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Thread: Mechanics of a punch

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    Default Mechanics of a punch

    We're renting space before our normal classes to some JKD guys. One our students attended a class and told me they advised him he was "punching" wrong.

    He stated he was told to extend his arm out and lock his elbow and also instructed to strike with his bottom three knuckles. I'm sorry, but I found this 'disturbing'. There's a reason doctors call a broken pinky knuckle a "boxers break."

    The bottom two knuckls are just weak and I feel you should go with your strengths. Since your top two knuckles are stronger would it not make since to impact with those??

    Also, I don't think locking your elbow out is a good idea either. Number one it's a good way to damage the joint. For instance, if you miss the target you will hyper extend your arm. Secondly, if you're fighting an experienced person or worse, a grappler, you run the likely risk that they will trap and snap that elbow since you were kind enough to go ahead and lock it out all the way for them.

    These are my thoughts on the subject anyway. (Not to mention I was a little peeved that we were nice enough to give them a place to practice and they are now trying to retrain our students. Seems a little disrespectful, but I may be blowing it out of proportion.) Anyway, I value your thoughts and ideas on the subject. =)
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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    If they want to break there arms or fingers let them. I bet you this was not thought of Bruce Lee.
    Last edited by parkerkarate; 02-22-2006 at 11:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    OMG! You are sooo right!

    They are soooo wrong.

    We punch with the first two knuckles because they have the support of the rest of your arm. Those two little knuckles have nothing but their good looks to keep them from breaking.

    And the whole locked elbow thing? That's nuts! It'll break! Like a dried up old stick. We, in kenpo, are like willow branches. ..... or some better analogy.

    You are absolutely correct and they are absolutely wrong. (How often do you get to hear that?!)

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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    I was taught to have a 'S' shaped to arm, Not to lock the elbow.
    Let's think body mechanics.. you lock your arm out.. and hit something hard.. like Bone or if you go through your target and take a wall to the punch.... The impact is going to travel up your arm- taking with it.. your wrist, elbow and shoulder joints..
    Keeping a gentle S shape with no joint locking, no dropping of the wrist or cocking inward of the wrist, promotes good mechanics and body alignment and much less chance of injury to yourself.
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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    You are absolutely correct and they are absolutely wrong. (How often do you get to hear that?!)
    Almost never from a female! ROFL. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoTess
    I was taught to have a 'S' shaped to arm, Not to lock the elbow.
    Let's think body mechanics.. you lock your arm out.. and hit something hard.. like Bone or if you go through your target and take a wall to the punch.... The impact is going to travel up your arm- taking with it.. your wrist, elbow and shoulder joints..
    Keeping a gentle S shape with no joint locking, no dropping of the wrist or cocking inward of the wrist, promotes good mechanics and body alignment and much less chance of injury to yourself.
    Absolutely. Thanks for further elaborating on how you can damage yourself when executing a punch. Too many times we're too concerned with how much damage we can cause to our opponents and fail to realize that we ourselves can also get hurt! Great point!
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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    There is a strike commonly used in Goshin Ju-jitsu that use the back 3 knuckles but the strike is very specific in it's use.

    First of all your arm NEVER extends more than 70/80%

    the fist hits at a 45 degree angle to your sturnum (do a virtical thrust punch to the opponent solar plexus with your arm extended only about 70% and turn your wrist so the back of the hand is at 45 degrees and this is the correct position)

    the hand is lose up untill impact and upon closing the hand you rock your back 3 knuckles forward and up like a mini uppercut.

    The strike is for soft targets... Solar plexux, floating ribs, kidney, bladder, etc..

    Often used as a very quick stun before a throw.

    If you use the strike on a hanging bag the bag should fold.. not rock.

    The strike is very good at inflicting dmg to internal organs if done correctly.
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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    Because JKD is heavily influenced by Wing Chun, it uses a weapon in WC circles known as a vertical punch. The vertical punch does indeed use the bottom 3 knuckles and it is usually thrown straight up the opponents centreline for striking the soft sublingual area.

    The hand has many different surfaces and they all make excellent tools for striking......its about using the right one for the job.

    As for locking the elbow, that's a no-no in my book.

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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    No, you always lock the elbow whenever possible...
    .
    .
    .
    .

    your opponents elbow.. heheheh
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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    ...he was told to extend his arm out and lock his elbow and also instructed to strike with his bottom three knuckles. I'm sorry, but I found this 'disturbing'. There's a reason doctors call a broken pinky knuckle a "boxers break."... I don't think locking your elbow out is a good idea either. Number one it's a good way to damage the joint....Secondly, if you're fighting an experienced person or worse, a grappler, you run the likely risk that they will trap and snap that elbow since you were kind enough to go ahead and lock it out all the way for them.

    These are my thoughts on the subject anyway. (Not to mention I was a little peeved that we were nice enough to give them a place to practice and they are now trying to retrain our students. Seems a little disrespectful, but I may be blowing it out of proportion.) Anyway, I value your thoughts and ideas on the subject. =)
    You, and everyone else here, are thinking correctly-... I think. At least about the punch.

    As for the JKDers trying to retrain your students, I think you have to expect some exchange of ideas, as well as a little "friendly" competition. And JKD does tend to think they have the only best way out there (though none of them can agree on what that best way is- sound familiar?). I'd say this could be a good thing, unless their goal is to proselatize your junior students. The way I'd handle that issue is to first talk to the JKD instructor, then to all students (both schools, and both of the head instructors at each school) and explain that, in the martial arts world, there will allways be a greener pasture or a new unbeatable system. Comparing is good, but getting a base is essential. Then, I'd suggest making sure your students get a good foundation in basics and knowlege. It's one of AK's strengths to understand what we do, and why we do it that way.

    Also, you have a golden opportunity there. I'd start some formal exchanges- sparing, seminars, letting students attend each othres classes. Maybe start a grappling class for those who want it. Sometimes it is hard to find enough people in one school to make that pay. But with two- something to think about. Get a good working relationship with them, it could be a good thing.

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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    The student in question is a high ranking Jr. Instructor. A 2nd Brown. I don't mind sharing ideas, I do mind someone telling one of our students that the way they learned something is WRONG. There's a difference.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz
    Because JKD is heavily influenced by Wing Chun, it uses a weapon in WC circles known as a vertical punch. The vertical punch does indeed use the bottom 3 knuckles and it is usually thrown straight up the opponents centreline for striking the soft sublingual area.

    The hand has many different surfaces and they all make excellent tools for striking......its about using the right one for the job.

    As for locking the elbow, that's a no-no in my book.
    Yes sir that is my assessment as well.
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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    We're renting space before our normal classes to some JKD guys. One our students attended a class and told me they advised him he was "punching" wrong.

    He stated he was told to extend his arm out and lock his elbow and also instructed to strike with his bottom three knuckles. I'm sorry, but I found this 'disturbing'. There's a reason doctors call a broken pinky knuckle a "boxers break."

    The bottom two knuckls are just weak and I feel you should go with your strengths. Since your top two knuckles are stronger would it not make since to impact with those??

    Also, I don't think locking your elbow out is a good idea either. Number one it's a good way to damage the joint. For instance, if you miss the target you will hyper extend your arm. Secondly, if you're fighting an experienced person or worse, a grappler, you run the likely risk that they will trap and snap that elbow since you were kind enough to go ahead and lock it out all the way for them.

    These are my thoughts on the subject anyway. (Not to mention I was a little peeved that we were nice enough to give them a place to practice and they are now trying to retrain our students. Seems a little disrespectful, but I may be blowing it out of proportion.) Anyway, I value your thoughts and ideas on the subject. =)
    Well as already stated by Blackcatbonz, the vertical punch with the small knuckles do indeed have an application, but it is a specialized method and not a general one. Additionally, the idea of hyper-extending the arm when punching is a non issue and is indicative of someone with poor knowledge of body mechanics. In fact, when actually punching in a quick, committed fashion, it is impossible to hyperextend the arm because of the "Golgi Organ" imbedded in the muscle fiber. This mechanism protects the limb joints and muscle tissue from over extension under actual application circumstances.

    Experiment; (there he goes again)

    Stand with an assistant off to one side of you.

    Whip a punch forward as hard and as fast as you can.

    Use you arm only with no body or foot movement.

    Over several attempts, lock the punch out and have your assistant "mark" the furthest the punch travels with his hand, and leave the hand in place.

    Now, very slowly execute the same punch in the same manner and note how far the punch travels when not under tension.
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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    Blackcatbonz took my answer - so I will just say I agree with him
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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    The student in question is a high ranking Jr. Instructor. A 2nd Brown. I don't mind sharing ideas, I do mind someone telling one of our students that the way they learned something is WRONG. There's a difference.
    I hope that your senior student knew how to handle that one. Maybe you could end up proselatizing on of thei...- no, wait, you don't want to go there!

    Was it an instructor, one of their senior students, or a junior student that made this comment? Do they actually try to lock out their elbow when they strike- have you seen them do this? I've worked out with some WC and JKD people in the past, and never seen or heard this. My gut feeling is that this isn't as big a problem as you think. But, I'm not there, so I can't say. I'd just advise you look a little further before you get too upset and start a war. Even if they move, they'll probably still be in the area. There are enough petty fights in the MA world, and you don't need that any more than you need an attitude in your own school. I do wish you luck.

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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    We're renting space before our normal classes to some JKD guys. One our students attended a class and told me they advised him he was "punching" wrong.

    He stated he was told to extend his arm out and lock his elbow and also instructed to strike with his bottom three knuckles.
    Having studied Jun Fan/JKD I can tell you that we are always taught NOT to lock the elbow. I think that's an almost universal concept in most arts as, like others here have said, it can cause a lot of damage. Also, for him to tell your folks that they're punching "wrong", is just incorrect. What he should have said is that's not how we do it, here's how we do it and why we think its good. If he was a good JKD instructor he'd know that there are multiple ways to punch and hit and that none is really "wrong", but that they all have their strengths, weaknesses, and applications.

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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff5
    Having studied Jun Fan/JKD I can tell you that we are always taught NOT to lock the elbow. I think that's an almost universal concept in most arts as, like others here have said, it can cause a lot of damage. Also, for him to tell your folks that they're punching "wrong", is just incorrect. What he should have said is that's not how we do it, here's how we do it and why we think its good. If he was a good JKD instructor he'd know that there are multiple ways to punch and hit and that none is really "wrong", but that they all have their strengths, weaknesses, and applications.
    That's pretty much how I feel about it. My student said that when he addressed the problems with the way the JKD instructor wanted him to execute it he replied with ,"Well Bruce...blah, blah, blah." I'm sorry, but I found that lame. If your argument is "because Bruce did it that way" instead of supporteing the statement with some additional logical reason to back up your argument..well, you don't have much of an argument.

    SGM Parker backed up what he taught with logic and reason. I would expect any of us to do the same. At any rate, you'll need more than "So-and-so says so" to convince me of something. I gotta know the why's behind it. Yup..I'm one of THOSE people. Drove my dear ole' ma nuts as a kid. LOL
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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    That's pretty much how I feel about it. My student said that when he addressed the problems with the way the JKD instructor wanted him to execute it he replied with ,"Well Bruce...blah, blah, blah." I'm sorry, but I found that lame. If your argument is "because Bruce did it that way" instead of supporteing the statement with some additional logical reason to back up your argument..well, you don't have much of an argument.

    SGM Parker backed up what he taught with logic and reason. I would expect any of us to do the same. At any rate, you'll need more than "So-and-so says so" to convince me of something. I gotta know the why's behind it. Yup..I'm one of THOSE people. Drove my dear ole' ma nuts as a kid. LOL
    I agree. That JKD person is really uniformed. No JKD person I've ever trained with has told me to do anything "just because". There's always a reason for a technique, even if its just to drill certain attributes. If you read any of Bruce Lee's books, he's usually very scientific (Mr. Parker and Bruce traded lots of ideas, so there are similarities), and he always gives a reason for what he's doing. This includes why he felt the vertical punch was better than the horizontal etc. I believe that even Bruce wouldn't have told you to do something just because he did it!

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    Default Re: Mechanics of a punch

    I the words of Gunny Davis, "An extended limb is a broken limb."
    Maybe they will learn another favorite of mine if they ever try to lock out in actual combat -"PAIN RETAINS"

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