Thursday, June 8, 2017

Body Punches - The Cons and the Defense

In our last round, I discussed the pros of punches to the body. And, as much as I love them, they have many disadvantages. We'll take a look at those as well as body punch defense.

Note how Joanna guards her chin with her
shoulder as she punches
1. First, with any strike, you leave yourself vulnerable.  This is especially true when you punch the body as you must lower your hands from your face. Doing so leaves the head wide open to attack. With straight punches, the shoulder of the striking hand guards that side of the face. When you punch the body, the best you can do is tuck the chin down to the chest and tilt the head a bit. It's not much of a defense.

2. To drop an opponent, you need to target the liver and that punch requires some prowess. Only a small portion of the liver is exposed from beneath the ribs. And, as most fighters are right-handed, they stand with their liver side back which provides even greater protection. It's a tough shot to land and I would never base my punching game on it or fight strategy around it.  

3. Because of the ribs and hip bones, an opponent can take a good bit of beating to the body. The solar plexus is guarded by stomach muscles and an educated fighter will keep that portion of the body tight. Often when fighters punch, you will hear them exhale hard, make a "sss" sound. That gives a little oomph to the punch, but it also tightens the abs which you will want to do any time you strike. If
you make that exhale a habit, you will automatically tighten your stomach every single time you punch or kick.
So, if a strike does get through, you will be protected.

Those activated muscles also give added protection to the ribs. Technically, you can break a rib with a punch. But, I wouldn't count on that. Ever. I've seen ribs broken by kicks and knees far more than punches but even those cases aren't common. Also, I've seen folks continue on with broken ribs to the end of the fight.

Now, for the defense. Blocking body shots isn't hard at all. The key is keeping the body tight. But, that's hard to do when you are new to fighting or just plain tired out. When you are exhausted, you will do things you know you shouldn't. A tired body will betray a tireless mind. 

Start from a basic standing posture. My post on punches will explain a good fight stance.  From that stance, you just bring the elbow down to the hip bone. If instead you drop the arm, your opponent will capitalize on your mistake. The next combo they throw, they will fake a body punch to get you to drop your hand away from your face then target your jaw.  

That's it for this round at Until the next round, get blood on your pages.

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