Marine Corps Martial Arts Tan Belt - Uppercut Punch

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Marine Corps Martial Arts Tan Belt - Uppercut Punch

This section focuses on tan belt techniques used by the Marine Corps martial arts program. This page examines how to do an uppercut punch in the Marine Corps martial arts program. To learn about other martial arts punches, please visit the main Punches & Hand Strikes section. Information from Public Domain Document, MCRP 3-02B, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP).

For more Marine Corps techniques, please visit the main Marine Corps Martial Arts Program section.


The uppercut is a powerful punch originating below the aggressor’s line of vision. It is executed in an upward motion traveling up the centerline of the aggressor’s body. It is delivered in close and usually follows a preparatory strike that leaves the primary target area unprotected. When delivered to the chin or jaw, the uppercut can render an aggressor unconscious, cause extensive damage to the neck, or sever the tongue.

Striking Surface

The striking surface is the first two knuckles of the fist.

Target Areas of the Body

Soft tissue areas such as the nose, the jaw, and the throat are the primary target areas of the body.


~ Assume the basic warrior stance.
~ Rotate your fist so that your palm is facing you. Ensure that your lead hand stays up and in place to protect your head.
~ Power is generated from low to high. Start with your body weight low, legs slightly bent.
~ Explode upwards with your legs, hips, and shoulders, drive your fist straight up through the primary target area.
~ Rapidly retract your hand and return to the basic warrior stance.
~ Your fist should never drop below chest level or rise above the aggressor’s head when executing this punch to the primary target area of the jaw. A common mistake is to drop the hand all the way to your waist during the execution of the punch, which is incorrect. This execution is used in an effort to get all the power from the arm that is executing the punch. Its power derives


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  1. Information from Public Domain Document, MCRP 3-02B, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP),, Added - 02/18/15

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