If you’ve done any amateur martial arts training, it’s probably safe to assume that you’ve learned and mastered the basic punches – straight punch, jab, hook, and uppercut. If you specialize in karate, kickboxing, or any other martial arts, though, these basic punches may have different names. Regardless, each move has the same principles.
Always remember to keep your arms relaxed and to only contract the muscles a few seconds before impact.
If you’re looking to throw a punch, be sure to follow these simple instructions: tuck your thumb in tightly and perform any kind of contact with the knuckles of your middle and index fingers. Many boxing punches can cause damage to the knuckles of your other fingers if they are used to make contact.
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As commonplace as the above rules are, there are certain circumstances in which they don’t apply. This includes when performing a spinning back fist, as the outer part of the hand makes contact and not the knuckles.
To start, we’re going to assume that you know how to hold both your ground and stance properly. So now, we can move on to learning the proper techniques for boxing punches.
Right Straight Punch
Right straight punches are a signature move for many tall fighters. They prevent clinch fighting and keep shorter opponents at a distance. Nowadays, this move is also called the right cross.
To perform it, you need to take a smell step, leaning on your body immediately after. Your chin should stay tucked to your chest, your head tilting slightly forward. You should also make it a goal to rotate your shoulders, which will improve the power behind the punch. Your back foot should be on tiptoes and rotate.
In addition, you’ll want to rotate both your body and your hip too. In this situation, your back foot and hip are lending you the power. You must be careful not to push your shoulder forward too much or move your rear foot. Doing so can make you an easy target for counterpunches.
Your left hand should be kept on your chin, your right hand recovering quickly to avoid countering. When it comes to countering, all boxing punches are susceptible – one move too far to either side, and it’s game over. Boxers usually make use of the right cross after performing a jab.
If your right cross is aimed at your opponent’s body, you don’t need to bend your knees. However, you’ll have to shorten the distance. throw a straight punch to your opponent’s body, there is no need to bend your knees, but you will have to shorten the distance. This move can easily be used even at half-distance.
When performed correctly, this move can easily bring your opponent to the ground – especially if you have the height advantage. It’s ideal against opponents who frequently try to shorten the distance. Right straights can be combined with left hooks easily.
A few fighters who frequently use this move include the likes of Jermaine Taylor, Wladimir Klitschko, and Tomasz Adamek. Classic boxers include Joe Calzaghe, Muhammad Ali, Jake LaMotta, and Carlos Monzon.
When planning to use this punch, avoid the temptation to lower your left hand. This fatal mistake can cost you the match before the final bell goes off.
The pattern of this move is similar to that of the left uppercut. You keep your left arm on your chin and rotate your back hip, and shoulder more. Your rear foot needs to go on tiptoes.
So, what makes kickboxing punches so lethal compared to the punches used in other martial arts?
Kickboxing has a few kinds of punches that aren’t allowed in boxing. Some punches are only allowed in certain styles of fighting, such as K1 and Glory. A few of these specific moves include the spinning back fist and superman punch. There are three varieties of superman punches: front, long, and the traditional superman punch. These punches are risky regarding counterattacks, so it’s important to stay alert when using them.
All uppercuts, including the left uppercut, are performed at close range. So, you should never plan or expect to pull an uppercut off from a distance. Generally, you want the distance between you and your opponent to be closer than your hand’s length. This attack should not be attempted if you aren’t within close distance of your opponent; it will leave you open to other punches. When performing the left uppercut, your hand should go in an upward motion.
To perform a good uppercut, your shoulder will need to be dropped. You’ll also need to drop your left hand, leaving your right at your face. Your knees need to be bent slightly, your shoulder should rotate, and both your body and hip should spin. During this, your left foot should raise onto tiptoes. As soon as you finish the strike, return your hand to your chin.
Make sure to bend your knees slightly, rotate your shoulder and spin your body and your hip, slightly lifting your left foot on your tiptoes. Return your hand to the chin as soon as you finished the strike. When throwing this punch to the body, your knees don’t need to bend much. If you use this strike as the first in a combo, be sure to rotate your body less. This way you can continue your attack, transitioning into a right hook or straight.
Punches to the Face
It’s advised not to swing your arm: this leaves you wide open to receive a counterpunch. Instead, your body, feet, and hip should rotate to increase the power behind your punch. If you want a great example, check out the video tutorial.
Of all the punches available in the martial arts world, perhaps the spinning back fist is the only one with more power than this. It’s hard to see coming when you throw it. It’s important to remember that ducking under a right hook or sliding the side to avoid a right straight can quickly copy become lethal to your win.
Throwing this strike to your body is much the same as the face. However, it’s crucial not to remove your elbow from your ribs, opting to perform the strike for m your chin. You don’t have to bend your knees whatsoever.
The right hook is similar to the left hook in how it is performed. This being said, your rear foot and back hip should be rotated. The punch should not be swung, but your body should swing instead. It can be difficult to land these punches to the body, but if landed successfully, this move can easily crack ribs.
There are a few important things to keep in mind, though. Remember to bend your knees; the knee of the rear foot should be bent just a touch more. Your other hand should stay on the chin to prevent you from receiving a right straight or left hook should your right hook miss. If your strike connects, try to ensure that its the second or third move in your combo.
The right hook to the body is by far the most dangerous of all punches. A well-landed body punch is usually followed by a punch to the head, which forces you (or your opponent) to drop your guard, leaving you wide open.
Jabs are simple. All you need to do is take a step forward, keeping your right hand up by your cheek. Then, you punch the opponent’s head. Following this, you’ll want to swiftly return to your basic stance. Or, you can stay in the same position if your plan is to connect. Your arm should extend at either 174 or 178 degrees, but it should never extend at 180 degrees.
Extend your arm to the angle of 174 to 178 degrees, but never 180 degrees. In general, the jab is the weakest of all punches. It is good, however, to use as an opening.
If you intend to strike the opponent’s body, there are two small differences. First, you should bend your knees. Second, your right hand should be kept blocking your face, as these punches are easily countered by a strong knee strike.
The Notorious Left Hook
The left hook is notorious for its lethality and was the signature weapon used by Mike Tyson. He used it most commonly after avoiding a right straight, uppercut, or right hook. It’s considered to be the strongest type of punch.
Your body should stay in an upright position, with your left punch paired with a bent elbow. Your elbow should be parallel to the ground when performing this kind of strike. It should never up or down.
Spinning Back Fist
Despite being the most powerful punch, the spinning back fist is also the punch used the least. The outer part of the hand is used to hit the opponent. It’s critical to have your fist clenched tightly. Failing to clench properly can injure the muscles and bones within your hand and wrist, which can be detrimental to your career as a fighter.
You must step forward with your left foot while lifting the right into the air. Rotate on the front foot while you extend your right hand. Then, strike your opponent with your arm almost fully extended. Drop the right leg in front and quickly return to your guard position. Alternatively, you can continue to rotate, returning to the starting position.
Generally, these are performed after missing a left jab or high kick. If you fail to return to guard quickly enough, you’re likely to receive a hit, which means that a quick return is critical.
Commonly used in kickboxing or MMA, the superman punch is ideal when there is a height difference between fighters. For example, a fight between Stefan Struve and Travis Browne. To perform this punch, jump off of your front leg and bend the rear leg while you’re in the air. Keep your left hand at your chin and throw a straight punch with your right hand. Land on the ground with your legs extended.
Front Superman Punch
When you’re on guard but have a distance bigger than hand-length between you and your opponent is when you’ll most likely use the front superman punch.
Start by jumping off of your rear leg and bending the front leg in mid-air. Keep your right hand on your chin, throwing a straight punch with your left hand. Try to land on the ground in your guard stance, extending your legs. Be careful not to push your body forward too much, and be sure not to drop your hands after punch completion. After performing this punch, a low kick is highly beneficial.
Long Superman Punch
The long superman punch is used when there is a large distance in between two fighters. To perform this strike, you must overextend your arm, pushing your shoulder forward and leaving yourself open to a counterpunch. This, by far, is the riskiest of the superman punches.
One or two steps and a jump should be made off of your back leg. During this, make sure that your steps are not too big. While your front leg is bent, be sure to fully rotate your shoulder fully and extend the right arm. Strike your opponent and return to guard as quickly as possible, keeping your left arm at your chin.
Well, there you have it! Now you know how to correctly perform various punches. Training regularly will help you succeed. Remember that technique is important, but it isn’t crucial to being a world-class fighter – persistence is the key to becoming a known name within the community. This being said, practice makes perfect.