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Hydrogenbond's avatar

How to punch properly?

Asked by Hydrogenbond (365points) February 13th, 2010

A recent question sparked my interest, so I did a little research. Most of the information says to twist the wrist, hit with the two largest knuckles, emphasized on thumb placement over the ring and index finger but never really said how to fold your hand.

I also came across another video which gave some contrary information

If anybody could enlighten me that would be great.

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13 Answers

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davidbetterman's avatar

Punch through your target, and then snap back immediately. The snapping back causes serious pain to your opponent.

Drgrafenbergmd's avatar

A key to a good punch is the wrist, for looping punches you have to look at the curved path that the punch takes. Once you lose control of where the force of your punch is going ( as in not doing what davidbetterman said) your wrist can bend and strain. This is the key to not hurting ones self. As far as “folding” your four digits curl in and the thumb rests between the second and third knuckle.

The twisting motion you mentioned actually starts in the feet for powerfull punches. In the right fighting stance your right hip is facing away from your opponent. A powerful twist comes from bending your knees, lowering your core with your abs and hip flexors, and dropping your shoulder in a relaxed manner to prepare for the punch. As you snap your muscle groups up from the ground, you will percieve the added force which is now snapping out through your arm in a constant direction. Any changing of direction mid swing no matter what type of punch is going to put your wrist at risk and weaken the punch. Also judging the distance and striking before full extention is key. Practice will help you to judge that distance accurately and strike the opponent without over extending your arm also enabling you to snap back to original stance without being countered or grabbed. Hope this helps, my expertise come from studying tapes of martial arts and taking MMA classes.

poisonedantidote's avatar

1— do not move your fists backwards before you start to move forwards, doing this is telling your opponent where the punch is coming from before it starts to come. keep your fists on guard and when you are going to hit just hit, forwards never backwards and dont hesitate.

2— yes, punch with the two biggest knuckles and try to make contact on bone with them.

3— just like @davidbetterman said, you need to pull back after contact. this is to do with physics and how energy transfers. when you punch your opponent, if your fist remains in contact with him, first it turns the punch in to more of a push, but more importantly, staying in contact with your opponent via the fist means some of the energy you delivered to his body is going to bounce back and be reabsorbed by your contacting fist and arm. pulling your fist away immediately after delivering the blow will trap this energy in his body and will indeed cause considerably more damage.

4— try to trick them, just before you smack em full on with your right fist, try pretending that you are about to punch them with your left but then change your mind and deliver a right. the confusion will give them less reaction time and you also have a better chance of catching them in a blind spot. i find fake left to the stomach followed by a real right to the side of the nose is very effective indeed.

5— dont start fights, only fight when you really have to and dont be the first to hit. why? is this just some goody goody advice? no… for starters you will avoid legal problems better if you dont start the fight. but it has strategical value too. nothing is going to damage your opponent more, than punching them with your bast shot just as they take a step towards to to punch you. not only do they get hit by all the energy of your punch, but they also take all the energy they put in to stepping forwards to punch you at the point of contact.

wait.. keep eye contact with his shoulders in view, and as he starts to punch move out of the way of the punch and punch them instead while you also step forwards.

i guarantee, if you hit someone like that the fight will be over instantly. they will just lose consciousness and you will be safe.

note: if you do hit someone like this, and they get up, run! ... run for your life because you just hit superman.

AlienBomber's avatar

Get proper training! Support your local MMA\BJJ gym! If you punch me I will take that arm home with me!

Pazza's avatar

Or like this

You can’t argue with the numbers.

Cruiser's avatar

I was taught to extend all your fingers and starting with the pinkey curl in one finger at a time and then “seal” fingers with your thumb. I too was taught to twist or flip over the wrist and connect to your target with with the 2 knuckles and fist, wrist, forearm all in line at impact. “fire” the fist from your side with your elbow in close to your hip or rib cage and release the fist and the twist just before impact. The one thing that made all the difference is in your stance with your back heel firmly planted on the floor/ground. Doing so provides a firm foundation to help transfer all the energy into your target. It will be the difference between a broken board or broken finger bone.

phoebusg's avatar

The wing-chung guy is definitely on the right track. What makes a strong punch though is your roots on the ground, and utilizing all your core body muscles that align with the angle of the punch. Find exercises to do that involve your whole body. The punch should essentially be coming from your legs and hips, with later core muscles joining in. And the hand muscles playing the least importance.

That said, stay out of fights if you have a choice. If your interest in this is to become more efficient in defense – then you should try taking a defensive art. Knowing how to punch alone does not mean you can avoid, or use another person’s punch to your advantage. Try aikikai aikido among others.

odali's avatar

I’m suprised no one has brought this up yet.. everything said is true so far, however a very important step has been left out. Make sure your wrist is straight. (look at it, your forearm to hand should be straight like an arrow).. Strike with the index and middle finger knuckles for a normal punch. Keeping your wrist straight avoids injury because the shock of the punch is absorbed safely and productively (you will be able to absorb some of the shock with your shoulder) and hitting with a straight wrist is the difference between hitting someone with the butt of a hockey stick and a wet noodle.

Foot placement is very important. Stepping into a punch is reccomended, but not nessecary. Your power comes from the ground, not your arm. Rotate your body while you are punching for maximum effectiveness.

SuperMouse's avatar

The most important part of any punch is your stance. If it is too wide or too narrow throwing the punch is just going to throw you off balance and not only will you miss the target, you’ll land on your face, or your ass, or somewhere else you do not want to be.

Spread your legs a bit less than should width apart. You should be in a split stance with a little channel between your legs. Be rooted. Make a fist by curling your fingers at the second knuckle then holding them together with your thumb. Be sure to cover yourself with the hand you are not using to punch. Do not telegraph the punch, but remember the power comes from your stance. Hold your hand at your side and as the power moves up through your body draw your arm back and let loose. When you make contact it is imperative that your wrist is straight or you will end up with a broken wrist. As others have said, pull back quickly.

As a woman I get more power from punches if I remember the phrase kick with your arms, punch with your legs. I also tend to get the most power from an upper cut or back fist.

nisse's avatar

I’m doing Krav Maga, and what we are being taught is that the key to getting power and force in the punch comes mainly from the back of your leg. It’s actually the twist if your torso propelling the arm forwards that is giving the power. We have been taught to keep the arm as relaxed as possible during the throw (using it sort of like the snap when throwing a fishing rod).

We do these 1–2 excercises where we count 1–2 aloud and:
1. Use the back of your calf to twist your torso forwards.
2. Let your torso propell the arm forward.

The key is to get your whole body in to the throw, and thats why they concentrate on getting the proper motion in the parts of your body below the waist.

After a while of this your butt and calf should be the parts of your body that are exhausted. Then you are throwing correctly.

Although i’m sure we could try and explain it in a million different ways, the only way you are truly going to learn is by being taught in real life by someone who knows it. Find a good martial arts or self defence class.

AlienBomber's avatar If you punch like this guy your doin’ it right!

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