#122- Throw A Punch

Felt like I should post this one today, because, since this glorious holiday falls on a Saturday, all the amateurs will be out in force, and you know where that leads…

I’m no boxer.  I’ll be the first to admit that.  So, if after this reading, you foolishly decide to step into a ring, I hope you get trounced, and I’m sure you will.  The basic tenants of punching are the same, for sure, but again, I know nothing about the sport of boxing.

And, actually, I’m by no means an expert at throwing punches or fighting in general, unless by fighting you mean crying and fetal positions.  But at least I have the idea, generally.

First, your punch should come from the tips of your toes all the way through to your knuckles.  If that doesn’t make sense, that’s fine.  What I mean is, your whole body should be in the punch.  It’s not an arm movement.  Well, it is an arm movement, but it’s also a movement from your shoulders, your back, your hips, your thighs, your feet.  Every part of your body should be a swirling ball of energy.  How else could Bruce Lee do this:

Watch it again.  His whole body’s energy comes right to a point on the end of his fist.  That’s how he can do it.  His feet move, his hips move, his core, everything snaps at once.

Second, the bones in the palm of your hands should be aligned with those in your wrist.  Guess what happens if they are not?  You break your wrist.  Not good.  Ask a buddy to hold up their hand and gently punch it with your hand at an angle to the forearm.  You’ll feel it then.  Now imagine if you had a little heat behind it.  Yea, not good.  Keep it straight.  More power.

Third, make every punch count.  Again, we’re not talking about boxing, and you don’t have time for the long game.  Setting your opponent up with jabs so you can get in and under later is a strategy that works when there are 12 rounds and a ref and no possibility of getting a barstool over top of your head.  And, the thing is, every punch WILL count.  You miss the guy’s face but you hit him in the arm?  He’s going to feel it.  When you were twelve and gave your buddies a dead arm, it kind of killed, and it’s not exactly easy to punch back when someone does it.  Imagine if, again, you hit him as hard as you can.  Try to connect.  Often.  You’ll get to the important stuff.  Get there fast, though.

Fourth, hit the body.  Most bare-knuckle boxers go for shots to the body.  Besides saving your hands, between gut shots, or kidney shots or breaking that floating rib hanging there all vulnerable, it’s easier to win the fight.  One punch KOs to the jaw probably work very well as sucker punches, but once someone is ready, the ONLY thing they are going to be concerned about is a) looking cool while fighting (which is generally impossible in a bar…everyone thinks you’re a dick), b) trying to knock you out, and c) not getting punched in the head.  Get in there. Work the body.

Finally, because I’ve gone on long enough, hit him two inches before your arm is fully extended.  Every millimeter past that point, and your punch loses power.

That’s pretty much it.  Good luck, stay safe out there, and #15- Pick Your Battles.  There will be a lot of knuckleheads out there, and in the cold grey light of day, you may find it that #94- Spending a Night In Jail wasn’t exactly worth it.

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