The Left Uppercut at Short Range – Infighting Accuracy!

by Fran on June 13, 2010

About the Short Range Left Uppercut

As with the short range right uppercut, this short range left uppercut is one of the key shots used during ‘infighting’.  When you are attempting to suppress an aggressive opponent who’s main strategy is to overrun your defenses with consistent attacks, using this short range gem-of-a-shot to split their guard is often a very effective way of meeting ‘fire with fire’.  It’s important that the technique of this shot is perfect (we aim for a perfectly vertical trajectory), but more important is that the uppercut is thrown with the intention of landing fast and hard on the target.  Let’s not beat about the bush here, this shot is designed to break the will of an opponent by rocking the head back, which also helps to make the referee very nervous about allowing the contest to continue!

Alongside the short range right uppercut, this shot can be used in combination with the short range right hook and short range left hook.  Great power can be generated and these hooks and uppercuts may be thrown in very quick succession, enabling lightning fast ‘machine gun’ style combinations to be unleashed.  Review the article on boxing range, and begin thinking about how you can join these shots together to form coherent, effective combinations.

Watch the video, read the point by point mechanics below, and as always leave comments or questions as you see fit!

The Mechanics of the Short Range Left Uppercut

When throwing the left uppercut, be aware that the left forearm will provide some defensive cover, allowing oncoming straight shots to be blocked.

  1. From the boxing stance , the first action is a push from the front foot.  The push or ‘thrust’ should be ’sharp’ and explosive, driving the left hip upwards and clockwise at the same time.
  2. As the rotation is taking place, the left hand tu rnsclockwise by 90 degrees, so that the palm faces you.
  3. As the shot approaches the target (accelerating as with all other punches), the forearm should be perpendicular, with the elbow pointing directly at the ground.  The total distance covered by the fist is 4 to 6 inches.  This very short distance means that the explosive drive from the front foot is absolutely critical, otherwise the shot will lack power.
  4. As the shot lands, the fist clenches, ‘snapping’ onto the target.
  5. On completion, the arm is returned to the starting position as quickly as possible, providing effective defence against counter attack.
  6. Throughout the execution of the shot, the left forearm provides a great deal of protection to you own body.  When attacking, don’t forget defence!

Common Faults with the Short Range Left Uppercut

The following problems can occur when throwing the short range left uppercut:

  1. Remember that if an uppercut lands and the arm is not vertical, then it’s technically not an uppercut, it’s a hook.  Whilst this isn’t a particularly troublesome problem (based on the logic that if a punch lands then it’s a good punch), understanding the distinction between hooks and uppercuts will assist your understanding of boxing punches.  It’s also worth noting an uppercut should travel between the opponent’s guard, so if it’s vertical it has more chance of not being deflected by one of the guarding arms.
  2. The left arm drops before the shot goes, exaggerating the uppercut.  The boxer can feel that by winding the shot up in this way that more power will be generated.  This is not true as all that happens is that the punch is telegraphed and a big hole is made in your defence before your shot even gets near the target.
  3. As with all left arm work, be careful not to allow the right hand to drop from the guard position!

It stands to reason then that a boxer can often throw as many as 4 or 5 alternated short range shots per second (again, the short range right hook is a real option for a follow on shot.)  These shots will not only be delivered at a rapid rate, but also carry quite a bit of ‘punch’ and the opponent will know that they’ve been hit!

Again, leave a comment with your thoughts!

Cheers

Fran

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