Straight Strikes


Technique Review May 31, 2016

This week’s technique review is about the straight strikes. We’ll cover subject a lot of common mistakes, what to do exactly, and for your information

Video transcript

Hi, guys. This week’s technique review is about the straight strikes. We’ll cover subject a lot of common mistakes, what to do exactly, and for your information, during the years we did change the strikes. For example, when I thought the Krav Maga, the straight right strike was this one, like this. Very much turning the heel to the outside, horizontal fist, and some other things. I went to him, and I told him I was, at that time, learning engineering, that the power is going the wrong director.

Imi was a boxer, so when he was boxing, he was not doing exactly like this. But, somehow during the ’60’s/’70’s, it became this strike. So, it was ’84, and in 20 seconds, he changed the punch, that we should be striking more forward, and the pressure should be more forward, especially with the back leg. And later, some years later, during the KMG times, about five years ago, with another twist that I’ll talk about in the strike.

First of all, let’s strike a little bit to some pads. It’s a four strikes. Let’s do left, left, right. Okay. So, practically, some element are very important to talk about, explain, understand in the strikes. We’ve got kinetic chain in front floor, through the ball of the foot, the foot, the shin, the thigh, the leg, the whole leg. Glutes, very important. The spine. How this kinetic chain goes toward the shoulder, the arm, and eventually the fist.

Let’s look at the structure that I made here. Just to demonstrate and understand some things. Imagine that this is the strike, the hand, the arm. This is the hip/shoulder line. That’s the back leg. Practically, I’m talking about this type of striking. Boxers do not strike like this. Boxers strike like that, more or less. If we talk about the back hand strike; so imagine, in this case, there’s a impact in the fist, where the red is. And this impact is sending the arm backwards. When you impact, meaning hitting something, yes? What happens to the shoulders? The back leg cannot support. What happens to the hip? If the back leg is pressing, you need to have extremely strong core muscles, in order to resist this power.

If we change this structure to something like this. One, it’s much more of a straight line, so the vector, the line of power is much straighter. Much easier to transfer the power from the leg through the body, to the arm, to the target. Please remember there’s action and reaction, yes? Action, reaction. If you hit something, this something hits you back. The impact is there, also. So, there’s nothing to support this impact from the ground, from the body, you will not have a strong influence on the target. So, you need to have a very strong support from the ground through the body, into the target, during the impact. And, impact is not at zero time. Impact takes time. You’re passing something about five to ten inches, ten to 25 centimeters penetrating into the target.

So, you need to have as straight line as possible. And, this is when you look at the front. What’s also very important is to have the center of gravity on the line of power. If the center of gravity is by the side of the power, it’s very difficult to give the strike a lot of impact. When we talk about the rear hand – this one – also look, there is the arm, action of the arm. There is the action of the body. And, what happens with people, many times, they strike in place. The idea is not only to strike in place, the idea is to shift the weight. So, we need to have maximum mass and maximum velocity moving towards the target, and hitting the target. So, that’s the idea how I’m shifting the weight. Not only turning the body.

Now, if I’m in this position, and that’s again a mistake. If this is the situation, which is not bad. Not good enough. Not the maximum, not the best I can do. Why? Because the center of gravity is by the side of the strike. You have to put the center of gravity on the line of the strike. So again, you have to put the center of gravity on the line of the strike. So, that is the idea how this striking shoulder should come to the center. What happens at this moment? It’s not that one. It’s this one. Why? You need more muscles in the direction, pressing, and this is sending the back, shoulder backwards, that’s not the idea. And, the body’s too narrow. You need to have the abdominal working. You need to have the glutes working.

So, in this case, if you lower the back shoulder, this puts the attacking shoulder in the center of the silhouette, and that’s what you would like to have. With the left strike, it’s the same. How from here, the weight is shifted to the left – my left, at this moment – it should be shifted center. It should be centered. There are, and sometimes rightly so, boxers who strike while bending the front knee, lifting the front heel. For our reasons, we don’t do that. We definitely shift the weight, and presumably also do not over commit.

Sometimes, we say “We would like to have maximum range.” Sometimes, we do retreat techniques. So then, you can see the shift, or a very, very long straight line. The power, there is not usually more power in the strike. It has other purposes. For example, in retreat. So, then basically, we would like to have in the left strike, and in the right strike. You see the back shoulder is a little bit down. When the back shoulder is a little bit down, it’s not, I’m not dropping it. I’m lowering it.

And, if you look at the pictures from the boxers, from knock out of boxers, very strong strikes of boxers, a lot of the time, you see this action. You see how the strike is moving, the other hand is usually down. Of course, they would like to be like this. But, it’s natural behaving that sending the other hand down. It gives it more power to will action, yes? Turning a whip. A lot of action, a lot of momentum is driven towards the target.

So, overall, we like to have maximum velocity. Maximum mass. If you remember, from your studying the high school, about kinetic energy and momentum, or pulse. In the equations there, there is M for the mass, and V for the velocity. We would like to maximize these two. But, it’s not only this. We would like – [Vlad 00:08:31], please come – we would like to have maximum resistance during the impact. Could you put one hand over the other, and just resist me. So, the idea is, he’s trying to resist me. It’s very difficult for him. I’m a straight line. I shift the weight well. And, if you look at the structure of my body, whether it’s the left hand or the right hand, I’m pressing.

Now, in the pressure, you have to contract abdominal area. Very, very important. And the glutes. You can check by yourselves, with your hand. Check if the glute is contracted. It has to be. Why? Because if it’s not, it’s off, with this punch. It absorbs the energy that is returning from the impact. It absorbs the energy that is sent from the leg. So, imagine, instead of having pistons, you’ve got sponges. Instead of having something that pushes the strike forward, you’ve got something that absorbs the impact, that you are having with target. You want the target to absorb the impact. You don’t want the glutes, or the abdominal, or your body to absorb the impact. So, because of this, when we are doing this pressure, we are learning how it is to make this pressure.

You know what is the one inch punch? Many times, in the martial arts, they use the back, and even today, we talk about the one inch punch. Very short range punches. Could you put a hand on your chest? This is the idea here. That here’s a very strong body motion, really. So, we are talking something, here is example. Let’s switch the places. Here’s example that I would have at all impact distance from the target. I’m all the target. And here, how the abdominal, the glutes, the pressure, the pressure of the body, is the mass. That’s what’s working. And, directly influencing the target.

So, of course, the strike itself should be very, very fast. Just put a hand here? The strike itself should be very fast. The end of the strike has to be very, very strong. That’s the idea. The impact has to be very strong. Very rigid. Rigid in the sense of strong. Not to collapse. Not to absorb. That’s the idea in the strikes. In the straight strikes.

So, remember the mistakes of the weight is not being shifted. The back heel has to be raised. In the back hand strike, the side of the foot is directed towards the target. If somebody’s doing this, practically your pelvis is being blocked by the leg. If you’re turning the leg, you can turn the pelvis. With the left hand, it’s practically similar. However, you are turning so the heel will go as if towards the target, but not too much. So, don’t turn the back, the leg away, the foot away. Still, the foot is going more or less towards the direction of the impact.

Overall, the leg. Then the knee section, the glutes, the abdominal. The more your body’s straight – look, remember what I was doing, showing before on the ground? The more the body’s straight, any type of impact; one, you have to be closer, and two, any impact – press me a little bit – this happens. Leaning backwards. So, to not happen, you need to have much, much more of a strong abdominal area. If you are here, it’s – press me – practically, it’s impossible for you to press me. Press me with two hands. And, like the spears of the gladiators, or the Roman, Greek, Macedonian armies, six meters or 20 feet long spear, traveling sort of, coming from the ground. Look how I resemble that one, at this moment. Much abilities to make impact on target.

So, less straight body, more leaning. Arch. Use this out, like a wave to create the impact on target. More turning of body, and putting the shoulder in the center. That’s crucial. Put a shoulder in the center of the silhouette. High speed of the hand, very strong mass transfer into the target. Maximum mass, maximum velocity.

Thank you guys. All the best. Cheers. Come and shake your hand, with this glove of yours.

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