Weak jab and cross

alphacat

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When my partner holds his hands high and I'm to hit his gloves either with a jab or a cross, they turn out so weak!
They dont get that week when I'm working on the heavy bag, but when I'm working on the partner's gloves or pad the punches just lose their power.​

I'm trying to understand what's wrong with my work.
The instructor said that the strength of the punch comes from the body and from footwork, and not from the arm itself.​

Did you experience what I just described to you and perhaps could explain this phenomenon to me?
I'd love to hear any tips on how to improve my punches.​

Thank you.​
 

Archangel M

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Sounds like classic "arm punching". While it's difficult to describe in words, I was taught to throw punches as if I was "tossing a potato sack" that I was carrying on my shoulder.
 

Jenny_in_Chico

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A few thing things you might consider:

Are you truly within striking range? If you aren't, your fist may connect but it won't have the power associated with a proper strike. This is because you will be lacking the backup mass associated with punching with your entire body behind the blow.

Associated with that concept is the concept of using proper body mechanics. You need to incorporate torque into your striking. As you strike, are you twisting your body and putting your shoulder behind your strike? If you have good power when you're working on the heavy bag then your body mechanics are probably good, but you are out of range when you are working with a partner.

If you are out of range and your body mechanics are good, then it is probably an issue of footwork. It's easy to forget footwook when we're working on the bag, and then when we start focus mitt drills we realize that we have to move around to get into proper range. Practice your footwork when you work on the bag and it will help you when you're working with a partner. Also, ask your partner to purposely alter the distance between you both, so you have to constantly adjust your range. This will force you to improve your footwork and your ability to judge your range without thinking about it.

Good luck!
 

Nolerama

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It's all in the hips.

And shoulders.

And torso.

Let him know that. Be a good training partner and make more room. It sounds like you're holding the focus mits a little too closely. Make him find his range through footwork (covering that extra distance) and his core will help work the rest of his technique out.

Just remember to let him know he's lowering his rear when he does. It happens to everybody.
 

myusername

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All excellent advice so far and worth following. I would also add that you should be aiming to hit past the pads rather than just connect with them (I suppose this is distancing again) also think about making your arms relaxed and heavy. Quite often people are too tense when punching. Visualise your fists as heavy weights that you have to use your entire body to shot putt towards your target. You only really need to tense and rotate your fists on impact. (I suppose this is similar to Archangels comment on throwing your punches).
 

myusername

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Also I recommend Geoff Thompsons book called "Real Punching" Lots of decent tips and an interesting chapter from Peter Consterdine on powerstriking.
 

Jenny_in_Chico

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All excellent advice so far and worth following. I would also add that you should be aiming to hit past the pads rather than just connect with them (I suppose this is distancing again) also think about making your arms relaxed and heavy. Quite often people are too tense when punching. Visualise your fists as heavy weights that you have to use your entire body to shot putt towards your target. You only really need to tense and rotate your fists on impact. (I suppose this is similar to Archangels comment on throwing your punches).

Yes! Excellent point, one which I forgot to mention!
 

egg

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In Wing Chun chain punching, they don't focus on the shoulders when punching.
Instead, by focusing on the elbows, it stops the punch from being muscled down.
This seems completely off topic but the elbow theory is something you might want to keep in mind when punching.


Also, just make sure you're always following your punches through and not just tapping and pulling it back to guard.
 
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Akira

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I don't know what you're doing wrong bro, it's hard to see over teh internetz.

Can you put a video up?

Are you stepping with your front foot when you jab and your back foot when you punch?

I'm wondering if it's just an issue of being out of range when you're throwing these techniques.
 
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alphacat

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Thank you so much fellows for helping out.

Now that I read your comment, I also feel that it might be a distance problem and perhaps I'm standing too far from the partner when punching.
However, the instructor always emphasizes that we should be able to cover great distance with the jab and cross, and therefore I'm trying not to get too close to the opponent.

I'll try it out today and will keep you posted.

Akira, I'm indeed taking a step forward with my front foot when I throw a jab.
However, I step forward with the same front foot also when throwing a cross.
 
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alphacat

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Hey,

So yesterday I had a practice and we were focusing on punching.
I focused on having the front foot step to get me closer to the opponent and the punches became more powerful.

I still need to work on my accuracy, but I'm very pleased to be able to hit harder now.
 

Skpotamus

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Is your training partner meeting your punches?

To expand on this a bit:
Is your partner giving you a solid target to hit? When using the pads they should come in to meet your punch just before impact to let you hit something with some force. If they're just holding their gloves up as targets, it'll feel like a really weak punch and you might as well be shadow sparring.
 

Jenny_in_Chico

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To expand on this a bit:
Is your partner giving you a solid target to hit? When using the pads they should come in to meet your punch just before impact to let you hit something with some force. If they're just holding their gloves up as targets, it'll feel like a really weak punch and you might as well be shadow sparring.


I'm really confused by this. Are you saying that the partner should hold the mitts steady, so a forceful strike won't push the mitt backwards? That would make sense. But it sounds almost as if you are saying that the partner should strike back with the mitts...
 

Skpotamus

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I'm really confused by this. Are you saying that the partner should hold the mitts steady, so a forceful strike won't push the mitt backwards? That would make sense. But it sounds almost as if you are saying that the partner should strike back with the mitts...

The way I was shown to hold mitts (and thai pads) in the gyms I've gone to involved a kind of high fiving motion when you take the punch or for kicks moving into it slightly. It's not a big motion, you try to move your pads forward a half an inch as the impact comes in, this stops the pads from moving backwards at all and lets you reset for fast combo's and lets you throw the pads back at your partner like a real sparring match.

Some good examples:a video of Saekson Janjira holding pads at a seminar for Pete Spratt
ever punch that comes in, the holders hands move into the punch, it's not a huge motion, but it lets you make a much more solid impact with the pads.

Peter Aerts doing some pad drills (note that the first kick he throws the holder just holds the pads solid and he gets thrown back, after the first couple though, you can see him moving into the kicks and standing strong and letting aerts work combos)

Most people do this without having to be told after one or two hard shots, but sometimes you have to point it out to people, especially new people.

Hope this helps a bit, it's hard to explain online.
 
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MuayThai

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Thank you so much fellows for helping out.

Now that I read your comment, I also feel that it might be a distance problem and perhaps I'm standing too far from the partner when punching.
However, the instructor always emphasizes that we should be able to cover great distance with the jab and cross, and therefore I'm trying not to get too close to the opponent.

I'll try it out today and will keep you posted.

Akira, I'm indeed taking a step forward with my front foot when I throw a jab.
However, I step forward with the same front foot also when throwing a cross.

It sounds like you might be stepping forward twice with your lead leg...don't do that if you are! Step into range with your lead leg...(when you jab the last thing that should move is your arm, get all the footwork done first so you can snap it quickly out there). Then drag your rear foot in a straight line forward and move your weight onto your lead leg...twist hips and shoulders into the cross and get all your weight into it! The distance between your legs should remain the same except when you take that initials step, when bringing that hind leg in just bring it right into starting position again, not any closer! Hope you get something from this, not easy putting it into words on the internet lol.
 

TheWellWisher

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Like the others, I think this is purely cause your not in range. If your too far step in to it, while making sure to put your hips into your punches at all times, and don't be tense until the moment your hand hits that pad. Otherwise it really will be weak.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I'm trying to understand what's wrong with my work.
The instructor said that the strength of the punch comes from the body and from footwork, and not from the arm itself.​

The body - picture the human body with a rod through it, from head to the floor. The body can pivot around that rod, but is rooted to the spot. When a punch is delivered, the body pivots. This is where the force is generated. The jab particularly is a weak punch if thrown using the arm muscles alone. But holding your hands head-high, imagining the rod through your head and you're forced to pivot on it, now throw the jab, turning your shoulders so that they follow the leading fist. You get power and extension. A jab thrown with arm muscle only generates power only at the extreme end; if intercepted along the way, the leverage is poor and the strength is weak. If the shoulders rotate, the mechanical advantage is always present, from start to finish. When you hit pads instead of a bag, you're hitting just short of the ultimate finish, so when throwing muscle-only, you lose power compared to punching a bag, where you measure your punch to be at max extension when it lands.

The stance - for each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, when you push forward (punch), you are also pushing your body backwards an equal amount. Your body is more massive than your fist/arm, so you may not notice it as such, but it's there. Your body rocks back as you throw your punch forward. However, by rooting your stance so that the body cannot easily move backwards, you increase the force going forward without increasing effort - in other words, a harder punch. If that's hard to imagine, try to imagine yourself suspended in air and punching. Every time you connect, you push your own body back and forth in the air, don't you? That's what happens to a lesser extent when you're not firmly planted on the ground.

Pivoting and generating power from the shoulders, hips, and legs also helps to counteract the force that otherwise pushes you back as you punch forward, because you're balancing the force out with the force in.

Consider the monkey drum:

http://www.magictails.com/abydos/images/mid-east/percussion/large/monkey.jpg

You spin it in the palm of your hand, and it generates force enough to cause the balls and the end of the strings to beat the drum. The string clearly has no power to punch the drum - the strength is generated by the rotation. This was demonstrated in one of the Karate Kid movies, sort of.
 

searcher

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The reason why you are not getting as "strong" of a punch on the mitts as when you hit the bag has to do with the rigidity of the bag vs the mitts. The mitts tend to move with the punch due to weight and the holder absorbing the shot versus the bag being heavy and attached to the ceiling.

If your mitt holder counters the punch with pressure it gives the puncher a false sense of how hard they can hit and does them a dis-service. Often times I will intentionally move the mitts to cut down how much pressure my fighters get to feel. This has proven to make them hit even harder.

This is my experience, take it for what its worth.
 
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