How To Tell Good Punching Techniques From Bad
Good punching techniques are easy to spot, once you know what to look for.
Compare an expert boxer with a novice, and the difference is like night and day. The expert moves fluidly and efficiently, while the novice flails away like he’s having a fit. But despite the apparent lack of effort, the expert’s punches are much more powerful. It’s the combination of good punching form and effective footwork that give the expert striker the ability to punch with full power, yet keep himself out of range of his opponent’s punches.
Good punching techniques: A quick checklist
Here are a few things that you can look for when evaluating a striker’s abilities:
- Good footwork — It’s surprising to those who don’t have much experience with boxing or martial arts, but the legs play a huge part in proper punching technique. Good fighters are always at just the right range, while bad fighters either swing and miss by a mile, or they overcommit and lunge in so far that they unbalance themselves.
- Proper range — As in the last point, getting your range correct is half the battle. If you are trying to jump in and hit your opponent (what some people call “playing tag“) from long range, your power will suffer and your balance will be non-existent. On the other hand, if you rush in and use the short-range punches before you need to, you are wasting your opportunity to use long-range punches like jabs and straight right hands.
- Good pivoting — Arm power alone doesn’t help you punch effectively. Punching techniques get their power from the legs and torso. Unless you are pivoting and twisting the torso with each power punch, you are not hitting anywhere as hard as you should be.
- The right punch — If you see a guy using the wrong punch, you can be sure you’re not watching an expert. Take the uppercut, for instance. In general, no expert throws an uppercut to the head of a taller opponent. It just doesn’t work very well. If you see that sort of thing, you know you’re not watching good punching technique. Each punch has its place, and good fighters always use the right punch for whatever situation they find themselves in.
- Power generation — Watch a good fighter while he’s shadow-boxing and you might notice something surprising. He probably doesn’t use his arms very much. Most of his power comes from the legs, hips, torso, and shoulders. While arm power helps, it’s not the only thing. Good punching technique relies on power generated by the entire body, not just the arms.