Make Your Punch Count

Make Your Punch Count

How to throw a perfect punch

One of the greatest fighters of all time said he never took any pleasure from fighting. But, Muhammad Ali also said he got pleasure out of winning fights. On the verge of fisticuffs is never a place one wants to be. Any gentleman knows how to defuse situations with words instead of force. There are situations though, most often defensive ones, when throwing a punch is necessary. You shouldn’t go looking for fights, but you shouldn’t be a punching bag if a fight comes looking for you.

“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights,” Ali once said.

Even for an expert in throwing a punch like Ali, it was all about preparation and no harm can come from you being prepared to throw a basic punch as well. If you’ve never thrown a punch, or if you just need a refresher from middle school, here’s a few keys to making your punch count.


It might sound counter-intuitive, but you do not want your body to be as tense as Hulk Hogan in the middle of ripping off his tank top. Relax your body, you are going for a quick, properly placed blow. You’re not trying to crush cement.

Your whole body is going to have to work to get a good result, so make sure it is loose and ready to move.


Your arm is a lot lighter than your entire body, so you’re not going to want to rely on just your arm to put enough force and speed behind the punch. Use the momentum gained from twisting your hips to your advantage. Your torso should also be getting into the act and twisting in sync with your hips.

If your rotation is on point, there is no need to lean into the punch at all — in fact you should try to have your body as squared-up as possible.


Don’t try to hit your target on the top of their head, the bones up there are likely a lot sturdier and harder than the narrow bones of your fingers. In addition, a lot of people react to a thrown punch by lowering their heads and protecting the head with their arms, so a high punch could completely miss.It’s a lot better to aim for your opponent’s throat. The stuff in that portion of a head is a lot less likely to break your hand, and you’ll accommodate for a downward reaction.


If your fist is not clenched properly, you’re going to have a bad time. Keep your fingers tightly, tightly clenched and make sure your thumb is wrapped around your second and third knuckles.


Don’t allow the hand that’s not throwing the punch to stay on the sideline, use it as a shield. Your non-punching hand should be covering your chin area in a manner that allows your elbow to protect your throat.


  • Nice.

    Question. With number 3, Rotation, would you agree that rotating your shoulders is something to develop as well (when throwing a punch)?

    So in essence you are making the most efficient use of the skeletal system for maximum effect (in the context of throwing a punch).

    Aiming for the neck is a solid point. To quote my first instructor “if you want to f*** somebody up, punch them in the neck”

    August 29, 2016
    • Thanks for the response! Your first instructor sounds like he definitely knows what’s up, it’d be a shame if he didn’t have a killer beard to accompany his wise words.
      It’s absolutely true as well, aim for the neck and end it in one punch. It’s a street fight, no need to get caught up trying to follow unwritten rules your opponent will likely ignore.
      Your question regarding use of the shoulders is an interesting one. You absolutely want your entire body when you throw a punch, including the shoulders. However, if you are too focused on shoulder rotation you may end up broadcasting your punch if you are preparing for the shoulder rotation too far in advance.

      September 12, 2016

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