To punch someone in a dream can be a release of frustrations you are not properly dealing with in waking life. That anger and frustration must be released somehow and will often come out while dreaming as it is much safer to do so in the dream world rather than the real world.
To punch someone can also symbolize your attempt at making something happen. Are you giving it your best shot? If your punch is slow or not effective, then your dream is telling you that you ARE NOT giving it your best shot. Time to be more focused and work a bit harder.
If you are being punched then ask yourself if you feel like someone’s punching bag in real life. Is someone around you constantly criticizing you, taking shots at you, jabbing you with mean or condescending remarks? Or is this something that you are doing to yourself? Are you beating yourself up over something? If so, your dream is trying to show you that you are emotionally abusing yourself. Learn to forgive yourself and let it go.
Being punched in a dream can also be connected to how you feel about recent, shocking information or bad news. Has something felt like a punch in the gut recently?