Step Thru vs. Cross

MJS

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Many times we see techniques demonstrated in which the 'attacker' does a step thru punch. We then hear people say that nobody steps thru when they punch, but instead throws more of a cross.

IMO, we shouldn't dismiss either. That being said, we should be able to apply a technique regardless of what they throw.

I'm interested in hearing everyones thoughts on this.

Mike
 

Rick Wade

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I agree with you in that we should be able to do the technique no matter what. But lets take the first technique and asume that they through a punch instead of a lapel grab. The only difrence is at what point in the arm you hit and then your left hand is a true precautionary check if it is a step through. Then of course it changes how the kick is employed. Then end result should be the same in the sense that the last part is a chop to the neck.

V/R

Rick
 

INDYFIGHTER

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In boxing we call it a over hand right, if you're a orthordox fighter. There's a LOT of power available in that punch!
 

Touch Of Death

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MJS said:
Many times we see techniques demonstrated in which the 'attacker' does a step thru punch. We then hear people say that nobody steps thru when they punch, but instead throws more of a cross.

IMO, we shouldn't dismiss either. That being said, we should be able to apply a technique regardless of what they throw.

I'm interested in hearing everyones thoughts on this.

Mike
Perhaps the most realistic (common) should be taught first.
Sean
 

bushidomartialarts

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imo, train first as the canon tells us. practice the technique as taught. there are reasons it was set down that way. sometimes for combat effectiveness, sometimes for teaching effectiveness, sometimes to develop a specific skill. learn what is taught.

and once you've learned it, go nuts with the thing. try it from all types and angles of punches. try it against kicks, elbows, multiple attackers. try it sitting down, lying down, in a chair, in the car, underwater.

for what it's worth, i've observed mostly step-through punches but not the exaggerated kind we throw in class. usually, the attacker is standing in what can best be described as a sloppy, half-assed horse stance (horse's *** stance?) with the leg on the punching side slightly forward.
 

Simon Curran

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Personally I don't look at a step through punch as the classical deep stance Karate type punch, I try to think of it more as kind of like the agressive drunk almost stumbling forward as he throws his power shot, that, I think, represents a more common attack
 

JamesB

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I remember this being discussed a while back (possibly on kenponet): The consensus was that a 'step-through' punch was easier to defend against than a 'reverse-punch', so the the step-through-punch was utilized alot more as attacks in the kenpo-techs, in order to teach the basic principles of the kenpo system.

Once the basics were in (i.e. step-back, block on outside of arm, control width etc), then presumably the idea is to inject more and more realism into the attacks, rather than just being static punches.

Having said that, even a step-through punch will have a follow-up with the rear hand (i.e. lead-jab, reverse-cross-hook or whatever). How many kenpoists practise the punch *attacks* as punching combinations, *with intent*, rather than just the step-through by itself?

But I do agree with MJS, I think that a 'lead-hand', step-foward punch is just as likely as a cross-hook - the key here being that the cross-hook will be coming at ya pretty soon afterwards :)


james
 

bushidomartialarts

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JamesB said:
How many kenpoists practise the punch *attacks* as punching combinations, *with intent*, rather than just the step-through by itself?

kosho-ryu kenpo (a grandfather art to american -- mitose's art) teaches a lot based on the iterative attacks in a combination. set them up by manipulating the first punch, then take advantage of the weight shift when they commit to the second. interesting stuff and really powerful.

a fun drill for AK is to wait for the second attack before throwing your technique. want thundering hammers? have your partner throw a committed left-right combo and wait for the right before firing.
 
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MJS

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Lots of great replies!

Rick Wade said:
I agree with you in that we should be able to do the technique no matter what. But lets take the first technique and asume that they through a punch instead of a lapel grab. The only difrence is at what point in the arm you hit and then your left hand is a true precautionary check if it is a step through. Then of course it changes how the kick is employed. Then end result should be the same in the sense that the last part is a chop to the neck.

V/R

Rick

Thats a great point! If we see that arm coming, why wait until its actually grabbed us before reacting.


Perhaps the most realistic (common) should be taught first.
Sean

Another good point. Then again, no matter what method is taught, going back to cover the 'what if' areas is always a good plan.
 

Hand Sword

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Right! Action beats re-action, When in doubt, take them out! I usually see the weaker arm hold on while the stronger one fires away, or a sad facsimile of a boxing match. I'd go with the cross as the most common one, and learning to deal with that first.
 

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Here's how I see it. although I'm kempo I have done some research into other arts, such as Shotokan. Funakoshi taught the step through punch first and called it the 'lunge punch' and the second type he taught, the legs were 'reversed' in the stance so he called it the 'reverse punch'. We use the same methods. After looking at both methods, believe or not, I noticed a similiarity on the street, many with my experiences as an LEO since '77.

The first strike, sucker punch, haymaker, roundhouse punch, over hand type right, whatever, lol, but I found that to be one of the most popular attacks, not only in my life experience but the 'caught on tape' assaults and brawls we've seen over the years along with other peoples' input. I also observed there are two ways a person delivers this. He/she either steps in aggressively and throws the shot with the back foot coming forward (the step through or lunge punch) or he shoulder-shifts making sure his power side (usually the right) his back (strong leg back) and then throws the punch from that position (the reverse punch).

I have a theory that maybe this is what the elders looked at many years ago, took the natural way people move to attack, fine tuned the movement for strong body mechcanics and came out with these two methods of delivery and defense against such delivery. What do you guys think??? Possible?
 

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MJS said:
Many times we see techniques demonstrated in which the 'attacker' does a step thru punch. We then hear people say that nobody steps thru when they punch, but instead throws more of a cross.

IMO, we shouldn't dismiss either. That being said, we should be able to apply a technique regardless of what they throw.

I'm interested in hearing everyones thoughts on this.

Mike
While the traditonal 'step through' punch doesn't really exist in the street, these 'haymaker' types punches do tend to come from slightly to the rear from behind the leg. Street body language tends to 'hide' the weapon and/or distract before delivering a fully committed anticipated contact attack, stepping forward with more power and much less precision.

The traditional 'reverse' punch on the street, (which refers to the leg arm relationship forward to rear) is more clearly represented as a follow up attack to the former, as opposed to an initiated attack.

Therefore in my teachings to raise the degree of difficulty to a more realistic level, 'traditonal' step through punches are not allowed at any level of training. Why train with something not likely to be presented in reality? I make things 'easy' where it makes sense, but whoever said defending yourself against a committed attacker who wants to knock your head off, was easy. Stick with reality.

I would remind you that the Japanese 'Shotokan-like' step through punch comes from a martial based discipline never intended to be a fighting art. "Karate-do" is a 'way art,' not a figting art and the methodology utilized in "C stepping" forward to engage the hips, is anatomically flawed and misaligns the entire body. Its 'power' comes from inertia and not an anatomically properly structured execution.
 

Jimi

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I have seen some untrained people throw a haymaker punch in the street before, and some begin the punch with the left foot forward & launch the right hand. As the hand reaches forward some people will uproot the rear (right foot) a step with the punch almost as an after thought, and the foot sometimes arrives after the hand lands.(unlike the tradition one-step style lunge punch) I agree thet people should train to try and deal with all sorts of attacks, even the drunk goofy foot punch. RESPECTS TO KENPO PRACTITIONERS
 

Henderson

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I know this is in the kenpo area, but here's my opinion...

It does not matter (not even a little bit) to me whether he throws a reverse punch, lunge punch, right handed or left handed. My defense is my defense. If I have decided I am going to step to avoid and "block" with kake uke (hooking reception), the only thing that is different is whether I end up inside or outside. And to me, I am comfortable in either place. From there, my follow-up and finish are dictated by way too many factors to say "I will do this, then that, and end with a whatever". The idea that my defense depends on what technique is thrown, and with what hand, requires way too much thought. If my technique is dictated by the manner of attack, I have fallen into the pit of numbered self-defense. Not a good place to be.

Just my $.02

Respects...
 

kenpoworks

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Well Henderson,
it does'nt matter to me whether you should be in here or not, because that was a very good post which I mostly agreed with .
W.R.
Rich
 

Matt

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MJS said:
Many times we see techniques demonstrated in which the 'attacker' does a step thru punch. We then hear people say that nobody steps thru when they punch, but instead throws more of a cross.

IMO, we shouldn't dismiss either. That being said, we should be able to apply a technique regardless of what they throw.

I'm interested in hearing everyones thoughts on this.

Mike

In some styles of Kempo, such as the Karazenpo subsets, some attacks were taught off of a cross, or reverse punch. some were even taught off of hooks. If you look back to Kajukenbo I think they still teach off of a reverse punch sometimes. It seems they were standardized off of a step through punch at some point, but that is only a semantic / pedagogical limitation. At my school we initially teach the combinations we've kept of the Shaolin Kempo curriculum off of a straight step through punch, but then on combinations that had different attacks initially, we teach the 'old attack' as well. Some make much more sense off the 'old way' whether it is a reverse punch or a hook.

However, that being said, once the techniques are learned, I mess with them. In my class, the students would not be surprised if they came in and:

All techniques done off of a jab cross combo.
Done off of a two handed shove to the chest followed by a punch.
Done from a 'boxing cover' while weathering a flurry.
Done from a different entry where the opponents hands coming to guard are the trigger to move.

Etc. etc.

The techniques are just tools to teach principles. They are codified as a tool for the instructor, so that by teaching all the techniques, the principles and toolbox get provided to the student. However, just teaching the techniques doesn't guarantee the student will get all the principles any more than giving me a box of airplane parts is the same as giving me an airplane. Somebody has to show me how to put them together.

Now, as we've transitioned to a Kempo-jutsu school, we've been incorporating techniques, forms and principles from that art. Professor Ferreira teaches his techniqes off of a variety of attacks, including (my favorite) the shirt grab / right overhand. But (because I don't want to use however too many times), each of his techniqes can (and often are) be taught off of a variety of attacks. The same general motion can be used to defend two hooks, a two armed grab, a front choke, a lapel grab and overhand right, and so on.

Some techniques don't work well for some things. It's better to find out sooner rather then later.

As I often tell the folks in my class: Go home and play with your material. If you only do what I show you, how are you ever going to be better than me?

Matt
 

eyebeams

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Ah, the step-through.

Despite Doc's amusing comments about Japanese and Okinawan martial arts, the karate version works fine if you know how to load the supporting foot. The proper method is remarkably similar to Taijiquan stepping, but more similar to Five Ancestors (its ancestor).

It isn't designed to "engage the hips;" that's actually a function of shifting weight and hip orientation (again, much like Tai Chi, except that the foot /leg does not take Seven Stars before moving forward), not the step itself. The "C" step (which isn't really "C" shaped, incidentally) is an entering technique intended to alter your relative position so as to seize the opponent's balance.

On the other hand, it isn't really a good idea as a movement for an uke/reciever (outside of some basic distancing drills that are often mistaken for the whole of the karate corpus) because it's not a suitable attack against an opponent pausing in stance or in a neutral posture. It's like defending against a boxer's bob and weave.

In the end, step-through attacks are a martial arts staple because they are a basic way to ensure that the attacker commits enough for the defender to get a sense of distancing and receiving force and doesn't really require training in the technique to perform these functions. A jab, cross or overhand tends to be underpowered when somebody uses it without proper training, which makes the attack less useful for practice because it's neither very threatening nor committed enough to be exploited. Properly trained versions of the techniques *can* be used, in time.
 

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Jimi wrote:

I have seen some untrained people throw a haymaker punch in the street before, and some begin the punch with the left foot forward & launch the right hand. As the hand reaches forward some people will uproot the rear (right foot) a step with the punch almost as an after thought, and the foot sometimes arrives after the hand lands.(unlike the tradition one-step style lunge punch) I agree thet people should train to try and deal with all sorts of attacks, even the drunk goofy foot punch. RESPECTS TO KENPO PRACTITIONERS

I say: Jimi is correct. This is exactly what I had said of the one of two ways a street person throws his punch. Jimi describes the step through punch or Shotokan's lunge punch. The second type being the more popular reverse type punch with the strong side remaining to the rear. I have to therefore respectfully disagree with you on that Doc. I have seen people actually step thorugh and swing at someone, it's not that uncommon, not here anyway in New England, lol.

Yes, Doc, that is true about Shotokan but these fighting methods all came from the Okinawan fighting arts, Shotokan being no exception. It appears all the vast majority of the kenpo/kempo systems are Okinawan influenced. It certainly appears that the Mitose/Chow/Emperado lineage is, which covers most kenpo/kempo arts. I may be wrong but I don't think the step through or lunge punch and reverse punch were Funakoshi's creations, he just put a name to them for his teaching system. Just my thoughts. With respect, Prof. Joe
 

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KGS BBS said:
Jimi wrote:

I have seen some untrained people throw a haymaker punch in the street before, and some begin the punch with the left foot forward & launch the right hand. As the hand reaches forward some people will uproot the rear (right foot) a step with the punch almost as an after thought, and the foot sometimes arrives after the hand lands.(unlike the tradition one-step style lunge punch) I agree thet people should train to try and deal with all sorts of attacks, even the drunk goofy foot punch. RESPECTS TO KENPO PRACTITIONERS

I say: Jimi is correct. This is exactly what I had said of the one of two ways a street person throws his punch. Jimi describes the step through punch or Shotokan's lunge punch. The second type being the more popular reverse type punch with the strong side remaining to the rear. I have to therefore respectfully disagree with you on that Doc. I have seen people actually step thorugh and swing at someone, it's not that uncommon, not here anyway in New England, lol.

Yes, Doc, that is true about Shotokan but these fighting methods all came from the Okinawan fighting arts, Shotokan being no exception. It appears all the vast majority of the kenpo/kempo systems are Okinawan influenced. It certainly appears that the Mitose/Chow/Emperado lineage is, which covers most kenpo/kempo arts. I may be wrong but I don't think the step through or lunge punch and reverse punch were Funakoshi's creations, he just put a name to them for his teaching system. Just my thoughts. With respect, Prof. Joe

The exaggerated crecsent step is mostly from Shotokan as it was developd by his students. The Karate that Funakoshi personally used was more up-right in it's stances as witnessed by his earlier manual featuring himself performing the techniques. Motobu favored the Nihanchi stance twisted to the side for fighting more than the forward stance. But the step through punch/forward punch, was common to all of the Okinawan Karate schools and the Northern Shaolin styles (as witness training tapes featuring Kam Yuen etc.), though many did not use the crecsent step.
 
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