How I Learned that Karate was the Art of the Hard Fist

Black Belt instructor

Robert J. Babich...Kang Duk Won

My Karate Instructor had large hands. Really, he was only about five foot six, but his hands looked like gallon jugs. This ties in with his having a hard fist, and him being the most polite man I have ever met.
We were working out, and my partner wasn’t getting it right, and my instructor moved in to show him the right way. I was the dummy.
It was a move from Pinan Two, as I recall, and my instructor said, “See, it sets up the front kick,” and he raised his foot gently.
His toes touched my elbow, and a shock went through my arm, and my arm dropped uselessly.
My instructor knew he’d made contact. Even though it was a mere touch, he knew. “Are you all right?”
I lifted my arm back up to the ready position and said, “Sure.”
But, man, he had just touched me, and it was like somebody had zapped me with a numbolator. There wasn’t even much of a shock, just my arm dropping, rendered out of my control, done.
Now, he said his abilities came from doing the forms. And he was right, but it was because he did the forms right…and because he was virtuous.
He did the forms right because he analyzed them for workability.
He was virtuous because when he talked to people he actually care what they said. I mean, he actually listened, and he always tried to say the right thing.
Virtue and politeness. The same in a way, yet requiring different skills, presence of mind, character, and an extreme attention to detail. I remember that when I try to make my hard fist, and especially when I teach. Check out Kwon Bup, it is the art my instructor created, and it embodies the skilla nd character that he possessed. My site is Monster Martial Arts, and you can pick up a free book on the home page.

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