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How to Train and Use the Straight Lead Punch

The straight lead punch is arguably one of the most important techniques in Jeet Kune Do. Basically, it is a feeler, or one that you use in preparation for a major blow. It can be traced to boxing, and is still used in the sport these days. There are many combinations of the straight lead punch; but it retains one important information and that is the fact that it always done with the weak hand while the rear hand lies in wait as the power hand.

So what are the characteristics that make a punch the straight lead punch?

First off, the power of the punch comes from your entire body and not just your arm. Second, it is a snappy, long range punch with the elbow as the source of the snap. Third, it is a punch that only lands two inches through the target all the while still hitting with a snap. Why two inches? Because if you land more than that, your punch will lose the power from pushing instead of just hitting. This goes without saying that distance is very important when delivering a straight lead punch.

Since distance is the key to a successful delivery, then you must train in it using three different distances: the stationary, the advance with lead step and the push shuffle (otherwise known as the burst). When you stay stationary, you don’t move so the power of the punch originates from the twisting of your coiled rear foot.

When practicing your straight lead punch in the advance with lead step position, you take a step forward with your front foot. You should hit a split second before your front foot touches the ground. The rear foot should not be moved while doing all these.

With the push shuffle or the burst technique, you hit while you’re thrusting your whole body forward. The power of your punch will originate from your coiled rear foot as it’s pushing off. Like the lead step position, make sure that you have delivered the punch already before your front foot lands on the ground.

How to Perfect the Straight Lead Punch

Simply remember the following tips:

  1. The horizontal punch is the weakest way to generate a straight lead punch with knockout power. Instead, use a diagonal angle to deliver the punch. According to Bruce Lee, the diagonal angle is best for this technique because it protects the wrist and the bones in the hand while you’re delivering the punch.
  2. Work with a pound weight to get familiar with the feel of the elbow extension for that “snap”.
  3. Practice hitting a stationary focus glove with full power and with a two-inch penetration.

When perfecting the straight lead punch, stick with the basics, and you’ll have a simple but extremely effective tool in your arsenal. For more moves like these, check out www.FiveWaysofAttack.com .