Why is Punching Trees in Martial Arts Popular? | Explained

Fighters punching and kicking trees has become much less common over the years, but everyone wants to know, why do they do it?

In this page we will cover what punching trees in martial arts does, who has done it and why they do it.

banana tree

Table of Contents

Why Do Fighters Punch and Kick Trees?

It is a common thought in the Muay Thai world in particular, that “numbing down” or “destroying nerves” equates to shin conditioning.

Students also believe that they must kick a banana tree down through many kicks in order to condition their shins, and earn respect.

The reality is that this is very dangerous, and can lead to injury. However, if done under extreme careful supervision, it can dramatically lower the chances of injury.

Punching and kicking trees began at around the year 3 BC.

In particular, the Banana tree was known to have a softer and rubbery texture to it, and they also happen to be native to Thailand.

However, we now have countless of better training tools such as heavy bags, gloves and shin guards to train with, which are much more effective than kicking a Banana tree.

Despite this, there have been many fighters in history, and even some fighters today who routinely strike trees as part of their training.

Fighters Who Have Trained With Trees

Jiri Prochazka

Prochazka is one of the rare old-school fighters that is having massive success inside of the octagon.

He is a former Rizin Light Heavyweight champion, a National Muay thai champion, and an instant top 3 contender in the UFC, who is expected to fight for the title next.

Outside of the octagon however, Jiri is known a follower of the Bushido principles, which is a moral code where one follows the Samurai attitude, behavior and lifestyle.

Due to this, Jiri will often immerse himself in nature, and unconventionally strike trees to work on his form and technique.

In fact he explained in the MMA hour, that only after 500 punches against a tree, that he'll then begin punching an actual bag.

“After some 500 punches, then I go to the bag and the bag is very easy, believe me. No breaks. That’s how my training must be because if you want to show something crazy, something new, you must train like that,”

This type of training has clearly worked for Jiri as both of his UFC fights have resulted in knockouts.


Buakaw Banchamek

Regarded by many as the greatest Muay Thai fighter of all time, Buakaw Banchamek sports a record of 239-24-12.

It is also no surprise that he's able to demolish a banana tree with his devastating strikes.

Evnika Sadvakasov 

A 9 year old Boxing prodigy took social media by storm when her lightning fast hands were filmed taking a tree down through repetitive punches.

What's even crazier is that this wasn't the first time that she took the world by storm.

In fact, when she was only 5 years old, she was filmed throwing 100 punches in a minute!

Evinka has aspirations to become a successful Professional Boxer, and she is a name that you'll want to keep an eye out for the next few years, as she only gets better.

Related Articles

What Does Jiri Prochazka Look Like With No Beard?

What is Jiri Prochazka's Book That He Carries Around?