HELLO! I am trying to build up my Wing Chun punch speed. I lay down and do chain punches with elastic bands and in the air. I turn my hands off and punch from the elbow. Do you have any tips or will it come with time?

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Answer: It will come with time! I remember learning to execute an effective straight punch and roll punch (chain punch) and then the cover punch (trapping)…

For the longest time I felt like my punches were as deadly as hitting the other guy with a pillow ;-(

My sifu at the time was a tough fighter and his straight punches, roll punches, and cover punches rocked my world and hurt like hell, so I never questioned if they worked. I only wondered how long and when it would work for me?

The exercises you’re doing at home are good choices. I know others who use elastic bands. I’ve done and still do use roll punches in the air.

I’d add a couple more exercises to the mix:

    • Do the punches s-l-o-w-l-y in the air: This helps isolate the movement in your head and gives you time to see and feel how all the parts are moving and working together. Remember, you do NOT want to punch down. The punch should be straight like an arrow, into and through the target


    • Use a mirror: You can speed up your learning curve by using “visual” feedback. I’ve found that we often don’t know our mistakes because we don’t see them. But once you actually see (on your own) what you’re doing, you can make adjustments quickly (saving you a lot of time and speed up your training). It’s kind of like brushing your hair in the morning without a mirror – you’re probably going to miss a spot.


    • Hit something: Something soft-ish like a punching bag. Preferably something a bit stationary. This will give you physical feedback, maybe it’s technically called “kinesthetic” feedback. If you’re hitting down, hitting something gives you feedback because you’ll be scraping the skin on your knuckles. Also, getting the

      straight-like-an-arrow motion is easier to do if you can feel your punch dig into the target.


    • Be careful with too much elastic band workout: I’ve found making my punches faster is matter of BOTH throwing my punch forward AND pulling it backward fast. As you get better you want your punches to snap and explode into your target. You especially want to do this with your chain and cover punching… Each punch explodes in rapid succession – not playing patty-cake and slapping your opponent, but actually making each one count. If they ever invent an automatic rocket propelled grenade launcher, that’s what you want to imagine your roll punches feel like.


    • Bend your knees: An effective punch comes starts from your feet. Bending your knees quickly gets your body in the right position(s) to deliver solid strikes.


    • Use the hips, just enough: When you’re new the focus is all on the arms, elbow, and maybe the shoulders. As you get better you understand you need to put your hips behind the strike, that extra little bit adds a lot of mass behind the fist making it much more powerful. You have to train this because you don’t want to over-commit either. Just enough for extra leverage without losing structure or balance.


  • It takes some time, just like anything else: Some get it faster than others. And once you figure out one part you realize you’re lacking somewhere else. Just last year I started getting the hips thing. It’s a very small distinction but has made a world of difference for me, and others at my kwoon who “got” that part too.

Keep up your training and it will come. One thing that I can say now, after all my personal training perfecting my Wing Chun punch is that it is not really a “punch”. It’s not really about the fist alone. Your whole body works together to get the power and speed and interuptability.

Discover Wing Chun kicks.

Take a look at a list of Wing Chun blocks.

Learn about the 6 Wing Chun forms.

…Or share your tips for making the Wing Chun punch faster and more deadly with a comment below.