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Thread: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

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    Default Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    Dear Kenpo brothers and sisters:

    Bruce Lee was once asked the difference on a TV interview to explain the difference between a Karate and a Kung Fu piucn. Here is what he said:

    "a karate punch is like bieng hit by a iron bar....a Kung Fu punch is like being hit by a iron ball swung on an iron chain....and it hurts inside."

    Do you agree with his statement and what did he mean by this illustration? Can someone with experience in both systems make this example clearer to me?

    Thanks!

    Nelson Kari
    Last edited by nelson; 04-21-2007 at 09:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    I assume he was talking about a classical karate (shotokan, isshin-ryu ect..) reverse style punch that dilivers more of a blunt force trauma as opposed to the more fluid style of chinese arts where the footwork and body mechanics drive the force wave deeper into body cavities. Give it time, J LaTourrette will fill us in on the clinical side of this.

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    See the thread on dead hand strikes.

    Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Dan C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    i think hes talking about penetration.. if youv ever been hit in one side, and felt it out the other you know what Bruce Lee was talking about..

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    Dear Kenpo brothers and sisters:

    Bruce Lee was once asked the difference on a TV interview to explain the difference between a Karate and a Kung Fu piucn. Here is what he said:

    "a karate punch is like bieng hit by a iron bar....a Kung Fu punch is like being hit by a iron ball swung on an iron chain....and it hurts inside."

    Do you agree with his statement and what did he mean by this illustration? Can someone with experience in both systems make this example clearer to me?

    Thanks!

    Nelson Kari
    Spoken Like a Kung Fu man.
    sean

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    well, kenpo is the closest thing to karate that I have experience with. I've never studied or worked out with anyone from a Shotokan or Goju-Ryu or other Japanse or Okinawan background, so I can't make that kind of comparison. But I can explain a bit about a couple different kung fu punches, and there are a number of very different ways that different Chinese arts punch, and develop power, and the effect that it has on you.

    My Wing Chun sifu spent some time in one class giving the newer students an opportunity to experience the power they had been developing, thru their Wing Chun training. He would take a thick Yellowpages book, hold it braced against his torso, and let you punch it. In this way, the book would protect him from actually getting injured, but at the same time allow him to significantly feel the power behind the strike.

    I held the Yellowpages and allowed him to hit me "wing chun" style. I felt like my whole body had been jolted, almost like I hit an electric fence. It was kind of disorienting, just a great big shock to my whole body, like a giant fist hit everything at once.

    He then held the Yellowpages while I hit it using the straight punch from Tibetan White Crane. We use a very different, relaxed long-armed swing in developing power, not at all like Wing Chun. When I hit him at relaxed, moderate power, he staggered backwards, and stated that he felt the power penetrate into his midsection, sort of "bounce" off the bones inside, and drive down into his lower torso. He was pretty surprised by the effect that it had.

    I did this same experiment on a friend one day, a low level kung fu student, but I don't know exactly what he was studying. I hit him with the Crane punch thru a Yellowpages book. He stated that he has never had anyone hit him quite like that, it was a real eye-opener.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    Dear Michael:

    Interesting concept my brother! Although I wouldn't dare try it around here as our "yellow pages" are about a quarter of an inch thick!

    I might check it out with the Milwaukee " Big Book ". It sounds like an interesting way to demonstrate punching power produced by different styles.

    Thanks for the idea.

    Nelson Kari

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    I've had a simlar experience, a friend does Yiliquan and he hits like a cat-scan, he targets internal organs. He hit me in the shoulder and it felt like my kidney was going to fall out of my butt. And that was through a focus mitt braced against my shoulder.

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    Dear Michael:

    Interesting concept my brother! Although I wouldn't dare try it around here as our "yellow pages" are about a quarter of an inch thick!

    I might check it out with the Milwaukee " Big Book ". It sounds like an interesting way to demonstrate punching power produced by different styles.

    Thanks for the idea.

    Nelson Kari

    Yeah, I wouldn't try it with the Grant County yellowpages. Definitely use something from Milwaukee or Chicago. You're still gonna feel it, but it helps.
    Michael


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    Negative Douche Bag Number One

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    Dear Michael:

    Interesting concept my brother! Although I wouldn't dare try it around here as our "yellow pages" are about a quarter of an inch thick!

    I might check it out with the Milwaukee " Big Book ". It sounds like an interesting way to demonstrate punching power produced by different styles.

    Thanks for the idea.

    Nelson Kari
    Phone Books don't hit back. LOL

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    I tend to like the philosophy that you're hitting through your targets. "I'm not hitting him on the chin, I'm hitting him in the back of the head, the rest of his skull just happens to be in the way." The first time I experienced a punch with that philosophy in play, I felt it to my core.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    Dear JD:

    Interesting concept on striking the body. I would have a problem with striking the head with this concept however unless it was life or death.

    I'm 6'4'' and weigh around 275. When I stike someone in the jaw they usually go down. I don't want to cause a brain injury by striking them too hard.

    Nelson

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoChanger View Post
    Phone Books don't hit back. LOL
    That reminds me of Bloodsport from 1988 "Chong Li: Very good. But brick not hit back!"

    Bruce Lee talked about this: "A blow is never hit at a mark. It is driven through a mark. Follow-through is just as important in fighting as it is in any other sport and it can only be obtained by punching through and beyond the point of attack." (Page 210)
    Both of these quotes were taken from "Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do, Volume Three"


    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    Dear JD:

    Interesting concept on striking the body. I would have a problem with striking the head with this concept however unless it was life or death.

    I'm 6'4'' and weigh around 275. When I stike someone in the jaw they usually go down. I don't want to cause a brain injury by striking them too hard.

    Nelson
    I'm 5' 9" and weigh 190. If I'm going to hit somebody like that, it's for a very serious reason, and that's what I train for. Train for the worst and ratchet down as the situation dicates. As for differentiating between head and body shots, the energy dissipation can be just as devastating if you strike the right target. If your strike goes to the liver, kidney, spleen, etc., you stand the chance of doing severe, possibly fatal damage.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    Dear JD:

    I see what you mean brother and I do understand the "ratchet concept."
    I'll give you an example of what I'm talking about. My friend and I were bouncers at a local rockabilly club back in the 70's. We were both martial artists. I studied Kenpo while my friend was an ex boxer, judoka, and Kung Fu stylist. One night around closing time my friend sturck a customer who was gving him some problems and resisted his attempts to clear the club.
    My friend hit the guy with a simultaneous elbow strike to the face and palm strike to the back of the head. As you can imagine the damage was quite severe as the nose, and checkbone were broken along with damage to the eyesocket. The bone fragments were pressed against the membrane that the brain is contained in. The doctors that treated the man said a slap would have killed him as the membrane would have been punctured by bone fragments.

    My friends "overkill" brought on by his excessive alcohol consumption brought about a near riot with the biker gang the following week. Interestingly enough that was when I was formerly hired as a bouncer. When I walked in the door of the club that night you could cut the air with a knife because the vibes were so thick.

    The point that I'm making is it is a LOT better to pop some dude in the jaw that to hit him flush in the face or with a palm strike elbow combination that may result in a fatality. Yes he could still fall and hit his head but it's not like you struch him in the side of the forehead.

    As far as shots to the body I tried to cofine my punches to what is usually a soft belly in most street fighters. Nine times out of ten they suck air very easily. In the "rare bird" cases when in doubt a straight punch to the solar plexus will get the bad boys attention.

    I had a doctor tell me years ago that people are not predictible. What will kill one will unfaze another. I'd rather whack a guy a couple of times and observe the results that deploy a "mega H bomb" move that may leave a person seriously injured, paralyzed, or worse.

    Have you ever worked in the clubs? If so I'm sure you know what I mean.
    The only time it gets hairy is when you have the potential of multiple opponents along with the uncertainty of concealed weapons. I would then be looking for eye, groin, and throat shots and help by the way!

    Nelson Kari

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    jdinca (04-26-2007)

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    nelson, you and I are in complete agreement. I think we're also approaching this from different perspectives. No, I don't and never have worked as a bouncer. I dont envy those who do. It's a tough job. Quite frankly, I haven't been in a fight since I was 12. Why? Because I'm very good at reading a situation and getting out of it before it gets out of hand. Were I to get into a fight in a bar, I would blame myself, regardless of what the other person did, unless it was obvious that his only purpose was to get into a fight and nothing I could have said would have defused it. Would I use a strike in that situation that could end his life? Absolutely not. If he pulled a knife, or a gun? I would hit him as hard as I could and as many times as I could, until I was sure the threat was ended. If he dies, then I guess he shouldn't have pulled the weapon and, over the following years, my therapist could probably convince me of this.

    I have had people come at me on rare occasions over the years while on duty. There was an occurence when I was young and very wet behind the ears when a psych patient who had showed no volatiliy at all decided that he wanted out and I was between him and the door. I was lucky that I was able to tie him up in a bear hug until my partner could get in the back and help me. He was face down in four point before the first cop ever showed up on scene. I don't carry a gun, stick, or mace. I don't even carry the big nasty flashlight I used to carry when I was a street medic in a very bad area. In my current position, were I to even strike somebody who came at me, I would no doubt be disciplined, possibly sued, and possibly fired, even though the person who attacked me would be arrested for a felony assault on a firefighter. In this scenario, chin na is my friend.

    I guess this discussion well illustrates why we train. I would prefer to know everything from a simple finger lock to driving my fist through somebody's head to help me prepare for any eventuality. The odds of me using any of this are very remote but I feel much better knowing that I have a broad range of options.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Karate punch VB. Kung Fu punch

    Dear JD:

    Thanks for your input brother! I agree with your sentiments as well.

    May God bless you and all others who do what you do!

    Nelson Kari

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