MMA training combos:
the superman punch

Following on from last issue’s basic strikes with Ground and Pound, Dee McNeill and James McNeill demonstrate further simple but effective MMA padwork moves to incorporate into your boxing or kickboxing training sessions.

A good kickboxing session can be very challenging, but the inclusion of MMA movements that transition the body to the ground, such as the Ground and Pound or Sit Through Drill (see Spring 2012 Network magazine or online at, adds a whole new dimension to the training effectiveness of any pad session. The spike in heart rate, combined with the huge amount of core engagement required to stabilise your base, guarantees a dynamic workout for all fitness levels. And what’s more, it’s a lot of fun to teach and learn!

Here, we introduce the Superman Punch – a simple movement with three levels of intensity that creates mental and physical challenge for participants, is simple to teach and leaves everyone feeling like a bit of a superhero.

The Superman Punch is a variation of the Cross, a straight punch from the rear arm, and is executed on Focus Pads – so you do not need any special equipment to introduce the MMA technique into regular boxing or kickboxing training sessions.

Coaching tips

Level 1: no jump

  • From fight stance, step your rear foot in so both feet are together. Push off your rear foot as you complete a straight cross, punching and stepping towards the pad simultaneously.
  • As with a standard Cross move, the strike surface is your top two knuckles; however, because you are stepping into the target, you increase the power of the strike.

Level 2: small hop

  • Once Level 1 has been comfortably accomplished, and the target is repeatedly hit with confidence, take a step forward with your lead leg and drive up onto your toes.
  • Bring your rear leg forward, keeping it off the ground.
  • Push the lifted leg behind you, taking a small hop on your standing leg and punching forward and down toward the pad.
    The aim is to drive down and forward at the same time, bringing the weight of your body behind your punch.
    The key is to push or ‘throw’ the lifted leg behind you to give momentum to the movement.

Level 3: big jump

  • When the motion of the small hop and punch are mastered you can substitute the small hop for a big jump, increasing the height of your body to maximise the power and intensity behind the punch.
  • Only progress to this option when you can strike the pad accurately with a small hop.
    The above combination is a simple way to introduce the Superman Punch into your MMA sessions

Dee McNeill, BBus
Dee is a leading group exercise instructor with over 17 years teaching experience. She is the operations manager for MMA Fitness and works for Les Mills Asia Pacific as a senior trainer, training thousands of fitness professionals in Australia and throughout Asia since 1998. Dee’s passion is for yoga and martial arts-based fitness training. For more information contact or visit

James McNeill, BEc
James is co-founder of MMA Fitness, Australia’s first MMA-inspired Pad Training accreditation provider. Experienced in coaching Thai boxing, boxing and karate, he works as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor. James is also involved in providing conditioning and strike training for the Gracie Barra Brookvale fight team.