Common Mistakes with the Basic Stance 4
Common Mistake 4. Not keeping your chin 'tucked'
Your chin can be thought of as the steering wheel of your brain. A rapid and hard punch to the front of the chin that forces it backwards (as occurs during a hard right cross) will cause the brain to travel quickly into the opposite direction (quickly forwards until it smashes into the inside front of the skull). This also occurs sideways eg a hard left hook will quickly move the jaw to the right. As a result of this the brain will travel quickly to the left and smash against the inside left side of the skull. Finally this can also occur in an upward fashion eg during an uppercut. Here the snapping upwards of the chin causes the brain to smash against the inside back of the skullIt therefore becomes imperative that the chin is not only protected during defense but also during offense so that whichever hand is not punching is 'glued' to your jaw. If this does not occur a fighter leaves themselves open to counter attack (explained in further detail in future posts).
By stabilizing your jaw between your hand and shoulder you prevent or reduce the direct access to the jaw and the movement to the brain that can follow, thereby reducing the likelihood of a knockout. There are a number of ways to train keeping your chin down
A) Shadow box in front of a mirror. Make sure you can see yourself ensuring that you are tucking your chin and not looking down. When you punch make sure that your jaw is protected by the shoulder on the same side as your punch and by your other hand on the opposite side of the punch. Watch yourself carefully both when performing footwork and punching as any time that you can see your jaw means that your opponent will be able to too.
B) Film yourself shadow boxing, hitting the heavy bag, doing pads and sparring then watch it back in slow motion. This is a great learning tool and you'll be surprised how much you can improve your technique once you know what to look for. However for now if we focus simply on your chin try to see if their are any particular punches where u expose yourself a lot and when you expose your chin the most e.g always whether your shadow boxing, hitting the bag or sparring. If this is the case then you have developed yourself a bad habit and need to go back to the drawing board and the 1st post to tighten up your guard.
If you only expose yourself when punching hard eg the bag or in unexpected situations eg sparring then continue practicing perfectly and closely monitoring your technique.
C) Place a ball under your chin and shadow box. If you notice the ball dropping many times in a round then this is a good indication that you are not keeping your chin down enough.