Student or Learner
Hi! I would like to have an opinion about the sense of the expression *pulling any punches* in the following sentence:
I knew I was in trouble and Jonathan who had been some of the other practices *wasn't pulling any punches*. He said: "I'm going to be honest. We've got an uphill battle".
The battle is referred to a dance contest. Jonathan is the trainer of the protagonist. *Wasn't he pulling any punches* because he had no hope of winning, because he knew that it was impossible to win?
Thanks in advance.
Pulling punches refers to a boxer who intentionally doesn't hit his opponent as hard as he can, perhaps to keep him in the ring longer or to in order to let him win. We almost always use it in the negative. Hence, if you aren't pulling any punches you are hitting someone with everything you've got, whether that be criticism, opposing arguments or (in this case) hard-hitting honesty.