What is a non-telegraphic punch? In lamest terms, you could say it's just a punch that noone can see coming. It's like a snake, you know the snake will strike but you can't tell when. Unlike the beginners who telegraph (warn you by withdrawing his arm, slowly creeping it up or changing expression), the experienced can execute all his attacks without telegraphing. This means the enemy knows your going to attack him, but he doesn't know when. However if you telegraph you can see when they'll attack when they change expression or withdraw.
So how do I punch unexpectedly? Well, here is what you really need to do:
- Don't change expression, if you do, no matter how slight, they will notice it.
- Don't stare at the part you wish to strike, if they catch you looking at their leg, they'll wait for a low attack. (I sometimes stare low and attack high, this tricks them).
- Don't withdraw your arm, punch straight out at full speed. The only time they should see your arm is when it's retracting from hitting them. All they'll notice is pain from the punch and your hand withdrawing back to the on-guard position
- You need speed too, so develop speed and good form.
- Your punches shouldn't be alarming. Punch straight. If you punch in "zig-zags" (bad leading straight habit) there is more movement that is easily tracked and seen.
- Use your nearest tool to the nearest target. ie. lead shin kick to lead kneecap.
So how do I know if my punches are non-telegraphic? A good drill is the clapping game. get a friend with his hands spread apart in front of them. The aim is to punch in and out without them being able to clap/grab your hand/arm. if they miss or aren't quick enough you should be able to control your punch to miss by about an inch away from their skin. To succeed in this, you need speed, recovery speed, form and non-telegraphic speed.
Another good drill is to get your partner to hold up a mitt and you try to punch it with your fastest punch, while they try their best to try and make you miss by moving the mitt away from you. If you have good non-telegraphic speed, they won't see it coming.
The best and easiest tools to apply non-telegraphic speed to is the jab, finger jab and leading straight.