Tucking chin in when punching - Muai Thai / Boxing
I recently took up a Muai Thai class (after kickboxing) and am trying to adjust 'bad habits' that have been engraved in my psyche over the past years of self training followed by a lax kickboxing training.
I'm having a lot of problems keeping the chin 'tucked in' while punching. I understand the concept of protecting the chin from incoming punches while throwing a punch (makes sense; I got a ringer once from an uppercut and protecting the jaw has been priority since)
The problem I have is I find myself constantly falling back into old habits and having to concentrate to alter the technique (tuck in damn it). It also doesn't feel 'right'. Between that and keeping eyes on the opponent I find it uncomfortable and I feel like a hobbit. Does anyone have any advice that might help with where the head should be (other than just tuck it in) or making it habitual other than 'keep doing it over and over'. The latter being my current 'go to' option.
The only other thread that came up on a search was mostly questioning the validity of tucking in rather than assisting in making it habitual.
Was tucking the chin not previously taught by your kickboxing coach?
I've heard of people holding a tennis ball under the chin when shadowboxing, hitting the bag etc, but haven't spent much time with this.
Originally Posted by Permalost
There was a lot of emphasis on combo's and throwing a good punch and / or kick but very little on stance and technique. It's part of the reason I moved on as I felt that it was a huge hole in my strategy. I have since found an instructor that has assisted in a lot of the mistakes and helping ironing out bad habits but this is a particularly bad one that I want to stamp out quickly.
It should be noted that I returned to kickboxing for fitness first; which rekindled my love for fighting and is the reason I moved on to a Muai Thai / Boxing instructor.
My old trainer used to remind me to "look through the eyebrows"... If you are fairly upright maybe working on your posture could help.
What I mean is maybe a more hunched back could help.
This would mean some very slight changes in striking technique, but the old way you punch could be half the problem.
You need to hold something under your chin (i don't like a tennis ball because when it falls, and it will fall a lot, it bounces off, gets into people's legs and stuff.)
Hold an old boxing glove, a tightly rolled T shirt, a ball that isn't too bouncy etc.
Now, train. From sparring like that, to shadow boxing, jumping rope, working the bag etc. If it is a big problem, than treat it like such and don't stop training with something under your chin.
Work infront of a mirror when shadow boxing so you can correct yourself.
BTW tucking your chin is also to protect your throat...it is not nice getting a solid punch there.
Ideas of what to do during training and in the interim is good and all, holding things under your chin while jump roping, etc etc its all good and fine. But there really wont be optimal transfer to pressurized situations such as sparring. That is, it will take much longer than necessary. Specificity of training guys!
To really install this, or any, type of behavior under pressure, you need to have someone monitor you and provide VERY consistent feedback WHILE under pressure. That doesnt mean youre going balls to the wall. It means, when you can do it under a certain level of pressure, increase a little bit and re-install. Best bet is an advanced student or your instructor/coach help you with this. Every time you mess up, it needs to be verbally noted and addressed. STOP the exchange, listen to the feedback, restart and try again. Eventually it will just click. A beginner or intermediate student wont be able to pick up on details about your body and provide feedback while under pressure. You need to work with someone who can handle more pressure than you can...
If the person who helps you with this is very consistent with feedback, it really shouldnt take more than a couple of hours to re-program this habit...
Last edited by PlumDragon; 6/20/2013 1:10pm at .
I appreciate the feed back guys.
I started doing things holding a dog ball under my chin (it's soft and easy to hold) and it's helped a lot. It'll take weeks before I know if it helped but it really does make my life easier. I appreciate the feedback.
Also thanks PlumDragon; I'm already getting that done. I can tell when the chins up by the howl from the instructor across the room now. He's not letting up apparently. At this rate I'll have it down in no time.
Couple of hours to re-program a bad habit? no way! he might do it right as long as he is concentrating on that specific task, the moment he is pressured that chin will point to the sky proudly.
Originally Posted by PlumDragon
The best way to correct is a punch, not to stop and talk. After you get punched in the chin, than in the forehead, your body learns it is better to get punched in the forehead and you start tucking it, BUT if you wanna develop a good technique than holding something under your chin until it is nice and low is the best way.
Of course getting corrections is good, but in boxing your sparring partner will demonstrate your mistake by tagging you (and verbally reminding you to keep the chin down), that is why the gloves are big and puffy.
The quickest way to learn is getting hit.
Besides just getting comfortable with the pure mechanics of it, it can be do to nervousness about getting hit. It's natural to flinch and lean back to fade away from incoming punches, but it's not so good if you're looking to box properly. If this is an issue, consider putting on some headgear, and find a training partner you're friendly with to throw some easy shots at you.
Don't attack at all, just work on your slipping, bob and weaves, etc. If you can't avoid a shot, ensure that you take it on the forehead, on the headgear, keeping your chin down. Work on not flinching, not tipping your chin up, and keeping your eyes open. Obviously, don't do this with hard shots in the slightest, as you'll be getting hit a lot. Keep it super light.
Youre certainly entitled to your opinion erezb, but the feedback loop Im referring to above is a well understood neural programming technique. Coincidentally, it works, as long as the skills (in this case bad habits) are dealt with under pressure. If hes really stubborn it might take more than a couple hours, but generally, you can install just about any skill at a given pressure level relatively quickly.
Originally Posted by erezb
If youre ever in my area, please feel free to look me up and we can do some training. Ill be happy to show you how it works...