Trade Secrets: How to Take a Punch

By Clancey Denis April 22, 2011 Published in the May 2011 issue of Seattle Met

THE FIRST THING Cappy Kotz will tell you about his style of training is that boxing isn’t just about the fight. If all he did was teach people how to throw a punch, there’s no way toddlers would be teetering around his ring—but there they are. Kids as young as three come to Cappy’s Boxing Gym ( in the Central District to learn confidence, stress relief, and the healing power of donning a pair of gloves. But Cappy does teach people how to fight—his current project is preparing longtime protege Queen Underwood for a little competition called the 2012 Olympics. Not all fights are as orderly as Cappy’s—street fights are short, usually about 30 seconds of adrenaline-fueled fist throwing—so his first tip for taking a punch? Don’t take a punch. Really. The whole point of boxing is to not get hit. But if you find yourself outmatched, there is a way to make the best of it.

1. It’s natural to close your eyes and turn away from a punch, but you shouldn’t. If you can see where it’s coming from you’ll be able to better defend yourself. 2. Use your arms as a shield—keep them raised and tense in 
front of you. 3. Your best offensive move is a forward jab straight to the face. Why? Getting hit in the face hurts.
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