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Where Should Your Straight Punches Land?

Where Should Your Straight Punches Land?

Stephen Whittier has some suggestions!

We all know that a devastating straight punch can be the end of the fight. But where are you aiming? When learning the fundamentals of striking, we understand that the head is a target but simply tagging any old part of the cranium may not get you the results you're looking for. It's important to learn early where we’re looking to make our mark, and practice often, so that when we throw our straight punches, they land in the spots where they can be most effective!

Stephen Whittier is highly regarded as one of the best martial arts instructors on the planet. One of only a few head coaches of Straight Blast Gym INtl, (SBG), Whittier has amassed a staggering collection of martial arts accolades in many different disciplines and continues to be one of the most sought after trainers in the world. He’s guided LE at the local, state, and federal level and trained multiple UFC fighters, showcasing his incredible depth of knowledge and experience. His instruction is incredibly clear and concise and the themes in his teaching are trimmed of any fat, enjoyable, and beginner friendly. 

So, back to this straight punching concept. In Whittier’s new instructional, Fundamentals of Functional Striking, he provides a roadmap for some of the most important concepts and themes that you need to build a strong striking base. We all know a good foundation goes a long way and Whittier knows exactly what you need to build a solid skill set that will last a lifetime. Let's take a look at a quick excerpt front eh series where Whittier gives us some insight into this important straight punch placement idea. Have a look! 


So, let’s talk about placement. Have you ever punched someone in the forehead? Not only can this be game over for your hand, it probably won't have the desired effect you're after. There are exceptions to everything of course but there are definitely better spots to aim for. Whittier suggests targeting the area from the nose, down to the bottom of the chin and if you've achieved an angular advantage, you'll be looking to strike from the temple down. Keeping your strikes in this area will give you much better results when you’re trying to incur real damage. Simple concept? Maybe, but is this something that you're keeping on your radar in your striking exchanges?

We’d love to be able to get those head shots in at will but of course we will run into training partners and opponents with good guards and in this case we may need to go to the body to get things opened up at the top. As Whittier explains, any techniques that we can deliver high can also be delivered low as well but with the proper adjustments. Whittier cautions us to not throw to the body without first making a level change. As you can see, if Whittier throws low without changing his level he’s left quite vulnerable to a head shot himself. When Whittier goes to the body he drops his level down, keeping his own chin safe within the confines of his shoulders and out of danger. 

Fundamentals of Functional Striking by Stephen Whittier
Fundamental concepts such as these can have massive effects on your overall game and they are the foundation for acquiring the tools you need to become a well-rounded and dangerous striker. Fundamentals of Functional Striking is available now at Dynamic Striking!