free strike, as you do with this experiment and you may or may not have in the real world, then it should be hard enough to knock your opponent over,9(at the very least cause substantial damage)if it isnt then its under powered, if it is then, increasing power is pointless, they are already on the floor

    with strikes of opportunity like jabs and others that are set ups, knocking people over is a nice to have but unlikely, you just want it hard enough to work as a set up and putting to much into it can mess up your combinations, you dont want them backing up from the power of your jab as then they are out of range for you right cross
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
  15. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    2 days ago I would have agreed but after working my reverse punches during my shadow boxing. My reverse punch is almost as fast as my jab but with more power. For me the chambering process is slightly different than what we would use to drill. With my punches my waist helps to chamber and to send the punch which is faster than trying to chamber and send the punch by only using the arm. I show this in an additional video that I posted to my Day #001. Woke up this morning and the same muscles that I use to chamber and twist the waist are very sore and stiff. You can chamber high or low depending on what you are targeting. The chamber height allows you to punch straight and not at an angle which makes the punch faster by cutting the distance it travels.

    If you used the "Shield and spear" concept then you should have no problem with landing that reverse.
     
  16. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    which begs a simple question ? if your punch is as fast as a jab with more power , why are you jabbing

    if its a universal truth why does any one jab ? a possible answer to this may be, that your jabs are not fast enough and require more work ?
     
  17. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    It's not difficult, Static feet punches only lasts a split second or however long it takes to send and retrieve the punch, if the person balls up then it's possible to keep the static punch longer.


    Totally agree with this. Sometimes it's not the most powerful shot that takes out an opponent. Most of the times it's the shot that hits the right spot that turns out the light. For me the only time I'm really concerned with landing the most power is when I'm hitting into the chest where I have a little more muscle to go through.
     
  18. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Easy, it's an option. Jabs are set up one way, Reverse punches are set up a different way. Jabs don't work off a "Sheild and spear" concept. Jabs work as the spear without the shield.

    If your opponent has good defense against the "spear" (jab), then you need another option
    If your opponent has good defense against the "shield and spear", then you need another option.

    Also jabs have a longer range. I talk about this stuff in my recent Day#001 post.
     
  19. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    well no, if someone is attacking you they have to come in range at some point, other wise its not an attack, taking a static position and waiting for them isnt the biggest problem

    if it more a consensual fight ring or other wise, then they are just going to keep evading you every time you plant your feet, if they have a reach advantage they will both hit and evade you

    get someone and play tag with them and see how this works out
     
  20. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    an efficient jab is the shield, they should be hard enough to snap the head back, once they have eaten a couple they natural keep range or cover up, either is good123
     

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