Straight Punch Pointers By Aurelien Duarte
Aurelien Duarte is a Muay Thai fighter and Kickboxer with over 30 years of fight experience! Here, Duarte helps you with the mechanics necessary to throw and land a proper straight punch!
Aurelien Duarte opens up with a great quote “An expert is an expert of basics”. He begins by explaining that the young children and the expert fighters in Thailand are all training and practicing the same techniques and routines, because what works it what works and before you can do anything flashy you have to be proficient with the basics. Your goal is to make your basics as efficient and effective as possible. To do this, Duarte explains that you must start by training slowly and after you understand the technique from training it slowly, then you can begin adding in power and speed to your technique.
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Aurelien explains that he has 3 steps to improving your straight punch. The first, is to just do the punch by using your tricep muscle to extend the arm and the bicep muscle to retract it back to your guard. This will be from a short distance, using just the arm. Once Duarte and his partner do a few of those punches they both take a small step back, now they move on to the second step, utilizing the shoulders to gain more range and power in the punch. Aurelien now explains that if you are only using your arm to punch you will be too short and not hit the target, so now they add on the twist of the shoulders. The punching shoulder will twist forwards while the other shoulder should twist back, behind the punching arm. Essentially, the rear shoulder replaces the front shoulder. This will give you more range and put more of your body behind the strike, engaging your abs and glutes. To help understand this new detail, Aurelien says to put your hands behind your back and pretend to punch with just your shoulder.
The third and final step is for both people to once again move a little further apart. So now, even with the twist of your shoulders you should still come up short and not make contact with the target. To cover this distance Aurelien Duarte shows that we must now engage the feet and legs to make our punch complete and give it the most range and power. The puncher will now push off the back leg onto the ball of their foot with their heel raised and leg muscles flexed. Aurelien demonstrates that he should be able to push into the punchers fist without them budging, that is how you know that the form is correct with all of your muscles engaged behind the punch. With all of these steps put together your punch should now be the strongest it can be with as much range as it can possibly have without pulling you out of your stance. A punch is more than just the arm striking out, it is a whole body movement when done correctly!