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What Is The Average Punching Speed? Punching Speed Analyzed

Speed is an important part of fighting, especially the speed of your punch. Most MMA fighters are at the peak of physical fitness, but fitness does not equate to a fast punch. This is why all fighters train specifically to increase their punch speed during their training. What is the average speed of the human punch?

The average speed of a boxer’s punch is 20 mph, while the punch speed of the average person is significantly slower at about 15 mph. Fighters with exceptional punching speeds have achieved punch speeds of up to 32 mph in boxing and 45 mph in martial arts punches.

Increasing the speed of your punch can be a significant advantage during a fight and can serve to surprise your opponent and catch them off-guard, allowing the punch to reach its mark. Hand speed training is a part of every fighter’s training regime, but how do you know what speed to aim for?

How Fast is a Human Punch? – Physics

People who support and participate in fight sports are always debating how fast the human punch is. Surprisingly, with all the hype around this metric, there have been very few attempts to scientifically measure the speed of a human punch.

Generally, the fastest punches in boxing are determined by eye by observers rather than scientific measurement. Because a punch is not in a straight line, it is a difficult prospect to measure the speed of a fighter’s strike.

Recent development in technology has made scientific measurement of punch speed more of a reality than the general guess by observation. This has led to some statistics around punch speeds being more accurate and readily available.

There is a difference between the fastest punch and the average speed of a punch. The average punch speed of most boxers is around 20.4-mph. The average punch speed of someone untrained in boxing, the average speed is around 15-mph. When compared against the punch speed of people not trained in boxing, one can see how speed training can increase a fighter’s punch speed.

The punch speed measured in mph is impressive, but it is even more impressive when you evaluate the time to throw a punch of this speed. Because a punch travels a relatively short distance, the time taken from when it has begun to the time it lands can be faster than the blink of an eye.

Some measurements of boxers’ punches have revealed that a fast punch can take between 60 and 100 milliseconds to complete! Manny Pacquiao was recorded as delivering knockout punches that were delivered in 0.12-seconds!

How Punch Speed Is Measured

Historically, fighters’ punches were measured by eye, and fighters were presumed to be fast punchers if their punches appeared to be faster than others by observation.

Technology to accurately measure a fighter’s punch has been seriously lacking in the fight world, and with the advent of smartphones, some apps have come out that purport to measure punch speed. The theory is you throw a punch with your phone in your hand, and the accelerometer in the phone will measure the velocity of the punch.

Hysko has taken this idea further and has developed a sensor worn on the wrist which incorporates a 3-axis gyroscope to measure the punch velocity accurately. The wrist sensor then feeds data back to the app, which trainers can use to evaluate the punch speed of their fighters.

This is a relatively new technology, so there is not much data available from fighters across the board to accurately determine who has the fastest hand punch.

How Fast Do Boxers Punch?

There is a difference between punch speeds in different fighting styles. Boxing-style punches are different from martial arts punches, and there is a corresponding difference in speed and power.

Boxing punches focus not only on speed but also on the power behind the punch, which is enhanced by mass behind the punch and the forward momentum of the fighter.

Martial arts punches are more focused on speed than power, which makes the martial arts punch faster, but it does less damage than a boxing punch.

Most boxers have an average punch speed of about 20-mph, but boxers who are considered to have exceptional hand speed can attain punch speeds of up to 32-mph!

This indicates that boxers who work on their punch and hand speed can have a dramatic advantage over opponents. Hand speed equates to faster punches and faster hands to block incoming punches and avoid getting hit.

Who Is The Fastest Puncher?

There is much debate in fighting circles about who has the fastest punch, and it is difficult to give a definitive answer. There are fast-punching fighters in MMA, boxing, and among martial artists who have never been scientifically evaluated for their punching speed.

This means that we only have the data from fighters who have undergone testing to determine punching speed.

Keith Liddell currently holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest martial arts punch. The punch was recorded at 45-mph.

How Do You Punch Faster?

The following drills are proven to improve your hand speed:

Basic shadowboxing (no equipment)—starting with a good fighting stance, throw 30-50 jabs as fast as you can and pull back as fast as you can without pausing. Concentrate on the speed of your hand. You can repeat this process with a different type of punch, jab-cross-hook-upper cut.

Shadowboxing with a resistance band—wrap a resistance band around your upper body and grab the resistance band in each hand. Every time you punch while grabbing the resistance band, the tension in the resistance band will pull your hand back, slowing down your punch. Practice different types of boxing combos. When you punch without a resistance band, your hand speed will increase because there’s no tension pulling your arms back.

Shadowboxing with weights (small dumbbells)—hold a small 2-3 lb dumbbell in both hands and begin shadowboxing. Start shadowboxing for 45 seconds with the dumbbell. After 45 seconds, start shadowboxing without the dumbbell. Repeat this process three times. Because your hands are lighter when you punch without dumbbells, your hand speed will increase. Punching with a dumbbell also strengthens your arms when you punch, which will lead to less fatigue in your arms when punching.


A fast punch for many fighters may seem as elusive as the holy grail, but any fighter can improve their punch speed with dedicated and persistent training where speed is the focus.

Unfortunately, most fight training is weighted more on strength and power, with speed-focused training receiving less attention than it deserves. 

If the speed training is done correctly, the power will come as an additional benefit since the muscles involved in increasing speed are also responsible for delivering power in the punch.

Related Questions

How Hard Can an Average Person Kick?

The average adult human can kick with 1,000 pounds of force. The average child can deliver 600 pounds of force. These numbers can increase greatly with training or due to height, weight, and unique skill at kicking activities.