Why we punch the way we do

W

white dragon

Guest
Does anyone know why styles such as Karate and Taekwondo tend to strike with the fist in a horizontal position? It feels very natural to me, but I wondered if anyon knows how this actually came about and what the benfits of striking in this manner are?
 
I've never taken TKD or Karate, but one thing I like about the horizontal fist when applied from a reverse punch chamber (which I don't like myself), is you get a rotational effect.

When you connect with your opponent, you twist the fist into them. That's kind of nice (or not nice if you're getting punched). If you hit with a vertical fist, like Wing Chun, from a hip chambered position, you only get partial twist.

Wing Chun based punching often uses a vertical fist, and this keeps the elbows down during the punch, covering the centerline.
 
To me, a horizontal punch , when chambered, is more powerful. For jabs however, I stray more toward the vertical. Well, not a full vertical, maybe a 30 degree angle towards the vertical side. It's the most relaxed position for me and I'm fastest with it. Plus, you get a little wrist motion for extra power (although an added risk of wrist injury). My hooks, etc. are horizontal. My crosses are some what of a hybrid, though angled more towards the horizontal angle.

It's not just vertical vs. horizontal. There are a variety of customizations for each type of punch, and there are strengths and weaknesses to all of them

power
speed
control

drawbacks could include
slowness
tension
an opening
added risk of injury
when you miss, you are screwed
 
To paraphrase Musashi, strike with your body weapons in such a position to facilitate hitting your opponent. Nothing more.

Certainly there are some methods by which techniques are delivered that are more or less powerful or efficient than others. But unless you are fighting in an arena where gravity doesn't apply, then it is most likely that you will need to conform the shape of your body weapons to the surface of your target.

There is just as much power behind a vertical fist with only 90 to 110 degree rotation as there is with a horizontal fist with 180 degrees of rotation. They appear to be similar techniques, but in their proper application, they are as different (potentially) as a knife hand and a back fist.

Gambarimasu.
:asian: :tank: :asian:
 
Actually, when properly applied, the vertical fist is tremendously powerful...problem is, few people know how to do it correctly.

Corkscrew punch should NOT end up completely horizontal because it then isolates the arm from the body at the shoulder...there should be a slight angle to it and the elbows should sink...rotation occurs at the end of the technique or you end up pushing instead of punching.

More importantly, the heel should press into the floor...if you find yourself coming up on the ball of the foot, you are sacrificing a great deal of power...

Understand that many people generate power through "momentum" (those who come up on the ball of the foot do this)...Yes, you can generate a lot force in a straight line (great for breaking boards) but you sacrifice control.
You stop the technique by "recovering" from an off balanced position...Better to use "acceleration and focus"...this is achieved by paying attention to proper form in kata and applying that form to your techniques in battle...

Only my opinion...based on "traditional" training...

:asian:
chufeng
 
I'd like to add that Chufeng is no p*ssy when it comes to punching, either...

I have unfortunately sucked up far too many of them and found myself on the ground finding new and interesting ways to breathe again. Always to the great amusement of Chufeng, I might point out.

Gambarimasu.
:asian: :tank: :asian:
 
The horizontal fist punch is also refered to as the full twist punch. Some researchers believe that the full twist punch was developed with safety in mind. Early in the 20th century, Itosu changed some of his teaching methods, so that he could teach Karate in schools. To make a fighting art, that has the motto,"ikken hisatsu"(sp?) to kill with one blow suitable for children, it is believed that he needed to tone down the dangerous techniques. Originally, the 3/4 twist was used, few styles today still use it. Mostly the older Okinawan styles. It was intended that the full twist punch be used in training or by children, and the 3/4 twist be used in combat.

The 3/4 punch was taught to advanced students, thereby allowing time to instill, morality and integrity, and to build character, thereby giving justification if the 3/4 punch had to be used.

I'm sure that others here would know more, so I'll leave it at that for now.:)


--Dave

:asian:
 
Originally posted by Yiliquan1
I'd like to add that Chufeng is no p*ssy when it comes to punching, either...

I have unfortunately sucked up far too many of them and found myself on the ground finding new and interesting ways to breathe again. Always to the great amusement of Chufeng, I might point out.

Gambarimasu.
:asian: :tank: :asian:

Man, I gotta get some travelling in. I love to train with heavy hitters, not sluggers. I like the Dog Brothers take on it.
HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS THROUGH HARDER CONTACT.

--Dave

:asian:
 
Dave,

Yiliquan1 is prone to exagerate my abilities...he hits a lot harder than I do...I just know when to hit...I let him run into it, so his force becomes part of the punch.

As far as training with us...anytime...we love sincerely interested people to train with, regardless of style.

Your comments about the punch being changed to teach youngsters and newcomers is telling...it tells that many people leave their teacher too soon and go out on their own and teach without knowing what they are doing...The reason we see so many people teaching it one way is because of THAT very thing.

Nice post.

In YiLiQuan, we teach it the classical way right from the beginning. We believe that someone who is sincerely interested in training deserves the correct instruction from the beginning...those who aren't interested in toughing it out, but only want to steal the "easy secrets" of our art, will never really develop any skill in the little they learn, anyways. The TRUST a student puts in his teacher can be damaged by holding things back...certainly there are things people aren't ready for, but if they ask a question about a particular aspect of our training, I will answer the question...

:asian:
chufeng
 
Originally posted by chufeng
Yiliquan1 is prone to exagerate my abilities...he hits a lot harder than I do...I just know when to hit...I let him run into it, so his force becomes part of the punch.

Ahh so Matt and I already have something in common. I find that happens to me a lot.:D

Originally posted by chufeng
As far as training with us...anytime...we love sincerely interested people to train with, regardless of style.

One day, it will happen....
I look forward to it.

Originally posted by chufeng
Your comments about the punch being changed to teach youngsters and newcomers is telling...it tells that many people leave their teacher too soon and go out on their own and teach without knowing what they are doing...The reason we see so many people teaching it one way is because of THAT very thing.

Isn't that why we see certain strikes in kata, and go what the hell would this do? We get shown it is a block or a strike, and we think well he must know coz he's got the rank. Then one day we get to see a pressure point application and we think, WOW, how wrong was he?
It's kind of like using a low block against a hard front kick.....
As my instructor says, "Who the hell fights like that?"

Originally posted by chufeng

Nice post.

Thank you. :)

Originally posted by chufeng
In YiLiQuan, we teach it the classical way right from the beginning. We believe that someone who is sincerely interested in training deserves the correct instruction from the beginning...those who aren't interested in toughing it out, but only want to steal the "easy secrets" of our art, will never really develop any skill in the little they learn, anyways. The TRUST a student puts in his teacher can be damaged by holding things back...certainly there are things people aren't ready for, but if they ask a question about a particular aspect of our training, I will answer the question...

I train in Ryukyu Kempo, based on George Dillmans stuff, but my instructor, seems to have taken it to another level.

For example, I was at a Jeff Speakman seminar a few weeks age and he told me that the biggest problem that people had with Mr. Dillman, was that they'd never seen him do it on a moving target. I told him he should meet my instructor. I've never seen him do anything to a static target.
We have seen all the strikes, and so called knock out points, but at black belt, I am only just starting to see what I need to make it work. In fact just last week, my instructor told us during a black belt class, that we could go to town, all over pressure point areas, but without the intrinsic knowledge we couldn't make them work. He demonstrated on me by belting me on the jaw, around the St5 area, 5 or 6 times. As he said to the class, it would hurt but at most would just piss me off if it was a real situation. Then as I tried to take his head off with a punch, he just stepped inside, and tapped me, exactly the same way as he had before, but no where near the same intensity, and my legs just went to rubber.
Having said that, I must agree that there are times when things being kept secret can be very annoying.
But I think that calls for another thread. :D

--Dave

:asian:
 
Originally posted by Mormegil
I've never taken TKD or Karate, but one thing I like about the horizontal fist when applied from a reverse punch chamber (which I don't like myself), is you get a rotational effect.

When you connect with your opponent, you twist the fist into them. That's kind of nice (or not nice if you're getting punched). If you hit with a vertical fist, like Wing Chun, from a hip chambered position, you only get partial twist.

Wing Chun based punching often uses a vertical fist, and this keeps the elbows down during the punch, covering the centerline.

In Wing Chun (& JKD), you punch with the three smaller knuckles. in TKD & Karate, you punch with your 2 larger knuckles (middle and index). That is the distinction.

Even in TKD and Karate, you still have vertical punches.
 
Originally posted by D.Cobb
The horizontal fist punch is also refered to as the full twist punch. Some researchers believe that the full twist punch was developed with safety in mind. Early in the 20th century, Itosu changed some of his teaching methods, so that he could teach Karate in schools. To make a fighting art, that has the motto,"ikken hisatsu"(sp?) to kill with one blow suitable for children, it is believed that he needed to tone down the dangerous techniques. Originally, the 3/4 twist was used, few styles today still use it. Mostly the older Okinawan styles. It was intended that the full twist punch be used in training or by children, and the 3/4 twist be used in combat.

The 3/4 punch was taught to advanced students, thereby allowing time to instill, morality and integrity, and to build character, thereby giving justification if the 3/4 punch had to be used.

I'm sure that others here would know more, so I'll leave it at that for now.:)


--Dave

:asian:


You can bet your *** that such differentiation in twist would NOT turn your strike into ikken hisatsu.
 
Originally posted by Johnathan Napalm
You can bet your *** that such differentiation in twist would NOT turn your strike into ikken hisatsu.

(Loud Buzz)BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!

Wrong again Johnny. I have felt the difference, between the full twist, with high intensity, and the 3/4 twist with low intensity and the one that knocked me down and across the room was the 3/4. I hope to God I never feel it at full intensity.

--Dave
 
Originally posted by white dragon
Does anyone know why styles such as Karate and Taekwondo tend to strike with the fist in a horizontal position? It feels very natural to me, but I wondered if anyon knows how this actually came about and what the benfits of striking in this manner are?

Stand in a horse stace with your hands chambered/at your hip/whatever you call it. Now punch, fully extending your arm, with your first vertical. Now do the same but have your fist end up horizontal. Do you feal a binding in your shoulder when you punch vertically with a fully extended arm?
 
It just doesn't feel as natural and I can't put my shoulder into it fully, or feel like I'm fully utalizing the waist twist with the vertical punch. (in horse stance)
 
I feel that striking with a horizontal fist done properly is more powerful than a strait punch.
 
Originally posted by white dragon
It just doesn't feel as natural and I can't put my shoulder into it fully, or feel like I'm fully utalizing the waist twist with the vertical punch. (in horse stance)

Well that basically is my answer. From the "chambered" position you have to fully rotate to a horizontal if you are going to fully extend your arm. Anything else is most uncomphy in the shoulder. If you punch in slow motion and note when your fist is vertical then you can see how far your arm can extend for a vertical punch. Thus the main consideration for which punch to use, if you are startign chambered, is range, followed by fitting (ie vertical works a lot better for the solax plexus).
 
Originally posted by D.Cobb
(Loud Buzz)BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!

Wrong again Johnny. I have felt the difference, between the full twist, with high intensity, and the 3/4 twist with low intensity and the one that knocked me down and across the room was the 3/4. I hope to God I never feel it at full intensity.

--Dave

hahaaaaa. LMFAO! You have NO idea what ikken hisatsu is about. Not even close! Don't bother to pretend. lol
 
Punching with a vertical fist requires a dropped shoulder that aligns the bones of the arm in one continuous line. It also requires body turning that allows for the punch to actually end up looking as if it is projecting from the center of the body. This is very difficult to explain in writing, but very simple to demonstrate in person.

I didn't fully understand nor appreciate a vertical fist (in Yili we call it a sun fist, as the character for "sun" looks much like a vertical fist) until many years after I learned it. It does feel very uncomfortable at first, but after training it for some time, it is second nature.

Remember, though the punch may seem to be a basic technique, it actually takes much longer to learn to execute properly than many other methods of striking with the hand.

Gambarimasu.
:asian: :tank: :asian:
 
I feel that striking with a horizontal fist done properly is more powerful than a strait punch.

You "feel" that it is more powerful? Is that an emotion or are you describing a sense that you can deliver more power that way?

Have you applied both against a target?
(best target is another human, with a shield or phone book, so they can provide feedback)

Truth is you isolate the arm from the body and give up a lot of mass behind the technique if you turn the punch all the way over...you have to be able to "punch from the heel" nad it just can't be done without risking injury to your shoulder (or elbow) if you turn it all the way over.

In the empty air, you may develop the ability to cause your gi to "pop" when you turn it all the way over, but that is sometimes a false positive when it comes to power...

Regardless of how you finally decide to do the technique...don't turn it over until the last 1/2 centimeter from the target...that accelerates the technique at the last moment and increases power...

But seriously, try both with a partner and see how it goes.

:asian:
chufeng
 

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