How to Execute the Superman Punch (VIDEO)

The Superman Punch is arguably the most popular single move in fighting sports today. The technique is flashy but highly effective when executed well. Hitting someone with a form-perfect Superman in a fight or sparring match instantly boosts one’s confidence. It is one of those techniques that positively shifts or increases a fighters’ momentum---no wonder, it’s so popular.

The Origins of Superman Punch

Any martial art, particularly one that is centered on striking, can improvise and develop its own brand of superman punch. As matter of fact, the technique is coined differently in various fighting arts but the term Superman Punch is being used mainstream.

Its origins would be difficult to track down as it could’ve been used during the first hand-to-hand combat in history. Naturally, organized fighting disciplines would adapt the movement and make techniques that would make it effective.

In Karate, the superman punch is quite common especially in point tournaments due to the deceptive nature of the attack. The Chinese martial art of Sanda or San Shou also utilizes this attacking technique to outpoint opponents. Even pro-boxer, Floyd Patterson, had his own version of the punch which is dubbed as the Gazelle or Kangaroo Punch.

In the long run, it is from Muay Thai and Kickboxing that the Superman Punch gained its prominence as a legit striking technique which is then immensely popularized by the UFC. In Muay Thai, it is called the Cobra Strike or Cobra Punch. The move transitioned well into kickboxing and MMA fights where it became to be known as the Superman Punch.

Step by Step Tutorial and Why It’s Effective

First of all, one must understand the core function of the Superman Punch in a fight.

The Superman is an attack of deception. Although it can knock people out, it is not a power punch and most certainly, it is not a counter. It is meant to mislead, cause a reaction, and catch opponents off-guard.

In MMA, it is most effective if you have a well-rounded striking game (you are able to punch and kick effectively).  It is mainly a kickboxing technique because the opening for the punch to head comes from the fake low kick attempt.

At its essence, the Superman Punch is a “fake-low-hit-high” kind of attacking move.

The power of punch comes from the momentum of your body as you lunge forward. The accuracy of the hit and the element of surprise are other major factors for a knockout.

Here’s how to do a Rear Superman Punch in a fight:

The rear superman is much more common. It is a harder blow and much easier to execute than the lead superman.

1.    To do a good feint, you must first establish a threat. And for this technique, one must establish a threatening leg kick (it could be a body kick or a kick to the calf… as long as it is lower than the chest). With that said, repeatedly place some good kicks to the opponent’s thigh. This will get your opponent’s attention.

2.    When the distance is right, proceed to raise your rear leg as if to kick. The best thing that could happen here is when your opponent is lured to put his hands down to block or catch the your (fake) kick.

3.    Lunge forward with the leg remaining in contact with the ground (the lead leg) as you push off your rear leg on the air which will act as a counterbalance to your straight punch. I know it’s confusing. Let the images and video below help you.

The fake will hopefully loosen up your opponent’s head defense so you could connect with your punch.

The Lead Superman Punch

Not as powerful as the first one but practically faster and easier to land. Knockouts with this punch rarely happen since you are basically hitting your opponents with a jab. But the forward momentum adds more piercing force to the jab which is likely to cause swelling and cuts.

Perhaps the most adept in using this technique at the highest level is Georges St. Pierre. He seems to throws lead superman punches effortlessly and fluidly.

The dynamics of the technique is very similar except that it is done with the lead. It can get a little difficult because the movement is more unnatural than the rear superman punch. On the other hand, the lead superman telegraphs less and leads to great combinations.

The video below will show how it’s done and how to make a kickboxing combo out of it.

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