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Old 08-31-2011, 12:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Mastering Opposite Leg Kick & Getting Powerful Punches

Hi guys, i'm a beginner Muay Thai student (started 3 weeks ago) and am fairly skinny, standing at 5.8" and 140 lbs. I'm a right handed and have 2 concerns I'd like to address here:

1.) My jab, cross, and hook are fairly weak. We were working on a combo (jab, cross, hook, cross) on the heavy bags and I always lose my balance (fall backwards) after finishing the combo. How do i gain strength for more powerful punches? I'm doing all the techniques correct, such as rotating my hips on my cross.

2.) Since i'm right handed, when i kick with my left leg, it is very awkward. Because of this awkwardness, i can't really deliver powerful kicks. For those who went through this, how did you guys overcome this problem?

Thanks
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boba7523 View Post
Hi guys, i'm a beginner Muay Thai student (started 3 weeks ago) and am fairly skinny, standing at 5.8" and 140 lbs. I'm a right handed and have 2 concerns I'd like to address here:

1.) My jab, cross, and hook are fairly weak. We were working on a combo (jab, cross, hook, cross) on the heavy bags and I always lose my balance (fall backwards) after finishing the combo. How do i gain strength for more powerful punches? I'm doing all the techniques correct, such as rotating my hips on my cross.
Are you having your weight on the balls of your feet¿

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Originally Posted by boba7523 View Post
2.) Since i'm right handed, when i kick with my left leg, it is very awkward. Because of this awkwardness, i can't really deliver powerful kicks. For those who went through this, how did you guys overcome this problem?
Your brain just hasn't made enough synaptic connections for this new movement. It's like trying to write with your left hand instead of your right. Repetition is the main key. Do your kicks slowly first and focus on technique. Only slowly increase the speed of the execution of your kicks when you feel more secure about them. Mind you, you're only training for 3 weeks now, that's nothing. In a year or so after a couple of thousand thrown kicks you will feel much more comfortable.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Are you having your weight on the balls of your feet¿
If you're referring to the rear feet, then no. I would say when i do the jab, i take a small step forward and transfer my weight to the front so it's about 90% front /10% rear, and throw the jab at the same time. Same with the cross, i transfer most of my weight to the front.

It just felt like my wrist and forearm was about to break when i punched the bag.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boba7523 View Post
Hi guys, i'm a beginner Muay Thai student (started 3 weeks ago) and am fairly skinny, standing at 5.8" and 140 lbs. I'm a right handed and have 2 concerns I'd like to address here:

1.) My jab, cross, and hook are fairly weak. We were working on a combo (jab, cross, hook, cross) on the heavy bags and I always lose my balance (fall backwards) after finishing the combo. How do i gain strength for more powerful punches? I'm doing all the techniques correct, such as rotating my hips on my cross.

2.) Since i'm right handed, when i kick with my left leg, it is very awkward. Because of this awkwardness, i can't really deliver powerful kicks. For those who went through this, how did you guys overcome this problem?

Thanks
if your falling back on a combo that means you need to have your feet planted but still on the balls of your feet so your not off balance and roll with your punches to make your shoulders touch your chin when punching every time, if you are southpaw and your left kick is weak just ask your trainer to help you out, but if you are orthodox then dont expect to get loads of power out of the left kick.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boba7523 View Post
Hi guys, i'm a beginner Muay Thai student (started 3 weeks ago) and am fairly skinny, standing at 5.8" and 140 lbs. I'm a right handed and have 2 concerns I'd like to address here:

1.) My jab, cross, and hook are fairly weak. We were working on a combo (jab, cross, hook, cross) on the heavy bags and I always lose my balance (fall backwards) after finishing the combo. How do i gain strength for more powerful punches? I'm doing all the techniques correct, such as rotating my hips on my cross.

2.) Since i'm right handed, when i kick with my left leg, it is very awkward. Because of this awkwardness, i can't really deliver powerful kicks. For those who went through this, how did you guys overcome this problem?

Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by boba7523 View Post
If you're referring to the rear feet, then no. I would say when i do the jab, i take a small step forward and transfer my weight to the front so it's about 90% front /10% rear, and throw the jab at the same time. Same with the cross, i transfer most of my weight to the front.

It just felt like my wrist and forearm was about to break when i punched the bag.
On #1. The loss of balance may be one of several things. It may be that you are too "straight" in your stance. Meaning your feet are aligned too much into a straight front and back line. Try widening your stance a bit and see if it helps keep you from losing your balance.

Power in rotational punching (hooks, uppercuts, etc) doesn't come from winging around the arm. It comes from the rotation of the hips/core, and the movement of the feet. Aligning the shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints to tranfer the energy produced in trunk is all the arm is needed for. Work through the hooks, and crosses slowly until you're more comfortable throwing them full power without losing balance.

On #2. The lead leg roundhouse kick is probably one of the toughest punchs/kicks for a pure orthodox fighter to master. Its not only the lead leg, which usually has between 40 and 60 percent of the body weight, but its also the leg on the off-side.

The lead leg roundhouse kick will never be as powerful as the rear leg has the potential to be, but its a much more surgical, and quick technique once developed.

Again, it comes down to working the kick slowly to get the technique, weight shift, etc down. Work leg kicks until you're much more comfortable with the technique, then move to body, and eventually head.

On the second quote. Don't transfer 90 percent of your weight to one leg ever. The key to TDD, power punching, rapid punching, footwork and evasiveness, are about balance and body weight dispersal. This bit is just me, but IMO, you should never transfer more than 60-70 percent of your body weight to either leg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voiceless View Post
Your brain just hasn't made enough synaptic connections for this new movement. It's like trying to write with your left hand instead of your right. Repetition is the main key. Do your kicks slowly first and focus on technique. Only slowly increase the speed of the execution of your kicks when you feel more secure about them. Mind you, you're only training for 3 weeks now, that's nothing. In a year or so after a couple of thousand thrown kicks you will feel much more comfortable.
This. One hundred percent this. The most difficult part of training in Martial Arts in general, but more significantly for MMA is the first six months. In that time your body learns how to perform all these techniques you see everyone else who's been at it a while excel at.

Give it time and you'll excel as well.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Are you pivoting on your front foot for the hook?

we use straight punches on the outside, we dont throw them once we close the gap, hooks and uppercuts in close. So it should look somewhat like jab x hook uppercut bob & weave jab front kick.

Also dont forget to disguise your kicks with that jab, dont use push kicks, lead snap kicks work the best.

Dont forget its a bag and think you have to stand at the same distance, in a fight your opponent will move when you strike, bags just swing. I reset me feet a lot on the bag. Sparring you dont have the balance issue?

The short answer to your question is time and training will correct the issues you brought up, dont worry it will come along.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Wowzers, so many helpful people on here - much thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrelfighter View Post
On #1. The loss of balance may be one of several things. It may be that you are too "straight" in your stance. Meaning your feet are aligned too much into a straight front and back line. Try widening your stance a bit and see if it helps keep you from losing your balance.
I really like the "traditional" Muay Thai stance that fighters in Thailand use where they have all their weight in their rear and bounce their front leg, so i was doing that. I guess that's what caused the off balance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrelfighter View Post
On the second quote. Don't transfer 90 percent of your weight to one leg ever. The key to TDD, power punching, rapid punching, footwork and evasiveness, are about balance and body weight dispersal. This bit is just me, but IMO, you should never transfer more than 60-70 percent of your body weight to either leg.
I thought power also comes from the transfer of weight so that you "push" the force outward? Or is it purely the rotation of hips that generates power?



Quote:
Originally Posted by slapshot View Post
Are you pivoting on your front foot for the hook?
No, i keep it planted on the ground like when i throw a cross, and pivot my rear instead so i'm on the balls of my feet. Basically it's the same movement as throwing a cross except it's a hook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slapshot View Post
Dont forget its a bag and think you have to stand at the same distance, in a fight your opponent will move when you strike, bags just swing. I reset me feet a lot on the bag. Sparring you dont have the balance issue?
No problem when sparring or shadowboxing. The off-balancing problem arises when the bag "pushes" me back. For example, say the bag is coming back with a total force of 200 lbs, but my punches only generate 150 lbs. The 50 lbs of force causes me to be pushed back.

My wrists and forearm are also really thin, and a lot of times, i feel like it's about to break at the joints when i punch...

So i guess main problem is lack of power in my punches, causing the bag to push me backwards, which is also magnified by my imitation of the "traditional" Muay Thai stance where i put most of my weight in the back leg at almost a 90 degree angle.


Another question i have, which also ALMOST caused my fragile wrists and forearm to break, was when i did the hook on the bag today. I'm still not understanding the angle of the hook. When i did my left hook today on the bag, i was basically creating a 90 degree angle between my arm and upper torso, hitting the side of the bag. It did absolutely no damage to the bag.

So my questions are:
1.) Is my angle on the hook correct?
2.) Am i supposed to hit the front of the bag, or the side of the bag?


Cheeres!

Last edited by boba7523 : 09-03-2011 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Don't let your elbow get above you're wrist when you strike. You don't have to murder the bag, make sure you wrap, we hit with the last three knuckles when throwing hooks.

I think I assumed you where throwing a left hook. I just ment to say, pivot on the ball of your front foot when throwing a left hook.
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boba7523 View Post

I really like the "traditional" Muay Thai stance that fighters in Thailand use where they have all their weight in their rear and bounce their front leg, so i was doing that. I guess that's what caused the off balance.
Yeah you need the weight to be split evenly between both legs, probably a little more on the front leg than the rear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boba7523 View Post

I thought power also comes from the transfer of weight so that you "push" the force outward? Or is it purely the rotation of hips that generates power?
I actually think you should drive most of your weight forwards on straight punches like the jab and the cross. You can get power from hip rotation but not as much as if you drive forwards with it too. In fact maybe you're not putting enough weight on your front foot and that might be why it's knocking you back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boba7523 View Post

No, i keep it planted on the ground like when i throw a cross, and pivot my rear instead so i'm on the balls of my feet. Basically it's the same movement as throwing a cross except it's a hook.
For a hook I pivot on the same side as my hand - left foot for left hook, right foot for right hook. And sometimes I step out to the side a little with the other foot to add more powere.g. right foot moves out to the side on a left hook to transfer more weight over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boba7523 View Post

So i guess main problem is lack of power in my punches, causing the bag to push me backwards, which is also magnified by my imitation of the "traditional" Muay Thai stance where i put most of my weight in the back leg at almost a 90 degree angle.
When you want to push something heavy forwards (let's imagine pushing a car) do you put your weight on your back foot? Or push all your weight forwards? Makes sense to put it all forwards right? If not the car will just run you over... It's the same with straight punching. If you don't put your weight forwards you're going to get knocked back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boba7523 View Post

My wrists and forearm are also really thin, and a lot of times, i feel like it's about to break at the joints when i punch...

Another question i have, which also ALMOST caused my fragile wrists and forearm to break, was when i did the hook on the bag today. I'm still not understanding the angle of the hook. When i did my left hook today on the bag, i was basically creating a 90 degree angle between my arm and upper torso, hitting the side of the bag. It did absolutely no damage to the bag.

So my questions are:
1.) Is my angle on the hook correct?
2.) Am i supposed to hit the front of the bag, or the side of the bag?


Cheeres!
Make sure the knuckles on your fist are vertical rather than horinzontal. It should be 90 degrees so you're doing that right, and it should be hitting the side of the bag. Make sure to tense your first hard on impact and keep your wrist straight.
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