How to punch properly?

How To Properly Punch Details

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Where To Aim

There are several “weak spots” in human anatomy, and landing a successful punch to any of them will have devastating results.

The best spot to aim for is the chin. It will provide the least resistance, and will cause the greatest amount of acceleration. Once a jaw punch lands, the head accelerates away from the source of the impact. This acceleration is suddenly stopped by bones, muscles and ligaments in the neck and shoulders – but while the head is no longer moving, the brain inside the head keeps accelerating. A well-executed chin punch will send the brain crashing into the skull, resulting in an immediate knockout.

About us

I’m Dimitar Ivanov. A few years ago I’ve started boxing and I’ve quickly fallen in love with this awesome sport. Since then I’m always trying to improve my skills, by finding and testing new strategies, and training methods. This is the website where I share everything I’ve learned.

5) Boxing offense

Attacking in boxing isn’t simply throwing pu

Attacking in boxing isn’t simply throwing punches. Your opponent isn’t a heavy bag, he won’t just stay and take your shots. Chances are he will try to block them, slip them, or just move back, so you won’t be able to catch him easily.

That’s why you need to trick your opponent. If you manage to trick the other boxer, you can beat him, no matter if he is stronger, faster, more athletic or even more skilled. You can do that by using punching combinations (instead of throwing single shots), by using feints, footwork or by countering your opponent.

Basic combinations

Boxing tip – always start your combinations with a jab. That’s the fastest punch, so it’s a great setup for bigger punches.

With a quick jab to the head, you can distract your opponent’s attention or block his vision. That way he won’t be able to see the next punch and to block it. After the jab, you can throw a rear hand cross, hook, uppercut or punch to the body.

You can also throw several punches with the same hand. For instance – jab to the head -> lead hook to the body -> lead hook to the head. That will surprise your opponent, who is expecting left-right-left combinations.

The combinations of different punches are countless. So here I am going to give you the basic and most effective ones. But first, you need to learn the punch numbering system:

  • 1 – Jab
  • 2 – Cross
  • 3 – Lead hook
  • 4 – Rear hook
  • 5 – Lead uppercut
  • 6 – Rear uppercut
  • 7 – Lead hook to the body
  • 8 – Rear hook to the body
  • 9 – Lead uppercut to the body
  • 10 – Rear uppercut to the body

Now, the combinations:

1) Jab-Cross (1-2)

The most used and the most effective boxing combination. Some boxers even made a career using mostly this combination.

Throw a quick jab to head of your opponent and as it lands, throw a powerful cross. Don’t make a break, between the punches, because that way you’re giving your opponent time to move back or to see the cross and slip it. Make a step forward after the jab, if you feel that you need to be closer to your opponent to land the cross.

2) Double Jab-Cross (1-1-2)

This is a variation of the previous combo. The double jab helps you to mask the cross better and to better measure the distance. You can use it against opponents who move back when you’re attacking.

Remember that the cross is the hard punch. The jabs are just for distraction. So throw them quickly, without much power but commit to the cross.

If your opponent moves back, make a step with each jab to find the distance for the cross. If he keeps moving back, eventually he will get against the ropes, where you can easily catch him with the cross.

3) Jab->Cross->Lead Hook (1-2-3)

After you land the jab and the cross, you can add a powerful lead hook. Your opponent may think it’s another straight punch so you can catch him with the hook around his guard.

If your opponent is moving back, make a little step forward after you land the cross, so you can find the right distance for the hook.

4) Jab to the body->Cross to the head

That’s a simple but really effective combination.

Make your opponent drop his hands to protect the body with a jab to the body and then land a clean cross to the head.

5) Jab to the head->Rear uppercut to the body

That’s the opposite of the previous combo – attack the head first to make the other boxer get his hands up and then catch him with a hard body shot.

If you’re a southpaw, that’s one of your most effective combinations. Because with your rear hand (your left hand), you can land a liver shot, which can be devastating.

6) Fake a rear hand->Left hook

Pivot your back foot and rotate the body, pretending you’re going to throw a cross, then make a step forward with your lead foot and land a hook to the head.

The idea is to make your opponent cover up, thinking you’re going to throw a straight punch but then to catch him off guard him with the hook.

We will talk more about the feints in a minute.

7) Lead uppercut->Cross

You can use this combination at a long or mid-range.

Bend your knees a little, to make your opponent think you’re going to the body. Then quickly explode up with an uppercut to the head followed by a hard cross.

8) Jab->Rear hook

That’s the short-range variation of the Jab-Cross combo. Use it when your opponent is too close to you and you can’t throw a cross.

9) Jab/lead hook->Right uppercut

Start this combo with a jab at a long distance and with a lead hook, at mid or short-range. The idea is to make your opponent slip the jab or duck under the hook so you can catch him with a hard uppercut right on the chin.

10) Jab->Lead hook to the body->Cross

By throwing two left or two right punches one after another you can confuse your opponent who is expecting the standard left-right-left combinations.

Try this combination – throw a quick jab to the head, followed by a lead hook to the body and hard cross. Chances are you will catch the other boxer off guard.

You don’t need many combinations to win a fight. At first, try to master all the punches. Then you start using mainly the most important combos:

  • The jab-cross combo
  • Jab-cross-lead hook (to the head or to the body)
  • Jab to the body-cross to the head.

That’s just fine for a beginner. If you want you to know more about the basic punching combinations, check out this article:


The knockouts in boxing are caused by the concussi

The knockouts in boxing are caused by the concussions after a hit to the head. To land a one-punch knockout you really need some punching power, but there is an easier way to knock some out – by using combinations of punches with a lot of hooks and uppercuts. The idea is to make your opponent’s head move in different directions making the brain slamming hard into the skull (which causes the concussions).

Here are some of the best knockouts combos:

  • 1>10>5>4 (Jab-Rear uppercut (body)-Lead uppercut-Rear cross/overhand)
  • 1>2>3>6 (Jab-Cross-Lead hook-Rear uppercut)
  • 3>6>1>4 (Check lead hook-Rear uppercut-Jab-Rear hook/overhand)
  • 1>7>3>4>5 (Jab-Lead hook (body)-Lead hook-Rear hook-Lead uppercut)
  • 1>8>3>4 (Jab-Rear hook (body)-Lead hook-Rear hook)

*Note that these combinations are harder to land and require more skill. I recommend using them only when your opponent is hurt, or dazed and you want to finish him. The rest of the time, use the basic combos.

Here’s a great article where I described thoroughly these 5, plus 5 more knockout combinations:


Most of the beginners don’t use feints enough. They either don’t appreciate them or just don’t know how to use them. But once you learn how to use them effectively, feints can really help you to trick your opponent and catch him. You can use feints to read the reactions of your opponent and to use them against him later in the fight.

Here are 5 easy feints you can use next time you spar:

1) Feint a cross, make a step and throw a left hook – Stop your fist when it’s halfway to the target and pull it back. Then make a step forward and throw the left hook.

2) Move your rear hand quickly up, and throw a jab – Make your opponent look at your rear hand. That way he won’t see the jab.

3) Feint a jab, throw a cross – That’s the opposite of the previous feint. Pull your fist when it’s halfway there and release the cross.

4) Feint a jab to the body, throw a cross to the head – Easy wait to make your opponent drop his hands so you can land a clean shot.

5) Feint a cross, throw a rear hand uppercut – By feinting a cross, you can make your opponent duck his head, trying to slip it, where you can catch him with the uppercut.

Countering head movement

You can use feints to counter the head movement of your opponent. For example, if he likes to slip the jabs to his left, you can feint a jab and then throw a right hook. That way you will make your opponent fall into the punch, which can be devastating.

I recommend using a lot of feints at the beginning of the fight/sparring, so you can read your opponent’s reactions. If you notice he likes to duck under punches, feint a straight punch and throw an uppercut so you can catch him. If he likes to lean back, then feint jabs, make a step forward and then throw a cross.

Counter punches

In boxing, you have to defend yourself and to atta

In boxing, you have to defend yourself and to attack at the same time. And the best way to do it is to slip or block your opponent’s punches and to then to counterpunch.

You can block a punch with your glove, forearm or even with your elbow (if it’s a body shot). To slip a punch you need to move your head off the center line, making your opponent hit the air. Think of slipping as moving your shoulder to the opposite knee. If you want to slip to your right, imagine trying to move your left shoulder to your right knee. That will help you to slip correctly. Stop after your head moves a few inches (no more than 8 in – the size of the glove) – just enough to get of the way of the punch.

Here are some easy counterpunches which you can do after slipping:

*The examples below are for orthodox boxers fighting with other orthodox boxers. If you’re a southpaw just do the opposite. For instance, where I say slip to your right, you should slip to your left.

1) Counter the jab with a jab to the body – That’s a basic counter of the jab. All you need to do is time it, to duck under it and to throw a jab to the body of your opponent.

2) Counter the jab with an overhand – Wait for your opponent to throw a jab, slip it to your left and throw an overhand right at the same time.

3) Counter the cross with an overhand – Similarly to when countering the jab with an overhand, you need to slip to your left. But this time move your head a little bit more, to make sure that you slip the shot.

4) Counter the cross with a cross to the body – Duck under the cross and throw a cross to the stomach or the solar plexus of your opponent. Make a step forward with your lead foot to build more momentum.

5) Counter the cross with an uppercut to the body – Slip the cross to your left and throw a quick but hard left uppercut to the liver of your opponent.

5) Roll With the Punches

Some of the greatest defensive fighters such as Floyd Mayweather Jr and James Toney adopt the shoulder roll technique because it enables them to not only deflect punches easier, but to also roll with them. It’s not that they never get hit, it’s the fact that they rarely ever get hit with CLEAN punches.

You’ve probably seen some boxers who roll punches with their head only (Muhammad Ali was great at doing this). This requires good reflexes and takes half the steam off a punch. Whether you’ve getting hit to the head or body, always roll and rotate towards the direction that the punch is going / away from the punch.


When it comes to your punch and dilution, you’ve a decision to make. Are you going to start with a perfectly diluted punch and hold that level of dilution by keeping the punch chilled with a means other than by direct contact with ice, or are you going to let your punch evolve?

David Wondrich again, “When you first make the bowl of punch that’s going to be shared, it starts off being quite strong and then as the ice dilutes it the punch transforms. There’s a sweet spot in the middle, and then, as your guests are getting a little too tipsy, it self-corrects because it gets weaker and weaker, until the end when there’s hardly any alcohol in there. They’re rehydrating, it’s self-correcting, so a punch is lovely for that.”

Unless you are making a punch that is going to be consumed almost immediately after it has been served, then cubed ice is not suitable for use in a punch bowl as the ice will melt too quickly and over dilute the punch. Instead, use a block of ice. The bigger the punch bowl so the bigger the block. You can make giant ice-cubes by freezing water in silicon bread moulds.

If you are serving punch to guests as a welcome drink in a bar, then you’ll need your punch to be diluted so every guest experiences your punch at its best. That ‘sweet spot’ is broadly around 16-20% alc./vol., the strength of sherry. To fix that strength/dilution you can simply bottle the punch, store in a refrigerator and then pour as required – remembering to turn the bottle to mix prior to pouring. Or you could copy New York’s Dead Rabbit and use a circulator.

Bring the hand back to the face

Once your strike lands, you might be tempted to leave your fist in midair or drop your hand to your waist. That’s an invitation for retaliation. Instead, as soon as your punch reaches the end of its journey, you want to bring it immediately back toward your face for defense, whether your original punch landed or not.

As your hand comes back, reset the rest of your body as well. You want to get back to that solid base, with your feet in a strong position and your arms ready to protect your face and core. Even if you’re just hitting a punching bag, establishing good habits during practice will prepare you for throwing a punch in the real world.

Rehearse these movements many times, and they’ll eventually start to feel natural. So when you actually have to throw a punch, your body can respond automatically. To get even better, we recommend finding a reputable self-defense or martial arts instructor—rather than feeding hundreds of dollars into that punching-bag arcade game.

Punch recipe

“This ancient Silver bowl of mine, it tells of good old times, Of joyous days, and jolly nights, and merry Christmas Chimes,They were a free and jovial race, but honest, brave and true,That dipped their ladle in the punch when this old bowl was new.”

So starts the punch section to Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book. Craddock goes on to give this piece of advice “…there is one grand secret in its concoction that must be mastered with patience and care. It is just this, that the various subtle ingredients be thoroughly mixed in such a way, that neither the bitter, the sweet, the spirit, nor any liquor be perceptible the one over the other.”

The classic punch proportions are easy to remember due to the rhyme, “one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong and four of weak” – referring to:

One of sour = lime juice or lemon juiceTwo of sweet = sugarThree of strong = arrack, rum or other dark spirit)Four of weak =Water, fruit juice, cold tea etc.Spice = nutmeg, cinnamon, rosewater etc

The merits of the punch rhyme are good to chat about around a punch bowl but few of those I know who make lots of punch follow this formula. As David Wondrich says, “For me making punch is like barbequing. It’s a thing … you don’t need a recipe; it’s a process. You might mix in a little splash of this, a little splash of that but it’s instinctual rather than scientific.”

“I’ve been making punch in large quantities and often for about 15 years. I started making all these elaborate Victorian punches where you take each part of the punch and split it up; you divide the spirit element between several spirits – rum, arak, brandy, etc; then you take the water and you use some tea in the water, but the tea also brings spice, and so on. So, you make these lovely complex creations. But the older I get and the more punch I’ve made, the less I feel the desire to go through all those manipulations because I find that if you have a good spirit, one that’s got some character, you don’t need much else. I use lemon peel and sugar, water, spirit, maybe a little bit of nutmeg and I find that that’s enough. It’s so easy, but you need a spirit that’s got some terroir to it; that’s got individuality. So I’ll use something like Banks Rum, I might use a mixture of the Banks 5 and the Banks 7 – Banks 7 for mildness and 5 for a little more extra funk.

“Some punches are great for a few cups but if you’re making a big bowl you don’t want too much spice in it, in my experience. The older I get, the less spice I want in punch.”

3) Strengthen Your Neck

Think of your head as a gyro ball (a ball within a ball). Anytime there is a quick impact on the neck or above, the liquid surrounding your brain causes it to shudder.

This is why the jaw is the most vulnerable because whenever there is a forceful impact, it causes your head to accelerate in a certain direction while your muscles and bones acts as a stopper.

While this is happening, your brain is moving around and can crash into the side of your skull, which results in knockdowns, knockouts and even worse.

The last thing you want when someone hits you is for your neck to snap back (whiplash) or rotate quickly. By strengthening your neck as a shock absorber, you will minimize the possibility of sharp rotations to your head.

Throw the punch

Now it’s time to send some fingers flying. The first thing to remember is that the punch should go straight forward, rather than out to the side. The idea is to send your fist out and bring it right back to its original position, with as little extraneous motion as possible.

If you flare your arm out, like in the movies, your target will have plenty of time to avoid or block the strike—and you’re going to leave yourself wide open to getting a punch in your own face.

The full punch motion stems from turning your hips. Imagine swinging a baseball bat with just your arms and no hip swivel: It’s not very powerful. The same idea applies to hitting with just your fist.

When you start the punch, pivot your back foot on its ball and push your body forward. You don’t want to exaggerate the motion and throw yourself off balance, but you want to feel your lower body pushing your arm forward. As you push off your foot, turn your hips and extend your arm straight toward the target. Don’t flare your elbow or try to loop around in a big hook punch.

Also, don’t overextend into the punch. You want to feel in control and balanced at all times during the process. If you over-commit and fall forward, you’ll put yourself in a vulnerable position.

View this post on Instagram Every action has led to this || @lukerockhold #mma #ufc #lukerockhold #canon #perth #australia #ufc221 #redditphotography A post shared by Ryan Loco (@ryanloco) on Feb 9, 2018 at 8:55am PST

(Above: MMA fighter Luke Rockhold keeps his other hand up when he throws a punch so no one strikes his face. You should, too.)

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  • Fedora

Mar 7

    Fedora Mar 7

    “Because now I know how to punch properly, I have to put my thumb on my middle finger. Before I didnt know and yes I did get hurt.” …” more

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