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 25-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 25-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 25-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?

Learning to punch faster is not simply a matter of increasing your hand speed. The speed of the punch involves multiple muscle groups in various parts of the body.

To increase your punching speed and power, you need to concentrate on the following aspects.

  • Legs and hips. Much of the speed and power in a punch come from the rotational speed generated by a fighter’s legs and hips. Martial arts techniques often focus on hip rotation to deliver speed and power in a strike.
  • Abdominal muscles. These muscles, also sometimes referred to as your core, should be worked on to increase rotational power and speed. 
  • Chest. The chest is also important to work on for the upper rotation of the body to increase speed in the punch. Pectoral muscles can strengthen the rotation of the shoulder and increase the speed and power with which the punch is delivered.
  • Back muscles. With a focus on the upper back and shoulders, your back muscles will improve punch force and delivery speed.
  • Arm muscles. The arm is the mechanism for delivering the punch, resulting in arm muscles being responsible for snap in the punch rather than the power behind the punch. All the muscles of the arms should be worked on for strength, speed, and endurance. Strength training for the wrists and forearms is important, and strength and speed training for biceps and triceps.

Increasing punch speed requires dedication and determination since the whole body is involved in delivering the punch. Increasing punch speed is probably one of the aspects of fight training that takes the longest to acquire, but your patience and perseverance will pay off.


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.

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