Why do you rotate palm when throwing an uppercut?

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by jimmy_the_eel, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. jimmy_the_eel

    jimmy_the_eel White Belt

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    OK guys, long time listener 1st time caller blah blah

    Hopefully this will sound like a stupid question to someone and I will get a simple answer =)

    When throwing a tight uppercut, we'll take the left as an example, I have always been taught to lower the left shoulder and bend the left leg, then rotate the hips and throw the fist upwards, turning the palm towards you as it goes.

    Had a quick google and this seems to be the standard tech for throwing this punch.

    My question is, why rotate the wrist? If you don't the punch looks more likely to slip up between your opponent's arms and land. Also, if I hold my arm at 90 degrees, with the thumb towards my body, there is no tension in my forearm, but with my palm facing me i feel the muscles tighten, which would surely be detrimental to the speed/power of the punch?

    So does anyone know why you turn the palm to face your body? Anyone ever seen an uppercut thrown without rotating the wrist?

    Cheers
     
  2. Rinksterk**

    Rinksterk** Banned Banned

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    I experimented a little bit on this actually after reading Hajime no Ippo. Personally, I found that rotating your fist towards you generates more power and makes it more likely to hit with your first two knuckes.

    When I throw the uppercut without the rotation, I can sometimes slip it between the guard of my opponent better, but I can't throw it with as much power. If I really try put power into it, it hurts my last two knuckles. the more experienced guys I spar with run through those kind of weak punches; they eat them and keep coming.

    Another thing is that my trainer teaches us to throw the uppercut so that the fist goes in an arch back towards you, not in a straight line up. If I don't rotate it, the punch goes more in a straight line up.
     
  3. jimmy_the_eel

    jimmy_the_eel White Belt

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    I think I may be able to answer my own question after a bit of reading=)

    Just had a look at Jack Demspey's Championship Fighting, and the way he explains the uppercut makes a lot of sense and it seems i have been throwing it wrong. I would normally throw a left uppercut by dropping to my left and then driving my left hip up and into the target, similar to a shovel hook. This way it feels comfortable not turning my palm.

    The way Demspey describes it, he doesn't seem to have the dip to the left, he just shifts his hips (and his weight) to the right and throws the punch, doing it this way it does feel more natural somehow to turn the hand. Also the punch is more "straight up" than what i was doing before.

    Can't believe that book is more than half a century old, boxing is definitely my favourite TMA.

    Ringsterk- i also hook the punch back towards me- it's sometimes good if you want to fold the arm and hit with an up-elbow after the punch.
     
  4. ssssmashing

    ssssmashing Purple Belt

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    It serves other purposes too. If you throw the uppercut to the head the rotation of the the forearm acts a block. If you do it paired off with someone slowly. You'll find if they throw a jab and you throw the uppercut the rotation through center mass serves as an effective block.

    One of the nastiest blows is an uppercut across the bicep slicer - this will only work if the hand is rotated.

    Additionally there are nerve strikes that only work with the rotation. For example if you hook the back of someones head like you are setting up a thai clinch and upper cut right under the nipple, that strike hurts like the dickens! There are million like it.

    But the simplest answer is it generates the most power.
     
  5. 2om30

    2om30 Red Belt

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    Also you rotate so you don't break your hand...
     
  6. 2om30

    2om30 Red Belt

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    Also you rotate so you don't break your hand...
     
  7. Brent Schermerhorn

    Brent Schermerhorn Green Belt Professional Fighter

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    OK im going to take a shot in the dark here and maybe close?! or maybe not LOL
    Seems more natural to roatate your wrist. So whenever things are more natural there is usually good reaosn for it. I think when you wrist is rotated (thumb out) you have more engaged behind your punch (ie:shoulder, body) and that's also the reason you feel like it's stronger and engaging more muscles. So my deduction is LOL that you can easily get your body weight behind it because your shoulder/chest/hips everything flows together...with your hand in the other position you dont feel much engaged and you cant turn your shoulders into it to get enough body weight out of it to be effective.
     
  8. aries

    aries Silver Belt

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    You have sort of answered your own question there. If your wrist is floppy when you hit the target you'll lose power. You are right in stating that turning the palm toward you stiffens the shot. This is good for power. Also you are partially correctly in assuming this would be detrimental to power/speed. That's the reason you do it just before impact. If you had that tension from the start of the movement then yes it would slow it down.

    Also you'll engage the lats, the obliques and the hips more on the side of the punching arm because it pulls the elbow in and tightens everything up.

    And yes you can throw the uppercut without turning the wrist. The opportunity might present itself where it will slip into a smaller gap and you just want to get one in real quick, sacrificing power for speed. A punch you might see that is used on occasion in boxing is a rising jab which resembles a wing chun style vertical fist punch. This of course can be performed palm facing you as well.
     
  9. Smw

    Smw Purple Belt

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    I have never pondered something like this. The way I have been taught has always just felt more natural.

    Palm down on straight punches, palm toward on uppercuts. Hooks are always debated, though.
     
  10. Grey Kid

    Grey Kid Orange Belt

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    Turning the palm contracts the bicep muscle and tightens the shoulder. Throw an uppercut without turning your palm and you'll feel the difference, it seems loose and awkward.

    Throw one turning the palm and the whole arm drives up like a pistol when you rotate your hips.
     
  11. jimmy_the_eel

    jimmy_the_eel White Belt

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    Thanks guys, i have a policy of questioning everything i am taught, all the posts above make sense.
     

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