Eliminate Power Leakage to Increase your Punching Power
I have a student who excitedly pulled me aside last week. He had been at a kid’s birthday party in an arcade, and bored, he walked over to the punching machine.
We’ve all seen these units that look like an oversized speed bag attached to an overhead mount. So, my student, at about 190 pounds decides to have some fun. He feeds the machine some money and proceeds to punch the bag – getting a read-out of 780 PSI (the second highest score the machine has ever recorded).
Other “dudes” see the action and want in on it. Soon, nearly every “dude” with a girlfriend is punching the bag. My student now stands back and views the ensuing whirlwind of punches and haymakers. No one even comes close – the next highest reading on the machine being 650 PSI. Interestingly, my student begins to diagnose the “power leakage” in the other men’s punches.
Power leakage is a major issue in generating punching power. The basic concept is simple: you must punch with acceleration, using your weight in rotation, and ensure the STRUCTURE of your body is optimized to generate power – let your elbow flair or allow you shoulder to disengage out wide and power leaks from your effort.
This is a vital issue in my mind – not so much because everyone must have knockout power – but because a strong punch facilitates a willing defense. These two concepts are inseparable. Think about it. If you know that you can change the course of the fight with a single blow (or two), you’re willingness to make a solid defense that sets-up a structurally sound counterattack grows exponentially.
Once the issue of punching power is reframed in this context, students are much more willing to take the time to learn to properly punch with power (not just effort–which is often times a waste and a hindrance). So, take the time to understand how body structure can generate more power in your punch. You’ll see huge gains in your power and your willingness to stay in the fight and make a strong defense (for the opportunity to land your power punch).