Basic 3 punches

Andrew Green

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Ok, looking at punching technique, and just covering off some tips and pointers to make things work. Feel free to add as I am just doing this here and will miss a few things...

Jab

- Move when you jab, don't stand still and punch.
- It works going in all directions, learn to jab moving forwards, backwards and circling.
- It covers not just your enterance, but your exit. On your way out throw one, even if you no it isn't going to hit, it will help prevent the counter attack.
- Jabs get you out of corners, learn to circle and throw multiple jabs, in both directions. When cornered it can get you back out in the open.
- Jab at or above your eye height, not below. If you're jabbing low, get down their with it.
- The power comes from weight shifts, this can be done in many ways. Timing it with your step forward is one, shifting the weight to the back leg is another. It can be a power punch, but doesn't have to be, it doesn't even have to hit to be a useful one.
- Don't flair the elbow, it can have a lot of power if you are behind it, but if the elbow flairs even a little you just gave it a shock absorber.
- You got many good combos using nothing but jabs, it is your most important punch and is heavily integrated with your footwork. You can never train it too much.
- Cover your jaw line, if you can hit him he can hit you. your punching arm should be shoulder to ear, and your other hand up and tight.
- A good rule to try and follow is always finish with a jab and never withdrawl straight (angle off, drop levels, or jab as you go, most counter punches are coming straight at you to wear your head was, get it off that line or stick your own there first to cover you)

Cross

- Power comes from the legs, not the arms.
- As you are hitting your toes point forward, weight shifts to the lead leg and your back knee turns towards the front, your weight shifts to your front foot.
- Again, cover the jaw line, look down the punch, shoulder to ear and lead hand up.
- "sit" into it, meaning drop your level as you punch, this will give it more power. Always stay low. The strike is at your eye level or above.
- Do not flair the elbow, or wind up. It is not your arm that powers the punch but your legs, turn into it and drive from the legs.
- Practice stepping as you jab, often people train to mainly throw it while standing or on a jab-cross combo using the step on the jab. Train jab-cross with a step for each as well.

Lead Hook

- Get off center to set it up, load your weight to your front foot, facing forward (to his outside) and drop slightly.
- Again the punch is thrown fron the legs, the arm actually does very little.
- Drive from your front leg and pivot in, from both feet forward with weight on the front the do a 90' turn and shift the weight to the rear and rising into it slightly.
- Do not wind up. The punch stays fairly centered.
- Do not let the shoulder get in front of the hand, if it does it absorbs the impact and give you a weak punch.
- All that your arm really does is rotate so that the forearm is parallel to the floor, ALL of the power comes from the legs and the rotation.
- Follow through is important, you are in tight and in his punching range as well. The hook "hooks" back towards you and stays up, don't drop your hand, at the end of its path its almost like a vampire with the cape covering him pose, your elbow then rotates back down and hand is in proper position.
- Against a opposite leaded opponent the hook is a even more important tool, stay outside his lead foot and you can land it while he can't.
- To train the mechanics the "Shovel punch" is a great tool. Throw a hook to the body on the bag with your elbow staying right to your side (virtually no arm movement.)

Rythm

Thought I would mention a little about this, rythym is important, it is what gives you the mechanics to throw combinations with power in each punch, to let them flow into each other.

One punch should set up the next in terms of mechanics, and punches lead into each other. A very simple and important excercise is the cross-hook.

The cross shifts to the lead, points the feet forward and drops into it. This is where a hook is thrown from, A hook turns the feet to the side, shifts the weight to the back and rises slightly, which is where a corss comes from.

A simple drill is to alternate the two in place, not worrying about the hands as much as the legs and the body. It should be a consistant beat (not 1..2.....1..2....1..2 but 1.2.1.2.1.2)

You can also do the same thing with other alternating punches, get used to this flow with all your punches from each hand.
 

terryl965

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Mr Green would'nt a over hand be one of the basic in MMA or is that tought after these puches. I do not know about MMA just seen alot of practitioners preform this punch effectively.
Terry
 
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Andrew Green

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Yes, and so would the uppercut. But those 3 form the basics, and others are another post ;)
 

terryl965

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Andrew Green said:
Yes, and so would the uppercut. But those 3 form the basics, and others are another post ;)

OK I can except that, I have enjoyed alot of your info. here lately please keep adding. On the punches what is the best waty to get more power with the jab without opening up to your opponets kicks.
Terry
 

Danny T

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As you are hitting your toes point forward, weight shifts to the lead leg and your back knee turns towards the front, your weight shifts to your front foot.


Good job
If I may one thing I would advise here is not to actually shift the weight to the front foot but over it. The power actually comes from driving off the rear foot through the body, arm and fist into the opponent. By shifting the weight on to the front foot the rear is unloaded and power is no longer driven from the ground.
When done in the air the weight is positioned on to the front foot or you will fall. When actually hitting using the cross most of the weight is over the frt foot but supported by the fist and arm and driven from the rear. Once the punch has driven through then the weight is on the frt foot.

Do not let the shoulder get in front of the hand, if it does it absorbs the impact and give you a weak punch.
All that your arm really does is rotate so that the forearm is parallel to the floor, ALL of the power comes from the legs and the rotation.


Excellent advice. I see so many practitioners using only their arms or with the shoulder leading the hand or elbow. If the shoulder is leading the hand this is a good way to tear the rotator in the shoulder or can even dislocate the shoulder.

A simple drill is to alternate the two in place, not worrying about the hands as much as the legs and the body. It should be a consistant beat (not 1..2.....1..2....1..2 but 1.2.1.2.1.2)

Great drill but don’t get stuck in the drill at this rhythm or any rhythm for that matter. Drilling the movements this way is great for smoothing out the movements and shifting of the body weight but once the movements are smooth then I strongly advise using broken rhythm. If you stay in a constant rhythm the opponent will quickly discover it and use it against you.

Over all I enjoyed it very much Mr. Green

Danny
 

Touch Of Death

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You say power comes from the legs but also state that if your elbow wings you lose power. Wouldn't you agree that proper delivery with the arm is faster and therefore more powerfull because of your arm.
Sean
 
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Andrew Green

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No, the power comes from the legs, the arm helps, but most of it comes from the legs. The elbow flaring is improper alignment of the arm, and a lot of the impact is absorbed into your own arm instead of the other guy.

Think of it like a straw, push straight down into it and it is fairly strong, add a little kink and it will collapse much easier. Speed might come from snapping the arm, but power is more then just speed, you need weight behind it.
 

arnisador

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Thanks for this detailed post. It gets me thinking! Most of it I know, even if some of it I may do a little differently. (I never liked lifting my shoulder up to cover my chin, or ducking my head too far to protect it. I understand the reasoning--I just don't like it.) But while I think I do this, I've never heard it stated before:

Andrew Green said:
Jab at or above your eye height, not below.

What's the reason for this?
 

Touch Of Death

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Andrew Green said:
No, the power comes from the legs, the arm helps, but most of it comes from the legs. The elbow flaring is improper alignment of the arm, and a lot of the impact is absorbed into your own arm instead of the other guy.

Think of it like a straw, push straight down into it and it is fairly strong, add a little kink and it will collapse much easier. Speed might come from snapping the arm, but power is more then just speed, you need weight behind it.
Without speed its just weight.
 
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Andrew Green

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and without weight it won't hurt. Both need to be a part of this equation to do damage.
 
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davidflanagan13

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Very good post. I know personally never being taught a proper way to punch this has helped me. Also when doing a jab how long should you extend your arm? Should your arm almost be straight?
 
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Andrew Green

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Almost, but not to the point where you are locking it as you will hyper extend it if your target is suddenly gone...

But don't sell yourself short (pun intended :) ) either, it is a very small bend that should be left, looking at it you would likely have a hard time telling it was there ;)
 
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davidflanagan13

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Thanks a lot. Keep posting helpful hints for noobs like myself:supcool:
 

Connovar

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Another couple of suggestions regarding the jab.
1 Keep the chin down and covered by the left shoulder to reduce counters by the opponents right hand.

2 You can jab from many initial starting positions with the left hand but always return it to the high next to chin position to prevent your opponent following your jabs with a rt cross of his own

3 Learn the jab first. My couch only let me use the jab for the first 3 months to develop the technique, footwork and jab combinations. The jab is considered the most important punch in boxing. Watching most MMA fights the jab is way underused.
 

Danny T

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Connovar said:
The jab is considered the most important punch in boxing. Watching most MMA fights the jab is way underused.

I agree!! But then MMA fighters aren't boxers even though they use some boxing techniques.

Danny
 

Connovar

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A couple of thoughts on the rt cross.

1 Keep the chin down, but dont bring the shoulders up to protect the jaw while throwing the cross. Hunching the shoulders tires you out quickly and also takes away some of the power

2 For the cross the distance btw your feet is critical. Many of us former TMA types who now box struggle with left over habits from their former arts. Many TMA make the distance btw front and back foot to long. This limits the ability of being able to use the twist of the hips to provide the power for the cross. Many people when doing a jab cross combination will step forward with the front foot but forget to bring the rear foot up to proper distance. Tying a short cord btw the feet while practing will help break this unconscious bad habit.
 

Connovar

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Another thought but this time regarding the shovel hook which was only mentioned briefly

Jack Dempsey in his book Punching with Power stated that he felt the best punches for street fighting were the jab, the cross and the shovel hook.

Like previously mentioned the shovel hook from either hand is thrown in a tight arc with the elbow close to the body. The palm is turned upward. The arc is both inward and upward. The hiops are used to torque the strike and you drive off your punching side leg to power the punch (i.e. left shovel is done by twisting the hips clockwise and driving with the left foot inward and upward.

Its a great punch in close. With bare knuckle or very light gloves it can very likely break the ribs and/or you can use it for bas ruttens favorite the "liver shot".
 

Jagermeister

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Great thread.

My college physics textbook stated that the maximum amount power was delivered at about 70% extension of a punch. I think this was only based on straight punches like jabs and crosses.
 

Jagermeister

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I went ahead and dug it up, so I might as well quote it for you:

"Karate provides an interesting application of inelastic collisions. A karate fighter attempts to disable an opponent by transforming kinetic energy into deformation work in a vulnerable area. Since the fraction of the kinetic energy transformed is greatest when the moving mass is small, the karate fighter tries to deliver a large amount of kinetic energy with a relatively small part of his or her body, such as an arm. An arm strike is aimed so that the fist makes contact at the instant of most rapid motion, which occurs when the arm is about 70 percent extended. Stepping forward increases the velocity and hence the kinetic energy at impact. Karate experts seldom follow through after a blow. Contact made during the follow-through of a wide swing involves lower speeds and larger body masses; there is less deformation work and a risk of a loss of balance."

-General Physics (Sternheim and Kane)

A graph in text illustrates this 70% mark as the most powerful (sorry, I don't have a scanner), plotting fist speed versus fist position as a fraction of arm length. Fist speed drops off significantly after 70%, actually. Very interesting stuff, however, keep in mind that martial artists most likely did not design their experiment and it appears that this may have only been a test of the jab, as well.
 

Jagermeister

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Also, I'm not quite sure what it means when the "elbow flairs" during a punch. Can you explain this in a little more detail?
 
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