Hit them where it Counts [Unfinished]
Hit them where it Counts
Look at many of the fighters from years ago, Joe Louis, Archie Moore, and any boxer that was worth their weight in salt, all had to learn about where to hit. Nowadays there seems to be a fool's notion that's leaning toward quantity over quality. There are a lot of things that guys these days will say in order to make them sound like they know what theyíre talking about. Have you heard of the saying, Throw punches in bunches? You also may have heard some guys shout things like, Throw more jabs!, Go for the body!, or they maybe yelling out numbers, or throwing in some next-to-worthless advice like, Watch his right hand.Ě Its turned into the blind leading the blind as many incompetent trainers palm off what theyíve heard as their own and mislead many a hopeful fighter whom doesnít know any better into a botched and ruined career.
It doesnít have to be that way. You donít have to become dependant on what someone else will teach you because you can find much of the answers on your own. With all the information available the only limiting factors is your ability and how far that youíre willing to go. With that being said I think it would be a great benefit to any aspiring boxer to understand the vulnerable spots of the body and how to use that information to their advantage. This post is going to be like an Anatomy 101 guide of where to place your punches; however well also examine the effects of punches to the weak spots, while how to avoid getting hit there, and also going over some useful training methods as well.
Now if youve ever had the wind knocked out of you then you can probably thank your solar-plexus for that. The solar-plexus is a small spot located directly below your sternum or breast-bone right where your ribs meet. In boxing phraseology the solar-plexus area has been given quite a few names; the markĚ, is what the old-timers called it, the pit-of-the-stomachĚ, which lies right behind it, and the bread basketĚ, which refers to the general area around your stomach. The solar-plexus has also been referred to as the abdominal brainĚ by medical experts. It is a network of nerves that contains the same white and grey matter that makes up your brain. Getting hit there isnít too much different to what happens when you hit your funny-bone. A strong blow to the solar-plexus would send a shockwave up through the phrenic nerve causing temporary paralysis to your diaphragm which would prevent you from drawing your next breath. Usually the harder the blow, the longer itíll take for you to get your wind back. A hard punch or series of punches onto the solar-plexus can also have a draining effect on an opponent, while a well placed uppercut to the solar-plexus can also bring an opponents head forward. In Kelly Pavlikís Pro Debut he threw a hard straight right to his opponentís solar plexus that brought his opponent down for the full 10 count. Needless to say that this is one spot you donít want to get hit at yourself.
You might then ask, ďHow would I protect my solar-plexus?Ē Well there are a few things that you can do. The first step is to not stand square to your opponent, instead if you were turn your body sideways with your left shoulder in front while also keeping an angle to your opponent then your body becomes a smaller target and keeps your vulnerable spots out of harms way. With this stance letís just say that they somehow manage to penetrate your guard, their blow will not be able land cleanly. Next you would position your left arm against your side, with your elbow bent with your hand kept up in front usually at about shoulder level so that it can be easily deployed effectively for either defense or offense. For defensive purposes you can use your left to parry/stop punches, or you can bring it back close to your body to block punches aimed at your kidneys and solar-plexus. Your right arm should be carried across your body with your forearm slightly raised upwards with the thick part of your forearm across your solar-plexus. This way any of your opponents jabs to your midsection will simply glance off of your forearm.
Some examples of stances that can better protect the vital spots.
You cant depend on when it comes to protecting your midsection is the commonly seen hands up high, squared approach for reasons that Ill explain later in this article. One thing that I would avoid doing is leaving my left arm hanging low at my side like a wet noodle; this limits you offensively and leaves your body wide open for attack. When your left arm isnít busy it should be held in front of you in a state of readiness.
The next blow on our list is the Liver Shot. It can look deceptive to the casual observer due to its abruptness and that it is usually a short quick blow thrown on the inside. These days it is often landed onto the liver unintentionally. The Liver is the largest gland in our body and when hit with a well placed blow the effect can be extremely sickening, and it can also take the wind out of the sails of even the strongest of fighters.
As you can see in the above picture the liver is protected by the ribs. To get there your hook or uppercut will have to be driven underneath your opponents short-ribs on the right side of their body which is right below their right shoulder. Now this can be really tricky since good fighter will keep their liver well protected with their right arm and will not stand square on in front of you.
So the question that you might ask right now is, How do I set up my opponent so I can land a punch on their liver?Ě Now when you think about it there are a lot of ways to achieve this, and in some cases your opponent can do a lot of the work for you. You many to make sure that their right arm is away which would expose their liver, you can do this by making them lead with their right, or by causing them to overreact, there are different ways to go about this, and it is up to you find what you know will work best against your opponent. Now by using your stance and your defense to create offensive opportunities youíll have idea what will work and conditions that leads up to those situations. Besides that, things usually will be changing. Youíll have to adjust your punches, your footwork or what ever you have to do to get past their guard to land a punch according to your opponent and vice-versa from their perspective.
Lets say for instance for the sake of simplicity that when you are fighting your opponent that you notice that when they roll with your punches that they are exposing the back of their ribs. Knowing this instead of hitting them in the arms, you take a quick sidestep to their left giving you the chance to hit their exposed liver. Now if you notice that your opponents feet isnít maintaining the proper angle that would keep his weak spots safe then you should keep them preoccupied long enough that you can get to the side of him to land a liver-shot.
If your opponent is the typical rusher, they may expose their back to you whenever they punch. This in turn gives you an opening on that side of their body. Jose Luis Castillo is one of those kind of fighters, and a lot of guys make this same mistake too. Also if your opponent has been brought up in the rigid and squared up defense of today your job has just became a lot easier. Now at first glance a lot of people might think that this amounts to a solid defense, in which the hands can get caught in a constant state of blocking, moving the elbows to defend body shots. What this really adds up to is a defense with more holes in it than a box of Tim Hortonís Donuts! Whenever they try to defend one weak spot, they expose another very important weak-spot. Could you imagine what it wouldíve been like that night in Zaire if they swapped in a skilled punch placer like Joe Louis to test out Aliís defense? With the average guy in the ring with their body always square it would be no feat in footwork or tactics to get around their lead and capitalizing on their exposed liver, kidneys or whatever the butcher is serving that day.
To protect your liver Iíd advise you to assume a defense like the one mentioned earlier. If you would like to read a very good deeply thought out explanation about this stance Id recommend reading some of Thomas Tabinís posts on this subject. It might also be of help to spend some time to understand the reasons behind why a lot of the clever fighters from years ago adopted the boxing stance that they used.
A good piece of old advice that still holds true today is to never expose your back to your opponent. I should also add that your elbows should usually be kept at your sides mainly to defend against body shots. According to Scrap having the elbows situated at the sides of your body is biomechanically sound since the body is in a natural position to jab and you would also benefit from the body feel and for the same safety reasons that were just mentioned. Having your hands up past your chin weakens your defense and puts you in an awkward position to attack. Also if you notice that your opponent for whatever reason raises their right elbow you can exploit it in your set-ups and you can capitalize on those openings when you feel that it is best to do so. I should also point out that a Southpaw has a bigger job protecting their liver.
For recent examples of the effectiveness of the liver-shot watch Delahoya/Hopkins, Hatton/Castillo, and Penilosaís fight from last August.
Right in that neighborhood of the liver you have the kidneys to aim at. Theyíre situated on both sides of your spine. Not quite as painful to get hit right on the liver but can be feel sickening to get hit there. The kidney-shot is illegal in this day and age, the reasons why it is I canít tell you. In Joe Louisís time this was one of the weak spots that he would punch at. Regardless of its legality it still gets hit accidentally and intentionally. My advice in protecting your kidneys is what I said earlier; do not show your back to your opponent.
I think the Kidneys have on occasion stolen the credit of one unsung organ-- the Spleen. Back in the fighting days of Joe Gans, it wasnít unheard of to hurt your man with a blow to the spleen. Nowadays in boxing it is all but forgotten. The Spleen is the second largest gland in your body, and just like a blow to the liver it can be very painful getting hit there. The Spleen is located in the left side of your body, and is well protected by your ribs. I might be mistaken but I think since most boxers fight in the orthodox stance, that perhaps itís possible to land a digging right uppercut into an opponents spleen after slipping their jab.
An important punch to add to any fighterís arsenal is the punch to the heart. Back in the day, a hard punch to the heart was recognized as a legitimate knockout blow, and in some cases it caused death. A well timed blow to the heart can leave you doubling over with a deep sinking sensation, and youíll find that you are practically paralyzed as you may not be able to move your legs, let alone stand up. Upon receiving the heart blow you also may have trouble breathing. Youíd still be conscious after receiving such a blow, but youíd be helpless to do anything, even if youíre hearing the count of ten. A fit man usually recovers from the heart punch but will have to cope with the pain that lasts for hours afterward. Thereís always the possibility of death as with attacking all the vital points, but the heart is probably among the most dangerous of the bunch to get hit at.
To keep the heart protected a fighter may stand nearly sideways with the upper body slightly slanted to the side as to not give their opponent a flush target to land on. Right handed blows can be easily warded off with a simple roll of the shoulder. You might have to deal with your opponentís straight left lead but in this stance you will have no problem defending against it or countering it as you see fit. Now unless you are the kind of fighter that likes getting in exchanges you otherwise might not get so many opportunities to land a blow to their heart. This being said it would require a clever set-up just to get the opportunity to land such a punch.
Anyways here are a few very good set-ups that you can practice:
Originally Posted by greynotsoold
Originally Posted by greynotsoold
If you hear a voice within you saying that I am not a painter, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.