So you’re not a trained boxer, but you want to work on your punching power? Then allow me to introduce you to a simple series of concepts called SWAMP. The ideas behind SWAMP will focus your mind on the five things that are important when you want to hit with maximum power.
These five things are:
- Stay relaxed
- Weapon moves first
- Accelerate the weapon
- Move towards the target
Use the acronym SWAMP to help you remember these five concepts.
When you’re nervous, you tense up. This nervous tension makes it impossible to move with speed and power. You must stay relaxed.
The best way to remain relaxed in a tense situation is to know exactly what you’re going to do. Have a plan of action. Even the best pro fighters follow a game plan.
Move the weapon first
Don’t telegraph your actions. Instead, move your fist (or whatever you’re striking with) first. The element of surprise is extremely important because the easiest thing an opponent can do is make you miss your punch or strike. Make it difficult for him to dodge your blow by moving your fist before you move the rest of your body.
Accelerate to the target
Start fast, and end up even faster. You want to accelerate your strike towards the target.
This concept is important when you consider that many people practice punching without hitting the pads or the heavy bag. When they do this, they intentionally slow down at the end of their punches to avoid hyperextending the elbow. Some people even “snap back” their punches, either to regain the guard position, or to avoid having an opponent grab their arm.
But for maximum punching power, you have to accelerate to the target and commit fully to the power of the strike.
Move to the target
Once your punch is on its way, you want to move your body weight towards the target. Or, at least, you want to move your body weight in line with the direction of your punch.
Getting your body behind the blow is a simple way to add power to your punch. So don’t be afraid to step in with a punch.
As I mentioned in the ‘accelerate‘ section, it’s important not to slow your punch down towards the end of your range of motion. Instead, penetrate the target. You should aim to finish your punches inside your opponent’s body (or inside the heavy bag), rather than on the surface.
For maximum power against resistance, snapping back is the wrong thing to do.
So there you have it, five proven concepts behind increasing your power, and an acronym you can use to remember those concepts.
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