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allenjp

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After reading the thread "my thoughts on aggression..." I am compelled to ask a question that I have asked before and kind of gotten scolded for asking. I know this topic has been discussed before, and yes I have searched the threads and read them but I have yet to find a definitive or concise answer.

Why train so much to defend against the lunge punch?
and:
Is the lunge punch taught in the xkans as a viable attack technique, and if so what are its advantages?
If it isn't taught as an attack technique, what type of punch is?

If you have read many of my posts you know of my intense interest in the Bujinkan, and my plans to train in it as soon as I am able. I DO NOT intend to say that this practice is wrong or bad, I just don't understand it. Can someone just answer the questions without speaking in code or telling me to search the threads, please?
 

dart68

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The lunge punch you refer to is mostly used as a training tool. It would be closer to someone trying to stab you with a knife.
 

pesilat

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I'm not exactly sure what you mean by a "lunge" punch but I assume you mean a straight line punch - what I would call a jab or a cross.

The conclusion I have reached and why I continue to use that as my primary training tool is that a straight line attack is the most common thing to start a fight.

Now, I always hear people say, "What about the guy who throws a haymaker?" It happens but even when it does it is often prefaced by a shove or a grab of the shirt/jacket/etc.

Don't think of it as a "punch." Think of it as a "straight line motion." It may be a shove. It may be [going to be] a grab. It may be a punch or a blade attack. Doesn't matter. It's a straight line attack.

I've been in a few fights and seen a few others and I can only remember a single incident where the fight started with a haymaker that wasn't prefaced with some sort of straight line motion.

Hope that makes sense and helps you.

Mike
 

Cryozombie

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Is the lunge punch taught in the xkans as a viable attack technique, and if so what are its advantages?
If it isn't taught as an attack technique, what type of punch is?

I was always told that this attack is taught not so much as an attack, but rather as a drill to teach you to develop power thru whole body movement and as an excercise in proper body alignment/movement.

Somthing that is, well, I wont say Unique to the 'Kans, but somthing I didnt see in my previous TKD and Hapkido training, is that (the Buj at least) we are taught these big, gross movements. People watching videos and stuff, go OMG THATS SO LAMZOR! THAT WOULDN'T WORK! And they are probably right... but the thing is... thats the basics. As we develop an understanding of them, we pare the movements down, make them smaller, tighter, and in many cases, more hidden.

I wish I could explain how that translates to striking, but I can't really put it into words. We hit many ways, but often with the same kind of spine/hip twisting/untwisting we learn from those lunge type punches.

Dunno if that helped.
 

Cryozombie

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And I should also add the disclaimer to the above... thats MY personal understanding and experience. Your milage may vary.
 

savagek

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Hello all,

Insted of calling it a lunge punch, punching from the hip, Noda City floater maybe restudy Ken Tai Ichi Jo ~ Body and Weapon move as one or the steps that make up Inashi Gata... I think you will find the answer with these two leads.


Be well and Gassho,

Ken Savage
www.winmartialarts.com
 

Chris Parker

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Hi,

Just adding in my 2 cents worth here, take it for whatyou can.

I have heard a number of different reasons for the classical lunge punch being trained so much, some seem to have some merit, others less so, and have basically come up with my own interpretation. The first thing to take into account is what I heard Charles Daniel once refer to as "the human element", that is, the when, where, and who of the situation. In our modern world, the classical lunge punch is not something we would commonly come up against (in this regard, I am refering to a stepping straight punch, typically aimed at the face); with the advent of the globalisation of media, most fighting systems have adopted similar approaches and aspects (leading to the MMA phenomena), and that includes the almost universal adoption of Western Hands (boxing). As a result, the more common hand strikes in a modern assault are jabs, crosses, and hooks from a balanced posture (for a skilled opponent), and wild swinging hooks, either stepping or standing solid (haymakers - less skilled or unskilled opponent). Almost all strikes are with the fists, and most are aimed to the head.

To contrast this, the classical Ninjutsu lunge punch is performed by starting with your punching hand as your rear; you then step forward, and punch in a straight line to you rintended target (there is obviously a bit more to it than this, but that is a matter for your instructor to teach). Ideally, this punch should also be retracted at the end, something that is sometimes "forgotten" to aid in a technique....

So why the different attacks? And why train against a punch which is so different than the ones you will most likely face? Well, the answer to the first part can simply be "the human element". THe second we'll get to in a moment.

By the "human element", I am refering to all aspects that influence the movements of an art. These include the style of clothing worn (armour, street clothes, the styles of the day), the type of conflict engaged in (battlefield, match fight/duel, rules, number of opponents, weapons etc), and various social conditioning beliefs (for example, in the West, kicking someone in the groin is frowned upon as "dirty fighting", but it seems to turn up quite readily in Eastern systems). With current assaults, there are a few different types, duel-type fights, and ambush assaults. In both, though, similar physical attacks are used, the difference is in the tactics used to employ them. Suffice to say the techniques are fast and powerful. They are based on Western hands, because they are also fast and powerful, and are designed to be used in either plain modern clothes, or even with your garments shed. They also follow the social rules of no kicking, or at least no kicking to the groin (we are, however, seeing a change in the style of assault thanks to the advent of things such as youtube and MMA. Ground fighting has become accepted, and group ambush assaults are becoming more common as gangs film themselves to brag online).

The lunge punch, on the other hand, follows the conventions of fuedal Japan. In the fuedal battlefield, you would be wearing armour, which would limit your movement. So in order to generate as much power as you can, the technique was developed to step with the punch, in order to get your entire bodyweight behind the strike (Ken Tai Ichi Jo - the weapon/fist and the body as one). This action also mimiced the movements used with a variety of weapons, such as sword and naginata.

The main reasons to continue to train it, and against it, are therefore not immediately practical. But neither is Muto Dori (unarmed sword defences). Nor spear techniques, or indeed most of the classical skills we study. So why train them at all? Most RBSD and MMA guys will probably tell you you shouldn't... but I feel that would mean missing out on some very important, time-tested skill building patterns, as well as meaning the loss of very rich, very beautiful old knowledge.

So in conclusion, your reasons for training the old techniques will be your own. You may train them to practice proper body mechanics which will carry through to the rest of your training, you might train them to gain an insight into a different culture in a different time and place, you may gain an appreciation for historical warriors, or you may just find it fun. Whichever your reasons are, realise that they may change as you grow more experienced, and your own understanding of the movements of your chosen art deepens.
 

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It is simply as cryo stated above an integration method for whole body movement. There is a lot of power in any technique with the whole body committed. Recently I have seen a few lunge punches in the MMA world have brutal effect. Albeit they were performed slightly different. I would say however that a good Bujinkan dojo will give you different looks at different styles of punching. ie. jab, cross, etc. The last Budo Taijutsu seminar we had up here in Michigan Shihan Michael Asuncion covered Togakure Ryu and then some boxing movement and technique. Definitely something that every Budo Taijutsu instructor should be looking at. Just my 02.
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stephen

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...then some boxing movement and technique. Definitely something that every Budo Taijutsu instructor should be looking at. Just my 02.
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Nah...This Budo Taijutsu instructor prefers to look at...well...Budo Taijutsu.
 

Ronnin

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I'm not exactly sure what you mean by a "lunge" punch but I assume you mean a straight line punch - what I would call a jab or a cross.

The conclusion I have reached and why I continue to use that as my primary training tool is that a straight line attack is the most common thing to start a fight.

Now, I always hear people say, "What about the guy who throws a haymaker?" It happens but even when it does it is often prefaced by a shove or a grab of the shirt/jacket/etc.

Don't think of it as a "punch." Think of it as a "straight line motion." It may be a shove. It may be [going to be] a grab. It may be a punch or a blade attack. Doesn't matter. It's a straight line attack.

I've been in a few fights and seen a few others and I can only remember a single incident where the fight started with a haymaker that wasn't prefaced with some sort of straight line motion.

Hope that makes sense and helps you.

Mike
This is a really good analogy.
 
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allenjp

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Thank you all for the responses thus far...I guess the idea behind the "classical Japanese" lunge punch is similar to the cross in western boxing. That is, punching with the rear hand and using movement of the whole body to create more power. I guess the part that is hard for me to understand is this: The way that I have always seen a lunge punch practiced (and was actually taught how to drill this technique by a Bujinkan instructor once) the punching arm is protruded and extended away from the body so much that it in fact (seems to) becomes so vulnerable to any number of counter attacks against the attacking arm.

Am I correct in assuming then that at some point that punch is taught as being done much quicker, and with some movement to quickly retract the attacking arm or protect it?

I guess that the key point to defending against any punch is timing, and I guess at some point the buj must practice defending punches at real speed?

BTW Brian, we all know how much you love posting video, you think maybe we could get a sample of those lunge punches in MMA you mentioned? That would be cool.

Would you guys (and gals) consider that punch that Seth Petruzelli used to knock out Kimbo a lunge punch?
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Thank you all for the responses thus far...I guess the idea behind the "classical Japanese" lunge punch is similar to the cross in western boxing. That is, punching with the rear hand and using movement of the whole body to create more power. I guess the part that is hard for me to understand is this: The way that I have always seen a lunge punch practiced (and was actually taught how to drill this technique by a Bujinkan instructor once) the punching arm is protruded and extended away from the body so much that it in fact (seems to) becomes so vulnerable to any number of counter attacks against the attacking arm.

Am I correct in assuming then that at some point that punch is taught as being done much quicker, and with some movement to quickly retract the attacking arm or protect it?

I guess that the key point to defending against any punch is timing, and I guess at some point the buj must practice defending punches at real speed?

BTW Brian, we all know how much you love posting video, you think maybe we could get a sample of those lunge punches in MMA you mentioned? That would be cool.

Would you guys (and gals) consider that punch that Seth Petruzelli used to knock out Kimbo a lunge punch?

No allenjp I would not categorize Petruzelli's punch as a lunge.

Vitor Belfort used to step in when he was throwing a rear hand punch so some of his fights had some lunging style punches in it. The Budo Taijutsu classical lunge punge is definitely still a little different from any of those. I did however see a fight and I cannot remember it as it was a UFC lower tier fight but one gentleman used a lunge punch (not exactly like a Budo Taijutsu lunge punch) and knocked the other guy out.

I will look around for video and if I spot something then I will post it.
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allenjp

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I'm not exactly sure what you mean by a "lunge" punch but I assume you mean a straight line punch - what I would call a jab or a cross.

The conclusion I have reached and why I continue to use that as my primary training tool is that a straight line attack is the most common thing to start a fight.

Now, I always hear people say, "What about the guy who throws a haymaker?" It happens but even when it does it is often prefaced by a shove or a grab of the shirt/jacket/etc.

Don't think of it as a "punch." Think of it as a "straight line motion." It may be a shove. It may be [going to be] a grab. It may be a punch or a blade attack. Doesn't matter. It's a straight line attack.

I've been in a few fights and seen a few others and I can only remember a single incident where the fight started with a haymaker that wasn't prefaced with some sort of straight line motion.

Hope that makes sense and helps you.

Mike

You make a good point.
 

Aiki Lee

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The way I have been told to view the lunge punch is as a begining way to practice a technique, since avoiding a punch like that is quite easy. Ninjutsu, being the ancient art that it is, contains "outdated" methods of attacks. I say outdated, because the lunge punch would have been used by someone wearing heavy armor. It would have been the most effective way to punch someone at the time. Traditional training reflects this, but it is important to remember to train also against more modern methods of attack. Practice your technique against every kind of attack you can think of.
For example, in my dojo, we practice the techniques against everything. Take MUSHA DORI for example. We first practice it in the traditional sense, the do it against someone punching in different ways, or trying to put us in different locks or throws, or kicks or tackles. This lets us practice the principles of the technique, so we can do it against any attack.
 

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I think everyone needs to be on the same page when defining the terms. A lunge punch is a very specific punch and body mechanics/motion.

For a right handed lunge punch, you start in a left side forward stance. You then step through with your right leg and plant into a new right lead forward stance. The hand that is punching is now coming from the lead side.


A "reverse punch" as most call it is the punch coming from the rear hand. If we were in the same stance as before and did a right stepthrough, you would be punching with the left hand since that would be on your rear hip.

As far as why? It is a basic training drill used to teach several things. To defend against the punch it allows beginners to get an appreciation for distancing/timing. It also reflect certain cultural aspects to it.

If you want to make it more street applicable for today's society. Many sucker punches are either 1) step in with the left and take a big haymaker with the right or 2) person is standing semi-naturally and launches the hand first and THEN the right foot follows behind with the momentum.

Many systems that involve weapons use the step-through/lunge punch because many untrained people will attack with the knife that way to stab you in the stomach.
 
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skuggvarg

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The way I have been told to view the lunge punch is as a begining way to practice a technique, since avoiding a punch like that is quite easy.

I think one should not limit ones view of the lunge punch to just a "basic" or "beginning way". Like some have allready written there are specific reason behind the use of it. In todays sport-oriented environment many of the original reasons for doing it in the specific way it is done has been forgotten. Much like other artforms have been "lost" because of changes in society. Here are a few tips to help ones understanding of the punch.

-The lunge punch is not an isolated, japanese type of attack. Even western boxing depended heavily on this type of attack up to the beginning of the last century.

-There are several tactical reasons for striking with the back hand. First and foremost in my opinion is that we in the Bujinkan use the defensive posture (like ichimonji) very extensively. This gives away why we also punch the way we do. If you want to protect yourself as much as possible from an opponent you have to twist the body away from him to present a smaller target. The positive effect is that the enemy can not get to your vulnerable parts so easily. Naturally your left hand will now be in front of your body which is good since you can use it for holding distance and defend against incoming attacks. However, your right arm will be further away from you opponent. Here is the #1 reason you have to take a step in.

-The Bujinkan way of unarmed fighting comes from armed fighting. The possibility that your oponent is armed was quite high back in the days, making it even more important to defend yourself and keep distance. This also explains why the lunge punch is done the way it is done. Once you find an opening you must throw in everything you got, to get into the opponents space and "occupy" it. In many cases there is no second chance. Thats why these attacks are meant to take out the opponent in one strike or att least get in and unbalance him enough for you to engage in close range grappling. Thats why the hand is left out, not as a target for attack but because you will immediately use it again to grap, strike or deflect. Should the opponent be able to take a step back, your striking hand is now your lead defending hand and you are in a new "defensive" posture.

Regarding speed. Obviously it will take longer time to strike with the back hand and taking a step than to strike with the front hand without a step. However, an experienced striker will be extremely fast and will strike at a time when you are caught "out of rythm". If done properly it is also difficult to deflect/defend against. With all the weight behind you can in many cases strike through a normal guard.

Hope I managed to get you thinking in the right direction ;-)

Regards/ Skuggvarg
 
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allenjp

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but it is important to remember to train also against more modern methods of attack. Practice your technique against every kind of attack you can think of.
For example, in my dojo, we practice the techniques against everything. Take MUSHA DORI for example. We first practice it in the traditional sense, the do it against someone punching in different ways, or trying to put us in different locks or throws, or kicks or tackles. This lets us practice the principles of the technique, so we can do it against any attack.

This makes a lot of sense. Why doesn't someone make a video of training like that, to shut up the critics?
 
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allenjp

allenjp

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I think everyone needs to be on the same page when defining the terms. A lunge punch is a very specific punch and body mechanics/motion.

For a right handed lunge punch, you start in a left side forward stance. You then step through with your right leg and plant into a new right lead forward stance. The hand that is punching is now coming from the lead side.


A "reverse punch" as most call it is the punch coming from the rear hand. If we were in the same stance as before and did a right stepthrough, you would be punching with the left hand since that would be on your rear hip.

As far as why? It is a basic training drill used to teach several things. To defend against the punch it allows beginners to get an appreciation for distancing/timing. It also reflect certain cultural aspects to it.

If you want to make it more street applicable for today's society. Many sucker punches are either 1) step in with the left and take a big haymaker with the right or 2) person is standing semi-naturally and launches the hand first and THEN the right foot follows behind with the momentum.

Many systems that involve weapons use the step-through/lunge punch because many untrained people will attack with the knife that way to stab you in the stomach.

Watched the video...now hold on a second, that looks a lot different because he didn't leave his arm hanging out there. He retracted it very quickly. That punch looks a lot more practical. Is he a Bujinkan practitioner?
 
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Brian R. VanCise

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Watched the video...now hold on a second, that looks a lot different because he didn't leave his arm hanging out there. He retracted it very quickly. That punch looks a lot more practical. Is he a Bujinkan practitioner?

No I believe he is not. Other than the step forward that is not a Budo Taijutsu style lunch punch. (way different)
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