If you’re lucky, you’ll never have to defend yourself through physical violence. But if that time ever comes, or if you’re ever enrolled in a Fight Club against your will, would you know what to do?
You’ve seen punches thrown on TV plenty of times, but do you actually know how to throw one correctly?
We’ve asked a few experts to help us learn the proper method of punching.
Our pros will show you the right way of making a fist, the proper way of orienting your wrist, what part of the person you should hit and what you should do after the punch.
The goal is to throw an effective punch without injuring yourself in the process.
When you’re punching, the fundamental thing you should know is that your thumb needs to be on the outside of your fist, between your first and second knuckles on your index and middle finger.
“If the thumb is on the inside upon hitting a hard target you WILL break your thumb,” says Aiman Farooq, a Martial Artist.
Keith Horan, also a Martial Artist recommends a linear punch, which most martial artists do, that looks like a “cross” punch in boxing.
Chris Waguespack, also a Martial Artist says that the main reason why people hurt their hands when they punch someone is “because they punch with the flats of their fingers instead of their knuckles.”
When you see people shaking their hands after a punch, it is usually because they impacted, more often than not, with the wrong part of their hand. Many people think that you punch with your fist straight. The truth is, you aim to punch with the first two knuckles. In order to achieve this, you need to slightly tilt your wrist down (which actually strengthens your punch as well). By tilting your wrist down slightly, you put your knuckles in front of your fingers. You also align your wrist with your forearm, so you are less likely to bend your wrist back or down and break it.
Where should I aim?
Because you want the fight to end as quickly as possible—you’re not fighting just to fight—you want to incapacitate your opponent as quickly and efficiently as possible so you can escape. So where should you aim to do so?
Keith Horan says that, unlike what you might think, you should not punch the face. “You’ll either miss, or commonly punch wrong and hit the jaw and break your hand.
The punch for the beginner is best used on the body, towards the chest, or if you’re on the side, to the ribs.”
Pete Carvill suggests a slightly different tactic, but also advises against the head.
Warning: Although knowing the fundamentals of punching is useful, it’s also not enough to properly defend yourself without practicing. It’s definitely not for you to go out and pick fights, but you all should be smart enough to figure this out on your own.
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