Punching is one of the basic attacks that exist in every style of martial arts. Be it horizontal, vertical, snap or thrust, the basic concept of punching remains the same. This article will talk about three ways to get the most out of any punching technique so that you can improve your performance.
1) Aim Through The Target
When you are striking an opponent or training equipment – aim past them. Making this slight change will ensure that you make contact with maximum impact as opposed to losing power. The reason for this is that if you focus on striking at a specific point, your brain will naturally limit the force at the moment of impact as to minimise damage to your body. Remember no matter how well trained and conditioned you are, combat is still a form of trauma against your body parts. Removing this particular limitation can be useful to end a confrontation quickly and allow you to escape.
2) Tense At The Moment Of Impact
This particular piece of advice is useful to increase the speed of your punch as well as protecting your muscles. From a self defence perspective, speed is paramount so keeping your arm completely loose and only tensing at the moment of impact will ensure that there is no unnecessary muscular tension to slow down your strike. In regard to protecting your muscles, constant tension followed but impact can lead to strains and even tears. Keep the body loose and only tense up at the moment of impact.
3) Do Not Fully Straighten The Arm
It may seem counter productive to the concept of range if you do not fully straighten your arm when punching however it is critical to avoid doing so in order to protect the elbow joint. If you straighten your arm completely when making contact then there is a possibility that the force could radiate from the point of contact and back into the elbow which will lead to you damaging the joint. It is entirely possible and recommended that you compensate the range difference using proper stance work.
In conclusion the three ways to maximise your punching performance include aiming past the target, remaining relaxed until the moment of impact and not straightening your arm completely when punching. Different styles will have different variations to punches so ask your instructor what is suitable for you.
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