So I thought this month I’d turn my focus to one specific technique. The right cross/straight right (or left cross if you’re south paw). There is a running joke amongst my students, that when things get too complicated, they just start hearing me say “right cross”. However, as the saying goes, many a true word said in jest. This particular technique has saved my bacon on a few occasions and is one of the most important techniques in my combative tool box. If you are looking for a particularly effective pre emptive strike, then this is one of my top recommendations.
Morel. E researched into the science behind this fabulous technique, which I have summed up here for you the reader. When you strike with the straight right hand, the core tightens and force is driven into the ground. The right hip rotates forward and the weight begins to transfer into the left leg, moving the left hip back. The kinetic energy that is being produced, travels from the left hip to the right shoulder, through the core, as the shoulder begins it’s counter clockwise rotation. The shoulder continues this rotation while the arm starts to extend and the rear foot pivots to increase speed and hip rotation.
As you can see from the research done, the corkscrew effect utilised by the entire body maximises power generation, which is why the right cross is so effective in knocking people out, in the ring, in the cage, on the mat or on the pavement.
So how do we train this to make it even better. As with most things there is an easy answer to this. If you want a good right cross, practice the right cross (see the video for a demonstration). Now, this is great, but if all you do all day is right cross, then you will have a great right cross, but you will also be building instabilities in the body, which bring their own set of problems, as there is no balance.
Now let’s look at another scenario, you get in a bit of bother one day and you need a pre emptive discussion with someone, but you’re not standing in your well practised lead, what do you do? If you ask nicely, maybe he’ll let you switch lead before you hit him? No. So here’s the deal. You should train to have a good cross in BOTH leads. You should make sure, you train your core as it is the connecting point for the upper and lower torso and you should make sure your technique from your toes to the end of your hand is spot on. Hit the bag, hit the pads, try it in sparring and make it functional.
Supplemental training. A commonly asked question. Will bench press improve my punching? To a point, yes, but it doesn’t mimic the exercise closely enough as you are supine. Bench is better for pushing a body off you while on the ground. A better way to train strength for your cross is to get a resistance band, predator band or decent cable machine and get in your stance, holding said handle/band and go through the mechanics of the cross under resistance. This training not only compliments your already existing striking training, but also mimics the technique from the floor up, allowing you whole body involvement in the exercise, just like the technique.
Remember folks, there are other exercises, but this I find to be the most functional and complementary along with my Push up variations and pad/bag work. Do your own research though, see what works for you, or come and see me or Val and we’ll help make your search easier.
On a final note. The right cross is my friend, it allows me a mental release on the pads, has got me out of trouble and is a great exercise to include in your workouts. Now go hit those pads and I’ll be back with more ramblings next month.