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Discussion Starter #1
I am a little guy who does not yet have the power to throw a knockout punch. I would like to know the best way to improve my power in my punches. Any info is greatly appreciated and ill keep you guys posted on fight results.
 

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Outta My Head
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A little applied physics:

Force = Mass X Acceleration

The second part of the equation is usually the easier of the two to see large amounts of improvement on. That is working on hand speed. Simply punch in a way not to emphasize power, but to emphasize the amount of acceleration you put into it. If you try to "put it all" into a punch, you'll tense up. You need to punch in a fluid, loose manner. How? Repitition, repitition, repitition... Keep punching until your arms feel like they're about to fall off.

An easy thing to do, is to punch using either weights on your wrists, or using big ass 16oz training gloves. Once you take the gloves off, your hands will feel lighter, and they will move at a greater rate of acceleration.

Okay, now the first part of the equation takes a lot of fine tuning. The way that you add mass to your punch is simply by using good body mechanics to train yourself to move you body with each punch. Again, the only way to tune your body movements well enough is repitition.

For instance, when you shoot out a jab, turn your hip towards your target. That will cause your shoulders to rotate into the direction of the punch (thus adding the mass of your upper body into the equation). You can add the mass of your lower body into the equation by pushing off your rear foot and sliding your front foot forward two or three inches. This will greatly increase the amount of force in your jab.

I can probably go on in length about it, but because of time constraints let me suggest a few things:

1) Pick up a good reference book that breaks down the kinesthetics of a punch in an easily understandable manner. I suggest two books that I have right off the bat:

The Tao of Jeet Kune Do by, Bruce Lee (I know, it may be a little dated or philosophy heavy, but the way Lee breaks down the kinesiology of punching is absolutely great)
Savage Strikes by, Mark Hatmaker (A more practical and up-to-date reference and instructional book on MMA striking)

Both books are easeily found for under $20.

2) Get a heavy bag and start working rounds... And more rounds... And more rounds.

3) Find a good boxing gym. These are still fairly easy to find, and even moderate amounts of instruction can make a big difference in comparison to finding out what works for yourself. Aside from that, once you begin learning how to throw a KO punch, you're going to want to learn how to avoid getting hit by one.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thank you

Thank you for all the help and info, Onganju i will try to find a boxing gym in my area and look for the books at our local bookstore. Thanx for the equation as well. I never knew the direction of your hips could make a diference in your punching. Ill definetly try it in todays work out. than you very much for the info and advice.
 

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True Grappler
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I'm a submission fighter, so my expertise is kind of limited, but here's my suggestions:

1) do core strength training (focussing less on the arms is important because the core muscles are much easier to develop)

2) train in hand speed drills, but start with smaller combinations and get your entire body a feel for them (as your muscles develop the power of the small combination will increase exponentially)

3) work on the big one-punch (in MMA the really great brawlers don't finish fights with combinations, they do it by landing one punch in an opening)

4) train to throw punches from the hips and legs (mot guys only focus on the upper body with striking, but grounding the lower body and using all of your muscles is much more important)

5) if you are training for MMA, practice leg kicks and knees (many more KO's come from kicks than from punches)
 

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Outta My Head
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From the Ground Up

All power in striking is generated from the ground up. Developing consistant power in your strikes is a lengthy process of fine-tuning the smaller components in a large body action. The study of body movement in action (kinesiology), can be real revealing as to what works. The reason why the same small movements are trained over, and over in length is so that it can all become second nature, and you don't have to consciously think about it when having to apply the action in a stressful situation.

Lets break down how to throw a rear cross/straight:

I say "rear" cross/straight to keep in mind if you fight from a southpaw/lefty stance. The cross (named so as the punch comes across the body's vertical centerline) is usually what most would consider their "sunday" punch. Due to the amount of distance it travels, there is more room for the punch to accelerate, and thusly it can generate more force.

From the standard "en guarde" boxing position, you'll initiate the punch by pushing off your rear foot. While pushing off the rear foot, rotate your hips toward the target. The rotation of your hips will begin the rotation of your shoulders toward the target, and also adds the mass of the upper body into the punch. Whilst the body is rotating toward the target, shoot your rear hand forward into the target, turning your palm so that it points downward at the point of impact. Turning the palm allows for deeper penetration on the punch, as the shoulder joint isn't aligned correctly to extend the arm completely if your fist is still in a vertical position. Once contact to the target is made, return the arm back along the same path to your ready position in order to be ready to defend any counter attacks.

So the movements of the cross (in fact, all punches) can be broken down like this:

Feet-->Legs-->Hips-->Shoulders-->Arm-->Return to ready position.

A few things to keep in mind while throwing the cross:
1) Keep your front hand up by your face to keep it guarded. This should be self explanatory.

2) If you're really committing power into this punch, slide your front foot forward 2 to 3 inches while pushing off your frear foot. This is your "drop step" and your punch should be connecting just as your drop step is completed. At the end of the drop step, your front foot will be forward, and your rear foot will be on its toes. This movement will commit all your body mass into the punch, thusly adding to the generation of force.

3) Punch with an emphasis on speed. Trying to concentrate on power and "muscling" your punches will cause you to tense up and take away from the ability to accelerate your arm effortlessly. Your punches should be loose and relaxed.

4) Punch through your target. Not any exagerrated amount, simply commit to drive your punch 3 to 4 inches beyond the surface of the target. The reason being is that you will be guaranteeing that your punch is connecting at the point when your arm is at its greatest point of acceleration. At the very end of your punch, your arm is already deccelerating because your arm is attached to your body and your connective tissues are stopping it from seperating itself.

To diagram the acceleration model of a punch it may look like this:
Start->20%->40%->60%->80%->100%->80%->End

Since I'm a fan of "Show and Tell" look at this HighLight reel of boxing's current pound-for-pound hardest puncher Manny Pacquiao here. Now, I'll probably be the first Fillipino to admit that Pacquiao's footwork is absolutely horrible, he sure as hell knows how to throw a left cross. Look at the knockdowns at the second half of the vid and you'll be able to notice that Pacquiao is moving forward, rotating his shoulders over fully, and completely punching through his target. It's all a great demonstration of applied physics.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanx for all the advie guys im starting to feel a lil extra pop when i hit ppl now. The rotation of my hips really made a noticable difference in my power as well. Ironman you said you are a submission fighter so ud prlly be the person to ask this to. Ive bee trying to learn a kimora for 2wks ow and i am not getting it my instructor just keeps showing me over and over without breaking it down for me to see the steps could u xplain it to me thanx a million.
 

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Firstly get a heavy bag and put in some serious time, on the first day - hit every shot your hardest(using good form), train till you drop then train a little more, if you feel your gonna die then go at it a little more. Dont worry about speed and technical moves, just punch- hard!!! The next day you will feel hurt in some places, these are the places that should be developed. I got this tip from someone else and was shocked- no triceps, chest, biceps shoulders pain, what hurt most was my lats and middle back, neck, abs, and my forearms/wrists.These are vital to power punching. A good way to get wrist strengh is to get some tips from armwrestling websites.
 

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i would consider myself somewhat of a heavey hitter, but i do hit the heavy bag just about everyday, i also put weights on my wrists and ankles after i warm up just to help me with speed and power. you might want to try that out. you should be able to get strap on weights at any sporting good store.

i have also found that you dont nessecerily need a super powerful punch. a well placed punch to the throat, groin, jaw and a few other key pressure points will do the trick. try to find a source of target areas of the human body, then get a Body opponent bag or what have you and focus on those select areas when you train.

also there are many soft tissue areas or sensitive spots like the eyes, ears, nose, ribs, groin and knee joints that are pretty easy to get to. in a fight. dont be afraid to learn some anatomy. it will come in handy someday.
 

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ya i didnt post this but all of what u said is helpful in how i know how to throw a punch just not with much power.
 

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I'm a Light Guy Too! But I'm a grappler

I'm pretty tall 6'2" but I am incredibly light 137 lbs, I'm currently training in BJJ but even as my technique starts to get better it is hard to pull off certain things without a necessary amount of strength. Any help in how I should train to gain more strength (especially upper body) in a way that is helpful in grappling and other aspects of BJJ would be very much appreciated.
 

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1 2 3 Blast Off!
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Spartan42 said:
I'm pretty tall 6'2" but I am incredibly light 137 lbs, I'm currently training in BJJ but even as my technique starts to get better it is hard to pull off certain things without a necessary amount of strength. Any help in how I should train to gain more strength (especially upper body) in a way that is helpful in grappling and other aspects of BJJ would be very much appreciated.
pull ups, rows, curls, dumbell bench press, Hand stand push ups;)
cleans, deadlifts, squats, lunges, pistols;)
 

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Lights Out
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Onganju said:
A little applied physics:

Force = Mass X Acceleration

The second part of the equation is usually the easier of the two to see large amounts of improvement on. That is working on hand speed. Simply punch in a way not to emphasize power, but to emphasize the amount of acceleration you put into it. If you try to "put it all" into a punch, you'll tense up. You need to punch in a fluid, loose manner. How? Repitition, repitition, repitition... Keep punching until your arms feel like they're about to fall off.

An easy thing to do, is to punch using either weights on your wrists, or using big ass 16oz training gloves. Once you take the gloves off, your hands will feel lighter, and they will move at a greater rate of acceleration.

Okay, now the first part of the equation takes a lot of fine tuning. The way that you add mass to your punch is simply by using good body mechanics to train yourself to move you body with each punch. Again, the only way to tune your body movements well enough is repitition.

For instance, when you shoot out a jab, turn your hip towards your target. That will cause your shoulders to rotate into the direction of the punch (thus adding the mass of your upper body into the equation). You can add the mass of your lower body into the equation by pushing off your rear foot and sliding your front foot forward two or three inches. This will greatly increase the amount of force in your jab.

I can probably go on in length about it, but because of time constraints let me suggest a few things:

1) Pick up a good reference book that breaks down the kinesthetics of a punch in an easily understandable manner. I suggest two books that I have right off the bat:

The Tao of Jeet Kune Do by, Bruce Lee (I know, it may be a little dated or philosophy heavy, but the way Lee breaks down the kinesiology of punching is absolutely great)
Savage Strikes by, Mark Hatmaker (A more practical and up-to-date reference and instructional book on MMA striking)

Both books are easeily found for under $20.

2) Get a heavy bag and start working rounds... And more rounds... And more rounds.

3) Find a good boxing gym. These are still fairly easy to find, and even moderate amounts of instruction can make a big difference in comparison to finding out what works for yourself. Aside from that, once you begin learning how to throw a KO punch, you're going to want to learn how to avoid getting hit by one.

Good luck.
what about holding weights in your hands does that help hand speed to
 

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Outta My Head
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ozz525 said:
what about holding weights in your hands does that help hand speed to
Yes they can. Infact, many fighters train using that exact method as part of their routine. In my own esperience, you can usually get a way from using the wrist weights or dumbells if you train with huge 16 oz. boxing gloves. If you think about it, that's an extra pound on each hand. Once that's shed, your hands will feel lightning quick.

If you also decide to shadow box with dumbells in each hand, that's also a good way to use weights to develope hand speed. The things that must be kept in mind about that is two-fold:

1) You don't need extreme amounts of weight. To be completely honest, anything more than 3 pounds isn't going to help much as you're not going to be wearing more than a 4 oz glove if you actually fight. Also, you are using the extra weight to build speed and muscle endurance. Anything else will promote the growth of mass, which isn't necessarily a good thing.

2) If you use a little extra weight, shadow box in a controlled fashion and try not to throw your punches to complete extension. Doing so can be a recipe for injury and joint strain. The reason why you can throw solid full-force punches into a heavy bag or focus mitt is that there is an object stopping your fist from continuing on. When shadow boxing, there is no such barrier and the only thing that will stop your limbs from continuing on is your own connective tissues.
 

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Hitting a heavy bag TOO much can result in an increase of mass, which inturn can take away speed and flexibility, so always stretch both before and AFTER you work the bag. Something you can do is grip a door nob, on either side of the door, and then with your feet on either side of the door lean back. You will feel your shoulders strech, it is really good for keeping you quick
 

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The Hook

Okay... It’s been a while since I’ve contributed to this thread with worthwhile instructional information. So without further adieu, I give you a step-by-step on how to throw a proper hook. I will start with how to throw a hook from the lead hand.

First things first: Contrary to popular belief, the best hooks are thrown in a tight, compact manner. Just like the straighter punches, power in a hook starts from the ground up, but an even greater majority of the power is generated by the rotation of your hips and shoulders toward the target. Think about throwing a hook being analogous to “slamming a door closed.” Your upper body is the door, and your rear foot would be the door hinge. When you rotate your hips and shoulders over, you are essentially “slamming the door”* and your arm is connected to it.

Arm position: A good tight hook is fired with your arm cocked in a position that has your forearm locked 90 degrees to your upper arm. Opening up your arm further than that will make your punch “loopy” and lessen the amount of rotational force. Any closer than that and you may be better suited throwing an elbow over a hook. Part of the reason why hooks carry so much power is that your fist will continue accelerating through the target as you complete the punch. In fact, I’ve found that if you can throw a decent cross/horizontal elbow off your lead side you can usually throw a decent lead hook as the core body movements are the same.

To fire the lead hook:
1) Push off your front foot and pivot your front heel out. This will begin the rotation of your hips toward the target.
2) Off the rotation of your hips, rotate your shoulders over to point your lead shoulder toward your target. Your shoulder should always lead before the arm in a hook!
3) On that rotation, bring your forearm horizontal and swing you arm across in a compact manner like you would with an elbow. Your upper arm is going to swing across your view and continue until your fist travels past your centerline by 4 to 6 inches.
4) Coincide the swing with a small shift in weight forward to commit the whole of your body mass into the target. You can accomplish this by pushing off your rear foot. You don’t want a huge lunge forward as this will upset your base and leave you completely off balance (I know, we see top guys do it all the time, but they are talented enough to get a way with it from time to time).
5) Return your lead hand to guard position along the same path.

To fire the rear hook, move the door hinge to your lead foot. You’d start the punch by pushing off your rear foot and rotating that heel out.

Things to keep in mind:
  • Fist Position – Are you trying to figure out if you throw the hook with the palm facing down, or palm facing you? If the hook is in tight, throw it palm facing down. If it more on the outer range and loose, throw it palm facing you.
  • Drill Hooks by Drilling Elbows – Like I stated earlier: Throwing a hook is like throwing a good horizontal/cross elbow. Drill throwing the elbow, and your will get a better grasp on the body rotation that goes into throwing a good hook.
  • Concentrate on Throwing Fast Hooks - The power of a hook is generated by rotating the whole of your upper body mass in the direction of your opponent. Don’t concentrate on “muscling” your hook or you will hamper the amount of acceleration you can generate off of your punching arm. Remember your physics: Force = Mass X Acceleration. If you lessen one or the other, your shots won’t hit with as much force.
Here’s a few vids of some real vicious lead hooks:
A series of vicious lead hooks thrown by Rocky Juarez here.
Tommy Morrison punishing James Tillis with lead hooks here.
An early Roy Jones KO off of a beautiful lead hook here. You can completely see him load up his lead shoulder before throwing on this one.
 
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try wieghted punches. Use light wieghts at first though. Also concentrate more on proper technique than speed. If you are going to fast with wieghts you are likely to injure yourself seriously.
 

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Learning to punch through the target is real important. Get a bag of rice and tape it up with some ducktape. You'll get used to weighting your punch through something, and it'l toughen up your hand/wrist. Weighted punches, like that guy said, also work. Don't be all tense when you strike. If you're muscles are all tensed up, the strike will feel awesome to you; not so much to the person taking it. So stay loose. That just about covers my limited knowledge on smacking people. It may be bad advise too.
 

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Belive it or not... most of your power comes from your hips and speed. Train punching with your hips first... then throw your shoulder, then let your hads play catchup. Kind of like a whip. Your shoulder should extend as far out as it can punching through your oppenent... then finish the punch with a quick "drop" on impact. Just feal yourself drop into your stance. It should make your oppenent feal like's about to shit your hand back out the other side.
 
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