Take a punch is something every karate fighter has to do. Only a fool would assume that he could walk out of a karate match, or a kung fu fight or taekwondo contest, without taking a punch. So this article is going to tell you how to survive getting hit.
First, it goes without saying that you are going to need conditioning, and plenty of it. This is going to be very specific conditioning, but if you are in good condition then you will know if you can take a punch. This conditioning will cover the torso and the head, as they are the primary targets in a fight.
You should concentrate on the basic body calisthenics such as sit ups, push ups, and that sort of thing. Honestly, you should be able to do hundreds of them, and with no effort. If you can do them with no effort, your body is going to be tight and taut and able to absorb punches with ease.
The head is a different matter, as there aren’t any easy exercises to ‘strengthen’ the head. But one can survive a strike to the head if they understand what actually happens to the head when it gets hit. Understanding the ‘impact process’ will enable you to take punches with just one simple exercise.
When the head gets hit the brain bounces around inside the skull. The trick, then, is to position the head so that it doesn’t move much. The way to do this is to strengthen the neck muscles.
The way to strengthen the neck muscles, the one simple exercise, is to hold a tennis ball under the chin while training. This not only strengthens the neck, but it positions the head forward, which is good for bobbing and weaving and ducking under. Furthermore, when one does get hit the force goes down the neck, instead of creating a ‘whiplash effect’ in the head.
Now, when one is doing Karate or kung fu, one should be fighting more from a distance, using the legs, and keeping the head out of the action. However, as the fight closes, as the distance collapses, one should intuitively lower the head, make it more ‘bull like.’ This will enable one to slip the punches, and to even deflect them to the shoulders.
In closing, do a lot of basic body conditioning, old standards like sit ups, crunches, push ups, dips, pull ups, and that sort of thing. Specifically for the head, do the tennis ball under the chin trick to strengthen the neck. Whether it is the ring, a street fight, or even a karate match or kung fu contest, it’s not a pleasant thing to get hit, but with a little work you will be able to take a punch and walk away smiling.