1. Double Jab
"One good jab thrown twice in a row does not a double jab make. There is a distinct difference between getting hit with two jabs and getting tagged by a double jab. You know it when it happens."
"Lots of power in this combo. LOTS. You can change a person's whole day with this one. Requires excellent body mechanics to pull off smoothly, though, or it will be badly telegraphed and catch nothing but air."
"Offensively tricky. Most fighters are expecting the third punch to be a hook and might find themselves anticipating it - even the experienced ones who should know better. When they split their guard to cover for it, the second cross finds a home."
"Similar to number two on this list in that it has tremendous power, but it is not as defensively sound as far as I am concerned. Lead uppercuts are notoriously difficult to pull off, but when it happens they can be devastatingly effective. The nice thing about this combination is that the uppercut puts the chin up and that gives the hook some options, like catching the outside of the jaw...though I prefer trying to tag the temple or behind the ear with it, turning the knuckles over as I throw. That's just me, though; your mileage may vary."
"I am not a 'big' combination lover, as in I believe that there is definitely a point of diminishing returns the more punches you throw. The body just has a limit as to how effectively it can generate speed, power and accuracy over longer combinations, not to mention technical breakdowns that begin to occur. That said, if you manage to rattle off the first four, go for the hook; putting someone on his or her heels with four straights just makes that hook all the more promising. But beware the counter, because it is coming..."
6. Jab/Cross/Jab/Cross/Body Hook
"All of number five, but LIVER. Serve this one with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. Old joke is old, I know..."
7. Cross/Body Hook
"A lost art, mostly because fighters fear the counter. But oh what a game changer this can be, especially if you catch the person overprotecting their head and not keeping their body tight. Slamming away on someone's guard has its place, but there is magic to be found just a few inches lower."
"This requires an 'educated" lead hand. You are not going to pull this off without some level of speed on the lead. The jab needs to be snappy so that the same-side hook can come back around the parry or the guard, depending on your opponent's reaction. The cross at the end is as much to keep him or her on the defensive as it is to attempt a finish. Just remember, those first two punches? The counter to them is a straight right and if you're sloppy or slow, you are going to get hurt."
9. Body Cross/Hook
"That lead cross can mess a person up; it immediately puts him or her on the defensive and can sometimes move them backward. If they 'turtle' or 'stonewall' you, the hook can find space around that, but if they move back a step or two as well? So much power follows. Think of Mike Tyson's leaping left hook - that's what you get with this. It's also one of the few times you can commit everything to that first punch without destroying your chances of an effective follow up; the body mechanics are so natural with this one that it forgives overcommitment."
10. Body Jab
"No, it doesn't do a lot of damage...but it sure messes with a person. When you land this, the other person always looks confused, like when someone stumbles then looks down to see what tripped up his or her feet...and gets that perplexed "did that just happen" face when they don't see anything. I love that face during sparring."
Those are our favorites. What are yours?
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