Correct Way To Punch

There has been many debates on this topic. Some argues that the correct way to punch is with the index and middle knuckles. Some debates that the right way is by using the last three knuckles.

The former school of thought is prevalent among the modern boxing and Muay Thai, as well as other well-known martial arts such as Karate and Taekwondo. The latter is make up of old school boxing (the Sulllivan/Dempsey era and the likes), Jeet Kune do by Bruce Lee and Wushu.

The former’s punch utilises standard horizontal punch we all know today, the way we punch when we were kids, when some drunken idiots in the bar deserves it. The latter is using the vertical punch for their hand attacks. In this article, I will be using the standard horizontal punch for sake of discussion.

I have tried both. I started learning boxing and Muay Thai by punching with the first two knuckles. Then I read up Jack Dempsey book Championship Fighting and Bruce Lee’s Tao of Jeet Kune Do and tried the latter.

Both have their pros and cons. I myself prefer punching with the last three knuckles. Although some may argue that this way punching might cause the pinky (the last finger) , which is the most fragile finger in our hand, to sustain injury. The correct way to punch with this method is by concentrating the impact on the middle and ring fingers. So far after 2 years training this way, I had yet to sustain injuries on my last finger.

I prefer this punch is because the alignment of my bone from forearm to the wrist feels more natural when it hits the target. When using the first two knuckles, the wrist will bends slightly anti-clockwise if you are throwing a right.

In the near future, I will discuss the vertical punch vs the horizontal punch which utilises the different knuckles to punch as well.

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In The Ring

In Boxing, you go for 3 minutes 12-rounders. In Muay Thai, it’s a 3-minute 5 rounders. Either way, somewhere during the course of the bout, you will start to feel tired and your energy is slipping away from you. Sooner or later it will happen.

You start to gasp for breath, your guards drop, and every punch you throw is heavier than the earlier ones. This is the feeling you hate to have in the ring. BUT this is the time when you really learn as a fighter.When you can no longer depends on your strength and sheer agression to get you through, you have to rely on your skills, your techniques, timing, judgement and killer instinct.

You have to look for the opening in your opponent’s guard when he attacks, his weakness in his defense. Because you can no longer hit hard, you have to hit accurately, at the spot that hurts the most.This is the time when you truly understands and utilise all the skills and training in the gym. No longer depending on brute strength or the speed of youth, you will think tactically and strategise your fight. You have to. You got no choice.

Embrace that moment, and you will come out a better fighter than you are before you step in the ring.

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Increasing Your Awareness

When people first taking up boxing or any martial arts, mostly it is because they wanted to learn how to defend themselves in times of need. They build up their strength, stamina, power, agility and technique in the gym. These physical attributes will definitely help when the situation arises and could make a difference in a street fight.

However, I believe that the most important attribute to develop as a fighter is not a physical one, but a more subtle attribute. That attribute i was talking aboout is awareness. Being aware means being able to avoid getting into a fight in the first place, or being able to smell blood and strike first in a fight.

You can have all the physical attributes in the world, but without awareness, you will not see that left hook coming, you will fail to strike when your opponent presents you with an opening.

Awareness is something that is always practised in boxing as well as other martial arts. You learn to watch your own breath as well as your opponent, when you practice punches on the double-end bag, when you are sensing which technique your opponent will hit you with next. If you are training in fighting, you will automatically learn about awareness with you knowing it.

Train your awareness always and may it be of help to you at the moment you needed it most.

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