Dempsey: Chapter 17 UPPERCUT

Here is chapter 17 of Jack Dempsey's book "Championship Fighting" published in 1950.

"An uppercut is a blow that shoots up straight (along an imginary line from the floor) to an opponent's solar plexus or to his chin (illustration is shown in book).

"Because an uppercut rips up straight, it is very difficult to block or evade. It comes up inside the protections used against other blows - guarding elbows, forearms and hands. An uppercut's direction differs from that of a shovel hook. The shovel sweeps 'sideways' and up; but there is no sideways sweep to the uppercut. It shoots 'straight up'.

"There is an important difference between the deliveries of the two blows. All shovels are assisted by an UPWARD HUNCH of the hip beneath the arm that is striking. In the uppercut, however, the hip beneath the striking arm SHIFTS OR FADES ASIDE (illustration shown in book). The hip fades aside to permit straight-up gangway for the fist and arm. It shifts aside somewaht as does the hip of a man driving a golf ball. And the upward surge of body-weight is somewhat similar to that in the completion of a golf swing.

"You'll understand the FADING and SURGE by trying the folling movements:

-Face the heavy bag, with your feet about 18 inches apart on an even line about 18 inches from the bag.

-Bend your knees slightly

-Bend your body forward slightly

-Distribute your weight evenly on both feet

-Teeter up and down to be sure your comfortably balanced

-Place the palm of your opened hands on the outside of your hips. Shift your weight easily to the LEFT leg, letting the hips sway easily to your left. (illustration shown in the book)

-Still in slow motion, sway your weight to the RIGHT leg. As your LEFT hip fades toward your right, let your LEFT hand slide forward off your hip and strike the solar plexus spot of the bag easily with your fist palm-up. (Illustration shown in book).



-Sway your weight back to the LEFT leg and let your RIGHT hand and fist go through the same sliding, striking motion, palm up (Illustration shown in book).

-Without trying to get any power into your punches, keep swaying your hips and using the sliding blows to the solar plexus until you feel yourself doing it with a sort of rhythm. Be sure that your fist are sliding STRAIGHT-UP to the target. Be sure also that your hips are swaying far enough to let the elbows miss the fading hips on each punch.

"Those are the fundamentals movements of the uppercut. They must be done easily and automatically before you try to put dynamite into the blow, for the rest of the uppercut movements will seem outrageously awkward - at first.

"Okay, let's try the awkward moves"

-Take your feet-on-the-even-line position before the bag.

-Put your opened LEFT hand on your LEFT hip. But raise your RIGHT hand to its normal guarding position.

-Your knees should be slightly bent.

-Sway your weight to your LEFT foot so that you are resting lightly on the ball of your RIGHT foot. (Illustraton shown in book)

-Suddenly sway your weight to the RIGHT foot so violently that the RIGHT heel comes down with a THUD.

-And at the same time, wrench your RIGHT shoulder and RIGHT arm upward so violently that your previously guarding RIGHT hand flies up near the back of your head. Meanwhile, as your LEFT hip fades to the RIGHT, your LEFT fist should have snapped straight up to the solar plexus spot with a terrific impact (Illustration shown in book).

-As the fist landed, your weight should have been planted firmly on your RIGHT foot, with only the ball of you left RESTING on the floor.

"Naturally your hips swayed fat to the RIGHT"



"Next, try a RIGHT UPPERCUT to the solar plexus. Just before you deliver the punch your weight is firmly on the RIGHT foot, and your opened right hand is on your right hip. Your left hand is in normal guarding position. as you sway your weight suddenly to the left, wrench your left shoulder and left arms upwards and backwards so violently that your left hand flies nearly (to the) back of your head. Meanwhile your RIGHT fist shoots explosively straight up to the solar-plexus spot. When you fisrt tried that combination of uppercut movements, you probably felt you were working at cross purposes. In delivering the left uppercut, you felt that shifting your weight to the right foot had started your body-weight moving to the right, and that the backward wrench of the right shoulder suddenly tried to yank the body-weight in a different direction. You will continue to feel that way until you blend the movements into one unified motion. Then, on the left uppercut, you will be:

1) hitting off the LEFT foot;

2) dropping your weight so suddenly on to the RIGHT foot that the shift will act like dropping of a weight on to the end of a seesaw, helping the spring of your LEFT foot to give an upward surge to the LEFT SIDE OF YOUR BODY;

3) INCREASING that surge to include more body-weight by the backward wrench of the right shoulder.

"Since your right shoulder will be pulling back, almost directly above your LEFT hip, the surge will almost be straight up. in your first experiment with the upper cut I let you exaggerate the backward shoulder wrenches. I permitted you ro straighten up and let your guarding hands fly bak to the sides of the head. Naturally, you can't do those things in a fight. They would leave your head wide open to counterpunches.



"Now, try the uppercut movements with just as much violence as before; but refrain from straightening up and under no circumstances permit your guarding hands to fly away from their normal guardng position (illustration shown in book).

"In shooting uppercuts to the chin you'll naturally be more upright than when smashing to the body. The chin blows are delivered with exactly the same movements as those to the solar plexus (illustration shown in book).

"You have been practicing the movements by sliding your hands OFF your hips. Now, with your feet still on the even line, place BOTH hands in normal guarding positions and let each hand autmatically drop into its proper route as it delivers the blow. Practice a feww uppercuts in that position.

"Next, try uppercutting from your normal punching stance. You'll find it difficult to get much power into the LEFT uppercut from the normal stance. Your RIGHT foot is back and the hip-sway shifts your body-weight backward as you punch. Consequently, the left uppercut should only be used WHEN THE FEET ARE EVEN OR NEARLY SO. The RIGHT UPPERCUT, however, is much more explosive from the nomral stance than from the toes-even stance. Greater freedom for RIGHT leg-spring and LEFT shoulder-wrench provides faster body-surge, despite the fatc the weight-shift from right to left foot is not as great as when the feet are even. (Illustration shown in book).



"Uppercuts are particularly effective at close quarters against an opponent capable of blocking your various hooks to body and head or capable of bobbing under your hooks to head. The uppercuts explode INSIDE his defenses against hooks. They shoot striahgt up into a bobber's face.

"Although most uppercuts are delivered at close quarters, without moving the feet - without taking a step - THE RIGHT UPPERCUT CAN BE USED EFFECTIVELY WITH A SHORT STEP. It can be used with a step as a LEAD to straighten up a croucher or bobber; and it can be used with a step as a counter inside and opponent's hook or swing. However, the UPPERCUT NEVER SHOULD BE USED AS AT LONG RANGE - WITH A LONG STEP. It is not a long-range blow. It opens; it loses its purity at long-range
. Moreover, it leaves you wide open when attempting to use it at long-range.

"Some current fighters attempt a long-range right uppercut called a "bolo" punch. They even attempt to lead with it. Let me warn you that the BOLO is more showy than explosive. It's more dangerous to the user than to his opponent. the bolo, or any long-range uppercut, is meerly an underhanded swing. And you know that any type of swing, against a good straight puncher, signals to the mortician.

End of chapter 17.

Next time: Chapter 18 PUNCH RANKS FIRST

Thanks again.



Cheers, MG!

You're a stud dude. TTT

Don't see many knockouts from uppercuts...