What It’s Like to Take a Punch

The first time I got punched in the face, it was by a friend of mine. We were playing airsoft and have done this sort of thing before, but that day something went wrong and he hit me with his AEP (airsoft explosive round). It sounded like someone had ripped open a bag of rice as soon as my head made contact with the ground. My vision blurred into blackness while I could hear myself screaming over the ringing in my ears; it felt like there was glass cutting through every fiber of my skin. And then nothing happened for what seemed to be an eternity.,

a punch in the face meaning” is a phrase that many people use to describe how someone feels after taking a hit. The first time I heard this phrase was when I took a hit from my friend and it made me feel like all of my bones were broken.

Vintage boxers fighting in ring taking punch.

Note from the editor: This is a guest post by Billy Coffey.

It was four years ago…

It began over lunch with a buddy, like most good tales do. Charlie was this friend’s name, and he was an iron-fisted brawler who worked in the building next to mine as a geeky engineer.

“You should come over tonight,” he said. “Excellent exercise. It’ll turn you into a guy.”

I said, “I’m already a man.”

“Perhaps,” Charlie responded with a nod. “Have you ever been hit in the face?”


“A guy never knows what he’s made of until he gets hit,” he added as he set his fork down and stared me in the eyes.

I had no idea what it meant, but it was intellectual enough to pique my interest. I told him, “I’ll be there.”

True boxing gyms are all in the same location: the closest impoverished area in the nearby metropolis (have you watched Rocky III?). Which made getting there from the country’s calm boundaries an experience in and of itself. Charlie had told me that the gym was much older than it seemed on the outside, and he was correct. There was no heat, no air, and no place to go to the restroom. There was nothing but a ring, a few punching bags, some filthy mirrors for shadowboxing, and a pail to puke up in if the trainers pushed you too far. The words “JESUS SAVES” were written in brilliant red letters above the ring.

In a word, it was flawless.

I spoke with Charlie, as well as the combatants and coaches who were warming up. The head trainer remarked, “Gotta hand it to you.” “It takes a mountain to turn up on sparring night for the first time.”

“Sparring night?” says the narrator. I inquired. I turned to face Charlie, who had turned aside. But I could see the grin on his face.

“Are you getting into the ring?” I was questioned by the coach.

Are you interested in getting into the ring? No way was I stepping into the ring. I wasn’t a moron.

I responded, “Yeah, I’m getting in.” Because every day of the week, including twice on Thursday, macho manliness triumphs against idiocy.

“Way to go,” the coach remarked. “Then you’re welcome to join me.”

Charlie gave me a look that was equal parts amusement and “Oh, boy.”

“What?” I inquired about him.

He replied, “Nothing.” “You’re going to be OK.”

I locked my gaze on him.

He said, “He won Tough Man last year.” “However, don’t be concerned.”

Don’t be concerned. Rednecks all across the world have famous final words. “Hey ya’ll, keep an eye on this!”

So. I’m going into the ring.

“Move,” Charlie urged as he adjusted my hat. “Keep it in mind.”

I nodded.

“And don’t forget to raise your hands. Punch and block. “Make your defense an offensive weapon.”

I nodded once more.

My gloves were examined, and he wiped them on his T-shirt. “Keep your chin down for the sake of God Almighty.” If you show your chin, you’re toast.”

“I ain’t going down,” I said, smiling to demonstrate my point. “Is this sparring or something else?”

“He’ll let you know,” Charlie remarked as he gazed across the ring. And don’t forget to wipe that grin off your face. This is not going to be enjoyable for you.”


“What causes you to believe—”

That’s all I had time to say. Charlie hushed me by forcing my mouthpiece into my lips and screamed, “Time!”

We gathered in the ring’s middle (“Hands up!” Charlie yelled.) “Move…move!” they said as they touched gloves and exchanged nods.

I’d studied a variety of martial arts, and sparring in a dojo was usually done at half-speed. But this wasn’t a dojo, and I had no idea what I should do.

“So,” I began, circling the trainer, “what am I—”

SMACK!! He unleashed a punch that slipped through my helmet and landed on my nose. It wasn’t even half-speed. It happened so quickly that I didn’t see his hand until it was being pulled away from my face.

“Move!” Charlie yelled.



“Don’t just stand there; take action!”

Boxing is a kind of aggression that is kept under control. It is a matter of technique. Countless hours of practice have polished the skill of how to punch and angles to perfection. You won’t last 10 rounds in the ring if you’re angry.

However, it will get you through one. I was enraged when that right cross slipped through my headpiece and injured my eye. Very enraged.

I slid to the left and unleashed a hook into his side and another to the side of his head as he launched another jab. “Yes!” Charlie said, his eyes widening slightly. Stick with it and keep moving! “It’s just thirty seconds!”

That night, I discovered that thirty seconds in a boxing ring is far longer than thirty seconds outside of one. Because it seemed like we’d been banging on each other for an eternity in the center of the ring.

“Time!” Charlie yelled. Finally.

We smiled as we stood in the center of the ring. The trainer said, “Awesome.”

Awesome, to be sure.

For a while, that gym was my home away from home, but I had to leave due to family obligations and a lack of time. But there’s still a heavy bag in our gym, and I use it every night for a few rounds.

Because Charlie was absolutely correct. You never know what you’re made of until you’ve been hit in the face. And you survive the same way whether you’re standing in the center of a boxing ring or in the middle of your life. You keep your chin down, go forward, and swing without stopping.

We’re all going to get struck at some point. In this world, it’s a given. But I am aware of this. I’m not afraid to take a punch. I’ve taken a lot of them. But I can also provide one.

 We’re all going to get struck at some point. In this world, it’s a given. But I am aware of this. I’m not afraid to take a punch. I’ve taken a lot of them. But I can also provide one.

Billy Coffey is a full-time parent and part-time writer. Visit his blog, www.billycoffey.com, to learn more about his latest work, When Mockingbirds Sing.




If you want to know what it’s like to take a punch, the best way is by watching this video. It shows an MMA fighter getting punched in the face, and then recovering from it. Reference: how to recover from getting punched in the face.

Related Tags

  • side effects of getting punched in the face
  • what does it feel like to punch someone in the face
  • what happens when you get punched in the cheek
  • what does it feel like to get punched in the nose
  • what happens when you get punched in the jaw