ride with the punches

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ride with the punches

1. Literally, in martial arts (especially boxing), to maneuver one's body away from a blow so as to lessen the force of its impact. He's not the most aggressive fighter—instead, he relies on his endurance and skill, riding with the punches to wear down his opponent until the best moment to strike.
2. By extension, to adapt to setbacks, difficulties, or adversity so as to better manage or cope with their impact on one's life. (Note: This phrase is a less common variant of the phrase "roll with the punches," which carries the same literal and figurative meanings.) Losing my job was really tough, but I've just been trying to ride with the punches until I get back on my feet. I learned that my grandfather passed away right before my final exams in college, but I just rode with the punches and did the best that I could.
See also: punch, ride