How to Punch Harder in a Street Fight

A street fight is something that almost everyone experiences somewhere in life. In fact, nowadays it has become so common that many consider it a standard form of entertainment. The bad thing is that street fighting is very dangerous due to its unpredictable and violent nature. The best advice for a street fight is to try your best to avoid the fight, but sometimes it’s simply not possible to avoid it. In such a situation, a person must be trained well to defend and protect himself from the offender.

A boxer must learn how to punch harder in a street fight as fighting in a street is different from fighting in a ring. It’s also recommended keeping this self defence equipment in your pocket all the time to be on the safe side.


Since a street fight has no rules and is fought without gloves, you should practice for it keeping the street fight’s scenario in mind. 

Following are the tips that would help you perform better in a street fight. 

1)Condition Your Knuckles 

In a street fight there are no gloves or protective equipment. One has to fight with bare fists, and punching someone’s jaw or head with naked fists can result in deep cuts to your skin or fracturing of the knuckles. 

Since the fists are basically not made for punching, they need to be strengthened and conditioned for this job. A practical boxer will not only learn how to punch the head with bare knuckles and but also strengthen the tools involved in it.  

So, the first thing you need to do is to condition your hands to a street fight by training on a heavy bag(see my recommended heavy bag here) regularly with bare fists.  This would help you strengthen your bones and make your skin tougher, thus minimizing the chances of injury to your hand in case you punch someone with a bare fist.  

Also Read : How Heavy Are Boxing Gloves.

2)Throw the First Punch 

Keep an eye at your opponent’s hand and body language. If he has his fists clenched and it’s clear that you’re in danger and the situation has reached to the point of no return, then throw the first punch and don’t wait for your opponent to hit you. The winner of a fight is usually the one who attacks first. It’s difficult to win a fight if you are in the defense mode right from the beginning. 

The best advantage you can get from it is to end the fight even before your opponent gets the time to react. Throwing a punch, that lands on the right place would either knock out your opponent or create the opportunity for you to throw more punches. 

So, keep pushing forward and be aggressive especially if your opponent is bigger than you. 

3)Punch Hard in a Street Fight 

Increase your general punching power. I’ll discuss that in detail in the next section.  

A Single powerful punch is better in knocking your opponent down than many weak punches. So develop some extra power in your punches by doing some regular workout on a punch bag.

Read Also: What Punching Bag Weight Should I get?

4)Hit, Don’t Push 

Your punches should be hitting you opponent and not pushing him. Retract your hand immediately after hitting the opponent’s body. Pushing with your punches will decrease you speed and make you tired earlier. 

5)Bend Your Knees 

Bending the knees is basic rule in boxing. Bending the knees lowers your center of gravity and increases your surface area. This increase your stability and decreases your chances of losing balance in the fight.  

Moreover, it also increases you punching power by improving the force transmission from all over your body. 

6)Move Away After Attacking 

There are chances that your opponent will throw punches after you have taken your turn. So, don’t forget to do the footwork and move away when you want to give a pause between the punches. This will you help you protect yourself from your opponent’s punches and kicks. 


The higher your strength and general punching power the harder you’ll be able to hit in a street fight. So, if you want to perform better in a street fight, you should do some practice and workout to improve your punching power in general. 

Following are some useful tips that would help you improve your punching power. 

1)Master Your Technique  

You can punch harder only if you are using the right technique. Using the right technique will not only improve your punch power but also increases your punch efficiency and accuracy. 

2)Build Your Muscles. 

Getting stronger increases your punch power. The stronger you are the more powerful your punches would be. Most boxers perform exercises to strengthen their leg and core muscles.

Weight lifting also helps to some extent. However, increasing the muscle mass too much can decrease your speed, resulting in a net loss of power. So, exercises like squats(see recommended read for squats), rotational core works, polymetric push-ups, and single handball throw can help you improve your strength. 

3)Learn Force Transmission 

The most emphasized factor in boxing training is to learn how to transmit force all the way from your feet to your hand. This is much more important than developing your muscles and increasing your strength. Boxing is a full-body movement.  Only using your arms to generate force renders your punches ineffective.  

You would have heard that Mike Tyson’s knockout power came from his toes and that’s 100% correct. An expert boxer’s punch starts right from the toe and reaches all the way to the fist. 

4) Improve Your Body Rotation 

Rotation of your shoulders and torso adds extra velocity your punches. This additional torque can increase your force several folds. 

So, perform exercises that improves your body rotation. 

6)Increase Your Speed 

Power is a product of speed and mass. So, improving the speed can compensate for a heavy hand. There are several exercises that can help you increase your punching speed. You can use a speed bag instead of a heavy bag if your aim is to increase your punching speed rather than your power.

6)Improve Punch Accuracy 

Throwing punches precisely on a moving target is not easy. Punching power is useless if you can’t hit the target. Hitting areas other than what you aimed at can result in severe damage to your knuckles.  

You can use speed bags and double end bags to improve accuracy. Sparring is the best way to increase punch accuracy and co-ordination. 

7) Strengthen Your Legs 

As I’ve already stated, boxing is a full-body exercise. You have to move your legs a lot while boxing. Moreover, keeping the knees bent also needs strong muscles. You can strengthen your leg muscles with squats, running, and cycling. 

Common Mistakes in a Street Fight 

These are the mistake that you need to avoid if you don’t want to face any epic fails in a street fight. 

1) Allowing Someone to Make the First Move. 

It’s nice if you want to avoid fight and not hurt someone, but waiting too long to take action for self-defense is one of the biggest fails in a fight 

It doesn’t means that you should start every argument with a punch. Just be alert and capable of recognizing the signals of violence. At least look for warning signs of aggression from your opponent so that you can change your location or position to decrease your venerability to a punch.

It’s not only about punching first, it’s actually prevention and control. You have to gain control of the situation for your own safety. You can’t afford losing a street fight as you don’t know what the opponent’s going to do with you after knocking you down. 

2) Assuming that Your Opponent will Move as You Expect  

One of the biggest challenges of a fight is to guess how your opponent will move. There are some general standardized ways of moving and attacking on the ringside. It’s easier to figure out the movement of your opponent in a regular fight, but in a street fight, it become much more difficult to guess how will your opponent move.  

So, try not to get knocked out by a single punch. It’s important to not expect that the opponent will attack you in a certain way and be prepared for an attack from any direction.

 3) Believing That You Won’t be Hurt 

Some people don’t care much about their safety and think that they are untouchable. This makes them a bit careless during a confrontation. They think that they won’t be punched in the face in a real fight and that is, of course, a totally wrong presumption.

This makes any punch surprising for them and their chances of surviving an unexpected punch are almost equal to none. 

How to Avoid Fracturing Your Knuckles 

It’s quite common to get your skin bruised or knuckles fractured during a fistfight. Hitting and unpadded skull with an unprotected fist result in Boxer’s Fracture

Taking the following precautions would help you minimize the chances of breaking your hand. 

Make a Really Tight Fist 

Making a tight fist is the most important protective measure against getting your hand injured.  

It’s not a big deal. You can make a tight fist as follows. First, extend your hand completely. Roll over your finger until your nails dig into your palm. Place your thumb between the first and second finger joint so that it tightens the fist. That’s it.

Don’t Hit a Very Hard Area 

You should in the first place try to hit the softer parts of the body like the ribs, abdomen or liver etc. However, if you really want to punch your opponent in the head, then don’t aim for the top of head, brow, and forehead as the bone in these areas is the thickest. 

So, to be safe, aim for the chin, nose, the jaw and the side of neck. 

Punch With the Index and Middle Finger

Hitting with index and middle fingers is the safest method of punching. This position might feel awkward but it’s the most natural position for a punch. It aligns your fist with your wrist and forearm, reducing the risk of any fracture at the wrist joint. You will have to do some practice in order to be able to hit with these two fingers consciously.


Even if you are very thin and skinny, you can punch hard with an enormous power. Many boxers were linke Tommy Hearns would punch whith a huge force despite being skinny. All you need to punch hard is the appropriate training and genetic factors to maximize your force.

Reasons A Skinny Person Can Punch Hard

Low Fat

Most people that are skinny look so only because they have lesser amount of body fat i.e 5-8%. This doesn’t means they lack in the mass of the muscles too. An appearently skinny person can puch as hard as anyone.

Length Of The Muscle Belly

Even if a person has low muscle mass, he can punch harder. The reason is that muscle mass is not the sole determinant of punching power. Length of your muscle is also important when it comes to punching power.

If a person has a longer muscle, his punching power will be less compared to the person with shorter muscles.

Fast Twitch To Slow Twitch Muscle Ratio

There are two types of fiber in our musles. Fast twitch and slow twitch musle fiber. Slow twitch musle fibers are suitable for long term use and endurance. On the other hand fast twitch fibers are for extreme and explosive powers. Our muscles have both of these fibers in variable proportions.

A person having higher proportion of fast twitch fibers will punch harder even if he is skinny and have very low muscle mass. This ratio is something detemined by genetics and cannot be increased by any means.

Location Of The Muscle’s Insertion

Insertion is the point where a muscle is anchored into a movable bone. If the location of a muscle is away from a joint, it makes that muscle much stringer than a similar muscle with insertion near to a joint. That the reason some athletes are so powerful despite being skinny and thin.

Timing And Reflexes

The timing of throwing a punch and the coordination of the punch with the rest of the body is one of the most important determing factor of a powerful punch. The difference between a professional boxer and a normal person is that a boxer know how to throw a punch the right way. That’s all you need to learn and you’ll be able to throw deadly punches even if you are skinny.

I hope this post would have helped you learning how to punch harder in a street fight

Let me know in the comment section if you have ever experienced a street fight and how you tackled the situation.

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