Different sources of power generation for punches

Tony Dismukes

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
7,452
Reaction score
7,385
Location
Lexington, KY
In the latest Tai Chi thread, we were discussing different methods of generating power. As promised, I threw together a little video demonstrating the main methods I use to generate power for punching. I just rambled spontaneously, so I probably left out something, but I think got most of the basics in there.

I'm only hitting the bag with about 60-70% power. Partly that's because I was trying to focus on explaining the concepts and partly because my old arthritic wrists will complain later in the night if I do too much hitting the bag at 100%.

Feel free to ask questions, post your own videos, explain how you do things differently, or just tell me how much my punching sucks. :)
 
OP
Tony Dismukes

Tony Dismukes

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
7,452
Reaction score
7,385
Location
Lexington, KY
I appreciate the description, thank you for sharing. How much does that heavy bag weigh?
Im not sure. Its packed pretty solidly, but its not one of the heaviest bags at the gym. I chose it because it has the shape for uppercuts and because it was out of the way of my boxing coach who was doing some private instruction. Id guess maybe about 65 pounds.
 
OP
Tony Dismukes

Tony Dismukes

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
7,452
Reaction score
7,385
Location
Lexington, KY

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
13,328
Reaction score
5,456
In the latest Tai Chi thread, we were discussing different methods of generating power. As promised, I threw together a little video demonstrating the main methods I use to generate power for punching. I just rambled spontaneously, so I probably left out something, but I think got most of the basics in there.

I'm only hitting the bag with about 60-70% power. Partly that's because I was trying to focus on explaining the concepts and partly because my old arthritic wrists will complain later in the night if I do too much hitting the bag at 100%.

Feel free to ask questions, post your own videos, explain how you do things differently, or just tell me how much my punching sucks. :)
Thanks for taking the time to put this together.
 

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
7,233
Reaction score
2,389
I like the "belt buckle pointed here" description.
 

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
7,233
Reaction score
2,389
I have some thoughts on this. First, I agree with everything you did say. But I'd like to add on.
  1. When stepping forward with the left leg (whether extending it from orthodox or stepping forward in southpaw), you can also generate a lot of power with the right hand. If you're pushing forward with the right leg, the power is traveling straight through your right hip and arm, instead of diagonal like if you were to punch with your left hand.
  2. The fist rotation is often touted as increasing punching power. I agree with this. But I disagree with why. The reasons I hear is that it increases power like a bullet, or that it drills through for more penetration. But penetration from a drill is because it's cutting side-to-side, and a bullet's spin largely affects its accuracy, and has much less bearing on power. The reason I feel rotating your arm at the end of a strike (no mater the type of strike) is you add a few extra inches of movement, which is a burst of speed during that time. A rotating fist will be traveling faster during the rotation, and if you time it right, it can be very effective.
  3. One thing I think was missed is the connection to the ground itself. This is hinted at in a lot of the ways you push off the ground to generate power. However, even just the way you are connected to the ground helps solidify your punches when you strike. When I tested punches on a Strikemeter, the horse stance punch was surprisingly strong. My theory is that in most fighting stances, you are pushing with the back leg only, but in the horse stance, the punch is drawing power from both feet being planted down.
  4. No Superman Punch?! In all seriousness, I think the Superman punch is a perfect example of using either the push off or gravity for the power generation.
Some observations:
  • I really like the centrifugal hook. That's a new one.
  • As I mentioned above, I like the belt buckle analogy. It's a new take on the concept. And in a TKD class, you can say "knot pointed this way".
Edit to add: one more thought, this time relating to gravity. Gravity is a big source of power generation for ground-and-pound.
 
Last edited:

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
7,233
Reaction score
2,389
Liked, subscribed, and hit the bell icon.
 
OP
Tony Dismukes

Tony Dismukes

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
7,452
Reaction score
7,385
Location
Lexington, KY
No Superman Punch?! In all seriousness, I think the Superman punch is a perfect example of using either the push off or gravity for the power generation.
There are a few power generation methods that I left out because I don't use them often and so they didn't come to mind immediately. The Superman punch has some tricky body mechanics that go beyond anything I mentioned in this video. (Although the push off and use of gravity are in the mix.)
 

_Simon_

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
4,315
Reaction score
2,786
Location
Australia
Excellent video and breakdown Tony :). Especially liked how you talk about the shoulder and moreso the fist being very the tail end of the punch, whilst contributing, it mainly gives shape and direction to it but isn't the source of the power. Great stuff :)
 

Wing Woo Gar

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
3,439
Reaction score
1,824
Location
Northern California
In the latest Tai Chi thread, we were discussing different methods of generating power. As promised, I threw together a little video demonstrating the main methods I use to generate power for punching. I just rambled spontaneously, so I probably left out something, but I think got most of the basics in there.

I'm only hitting the bag with about 60-70% power. Partly that's because I was trying to focus on explaining the concepts and partly because my old arthritic wrists will complain later in the night if I do too much hitting the bag at 100%.

Feel free to ask questions, post your own videos, explain how you do things differently, or just tell me how much my punching sucks. :)
Great job!
 

Wing Woo Gar

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
3,439
Reaction score
1,824
Location
Northern California
In the latest Tai Chi thread, we were discussing different methods of generating power. As promised, I threw together a little video demonstrating the main methods I use to generate power for punching. I just rambled spontaneously, so I probably left out something, but I think got most of the basics in there.

I'm only hitting the bag with about 60-70% power. Partly that's because I was trying to focus on explaining the concepts and partly because my old arthritic wrists will complain later in the night if I do too much hitting the bag at 100%.

Feel free to ask questions, post your own videos, explain how you do things differently, or just tell me how much my punching sucks. :)
I think you are great at videos.
 

vic

Yellow Belt
Joined
May 11, 2022
Messages
20
Reaction score
6
Do you agree about how modern/external and traditional/internal power differ as claimed in this video?
 
OP
Tony Dismukes

Tony Dismukes

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
7,452
Reaction score
7,385
Location
Lexington, KY
Do you agree about how modern/external and traditional/internal power differ as claimed in this video?
Not really.

First, he's making an overly simplified distinction between "modern/western" fighting systems and "traditional/eastern" systems. The power generation methods he describes as being "modern/western" also exist in plenty of traditional eastern styles. Likewise, the power generation methods that he describes as "traditional/eastern" do exist in modern "western" fighting styles if you know where to look. What he's really comparing is western boxing vs tai chi/xingyi/bagua, and he's doing it with only a surface level understanding of western boxing.

Second, he's confusing shoving power with impact power. His demos of "internal" power are all examples of pushing to off-balance, not hitting to damage. There is validity to this type of tactic at the right place and time, but it serves a different purpose. (You can deliver a strike which both shoves and damages, but as you optimize for one aspect you weaken the other.)

Thirdly, he clearly has an agenda to show his version of internal power as being better than "modern/western" methods and so he's presenting a biased view of both approaches. He's showing what he sees as the weaknesses of boxing and the strengths of Chinese internal systems and not considering the pros and cons in the other direction.
 

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
7,233
Reaction score
2,389
Second, he's confusing shoving power with impact power. His demos of "internal" power are all examples of pushing to off-balance, not hitting to damage. There is validity to this type of tactic at the right place and time, but it serves a different purpose. (You can deliver a strike which both shoves and damages, but as you optimize for one aspect you weaken the other.)
Maybe another video you could do is on the different types of power.
 

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
13,692
Reaction score
4,325
Location
Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
he's confusing shoving power with impact power.
Agree with you 100% on this.

Many people confuse pushing with punching (especially for those Taiji people).

In

- striking art, you want to create a head on collision ( -> <-).
- throwing art, you want to create a rear end collision (-> ->).

Pushing is a big joke in MA. Bruce Lee once said, "I punch, I don't push." One should keep his friend close, but his enemy closer.
 
Last edited:

Alan0354

Master of Arts
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
1,742
Reaction score
541
Step forward and punch is A WHOLE LOT HARDER than just stand and punch. It is so much easier to use the body, legs, hips, shoulder to punch if standing still. Stepping forward while punching make it so much harder, it's night and day.

I practice stepping forward with front leg, then step back after punching. that's always my first set of workout on the heavy bag. I practice jab-reverse punch half the time, and reverse punch-left punch half the time. I am short, stepping when punch gives me more reach. Towards the middle of the session, I do 6 or 7 punches combination, but still start with one step forward and punch first.

Punching looks and sounds easy, it's very hard, takes a LONG time to get good. I practice punching 6X6" wood pole to toughen up the wrist and knuckles 2 times a week.

It's very much like front kick, looks and sounds so simple, but kicking a HARD from kick without pushing is HARD, just like punching. Side kick and round kick is SO MUCH easier even though it take time to get start.
 

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
13,692
Reaction score
4,325
Location
Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
Step forward and punch is A WHOLE LOT HARDER than just stand and punch. ... I practice stepping forward with front leg, then step back after punching.
Agree with you 100% there. This is why in

- beginner level, you train static punch.
- intermediate level, or advance level, you train dynamic punch.

It's so funny that a teacher may say,"when you throw a punch, you are wrong by

- moving your back foot, if you are in beginner level.
- not moving your back foot, if you are in intermediate, or advance level."

I like to coordinate my front foot landing with my punch landing on the heavy bag. If 2 sounds can be 1 sound, I'll be happy.

Example of dynamic punch, and punch and foot landing coordination can be seen in this clip.

 
Last edited:
Top