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Looping Punches: Balancing Power and Technique

by Eric Pearch on May 10, 2011

The natural instinct for just about every new boxer or mixed martial artist is to throw “haymakers” and other looping punches. That habit is usually undone fast because their trainers point it out, and their sparring partners punish them for it. I say usually because there are those exceptions that pull off sloppy, powerful punches successfully for years until it starts to bite them.

If you want to learn how to win fights, whether that be boxing, muay thai, or mixed martial arts, you have to learn the fundamentals of striking! Guys like Chuck Liddell and others made a career out of it until they started to get caught. Below, Badr Hari got caught trying to catch Allistar Overeem with a wide hook.

Badr Hari K1 Knockout

Badr should have kept that hook tighter

The answer is to simply start tightening up your punches. Throw from the face and do whatever you can to stop punching from your chest or the air.

To end this post, check out this great, quick fight between Lawler and Manhoef. This is a textbook example displaying the need to tighten up strikes. Manhoef was crushing Lawler with leg kicks, controlling the center of the cage, and putting his combinations together. His one weakness is that his punches started getting sloppy as Lawler started to falter. That was a mistake.

I’m definitely guilty of looping punches at times.

What is your bad habit when striking?

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  • Dtevey

    I do the same thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AndrewYeoman0907 Andrew Yeoman

    It is tough to avoid throwing wide hooks when fatigued, it takes a lot of self-awareness and discipline to maintain good form. I suppose for myself when I get fatigued its not returning the opposite hand to cover the head properly.

  • http://www.couch2cage.com Eric

    @facebook-100000230640568:disqus I couldn’t agree more Andrew. It’s a natural reaction to want to throw punches from the ribs or from the outside when fatigued.

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