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I’m currently in the middle of Les Mills COMBAT as a sort of overview before joining a local MMA guy with my hubby. Taekwondo, Capoera, Jujitsu, boxing… lots of different things.

My biggest points of weakness are uppercuts (particularly continuous ones), and roundhouse kicks. I just… can’t figure out how my body is supposed to feel while doing them. Form is SUPER important to me, so I just always want to make sure I’m capturing the move the way it should be done to prevent injury and get the most benefit from it.

Anyone with any personal pointers they’d care to share?

 

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I'm trying to get the feeling for them both from the ground up, through the hips to the core to the impact point. It's just so new to me... and watching my videos, I feel like I am WAY off what they are doing (though hubby doesn't correct me and he's been doing MMA for years). It just feels like bad form. You know when you do a move right and that light bulb clicks? Haven't had that on these two :/

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Uppercuts can be tough. There's a hip torque and a follow through. Both can be hard to get.

Honestly, I cannot imagine a roundhouse kick wo actually having something to kick. Kicking air, which we all do in shadow boxing, isn't nearly the same.

Can you start working w the coach?

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One thing to keep in mind (and put on repeat) with nearly any technique is MORE ASS. By that I mean that almost every technique's foundation is powerful hip extension. An old Soviet study analyzed the movement of boxers, showing how the more advanced punchers have more leg activity and less arm extension than less-experienced ones. This was also confirmed of power punchers vs. speed boxers.

 

It's all about ass.

 

Checkpoints to remember with the uppercut:

 

> Keep the angle of the arm relatively constant. People like to uppercut with a bicep curl--this is incorrect; you break the lines of energy. 90 degrees is the optimal angle.

> "Stab" the target with your forearm. The fist is the tip, elbow behind the fist for optimal force transfer. You always stab 90 degrees, otherwise it's a slash.

> "Cute punches." The elbows should not pass your body posteriorly when you cock the punch. Instead, rely more on leg drive and shoulder rotation. (1. Bend at the waist, and point your opposite shoulder towards your opponent. This feels a bit weird with a lead uppercut. 2. Drive up from the ground, rotate your torso, and transfer the ground force all the way through your fist. Stab.)

 

Checkpoints to remember with the roundhouse:

 

> On your supporting leg, point your toes to the direction of power. The Dutch like to step and plant flat-footed. The Thais like to go on the balls of their feet and rotate. It's up to you.

> Your legs should not move ahead of your hips. This is inefficient and you lose power. Imagine your legs as a pair of nunchucks.

> The torso rotates the opposite way. Imagine rowing a boat with one oar.

> Hit with your shins, not the foot. In general, high shin for low kicks, middle shin for mid kicks, and low shin for high kicks. (Unless of course you're going for points.)

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You're going to be far better off getting the advice of an instructor in person. As with virtually all strikes, balance, foot position and hip drive are all crucial to doing it properly. However as we are all different, the optimal combination of those factors varies from person to person. The foot angle that works for me can't be exactly copied to you with the same results etc. An instructor can see what you are doing in real time and use their knowledge and experience of body mechanics to help you find the optimal combination of those and other factors that works for you.

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