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Straight Punch with Retreat Step Hand and Foot – Timing

One of the more challenging Level 1 combatives to learn is the Straight Punch with Retreat Step. The most difficult component to this punch is having proper timing with the feet and hands. This video explains the details to proper timing and training tips to help perform the timing correctly.


“This is Randall with KravMagaTraining.com. And in this video I’m going to discuss the Straight Punch with a Retreat Step and the timing of the punch along with your footwork. I’m going to discuss that in detail.

This is one of the more difficult combatives that our new students have to learn because of the coordination involved of having to move backwards, take a proper retreat step while delivering a straight punch. I’m going to discuss the timing on this.

First thing is, this is a common misconception in that a lot of people think that what you do is take a retreat step first and then throw a straight punch. There’s actually nothing wrong with that depending on the situation. But in my book that really is not what this technique is. To me that’s two different movements. You’re just putting them together. To me, what that is you are taking a retreat step and THEN throwing a straight punch. So I consider it two separate moves. Retreat step. Straight punch.

What I’m referring to is delivering the straight punch AS you’re taking the retreat step. This is important if you have a really aggressive opponent coming towards you. And now the difficulty with this for beginners is the timing involved and I’m going to talk about that.

The timing is this: As you’re moving backwards, so as I push off with the front leg, I want to start the delivery of the straight punch. So as I’m pushing off here, either hand, it doesn’t matter, is initiating the delivery of the strike. So that’s the first step to good timing.

The second part is when this back leg makes contact with the ground that’s when I should be making impact with my fist on the target. All right. It’s kind of hard for me to do it slowly but I’ll try to. This is what I’m referring to: Watch how this foot lands, this hand lands, almost simultaneously. Or if I was doing it with the cross side hand. That’s the timing that you’re shooting for. So in my book that’s a Straight Punch WITH a Retreat Step instead of two separate movements.

Now, like I said before, this is pretty difficult. So my training tip for anything that is difficult, regardless of it’s this combative or anything else for that matter, or really anything in life, is that to do it slowly. Just focus on the timing. Don’t worry about speed. Don’t worry about power. So just start really close to your target. Move real slowly, and focus on that timing. This hand, this foot land at the same time. ‘Boom’. Or this hand and this foot land at the same time. ‘Boom’. So that’s the best thing to practice is just have a fixed target, like maybe a wall or have your partner hold the target, and just do it real slow like that. And then as you feel comfortable then you can speed up the intensity and power. And then after that, once you feel comfortable with that, then have your partner hold the target and actually march towards you and try to time it as the target is moving towards you because that would actually be more realistic.

So those are my training tips. Start slow on a fixed target. Do it quickly with full speed and intensity on a fixed target once you get that down. And then finally, have your partner, your training partner actually move forward with their punch shield and develop that timing. So what I suggest to do is to train in those layers. If you do that, instead of just trying to jump ahead into the last step, it will be a lot less frustrating and a lot easier for you.

My final thing is, with this particular combative is, if you don’t get it perfect, really, it’s not that big of a deal. This is a technique that you’re really not going to use that much for self-defense training. However, that doesn’t mean it’s obsolete. It will become more important at the more advanced levels when you’re required to start with fight training, so when you start sparring and you have a moving attacker, a moving sparring partner. You are going to have to have that ability to move back and counterstrike. Especially if you’re sparring someone who likes to press the action, who likes to be more aggressive. So it will become important in future training. So don’t neglect it.

All right. Those are my training tips and details for the Straight Punch with a Retreat Step.”

“When is the best time to start (or restart) Krav Maga training? Answer: Now! Every day you put off training is another day you are less prepared to protect yourself.”