Bolo Punch - Martial Arts Punching Technique

Join this free martial arts wiki. Add info on Shotokan Kata, Taekwondo Forms, Kicks, Punches, Grappling, Aikido, Goju-Ryu, Krav Maga, Bo Staff, Kyokushin, etc. Talk with martial artists by joining our Wiki Community.

Wiki Revision Date - 14 Nov 2016 13:55

Bolo Punch - Martial Arts Punching Technique

The Bolo Punch is a Filipino martial arts punch. It is comparable to a large circular uppercut punch and can be a powerful punch if timed properly. This punch has a large wind-up which looks almost like a softball pitch. Nevertheless, the wind-up and wide circular motion of the bolo punch is often used as a distraction in order to land a traditional punch with the other hand.

This punch is associated with boxers such as Kid Gavilan and Sugar Ray Leonard. For example, Sugar Ray Leonard used an exaggerated circling bolo punch as a taunt and an effective punch in his fight against Roberto Duran in 1980. See video below.

For other martial arts punches, please visit the main Punches & Strikes section.

History of the Bolo Punch

The infamous “Bolo Punch” is a punch that is known to most boxing fans. However, very few know about the origin of the term “Bolo Punch” or where the technique came from. After the USA defeated Spain in the Spanish-American War, many Filipinos began immigrating to the United States, mainly Central California and Hawaii, and worked on the local farms. Many of these Filipino immigrants were practitioners of the Filipino Martial Arts, which includes a variety of weapon training such as sticks, knives, swords and empty hand - Filipino Boxing - also well known as Panantukan or "Filipino Dirty Boxing". At the time, many of these farm workers gravitated towards competing in western boxing because it paid more than farm labor. They could make more in one boxing match than working for one week on the farms.

These Filipino Boxers started to call a certain punch they were using in their fights a “Bolo Punch” because the punch was similar to swinging a machete (bolo) when working to cut down crops like sugar cane. One Filipino Boxer who made the Bolo Punch famous was Ceferino Garcia (World Middle Weight Champion in 1939). Today the Bolo Punch is widely used in Boxing, MMA, Muay Thai and of course, still used in Filipino Panantukan.

Demonstration of a Bolo Punch

Bolo Punch in the Sugar Ray Leonard vs Robert Duran Fight

Reference Sources

  1. History information kindly provided by Apolaki Krav Maga & Dirty Boxing Academy, http://www.apolakidirtyboxing.com/blog/4589044930/The-Bolo-Punch/9645897, Added - 09/09/15


Martial Arts Gear - Books | DVDs | Flexibility | Food | Kata | Kids | Seniors | Shoes | Sparring

Join the Wiki Community!

We hope you become a wiki member. You can join via the wiki or via Facebook.
Talk to fellow martial artists on the wiki community or read recent replies. Members can ask questions, post answers & videos and even tell the occasional martial arts joke!



Latest Informational Pages Added to the Wiki

Popular & Highly Rated Community Posts

Recent Member Posts Added to Community

  • Leg injury. How to continue martial arts training? If someone severely injured their leg (i.e. broken bone, torn ACL, ruptured calf muscle, etc.), how would you advise them to continue their martial arts training? What advice would you give them to offset their lack of mobility? Their inability to trai...
  • Hood Gi I found reviews very slim online and was wondering if anyone here has gotten or considering to get one of the two main hood gis out there Hayabusa zipper jacket gi 100% cotton 500g weight Budo Brothers Hood Gi cross w/ magnets 100% cotton 500g weig...
  • Top 10 Martial Arts Movies Here is a list of the 10 supposedly most "influential" martial arts movies. Do you agree with this list? If not, what movies are they missing? This video covers & has clips on the following movies: 1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2. The Matrix 3. T...



At no extra cost to you, Black Belt Wiki makes a small commission if you buy products via these links. Your purchase helps keep this wiki free for all visitors. Thank you for your support!






Material on this wiki may not be copied or reproduced without the written approval of Black Belt Wiki.
All rights reserved. For other terms & conditions, please read our legal disclaimer. This site is for informational purposes only. All martial arts techniques and fitness exercises should be supervised by a trained martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. If you have had an injury or are in pain, please see a doctor before starting or continuing any martial arts and/or physical fitness program.


This is a free martial arts newsletter that is sent out approximately once per week.
The newsletter provides wiki and community updates.


Martial Arts Gear