Advice on improving striking/punching

DAP

White Belt
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Location
West Chester, PA
I just started training in Tang Soo Do about two weeks ago. Does anyone have advice on improving striking/punching? I feel my punching is quite weak. I am looking for ideas practicing at home. Thanks!
 

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
427
Location
Cromwell,CT
I just started training in Tang Soo Do about two weeks ago. Does anyone have advice on improving striking/punching? I feel my punching is quite weak. I am looking for ideas practicing at home. Thanks!


Practice, practice and more practice! There really are no magic tricks to getting better at anything. Repitition is really the key. Of course, you want to make sure that your form is correct. Focus mitt and heavy bag training are good tools.

Talk with your instructor as well. I'm sure they'd be able to help you out.

Mike
 

Andrew Green

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 1, 2004
Messages
8,628
Reaction score
447
Location
Winnipeg MB
Hit something. Heavy bags are the best choice, resistance bands are good too, but to develop power you need resistance.
 

aplonis

Orange Belt
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
Messages
88
Reaction score
2
Location
Kalamazoo MI
First advice to every beginner... Are you tensing up first, gathering strength for a monsterous push of the fist? Stop that. Loosen up. Clenching muscles means you have to unclench to move. It slows you down.

Be loose and fast. Strike with no pre-clench. Even if you chamber a strike before lashing out, don't be clenched in that position. You only need all your muscles to tighten at the instant of contact.

Same thing for breaking boards. Speed is the thing. How fast is your hand or foot going at the moment of impact. Add power only when your structure and the target are positively engaged. You cannot power your way through air. There is no resistance. You are wasting strengh muscle-against-muscle prior to actual contact.

Your own instructor will surely report you are tensing up. He'll be able to see it in the set of your shoulders, etc. If he says "relax" that's what he means. Don't clench. Be loose. Be fast and only add power when there is something to power against.

Throwing your weight behind any move means you will have first made an effort to gather your weight. That effort is costing you time, slowing you down. You can't throw your weight any faster than gravity allows it to fall. So it is a waste.

But if your foot work is such that when comes the instant of contact you are counteracting against the whole earth, that can be a whole lot more than your weight. It can be as much as you can lift at that angle.

But first it must get there. And it has to get there fast. Getting there late is the same as not getting there at all. You will feel it when it is right. Breaking boards and stuff will be easy. It is all just speed and timing.
 

still learning

Senior Master
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
3,749
Reaction score
42
Hello, Up above advise is a "GREAT" one! Lots of people are tense when striking.

The Key is to relax until impact....this takes lots of practice, and you will soon learn. relaxing until impact also builds speed, plus power.

OH It also helps to do FULL push-ups, work up to a 100 a day...than up to at least 300+. You will soon be the most strongest and most powerful student in your class.

Aloha (what is push-ups? um)
 

Steel Tiger

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Messages
2,412
Reaction score
76
Location
Canberra, Australia
Firstly, I would have to agree with the others in saying relax. A relaxed stance will give you speed.

Power comes from your feet. So for good power you need to have good balanced footwork. There is an old Chinese saying, power is developed in the feet, governed by the waist, and expelled through the hands. So, to find your power you need to see punching as a full body motion not simply one of the arm.
 

Lynne

Master of Arts
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
1,573
Reaction score
30
Location
Northeast, USA
One thing the instructors don't want you to do is to "push" the bag. That means you need to "snap" your punch. The same with the backfist when you learn it, don't push, snap it. Speed is the key. Try to remember to hit with only your first two top knuckles (try to make sure that your thumb is under the middle knuckles - look at an ATA patch to see the placement). If you see that all of your knuckles are red, you are punching wrong.

Practice snapping a punch/correct punching - bring punching fist to bottom of your ribs at your side. Your hand is clenched into a fist but palm is facing up. Move fist forward, sliding arm along the ribs. As soon as your elbow is at your side, turn your fist over with the palm down and snap that punch - BAM! If you have a heavy dobok (most of us beginners do not), you will hear your dobok top "pop" when you punch hard and correctly.

I realize when you are doing punching drills, you're probably in a fighting stance but the snapping is what you're looking for. Your strength will build.
 

Big Don

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
10,551
Reaction score
188
Location
Sanger CA
Make sure your wrist is straight when you connect! If you roll your wrist when you connect, it will hurt BAD for at least a month!! Doing push ups on your knuckles can help you develop that muscle memory.
 

stoneheart

Purple Belt
Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
317
Reaction score
1
I'm a traditionalist so I believe makiwara work is ESSENTIAL to developing a powerful punch. If you're an adult with no history of wrist or hand injuries, I suggest seeking out expert instruction on constructing and using one. As part of my last belt test, I demonstrated a three board break with a reverse punch. I truly believe this feat would not have been possible without the initially frustrating friendship I have with my makiwara.
 

qwksilver61

Black Belt
Joined
Sep 15, 2007
Messages
501
Reaction score
6
Location
central Florida
In the past I was taught to start slow, key word slow,deliberate movements,then build speed,remember skill before speed,then power.my two-cents.....
 

Kennedy_Shogen_Ryu

Blue Belt
Joined
Sep 9, 2007
Messages
278
Reaction score
0
Location
London Ontario
So much great advice,

I find that punching with weights helped me quite a bit, start with light weights and then gradually go heavy, if you can punch (with proper form mind, I can't put enough stress on the fact that punching with weights doesn't mean whole lot if you don't practice with proper form) with weights then punching without becomes easier and easier. There are other weight exercises that assist in developing punching power, most exercises involving shoulders, triceps, chest or core are great.

If you want to stay purely traditional and not bother with weights, push ups on the knuckles are another great way to develop punching power. And as already stated proper technique, and relaxation are key.
 

Big Don

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
10,551
Reaction score
188
Location
Sanger CA
SPA
Speed, power, accuracy, really ought to be APS...
Accuracy, do it right a thousand times, then a thousand more
Speed and power will come with time and proper body mechanics
 
Top