Can You Punch Arms in Boxing? 3 Helpful Rules to Know!

While punching arms may seem like a very common move that is used to distract an opponent, this can lead to serious injury, including punching arms syndrome. If you’re wondering whether you should hit your opponent boxer’s arm or not, here’s the deal:

Can you Punch your Opponent’s Arms in Boxing?

As a general rule, you can punch your opponent’s arm in boxing. Even though it does not score you any points but helps you to dominate the fight and distract the boxer in order to take a lead in the offense. Hitting repeatedly on the arm also leave you vulnerable to counterattack and might result in a wrist injury.

Further in this article, I’ll explore both the risks and advantages of punching arms and why I think you should not actively try to do it.

Should You Punch Opponent’s Arm when Boxing?

There is no right or wrong answer, as punching someone in the arms can result in different outcomes depending on your opponent’s size and physique.

That being said, you should never try to aim your punch toward the opponent’s arms because it is not going to hurt your opponent as much as if you punch them in the chin, jaw, or even liver.

Even though technically it is allowed to punch almost anything above the belt but you need to understand boxing is not all about offense. During the fight, your opponent will always look for an opportunity to target your face area, and you should do the same.

Some of my friends think that hitting on their opponent’s punching arm helps them to stay in lead and dominate the fight while preventing attacks on their own face. On the other hand, I personally think of it as a dirty and unprofessional tactic.

Why do you want to parry a punch that is coming towards your nose when you can just passively block it by keeping your arms in front of your face?

In addition to that, the elbow bone is relatively stronger in nature, and by hitting very strongly on it, you might end up hurting your hands or wrist. Basically, the risk-reward equation is not in our favor and I will never advise you to waste your energy in this way.

Do Arm Punches Count in Boxing?

As per the modern boxing scoring system, The punches that land on your opponent’s arm do not help you to score any points.

Throughout the match, judges are looking for hard & clean punches, effective aggression, your defense technique, and overall ring generalship.

That’s why no matter how many times you punch the arm of your opponent, it is not at all a scoring shot because it is not considered as a clean strike.

When You Can Hit your Opponent’s Arm?

The situation where you should actively try to hit on the punching hand of your opponent when your match becomes very dull and both of you are in defensive mode. That’s the only time you can use this tactic in your favor and it might help you to win the match.

Even though punching the arms is not going to count as a significant strike but it is get considered under the attempted strikes matric.

If both of you played almost similarly and scored the same number of points, and judges won’t able to make a decision based on the significant punches, in such cases, this attempted strikes count will be taken into consideration to declare the winner.

Sometimes it also helps you to tired out your opponent and block their arms from the active offense. Other than this:

I really don’t see any point to target your punches toward the narrow, rigid, and continuously shifting arm of your opponent where there is a possibility of damaging your own hands.

That’s why instead of focusing more and more punches, you should leverage various punching techniques and try to aim for a better target while combining your whole body’s power to make your hit even more effective.

How to Avoid Hitting Arms when Boxing?

Due to the irregular and fast movements of boxers, there are few chances when you accidentally hit the back of your opponent’s head. But in most cases, the referee will understand, that this is not an intentional attack and doesn’t do anything but warn you.

Here are my few tips that will help you:

  • Train yourself for Quick Punches: If you’re too slow in terms of delivering your punches, there are high chances that regardless of which technique you use, your opponent will see you from miles away and is going to block it with his forearms.
  • Use Offensive Combinations: If you try to integrate jabs, hooks, uppercuts, and cross into your offense and throw punches with mismatching combinations, there are pretty high chances that you end up delivering a clean and powerful shot.
  • Practice with your Trainer: By working closely with your boxing trainer, he/she will not only prepare you for accurate delivery of punches but also help you to make it even more effective by positioning your stance and attacking combinations.
  • Use Target Wall Punching Bag: A target wall punch bag is amazing and one of my recommend boxing equipment, especially if you want to increase the significance and effectiveness of your punches. It kind of forces you to hit a certain target and practice it consistently.

Can you Block a Punch with your Arms?

You can block a punch with your arms. In fact, offensive punches that are targeted toward your face can be effectively defended by placing your arms in front.

You can leverage your forearms and shoulders not necessary to avoid and deflect the punches but to absorb and soften the impact of the strikes that are aimed at the vulnerable parts of your body.

Final Thoughts on Arm punching in Boxing

I hope I am able to convey the whole perspective and you get a clear idea of why it is not a great idea to hit your opponent’s punching arm.

I talk about why you need to make sure that you aim your punch where it will do the most damage instead of blindly delivering punches and hitting your opponent’s arms.

I also discuss a few scenarios where hitting the arms in fact benefits you and when you should actively try to punch the arms of the opposing boxer.

But: ultimately it is all up to you to decide whether or not you feel comfortable engaging in such behavior during a boxing match. Happy Boxing 🙂

Priya Dorge | Cargofighter

Priya Dorge

Priya Dorge is a passionate boxer and author, dedicated to sharing her expertise in the world of combat sports. With her deep knowledge and experience in empowering individuals in their journey has garnered a loyal following, making her a trusted resource in the martial arts community.