Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Types of Punches

 Here's a little compendium of punches as well as a proper fight stance which directly affects them. I'm not including martial arts specific strikes. And, I'm including elbows because they are a strike with the arm. (Also because I love them with all my heart.) 

Fight Stance
Fight stances change in different martial arts. But, in boxing, Muay Thai and MMA, the power hand (generally the one you write with) is back as is the power foot beneath. This allows the fighter to rotate the hips and put the greatest power behind the dominant side. Most people are right handed (pictured). A left handed fighter (south paw) will fight with the right hand forward. Paired with a traditional right hander creates an issue for both as they are a mirror image of each other. 
This pictured example is of Muay Thai. But, in all cases, a proper fight stance provides a solid center of gravity that moves with the fighter. You will never see a fighter simply stand still in the stance during a fight. There is always movement. 

The feet are shoulder width apart. Obviously that distance will change
with the fight movement, but the fighter will always return to this width.  

Punch with the forward, non power hand. The forward step gives this punch its power.

Punch with the power hand. Its power comes from torque 
in the hips.

The arm is shaped like a hook. The power comes from the rotation of the hips. The hook can be high to the face or low to the body.

Uppercut/Up Jab
Arm is in a tight hook. The power comes from upward drive in legs.

Superman Punch (Power Jab)
Very hard punch to describe so I posted a video. This is a very powerful punch. BUT, as both feet come off the ground to deliver it, it leaves the striker very vulnerable if the punch isn't landed. The power comes from the forward then backward drive of the legs. The video is a compilation of superman punches and some are from off the cage. Go to 1:20 and you will see one in real time then immediately in slow motion.
(This guy, George St. Pierre, doesn't really have on a superman suit!)

Back Fist
The arm is shaped like a hook and the arm is flung backward. Power comes from arm and shoulder or hips if you have enough room to rotate them. Notice what part of the guy's fist is making contact. This is ONLY pic I could find that wasn't actually a spinning back fist. 

Spinning Back Fist
The back fist is delivered by whipping the body around. The power of it comes from that fast rotation. The arm almost unwinds from the body. It's a devastating strike. But, if not landed, leaves the striker very vulnerable.

Power comes from rotation of the hips. The point of the elbow delivers the shock. This strike will break the skin on the face and head.

Spinning Back Elbow
Same concept as spinning back fist.

Over Hand
This is a hook that goes up and over the striker's own head. Power is in the drive and rotation of the hips.

Hammer Fist
The side of the fist comes straight down like a hammer. 

Go ahead and practice a few of these in the mirror. It will give you a better understanding of the body movement. After, when you sit down to write that fight scene, bear in mind that your newly acquired knowledge should first and foremost serve the story. If a reader must know how to fight in order to follow the scene, you've missed the mark. 

Until the next round at FightWrite.net, get blood on your pages.


  1. You know I'm grooving this! I also love a good forearm strike, but that's part of a whole other discussion!

  2. Love this and I heart elbow strikes too!


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