There are so many things I I love about punching. There are many details about throwing a strong and clean punch that I can discuss. The truth is, that I love the architecture of the fighting stance and the straight punch. I believe that boxing (or striking) movement offers even more admirable qualities than golf and baseball. I feel if you were drawn to Roy ‘Tin Cup” McAvoy’s (TIN CUP the movie, of course) poetry of the golf swing, or the sound of the crack of the bat; then you should be able to admire the beauty of a straight punch. The ability to throw a hard, clean punch is synonymous with empowerment. At its very root, the ability to throw a punch represents one piece of my survival-skills pie. Although punching is often equated with the means by which a person shows violence, I look at it quite different. Knowing how to throw a hard, explosive straight punch offers the means by which to rebound violence.
Mike Tyson has not said much to impact my life as a boxing fan, except that he tries, to catch his opponent on the tip of his nose because he is aiming to punch the bone into his brain. I realize that I am not making a good case for the sport of boxing. But the truth is, in order to have the ability to throw good punches, even for defensive purposes, you need to understand how the violently intended punches are thrown. And, how to honestly reciprocate those who are great strikers, whether you agree with their motivation or not. I translate this comment from the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ to mean – keep your head the f–k out of the way!
Truthfully, it is impossible to place your head at an untouchable range when engaged in a match. But I am amazed that there is little focus placed on where the head actually goes when throwing a punch. I personally think where my face sits is fairly important. In fact, it is so important that sometimes I have this great line going through my mind, when I am boxing and lose the time (HA!).
Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.
The words belong to the brilliant children’s poet Jack Prelutsky. So why it is that many people do not teach the position of the head when throwing punches. In my experience, most people lead with their head when they first learn to throw a punch. They launch their noggin forward like a wrecking ball. The true architecture of the straight punch must begin with anchoring your stance correctly and learning how to keep your head behind when sending your fists at a target. When learning to throw a straight punch (or power punch), the head should be positioned between your shoulders which generally remain stacked on top of your hips. If you are going to launch hands filled with lightening bolts, you must have your body anchored and grounded. Avoid lunging your weight forward and letting go of your anchoring leg (rear leg). Make sure you rotate by pivoting the rear foot. Turn the torso to gain reach and power during the punch (do this without sending your head forward). Here is a basic drill that can help you become more aware of your head position and force you to develop explosive body rotation. I use drills in my classes, which help to mitigate this problem. After all, “Imagine if your precious nose were sandwiched in between your toes.” (More from that cool poem) The bi-product of worrying about your head is that it brings you closer to understanding the architecture of the straight punch.