Cross or Straight Punch

Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • Author
  • #2516

    Don’t discount boxing in your training program…

    Cross or Straight Punch

    The cross or straight punch is one of the four basic blows in western boxing. It is categorized as a direct strike and is delivered with the rear hand as opposed to the jab that is delivered with the lead or forward hand.

    Most hard arts or hand-to-hand combat systems have a variation of a straight punch. The Karateka have gyaku-zuki or the reverse punch as seen here:


    This is the straight punch in boxing:

    The straight or cross is a committed blow that can be devastating to the recipient or leave the donor open to a counter punch depending upon the success of the delivery. Normally the cross is delivered in conjunction with the jab or after a failed (slipped) jab from the opponent.

    To throw the straight punch push off your back (right) foot and pivot your hips and shoulders into the strike, which is SOP in most punching styles. Punch through the adversary with the right are in full extension and the center of balance resting on the left or lead leg when the hit is complete. Think drop step here. Do not drop your left guard because if the assailant sidesteps your straight, you are open big time.

    An excerpt from Jack Dempsey’s Championship Boxing…(a “must have” book simply for instructional purposes)

    THE STRAIGHT RIGHT JOLT IS THROWN FROM THE SAME POSITION AS THE STRAIGHT LEFT. Stand in your normal punching position. Your relaxed right hand is half-opened, and the upper knuckle of the thumb is about four inches in front of your lips.

    Without any preliminary movement of the right hand, shoot it at the chin-high spot on the bag as you do the falling step. Neither pull back nor cock the right before throwing it.

    As you step in to explode the second knuckle of your upright fist against the bag, your chin should be partially protected by your left shoulder, left arm and left hand. Remember that your left hand opens to make a “knife blade,” with the palm turned slightly toward your opponent. While the right fist is being thrown, the left hand and arm should stiffen for an instant in order to present a rigid barrier before the face in case an opponent attempts to strike with a countering right. The index knuckle of your opened left hand should remain about ten inches in front of your
    left eye as you step in. But the instant your right fist lands, your left hand should relax into its normal half-opened condition so that it will be ready to punch immediately, if necessary (Figure 13B).

    Straight punches for the body, with either hand, are begun and executed in the same manner as head punches. (Any change in position before the start would be a telltale.) When in motion, however, your fist turns so that the palm is down when the second knuckle explodes against the bag. Also, as you begin the body punch, you bend forward to slide under guarding arms and to make your own chin a less open target.

    As you practice those punches, keep your eyes wide open. Don’t close your eyes as you step in. Focus your eyes on your target, YOU MUST KEEP YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN AT ALL TIMES WHEN YOU ARE FIGHTING OR BOXING.

    Keep your eyes open; but keep your ears closed to the kibitzers and wise guys who may scoff at your early awkwardness in using the trigger step. They may tell you that you’re charging like a war horse. They may tell you that you’re merely poking as you would with a stick. They may

    (…and later in that treatise…)

    But let me stress this fact: NEITHER YOU NOR ANYONE ELSE WILL BE ABLE TO HIT AS HARD WITH A STRAIGHT PUNCH FROM THE SHOULDER WHIRL, WITHOUT THE FALLING STEP, AS WITH IT. I emphasize that because many instructors teach: “Never step with a straight punch unless you have to.” That instruction is wrong.

    The trigger step (falling step) must be part of your instinctive equipment before you begin experimenting with straight, shoulder-whirl punches. Otherwise, when you do have to step with a shoulder-whirl punch, you’ll be using the wrong type of step. When you step in with a left jab, you’ll be using a curved step; you’ll be letting your foot follow your whirl. And when you try to step with a straight right, you’ll be trying to “hit off the right foot” by “raring back,” like a baseball pitcher, before you throw the punch. A pitcher has time to rare back before he goes into his falling step, but if you rare back you’ll be a “catcher”.

    And from Wikipedia…

    It is a punch usually thrown with the dominant hand the instant an opponent leads with his opposite hand. The blow crosses over the leading arm, hence its name.

    From the guard position, the rear hand is thrown from the chin, crossing the body and travelling towards the target in a straight line. The rear shoulder is thrust forward and finishes just touching the outside of the chin. At the same time, the lead hand is retracted and tucked against the face to protect the inside of the chin. For additional power, the torso and hips are rotated anti-clockwise (for righties) as the cross is thrown. Weight is also transferred from the rear foot to the lead foot, resulting in the rear heel turning outwards as it acts as a fulcrum for the transfer of weight. Body rotation and the sudden weight transfer is what gives the cross its power. Like the jab, a half-step forward may be added. After the cross is thrown, the hand is retracted quickly and the guard position resumed. It can be used to counterpunch a jab, aiming for the opponent’s head (or a counter to a cross aimed at the body) or to set up a hook. The cross can also follow a jab, creating the classic “one-two combo.” The cross is also called a “straight” or “right.”

    From John Brown’s Boxing Manual:


    For the beginner, this will be your power punch because it is delivered with the weight of the body.

    1. The right is normally thrown after the left jab.
    2. Throw the right from the face and bring the right elbow up to about shoulder level.
    3. The left knee should be bent for balance.
    4. Your power will be derived by pushing and pivoting the right foot, whipping your right shoulder forward and pivoting the hips.
    5. Return the right immediately to the head.

Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
American Preppers Network Forum