How To Take A Hit

Most people have never been in a fight until entering the world of martial arts. Getting hit is not something that students are used to when they first begin sparring. 

This can make sparring frightening or stressful for some people, but there is no need for it to be. 

How to take a hit

Once you learn how to take a hit properly, you won’t even give it a second thought during a sparring match. 

Why It’s Important To Know How To Take A Hit

While learning how to take a hit might sound like a lot of people’s worst nightmare, it is incredibly important in learning how to fight properly.  

Whether you want to be able to be successful in a sparring match or just want to be able to successfully defend yourself, being able to take a hit can make a huge difference in how a fight turns out. 

Knowing how to take a hit properly can help to minimize injury. You can also learn how to minimize the power of a hit and how to recover quickly from the impact.

Positioning To Take A Hit

One of the first steps in learning how to take a hit is to make sure you are positioning your body correctly during a fight. 

How you position yourself can help to avoid sustaining a direct hit to your body or head. 


During a sparring session or combat, your hands should be clenched in tight fists. 

This not only creates a stable shape to help block any blows, but it also ensures that you are ready to strike back after taking a hit. 

Remember to be conscious of the positioning of your thumb when making a fist.


The positioning of your arms is very important in protecting yourself from successful blows. 

Your arms should be positioned to raise your fists in front of your face, protecting yourself from head blows is important to avoid concussions, especially in a genuine fight.

Your elbows should be tucked in, close to the sides of your abdomen. 

This can help to protect your vital organs that are not covered by your ribcage such as your liver, spleen, and kidneys. 

If this part of your body sustains significant force or damage, it can cause serious problems such as internal bleeding. 

Ensure that you seek medical attention if you suffer a significant blow to this part of your body and feel intense pain. 

Do not tense your arms to keep them close to your body, you should be able to move them quickly in response to your opponent’s hits.  


Your stance should be wide to create a stable base for you to fight from. 

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your dominant foot slightly in front of the other. 

Keep both feet firmly beneath you. Your knees should be slightly bent to lower your center of gravity and make it easier for you to move and dodge.  


Your jaw should be relaxed but ensure that you keep your mouth closed to help protect your teeth and to help avoid getting a broken jaw from a hit.  

Your chin should be tucked down and in to further protect your jaw, your face, and your neck. 

Be conscious not to tense your jaw, shoulders, or neck too much, nor to lower your chin so much that your view of your opponent is obstructed.  

Ultimately, remember to not tense up. 

Your joints and muscles should be relaxed and loose to allow for sharp, easy movement.  Keeping on your toes can help. 

Minimizing Impact

There are a few ways in which you can help to minimize the effect of the impact when taking a hit.  

How to take a hit (1)

Protective Equipment

The easiest way to minimize the impact is to wear protective equipment. 

Depending on where you are sparring this may or may not be allowed so always check first. 

The easiest piece of equipment to help with taking a hit is a mouthguard. 

This can help protect the soft tissue in your mouth and your teeth. 

It is important to note that protective headgear has been proven to be ineffective at reducing the risk of brain injury, personal discretion is advised.

Roll With The Punches

Some of the best professional fighters use this technique to allow them to take more hits and recover more quickly during a fight.

To do this successfully you will need to practice but it will be worth it. 

Essentially pivot your hips in the same direction as the hit is headed, then make a rolling motion with the movement of the punch. 

This will deflect the power of the hit off of you, decreasing the impact significantly.


This one takes a lot of focus and the ability to preempt what your opponent is going to do, but once you have mastered the art of anticipation, you will be able to avoid impact altogether. 

Simply use your waist to dodge out of the way of jabs and crosses. 

A small lean in the opposite direction of the hit will remove you from the path of the hit. 

Remember to move left and right instead of trying to dodge by leaning backward.

Use Your Muscles

If you have strong core muscles, simply tensing them just before the impact of the hit with your abdomen can help to absorb some of the power of the hit and help protect your organs.

Recovering From The Impact

Taking a hit when sparring or fighting is inevitable, so what can you do to help you recover and strike back quickly?

Breathe Out

The best way to recover quickly from a hit is to breathe out upon impact. 

If you are breathing out when you take the hit, you are much less likely to be winded by your opponent. 

Avoiding being winded allows you to strike back immediately.

Stay Balanced

After taking a hit, your legs can feel weak or shaky, remember to keep your knees bent and maintain your stable stance until this passes. 

If you lose your center of gravity your opponent will knock you over easily.

Final Thoughts

Taking a hit is not a natural sensation for humans to experience and takes some getting used to. 

However, these tips can help you reduce the impact of taking a hit and keep you in the fight longer. 

Christopher Anderson
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