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 …

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 …

Ethics in Karate

Ethics in Karate

Patience; discipline; respect; control; effort; etiquette.  These are some of the qualities student learn in our taiji or karate classes.

Karate fists and ethicsPart of the foundation of martial arts, is developing a high degree of ethics.  This is emphasised in kobujutsu karate training, due to the nature of the physical skills that karate teaches us.

Charles C. Goodin explains how integral ethics is in martial arts, by looking at a significant karate hand gesture:

“A clenched fist represents the destructive potential of Karate.  The open hand symbolises karate ethics and restraint. The open hand covers the fist, just as ethics restrain the karate practitioner’s actions. Many karate kata begin and end with the hands in this position.” – Charles C. Goodin.

An open hand symbolizes ’emptiness’ and being able to let go, while the fist is a universal language of combat.

“It is a combined version of the yin and yang,” suggests Sensei Leo.  “When we have studied the ability and the control to what we choose our hand to be for situations, we ourselves are much more aware and in better control of the self.”

What is Ethics in Karate?

“This is life-long work on the self” explains Sensei Leo Ming.  “It is very easy for the average person to recite and understand but very difficult to live by.  Displaying ethical behaviour challenges us.”

“It is about how we look at things in life, our attitude. It is how we are able to do right and if we miss an opportunity, to then ‘make right’. It is about our daily conduct. It is about what we say (especially to others). It is about consistency.  And it is about integrity.”

These lessons and qualities are ones that even Leo, for the past 43 years, has been working on in himself.  He sees his role in developing ethics in his students, as their Sense, as a very important one, where he needs to set the example.

“I think values such as these never change… the things around us may change, such as modern technologies and phones etc, but these values remain constant, and hence relate to modern day society too.”

Ethics and the Credo

Each system of martial arts may have variations on their credo. The credo is just simply theory if one only reads it. To be able to fully understand the Mings Martial Arts Credo, we must bring the points into practice.

“Therefore we have certain ‘rules‘ of entering and leaving the training place, the dojo,” clarifies Sensei.  “These are the ‘hidden’ understandings and methods for actual practice that students often overlook.”Ethics in karate

An example is when a karate or tai chi student bows at the door, he is not bowing to anyone in particular, but to himself.

“Students may think they ‘have to’ or that it is for me, the Sensei, but I don’t only see it that way. If they can understand, it is a training for their higher self,” wishes Sensei Leo.

Living Ethically

Students who train in karate and tai chi are encouraged to not only develop their physical abilities, but to conduct themselves in their daily life with ethics and integrity.

Knowing the difference between what we are capable of or have a right to do, and what is actually right to do, is a life skill that can lead us far in our own lives, and as a society as a whole.

Join us on this daily journey of living ethically.

 

For more information and to try a class out, contact your Sensei, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

Patience; discipline; respect; control; effort; etiquette.  These are some of the qualities student learn in our taiji or karate classes. Part of the foundation of martial arts, is developing a high degree of ethics.  This is emphasised in kobujutsu karate training, due to the nature of the physical skills that karate teaches us. Charles C. …

Karate and Cars

Karate and Cars

Get to know your Sifu

Did you know that your Sifu, Leo Ming, is into cars?

He has a penchant for old Porsches, and has recently become the Karate, or “Carate” man in the latest series of Toyota motor vehicle adverts.

Here they are for you to enjoy.  (We’ll be adding each one as they are released by Toyota)

Toyota Mastery Advert:


To get to know your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, 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, is into cars? He has a penchant for old Porsches, and has recently become the Karate, or “Carate” man in the latest series of Toyota motor vehicle adverts. Here they are for you to enjoy.  (We’ll be adding each one as they …

The Wealth of Taijiquan

The Wealth of Taijiquan

Tai chi may have very early roots in China, yet it has and still is spreading in popularity all over the world.  This is due to the many benefits it provides.

Here is a short clip that explains taijiquan and it’s wealth that we can enjoy.  It also has some interesting footage of Chen village– where we recently visited on our tour to China.

The video covers:

  • What is the link between Wújí  and taijí?  And tai chi and ying yang?
  • The history of tai chi from Chen Village
  • Benefits of practicing taijiquan for society and nature
  • The science of the effects of tai chi on our own bodies
  • The Chinese government’s plans of promoting taijiquan and martial arts

 

 

Contact Sifu Leo Low Ming on 0833780468 to learn more about his Tai Chi Classes in Parkview, Johannesburg.

Tai chi may have very early roots in China, yet it has and still is spreading in popularity all over the world.  This is due to the many benefits it provides. Here is a short clip that explains taijiquan and it’s wealth that we can enjoy.  It also has some interesting footage of Chen village– …

Tastic Rice Ad

Tastic Rice Ad

Get to know your Sifu

 

Did you know that your Sifu, Leo Ming, offers consulting for choreographing Martial Arts fight scenes for movies? And he often acts in the scenes himself.

 

He’s in a new movie that will be coming out soon, so watch this space!

 

In the meantime, here he is in another TV commercial for Tastic Rice. This advert won a Loerie Award:

 

 

 

 

To get to know your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, 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, offers consulting for choreographing Martial Arts fight scenes for movies? And he often acts in the scenes himself.   He’s in a new movie that will be coming out soon, so watch this space!   In the meantime, here he is …

Children with ADHD benefit from Karate Classes

Children with ADHD benefit from Karate Classes

Has your child been labelled with ADHD?

Martial Arts, and specifically karate, is a useful activity to supplement any other strategy you are considering to help your child.

Karate has many benefits for children.  Specifically for children with ADHD or Asperger Syndrome or any similar challenges, martial arts activities can help them develop skills that can be translated positively into many areas of their lives.

Karate is not a team sport and yet it is social.  So the dojo becomes a safe and non-competitive place for children to learn, while still having healthy role models, and needing to engage with others and develop social skills.   They are taught about respect, accountability and leadership through the exercises and routines in karate.

Because Karate is also a sport that needs commitment, children learn about practicing something repeatedly and attending class consistently.   The grading system with different coloured belts teaches personal goal setting, and is a healthy means of marking and measuring progress.  This helps to provide structure and the mindset that things can be worked at and developed with perseverance.

Mental/physical control is an aspect that ADHD children can benefit from, and this is developed in karate alongside a growing self-confidence.  As the children learn certain drills and sequences in the karate katas, they learn to follow procedures and find rhythm, which help with them learning about controlling their minds and bodies.

Focus and self-discipline is also needed to learn the kata’s and routines, as well as the ability to stay on a task.  When asked if karate classes can help children who battle to focus, Sifu Leo responded:

“The brain can be trained to create new pathways by learning new positive methods while using up excess energies.”

“Also mental focus becomes stronger from Karate because the skill of focus is trained inside an environment where certain methods are repeated over and over, becoming a positive habit.”

Martial art is a means to stimulate the body and the mind, and encourage participation in a constructive manner.

“I’ve had experience with children with ADHD, and with its challenges, I’ve seen my students being able to channel their excess energy into something positive for themselves,”

continues Leo.

“Martial art is a great method of managing negative energies.  And I welcome the opportunity to assist in any child’s development through the benefits of karate.”

 

Contact Sifu Leo Low Ming on 0833780468 to learn more about his Karate Classes for children in Parkview, Johannesburg.

Has your child been labelled with ADHD? Martial Arts, and specifically karate, is a useful activity to supplement any other strategy you are considering to help your child. Karate has many benefits for children.  Specifically for children with ADHD or Asperger Syndrome or any similar challenges, martial arts activities can help them develop skills that …

Kung Fu Castrol Ad

Kung Fu Castrol Ad

Get to know your Sifu

Did you know that your Sifu, Leo Ming, started training in karate when he was a child?

And that since then he has focused his training and experience in Kobujutsu karate and tai chi, training under masters all over the world in places like in China, Athens, Boston, Toronto, Taiwan and Japan?

And did you know that he is known to make appearances in TV commercials once in a while?  Like this funny one, for Castrol Oil:

 

 

To get to know your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, 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, started training in karate when he was a child? And that since then he has focused his training and experience in Kobujutsu karate and tai chi, training under masters all over the world in places like in China, Athens, Boston, Toronto, Taiwan and …

The Science behind why Martial Arts Meditation leads to Stress Free Living

The Science behind why Martial Arts Meditation leads to Stress Free Living

“In most if not all martial arts, there is some form of integrative meditation component that forms the building blocks of a balanced yet formidable martial artist… half the battle is won and lost in the mind,” says Nicholas Bruce in his in depth article in the Business Day, May 2018.

Standing meditation in Tai Chi

The article explains how martial arts like karate and tai chi can help us develop the ability to prevent ourselves going into the fight/flight response.  When we don’t have this ability, we can lose part of our logical thinking faculty and can make less healthy decisions, and we find it harder to manage our emotions.

One of the key ways that martial arts helps one to be stress free, is its meditation component.

We ask Sensei Leo Ming to give his input on this key element of martial arts training, and encourage you to learn more about the science and research into this aspect, in Bruce’s article.

 

Q: What is Beginners Mind and why is it important in martial arts training?

Leo:  Sho Shin…beginner mind… This is such an important concept in the martial arts. We always have the ego which gets in the way of the reason for doing our martial arts. We get side tracked, whether it be from something visual, something external that catches our eye, or from an internal thought. A simple example would be when we are trying too hard to impress others, or wanting to over achieve in class. Once this happens your ‘way’ (or dao) is lost. We need to always remember to keep our training pure and authentic.

There is a saying that in the beginners mind there are countless possibilities, but in the experts mind there is only one. Thus we get stuck because we think that something can only be done in a certain way, and that our way is the ‘correct’ way.

If we look at children, they are very spontaneous and have an open energy. It is free, uncluttered, and natural. They can absorb but they can also let go of. They cry with intensity, and then it’s all over. We want to train to attain our original mind, our spontaneous and empty mind – this is a good example of sho shin.

More often than not we bring our baggage wherever we go, in the dojo, onto the court, on the field, even into our homes.  This weight prevents us from flowing and feeling the moment.

Q: What are the benefits of this ‘beginners mind’ for life outside the dojo?

Leo: There are so many. A few benefits are:

  • learning confidence
  • learning about breath control – for anxiety and for focus
  • letting go of the ego – developing humility
  • growing your perseverance and overcoming obstacles,
  • and overcoming stress build up.

    Martial Arts meditation in Wudang Mountains, China

 

Q: What is meditation in Martial Arts?

Leo: It is essentially learning self introspection, being aware of self, being aware of breath, emptying the mind -having the beginner mind.

Q: What aspects of your teaching do you do to encourage this development?

Leo: Meditation is one of the teachings that I integrate into all my classes- to learn patience with the process. Mindfulness is learnt through meditation as well as through self perfection of techniques. One trains a single technique repetitively until it becomes part of you, or you become part of it, hundreds and thousands of times until you reach a state of ‘no-mind’  or mu-shin. Everything muscle and tendon is relaxed, flowing and natural, yet filled with chi. This is something which cannot be replicated through learning theory.  You need to experience it.

We welcome you to join us for a complimentary class, so you can experience a taste of Sho Shin, and the benefits of becoming a martial artist.

 

For more about Tai Chi and Kobujutso Karate classes in Johannesburg, contact your Sensei, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

“In most if not all martial arts, there is some form of integrative meditation component that forms the building blocks of a balanced yet formidable martial artist… half the battle is won and lost in the mind,” says Nicholas Bruce in his in depth article in the Business Day, May 2018. The article explains how …

How to prepare for Grading in Karate

How to prepare for Grading in Karate

Part of Karate is the process of grading.

What is Grading?

Gradings are a test of your skills and how they are integrated.  As you reach higher levels in your ability and understanding of martial arts, students must also be able to do more skillful and precise moves.

During black belt grades- the highest levels – students are tested physically and mentally, and then in their knowledge of theory as well.

Coloured Belts

Achievement of a grade is represented by a coloured belt.

“In the West, the emphasis is too one sided on belts. A belt holds one’s pants up. Yet it is also a visual illustration of the length of time a student has trained in Karate” explains Sensei Leo Ming.

“Usually there are what we call ‘kyu’ or rankings. There are about 8 to 10 kyus depending on the style, before one gets black belt.”

Essentially the first belt is white, representing purity and being a novice, as in ‘being empty’.  Then after passing through many other coloured belts, we reach the black belt.  Again, the black represents the ‘start of’ another phase, or the start of the journey.

Black belts are called ‘dan’ of which there are 10. There are also more specific names given at 5th dan, then again at 8th and again at 10th.

“When the black belt eventually fades back into white, one has gone full circle – back to novice” enlightens Sensei.

Preparation for Karate Grading

Preparation of gradings takes time and patience.   The time students spent committed to come to classes will show.

Their ability to overcome challenges from their previous grading, like if the student has improved on not only his/her strengths, but also weaknesses, is also looked at during a grading session.

Failure

Failure is difficult to deal with.   There can be so many areas that resulted in the ‘failure’, like nerves, physical technical errors, a poor mental attitude on the day, anxiety levels.

Even the fear of failure itself can cause the frozen rabbit syndrome – where a well-prepared student can just go blank and lose focus, displaying a poor level of skill.

If a student failed and didn’t get the next belt, it may cause that student to put more time and energy into their training, or it may cause them much inner disruption and mental and emotional issues for them.

“I think this is all part of the ‘belt’ and grading learning.  It’s what you do with the result.”  Leo encourages.  “But eventually the persistence pays off into a new level of confidence and further humility.”

Participate in Gradings

There are benefits to students to work towards their next grade, and want to progress through all the gradings.  Sensei Leo adds:

“I think the main aim is to set a goal for oneself to overcome. There are a few students who I’ve taught who don’t want to grade and just want to train for the sake of training.”

All approaches are welcome, and each student sets for themselves their goals to work towards.

We hope you will join us on your journey through the colours of the ‘kyu’, or rankings in Kobujutso Karate.

 

For more about Kobujutso Karate classes in Johannesburg, contact your Sensei, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

Part of Karate is the process of grading. What is Grading? Gradings are a test of your skills and how they are integrated.  As you reach higher levels in your ability and understanding of martial arts, students must also be able to do more skillful and precise moves. During black belt grades- the highest levels …