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Techniques>Punches>Other punches

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Other punches

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Some other punches that are less commonly used.

Other punches

  • Overhand (overcut) punch. The overhand is like an over-the-shoulder, vertical hook that travels over the top of the opponent's guard rather than around it and impacts in a slightly downward direction with the palm facing outward. It’s popular with smaller stature fighters trying to reach taller opponents. Boxers who have used this punch consistently and effectively include former heavyweight champions Rocky Marciano and Tim Witherspoon, as well as MMA champions Chuck Liddell and Fedor Emelianenko. The overhand right has become a popular weapon in competitions that involve fist striking.
  • Roundhouse punch. The old-fashioned "haymaker punch" is useful for punching around blocks or guards that would prevent a straight punch from reaching the target. It is also useful against an opponent who turns and ducks. A block appropriate for use against a straight punch often will not work against a curved punch to the same target. Typically, roundhouse punches are used at a somewhat closer range than straight punches. A roundhouse punch is like an exaggerated, wide hook punch. It is powerful but takes a long time to complete and it opens your centerline to counterattacks, so its best used as a finishing blow when the opponent is unable to avoid it or counterattack.
  • Upset punch. The upset punch is basically an uppercut that travels horizontally into the opponent’s torso rather than upward to the chin. As with the uppercut, the more the arm is extended the less power in the punch so it is best used in close combat. The fist may be held in a middle-knuckle fist so it will penetrate deeper when used to the solar plexus.
  • U-shaped punch. The U-shaped punch is two simultaneous punches: a straight punch to the head with the leading arm and an upset punch to the torso with the trailing arm.
  • Bolo punch. The bolo punch is a like a low, side-arm, upset punch that is thrown to the front side of the torso. It’s a powerful body shot that can take down an opponent.

    The punch owes its power to the shortening of a circular arc rather than to transference of body weight; it tends to have more of an effect due to the surprise of the odd angle it lands at rather than the actual power of the punch. A few professional boxers have used the bolo-punch to great effect, including former welterweight champions Sugar Ray Leonard, and Kid Gavilan.

    Middleweight champion Ceferino Garcia is commonly thought to be the inventor of the bolo punch, although a 1924 article in the Tacoma News-Tribune reported a Filipino boxer named Macario Flores to be using it. As to why Garcia developed the punch, he said that as a youth he cut sugarcane in the Philippines with a bolo knife, which he would wield in a sweeping uppercut manner.

    One version of the punch that is occasionally seen in amateur fights but rarely seen in professional fights is when the punch is wound-up before being thrown. It is used by showboating fighters mostly when they are dominating the opponent and are showing off for the crowd or when they are trying to harass, intimidate, or humiliate the opponent. Sugar Ray Leonard used the punch in his rematch with Roberto Duran, the famous "No Más Fight." This version of the punch is performed by rotating the punching arm in large circles as if winding up for the punch and then punching. The motion is like that used when winding up a pair of Spanish bolas before throwing them. Many times, one arm winds up but the other arm throws the punch. In this case, the wind up is just used to distract the opponent from the real punch.
  • Liver punch. The liver punch is a quick, short punch with such a short movement that many times spectators see its effects but miss seeing the punch itself. The punch is a lead hook or uppercut that impacts under and to the front of the ninth and tenth rib and drives upward to the base of the shoulder blade toward the spine, which is toward the area the liver is located. It is usually delivered after drawing an opponent to lead with his or her right, which leaves the body exposed. Since the liver is the largest of the vital organs, a blow to it shocks it, causes a sickening feeling, and saps the energy from the fighter.
  • One-two punch. The one-two punch is the basic jab-cross. The punches travel in a straight line, which makes them difficult for the opponent to detect. From a high, tight guard position and good fighting stance, throw the punches so your arms stay level with your shoulders. If you have your chin down and the punch comes out straight, the shoulder will rise automatically and further protect your chin. Throw the jab but don’t throw it too hard, it’s only used as a range-finder; then fire your cross with full power.
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