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Straight Punch – Rear Hand (Cross) – Proper Pivot

One of the most important, but often neglected, components to throwing an effective Straight Punch with the Rear Hand (Cross) is to pivot properly with the back foot. This video reviews why the pivot is important and demonstrates three common mistakes to avoid while performing the pivot.


“Hello, this is Randall with KravMagaTraining.com. With this video, I’m going to discuss the straight punch with the rear hand or what’s also commonly referred to as the cross. And in particular, I’m going to discuss the pivoting because I’ve found with beginners this is the part where they are the least consistent about doing properly.

Okay, first of all, let me explain why the pivot is important. Everyone is taught to pivot with their back foot as they throw the punch. But there’s two main reasons why this is really important.

The first one is it allows you to generate power because it forces you to twist your body. So, if I keep this back foot flat right here and I try to punch, notice that I’m just arm punching like this. If I’m only using my arm I will only going to have so much power. Especially if I’m a smaller individual. So it’s really important for me to maximize my power that I need by rotating my whole body. Twist my hips. Twist my shoulder. And what allows me to do that is this back foot here. It’s the pivot.

Another reason why the pivot is very important is it allows you to maximize your reach. So once again, if I keep this foot flat back here and I throw my rear straight punch here, notice I can’t even reach the target. I’m almost like a foot away. As soon as I get up on the ball of my foot, get up on my toes and pivot, notice that not only can I hit the target but I can actually get through it.

So those are the two reasons why the pivot is really important. Because it allows you to, like I just said, to maximize your power and maximize your reach.

However, even if students, beginner students, are aware of this, sometimes they are not very consistent with it or they don’t necessarily do it correctly. I’m going to give you a few examples. Here are some things you might want to avoid.

Okay, the first what that is pretty common is just not pivoting at all. Yeah, they are twisting the hip like this, but notice how my back foot is staying pretty flat. You want to get that heal up off the ground and think about you’re putting out a cigarette. So if I just smoked cigarette, threw it down on the ground like an asshole, instead of throwing it in the trash like I’m supposed to, and if I want to put it out, I need to turn on it. I need to pivot. So make sure that heel comes off the ground. If your heel is not coming off the ground it means you’re being flat-footed. So that’s the biggest mistake.

Now, sometimes students, they also, especially if the target is too far away, the back foot tends to come off the ground. You don’t want to do this because you need to have a good base. You need to stay grounded into the ground for maximum balance and power. So make sure this back foot doesn’t come off the ground as you deliver the punch. If you need to compensate for the reach you don’t do it by leaning forward and being off balance like this. You do it by, once again, getting up your ball of foot and pivot. So don’t compensate by leaning. Compensate by pivoting properly.

Another small detail that beginners, even I’ve seen even intermediate level students tend to do, is they, they do pivot but not necessarily pivot with the correct part of their foot. The correct for the foot is supposed to be the ball of the foot. The padding underneath the toes. So if you watch carefully, notice how that part, that surface of my foot is making contact and turning on the ground. However, sometimes students think they are pivoting properly but what they are actually doing is they’re up on their tippy toes like this. Like they are on pointe. Like they are doing ballet or something. So it’s not your tippy toes that your pivoting, it’s not the end of your toes, it’s the ball of your foot. You want to feel your toes bend back. And that, like I said that padded part, so basically right here, this part. Not up here. Right here. That part. That’s the part that I want to pivot when I throw the cross. So, even though people think they are turning, they are not necessarily pivoting necessarily on the correct part of the foot.

So in my opinion those are the three things that I found are the most common mistakes. Like I said, everyone is taught properly how to deliver this punch but they’re not necessarily consistent about it. So remember, it’s important not only to maximize reach and power but also make sure that you are doing it correctly. Make sure the heel comes off the ground. Make sure that you don’t bring it off the ground. And make sure that when you do pivot it’s not the tippy toes. It’s the actual ball of the foot underneath the toes.

So here’s some minor details but they are actually very important to maximize the ability of your straight punch with your rear hand or your cross.”

“The Straight Punch with the Rear Hand (Cross) is the most important and commonly used punch in Krav Maga self-defense techniques, including many stick, gun, and knife defenses.”