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  1. Seidaku is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/25/2009 5:36pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Kyokushin

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    How do I learn to punch without tension in my shoulders?

    I have a few years of TKD under my belt, and, while I developed some reasonably good kicks, it's safe to say I never learned how to punch correctly. I've now been training Kyokushin for about six months, and it's made a world of difference. This is not to say I punch well; I just don't punch nearly as terribly.

    The biggest problem I'm wrestling with, as far as punching is concerned, is a bad habit I'm told I picked up from the TKD: I'm evidently extremely rigid in the shoulders and arms when performing arm techniques. My instructor comments on this nearly every class, often telling me to relax, or un-tighten my shoulders. The problem is, I'm usually entirely unaware that I'm doing it, even when trying to pay attention. I just don't notice it, yet it makes my punching look 'robotic.' The best I seem to manage is to punch, notice that my shoulders have tensed, and then manually relax them after the fact. Not terribly helpful.

    When I try to consciously keep my shoulders and arms relaxed while punching, my arms get 'floppy.' Clearly, I'm doing it wrong. This may be something that will sort itself out as I keep training, but I'd really like to figure out a way I can start actively making progress; it sucks to be aware of a problem, but be unsure how to fix it.

    Any thoughts, advice, or similar experiences?
  2. altered_ego is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/25/2009 7:29pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I had the same problem, I used to do Karate and learned to punch very rigidly. Later I took up boxing and my instructor yelled at me every class for being too tense when punching. He told me to just go really slow at first so I could focus on keeping my arms relaxed. Eventually I got used to it and was able to punch without tension at full power. With me it just took some time, so I would just say be patient and keep it slow for a while, it will come. Also make sure you're breathing when you're punching, a lot of beginners have a tendency to hold their breath when they do pretty much every thing.
    Hope that helps
  3. jspeedy is online now
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    Posted On:
    4/25/2009 8:36pm


     Style: FMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    What altered_ego said makes sense especially if he's speaking from expierence. ONe possible solution would be to work your shoulders before class to get them tired and unable to tense up while you train, just don't overdo it. A guy I do FMA with was a gymnast for years... often before class we'll do variations of arm circles (forward,backward,tight circles, big sweeping arm circles). We used to do short arm circle warmups at a mcdojo I attended (gay!). But if you do arm circles w/ heavy sticks or real light weights for 5 mins. or so you'll begin to feel it. This really loosens up the shoulders and tires them out a little, which forces you to have better body mechanics ( at least in FMA). Try it out let me know if it helps.....or just sucks.
  4. Libertad is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/25/2009 11:10pm


     Style: Jiu Jits, MT

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'd really like to figure out a way I can start actively making progress
    Do you shadow box?

    Shadow boxing in front of a mirror is an indispensible tool for learning how to strike properly. Work on punching with speed and little power to improve your technique.

    After this, work on combinations, you will find it difficult to remain rigid whilst throwing two to four strikes quickly.

    Once you are happy with this, start adding in power without sacrificing your technique.
    Always look at your posture, footwork and guard while you are striking.

    If you can post a video of you punching, that would be very helpful in seeing what you need help with.
  5. Uncle Skippy is offline

    See my tongue. SEE IT!

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    Posted On:
    4/26/2009 11:12pm

    Business Class Supporting Member
      Style: BJJ, MT, TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Learning to relax is actually pretty damn hard to do. Counter-intuitive, I know ("relaxing takes practice"), but unfortunately true. I have to tell my students to stop and take a breath when I see their hands shaking and their neck muscles tensing up.

    The biggest problem with people learning to punch is that they always try to kill the pads in the beginning. Technique should come first, then speed, and power comes LAST. Do not try to punch the hell out of the pad. Focus on the technical aspects: rotating feet, rotating hips, hand leaving from chin-level to full extension and back to the chin-level. Go slow and relax between punches.

    I'll second the recommendation to shadow box. Even further though, set a timer to go off every 10 seconds. When the timer goes off, take a deep breath, consciously relax, and then continue.
  6. Last_Samurai is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/26/2009 11:30pm


     Style: Muay Thai

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I was the same in the beggining.

    The fist is the only part tense in a punch. Clenching the fist will automatically clench the forearm, but that will have no impact beyond the elbow, and the rest of the body is relaxed as fuckity.

    Two answers; take some boxing classes and they'll get your punches squared. Or just shadow box, focusing on just relaxing until you get it natural. It just takes time and practice.
  7. patfromlogan is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/26/2009 11:34pm

    supporting member
     Style: Kyokushinkai / Kajukenbo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'm an old KK bb, fly me out and I'll tell you to breathe and shrug and loosen up and relax for Christ's sake.

    Most of the advice has been good. Except I question taking boxing. Good striking is good striking, unless your KK is shitty, why take something else?
    "Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
  8. Beorn is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/26/2009 11:42pm


     Style: TKD, judo, MT noob

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Skippy View Post
    The biggest problem with people learning to punch is that they always try to kill the pads in the beginning. Technique should come first, then speed, and power comes LAST. Do not try to punch the hell out of the pad. Focus on the technical aspects: rotating feet, rotating hips, hand leaving from chin-level to full extension and back to the chin-level. Go slow and relax between punches.

    I'll second the recommendation to shadow box. Even further though, set a timer to go off every 10 seconds. When the timer goes off, take a deep breath, consciously relax, and then continue.
    QFT. You will automatically tense up in sparring or more alive situations, so when hitting the bags, especially now when you are just starting out, focus on the fundamentals. Once you get those down, you will start hitting with power and not even realize it. Also, tiring yourself out before hand is a good way to promote this idea. Thats why most boxing and muay thai gyms have you jump rope at the beginning of class
  9. altered_ego is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/26/2009 11:42pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Libertad makes a good point too, shadow boxing is good. Watching yourself in the mirror helps a lot to get the foundations for a good technique. Again, the key thing is to keep it at a comfortable pace at first and remember to breath.
  10. Last_Samurai is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/27/2009 12:51am


     Style: Muay Thai

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by fug View Post
    Most of the advice has been good. Except I question taking boxing. Good striking is good striking, unless your KK is shitty, why take something else?
    Fair enough. Up to the individual. I do Muay Thai, so boxing is directly related to kick boxing. If someone sux at punching, but kicks alright, the teacher will throw down the Thai pads and pull out the focus mits and just focus on punching for ages.

    Just focusing on the thing you're lagging on was the idea.
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