Chambered Fist?

white belt

Brown Belt
Nov 30, 2002
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midwest USA
Why are we taught to chamber our fists at the hip bone in some of our hyung positions / movements? Opinions?

white belt
Speaking from Kempo, The hand chambering on the hip is several different things. Trapping or pulling their hand closer to you and doing a arm bar throw, head twist, or from the mount a thrusting choke. I have studied TKD and traditional karate, the answer I got from my instructors was to gain more power in my punches and or this was how we were taught. Both of these answers don't make sense.
Bob :asian:
From the standpoint of application, yes, it sometimes represents a grab, pull, or some other such technique.

However, it is also done for purposes of adhering to one of the laws of physics; ie., for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Thus, the harder the retracting fist is pulled back, the harder the punch is fired, and vice-versa.
As an experiment, try this...
Start with both fists chambered on the hips. Throw one punch and don't do anything at all with the other fist. Feel the power.
Now try it beginning with one arm extended and pull back the non-punching fist to the chambering position forcefully. You'll feel a real difference in the power of your thrust.
I agree with the statements thus far. When trapping a grab, it is much easier to retain the limb than a punch coming in at mach speed. When using the trapping concept, these chambers are mostly then anti-grappling restraints during a counter attack? The pulling into the hip as opposed to another location would then serve what purpose?

white belt
Sometimes a simple gaurd, like pulling it to opposite shoulder or forehead.
To learn to execute movements without prior medial/rotational movement of the shoulder.

Just my thoughts, please note that I don't take TKD.
I appreciate the replys and was wondering if I could get more specifics from both. Even though Bagatha and I are TKD (ITF and WTF respectively), Elfan I am a firm believer that your style has much in common, according to tactics / physics, going back to our roots. Good knowledge has no style patents. Share more of your thoughts.

white belt
I hear crickets...and it's Winter. This thread has lost its pulse. More ideas? Did the Y man and the Kenpoists make for a tough act to follow?

white belt
Chamber at the hip simply as a learning tool, nothing more nothing less.

They way I see it bringing your hand to your hip to chamber while say you are performing another block or strike with the other hand, is used just to teach coordination. In reality does it matter if I chamber my hand at my hip, hi by my ribs, beside my face to guard?

Not really. I can still punch from all those positions. I can still achieve power from those positions. I can also develop accleration and speed.

Only reason is a learning tool.
Sorry, need to add on
Yes sometimes there are application reasons.
For example in Koryo after the single side kick, then the finger strike pull and rip combination, the pull is easily pulled to the hip making it easier to cut off the. . . . umm . . . . apendage.
Same in Keumgang. The cross body punch is combined with an elbow strike by the other hand. The elbow strike hand pulls back to the hip because that's where the elbow is going.

The counter to this is, what exactly is the hand doing on the hip after the first block in Taegeuk Il Jang?

Chambering at different levels (ribs, hip bone, etc.) are for, most times, different applications. What the hip chamber means, in a trapping context, is different than a trap under the armpit/ribs don't you think?

white belt
Right I agree with the trapping, and holding up hi on the ribs.
But, and I remember you mentioned KKW/WTF tkd is what your practice, which forms in particular are you speaking of where there are grabs, or traps in the patterns? By my interpertation of the ones I know, there aren't many actual traps. Some grabs and some pulls, but few traps, with some exceptions.
Retracting one hand when punching can be a number of things, not the least of which is training an additional strike! When you are punching, you are training the punch as well as a rear elbow strike.

The withdrawal of the rear hand to the hip does provide a vulnerability at the crest of the shoulder - when the hand is retracted, the nerves are vulnerable at the shoulder joint.

In forms, it is important to not only consider the possibility of grabs, jointlocks, etc., but also the crossing movements of one striking limb over another... A simple punch - low block combination can turn into a number of nasty applications depending on how the chambering and extension are performed...

I am schooled in Pal Gae forms. My Instructor never made the Tae Guek pattens mandatory.

Here's a trap to consider. We chamber for a "punch" when in actuality the drawing of the fist to the hip chamber position is a circular grip reversal. This example refers to a right hand grabbing your right wrist. By rotating the right chambered fist, when stepping in a front stance with the arm/wrist trapped in our grip, the elbow, temple, carotid, kidney, etc. are then exposed for attack while the opponent is held in place momentarily. When stepping into the front stance you are stepping over to the opponents right blind side for added protection from his left hand weapons. The forward pull also causes temporary balancing of your opponent on his right leg. This means temporary negation of kicks from that leg as well.

My point in starting this thread is to stimulate some conversation about the variety available from this one common arm position. Chambering for a punch is valid in some contexts, but there are apps. more commonly unknown. Just panning for gold.

white belt

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