The Straight Punch in Karate

The Straight Punch in Karate

 

Karate is based on the straight punch.   Understanding the physics behind how this punch works and the method of this punch, will bring the next level of depth to your karate practice.

 

Principles to improve your punch

Straight

The shortest distance between 2 points is the straight line. We use this understanding in Karate to get the maximum speed in a punch.  We aim to punch straight.

Corkscrew

Along with this, Karate uses the corkscrew method in the straight punch to get extra force, power and penetration.   This is when your fist is turned palm facing upward on the hip, and as you punch the fist is then rotated 180 degrees so that at the point of contact, the fist is turned palm downward.

Koshi

Another basic rule to maximize one’s punch, is to punch from the hip in a chambered position.

The hips, being your centre of gravity, are used when you punch, and this is known as Koshi.  This is when your hand starts on your hip, and by twisting or rotating your hip as the hand starts extending, the hip motion is used to drive the punch, adding power to it.

The important point with this or any other technique is that the body (and mind) must be in a relaxed state, or there will be no power.  If there is any tension in one of our muscles, there cannot be acceleration to obtain maximum power.

So, one must develop a rapid twitch in the muscles to do these techniques. It is the same as taiji fajing in tai chi. One must be in a relaxed state first in order for the explosiveness to emanate properly and efficiently through the movement.

Physics and Karate

Newton’s Third Law applies here.

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”

When you watch a sprinter, he uses his legs and arms to activate action. The arms and elbows must work in opposing directions in order to propel his body forward.  As the right arm moves forward, the left arm is using the same amount of effort and force to move backwards. This same movement and technique applies in a karate punch or block.

Speaking of which Newton’s Second Law also applies.

“Force = Mass x Acceleration.”

If you want power or force, then you need the other two factors (mass and acceleration).

Your mass is the ability to ‘create ‘ a weightedness in your body or your limb. How do we do that? By training your limb to be as relaxed as possible.

Many people think they are relaxed but actually they are still in a state of tension. One has to really focus on allowing the full weight of the arm and body to be like a bag of cement, to be fully relaxed.

So what is acceleration then? An example is a sports car. Some cars have a really high top end and can reach a great speed, but lack the sprint distances.

We want to be able to not only have a very fast top speed but more than that, to also increase that speed rapidly over a short distance.  That is acceleration.!

Multiply that mass with that type of acceleration in a punch, and Wham! The impact will be enormous.

 

Learn more about the physics of punching by attending Kobujutsu Karate with Sensei Leo Ming in Parkview

  Karate is based on the straight punch.   Understanding the physics behind how this punch works and the method of this punch, will bring the next level of depth to your karate practice.   Principles to improve your punch Straight The shortest distance between 2 points is the straight line. We use this understanding in …

Tai Chi Teacher in Joburg

Tai Chi Teacher in Joburg

Get to know your Sifu

Did you know that your Sifu, Leo Ming, first started learning tai chi when he was six years old?

CHiNA PLUS interviewed Sifu about his thoughts on the value of a practice like tai chi in our fast paced, technologically connected world, and some students share their views on tai chi too.

 

To get to know your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, and to learn more about his Tai Chi Classes in Parkview, Johannesburg, contact him on 0833780468.

Other blogs in our “Get to know your Sifu” Series:

Get to know your Sifu Did you know that your Sifu, Leo Ming, first started learning tai chi when he was six years old? CHiNA PLUS interviewed Sifu about his thoughts on the value of a practice like tai chi in our fast paced, technologically connected world, and some students share their views on tai …

Technique vs Strength for Self-defense in Karate

Technique vs Strength for Self-defense in Karate

Jesse Enkamp is quoted as saying:

“Comparing two equally technical fighters, my money is on the stronger one.
Comparing two equally strong opponents, my money is on the more technical one.”

This brings up the different role’s ‘technique’ and ‘strength’ or power play in karate.  And it also leads us to question what we mean by strength.

“Strength is for me more internal,” explains Sensei Leo Ming.

“Physical strength is applicable in Karate and self-defence, but the downside is one does not get stronger as one grows older. So, this physical strength needs to be nurtured and transformed inwardly, into a mental strength.”

If we look at it with a longer-term view, this mental strength is far more important. It gives us the ability to deal with the hardships that life throws us, from which no one is immune.

The body can endure much, but it is the strength of our mind where we ultimately win or loose when facing pain.

“Strength and technique are always important. If you use only strength you will soon be tired. If you only have technique and no strength, it will not do either as it won’t be effective.”

With self-defense, the reality a person is facing in that moment of personal danger gives the person the adrenaline rush that will boost their strength, which is needed for survival.  But it will be short lived as the body fatigues, and yet hopefully enough to get the person out of trouble.

Sensei Leo Ming teaching a self defense technique

So learning the skills of maximising your body’s leverage in terms of centres of gravity, the ease of deflecting attack and also gaining momentum to move out of harms way, are a strong components of effective self-defense training.

Some of these moves seem counter-intuitive to our ingrained instinct to fight or push or pull, yet with training the body and the mind, these self-defense and karate techniques can become second nature.

They then allow us to find that sweet spot, where we have enough technique to know how to use our strength to our advantage, without unnecessary fatigue.

 

To learn more about self-defense and Karate techniques, and develop the inner and physical strength to apply them, contact Sensei Leo Ming.

Jesse Enkamp is quoted as saying: “Comparing two equally technical fighters, my money is on the stronger one. Comparing two equally strong opponents, my money is on the more technical one.” This brings up the different role’s ‘technique’ and ‘strength’ or power play in karate.  And it also leads us to question what we mean …