Notes for study (Dempsey, "Straight Punching From the Whirl"):
Muscles of the shoulders, back, stomach and legs cooperate in achieving
the whirl. Also, the process is assisted by shifting the weight from
one leg to the other. You need concern yourself only with the shoulder
motions. Nature will supervise the assisting muscles and movements.
You can best understand the
straight-punching whirl by feeling
it out-without using a target. Stand in the middle of a room with your
feet even (on sideways line) and comfortably separated. Place your
relaxed hands in easy guarding positions before each breast (Figure 18A).
Turn your shoulders easily to your own
left and, at the same
time, extend your right fist to the chin of an imaginary opponent. As
your right fist moves toward the opponent's chin, turn the fist so that
it will land palm-down.
Meanwhile, your left shoulder is well back, and
your relaxed left hand is still in front of your left breast. Aim at left
hand at the spot occupied by your extended right fist.
Now, SUDDENLY WHIRL YOUR SHOULDERS TO
YOUR RIGHT, AND LET THE
SHOULDER-WHIRL SHOOT YOUR LEFT FIST STRAIGHT AT THE SPOT JUST OCCUPIED
BY YOUR RIGHT FIST.
Be sure you let the whirl shoot your
fist instead of letting
your projecting left arm pull your left shoulder around. As your left
fist shoots at the imaginary target, turn your hand so that the fist
lands palm-down. Meanwhile, your right hand returns to its relaxed
guarding position before your right breast.
Practice that shoulder whirl on the bag.
Shoot one fist, then
the other-bang!-bang!-bang!-bang!-until you are striking out with a
rhythmic motion of the shoulders. Your shoulders should be swinging
back and forth like the handle bars of a bicycle. Do not move the feet.
Be sure that you explode each punch, MAKE CERTAIN THAT YOUR SHOULDERS
ARE DRIVING THE PUNCHES; THAT THE PUNCHES ARE NOT PULLING THE SHOULDERS.
That position-with the feet on an even
line-is ideal for
throwing straight punches from the whirl.
Unfortunately, however, that ideal
position is not your normal
punching position. Consequently, we'll have to return to your normal
punching stance and try the whirling straight punches from that
In the middle of the room, take your
normal stance, with your
hands in normal guarding positions. Practice the shoulder whirl easily
at first, without the bag. As your shoulders whip from side to side,
you'll note that your left leg acts as a pivot, above which your torso
and shoulders whirl (Figure 19A and B).
If you toe-in slightly with the left
foot, you'll get greater
freedom in the whirl from left to right-the whirl that shoots out your
left fist. And that particular whirl needs any assistance it can get.
When you're in normal position, your guarding left shoulder is so well
forward that you can't give it much whirl in shooting the left jab. You
can't unless you draw back the left shoulder. And if you do that you
may get your brains knocked out.
It's okay to use a slight toe-in with
the left foot; but keep
it slight. If you toe-in sharply, you may sprain or break your left
ankle when you do the falling step. Moreover, the more freedom you give
the whirl for your left jab with the toe-in, the less freedom you allow
the reverse whirl for your straight right. That's true despite the fact
that your left leg is serving as a pivot.
EACH SINGLE STRAIGHT PUNCH OF THE
WHIRLING TYPE WHETHER A LEAD
OR A COUNTER MUST BE DELIVERED FROM THE NORMAL PUNCHING POSITION.