When it comes to the more traditional striking arts like Kung Fu, Karate and Taekwondo, as the more obvious examples, the reverse punching method can be regarded as one of the more famous, or at least well known, of the striking art techniques but sadly however it is also often overlooked, and in some cases, totally ignored when it comes to basic training within classes that involves what many would term as ‘one step combat’ practice.
For those not familiar with ‘One Step Combat’ training this is a well know method of teaching beginners the basics with a partner within a class. It simply involves a person taking a single one step forward to close the gap between themselves and their opponent and then throwing one punch. In most basic training sessions of this nature this is done with a leading hand strike. They then stand still with their punching arm sticking out while the other person works out how to block the punch and strike back.
Total new beginners, when first attending classes, will be shown how to do one step practice, after learning the basic strikes, blocks and kicks first of course, before learning how to block and counter strike against punch attacks from a person.
The most common used attack method for basic practice tends to be the leading hand lunge style punch, although this can also include back fist and jab strikes for the more advanced students, in time. The leading hand striking method is so-called by the way, for those not familiar with this method of attack, because if the left leg is in the forward position upon stepping into striking range then the left hand does the strike.
Not only is the leading hand strike a popular, and a most used method, for new beginners to defend against it is also used the most in class and display demonstrations both in public and via instructional videos. Sadly however it is not the most versatile striking method compared to the reverse punch attack.
The reverse punch, so-called because if the left leg is in the forward position then it is the right hand that does the strike, is something of a more natural way of punching, compared to other striking methods, that can not only be used for attack purposes but also used as a counter striking method in addition. The reverse punch is always used within many of the various striking arts and is also a very popular method of striking, and counter striking, in competition events.
The traditional arts use it with the punch starting from the hip while boxers will use it from the shoulder position, for example, but it all comes down to just how you stand in the end. Just a simple case of punching with the left hand while standing with the right leg in the forward position. Or the other way round of course.
The reverse punch is something that can be performed with a locked arm action on completion of the strike or a fast recoiled jab motion that makes it somewhat very versatile in its use.
For beginners and low graded students alike learning how to block, and maybe take down an opponent, in practice sessions using the leading hand method is very practical but sadly this valid method of practice does tend to keep being used within martial art classes all the time without progressing on to more advanced methods of attack and defence such as defending against the reverse punch attack. Even knife attack training will often include the leading hand method the most but rarely knife strike defence against the reverse hand position method.
The thing is that the reverse punch way of attacking someone, be it with a fist or with a knife, is often done from that reverse position more than any other method because it is a more natural way of moving forward, or standing, when trying to inflict harm on someone. Therefore, for the more advanced students, being able to respond to that method of attack is vital.
It is well worth noting at this point that not only can someone throw a punch at you from this position without the need to move forward first but even someone not trained in the martial arts will also often use that way of trying to hit you and many times with good effect.
Everything a student will learn from a leading hand attack, and how you take someone down to the ground, while dealing with such a method of attack will all go flying out of the window when faced with the more practical and popular reverse punch attack method.
Try using the same methods that you have been trained in, regarding defence against leading hand strikes, against a reverse punch attack and you will soon find yourself failing unless you have experience of facing such attacks and have the ability to adapt to how the attacker is standing in front of you while throwing punches or knife strikes.
This is often due to leg positions not being the same and not getting the same results you would get with a leading hand strike. You will also find your throw and take down methods will also fail unless you adapt on the spot to such a situation.
On a final note – if you are an instructor then always ensure that the more advanced students learn how to defend themselves against reverse punch attacks, just as much as the leading hand attack, and also ensure that they know how to throw or take someone down to the ground against that form of attack.
If you are an instructor then rethink how you teach self defence and one step training methods when it comes to the reverse punch attacker and if you are a student then ensure that you are equally as effective when it comes to both of these forms of attack.