Dempsey: Chap 9 POWER LINE

Here is chapter 9 of Dempsey's book "Championship Fighting"

Now this chapter is a little longer the the previous chapters I post. So I'm going to post as much as I can in the amount of time I have and whatever is left I'll post tommorrow.

"The movements in the second part of a straight jolt are just as simple as those in the "falling step"; yet, strangely enough, that part of the punch has been the big blind spot in hitting since the days of Jim Figg in the early 1700's. He was the father of modern day boxing. By the time John L. Sullivan and later "old masters" came along, many outstanding punchers had eliminated that blind spot with their knowledge of punching technique. But today that area of darkness is bigger than at any time since Corbett beat Sullivan."

"At least 9 out of every 10 fellows who try to box never become good punchers because they never learn how to make their arms and fist SERVE EFFICIENCTLY as conveyors and exploders. They become "powder-puff" punchers or at best, only fair hitters. Their punches lack BODY-WEIGHT, EXPLOSION, and FOLLOW-THROUGH. Such failures can be prevented by POWER-LINE PUNCHING".




"Remember: The power line ends in the first knuckle of the little finger of either hand. Gaze upon your "pinky" with new respect. You might call that pinky knuckle the EXIT OF YOUR POWER LINE - THE MUZZLE OF YOUR CANNON. You'll understand the power line if you feel it out.

"Stand up. Walk toward a wall until you're arm's length from the wall when facing it. Put your heels together. You should be standing just far enough from the wall so that you can barely touch it with the tip of the "middle" finger of your "right" hand - at a "point directly opposite of your chin. Touch that chin-high point with your middle-finger tip. Now move back three or four inches, but keep your heels together. Double your "right" fist firmly. In making a fist, close the fingers into the palm of the hand, then close the thumb down over the outside of the finger (an illustration label "figure 5" shows this description)."

"Extend the fist at arm's length "toward" the spot on the wall - only toward it. The fist should be "upright", as if you were holding a stick running from ceiling to floor. The little knuckle is down, toward the floor. With your arm "stiffly extended", let your body sway slowly forward - without moving your feet - until your fist (still upright) is pressed so firmly against the chin-high spot on the wall that your fist and stiff arm are SUPPORTING THE WEIGHT OF YOUR LEANING BODY (this is llustrated in figure 6.)

(note: upright fist = vertical fist)

"Note that the lower part of your fist (still upright) - particularly the "little knuckle" - provides the natural, solid end of the firm, straight line -from should to fist - that is supporting your weight. Note particularly that this line runs unswervingly THROUGH YOUR WRIST TO YOUR LITTLE KNUCKLE (illustrated in figure 7). Now, with your upright fist still supporting your weight at the chin-high spot, try to shift your pressure from the little knuckle to the upper knuckles. The turn your fist so that the palm of your hand is down. When you attempt those changes, you should feel immediately that both new pressure position of your fist "lack" the "solidity" of the first position. And you should feel and see that a change in position "swerved" the "power line" at the wrist - putting your wrist in a hazardous landing position.

"keeping your feet in the same position, go through the same procedure with your left fist. You'll find the "power line" in the same location - straight from the shoulder through the little knuckle. But, where would the power line be if you wished to lower your fist and punch at a man's stomach?

"you can answer that by ..."

-to be continued-

Is Dempsey basically recommending to punch with a vertical fist?

He is recommending that you aim to hit with the pinky and ring finger kunckle rather than the index and middle finger knuckle.

How else could a punch land on last two fingers without fist being vertical? This is a not a sarcastic question BTW, I really want to know.

You can hit with the last three knuckles when the hand is vertical or horizontal. Dempsey recommends rotating the hand from horizontal to vertical as it raises in height from the waist line to the head.

will be a part of the "to be continued section".


Thanks Ryan. Do you cover this in your instructional at all?