Refining the Straight punch

If you were to look up the word “punch” in the dictionary, you’d see that as a verb, it means to strike with the fist. And for many people, a punch is executed by flinging a fist towards the intended target. (Now whether the target stays still is another matter...)

A good Bando punch uses the entire body. For punching, one arm serves as the “cover” (to protect against an oncoming attack) while the other arm executes the strike. It’s not a punch unless both arms are involved. In addition to this very basic movement, a Bando punch incorporates, at a minimum, these two Bando principles:

  • Push, Pull, Twist
  • Breathe, Lock, drop

Push, Pull, Twist: When you punch, there is a pushing hand and a pulling hand. The intention of pushing is fairly easy to evoke with the punching hand. Just as important is the pulling hand, which is the one that’s executing the “cover”. The stronger your pulling hand is, the sharper your punch will be. Really! And the “twist” at the end is when the wrist turns, at nearly the full extension of the punch. Without the twist, the punch becomes a push, using muscle power. Adding the twist creates an acceleration at the very end, creating a more explosive technique. Both hands need to twist at the same time!

Breathe, Lock, Drop: This takes time to develop. Breath: your exhale should be complete when your punch reaches the target. The type of breath you use will change the speed and power of the punch. The Lock is done at the very end of the technique. That is, your muscles are relaxed until the point of impact. At that point, you “lock” all of your muscles so that the full impact is transferred to the target. The term “Drop” refers to a slight drop in your body’s position in space. That drop occurs as part of the lock, and helps coordinate the entire movement.

In addition to these principles, keep in mind the target. When you practice your punching, imagine a specific target instead of simply putting your fist into space.

Let’s work together on these ideas – you can follow the video below. (And just try to ignore that silly puppy!)

Interested in reviewing past Bando minutes? Check out the Bando Minute archive!