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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
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[TBA] | What is a Punch?
What makes a Punch?

A punch is a way of transferring energy into your fist as a means of attack. Punches come in a lot of varieties, but the main thing that makes a punch is momentum. Still, momentum without a base is unstable, understanding your stance and footwork is pretty vital in your offense.

Understanding Related Joints:

The Chest is the major joint involved in punching, it's pretty straight forward in its function if you play with it some. It rotates left and right and generates most of the power. Even though the chest is powerful, it won't win you matches alone. It depends on your stance and foot work to make use of all the momentum it can generate. The chest really works best in combination with other joints to help, mostly involving the lower body. Everything stems from your legs and they help start the momentum you need but the chest will capitalize. You don't want to be overly aggressive with your chest either, it has a lot of weight and can change your balance substantially whenever its moving. A typical rule of thumb is only rotate the chest when your at least 70% sure your move will work out. There's other ways to save yourself that wont ruin your balance, so don't feel like its the only way.

The Hips are the second major joint. Hips add to the power and stability of a punch. In boxing, hips are a part of the punching form. Ideally, you want to lead with your hips and follow with your chest. This just means you want you make a foundation for your punch to stay stable and be at its peak consistently through the swing. Hips are also the key to good offensive footwork, setups and balance. You don't want to overdo these, use them to start your rotation but don't pull for power punches from them. You don't want to forget these either, hips are how you move your legs to keep you feet and base stable under you.

A simple formula when punching is : Contract the hip opposite to the hand you're punching with and extend the other hip.

Contracting your hips pulls you forward while extending pulls you back. . Don't get stuck on the typical contract one extend other concept. It's just a reliable formula, but that doesn't mean its the best way every time. Balance always has priority over form.

Next are Abs. These will change your forward and backward lean, which is linked pretty close to movement and how effectively you do move. Be careful because extending the abs too much it can easily set you off balance. Abs aren't as noticeable or extremely subtle when you use them, still they are handy to understand. Abs are like whip cream on a pie, not the main part, but not bad to have in the mix. You want to use them a lot for setups if you can. They can change the speed you lean in or out, or change the angles of your punches.

Pecs are also one of the must knows in boxing. Understanding pecs and their relation to the timing and power of your punches and solidity of your blocks can set you apart from the crowd. Take the relation of pecs to the elbows for example, if you were to contract both, the elbow will fully contract first. So we know the elbow will naturally move faster than the pec. The same is true with the chest to pec relation. You can pull off various tricks understanding the timing and how fast certain joints move about, and most will be dependent on what situation you're in. Pecs are common when doing feints or forms or counterpunching and even parries, but be smart using them, just like the chest they can easily throw off your balance.
(About 1/3 as much as the chest though.)

Knees are the one of the key balancing mechanisms in boxing. Try to keep them bent! Lol. Like real life we don't walk straight legged or in full squat position either, so it works similar in this game. There are still natural times they straighten or bend of course. Knees will play with how grounded your legs are. For most punches, you want your feet solid and stable on the ground, however when you need to move you can't keep both feet planted and expect you gain any distance. Using the knees is risky sometimes, but can be really rewarding. "Too early" and "too soon" apply a lot when it comes to when you should use the knee with your move. You want to pay attention to the ghost because it can give hints to what may work. Sometime "not at all" is the best solution, if you don't have to move and you are unstable you don't have to move. Setup first and go from there. A typical rule is to avoid extending a knee if its already touching the ground, try to lift the leg up and use extend to help place it once in the air.

Elbows are super important. Without using your elbow you cant keep any guard or control over the length of your punches. At most times, especially starting off, you want to keep elbows contracted and close to your face only extending or contracting on for a punch. Like I mentioned earlier, they are faster to move than both the pecs an chest, so that speed can make a big difference. Typically, any punch that lands flush with a contracting elbow will be harder than not. That doesn't mean you always have to contract when you go to hit though. Take advantage of your opportunities as they come, learning to play with the range is a pretty strong advantage to have and can help you control how much an opponent can actually hit you while you still can hit them.

Lumbar is in charge of your left to right lean. Not only that, but its also really close to your center of gravity. That means the lumbar can change balance a good amount. Like the abs the lumbar is more of an additive, in certain occasions the lumbar may become the MVP of joints, but it mainly helps counterbalance your moves by shifting what side you lean more weight on. Offensively, that 'shifting' from side to side can also be used as a way to create different and less predictable angles for your punches to come from.

The Ankles do a lot but a little in the same. Each state an ankle joint is in can change the entire outcome of the move. At the beginning its best to just keep them contracted or held and slowly play from there. When the ankle are contracted, your tori wants to fall forward; while extending them makes your tori want to fall backward. This is mostly true unless your tori is already falling a certain way and is only constant if your tori is starting from a stable position first. So, if you say are falling backward, contracting your ankle wont save you, you'd need you move a leg behind you to catch you fall instead.

Ahh...Glutes. One of the underrated joints to know. Glutes work in so many ways, from balance, to footwork, to punching power and more. If you can master glutes your games definitely going to a new level. Glutes are going to play with the angles your legs are working (like two lumbar joints for the lower body.) They will do pretty much the exact same things a lumbar can without having to move your upper body as much. For example, if I'm falling left, instead of trying to catch myself by leaning with my lumbar I can just take a step with my left leg and extend my glutes to make a wider stance. Glutes get unique when they are used with planted feet as well as in the air. If you are planted and in a stance you can use the glutes to add power and a bit or torque into your punches by alternating states (One glute contracted, while the other is extended.) In the air you can both to pull your feet more under you while extending preps you to stance of start your offense. Each person has their preference with them and its really an overall unique factor.

Wrists are really technical but they can do some fine tuning to you punches. You should be careful though, wrists are notorious for fracs if they hit wrong. Most times contracting the wrist will make the arm raise faster for a small cut to range. Relaxing could give you a little more range than normal but make the wrist easier to move and fracture. Extending is a mix of range and speed. You can always have those tricks handy to land tricky punches.

Finally, the Neck. This is some crazy technical joint to be playing with offensively, but...for now, keep your chin down ;) The neck is really something to be use in a defensive manner. As in, you want you keep you head safe if you can and if that means moving your head you should. Offensive and technically its very subtle on the things it can do. A few thinks its more common for are; baiting, defense and slipping punches. as well as momentum adjustments.


What is a jab exactly? The jab is probably the most important and versatile punch in boxing. A jab is a straight punch thrown from the lead hand that is primarily used for setting up combos, maintaining distance, distracting the opponent and other creative usages.

You don't need to put that much power or force into these punches usually.


As you can see, you want little hip movement for this type of punch. You should try to maintain as much balance as you can, so it can be the most effective. You'll also see how the torso is turned 90* from the start position, this is where the power will come from in a jab. Using your pecs to control what angle your jab hits can be pretty useful too. There is rarely a time when you lower your shoulder for a jab (if ever). Typically you want to use hold, relax, and raise joint states. Hold is just going to maintain a stable swing unless its setup before hand its no good. Relax tends to be a go to for many, it's a more fluid motion and. Relaxing raises the shoulder a bit so its usually great if you want to keep from telegraphing the jab too much. Raise shoulder will make the most power but there's a higher chance to overthrow it. If your planning on raising the shoulder you want to do it from a low position or with a decent forward lean.

How to throw a jab:

To throw a jab from a squared-up stance (like the Horse Stance), twist your chest to which direction you’d like to punch in; Raise punching arm’s shoulder, relax/extend elbow, and relax/extend wrist. You can relax the pec for a wider range of movement or contract it to reach out to opponents from the other side (If you can’t reach them, it’s not advised to jab from the opposite side of where your opponent is)

I like to throw my jabs from a sideways stance so I don’t need to twist my chest ~ Spartunha

To throw a jab from a sideways stance do the following:

Get into your sideways facing stance, raise your lead arm’s shoulder (The arm at the front, facing toward your opponent) raise shoulder, extend elbow, relax pec, and relax/extend wrist.

Here are some uses for jabs:

~ Destroys your opponent’s stance
~ Disrupts their movement
~ Use for setups and combination "chain" punching
~ A well placed jab can steal back damage after getting hit
~ Can be used as a “throw away” punch.

What is a throw away punch you may ask? A throw away punch is a type of feint that eludes your opponent into the direction you want them to. You don’t need to put too much power into it as it just sets you up for your real punch. Basically you throw your arm out into a direction (usually with a weak rotation, like with a relaxed chest so you can pull your punching arm back for even more power) to make your opponent react to it and to secretly wind-up your other arm for the real punch.


The straight is your #1 fallback punch. The straight is meant to be powerful, swift, and relatively safe. Using straights are great ways to keep your combos going, but can also be a strong end to any.


For a good straight you'll need a little bit of hip work. Straights are all about timing, but should feel really similar to a jab upper body wise. The main difference between a straight and a rear hook is the release of the punch. Hooks are a scoop or "hooking" motion, while straight-crosses take a straight path when traveling to your opponent. The straight is typically done from a proper stance with one foot forward. In the "ideal" straight you will give an instinct with your hips, contracting the lead hip and extending the rear. This starts a whip effect, making momentum travel from the legs and hips, up the torso an through the arm.


This is the punch that has the most variations, and is the most common punch thrown in toriboxing. Devastating and quick, the hook has a lot of uses for close to mid-range fighters. A hook is all about damage done, so it is also risky, you sacrifice a lot of balance for power, but if you hit there's usually a big reward. Whenever you throw your hook you should try to have a wider stance to keep you stable. Like all punches it starts with the hips, so twist, then rotate.


How to throw a hook:

Start with a wide stance, twist your chest towards a direction, raise your shoulder, either extend or relax elbow, and either contract or extend wrist.
The hook is the easiest punch to throw in this mod, it’s also one of the most powerful punches there is ;).

Here is some stuff you can do to utilize the hook:
~ Deal a crap ton of damage to the body or head
~ Get your opponent out of the way so you can pivot/move to setup a new position
~ Counter an opponent’s hook (Either throw it on top of his on the same side, he throws left throw one to your right. Or block his hook with your other arm and aim it towards his chest or head.)


The uppercut is risky and hard to perform and connect with. Super close range uppercuts can be devastating, so don’t get too close when fighting against a great in-fighter. An uppercut can leave you very open especially if you miss, but also a traditional uppercut can give you great angles to punch from that are hard to block. Understanding the uppercut is about understanding when and how to use it best.


As you can see, a proper rear uppercut relies on the lumbar mainly to create that low angle, while the lead uppercut uses the back and lumbar together. The uppercut is meant to hit the lower torso or the chin so it needs force to pushing it upward, that's why most people will try to get their hips in front of them rather than swing into the punch. It creates stability and counterbalances the punch enough to have good power. Whenever you do throw an uppercut, don't expect it to be like mortal combat and the opponent flies out of the ring, have a plan. The uppercut is still risky so throw them in combos and try not to end combo on these if you can prevent it.

How to throw an uppercut:

First off, try leaning towards a direction using your lumbar and glutes. So if you lean to your right, extend your right hip and contract left hip (We’ll be using the right side this time, it’s exactly the same on the left side too so don’t worry). You’re gonna want to contract your elbow from the arm you’re punching from If it’s already contracted then you can hold the elbow joint (It can reach farther targets and has slightly less delay when you’re trying to do a punch angled upwards. Afterwards twist your chest to your left and make sure the hand is close to the face and ready to block incoming strikes. You can relax your punching arm’s pec to alter timing or if you're really close you can contract it so it’ll land on target faster and utilize both your chest and pec for increased power.

Some things you need to know before attempting an uppercut:

~ Don’t throw them often, they’re very open to all kinds of punches I’d recommend throwing them when you’re really close to your opponent.
~ Don’t throw an uppercut at the same side your opponent is throwing his punch at. (When he’s about to punch you from his right don’t go for a left upper, its a bad trade off.)
~ Uppercuts are great for when you’re falling over to one side and you can’t punch your opponent, most of the time their angle is diagonal so that means It’s hard to dodge or block a close ranged uppercut, and this also means a compact uppercut will most of time land on an opponent that’s at your side where you can’t reach.
~ After you throw an uppercut, follow up instantly to avoid counters.

Hip Strike

You want to use your lumbar to lean to the inside (ex: while punching with your left you'll also bend the lumbar to the left to cover your body), extend the wrist, and with the elbow slightly bent, hit the space between the hip and glute of your opponent. You can contract the elbow in an attempt to get more power, if you do then make it a touch. The turn after you hit the opponent rotate into the opposite direction: this will make you go back into guarding position almost instantly). With enough power you'll do a critical fracture the opponent's lower body.


The most brutish punch in boxing...the Overhand. This will always be your most powerful punch. Its really similar to an uppercut, the main difference is instead of going for the chin or the stomach, your aiming for the head ;) The best thing about an overhand is that you don't have to worry about counterbalancing so much, gravity will take care of a lot of that since you'll be swinging with a downward angle.


In this punch you really throw all your momentum into it, leaning over the lead leg and getting that punch coming from a high angle. That's really the trick to these making them so strong, the angle of approach makes it hard to block and the power of them can easily frac various joints. These are haymakers though, they aren't meant to be throw away punches. Take some time to set these up first if you try to rush and throw when your not ready, you're just going to make it harder to balance your tori and deal damage.


Special thanks to contributors: Firdeath & Spartunha

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Last edited by tlclay; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:01 PM..
tlclay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
3rd Dan Black Belt
Join Date: Feb 2017
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Clan: Technique

i think you should touch on styles a bit too, and ranges aswell
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
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^^ Some gifs of known players alongside their styles. To give everyone an idea.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
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Noice, probs a few more styles of punching you could delve into but apart from that gw.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
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Originally Posted by rjniscool1 View Post
^^ Some gifs of known players alongside their styles. To give everyone an idea.

Originally Posted by HeroLegend View Post
Noice, probs a few more styles of punching you could delve into but apart from that gw.

Notes taken. Thanks for the comments. There’s a few things like styles I’m saving a place for in later tutorials. (Power, speed, counterpunching, off balanced punches, and more) I may add a few more examples to show how everyone does it just a bit different, if that can shed a bit of insight into how it can change person to person.

I’m pretty open minded when it comes to additions and changes if it betters the tutorial, so feel free to chime in whenever you guys feel something is missing.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
5th Dan Black Belt
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Loved this ! I have always been a guy that likes punching ... however the mods that i play like wushu and spar its a but rough because of the points systems.. sticking your legs out take less damage and do more damage. I also had to learn to not try smash someone with a punch to keep your balance so you can throw combos and not go flying off.

I never liked that.

I used to try punching whenever i can. I realise this is more boxing based, but in more free flow styles mods you could perhaps should you have time showcase the more exotic punches
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