The corkscrew punch has been around for over a century. It was created by Charles “Kid” McCoy, one of the famous boxers in the early 20th century. McCoy was a slick fighter who was known for using unorthodox techniques.
Legend says McCoy came up with the idea for the technique while watching a cat strike at a ball of string. The corkscrew punch tries to mimic this motion, and it incorporates a twisting motion of the wrist, which increases the likelihood of the punch opening up a cut.
The corkscrew punch isn’t limited to just boxing. It’s used in many other martial arts like Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, and Karate. Some would argue that the technique comes from one of these martial arts, not boxing. Twisting your wrist as you throw punches is one of the first things students of traditional martial arts learn.
However, many martial artists do not use the technique correctly since they only turn their wrists. Twisting your entire arm when throwing the punch is what makes it so effective in boxing. That adds more power to the punch while bringing your shoulder up to protect your chin.
Regardless of the true origins of the technique, it’s been used in boxing for over a century, and it’s often an integral part of boxing training. If you’ve ever been in a boxing gym, you’ve probably heard a trainer telling a boxer to ‘turn their punches over.’
Benefits Of Using The Corkscrew Punch
The corkscrew punch might be losing popularity these days, but it remains an effective tool for those who put in the work and master it. Countless fighters have been knocked out using corkscrew techniques over the years.
Some of the main benefits of corkscrewing punches include:
- Protects Your Hands: A boxer’s hands are their most important asset, and every punch they throw puts them at risk. Corkscrewing your arm engages your forearms more when you throw, providing extra stability to your wrists. The motion also lines up your knuckles with the target, ensuring that’s the first part of your fist that makes contact. Landing with your knuckles reduces the impact of your punches on the rest of your hand. Martial arts like karate also use corkscrewing techniques for the same reason.
- Protects Your Chin: Corkscrewing a punch automatically raises your shoulder, protecting your chin from any counters your opponent throws your way. Corkscrew your arm while reading this and see how your shoulders rise to protect your face, even when seated.
- Improves Your Defensive Posture: Corkscrewing a punch requires you to lean at an angle, making it harder for your opponent to counter your punch. Don’t overdo it, though, since it becomes easier to counter when you’re predictable.
Mastering The Corkscrew Punch
The corkscrew punch isn’t as effective at opening up cuts these days since boxers have a lot more protection on their hands. However, it still lands with more than enough devastating power to put fighters away.
The corkscrew punch technique isn’t limited to any single type of punch. You can corkscrew a hook, cross, or overhand punch.
The corkscrew technique isn’t as popular these days since it can be a complex technique to master. However, it can still be a powerful weapon when thrown correctly. Agile fighters tend to have the most considerable advantage when it comes to executing this technique.
Now that we’ve gone over the fundamentals of the corkscrew punch, let’s take a look at some of some ways you can use it inside the ring:
1) Corkscrewing Straight Punches
The corkscrew technique is easier with straight punches than any other type of punch. Your straight punches are your jab and cross.
To corkscrew a straight punch, you simply rotate your arm as you simultaneously extend your fist. Your palm should be facing down when the punch makes contact.
2) Corkscrewing Hooks To The Head
Rotate your arm while throwing the punch to corkscrew a hook or an overhand. To increase the power of your punch, make sure your elbow is at the same level as your hand when throwing a hook and slightly higher if throwing an overhand.
3) Corkscrewing Uppercuts
Using the corkscrew technique with uppercuts is typically the most challenging for most boxers to master since it doesn’t follow the same mechanics. You have to reverse the motion of the technique when throwing an uppercut.
Instead of rotating your arm inwards, you rotate them outward when corkscrewing your arm. This lines up your elbow with your fists, adding more power to the strike. It’s a savvy way to land powerful uppercuts up close and tight.
Here are some pointers that will help you refine your techniques:
1) Use Your Forearm To Generate Power In Your Wrist
Your forearms should always be engaged when you throw a punch, and the corkscrew punch is no exception. Keep your elbow in line with your wrist when throwing the technique. Throwing a punch without lining up your wrist with your elbow significantly reduces the power it lands with.
This means your elbows should shoot forward, moving in the same line as your wrist when throwing a jab. Your elbows should swing across when throwing a hook, and your elbow should move upward with your wrist when throwing an uppercut.
2) Rotate Your Entire Arm When Using The Technique
The corkscrew punch involves rotating your entire arm from your shoulders down to your fist. You want to start the punch with your palms at a horizontal angle, meaning your want your palms facing downward. This action naturally activates your elbow as you throw the punch, making it easier to corkscrew your arm.
3) Pick Your Poison
Maintaining a horizontal angle makes it easier to throw the corkscrew punch, but it also makes it more challenging to defend against it. Your elbows should be pointing downward when defending in a basic stance, but maintaining a horizontal angle forces them out, opening up your defense.
In practice, your palms will likely be facing inward when you’re throwing the corkscrew punch. This allows you to throw the technique without opening up your defense. Matter of fact, corkscrewing up your arm raises your shoulders, protecting your head from blows.
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