Most fight fans love to see a good stand-up fight. Although the die-hard fans may enjoy breaking down angles and foot positions, most casual fans just want to see a big knockout or a back-and-forth slugfest. Many fighters have made their names through being particularly devastating power punchers, while others have gained notoriety for being able to take a big punch and continue moving forward. Some fighters are known for getting in and out of striking range without taking damage. Regardless of style, all strikers must understand and apply these essential principles in order to be successful.

Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman catching Jorge Masvidal off-balance and out of position

Being in Position

What does it mean to be in position? Position means to be in an appropriate stance, balanced and poised to defend oneself. Most effective knockouts are achieved through a fighter creating a situation that puts their opponent out of position, then capitalizing on their moment of vulnerability. Part of being in position is being balanced, which can be easier said than done. Balance is an essential attribute for all martial arts. Sometimes a fighter can over commit on a strike causing them to lose balance. Other times they could be driven backwards by their opponent, putting them on their heels. Elite fighters will use footwork to reposition themselves, causing their opponent to constantly recalibrate; making it difficult for them to set up their offense.

Michael Bisping capitalizing on Luke Rockhold being out of position. Not only was Rockhold reaching with his hands down, but Bisping had been able to drive him backwards; setting his balance on his heels


In the words of “The Notorious” Conor McGregor, “Precision beats power; timing beats speed.”

Timing is an essential part of any strikers toolbox. A punch can be thrown at the perfect distance with perfect form, yet if thrown at the wrong time can be a devastating mistake. Not only is this punch likely to completely miss the target, but it could put the striker out of position, allowing the opponent to gain the upper hand.

Conor McGregor perfectly timing Jose Aldo as he lunges in for a big punch
Anderson Silva firing a knockout kick at the perfect distance.


Distance is another key to success in striking. Just like timing and balance, distance management is a skill that takes time to develop. An experienced martial artist gains an accurate sense of how close they must be to land their strike and pull themselves out of harms way before their opponent fires back.

precision black background logo

Want to learn and master these essential principles of striking? Come check out Precision Boxing and MMA, the Hudson Valley’s premiere mixed martial arts academy. To get started with the best Poughkeepsie martial arts instructors, call us today at (845)392-8495 or click HERE!

About the Author

A lifelong Hudson Valley resident, Oliver Swanson began training martial arts in Poughkeepsie in 2016. He quickly fell in love with boxing, Muay Thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu and shaped his life around martial arts. He teaches boxing classes throughout the week at Precision Boxing and MMA and spends his spare time writing, playing music and enjoying nature.