One of the most important skills someone can know is how to throw a punch correctly. We see it done in movies all the time, but the truth is, it takes practice. Punching incorrectly could lead you to break a finger or injure your wrist, and that ultimately won’t help you in any situation.
The first thing to do is to make sure your form is correct. Curl your four fingers inwards, then tuck your thumb against your middle and ring finger. Make sure your thumb is on the OUTSIDE of your other fingers. If you curl your fingers around your thumb, you will break your thumb when you punch. Additionally, make sure your thumb doesn’t stick out for the same reason.
There are different types of punches, but the easiest and one of the most effective is just a regular straight punch. Your fist and wrist should align with your forearm. When punching someone or something, the points of impact should be your index and middle finger or your middle and ring finger. Punching with one of these two areas maximizes strength while minimizing the risk of getting injured.
Body stance is just as important as the punch itself. Different martial arts use different stances. Some people prefer their dominant leg in front (the same leg as the punching arm) while others are more comfortable standing with their non-dominant leg in front. Either one is fine, so make sure you figure out which one you prefer.
When punching, keep your chin down to protect your throat. Keep your other arm up in front of your face to protect it, and keep your elbows tucked to your body. Throw a straight punch to your opponent’s body. Although we see this a lot in movies, punching someone’s face is actually rather ineffective. You have a better chance of hurting yourself than hurting your opponent when punching their face. Instead, aim for their throat or upper body. Turn the shoulder of the same arm you’re punching with forward, and turn your hips in the same direction. Doing this puts your entire body weight behind the punch instead of just your arm strength.
Lastly, remember to practice. Practicing improves speed, strength, and muscle memory. Although we hope you never get into a situation where you need to punch someone, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. When practicing with a partner, always make sure to warn them when you’re about to punch so you don’t hurt each other. If you’re practicing by yourself, you should practice in front of a mirror so you can see your form (this is known as a form of shadow boxing).
By: Alexandra Chu