strikes

Few styles of martial arts are more involved with weapons training than Filipino Martial Arts, or FMA. For one thing, FMA (kali, arnis, escrima) begin be first teaching techniques with weapons, before moving to empty hand. So if you're interested in FMA, you need to build your familiarity with handling weapons and weapon striking. These ten strikes are a good place to start!

Keep Reading Show less
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

If you trained under a boxing coach, this is how you'd learn to execute the lead hook and the rear uppercut. When you're done reading, click the link to examine the lead jab and the rear cross!

Punch No. 3: Lead Hook The boxing lead hook is a more or less rounded punch made with the leading hand. It whips around to the side of the opponent’s face or midsection, then snaps back. The hook draws power from translation, but this takes place in a manner unlike the jab or cross. Because the punch hits sideways, translation in the hook occurs when the bodyweight shifts from the side of the leading leg to the side of the rear leg. Power is added as the hips and shoulders rotate in the direction of the blow.

Lead hook to the chin

Keep Reading Show less

When it comes to punching, nobody does it better than boxers. Check out this analysis of how pugilists generate power and speed.

These days, everywhere you look, martial artists are incorporating basic Western-boxing techniques into their fighting repertoire. Although some traditional stylists have resisted this trend, there are many good reasons why it continues and why you should jump on board. Having evolved in the laboratory of combat, boxing techniques are practical and effective. They’re deceptively powerful and rival even the powerhouse punches of classical karate in the force of their impact. They’re adaptable and combine gracefully with the strikes and kicks of the martial arts. Finally, they’re relatively easy to learn and apply even under the stress of competition or self-defense.

Keep Reading Show less

A martial artist/biomechanics researcher reveals the key to quicker striking. It's all about what happens in your brain right before you execute the technique, he says.

What if someone pulled you aside one day and told you that it’s not your muscles that determine how quickly and powerfully you can hit, but the quality of your nervous system? What if that same person also told you that it’s what your nervous system is not doing that is the key?

Keep Reading Show less

Muay Thai champ Alex Gong helps you fine-tune two essential techniques that work as well for self-defense as they do in the kickboxing ring.

Before he took up muay Thai in 1993, Black Belt Hall of Famer Alex Gong trained in tai chi chuan, aikido, taekwondo, bare-knuckle karate and judo. While he was being exposed to the hundreds of traditional techniques that those arts teach, an idea germinated in his mind: Why not seek out a style that’s composed of a few proven strikes that can be used in a wide variety of situations? “When I was finally introduced to muay Thai, I realized that this is what I’d been working toward, and I knew I had found the right style,” said Gong, who trained in Thailand with Apideh Sit Hirun, the man who was named Muay Thai Fighter of the Century by the king of Thailand. “Fighting is about evolution, and in muay Thai, you’re constantly fighting and testing,” Gong continued. “It’s the only true, constantly battle-tested style out there.” Muay Thai is a simple art, one that doesn’t have a lot of techniques, Gong said. Once you’ve mastered the basic kicks and punches, it’s time to focus on what’s really important: moving, power, timing and defense. Gong knows the truth of that statement not only from the time he’s put in as president and head coach of the Fairtex USA Muay Thai Team, but also from the time he’s spent on the road visiting camps and watching bouts. “I go to amateur and professional fights all over the country, and I know that if more fighters just had a better foundation of the basics, they’d be much more successful,” he said. The basic weapon of muay Thai is the roundhouse kick to the head or body. “It is one of the easiest strikes to land, and you kick with your shin, so it’s very powerful and effective,” said Gong, who trains in San Francisco with Phicheat Arunleung Ganyao. “You have so much power because you put your whole body into it. Behind your leg, your hip and your shoulder are driving forward into the target. You don’t just kick the target; you kick through the target. “Too often martial artists kick forward but let their body move backward, especially with the side kick and roundhouse kick,” Gong said. “If you do that, where are your power and inertia going? They’re not going into the target where they should be.” If you perform the roundhouse kick properly and turn into the target, your shoulder will be positioned between your chin and your opponent’s line of fire, Gong said, and that will afford you some protection from a punch. “If you step forward to do a roundhouse to your opponent’s body, you have to be careful not to step straight into the centerline of fire,” he said. “That’s why, when you step over to kick, your footwork is so important. If you step out at a 45-degree angle to throw a right kick to his body, your right shoulder will be to the outside of his right shoulder. Then his right punch will go right over your shoulder, not right into your nose.”

Keep Reading Show less
Free Bruce Lee Guide
Have you ever wondered how Bruce Lee’s boxing influenced his jeet kune do techniques? Read all about it in this free guide.
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter