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Thread: Punching Power

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    Kenpo Gary is offline
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    Default Punching Power

    How can best we generate punching power as we get older? We slow down, our bodies break down etc. Back problems do not allow me to rotate my hips as much as when I was younger. Muscle mass is not what it once was? Where do we old guys find power?

    Kenpo Gary
    "The heart of the Kenpo System has always been practical-effective- Self Defense Techniques." Al Tracy

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    Default Re: Punching Power

    I think the overall "secret" is learning to use your body naturally and to it's maximum potential so you are only expending as much energy as you need to allow the technique to work instead of trying to "muscle" the technique. Even an "old" person can pull their hand off a hot stove quickly when they need to.

    I think some okinwan styles had it right with their use of Sanchin kata to train not only the muscles but the connective tissues as well. Look up Shinyu Gushi on google images and you can see what an "older" man looks like that has trained through sanchin.

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    Default Re: Punching Power

    I am currently seeing how Tai Chi enhances my kenpo. Anyone that trains in Tai Chi will understand what I mean without further comment.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Punching Power

    Inside Training: Methods for Generating Power: Part 1 - Rotating
    by H. Solow, Shifu

    Refers to rotating the body to propel the attacking limb. The foot of the rear leg must first be “connected” or “rooted” to the earth. Powerfully contracting the musculature of the leg presses the foot on the ground. The act of pressing extends the knee which in turn rotates the hip. The hip rotates the torso. The resulting explosive rotation of the torso impulses the shoulder. The impulse at the shoulder propels the arm. When trying to visualize the method of “Rotating”, consider a stone on the end of a string. The string is spun around and around, gathering speed. When the string is suddenly cut the stone is propelled forward at very high speed. The body acts as the string, and the hand, the stone. Think of the hand at rest being connected to the body as the string connects to the stone. As the string is rotated, pressing the foot rotates the hips, torso and shoulder. Once the string is cut or the connection between the hand and body severed, the hand will be propelled forward. The stone offers no resistance to its forward motion. The same needs to be true of the accelerating hand. Residual muscle tension in the arm will impede the rate at which the hand projects forward, as would occur if the stone were attached to the string by an elastic cord. While the stone would continue its forward progress, the tension in the elastic cord would slow its motion. The student must practice relaxing the musculature of the arm, allowing free acceleration. Often, it is difficult for beginners to do so. The newer student suffers from a natural inhibition to free limb acceleration. The body is internally concerned that it will suffer joint impact if the limb is accelerated without control. Overcoming the body’s natural response requires practice and focus.

    I found this when I was researching something else, I thought it would help here???? We as older people int he arts, need to use experience and brains over muscle. It's a part of life we all lose a little bit of physical attributes, but gain in experience. It's my excuse anyway!
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    Default Re: Punching Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpo Gary View Post
    How can best we generate punching power as we get older? We slow down, our bodies break down etc. Back problems do not allow me to rotate my hips as much as when I was younger. Muscle mass is not what it once was? Where do we old guys find power?

    Kenpo Gary
    Well you could hang around some younger guys and let them do all the punching ...
    Pat Munk, Judan
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    Default Re: Punching Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Nubreed View Post
    Inside Training: Methods for Generating Power: Part 1 - Rotating
    by H. Solow, Shifu

    Refers to rotating the body to propel the attacking limb. The foot of the rear leg must first be “connected” or “rooted” to the earth. Powerfully contracting the musculature of the leg presses the foot on the ground. The act of pressing extends the knee which in turn rotates the hip. The hip rotates the torso. The resulting explosive rotation of the torso impulses the shoulder. The impulse at the shoulder propels the arm. When trying to visualize the method of “Rotating”, consider a stone on the end of a string. The string is spun around and around, gathering speed. When the string is suddenly cut the stone is propelled forward at very high speed. The body acts as the string, and the hand, the stone. Think of the hand at rest being connected to the body as the string connects to the stone. As the string is rotated, pressing the foot rotates the hips, torso and shoulder. Once the string is cut or the connection between the hand and body severed, the hand will be propelled forward. The stone offers no resistance to its forward motion. The same needs to be true of the accelerating hand. Residual muscle tension in the arm will impede the rate at which the hand projects forward, as would occur if the stone were attached to the string by an elastic cord. While the stone would continue its forward progress, the tension in the elastic cord would slow its motion.
    The problem with this, is that when the stone (hand) makes contact, it bounces off, because there is nothing pushing it. You have a nice whip-like effect, which is great for stinging, or backfists, but not for breaking ribs or knocking people down. In the model above, rotation ends before contact, therefore, the arm is the only thing moving at contact. Severing the connection between the body and the hand is no way to generate power!

    Think of being in a car, you slam down the gas pedal, accelerate for a moment, then quickly shift to neutral, severing the connection of the engine to the wheels. Then you slam into a wall. You would hit the wall MUCH harder if you had not severed that connection and continued to try and accelerate thru the wall.

    Rotation and forward movement of the body must still be occuring at impact for full power to be achieved. To accomplish this, the movement of the arm must begin first, followed by a collapse of the front knee to begin forward movement, followed last by rotation which needs to be accomplished by pulling forward with the hamstring of the previously collapsed front leg and simultaneously driving the rear hip forward with the motion suggested in the above quoted model.
    Dave

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    Default Re: Punching Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    The problem with this, is that when the stone (hand) makes contact, it bounces off, because there is nothing pushing it. You have a nice whip-like effect, which is great for stinging, or backfists, but not for breaking ribs or knocking people down. In the model above, rotation ends before contact, therefore, the arm is the only thing moving at contact. Severing the connection between the body and the hand is no way to generate power!

    Think of being in a car, you slam down the gas pedal, accelerate for a moment, then quickly shift to neutral, severing the connection of the engine to the wheels. Then you slam into a wall. You would hit the wall MUCH harder if you had not severed that connection and continued to try and accelerate thru the wall.

    Rotation and forward movement of the body must still be occuring at impact for full power to be achieved. To accomplish this, the movement of the arm must begin first, followed by a collapse of the front knee to begin forward movement, followed last by rotation which needs to be accomplished by pulling forward with the hamstring of the previously collapsed front leg and simultaneously driving the rear hip forward with the motion suggested in the above quoted model.
    Written the way it's written, I can see why you have that perspective and you would be correct if there was no muscle tensioning on impact. If you're going to use the "soft hand concept" as described here, you do have to stay loose until impact, or just before but then you have to tighten up to drive the strike through the target.

    I've seen the method you use forwarded before and when I try the two methods initiating momentum with the body, i.e. from the waist, has noticebly more power on impact. Think of it as the body driving the arm, as opposed to the arm pulling the body, which is how I view starting with the arm first.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Punching Power

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    I've seen the method you use forwarded before and when I try the two methods initiating momentum with the body, i.e. from the waist, has noticebly more power on impact. Think of it as the body driving the arm, as opposed to the arm pulling the body, which is how I view starting with the arm first.
    It is the body driving the arm, rather than the arm pulling the body. But the arm must start first because it has the most distance to cover, if we are speaking of full range of motion. Obviously, there will be some changes to the delivery method based on fighting range.

    If, as in the previous model that I quoted, there is a disconnect between the body and the hand prior to impact, then the strike begins decelerating at the moment of disconnect. Tension at the end would serve to slow things down even more. Tension = slow. Relaxation = speed. The problem is that tension also = strength. That is one of the reasons why the design of our bodies is so brilliant. Muscles can only contract to pull, and relax. They don't extend. They don't push. Antagonistic groups of muscles constantly contract and relax to promote movement. When antagonistic muscles tense at the same time, we stop.

    What is crucial is at the beginning of the punch, the antagonistic muscle groups must explosively relax in concert with the explosive contraction of the muscle groups performing the movement. That way the body is not fighting itself. At impact, three things must be happening:

    1: The arm must be finishing it's extension. Not finished with, but very close.
    2: The body (whole body) must be moving the direction of the strike.
    3: The hips must be rotating to drive the strike through by pulling the body forward with the forward leg while simultaneously pushing the body forward with the back leg.

    Typically, when watching people who have trained for a while without really dissecting their movements and paying close attention, I see, as a punch occurs, the hips rotating forward, but in doing so, the front leg extends, thereby pushing the body up and away from the strike. I also see the rotation stop slightly before impact, often even beginning a counter rotation to increase the "whip," or, more accurately, the sound that the gi sleeve makes.

    Kyoshi Roger Greene, well known throughout the midwest for his seminars on punching power, and for his Greene Machine tournament fighters who are forbidden to strike the head in tournaments because they knock people out regularly with body shots, teaches this method. He came to it by way of dissecting the traditional karate katas.

    Roger Greene was Joe Lewis' first black belt. Joe Lewis does not like kata. He and Kyoshi Greene got together once a number of years ago to exchange ideas, and both excitedly told the other the method I have tried to describe. Mr. Lewis got it from dissecting his own movements thru drills and watching footage of boxers.

    Power = mass x velocity. Force = mass x acceleration. Everybody knows this. I very often hear of ways to increase velocity or acceleration and how important that is since your mass does not really fluctuate. However, most people, seriously, most people use only the mass of their arm. While you cannot do much to increase your mass, you can certainly increase the amount of your mass that gets delivered to the target.

    This method takes some work. Some slow work, and some serious time spent drilling and working the legs, and ingraining a new paradigm of end-point timing into the body. Enough time that, even if you try what I have tried to describe, you will probably have more power right now punching the way you have always punched. But, given about 3 months of diligent training, correct training, you can be delivering a whole lot more of your body with your punches, and (this is cool) punching from outside most people's kicking range without stepping or shuffling forward. That really messes with people!
    Dave

    "I consider that the spiritual life is the life of man's real self, the life of that interior self whose flame is so often allowed to be smothered under the ashes of anxiety and futile concern." - Thomas Merton


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    Default Re: Punching Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    It is the body driving the arm, rather than the arm pulling the body. But the arm must start first because it has the most distance to cover, if we are speaking of full range of motion. Obviously, there will be some changes to the delivery method based on fighting range.
    But the arm has less mass, therefore it takes less energy to propel it. By starting with the waist, you have the greater mass of the body already in motion by the time the arm starts its movement. The "coiling" of the energy is then released through the arm as it travels to its target. The motion of your body and the completion of your strike should reach apex at the same time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    If, as in the previous model that I quoted, there is a disconnect between the body and the hand prior to impact, then the strike begins decelerating at the moment of disconnect.
    This is where we're in agreement. I think the term "disconnect" isn't the proper one. If you do have a disconnect, then your point is quite accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    Tension at the end would serve to slow things down even more. Tension = slow. Relaxation = speed. The problem is that tension also = strength. That is one of the reasons why the design of our bodies is so brilliant. Muscles can only contract to pull, and relax. They don't extend. They don't push. Antagonistic groups of muscles constantly contract and relax to promote movement. When antagonistic muscles tense at the same time, we stop.
    Soft hand concept, relaxed to help increase speed until tension is applied at the moment of impact, thereby adding the strength.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    What is crucial is at the beginning of the punch, the antagonistic muscle groups must explosively relax in concert with the explosive contraction of the muscle groups performing the movement. That way the body is not fighting itself. At impact, three things must be happening:

    1: The arm must be finishing it's extension. Not finished with, but very close.
    2: The body (whole body) must be moving the direction of the strike.
    3: The hips must be rotating to drive the strike through by pulling the body forward with the forward leg while simultaneously pushing the body forward with the back leg.
    We're in complete agreement here, we just differ on the method to achieve it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    Typically, when watching people who have trained for a while without really dissecting their movements and paying close attention, I see, as a punch occurs, the hips rotating forward, but in doing so, the front leg extends, thereby pushing the body up and away from the strike. I also see the rotation stop slightly before impact, often even beginning a counter rotation to increase the "whip," or, more accurately, the sound that the gi sleeve makes.
    Which is one of the reasons we stress keeping your knees bent during transitions to prevent popping up by extending the leg.

    As for the rotation, if the timing is correct, it will end at the moment the arm ends its motion, preferrably several inches into your target.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    Power = mass x velocity. Force = mass x acceleration. Everybody knows this. I very often hear of ways to increase velocity or acceleration and how important that is since your mass does not really fluctuate. However, most people, seriously, most people use only the mass of their arm. While you cannot do much to increase your mass, you can certainly increase the amount of your mass that gets delivered to the target.
    Agreed. Again, where we differ is on how to fix this problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    This method takes some work. Some slow work, and some serious time spent drilling and working the legs, and ingraining a new paradigm of end-point timing into the body. Enough time that, even if you try what I have tried to describe, you will probably have more power right now punching the way you have always punched. But, given about 3 months of diligent training, correct training, you can be delivering a whole lot more of your body with your punches, and (this is cool) punching from outside most people's kicking range without stepping or shuffling forward. That really messes with people!
    Where's your center of gravity at the point of impact, forward or neutral?

    It took me several years just to get down the concept I've been talking about to the point where I can truly feel and see the difference. Were I to start changing that to another method, my teacher would be on me pronto because it would noticeably change my movement in almost all areas. "Daugherty, what are you doing?", accompanied by the look of patient exasperation that seems to appear on her face so often during our lessons.....
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Talking Re: Punching Power

    Well, I have seen many people on the street and in the ring get knocked out with snapping strikes. Ali used alot of fast snap strikes and knocked alot of bigger guy's out cold. But what do I know???? There is one thing When you are to old to move fast, you move out of the way and run like h*ll. I know I know! I'm not a Kenpo rocket scientist. But one of these day's I've got to get a book on physic's. LOL
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    Default Re: Punching Power

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    But the arm has less mass, therefore it takes less energy to propel it. By starting with the waist, you have the greater mass of the body already in motion by the time the arm starts its movement. The "coiling" of the energy is then released through the arm as it travels to its target. The motion of your body and the completion of your strike should reach apex at the same time.
    We agree in principle here, especially with your last statement. I most often, however, see people's rotation stop just before impact.


    Which is one of the reasons we stress keeping your knees bent during transitions to prevent popping up by extending the leg.
    Also one of the reasons we are taught to keep the head level during movement.

    As for the rotation, if the timing is correct, it will end at the moment the arm ends its motion, preferrably several inches into your target.
    Yes. End point timing is the term I use. Proper end point timing is the end result of proper focus.

    Where's your center of gravity at the point of impact, forward or neutral?
    Forward, definitely. For the center to remain neutral, the "front" of the body must rotate backwards while the "back" of the body rotates forward.

    It took me several years just to get down the concept I've been talking about to the point where I can truly feel and see the difference. Were I to start changing that to another method, my teacher would be on me pronto because it would noticeably change my movement in almost all areas.
    I went to a seminar with Kyoshi Greene about 5 years ago, and took a leap of faith that he was right and began working his method. It has changed my movement in all areas very noticeably, and for the better. I could already hit hard, and well. Now it is better. But, there was some transition. It was difficult to transition, as a 4th degree black belt with 20 years in, to a new way of moving, when the other way was so natural.

    But, the Master was right. Go figure.
    Dave

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    Default Re: Punching Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Nubreed View Post
    Well, I have seen many people on the street and in the ring get knocked out with snapping strikes. Ali used alot of fast snap strikes and knocked alot of bigger guy's out cold. But what do I know???? There is one thing When you are to old to move fast, you move out of the way and run like h*ll. I know I know! I'm not a Kenpo rocket scientist. But one of these day's I've got to get a book on physic's. LOL
    Oh, I agree. A snapping strike, properly and accurately executed, is easily capable of knocking someone out. Properly executed, there should be no difference, other than the recoil.

    A "whipping" strike, to me, is different. A snapping strike recoils quickly after impact. A "whipping" strike has the body beginning to recoil before impact. They can hurt, and they can be blindingly fast. But you are not going to break ribs and move people with them. Not what I call power, but useful nonetheless.
    Dave

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    Default Re: Punching Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    Also one of the reasons we are taught to keep the head level during movement.
    Yes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    Forward, definitely. For the center to remain neutral, the "front" of the body must rotate backwards while the "back" of the body rotates forward.
    Okay, here's another difference. Our goal is to maintain neutral balance with our movement. I understand the weight forward concept but that also slows your ability to react and move in a different direction. You are committing yourself to moving forward. A difference in philosophy.

    This is also one of the primary reasons we emphasis waist movement so much. The front of the body does have to rotate to the rear but the result is much more mass of the body involved in generating speed and power for the strike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    I went to a seminar with Kyoshi Greene about 5 years ago, and took a leap of faith that he was right and began working his method. It has changed my movement in all areas very noticeably, and for the better. I could already hit hard, and well. Now it is better. But, there was some transition. It was difficult to transition, as a 4th degree black belt with 20 years in, to a new way of moving, when the other way was so natural.

    But, the Master was right. Go figure.
    I'm in a position where I do what I'm told. I can question definitely but I've yet to prove my teacher(s) wrong. Your last line has been proven to be true time and time again.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Punching Power

    definitely, the body drives the arm w/o the arm does not create enough power. the relax/tension question. It was explained once to me that you imagine your hand was the ball on the end of a flail until the point of contact, then you tense up for power. A drill we used to get the hips moving was the "quick draw" to do this you stand as you would if you were going to quick draw a gun like an old west gun fighter and explode into the punch from there. you can start with standing but after you are comfortable with it incorporate movement.

    CK

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    Default Re: Punching Power

    It may all start with the toe
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    Default Re: Punching Power

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    It may all start with the toe
    You're killing me.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Punching Power

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    It may all start with the toe
    Hmmm.

    Which one?
    Dave

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    Default Re: Punching Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    Hmmm.

    Which one?
    Move your toes in your shoe and see which one translates up the calf
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    Default Re: Punching Power

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    You're killing me.
    yep,yep,yep
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    Default Re: Punching Power

    Simply put, proper body mechanics and application of sound scientific, kenpo principles.

    Bruce Lee's "6 inch punch" wasn't effective because he was young or a power house.
    "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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