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Old 06-24-2008, 03:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Learning to Punch.

hi.

I am 18 years old and I used to go to Jeet Kune Do classes twice a week but I stopped that soon after I broke my nose in a fight against someone I should have been able to beat. Don't get the wrong impression, I am the type that will avoid confrontations but a friend was on the ground with 3 guys kicking into him and I started battering into this guy that was running to join in.

One problem was that my feet were planted. and never moved. I had no guard up and had no patience. I was not looking where I was punching because his punches were hitting my face but I knew I was hitting him because I could feel it.

I ended up with a broken nose and once my friend was up, we all ran away (there was 10 guys against 5 and 2 of our guys didn't fight because they were looking out for themselves).

I know that if I moved about, looked where I was hitting and didn't get angry then the fight might have been different. The biggest problem was that my punches were inaccurate and didn't seem to faze the guy I was fighting. I weigh about 12 stone and I am not weak.

Another thing that I realised I did was I was standing south paw. Now, whether that was right or wrong is questionable. I cannot decide which way I fight. I am left handed and can punch better with the left. I understand that this would make me southpaw. But my right leg is better for kicking. I can do really powerful kicks with my right leg. I didn't do any kicks in this fight because I feared he would catch my leg and take me down.

What I am looking for is a way that I can gain speed, power and accuracy to my punches. When I punch with my right hand, it just feels wrong. Also, do you think I should be southpaw if I am lefthanded and work on my left leg kicks?

I see no point in going back to JKD classes until I have powerful punches. My punches were pretty good when using the focus pads and gloves, but when you are punching a real person without any gloves and no pad to hit, it is a completely different thing.

I am looking for ways to improve my punches at home. I know there are punch bags you can get and other apparatus but I don't know whether getting a punch bag would help.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I find it interesting that you think the best way to get better is to avoid formal training.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I find it interesting that you think the best way to get better is to avoid formal training.
Eh. There's a whooooole lot of formal martial arts training that doesn't really get you ready for an actual fight.

As one example, I have a friend who is a black belt in TKD, and can't fight worth crap. I asked him about sparring, he said that they hardly ever sparred during the three or four years he spent working on the black belt. Maybe once a month or so.

The key is in getting *good* training.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Eh. There's a whooooole lot of formal martial arts training that doesn't really get you ready for an actual fight.

As one example, I have a friend who is a black belt in TKD, and can't fight worth crap. I asked him about sparring, he said that they hardly ever sparred during the three or four years he spent working on the black belt. Maybe once a month or so.

The key is in getting *good* training.
By 'formal,' I meant getting trained by someone who knows how to teach what you want to learn, not 'traditional martial arts,' per se, although that's a possible option, especially compared to getting training from internet warriors.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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jasvll is right on point. Sounds to me like you've done a ton of drilling but not enough sparring. Go back to your JKD place and ask them if there is a way to get some sparring time in. A lot of places shy away from that due to liability reasons, but there is no way to actually learn how to use the techniques you are taught in a stressful situation without sparring. It just doesn't work that way.

I was going to bust out the step-by-step instructional, but I've come to a stark realization that is causing me not to do that. You sir do not want to learn how to punch. Rather, you want to learn how to fight. There is no real worthwhile way to put that together for you in the confines of this forum. I suggest you go back to where you were training, let your teacher know the situation and see if you can start sparring. If that doesn't get you where you want, find a new place to train.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Onganju is on point. Sparring makes a huge difference. I train in MMA and I find that I always do very well working with focus mitts but once I start sparring, I lose that instinct. There is no way to get better without formal training. Everyone here could preach to you all day about how to punch and fight correctly, and even if you practice what we tell you at home, it will all be pretty worthless. Do what Onganju suggested. Ask your instructor for more sparring sessions and if he doesn't give that, find another place to train, be it JKD, TKD, MMA, Boxing, or whatever you want.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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learning to punch and to fight are different things man...

It's more of a mental thing - in sparring you learn to understand what happens if this or that happens. It is also possible to adjust your brain to understand that - if you can set it right.

For example - you didn't look at the guy. Everybody tries to do that at the beginning, it's like a reflex to look away --> BUT there is nothing worse than not looking. So you have to convince yourself and brain not to look away.

other than that, you have to get some training. although it seems easy but there is a punching technique that you have to know to punch powerfully.
when you know that your punches and kicks are more than effective fighting is just different.
if you look for quicker skill upgrade take Boxing, that's what they do there - punch hard and fast but nothing comes easy
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think you are all right.

At my JKD class, I do not remember a single time when we did any sparring.

We did drills where you didn't know where your partner was going to put the focus pads but there was no one on one sparring.

I was considering beginning at a boxing gym as they focus on punches and this is the type of fighting that I am probably going to come across in the street.

I will look into different boxing gyms in my area and see what I can find.
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think you are all right.

At my JKD class, I do not remember a single time when we did any sparring.
That's pretty bizzare for a "Martial Art". But I will say in my experience most Martial Arts seem to focus a lot more on the Arts and a Lot less on the Martial. You will never learn how to "Street Fight" in a conventional martial arts program. They can teach you speed and technique but not instinct. Street fighting is all about instinct and that kill or be killed mentality. If you don't have that, you should just avoid street fights altogether. If you do have it, you wouldn't need to ask about it. You would be the guy that won the fight.

You can learn about techinique all you want. But practical application is what matters. And the majority of "Martial Arts" don't address practical application.
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That's pretty bizzare for a "Martial Art". But I will say in my experience most Martial Arts seem to focus a lot more on the Arts and a Lot less on the Martial. You will never learn how to "Street Fight" in a conventional martial arts program. They can teach you speed and technique but not instinct. Street fighting is all about instinct and that kill or be killed mentality. If you don't have that, you should just avoid street fights altogether. If you do have it, you wouldn't need to ask about it. You would be the guy that won the fight.

You can learn about techinique all you want. But practical application is what matters. And the majority of "Martial Arts" don't address practical application.
I had the opportunity to do a few things. I could have gone for an eye gouge at the start and I could have beaten into him from behind before it even started. I didn't though. I gave this guy a chance and I payed for that.

It did help my decisions if I get into the same situation again though.

Things could have been different if I used and did everything I could have, but I was just nervous.
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