A punch is a striking blow with the closed fist.[1] It is used in some martial arts and combat sports, most notably boxing where it is the only type of technique allowed. In sports, hand wraps or other padding such as gloves may be used to protect athletes and practitioners from injuring themselves.[2][3]

The use of punches varies between different martial arts and combat sports. Styles such as boxing or Russian fist fighting utilize punches alone, while others such as kickboxing or karate may use punches as secondary to kicks. Others such as wrestling and judo do not utilize punches at all. There are many different types of punches and as a result, different styles encompass varying types of punching techniques.

Basic types Edit

Lead hand uppercut

An uppercut

This is not a comprehensive list of all punches, due to the large diversity of schools of practice whose techniques, employing arm, shoulder, hip and leg work, may invariably differ.

Name 1 Name 2 Description
Arm Punch Used in combat sports in which the body is not used for leverage, and the force of the punch comes from the arm. Arm punches are notably weaker than punches in which the whole body is used. Arm punches are initially intended to hit the same side of the face by which the arm is thrown from - for example, if a left punch is thrown, the fist will make direct contact on the left side of the opponent's face. This is commonly misconstrued for a hook, which, in this case, if you strike with the left fist, you will hit the right side of your opponent's face.[4]
Backfist A backfist is performed by forming a fist and striking with the tops of the two largest knuckles.[5] A spinning backfist is performed when the attacker swivels 360 degrees before landing the punch, adding extra momentum to the attack. The fighter will lunge and begin spinning toward the side of the opponent of which fist he or she will attack with. Simpler terms, go to the left, spin to the left and connect with the left fist and vice versa.[6]
Chambered Punch A strike commonly performed in karate, kung fu, and tae kwon do, originating from a "chambered" position.
Cross Straight A direct straight punch similar to the jab, except delivered with the rear hand. Power is generated through the rotation of the hips.[7][8]
Jab The jab is a straight blow delivered (generally from a distance) with the arm above the lead foot ... The punch is quick and explosive." It is generally used for distraction, keeping distance, setting up, and defense.[9][10]
Long Fist By tucking the fingertips against the bottom knuckle of each finger, a long fist is formed. They offer decreased strength but increased reach. The striking surface is also narrower, which allows the fist to dig between ribs and other soft target areas.[11]
Hammer Fist A compacted fist is brought down upon the target, usually using the side of the hand or wrist.[12]
Haymaker A punch in which the arm is whipped sideways from the shoulder joint with minimal elbow bend. The name is derived from the motion, which mimics the action of manually cutting hay by swinging a scythe. The haymaker is considered an imperfect/impure punch, as the angle of approach is unsupported by the remainder of the forearm. Since a haymaker's power is derived completely from weight transfer and momentum instead of muscle contraction, a long windup is required to generate sufficient force. Haymakers, in the form of shoulder punches, are frequently used from a mounted position in mixed martial arts as part of the "ground and pound" method, as the legs cannot be used to generate power. These punches leave the person vulnerable to a counter punch during the wind up, if blocked, or if the haymaker misses generally when both combatants are standing.[13]
Hook A punch involving the use of turning to aim toward the side of the head or body.[14]
Overhand A semi-circular and vertical punch thrown with the rear hand. It is usually when the opponent is bobbing or slipping. The strategic utility of the drop relying on body weight can deliver a great deal of power.
Shovel Hook A close range punch that is halfway between a hook and an uppercut. Shovel hooks are most commonly used to strike the body at a 45 degree angle. For example, a liver shot can be done using a shovel hook.[15]
Uppercut The fist is raised vertically towards the target, usually the head or upper body. Since most guards are held with the arms in a vertical position, the uppercut can be used to avoid the opponent's attempts at blocking.
Upset Punch Starts with the fist in the chambered position, with the palm facing downwards, delivered to the abdomen or solar plexus.
Casting Punch This is a punch used in Sambo and MMA that starts with a forward motion of the shoulders, which causes the bent arm to whip forward to the opponent. This punch can often cause the opponent to be put in a clinch if it misses at close range.[16]
Superman Punch A superman punch or diving punch is a technique used in Muay Thai, full contact karate and mixed martial arts fighting. The striker will lunge toward the opponent pushing off with the back foot punching with the opposite arm of the leg used to push off with although there may be variations depending on the fighter. The pose should resemble that of Superman, hence the name.
Sucker Punch A punch that takes your enemy by surprise, possibly knocking them out or otherwise incapacitating them. Could be an unexpected blow to the stomach or a strike from behind that the victim did not see coming.[17]

Styles Edit

File:Slow motion abdomen punch.ogv

Boxing Edit

Main article: Boxing punches

In boxing, punches are classified according to the motion and direction of the strike; contact is always made with the knuckles. There are four primary punches in boxing: the jab, cross, hook, and uppercut.

File:JJS Karate Kids on Training.jpg

Karate Edit


Punching techniques in Karate are called tsuki or zuki. Contact is made with the first two knuckles (seiken).[18] If any other part of the hand is used to strike with, such as the back of the fist (uraken) or the bottom of the fist (tetsui), then the blow is classified as a strike (uchi).

Karate punches include the thrust punch oi-zuki made using the lead-hand, straight punch choku-zuki, reverse punch gyaku-zuki, made from the opposite hand, and many other variations.[19]

Records Edit

The Guinness World Record for the Most full contact punch strikes in one minute is held by Jim Fung's student, Robert Ardito, who performed 805 punches in one minute (more than 13 punches per second for a full minute) at the International Wing Chun Academy in Sydney on the 18th of March, 2009.[20][21]

References Edit

  1. "Punch | Define Punch at". Retrieved 2011-11-09.
  2. "The Proper Way to Wrap Your Hands". Archived from the original on 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2007-07-29.
  3. Ballard, Willie L. "Portable Hand Wrap" Mar 22. 1994. Retrieved on June 29, 2007.
  4. "Checklist for increasing punching power". Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  5. Oyama, Masutatsu; Translated by Tomoko Murakami (2004). Mas Oyama's Classic Karate. New York: London: Sterling; Chrysalis (distributor). pp. 16–17. ISBN 1-4027-1287-1.
  6. "IFA Kickboxing Library - Spinning Backfist". Retrieved 2011-11-09.
  7. Scully, John. "Learn To Box". Saddo Boxing. Archived from the original on 25 June 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  8. "Difference between a cross and a straight punch". Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  9. "Jab Punch". Encyclopedia Britannica. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2007.
  10. "Jab punch". Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  11. Bear, Ike. "Kung Fu Leopard Style Hand Strikes and Method". Kung Fu Fighting for Self Defense. eHow. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  12. Oyama, Masutatsu; Translated by Tomoko Murakami (2004). Mas Oyama's Classic Karate. New York: London: Sterling; Chrysalis (distributor). p. 26. ISBN 1-4027-1287-1.
  13. Mongold, Brian. "How to Throw a Punch". Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  14. "Hook Punch Technique". Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  15. "Shovel Hook". Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  16. Kaplowitz, Matthew. "How to Throw the Fedor Punch". Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  17. "Sucker punch". Urban Dictionary. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  18. Oyama, Masutatsu; Translated by Tomoko Murakami (2004). Mas Oyama's Classic Karate. New York: London: Sterling; Chrysalis (distributor). p. 13. ISBN 1-4027-1287-1.
  19. Funakoshi, Gichin; Translated by John Teramoto (1994). Karate-dō Nyūmon: The Master Introductory Text. Tokyo: Kodansha International. pp. 51–52, 64–65. ISBN 4-7700-1891-6.
  20. McDougall, Liz. "Punching World Record Reclaimed!". Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  21. "Guinness World Records - Must full contact punch strikes in one minute". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 25 June 2012.

External links Edit

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.