Head Movement: Snap Away & Shoulder Roll
One of the beauties of head movement, including the Snap Away, is that it leaves you in range to land counters quickly.
So when you snap away from a punch, you want to move just enough to miss getting hit, but not so far back that you can’t answer back with your own technique immediately.
The biggest mistakes I see starting out is lifting the chin and leaning back with your upper body.
Instead, you want to drop your heel and bend your back knee.
Your upper body shouldn’t break 90º.
If you need more distance, you can take a small step back with your back foot.
Also, you want to train yourself to lower your chin as you snap away so that it’s tucked safely into your chest.
You can also open your rear hand and put it in front of your chin, to “catch” the punch if you don’t quite make it out of the way in time.
However, I prefer to leave my hands by the side of my head in case I misjudge the punch and it’s a Hook, or if they follow up with another shot.
For me, the more I can avoid using my hands in conjunction with my head movement, the better. That way I’m free to protect against other strikes and to fire off my counters from whatever hand position I choose.
But there’s also good reason to use your hands as
If you decide to put your guarding hand in front of your chin, just make sure you don’t reach out to catch the punch.
Just have it there in case a piece of the shot gets through.
If you reach, you leave yourself wide open for a Hook.
The Shoulder Roll is another good way to deal with punches, primarily the Cross.
As shown in the video, fundamentally you use your shoulder to bump the shot.
But you can also have your hands up and use your lead hand to deflect the shot as you rotate.
Just make sure you don’t start blocking with your lead hand. All the movement should be with your body, not your arm.
Also, I like to add a Bong Sao to the Shoulder Roll, a block that comes from Wing Chun.
If you don’t know what it is, there’s plenty of video
Anyway, I use it to throw the attacker’s punch sideways as I do a Shoulder Roll.
This helps slow down their ability to counter with a lead Hook, the most common follow-up counter after a Cross.
This buys you just enough time to land your own Cross.