punching comparison with JKD?

Hi all,
I noticed there was a difference in punching between JFJKD and Muay Thai. Example: The Jun Fan JKD guys throw their cross with a vertical fist with their elbows pointed downwards to the floor while the instructors in my MT class throw the cross with the elbows a bit flared out, paralleled to the ground, horizontaled fist. Is there a difference in advantage or disadvantage in either one?

Turning the wrist over = more power

depends on the JKD person, some are very modern MMA oriented while others still cling to old Bruce Lee ways of doing things, vertical fist and trapping from Wing Chun, personally, punch like boxers do, turn the fist over...

Yukisan, Ikfmdc
Thanks for your reply. I've been doing the cross with my wrist turned over but my elbows are tight to my body - mechanics resembling the vertical fist punch. Should I lift the elbow "up" and "out" to do the cross or should i just throw the cross from it's actual starting point and keep elbows pointed to the ground as much as possible?
Thanks again.

There are 2 distinct reasons for turning the fist as you punch so that the palm is parallel with the floor.

1. The rotation to palm parallel with the floor is ideally to occur at the very end of the punch. The twisting motion can tear flesh. Especially if you're wearing leather boxing gloves. That is why vaseline is used on a boxers face during a match.

2. In many boxing gyms, you are taught to punch at your opponents eyes. This is to temporarily 'blind' them. It doesn't work if your fist is vertical b/c your opponent is able to see to either side of your fist. If your fist is horizontal, it cuts off his vision.

Khun Kao


In my experience, turning your fist over increases the range of motion in the shoulder which increases the amount of power you generate. From my personal experiences also, I havefound that turning the fist over gives you a slightly further reach.

Try the two variations and see what you think.

Yours, Beev

In JKD we use both the horizontal and vertical fist depending on whether the emphasis is on using a jab to offset, set up or harass or a straight lead (vertical fist) for more power and shock. I also had a boxing coach who occasionally used the vertical fist to slip his jab between my gloves. Really, JKD punching is the same as boxing with a few modifications (more tools, more centerline oriented, and some ideas on balance).

listen, if I got you to stand still while I got a crane to drop a safe on your head, it WOULD kill you, but how practical would that be as a fighting strategy? Lots of things "work" but some more efficiently that others.

I agree, and the straight lead is one of those things that is very efficient. It travels from the center of the body, can fit easily between many fighters' hands and can have the power of a well thrown hook when thrown propperly due to the body torque.

You should be getting about an extra foot or so if you're throwing a good solid right cross from a boxing point of view. When you rotate your shoulders and your hips, and get them behind your punch, you greatly increase your range and power.

If you take a small diagonal step with your lead leg, your punching range increses ridiculously. I've hit people with punches when they had their hands down because they thought I was outside of KICKING RANGE before. My boxing coach is ten times worse, he's been on the other side of our ring, literally, threw a double jab cross combo and tagged me with the cross.

( esepcially the d. jab and cross from other side of the ring )

True, but I have never met a JFJKD guy with the hand skills of even an average Golden Gloves boxer. All arts are not equal.

I always tell my students to turn the fist over on the jab and the cross, but only because doing so helps you how turn your shoulders and hips into a punch.

I've always been interested in different methods of delivery of punches, most of the people I've learned from would throw the jab, right hand, and the left hook with the palm down. Then, I'd get the occasional person who liked the palm in hook.

Interestingly enough, in Dempseys book, he advocated throwing a jab with a vertical fist. And he didn't like to call it a left jab, he called his punch a "left jolt". I haven't seen that book in years, but I seem to remember him recommending landing with the bottom 3 knuckles. I can't recall for certain. It was an interesting and different method for throwing the lead left hand.

KWJ-K-Dhira, wouldn't putting your shoulders and hips behind the vertical punch off balance you forward? I'm not baiting, just asking, as I've never really tried that in sparring. I just don't see how you could to the same degree that you can with a palm down cross.

The only vertical punch we throw in boxing is the left hook (at my gym). Bill (coach) has us throw them tight, with our arms bent about 90degree from forearm to biceps.

Style vs Style debates are pointless, I agree with you there entirely, but I do feel that boxing has better training methodologies and background than most other styles, hence me preferring boxing punches to anything else.

The sweet science has improved drastically since Dempseys day, just watch some old time fights, compared to todays, even the technical fighters in that era don't seem as fluid and well balanced as the mediocre boxers of today. Training methods have improved, been tested, retested and reworked so many times it's ridiculous.

KWJ-K-Dhira, wouldn't putting your shoulders and hips behind the vertical punch off balance you forward?

"Surprisingly we see it all the time in PRO BOUTs. Naseem Hamed over extends. Ali overextended. Roy Jones Jr. But the key with these guys is they easily recover their boxing stance. I assume SOME peeps can do the same...most of us can't.

Do these guys "overextend"?

Not really, since they are able to recover and fight effectively.

I remember watching a Hearns fight on ESPN Classic a few years ago...the commentator was going on and on about how poor his stance was, and how he should keep that lead hand up.

Meanwhile, Hearns is jabbing the guy's face into hamburger, slipping punches and shoulder rolling into nasty rear hand uppercuts and straight rights.

My point is, pros on this level are SO far ahead of the curve that they can get away with punching with a vertical fist, or leaving their guard open, or standing flatfooted. Most of us (myself included...especiallly so, lol) will NEVER be able to move or fight like even a mediocre pro on his worst day.

So, basically, stick to classic boxing technique for your punches. You can't go wrong with what's been tested thousands of times in the ring. Vertical fist punches are better than NO punches, but turning the fist over will increase shoulder rotation, reach, and power.

What I meant by overextend was to lose your balance, if you don't lose balance and can control your body, then you aren't really overextended.

KWJ-K-Dhira, now I see what you mean, for close range punching I can see what you're talking about.

I prefer to use my hook and uppercut in that range though, I find I can use my body torque to generate more power on those shots, plus knees and elbows seem to work well too :o)