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Intro Series: Striking/MMA

1, 2, 3 Knee

3, 4

1, 2 Kick

Striking class is by far one of the best ways to find out that you need to up your cardiovascular fitness. I have spent a few hours with Sensei Chris, punching and kicking my way into humility. Class starts off with some easy cardio. Maybe a quick jog around the mats or trying to show off to the teenagers and twentysomethings that I can out burpee them. Whoo whee! I may have had the edge in the beginning, but they were catching up towards the end of that first few minutes of warm up.

Next, we get out the kick pads and do a series of round house kicks and front kicks. Complete 10 kicks with each leg and then switch legs. Now it's my partner's turn to kick. I did make sure I was holding the kick pads correctly; I couldn't let my teenage partner put me on my arse.

After our kick series we move on to punches. Each punch is numbered for simplicity.




Right Cross


Left Hook


Right Hook


Left Upper Cut


Right Upper Cut

  1. Jab - This is a left handed punch that is initiated at your chin and is directed in a straight line to your opponent. The power is generated from the shoulders, however there is no body torque during this hit. For this reason I think of it more as a stunning punch or an attention getter. When the punch is being thrown it is important to tighten your fist right before it meets its target, then immediately relax your hand and draw it back into a defensive position.

  2. Right Cross - This is a slightly more powerful punch generated by your right hand. To complete this strike your upper body rotates towards your opponent while pivoting on your back (right) foot and rotating your hips. At the point of contact your arm should be fully extended, with your left hand guarding your chin.

  3. Left Hook - This punch is thrown when you are in tight with your opponent directly after a subtle weight transfer. It usually follows another punch such as a right cross. To accomplish it your weight is shifted to your left foot and your left foot quickly pivots you to the right with your left hand striking your opponent. The left arm, with elbow bent, strikes across your opponent from their right side. Do not extend your arm fully. Immediately retract once contact is made. This punch is a power punch with the power coming from your trunk as you pivot.

  4. Right Hook - The opposite of the above punch. Footwork is necessary to set up this punch appropriately. It is important to keep your feet moving during training as you train like you fight.

  5. Left Upper Cut - Upper cuts are quick punches. As the name suggests the angle of contact is from underneath. To accomplish this strike you should have a slight forward bend in your waist with your back heel raised and your weight on your front foot. Bringing the arm directly upwards, with the fist rotated, to make contact with your opponent in the solar plexus or under the chin in an explosive movement. Done correctly you will knock out your opponent.

  6. Right Upper Cut - Reverse of above punch. Make sure with either uppercut to step back immediately into a defensive stance as you are exposed during these strikes.

Clear as mud now right? Unless you've done kickboxing (like myself), boxing, muay thai or MMA style fighting, and have a bit of prior knowledge. You should have seen me shadow boxing to make sure that my descriptions of the punches make sense. I definitely got a few weird looks. lol. No shame :). I did refrain from practice kicks. I do have some sense of decorum.

Sensei Chris definitely has a passion for teaching. He, like our other instructors, also has the unique ability to quickly determine how to tailor his teaching to individual students. I say this as he partnered me with a brand-new member to our class, who is a sweet high school boy, and he partnered a spitfire of a 20 something year old man who needs some help slowing himself down.

I will say that this class, by far, gives some bang for the buck in terms of cardio, right from the start. With constant striking, kicking and foot movement, you learn very quickly that you need to incorporate cardiovascular fitness into your routine. Unlike in Jiu Jitsu, where there are occasional breaks where you are at a stalemate or are holding your training partner down to catch a quick breather. I bought running shoes afterwards. I have yet to actually run in them, but they are cute. Maybe I'll take them for my first spin soon. So far, I've only worn them to lift weights on arm and chest days.

Hopefully, this final intro installment this left you with a tantalizing taste of all of the regular programs our gym has to offer. Please feel free to comment, like and share any of my blog posts that you find educational or funny. I do hope to entertain some while I'm imparting some knowledge. Keep your eyes open for future blogs about affiliate programs, seminars and special programs. I'll try to hit the highlights. Also, keep your eyes open for upcoming posts on a variety of nutrition and fitness topics. I'm still brainstorming a bit of where to go from here, but it is likely to the kitchen...(get it nutrition haha).

Special Thanks to Back to the Basic Punches: Naming The 6-Punch Boxing Numbering System - Gear Up MMA for helping me to collect my thoughts and get the details of the punches on paper.

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