Tuesday night’s first lesson was a pre-class rehearsal for Forest School of Karate. Continuing our experimental lesson last month, they will be streaming me into their lesson and we will be using footage from past masters of certain classic boxing punches. By having this private lesson with their head teacher and his son, they will have extra assistance on the day.
Tonight we looked at rear hand variations on punches that go straight to a target. After a warm up we began with the simple straight right. This is the most basic of rear hand punches. Alexis Arguello gives us the best textbook example of this punch and modern boxing in general. We used a highlight reel to inspire us and then completed a three minute round incorporating this punch into combinations, footwork and tactics.
Round two used the great Joe Louis to demonstrate the cross. This is a straight right (but some argue can also be a rear hook) that crosses over an opponent’s lead arm. Joe Louis threw his version of the punch in a way that would be considered haphazard by today’s standards, which is interesting given that Louis is also held up as the exemplification of mechanical boxing. Louis’s cross was held back to generate more force and he even flared his elbow when dropping it. Unlike Aguello I would not use his example verbatim for beginners, but the way he used his body to throw this punch serves as inspiration.
Round three gave us Tommy Hearns. Hearns had a chopping right meaning that he threw a straight right or right cross but turned the punch down at the end. This gave the punch a lot of sting by creating extra brain shake in an opponent.
Round four did not have any available footage for good examples of the overhand right. However, I described the great Rocky Marciano, Max Baer and Ernie Shavers.
Round five was when we switched to southpaw strategies, stepping to the outside and leading with the rear hand. The jabbing cross or rear straight is a very effective punch to pincer an opponent inside whilst being coupled with up-jabs, hooks to the body and question mark uppercuts from the outside lead side.
Round six was about putting it all together. We went through each of the punches within their respective combinations and strategies.