Strike the Center of Mass – A Boxing How To Guide on the Right Uppercut Body Punch

Knowing how to land a body punch in the perfect spot is true boxing skill. The right uppercut (assuming an orthodox boxer) is a really clever punch for 3 key reasons. Firstly, the right uppercut strikes the centre of mass. At the centre of mass is the solar plexus, a group of nerves located behind the stomach. A punch to the solar plexus often leads to a range of complications, a number of which may include more than a little writhing around on the ground in shuddering agony.

The second reason that the right uppercut is such a smart boxing shot is that it is thrown in ‘stealth’ mode, approaching the target at low-level and being partially obscured by the opponent’s own guarding arms. The final reason why knowing how to throw the perfect right uppercut is ‘total boxing’ is that it is probably the most difficult single punch to defend. Conventional boxing blocks do not work well unless the boxer has full sight of the incoming punch, so the main form of defense is footwork combined with body movements. Knowing how evade this punch at mid and short-range requires an advanced set of boxing skills.

Boxing How to Guide – The Mechanics

Let’s look now at how to break down the right uppercut to the body down to it’s constituent parts.

  1. From the boxing stance, the first action is a drop of the knees; a duck. The duck is a very simple skill, just make sure that you bend your knees and not your waist.
  2. As you are ducking, drive an explosive thrust from the ball of your back foot. This thrust both initiates the punch and provides the power to rotate the hips and upper body. This action is what gives the shot its massive power.
  3. The thrust that you generate from your back foot results in major counter-clockwise rotation of the hips and upper body. Keep the back straight and rotate around your central axis, the imaginary line that travels vertically from the top of your head into the ground.
  4. As your upper body reaches the farthest point in its rotation, the back hand (right hand for orthodox, left hand for southpaw) starts it’s journey to the target. Your fist must accelerate toward the target and not travel at a constant speed. Think of the ‘crack’ of a whip-lash, this crack is caused by the acceleration of the whip. The same principle is in play when throwing any boxing shot, the right uppercut to the body included.
  5. For your uppercut to the body to be a true uppercut, it must land with the forearm aligned with the opponent’s vertical, central axis, that is it must travel on the same vertical plane. If it isn’t then the punch is a short right hook. It is still a good punch I hasten to add, just not technically an uppercut. Technical accuracy is important.
  6. Having landed the punch, your arm should return to the guard position as quickly as possible.
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Boxing How to Guide – Common Faults

There are three main faults to be aware of:

  1. Ensure that you do not allow the punching arm to travel too low only to come back up to the target. Despite what you may think, this method of punching does not add power. Think in terms of the shorter the shot, the greater the impact. Take as direct a path as possible.
  2. Make sure the punch aligns with the central axis as it lands otherwise it is not an uppercut, it is a hook.
  3. Ensure that your guard stays intact and your lead hand remains in a strongly protective position.
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The right uppercut to the body is a brilliant punch that when thrown and landed can have absolutely devastating results for the opponent. Know how to throw this punch in a boxing situation and you will offer the kind of ‘stealth threat’ that can win fights.

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by Fran Sands