IntroEven though body shots are powerful and useful, this does not mean body shots are always the best techniques to use. If you are fighting a muay-thai fighter and you drop your head for a body punch, you may receive a knee to the head. If fighting a ground fighter, dropping your head may lead to a take-down. However, a fighter who is tired and hiding behind a guard is begging for a body shot.
How to use body shotsBody punches are executed like a hook to the head. Body punches may be thrown with both hands, but the lead hand is the most effective since it is closer, faster, and harder to see and block. The key to body punching is positioning and dropping your weight. To set up a body punch, start with the knees bent to lower the body weight so you can drive the legs into the punch. Power comes from turning on the ball of the lead foot to initiate a hip turn and a solid follow through with the lead hand. Immediately after landing the punch, straighten the legs and return to the guard position.
- Don’t drop the hands to cock for the punch.
- Don’t reach; you will lose power.
- Being in close is best, especially when the opponent is covering up.
- Hard body shots will open the head for head attacks.
With sport taekwondo's emphasis on kicks, punching has become passé. However, in a self-defense situation, kicking is difficult and dangerous to attempt. In these cases, punches to the head may result in injuries to your hands; however, body punches may be devastating to attackers and, if you keep your wrists locked on impact, injuries to yourself are minimized.
Defense against body shotsThe best defense is to keep a tight guard with the elbows close together and keep the body rotated to the side. This way you do not present critical body targets and it will be difficult for a body punch to get past the elbows.
To block a body shot, raise a knee and lower an elbow, and then attack the opponent’s lowered head. Clinch (or tie up) the opponent by grasping the back of the opponent's head with your lead hand, while protecting your face with the right, and then secure the clinch with the right hand.