View Full Version : Karate - punches and training

hardmanandy

30th July 2002, 13:27

Hi

My instructor tells me to grip with my legs and tense my forarm and fist upon impact with my punch, at all other times i must be relaxed. I've also read, however, that tensing any part of the body will only slow down the punch and it's best to remain relaxed and follow through into the target.

Apprently the tensing theory is based on the idea of a shockwave being sent through the opponents body upon impact. I've read that this is not true and should be ignored as myth. My source is shotokan planet (website).

The same website explains that using the makiwara is potentially dangerous to the joints and so should also be discarded...Is this true too?

Thanks for your time

Andy

Amphinon

30th July 2002, 13:32

Makiwara is used prolifically in Kyokushinkai. The adverse effects are busted knuckles that heal into one giant bone ridge... :D

It toughens up the knuckles. It can be dangerous.

Also, the tensing up allows your energy to be transferred through the technique to the opponent. You immediately relax the technique once the energy is transferred.

Originally posted by hardmanandy

The same website explains that using the makiwara is potentially dangerous to the joints and so should also be discarded...Is this true too?

Thanks for your time

Andy

The makiwara original intention was to strengthen the punch, not to toughen the knuckles. Toughening the knuckle was a natural result of proper makiwara use.

Saying the makiwara is used to toughen up the knuckles is a common misconception and is often propagated by folks that think it looks "tough" to have big ugly arthritic knuckles.

Improper use of the makiwara can cause all sorts of tendon, nerve and bone damage over a period of time.

It is best to build up the striking power gradually increasing power at a comfortable level. Don't over do it and concentrate on making the punch stronger..................not on busting up your knuckles to look tough.

Rob Alvelais

30th July 2002, 14:42

Andy,

Forget about your relationship with your instructor for a moment, and try to be as objective as possible. Keeping in mind that there is no magic in the martial arts, if you were to apply a little of your high school physics and a bit of common sense, what would you conclude?

Do the muscles that pull the arm in the direction opposite the punch come into play when you tense? What effect would this have on the punch?

Rob Rousselot is 100% right on with his admonitions about the Makiwara.

Rob

PS.

Robert, what happened to the bike?

Originally posted by hardmanandy

Hi

My instructor tells me to grip with my legs and tense my forarm and fist upon impact with my punch, at all other times i must be relaxed. I've also read, however, that tensing any part of the body will only slow down the punch and it's best to remain relaxed and follow through into the target.

Apprently the tensing theory is based on the idea of a shockwave being sent through the opponents body upon impact. I've read that this is not true and should be ignored as myth. My source is shotokan planet (website).

The same website explains that using the makiwara is potentially dangerous to the joints and so should also be discarded...Is this true too?

Thanks for your time

Andy

tote

30th July 2002, 14:54

Overall, yes, you should remain loose.

However, the forearm and wrist must be tight or the wrist will collapse on impact, rather than driving the punch into the target.

The trick is to tense the wrist without tensing the bicep. The "unbending arm" trick will teach you which muscles to tense and which to relax to power a punch.

The feet must also "grip the floor" as your instructor said, because if they don't your punch will just push YOU back. In fact, using the feet for proper weight transfer is vital for punching well.

Rob Alvelais

30th July 2002, 21:09

Originally posted by tote

Overall, yes, you should remain loose.

The feet must also "grip the floor" as your instructor said, because if they don't your punch will just push YOU back. In fact, using the feet for proper weight transfer is vital for punching well.

So, if I were to come forward towards you with a leaping jab, as one sees in the wkf competitions and were to connect with you. I'd bounce off you and you'd be fine? Never mind that my more than 200 lbs is moving towards you. Is that what you're saying?

Rob

Originally posted by tote

Overall, yes, you should remain loose.

....

The feet must also "grip the floor" as your instructor said, because if they don't your punch will just push YOU back. ...

Grip the floor with the feet.

Maybe if instead of toe nails I had 6 inches stainless steel bear claws. :laugh:

Yes, there is purpose to rooting in your stances but it isn't really related to increasing the kinetic energy generated by your punch. You should not try to GRIP the floor with your toes. This is actually counter productive to rooting.

Try raising the toes off the floor while maintaining maximum sole contact with the floor. Then spread your toes wide apart and allow them to make floor contact. If you try to just grip with your toes you actually weaken foot contact with the floor. The real key to rooting is the placement of the knees and arse and how you use of the leg muscles.

Originally posted by Rob Alvelais

So, if I were to come forward towards you with a leaping jab, as one sees in the wkf competitions and were to connect with you. I'd bounce off you and you'd be fine? Never mind that my more than 200 lbs is moving towards you. Is that what you're saying?

Rob

Yep that is what he said. 200 pounds of flying kama tsuksi just bounce right off that red cape.

Mass X Speed = amount of potential hurt.

How you stick it is very very important. This is why you use the makiwara. To learn how to hit hard. You must pray that you have a good teacher to lead you down the right path. You can't learn off the *** ******* internet.

Proper body mechanics can help maximize effective mass.

Relaxation can help with speed.

Have to hit more that skin deep.

God I am tired I think I will leave you fine people alone for a while. Everyone be excellent to one another. Goodnight.

Originally posted by CEB

How you stick it is very very important. This is why you use the makiwara. To learn how to hit hard. You must pray that you have a good teacher to lead you down the right path. You can't learn off the *** ******* internet.

Actually you use a heavy bag to learn how to hit hard and a makiwara for focus as well as for hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, back muscle training and so on.

The heavy bag you can pretty much hit as hard as you want from day one. I don't recommend hitting the makiwara full blast.

The makiwara is not a very "forgiving teacher" when you make a mistake and the heavy bag is.

Goju Man

31st July 2002, 02:29

Originally posted by Robert Rousselot

Actually you use a heavy bag to learn how to hit hard and a makiwara for focus as well as for hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, back muscle training and so on.

The heavy bag you can pretty much hit as hard as you want from day one. I don't recommend hitting the makiwara full blast.

The makiwara is not a very "forgiving teacher" when you make a mistake and the heavy bag is.

Actually yes and no. Yes you can start of whaling away on a heavy bag as opposed to a makiwara, but that doesn't mean you're hitting correctly. However, the makiwara is a stationary target where as the bag is a moving one. That can cause injury to the hand because of this. As for staying loose or tightening up, just concentrate on staying loose. Your body will know when to tighten up with practise.

I remember getting cocky with my maki once. My knucles did get huge, but then I couldn't hit maki for two months after that.:D

As long as we are on the subject of "Power"

What is Mass?

Common Units of Mass

SI:

Gram (g)

1 g = 0.001 kg

Kilogram (kg)

1 kg = 2.2 lbm

1 kg = 0.0685 slug

English:

Pound mass (lbm)

1 lbm = 0.4536 kg

Slug (slug)

1 slug = 14.5939 kg

Generally, mass is defined as the measure of how much matter an object or body contains -- the total number of subatomic particles (electrons, protons and neutrons) in the object. If you multiply your mass by the pull of Earth's gravity, you get your weight. So if your body weight is fluctuating, by eating or exercising, it is actually the number of atoms that is changing. It is important to understand that mass is independent of your position in space. Your body's mass on the moon is the same as its mass on the earth, because the number of atoms is the same. The earth's gravitational pull, on the other hand, decreases as you move farther away from the earth. Therefore, you can lose weight by changing your elevation, but your mass remains the same. You can also lose weight by living on the moon, but again your mass is the same.

Mass is important for calculating how fast things accelerate when we apply a force to them. What determines how fast a car can accelerate? You probably know that your car accelerates slower if it has five adults in it. We'll explore this relation between mass, force and acceleration in a little more detail after we talk about force.

What is Power?

Common Units of Power

SI:

Watts (W)

1000 W = 1 kW

Kilowatt (kW)

1 kW = 1.341 hp

English

Horsepower (hp)

1 hp = 0.746 kW

Power is a measure of how fast work can be done. Using a lever, you may be able to generate 200 ft-lb of torque. But could you spin that lever around 3,000 times per minute? That is exactly what your car engine does.

The SI unit for power is the watt. A watt breaks down into other units that we have already talked about. One watt is equal to one Newton-meter per second (Nm/s). You can multiply the amount of torque in Newton-meters by the rotational speed in order to find the power in watts. Another way to look at power is as a unit of speed (m/s) combined with a unit of force (N). If you were pushing on something with a force of 1 N, and it moved at a speed of 1 m/s, your power output would be 1 watt.

An interesting way to figure out how much power you can output is to see how fast you can run up a flight of stairs.

Measure the height of a set of stairs that takes you up about three stories.

Time yourself while you run up the stairs as quickly as possible.

Divide the height of the stairs by the time it took you to ascend them. This will give you your speed.

For instance, if it took you 15 seconds to run up 10 meters, then your speed was 0.66 m/s (only your speed in the vertical direction is important). Now you need to figure out how much force you exerted over those 10 meters, and since the only thing you hauled up the stairs was yourself, this force is equal to your weight. To get the amount of power you output, multiply your weight by your speed.

power (W) = (height of stairs (m) / Time to climb (s) ) * weight (N)

power (hp) = [(height of stairs (ft) / Time to climb (s) ) * weight (lb)] / 550

What is Torque?

Torque is a force that tends to rotate or turn things. You generate a torque any time you apply a force using a wrench. Tightening the lug nuts on your wheels is a good example. When you use a wrench, you apply a force to the handle. This force creates a torque on the lug nut, which tends to turn the lug nut.

English units of torque are pound-inches or pound-feet; the SI unit is the Newton-meter. Notice that the torque units contain a distance and a force. To calculate the torque, you just multiply the force by the distance from the center. In the case of the lug nuts, if the wrench is a foot long, and you put 200 pounds of force on it, you are generating 200 pound-feet of torque. If you use a two-foot wrench, you only need to put 100 pounds of force on it to generate the same torque.

What is Force?

Common Units of Force

SI:

newton (N)

1 N = 0.225 lb

English:

Pound (lb)

1 lb = 4.448 N

One type of force that everyone is familiar with is weight. This is the amount of force that the earth exerts on you. There are two interesting things about this force:

It pulls you down, or, more exactly, towards the center of the earth.

It is proportional to your mass. If you have more mass, the earth exerts a greater force on you.

When you step on the bathroom scale, you exert a force on the scale. The force you apply to the scale compresses a spring, which moves the needle. When you throw a baseball, you apply a force to the ball, which makes it speed up. An airplane engine creates a force, which pushes the plane through the air. A car's tires exert a force on the ground, which pushes the car along.

Force causes acceleration. If you apply a force to a toy car (for example, by pushing on it with your hand), it will start to move. This may sound simple, but it is a very important fact. The movement of the car is governed by Isaac Newton's Second Law, which forms the foundation for classical mechanics. Newton's Second Law states that the acceleration (a) of an object is directly proportional to the force (F) applied, and inversely proportional to the object's mass (m). That is, the more force you apply to an object, the greater the rate of acceleration; and the more mass the object has, the lower the rate of acceleration. Newton's second law is usually summarized in equation form:

a = F/m, or F = ma

To honor Newton's achievement, the standard unit of force in the SI system was named the newton. One newton (N) of force is enough to accelerate one kilogram (kg) of mass at a rate of one meter per second, per second (m/s2). In fact, this is really how force and mass are defined. A kilogram is the amount of weight at which 1 N of force will accelerate at a rate of 1 m/s2. In English units, a slug is the amount of mass that 1 pound of force will accelerate at 1 ft/s2, and a pound mass is the amount of mass that 1 lb of force will accelerate at 32 feet/s2.

The Earth exerts enough force to accelerate objects that are dropped at a rate of 9.8 m/s2, or 32 feet/s2. This gravity force is often referred to as g in equations. If you drop something off a cliff, for each second it falls it will speed up by 9.8 m/s. So, if it falls for five seconds, it will reach a speed of 49 m/s. This is a pretty fast rate of acceleration. If a car accelerated this fast, it would reach 60 mph in less than three seconds!

Usually, when we talk about forces, there is more than one force involved, and these forces are applied in different directions. Let's look at a diagram of a car. When the car is sitting still, gravity exerts a downward force on the car (this force acts everywhere on the car, but for simplicity, we can draw the force at the car's center of mass). But the ground exerts an equal and opposite upward force on the tires, so the car does not move.

When the car begins to accelerate, some new forces come in to play. The rear wheels exert a force against the ground in a horizontal direction; this makes the car start to accelerate. When the car is moving slowly, almost all of the force goes into accelerating the car. The car resists this acceleration, with a force equal to its mass multiplied by its acceleration. You can see in Figure 1 how the force arrow starts out large because the car accelerates rapidly at first. As it starts to move, the air exerts a force against the car, which grows larger as the car gains speed. This aerodynamic drag force acts in the opposite direction of the force of the tires, which is propelling the car, so it subtracts from that force, leaving less force available for acceleration.

Eventually, the car will reach its top speed, the point at which it cannot accelerate any more. At this point, the driving force is equal to the aerodynamic drag, and no force is left over to accelerate the car.

What is Energy?

Common Units of Energy

SI:

Newton meter (Nm)

1 Nm = 1 J

Joule (J)

1 J = 0.239 cal

Calorie (cal)

1 cal = 4.184 J

Watt hours (Wh)

1 Wh = 3,600 J

Kilowatt hours (kWh)

1 kWh = 1000 Wh

1 kWh = 3,600,000 J

1 kWh = 3412 BTU

English:

Foot - pound (ft lb)

1 ft lb = 1.356 Nm

British Thermal Unit (BTU)

1 BTU = 1055 J

1 BTU = 0.0002931 kWh

Energy is the final chapter in our terminology saga. We'll need everything we've learned up to this point to explain energy.

If power is like the strength of a weightlifter, energy is like his endurance. Energy is a measure of how long we can sustain the output of power, or how much work we can do; power is the rate at which we do the work. One common unit of energy is the kilowatt-hour (kW-hr). You learned in the last section that a kW is a unit of power. If we are using one kW of power, a kW-hr of energy will last one hour. If we use 10 kW of power, we will use up the kW-hr in just six minutes.

There are two kinds of energy: potential and kinetic.

Potential Energy

Potential energy is waiting to be converted into power. Gasoline in a fuel tank, food in your stomach, a compressed spring and a weight hanging from a tree are all examples of potential energy.

The human body is a type of energy conversion device. It converts food into power, which can be used to do work. A car engine converts gasoline into power, which can also be used to do work. A pendulum clock is a device that uses the energy stored in hanging weights to do work.

When you lift an object higher, it gains potential energy. The higher you lift it, and the heavier it is, the more energy it gains. For example, if you lift a bowling ball one inch, and drop it on the roof of your car, it won't do much damage (please, don't try this). But if you lift the ball 100 feet and drop it on your car, it will put a huge dent in the roof. The same ball dropped from a higher height has much more energy. So, by increasing the height of an object, you increase its potential energy.

Let's go back to our experiment in which we ran up the stairs and found out how much power we used. There is another way to look at how we calculated our power: We calculated how much potential energy our body gained when we raised it up to a certain height. This amount of energy was the work we did by running up the stairs (force * distance, or our weight * the height of the stairs). We then calculated how long it took to do this work, and that's how we found out the power. Remember that power is the rate at which we do work.

The formula to calculate the potential energy (PE) you gain when you increase your height is:

PE = Force * Distance

In this case, the force is equal to your weight, which is your mass (m) times the acceleration of gravity (g), and the distance is equal to your height (h) change. So the formula can be written:

PE = mgh

Kinetic Energy

Kinetic energy is energy of motion. Objects that are moving, such as a rollercoaster, have kinetic energy (KE). If a car crashes into a wall at 5 mph, it shouldn't do much damage to the car. But if it hits the wall at 40 mph, the car will most likely be totaled.

Kinetic energy is similar to potential energy. The more the object weighs, and the faster it is moving, the more kinetic energy it has. The formula for KE is:

KE = 1/2 m v2,

where m is the mass and v is the velocity.

One of the interesting things about kinetic energy is that it increases with the velocity squared. This means that if a car is going twice as fast, it has four times the energy. You may have noticed that your car accelerates much faster from 0 mph to 20 mph than it does from 40 mph to 60 mph. Let's compare how much kinetic energy is required at each of these speeds. At first glance, you might say that each car is increasing its speed by 20 mph, and so the energy required for each increase must be the same. But this is not the case.

We can calculate the kinetic energy required to go from 0 mph to 20 mph by calculating the KE at 20 mph and then subtracting the KE at 0 mph from that number. In this case, it would be 1/2 m 202 - 1/2 m 02. Because the second part of the equation is 0, the KE = 1/2 m 202, or 200 m. For the car going from 40 mph to 60 mph, the KE = 1/2 m 602 - 1/2 m 402; so KE = 1,800 m - 800 m, or 1000 m. Comparing the two results, we can see that it takes a KE of 1,000m to go from 40 mph to 60 mph, whereas it only takes 200 m to go from 0 mph to 20 mph.

There are a lot of other factors involved in determining a car's acceleration, such as aerodynamic drag, which also increases with the velocity squared. Gear ratios determine how much of the engine's power is available at a particular speed, and traction is sometimes a limiting factor. So it's a lot more complicated than just doing a kinetic energy calculation, but that calculation does help to explain the difference in acceleration times.

Bringing it Together

Now that we know about potential energy and kinetic energy, we can do some interesting calculations. Let's figure out how high a pole-vaulter could jump if he had perfect technique. First we'll figure out his KE, and then we'll calculate how high he could vault if he used all of that KE to increase his height (and therefore his PE), without wasting any of it. If he converted all of his KE to PE, then we can solve the equation by setting them equal to each other:

1/2 m v2 = m g h

Since mass is on both sides of the equation, we can eliminate this term. This makes sense because both KE and PE increase with increasing mass, so if the runner is heavier, his PE and KE both increase. So we'll eliminate the mass term and rearrange things a little to solve for h:

1/2 v2 / g = h

Let's say our pole-vaulter can run as fast as anyone in the world. Right now, the world record for running 100 m is just under 10 seconds. That gives a velocity of 10 m/s. We also know that the acceleration due to gravity is 9.8 m/s2. So now we can solve for the height:

1/2 10 / 9.8 = 5.1 meters

So 5.1 meters is the height that a pole-vaulter could raise his center of mass if he converted all of his KE into PE. But his center of mass is not on the ground; it is in the middle of his body, about 1 meter off the ground. So the best height a pole-vaulter could achieve is in fact about 6.1 meters, or 20 feet. He may be able to gain a little more height by using special techniques, like pushing off from the top of the pole, or getting a really good jump before takeoff.

And finally we come to length.

With this post I have equaled or beaten the K.P.L.F. or the "Kusanku Post Length Factor". ;)

davoravo

31st July 2002, 10:33

er, Rob

Was all that meant to say that

1/2 x Mass x Velocity squared = amount of potential hurt

But how do you factor in that Mass is divided into fist mass and body mass??

(1/2 x body mass x body vel sq) + (1/2 x fist mass x fist vel sq)= amount of potential hurt

But that leaves out follow through...

No, it was meant to take up as much space as possible.......nothing more.:cool:

Goju Man

31st July 2002, 11:22

Robert, you have the record now! E-Budo is screaming they need more bandwidth after that one!:D

John, look out! You've been shown up!:D

Kevin73

31st July 2002, 17:36

A jumping punch would have different dynamics in it than just standing. If you are standing and don't have a good stance (delivery sytem) than you could "bounce off".

If you are jumping towards someone and hit them than you have all of your mass behind you so no you wouldn't "bounce off" BUT, if you were to just jump straight up in the air and hit something solid than you would go back.

As far as I understand it, the tensing of muscles at the point of impact and then immediately relaxing them is so you have a solid structure that you are hitting with. If I don't tense certain muscles they are weak links to try and transfer energy into the target. It's a fine line, the actual tensing of the muscles does nothing in and of itself. It is so when you have a speeding punch hit the target all of those muscles that need to work to have a good punch are locked in so to speak so you have a solid foundation. For example, when punching I don't need my bicep flexed that is counter productive, but I need the tricep engaged along with my forearm and wrist (not counting all the other muscles for the example). So right when I hit I make sure that the muscles used to make a good fist, strong wrist, and a penentrating punch are solid.

Tommy_P

31st July 2002, 20:31

I think way too much is made of the tensing or not tensing issue. It must be frustrating as well as very confusing for a beginner. Tense this but relax that, release tension, tense again etc.

I think this tension thing may have been brought about by classroom instruction and air punching so as not to hyper extend the elbow.

In any case, I don't really think about it, I "just punch". Tensing the wrist or forearm before impact IMO is silly. Not the tensing itself but the idea that anyone would have to make a concious effort to do this.........it's obvious. If your fist is tight then so will your wrist be.

Your body knows what to do.....just do it....practice will let you know what's right "for you".

If you jump off a 10 ft high ledge, before hitting the ground do you have to conciously think which muscles to tense so as not to be limp as a noodle when hitting the ground? Instinct.....let the body work it's not stupid.

Tommy

Shitoryu Dude

31st July 2002, 22:23

Has your instructor explained to you the importance of hip rotation and using your entire body to generate power and not just the arm?

In a very real way the power of your punch comes from your rear foot.

:beer:

Goju Man

1st August 2002, 00:59

If you were to break down every technique into such details, we'd never learn to fight. I took up golf many years ago, and people were always over analyzing the swing. I just prefer to grip it and rip it.

Karate techniques can be the same way. If your worried about tensing this while relaxing that, the hips and now the rear foot, etc. Forget it. Just keep practising and through repition, and a good instructor, it'll come around all by itself.

I agree with Gojuman in part. (freaky isn't it......)

I am kind of the "Don't fix it unless it is broken" mind set.

Some teachers I have seen spend tooooooo much time talking about theory in technique when they should "Just Do it" then tweak the technique were needed. Give them a few simple basics on how to do it and let'em get to it. In this way the student doesn't get confused with information overload.

Goju-Ryu

1st August 2002, 23:45

"Chinkuchi Kakin", this expression is used in Okinawan dialect to describe the tension or stabilization of the joints of the body in order to create a strong posture, a strong punch or defense. For instance when you punch or when you perform a defense, the joints of your body stay "locked" for an instant and the concentration is centered in the contact point; the posture gets stronger locking the joints of the lower body and "sticking" to the floor. So, a quick and fluid movement is suddenly braked during an instant, striking or defending, when the power is transmitted or absorved, and then the tension is liberated in order to be prepared to the next movement! Sanchin kata is an example of long chinkuchi kakin <<-- all body joints in a state of constant tension!

Goju-Ryu

1st August 2002, 23:54

Originally posted by tote

The "unbending arm"

Check www.bodymindandmodem.com and there is a good animation and explanation about the "unbending arm"

The "unbendable arm" has nothing to do with "ki" and everything to with body mechanics.

I had some Japanese Self-Defense Force (Army) Paratrooper who was also an Aikikai guy try it on me. Didn't work.

This guy thought he was going to be a real "hot-shot" in front of his other SDFJ buddies.

He said "make a fist like you are punching and place it on my shoulder" I did. He tried to bend it...........didn't work. He said "wow you gaijin are pretty strong" and was pretty embarrassed since he had just finished telling all his pals how Aikido was so much better than karate because they use Ki :rolleyes: and the opponents own strength against themselves.

Why didn't it work? Because when we make a fist we don't tighten all 4 fingers and thumb but tighten the last to fingers (pinkie and ring) while leaving the rest fairly relaxed.

After that he tried to gain some face back by doing the "tried and true" lapel grab defense. This is the one were the defender takes the attackers hand and puts both his thumbs on the back of the big knuckle and twists in the direction of the thumb.

This also didn't work.

If some Aikidoka tries this technique on you take your thumb and move it over so it touches the ring finger on your hand and then kind of press them together.

If one understands body mechanics most of those "tricks" don't work

tote

2nd August 2002, 01:47

Thanks for all misunderstanding what I meant about "feet gripping the floor". However the subsequent corrections are all pretty much "correct", so...

Rob, with unbending arm, I never mentioned "ki". In fact, believe it or not, I learnt unbending arm from a web site that was debunking "mystical theories". If one understands body mechanics, these tricks are easier to do, and also to foil.

However, there are plenty of other ways to punch other than a straight jab... A hook punch uses different muscles again.

- "Yep that is what he said. 200 pounds of flying kama tsuksi just bounce right off that red cape."

If you want to believe I somehow implied this, go ahead. It ain't that simple...

HOWEVER, I do remember a certain Newton guy saying something about "actions generating an equal and opposite reaction". If you do everything wrong, including a very unstable stance, you can indeed push yourself backward with a punch. It's all very simple to demonstrate if you bounce a few marbles of different sizes against each other. Rolling a small marble against a big marble and the small once bounces back more than the big one moves.

However, humans are more complicated than marbles, with limb position, center of gravity, grip, etc, coming into play. So many levers, hinges and pivot points - there is a lot going on in something as simple as a punch.

Originally posted by tote

Rob, with unbending arm, I never mentioned "ki". In fact, believe it or not, I learnt unbending arm from a web site that was debunking "mystical theories". If one understands body mechanics, these tricks are easier to do, and also to foil.

Never said you did.

I was referring to the guy I met and several 1,000 other people that have the same misinformation.

larsen_huw

2nd August 2002, 10:08

Robert,

Call me wierd (why not, a lot of other people do!), but i actually read all of that huge post on mechanics. The more i read, the stronger an image i got of what my old physics teacher would be like if someone gave him a huge shot of speed!

On the subject of punching, the best method i've heard for teaching newcomers how to land a punch is to get the newbie to concentrate on where the punch lands. If you give an untrained person a heavy bag and tell them to hit it, most will hit the surface of the bag. If you tell them to aim for the middle of the bag, most will then start trying to hit through the target. By middle, i mean between the front and back of the bag, not half way between the top or bottom or left and right sides.

Also, if you try and give too much theory early on, the newcomer will get become uncertain about what they're doing, and worried they'll hurt themselves and go back to hitting the surface.

Let their body work it out for themselves, and only intervene if they're technique is so bad they have a high risk of injuring themselves.

How do i know all this about the mind of a nervous newcomer? Because not long ago i was one myself! I'm naturally quite skinny and weedy, and looked at this heavy bag and thought there would be no way i could thump this without busting myself! However with lots of time and practice my confidence has slowly improved and i now feel able to thump the bag as hard as i can.

Goju-Ryu

2nd August 2002, 17:42

Originally posted by Robert Rousselot

Why didn't it work? Because when we make a fist we don't tighten all 4 fingers and thumb but tighten the last to fingers (pinkie and ring) while leaving the rest fairly relaxed.

Who does that? Karatecas? I practice karate and when I make a fist I tight all my fingers...

Originally posted by Goju-Ryu

Who does that? Karatecas? I practice karate and when I make a fist I tight all my fingers...

Yes, Karateka.

Goju-Ryu

3rd August 2002, 11:32

Could you further develop that?

Actually I and several others have elaborated on this very subject in the past. If you do a search you might be able to find it.

the Khazar Kid

4th August 2002, 02:03

www.gutterfighting.org/cestari.html

Combatives expert Carl Cestari advocates training in tensed up hard movements because that is how you will probably move under the stress of combat anyway.

An interesting perspective that may explain why many traditional hard karate styles moved like this, not because it necessarily makes your blows more powerful mechanically. (although it might do that also!)

Jesse Peters

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