How to Take a Punch, A quick reference

Take a Blow to the Body

  1. Tighten your stomach muscles. (A body blow to the gut (solar plexus) can damage organs and kill. This sort of punch is one of the best and easiest ways to knock someone out. (Harry Houdini was killed by an unexpected blow to the abdomen.))
  2. Do not suck in your stomach if you expect that a punch is imminent.
  3. If possible, shift slightly so that the blow hits your side, but do not flinch or move away from the punch. (Try to absorb the blow with your obliques this is the set of muscles on your side that wraps around your ribs. While a blow to this area may crack a rib, it is less likely to do damage to internal organs.)

Take a Blow to the Head

  1. Move toward the blow, not away from it. (Getting punched while moving backward will result in the head taking the punch at full force. A punch to the face can cause head whipping, where the brain moves suddenly inside the skull, and can cause severe injury or death.)
  2. Tighten your neck muscles and clench your jaw to avoid scraping of the upper and lower palettes.

To Fend off a Straight Punch

  1. The straight punch-one that comes straight at your face-should be countered by moving toward the blow.
  2. A punch can be absorbed most effectively and with the least injury by the forehead. (Avoid getting taking the punch in the nose, which is extremely painful.)
  3. Attempt to deflect the blow with an arm.
  4. Moving into the punch may result in your attacker missing the mark wide to either side.
  5. (optional) Hit back with an uppercut or roundhouse.

To Fend off a Roundhouse Punch

  1. Clench your jaw. (A punch to the ear causes great pain and can break your jaw.)
  2. Move in close to your attacker. (Try to make the punch land harmlessly behind your head.)
  3. (optional) Hit back with an uppercut.

To Fend off an Uppercut

  1. Clench your neck and jaw. (An uppercut can much damage, whipping your head back, easily breaking your jaw or your nose.)
  2. Use your arm to absorb some of the impact or deflect the blow to the side-anything to minimize the impact of a straight punch to the jaw.
  3. Do not step into this punch. (If possible, move your head to the side.)
  4. (optional) Hit back with a straight punch to the face or with an uppercut of your own.

(see more helpful hints at )

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