View Full Version : liver punch

04-28-2005, 07:41 PM
I was intrigued by a post Paul S. made a while back about having dropped a very large number of bad guys with shovel hooks to the liver.

I'd like to hear some tips on this technique: optimum angle? left hand only, or either? best setups?

The instantaneous knockdown that these shots achieve is impressive (cf. Rodney King's instructional videos). It seems like they might have a role in virtually any unarmed phase: preemption, blitz, etc.

04-29-2005, 11:25 AM
Check out the Hopkins-De La Hoya fight from 9/18/2004. Hopkins dropped him with a liver punch. La Hoya was down and helpless. So yeah, it's a good shot.

04-29-2005, 11:48 AM
Bas Rutten's "Big Book of Combat" talks about such a punch. On the CDs that came with the book he mentions that he "broke" a guy's liver using this punch. Bas uses a striking system where he stands square to his opponent rather than at an angle like most boxers do. Bas also spreads his feet out. when Bas throws a "Liver shot" he bends his knees to lower his body. He then throws a hook punch with his fist held vertically to the oppenent's right side at an upward angle using body torque to put power into the blow. Bas mentions that this is a very painful blow.

Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
04-29-2005, 02:35 PM
Woof All:

I once had dinner with Jerry Quarry who amidst reveries of his fights with Ali and others, mentioned dropping the greatly feared Ernie Shavers with a liver shot.

Irrelevant tangent: When Tex Cobb went the distance with Larry Holmes teeing off on him without effect for 15 rounds, it was the talk of the sporting world and Tex did some talk shows. On one (Carson? Letterman?) he was asked if anyone had ever knocked him down.

"Yes, and he weighed only 135 pounds."

"A 135 pound man knocked you down?!?"

"Well, it was a barfight in Texas and he was being swung by his heels at the time."


04-29-2005, 02:45 PM
"Well, it was a barfight in Texas and he was being swung by his heels at the time."

Love it.


04-29-2005, 03:25 PM
"Well, it was a barfight in Texas and he was being swung by his heels at the time."
Marc, the bill for the keyboard is in the mail. I saved the monitor, but it was only with luck. :D

04-29-2005, 04:26 PM

04-30-2005, 01:03 AM
"Well, it was a barfight in Texas and he was being swung by his heels at the time."


Paul Sharp
04-30-2005, 09:50 AM
The genesis for punching would be the mix of plyos and technique.

To throw a killer liver punch you need the body mechanics of the step out or zoning step. You need an explosive circular motion throw your opponent. You also need to target the bottom 2 "floating" ribs. You want to break those things loose and knock them out the other side of his body.

Taking a step to your left and slightly changing levels, (this takes advantage of the stretch/reflex cycle you have innervated through countless plyo sessions, weighted and non-weighted), DO NOT DROP YOUR HAND! Change levels so you line your hand up with your target, again, DO NOT DROP YOUR HAND TO THE TARGET, CHANGE LEVELS! Now the rest occurs as one motion but I will describe it in peices.

You want to turn the corner just as you would to finish a head-outside double. In other words, your feet will end up perpendicular to their previous position, instead of parallel with your opponent, your feet should be at a right angle to your opponent. I'll try to get a picture or two done on this.

As you turn, you now "stand" up as you rotate into them. Throw your arm on a line somewhere between a uppercut and a hook, driving UPWARD at approximately a 45 degree angle, with the intent of driving up and into their floating ribs. Think, EXPLODE! Your objective is to drive those ribs and the organs behind them to the other side of their body. You want to wreck them. Seriously. The intent to do some serious, permanant damage is paramount.

Paul Sharp
04-30-2005, 09:56 AM
Its very important that you stay loose. Throw all punches with your body. Thats why I mentioned the plyos and technical work. The punch is just a delivery method for putting your body weight through the target.

400 meter sprints alternated with one legged hopping for 400 meters is a good place to start.

We sprint up hills and parking decks, alternating sprints with one and two legged hops, skipping, bounding and backwards sprints, weighted and non-weighted, to dig that stretch/reflex up and make it angry. :D

That way when we load on one leg, as I described above, the results are programmed in, just let it fly.

Paul Sharp
04-30-2005, 10:04 AM
Here is the setup I've used quite a few times. I learned this one from a door man I worked with at a club in Miami.

Hands up, setting your fence as you verbally de-escalate.

Your mental trigger is set and everyones trigger point is different so I won't go into that.

Once I reached that point, knowing that further dialogue was pointless, I would drop my hands in feigned exasperation. Body language and verbally congruent saying something like, "oh my god," or "come on dude, what have we got to do..."

Somewhere in the middle of that, I would take that step to my left and explode.

Note the "dropping" of my hands wasn't a true hands down. I really just collapsed my elbows back into my body, which is the "set" position for the shovel hook or a right uppercut into the solar plexus.

Either one, SH or RU, work fabulously from the same premise on drunk, belligerent idiots when talking just isn't working.

This is a high-percentage move, just be prepared for the projectile vomiting that follows.

04-30-2005, 10:04 AM
Paul, excellent description of the technique. Thank you for your insights.

04-30-2005, 10:50 AM
If I had my choice to be blessed with one punch, I would take Micky Wards left hook to the body. Devastating one punch knock out power to the body.

+1 to that. I love to watch him fight.

04-30-2005, 05:08 PM
Thanks Paul--that's a great description. The post about context outside the ring was fantastic.

04-30-2005, 06:11 PM
Thanks Paul. Sounds like you throw this primarily with your right hand?

Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
04-30-2005, 07:25 PM
Paul's story reminds me of a clip I saw several years ago when I helped Lucia Rijker put together a demo reel.

She was on some talk show (Canada? England?) that had a Carson show format. The fellow in the Ed McMahon role (we'll call him "Ed") was 30 something and had a , , , beery build and a wisebuttocks mouth. He found the idea of a woman fighter quite humorous and in departing for the break, the host said "After the break, Lucia will show Ed some martial arts techniques" as the crowd snickered.

So after the break, Lucia (about 5'10" 150 well put together pounds) puts him in a boxing type stance and without further ado dropped him with a shovel hook to the liver. The crowd thought this was quite funny.

To the best of my knowledge, she did not get any work from this demo reel.

04-30-2005, 07:45 PM
Good desciptions, any chance of the pics getting posted?

04-30-2005, 07:58 PM
Here's a a pic I pulled up on google. Well put together is an understatement.


04-30-2005, 09:50 PM
Marc...is that the same woman who fought the gal on the horse at the park? :D

Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
04-30-2005, 11:06 PM
No,that was Linda B. of Bern Switzerland. Linda went about 100 proportional, toned and feminine pounds and Minerva, the very athletically built woman on the horse


went about 130, which proportionately is a big difference.

(BTW this fight, known in our lore as "the cat fight" will appear, probably next year, in a DVD probably to be titled "The Dog Brothers Greatest Hits" but I digress , , ,)

Lucia, when I knew her (I think there is a picture of her with some of her girlfriends watching one of our Gatherings somewhere on our website) was still in fighting trim. Her boxing and kickboxing skills are genuine and she was featured in some documentary, the name of which I forget, on women fighters. The culminating fight was her fighting a Thai man in a kickboxing match. She lost decisively.

Some of you may remember woman boxer Christy Martin. For a time there was serious talk of Christy and Lucia fighting for the first million dollar purse for women, but last I heard (this would be about third hand) Christy was demanding steroid tests on Lucia. At any rate the fight never came about.

I also heard through the grapevine that Lucia was in serios contention for the role of the "female" terminator in T3 with our governor.

How did we get here from liver punches? I must have digressed , , ,

Umm, lets see if I can bring it on home , , ,

Several years ago, there was an effort at a monthly martial arts Video-zine and we were amongst the subjects of the inaugeral "issue". There was a Hollywood party to celebrate and a goodly % of the usual suspects of every bad martial arts movie that you have ever seen at 0300. The elite guest was Cynthia Rothrock and her new breasts.

Anyway I ran into Lucia, who was in fighting trim back then (and may be now for all I know) and all the posturing got her , , , energy going. She started pounding her fist into her hand.

"I want to hit someone."

"I can relate." I replied.

"May I hit you?"


"Just a shot to the stomach-- if you're up to it." (she's a playful girl ;) )

"OK." So I tightened up my abs as she started to load. Fortunately I remembered the bit in the demo reel I had done for her and read the shift in her body language as she went for the liver and rotated in time to take in flat on the abs.


The whole party turned and went "Ooooooh!" Very funny moment.

She was unwilling to grant me a turn. :D

The girl has a serious liver shot and is fully capable of dropping a goodly number of men.

Paul Sharp
04-30-2005, 11:41 PM

I throw it from either hand. I was sometimes directed by other elements, ie; people, furniture, cars, etc., so I would have to throw from whatever side was available.

Situations dictate tactics so ya roll with the flow.

05-01-2005, 11:33 AM
Paul, cool post. Thinking of that shovel hook to the liver makes me wince even as I type this.

Marc, funny post, especially the colorful (and rather exciting) vignette about Cynthia Rothrock. I used to train regularly at Jim & Christy Martin's boxing gym here in Orlando (I think it has since moved to just outside Orlando). Christy could definitely KO most men.