[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Re: (TFT) Scale


Here's a youtube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIX0zPhnngU

I disagree a little with the test and I'm not sure exactly what it is measuring. A good kung-fu punch is effective and, although it appears similar to a western jab, it is something quite different both in purpose and in execution. A western jab probes the opponent and helps you gauge your distance and can be used to set up a power punch. The kung-fu punch is a "regular" attack. In Wing Chun, there is no lead hand and both are used the same and the punches get their power from speed originating in a relaxed but explosive movement at the elbow; various kung fu traditions differ.

The kung fu punch appeared to be weaker than the other punches because it delivered fewer pounds of pressure to the test dummy. The real issue isn't the power here because all the punches were sufficiently powerful, it's a question of effectiveness. Even if a kung-fu punch is less "powerful" than reverse punch common to okinawan karate, korean tae kwon do or the boxing haymaker, the short-distance kung fu punch will usually get there first and is powerful enough to stun or disable an opponent. Additionally, in the time it takes to throw the solid karate/tae kwon do reverse punch, the kung-fu practitioner could land several of those significantly powerful hits (5+ times per second); again, these aren't jabs. So, while the guy is bringing on the sledgehammer, I'm hitting him several times with the Louisville slugger- THAT will affect the power of the opponent's oncoming punch. Fighting, effective fighting, is more than being able to land full-body-driven-powerblows. It's about timing, judgment and knowing your arts strengths and weaknesses- it's generalship. Often, it's about hitting the other guy first; a well-landed blow can create an advantage that can determine the outcome of the fight. This, of course, is even more true in blade fighting; cutting the other guy first has a huge psychological impact on the opponent. Nobody wants to see their lifeblood leaving them. The sight alone of their own blood can cause men to run or faint.

My aikijujtsu instructor was also a goju man. He could hit you with a strike that looked relatively harmless. It certainly didn't LOOK as powerful as the reverse punch in the video, in part because there was little body movement by the instructor; it looked effortless. The power of his punch was developed through relaxed explosive speed and proper punching technique. Even though his body didn't move much, you felt the power! The power PENETRATED through you and didn't push. A "push punch" can look powerful but doesn't harm the target. This aspect of delivering the hand's (fist/palm/edge) kinetic energy is largely a matter of technique and some styles focus more on this aspect of delivery. More traditional karate styles still train with makiwara and develop this penetrating power. Kung fu focuses a great deal on it but the techinque is more difficult to master because it does not always rely on large body movements but on relaxed explosive power which relies on speed. There's more to the delivery of the power than the punch itself. What happens at the end of the punch also has an effect on the transfer of energy. If you (body or arm) move backwards after striking- sort of being bounced back- then power is not transfered to or through the target but is sent back to the puncher; overcoming this is a matter of technique. When done correctly, while the target doesn't seem to have been hit as hard because it doesn't move, the energy "cuts" through the target with a hydrostatic force the causes real damage. This is why I'm not sure what was being measured in the video. One way to demonstrate hydrostatic waves is with ballistics gel- but I'm not sure how to punch it!

In summary, effective punching in a fight is very difficult to pull off especially for the big power punches. It's not the same as hitting a stationary target. These punches are slower and require everything to be right to deliver the full body power. If your stance is off, you lose the effectiveness of addition of body turn and you can be unbalanced by a big miss. If the target moves, good luck hitting it with a sledge hammer. While I prefer the kung fu punch, it cannot be said that one punch is "better" than another. Each has it's own function. It's a matter of judgment and skill in executing the correct punch for the occasion. Sorry to be so long winded.


Nice info!
Can you tell me anything about the relative force of the strikes? Like are there strikes geared more to gain space rather than do damage?
Post to the entire list by writing to tft@brainiac.com.
Unsubscribe by mailing to majordomo@brainiac.com with the message body
"unsubscribe tft"