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Morik
5/25/2016 11:49pm,
Hi (sorry this got kinda long...),

So I have a small smattering of martial arts experience: A little tae kwan doe & karate when I was pretty young (somewhere from 7-9 I believe), but only up to yellow belt; the school moved.
More recently (4 years ago now) I took Aikido for maybe 7 classes; the schedule was too out of sync with my work schedule though and ended up being too hard to maintain.

Then even more recently (perhaps 1.5 years ago now) I participated in a small class (2-3 students usually showed up) taught by a colleague for free at work. He had background in Muay Thai, Boxing, and Submission Wrestling.
This class involved full contact sparring (face mask, mouth guard, open-finger 8-oz MMA gloves, shin guards if working any Thai shin kicking stuff). The instructor indicated we would eventually have full-on contact with stand-up, clinch, and ground open to us, but as beginners we started with just boxing.

We worked on the 4 basic boxing strikes (at least, the 4 basic as far as I know from him): jab, cross, hook, uppercut.

I have very good power with my jab, cross, and hook. The teacher commented that I can hit VERY hard. (I'm ~290lb guy with a big belly but lots of muscle; working on losing weight)
I never could quite get the hang of the uppercut though...

Anyway, I took maybe 10 classes of that, but then the instructor's schedule got too swamped and he had to stop teaching the class.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago: I joined a Jiu Jitsu class (traditional, not brazilian, mixed with some boxing & self-defensy stuff like dealing with guns/knives/multiple attacks).

We worked on jabs, crosses, elbows, and hooks one day with pads. I again had trouble getting anywhere near the power I get in my other shots into the uppercut.
The guy working with me (one main instructor & 3-4 other instructors from advanced brown & black belts, I was working with an advanced black belt ) told me to put more hip into it, but that didn't seem to help much.

I think where I'm running into trouble is the small squat-thrust type motion (at least, that is how I've been thinking of it; similar lower body motion as when you are doing an overhead squat thrust/push); I can't seem to coordinate the power from that well while also putting my hip into it.

There's an open mat night tomorrow evening so if I'm not too busy with falling (still working on it, though I'm way ahead of the other white belts due to the 10 Aikido classes; the falling technique is a little different in the Jiu Jitsu class--we slap with one hand as we fall, but the rolling body motion & staying relaxed as you fall is the same), I'll try to work on the uppercut some more too.

I have a 150lb Thai heavy bag (6' tall) at home that I use for strike practice (got it a few years ago when I was in that MMA class at work), but the shape isn't very conducive to upper cuts.
I considered getting an uppercut bag, but I don't have much room; the heavy bag is in a corner of my basement with enough room to manuever around it in a 180-degree arc (its in a corner, the other 180-arc is taken up with the support legs (its hung on a very sturdy stand) & basement walls. Its out far enough that I have a good 8 ft. of lateral movement in front of it.

Anyway, not sure the best way to practice without an uppercut bag; I try to throw some in occasionally when using the Thai bag, but it is very awkward.

Any advice on form/technique? Any recommended videos that walk through it real slow?

Morik
5/27/2016 10:15am,
Well, I didn't have time to work on my uppercut--did falling, forward rolls, blocks, and osoto gari.

Would still appreciate any uppercut tips you guys have though!

money
6/16/2016 1:43pm,
Welcome to Bullshido. Standard disclaimer: work with a qualified striking instructor and they can do a much better job on correcting your punches than videos or random internet dudes.

The technique on your other punches might not be as good as you think it is. You are a big strong dude so you'll hit hard with a straight punch even with bad form, but it's harder to apply that power with bad technique on a uppercut. Just like the other punches, the power should be coming from your hips. I would suggest going back and reviewing your hip rotation on the jab/cross. Once you get that down, the uppercut should be a lot easier.

submessenger
6/16/2016 3:05pm,
Just spitballing a bit, here, but how about resting the bottom of your heavy bag on a chair in the corner, so you create sort of an angle more conducive to the strike?

I've been away from striking arts for a while, now, but I like what money says about hip movement. The power of the punch doesn't come from you "jumping up," or powering out of a squat, it comes from you rotating correctly at the right time. Also, it's a short stroke, if you're trying to uppercut from outside the pocket, you're doing it wrong.

Yuk
6/16/2016 3:19pm,
Are you trying to strike straight upwards? Try more of a diagonal movement. Think of it as a hook with the elbow down. At least some of the power comes from the body rotation, like everybody else said.

Disclaimer: I am a noob. What I said above works for me.

Guird
6/16/2016 3:34pm,
It might be that you also struggle with the uppercut due to your weight? since you have to lift that weigh upwards to generate power. In this case it's a matter of your build and difficult to correct with technique. Would be a simple matter of getting better at fast squats.

submessenger
6/16/2016 3:43pm,
It might be that you also struggle with the uppercut due to your weight? since you have to lift that weigh upwards to generate power. In this case it's a matter of your build and difficult to correct with technique. Would be a simple matter of getting better at fast squats.

You're not lifting anything except your fist and your partner's chin. Squats are the wrong way to go, here. Rotation is the key.

(edit) if you're looking for a muscle to exercise for uppercuts, it would probably be the lats, maybe also the gluts.

gregaquaman
6/17/2016 11:30pm,
It is **** on a pad because there is not enough resistance. And your arm does make a big enough motion to get a good snap.

It is different with a head

But faster is better. Not harder.

And yes you do squat. And should be doing explosive squats or even sprawling to help your punching power.

Streetcat
6/23/2016 2:13pm,
Hi (sorry this got kinda long...),

So I have a small smattering of martial arts experience: A little tae kwan doe & karate when I was pretty young (somewhere from 7-9 I believe), but only up to yellow belt; the school moved.
More recently (4 years ago now) I took Aikido for maybe 7 classes; the schedule was too out of sync with my work schedule though and ended up being too hard to maintain.

Then even more recently (perhaps 1.5 years ago now) I participated in a small class (2-3 students usually showed up) taught by a colleague for free at work. He had background in Muay Thai, Boxing, and Submission Wrestling.
This class involved full contact sparring (face mask, mouth guard, open-finger 8-oz MMA gloves, shin guards if working any Thai shin kicking stuff). The instructor indicated we would eventually have full-on contact with stand-up, clinch, and ground open to us, but as beginners we started with just boxing.

We worked on the 4 basic boxing strikes (at least, the 4 basic as far as I know from him): jab, cross, hook, uppercut.

I have very good power with my jab, cross, and hook. The teacher commented that I can hit VERY hard. (I'm ~290lb guy with a big belly but lots of muscle; working on losing weight)
I never could quite get the hang of the uppercut though...

Anyway, I took maybe 10 classes of that, but then the instructor's schedule got too swamped and he had to stop teaching the class.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago: I joined a Jiu Jitsu class (traditional, not brazilian, mixed with some boxing & self-defensy stuff like dealing with guns/knives/multiple attacks).

We worked on jabs, crosses, elbows, and hooks one day with pads. I again had trouble getting anywhere near the power I get in my other shots into the uppercut.
The guy working with me (one main instructor & 3-4 other instructors from advanced brown & black belts, I was working with an advanced black belt ) told me to put more hip into it, but that didn't seem to help much.

I think where I'm running into trouble is the small squat-thrust type motion (at least, that is how I've been thinking of it; similar lower body motion as when you are doing an overhead squat thrust/push); I can't seem to coordinate the power from that well while also putting my hip into it.

There's an open mat night tomorrow evening so if I'm not too busy with falling (still working on it, though I'm way ahead of the other white belts due to the 10 Aikido classes; the falling technique is a little different in the Jiu Jitsu class--we slap with one hand as we fall, but the rolling body motion & staying relaxed as you fall is the same), I'll try to work on the uppercut some more too.

I have a 150lb Thai heavy bag (6' tall) at home that I use for strike practice (got it a few years ago when I was in that MMA class at work), but the shape isn't very conducive to upper cuts.
I considered getting an uppercut bag, but I don't have much room; the heavy bag is in a corner of my basement with enough room to manuever around it in a 180-degree arc (its in a corner, the other 180-arc is taken up with the support legs (its hung on a very sturdy stand) & basement walls. Its out far enough that I have a good 8 ft. of lateral movement in front of it.

Anyway, not sure the best way to practice without an uppercut bag; I try to throw some in occasionally when using the Thai bag, but it is very awkward.

Any advice on form/technique? Any recommended videos that walk through it real slow?

The uppercut is a versatile punch. There are actually a number of different ways to throw it.
(Parker Kenpo has a kind of reverse uppercut used when moving out and away).

In orthodox boxing, a lot has to do with proper footwork because you need a strong base.

You need some rotation of the hips but don't overdo it. The short uppercut, for example, comes right up the centerline (Kung Fu talk) and uses almost no rotation. You can work your 190 lbs. bag as is.

If you watch a Mayweather fight ... he is a compact style boxer and a master of the short cut.

Watch Tyson put some torque into an u.c. to the floating ribs ... and see some very big guys go down.

I once took private lessons at a famous boxing gym in Brooklyn NY. The trainer was an old guy who had seen it all. At the end of the lesson, they would take you to an open area where you could observe the boxers training and he would comment on what you were seeing. Most of these guys were pros or semi-pro.

I saw one guy hit a heavy bag like yours and it jumped and damn near hit the ceiling. The old trainer told me "When you see that...Stay as far away as you can get."

Don't sweat it too much ...at 290 lbs. nobody's going to mess with you anyway.

Devil
6/23/2016 2:31pm,
What's happening with your feet?

Notice how Tyson liked to switch to southpaw to throw the right uppercut.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo2JxpcJ2BA