Self-Defense: The Principles Of Proper Punching Technique For Knockout Power


Today, we’re going to talk about proper technique.

Why Proper Technique Is Important

Proper technique is the most important aspect when it comes to power punching. If you don’t have proper technique, you can just forget everything else. So you’ve got to work on your technique. The reason my technique is so important is because proper technique will maximize your body mass. Whatever body mass you have, proper technique will maximize that. It’ll maximize whatever speed you have. So, it makes the most out of what you’ve got.

So, proper technique is critical. And this is what most people don’t really have by nature. I said earlier that people throw punches by nature but they’re not good punches. And what makes them not good paunches is that they don’t have proper technique. Typically people will punch with just their arms – just arm punches like this. This is not good technique.

There was a Soviet study done several years ago on boxers and they discovered that most of the power into a boxers punch, most of the power comes from the legs. About 70 percent of punching power comes from the legs. And then secondly, it was the hips and the torso. So, most of the punching power, came from the legs. Secondarily, it was the hips and the torso. And the least important factor in punching power was the arm – the arm muscles.

It’s kind of obvious because they’re the smallest muscles in comparison to the legs and back and everything else. So, it’s really no surprise that most punching power comes from your legs and your hips and your torso. And the arms are just secondary. And that’s the way people typically punch. When they throw a bad punch, they throw just arm punches, which is a very weak way to punch. So, we’re going to talk about proper technique now on how to maximize our punching power.

Step One: Make A Proper Fist

Before we get started, of course, we have to learn how to make a proper fist. Because, people sometimes don’t know how to make a fist. So what I want you to do is just take your fingers and fold them in and then put your thumb on the outside just like this. So your fingers come in, thumb on the outside just like that.

And you want a flat surface on your wrist – a parallel flat surface not wrist down. See the screenshot below


Step Two: Proper Stance

In your stance what I want you to do is  to get your stance by putting your feet about shoulder width apart. Shoulder width is good for starters. And this is a typical boxing stance or kick boxing stance. Your hands are up. Your body is relaxed. Chin is tucked down a little bit. And you want to kind of hunker your neck and your shoulders up. I like to think of it as being like a turtle. You want to bring your head down and your shoulders up. I don’t want a long neck and an extended chin where you appear like this.

This is not a proper stance

This is bad form because your chin is exposed. You want to shrink your neck. Hide your chin. And you do that by bringing your chin down and hunching your shoulders up. So, I’m like this – I’m loose, I’m relaxed. I’m not stiff. But my chin is down and my shoulders are up – just in my stance.

This is proper stance

You can do shoulder width apart –  that’s fine. For a street fight, I like a little bit of a wider stance. So if you start with shoulder width and stuff for a little bit and step back – the back foot, that’s going to give it a bit wider stance. This is going to be harder for you to be taken down on the streets. Because you’re a little bit lower to the ground. This is kind of good for boxing.

For a street fighting, I like it little bit lower. Just take a slight step from shoulder width position. Slight step forward with the front foot, slide step backward with the back foot and drop width little bit. But this is a good fighting stance. Your shoulder should protect your jaw and hands to protect your face.

Step Three: Be Loose

And then, be loose. Don’t be stiff and rigid. That’s a sign of a beginner. And you’re going to have that in the beginning but through proper training you’ll get more relaxed. It will be like second nature. You’re going to have more coordination and more relaxation this way.

You could practice by just moving around a little bit keeping this left lead in front. I am going to take a left lead position here for the sake of this video. Because for simple fact, this is the way most people should fight. If your right hand is your strongest hand, which is for most of us, that’s true. You put your right hand in the back and let it be used for what it’s good for strength.

Left hands little bit weaker, that’s going to be more for speed. If you are a left handed it would be just the opposite.  And just get used to moving around in your stance. Whenever cross your feet or anything like that – just shuffle; shuffle one way, shuffle the other. This is your base of operations if you will for your self-defense.

So, now you know how to make a proper fist and we know how to stand up properly for self-defense.

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Father of eight, Dr. Scott Sullivan is the chief instructor at Bam Bam Martial Arts in Houston, TX. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas and is a seasoned martial arts instructor with over 30 years of experience. A firm believer that martial arts really does help people become more fit, safe, and happy, he remains vigilant about helping people improve their lives through martial arts.