Hand attacks, primarily punches, are your primary offensive weapons. Under the right conditions, kicks may kill. Even under the wrong conditions, punches may kill.
Keep your head at level of your punch. You have to drop your head to the level of your target when punching, this includes when making body shots. Not to do this is to get hit. Some say you should put your eyes at the level of where you are punching, some say the chin or shoulders.
Practice punching from angles. Eventually add other angles, such as from close range, from a squared face-off, or when opponent moves to inside.
- Lead Hook
- Rear Overhand
- Lead Uppercut
- Rear Uppercut
- Lead overhand
- Rear Hook
- Jabs underrated. They may not be the most powerful technique but they can still hurt and are very useful.
- Jabs disrupt the opponent's timing, since he or she is constantly having to react to it. A close range, explosive technique. Used in defense against opponent’s lunge punch or foot sweep, thrust forward attacking the mid-section to nullify their attack and spoil their distance and timing. This requires courage as you are countering without blocking.
- Remember, the jab is your can opener. It precedes most other utensils. Insert it into every gap. Use it to probe the opponent's reactions.
- Use of the jab ranges from pawing with it to load up your cross (such as used by Mohamed Ali) to using it to conceal your low entry (such as used by Chris Byrd) to a damaging tool that will make your opponent see stars (such as used by Larry Holmes). Hurting an opponent with your jab has to do with how much you bring your lead hip in line with the shot, and how much you shift your weight into it.
- Jab like a fencer. A jab is a controlled lunge using coordinated footwork to achieve the right range. Some people use the jab in a light way, like a fly swatter.
- Most people do not put behind their jab so it is not respected by opponents; as you throw the jab, an opponent may come over the top with a cross or may slip inside the jab and catch you with a hook. Before you may use your jab as a feint, you have to make it believable. Once you have a credible jab that is feared by opponents, you may start to use it with techniques.
- A great way to get an opponent to lower the lead hand and expose the chin is to use a jab to the stomach. If opponent does not lower the lead hand, just hit the floating rib.
- Use as you slip outside or sidestep.
- When to Catch Opponent. Often, an opponent is ready to move, once free of your first attack, to make you miss. However, after this first movement the opponent has nowhere to go unless he or she is pretty good. Often, if you are ready to follow up, you may catch the opponent flatfooted at this time. Many opponents lean away from your initial attack. If you are ready to follow up from that, you may usually catch most people. Throw a technique at the face to see the reaction, then you will know exactly what to do since the opponent has shown his or her intention.
- Jabs keep you established as the aggressor. They help keep your opponent on the defensive and they show judges you are on steadily on the attack.
- Keep jabs in the opponent's face. They flash in the opponent's eyes and keep him or her on the defensive, which allows you to mount an offensive.
- Jabs help make holes in the opponent's guard for more powerful punches to be used. Thomas Hearns jabbed at his opponent's forehead to lift the chin for a knockout right cross. Jab to the stomach to lower the guard, then right cross to the chin, followed by a left hook to the liver.
- Jabs show you have no fear and help establish your dominance. You are showing you are not afraid to mix it up.
- Jabs are a good counter to an opponent's jabs. When the opponent attempts to engage in a battle of the jab, keep one step ahead by working off of his or her jab.
- When opponent jabs, slip left and fire an inside left hook.
- Slip to the right for a body jab and use a overhead punch to catch a lazy left hand.
- Slap down the jab down with the right hand and come straight with a right cross and move forward to offset your opponent.
- Jabs help force your opponent to attack, so you may then counterattack. Jack Johnson once said that, as a counter puncher, he would use his jab to force his opponent to attack so he could counter.
- Jabs are relatively safe. Beginning and ending combinations with a jab helps keep you protected. They mark the end of a combination and give you a second to regroup.
- Exiting the danger zone with a good jab helps to extinguish the opponent's counter offensive.
- Jabs help conserve energy since they require the least energy of any attack, hands or feet.
- Jabs let you out-finesse your opponent. By using finesse in the jab, by changing timing, doubling up, moving up and down, and down and up you appear to be the better fighter to judges. You may also confuse your opponent.
- If your jab is robotic or predictable, a smart opponent will time it and launch an attack around it. Making it shrewd and unpredictable helps confuse your opponent.
- Jabs allow you to dance. Since the jab is the only punch that does not require committing the body in some way, you have full control of your movements and footwork.
- Reverse punch. The reverse punch is a major scoring technique in competition. Increase its reach by lowering your stance and driving hip toward opponent. In defense, use palm sweeping block while pulling upper body and face backward, moving weight over rear leg; then drive forward off rear leg and attack before opponent returns to a defensive position.
- Hook. In a hook, a horizontal fist (palm down) works best in close. A vertical fist (palm toward you) works best at a greater distance . Turn the lead heel out when using a lead hook; turn rear heel out when using a rear hook. Always shift your weight to lead foot. When you double hook, such as low to the body and then high to head, do not turn your heel out until the second hook, the first hook is more of a diversion. If you turn your heel out on the first hook, you will lose the power for your second one. Lead arm hooks travel horizontally and tight, as if you are grabbing one of your friends around the neck with your arm. Keep wrist locked when using a hook.
- Shoeshine. The shoeshine is a good way to gain momentum for your punches in close without opening up or telegraphing. For the shoeshine position, keep hands up, palms toward you, knuckles almost touching eyebrows, head down, and elbows in. Great for hooks and uppercuts. The shoeshine keeps you moving and keeps opponent guessing.
- Shoe in the bucket. This is a failure to shift the weight off of one foot and onto the other when throwing a power punch. Classic example is in the cross. At full extension, your rear foot is on the ball, allowing the weight to shift and that hip to come forward. This contradicts the planted rear foot of many traditional martial arts in their reverse punch.
- Lead hand upper cut. Turn the lead heel outward to rotate your hip and shoulder into the punch. NEVER uppercut a person whose head is above yours; you loose too much power so it is not worth the effort.
- Barrel of a rifle. This involves looking down your punching arm like you are looking down the barrel of a rifle to provide cover for your chin on that side while you are punching. A common mistake is for people to leave their chin open on the side of the arm they are punching with. Depending on your personal style, it may also help to turn your thumbs downward to help bring the shoulders up and provide better cover. Your arms are like two soldiers guarding a fort. When one of them leaves the fort to make war, he has to build a wall to protect his post while he is gone. Also, in keeping with this analogy, during this time the other soldier must be extra vigilant.
- Lunge punch. Stepping when using a lunge punch may be too slow and may telegraph your intentions to an opponent, instead, use front stance with bent back leg to assist forward movement. To increase reach, the front foot may land in line with the rear foot, twisting the torso so that the chest is facing sideways. Time punch to hit when foot lands, stomping floor to “apply brakes.” Alternatively punch before or after landing your foot to upset opponent’s timing, making it more difficult for opponent to block. Avoid pull back of front foot before punching, which increases distance and telegraphs intentions to opponent.
- Back fist strike. Use back fist as a counterattack only against an inherently weak but very fast attack. In defense, parry the strike and turn into an attack with a spinning technique.
- Lag punch. The lag punch is a boxing method for loading up your hook to draw the opponent's attention to that hand, and then striking with the other hand.