As far as this whole dropping the hands thing, the bottom line is that when working different levels (head-to-body/body-to-head), the level adjustment is made with the knees, and to a lesser degree, depending on the strike, the waist. It's not made by dropping the hands any significant distance. Even with body shots, hands should not drop more than a few inches, if trained properly.
I'm wasn't trying to be a dick about learning to box over the internet, sorry if it came across that way. The point I was trying to make, flowed from my and Ronin's posts regarding training of technique. You can certainly pick up some pointers here, you've gotten great advice already, but it's going to be very difficult to implement it all without a trainer. If you were to work on one technique at a time, for instance just the jab for a while, it would be easier to critique you, and easier for you to implement the suggestions. One problem with going all out before any good one-on-one training, is that you will develop bad habits that you will need to break. It's much easier to learn it properly in the beginning, then to go back and correct bad habits later.
I think I read somewhere that the horizontal/vertical fist (palm down/palm facing you) when hooking preferance depends on the build of your shoulder muscles. Much the same way some people are genetically gifted to roll their tongues, and some aren't. I dig that explanation. Could be BS, though. I personally throw hooks palm down for mid to long range, and palm facing me for in close clinch work on the ribs and kidneys.
I've done my own Iron Fist training. I was one of those angry young males who went around hitting things. I never had any ***** ass Dit Da Jow linament or Ben Gay. Ain't never been gay, ain't ever will. Broke my all my knuckles. Some repeatedley. When bones break or get bruised, they calcify. The bod sends nutrients (mainly calcium) to that area to promote healing. After a broken bone heals, it's actually thicker and stronger than before. I can hit concrete walls and metal I-beams and support posts full power no problem. Hardly hurts anymore. I consider my fists damn near unbreakalbe. Got some real funny stories about punching through glass and cutting my fingers up bad, though. Got even funnier stories about being feared by bullies in HS for my "Iron Fists."
JKD teaches the three knuckle thing, too. WC and Boxing both agree on it, so they kept it that way. WC likes the vertical fist on a jab, which I hate for high and low shots. I prefer the horizontal punch from boxing.
I started using the "drill" punch out of various kung fu styles after having seen it thrown to the neck in many Jet Li movies. It's like an uppercut, but it goes out straight or diagonally, instead of a looping circle like a uppercut. Just imagine a jab or cross thrown with the palm facing UP, toward the sky. I've seen some Karateka do this, too. I've had great success with it in sparring. You really have to DRIVE it in, instead of snapping it out to get power on it though. Any opinions on this technique?
Damn, after having read this advice, I realize I throw my hooks with my elbow at shoulder level. I keep them glued to my ribs except when I throw a mid to long range hook. I got yelled at for doing it in JKD, but I feel like it really adds more power and speed. That's why it's such a bad habit to break. Of course, what about overhand rights and lefts? You kinda have to throw your elbow up, right?
I can't extoll the virtues of training in both leads enough. I'm a righty who spars south paw. It really throws people off. Of course, the standard left lead is more defensive, so stick to that for now, but train both sides equally. It's good for weapons work, health, and day to day function. I've been asked at many jobs and arts if I'm a lefty 'cause I use it so much. Love that lead RIGHT jab from JKD. Like I said, though, it's offensive, and gambles on that.
Don't be ashamed of learning over the internet. From various videos I've seen it seems that a lot of people are doing the same thing. :eusa_doh:
Bad credit I use a southpaw stance as well even though I'm right handed. I believe my right hand is strong enough but I need my left to get up to the same level. It's improved significantly from throwing power punches.
Concerning uppercuts: I understand why you avoid dropping your guard. Why we bring our hands down I'm not quite sure, (it's simply the way I've been taught)... I always assumed it was to add an extra bit of "oomph", but my memory is ****, and I need to verify this with my coach. I will speak with him on the matter next time I'm at the gym.
Everything else we do appers to be identical. We bend the knees, whip the waist, etc...
"Damn, after having read this advice, I realize I throw my hooks with my elbow at shoulder level. I keep them glued to my ribs except when I throw a mid to long range hook."
Again, this depends on the trainer. I've been trained to throw hooks both ways.
My boxing coaches taught me to keep my arm at shoulder level with my palm facing my body; it does add extra power to the punch, (you're not just imagining things).
My Lei Tai instructor, on the other hand, taught me to keep my elbows down, and my palm facing the ground, with more of an emphasis on speed than power, (with the left hook, anyway).
I've tried both methods. I prefer the boxing method. I imagine the positioning of the elbow depends largely on what sport you're competing in.
Jones, you really need to work on whipping your waist, and extending your punches. I think we all agree on that.
Hey lawdag, no problem, and guys thanks for the pointers, i'll definately keep em in mind