Straight Punches and Testing
[caption id="attachment_3230" align="aligncenter" width="900"] Pictured: Not a good punch.[/caption] With so many tests coming up in just under two months a lot of people are concerned with getting ready. Getting in shape, learning a whole level’s worth of material, making sure you update Facebook after every class…there’s a lot to do. But people tend to neglect the most basic and important element of getting better at Krav Maga, and that’s the fundamentals. And the most fundamental of them all is your straight punches, and that’s also where people honestly tend to need the most work. In any self-defense scenario, 10% of your defense is the “technique” (redirecting a kick, plucking a choke, blocking a knife) and the rest is combatives. So if your straight punches aren’t strong enough to stop someone from attacking you, you aren’t doing the technique correctly. Straight punches make up half of the combatives people throw, and if you’re not doing straight punches it’s palm heel strikes, and if it’s not palm heel strikes it’s hammerfists, both of which are basically straight punches with a twist. So if you don’t have good straight punches, you probably don’t have good self-defense. And it doesn’t matter how thoroughly you know the curriculum; if your self-defense isn’t good, you’re not ready to move up. Straight punches are the first technique you learn in a Krav Maga class, and hardly a class goes by at any level where you aren’t working on them. That means that at each level they should be getting stronger. The straight punches you threw on your level 1 test were probably pretty good at the time, but they aren’t good enough for your level 2 test. Even in level 4, when students have been throwing them for years, we still spend a ton of time on straight punches because they always need to get better. Each new technique has to be supported by the foundation, and the more you pile on top, the stronger the foundation has to be. So if you’re hoping to test in December, or at any point, at any level, the first thing you should do is plant your feet in the ground, push hard off your back leg, pivot all the way around and throw a punch that means something.