Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Swings and Uppercuts

            Just before I started this blog I spent a couple of weeks reading through around 340 books on martial arts and self-defence. While that number sounds improbable you have to understand that many of these books are very similar. I have become rather good at picking out the duplicated information and concentrating on the more unique.

            One technique that stays in mind was a sequence on “How to defend against the Hook punch”.  According to this book you use your hand to block the puncher’s upper arm. The main problem was this is that the photos were clearly not showing a hook punch. As I detail in my book, a hook punch has elements of a wheel. The upper arm is the spoke and the forearm and fist lie along the imaginary rim. It also tends to be used at very close range because of this. You would need very long and probably very thin arms to reach past that fist and push on the biceps to stop that punch.

            The punch that was actually being thrown was a swing, and a pretty wide one. The swing is one of those techniques real boxers are told never to use since it leaves you wide open. A caught a few seconds of the Women’s boxing in the Olympics and there were a couple of swings being traded. That is not a criticism of women boxing by the way, just a criticism of how far some combat sports have strayed from viable techniques.

            Yesterday I came across this technique, which I am sure will give anyone remotely familiar with boxing a good chuckle. This guy is supposed to be attacking with an uppercut. A good upper cut tends to come straight upwards vertically and only travel about six inches of distance. The attacker will be virtually touching you before he sends an uppercut up like a rocket. Even if this attack is a shovel hook the interval between fighters would be much smaller and probably need alternate defensive strategies.