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#132387 - 05/14/03 02:19 PM Punching problem
Yoseikan Student Offline

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
When i go 'all out' on the bag, and it starts to swing and jump and move i try to adjust. Occassionally I 'miss'. So purely for example say i've hit the bag with two straight jabs and I follow that up with a cross. The problem is that the bag is already swinging away and therefore doesn't take the force of the strike.

Thus my elbow jars hard. Pain. Now this in itself isn't the problem, i just need to get better with the bag, adjusting for its movement. I can do that with time. But this highlights the real problem.

The problem is:

This NEVER happens in air punching I always lock it just short with muscular tension as i've been taught - to save my elbows and for the purposes of striking. I believe that I couldn't jar my elbow even if I wanted to, the tension/locking habit combined with the whiplash of the body and the stance 'grounding' is such an unthinking habit.

So I conclude the way i'm hitting the bag is different from the way I hit the air.
I can't be tensing the muscle at the end of the strike on the bag.

Any ideas on whats going wrong? 'cos i'm baffled. Why doesn't the habit transfer automatically? Am I hitting the bag in a 'bad' or wrong' way?

#132388 - 05/14/03 02:42 PM Re: Punching problem
Kempoman Offline

Registered: 11/15/00
Posts: 1484
Loc: Houston, TX
Could be a problem with alignment. Do you use a full twist punch, verticle punch or 3/4 twist punch. I feel and have been shown by some docs that the 3/4 twist punch mechanically aligns the bones better.


#132389 - 05/14/03 02:51 PM Re: Punching problem
madhag Offline

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 150
Loc: Seattle, WA
punching the air is differently from punching the bag, part of it you're not met with resistance, and that your mind doesn't have a physical point of focus in the air. it will be beneficial to keep your elbow slightly bent to avoid the tension, and tighten muscles at impact. i never lock my elbows at the bag or sparring; not only does it hurt but a)i can throw myself off balance b)my partner in a split second can take advantage of a locked elbow with an arm bar, joint lock, take down, etc....
like punching the air, punch through the bag, not at the bag itself. i hope this helps some, i'd like to hear other techniques.

#132390 - 05/14/03 03:02 PM Re: Punching problem
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
I think you've got your distancing messed up, after all do you think If you jab someone twice that they will want to stick around for the cross?

Jab, Jab then use your footwork to push yourself forward giving you the correct distance to the bag.

Problem solved.

#132391 - 05/14/03 03:28 PM Re: Punching problem
Yoseikan Student Offline

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Ok i think i've explained myself poorly here.

Please have patience with me.


What i'm saying is that in punching the air i don't jar my elbows. EVER. Cos i stop the punch with the muscle and not the joint.

When hitting the bag, the bag stops the punch, not the muscle or the joint.

When my mind is convinced that i'm going to hit the bag, and i've actually screwed up*
and got the distance wrong and i'm really just hitting the air/ touching the bag, then the punch is stopped by the joint. This is wrong, but i can't solve the problem until I know why I punch differently when i'm hitting the bag.

This jarring occurs more when i'm tired and working endurance admittedly, but also occassionaly when i'm fresh, so thats not it.

The jarring isn't the problem in itself. The problem is that it means i hit the bag in a different way then the air. This is not my intention. I am under the impression as Madhag implies that the technique in theory should be no different on the bag than it is in the air.

The punch is not the same on the bag as it is in the air. This is the problem.

*(this is the distancing problem UKFF, i'm not so worried about it, i can work on this 'cos i understand why it happens, btw the illustration of two jabs and a cross was just that- an example, but thanks for the input.)

#132392 - 05/14/03 04:33 PM Re: Punching problem
Scholar Offline

Registered: 03/05/03
Posts: 472
Loc: Brockton
Stop going to full extension and you won't have the roughness at the end of movement as I got at my elbow. I learned too late, you don't have to damage the elbow! Remember the effects show up as you get older.

#132393 - 05/14/03 05:12 PM Re: Punching problem
Jamoni Offline

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
It's really simple. When you punch, you generate momentum (you get the car moving).
When you punch air, you accelerate with the muscles, then brake with the muscles. (You gun the engine, then hit the brakes.)
When you hit the bag, you accelerate with the muscles, and decelerate using the bags weight.
But when you miss, all of the deceleration takes place in the joint.
I agree with UKFF and Scholar. One, use your footwork to not miss. Two, don't punch to full extension. Always leave yourself a little bend to your elbow, and try getting more power out of your hips/stepping than out of your arm.

#132394 - 05/14/03 05:14 PM Re: Punching problem
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
I think I understand now.

Your arm should be relaxed (and even your fist slightly) and only tense on the point of impact.

Leaving as many have suggested a small (and i mean small bend in the arm.

Just an idea for now but I am going to ask the advice of a few friends who I consider experts on the matter.

I'll get back to you.

#132395 - 05/14/03 05:17 PM Re: Punching problem
Yoseikan Student Offline

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Ok ta Jamoni, sounds good, will practice.

Thanks UKFF, i appreciate it.

#132396 - 05/14/03 06:46 PM Re: Punching problem
mark Offline
sword of magnamity

Registered: 03/04/03
Posts: 1284
Loc: uk

I think that this is what some have already said….

Alec, the isometric contraction of the muscles involved in a punch should be the same for an “air” punch as in one that hits a target..

A full power punch is a punch that is extended at full speed with a complete contraction of the arm at its apex…difference is that some times , something is in the way…..
It is really down to “knowing your body” , or muscle memory.

A little variant when hitting a bag is the ability to put the “body “ into the punch in the knowledge that the impact feed back will steady you…but in truth I think this is a “cop out”

If it helps, punch full speed at some thing and just stop the punch as the fist touches it, NOT AT FULL ARM EXTENSION!!!!!! Then move the depth into the target inch by inch, keeping the arm movement/contraction the same.

Does the bag move away from your punch or do you push it? A good punch should stop and the bag should accelerate away from it…


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