This is for the person who has no idea how to throw a punch. We are going to start from scratch. Once upon a time, the old-fashioned straight punch was a “go to” choice for most of your problem-solving. Why? Because it’s fast, it hurts, it creates distance, it can cause a knockout, break a nose, black and eye, and the list goes on, and on. I want to give you a solid foundation before this blog is over. If you do what I say, you too will throw an effective straight punch. One thing we can all admit is that if we watch a self-defense situation unfold and the person defending themselves throws a fast straight punch to end a situation we can conclude they have some training. These are not your haymaker country boy type of wild punches that exhaust your energy and rarely connect well. Straight punches are precision instruments that should hit with a high percentage.
Where does the power of all strikes come from?
It comes from the ground. The analogy I like to use is this: if you are in space floating around with no gravity and throwing strikes, how much force will be behind those strikes? You still have your glutes, legs, and core, yet there is not force. That means that you need to be connected to the ground to really put some fire on your strikes. You should throw them from the balls of your feet and the force will travel up the leg, through the hips, through the core, out the shoulder, down the arm, and out the fist. Yes, it is a FULL BODY movement. Your hands, in a perfect world, will be up as you consider whether or not a person is in need of a straight punch. From there the route your hands take is a straight path to the target.
As they say, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Once you connect with the target it is important not to drop the hand after contact.
Because contact is assumed and not guaranteed. If they slip, block, redirect and counter you will be unprotected.
I like to image a “pointing finger” on my hip and shoulder. If I am punching with my right hand the “pointing finger” will be on the right hip and right shoulder. You want to rotate the hips and core in such a way that if there actually were a pointing finger on your hip and shoulder it would be pointing in the direction of the target you are aiming for.
If you are throwing a fist you want to connect with your index finger and middle finger knuckles. They line up best with the wrist and forearm. The pinky and ring finger have a tendency to break when you don’t have gloves protecting your hands. You can also open your hand and strike with the heel of your palm to avoid potential breakage. The rest of the body is the exact same fundamentals, you just open the hand. Palm strikes are NOT like slaps. In fact, if there are multiple opponents your mind is focusing on simple things like trying not to fall down. So, it may be a good idea to switch to palms strikes in multiple opponent situations as a general safety rule because the last thing you need is a broken hand at a time like that. As you see in the video, they can be thrown in a variety of situations at a variety of angles.
To protect your jaw and neck area you simply raise your shoulders toward your ears a bit and tuck your chin down toward your chest. Your hands should be at least throat height. You can practice in a mirror by aiming your straights at your own nose in the reflection. Make sure you do not telegraph and are moving in a straight line to the target. This way you can critique your own technique.