Karate means empty hand.
And some people say it means
you don’t hold a weapon.
but there’s a heck of a lot more to it.
From a horse stance,
one hand goes out
and the other comes back.
This is balance.
beginners are taught to twist the fist,
palm up at the chamber position,
when you extend and tighten the fist.
This is a method to create more loose-tight.
To focus the energy.
with the subject of energy
we have left the mechanics.
One of the things people should do
is sink into a horse,
and use the retracting hand
to pull an opponent.
This is fascinating stuff.
You pull the hand,
you pull the weight,
and the core has to shrink,
and the tan tien has to explode,
even while it is pulling.
Very interesting stuff.
How do you pull while exploding?
The thing is,
this is where it all opens up.
This is where you start to examine
the fist as a line of energy.
This is where you start examining
blocks as planes of energy
that sheer the line of energy that is a punch.
This is where you examine
how to compress the triangular energy of the stance
while you do what you do
on the top half of the body.
And these things lead to such concepts as
the arms as cones,
paralleling motions to create harmony
sucking energy from stances,
and ALL sorts of other things.
I should write a book on these specifics,
maybe I will some day,
but right now…
all we care about is lesson number one,
how to explode energy in a straight line
with the fist actually becoming empty.
and a LOT more
is in ‘The Punch,’
which is here,
let’s just take one narrow slice of the procedure.
at a certain point,
that what I was trying to do
when I punched somebody
was stick a stick (of bones)
through a watermelon.
I then wondered if it was really necessary to tighten the fist.
before you get all excited,
you SHOULD do all the basics exercises,
and that includes learning how to make the fist tight.
I didn’t understand this
until after I had learned how to make a tight fist.
I learned how to stick that fist out
and tighten it
an inch or two
inside the other person’s body.
Almost like grabbing something
having the power,
I could go for the softer,
but more intense
So I practiced simple things like push ups
on non tight fists.
Just balancing on the foreknuckles,
trying to use no energy in the hands.
I got mixed results.
I tried to break things
while holding thumbtacks.
you need to break with a hard fist
before you try with a soft fist,
or you’ll break your hand.
I finally found that my soft fist,
or my empty fist
more from learning finer control
than anything else.
So you put a thumbtack on a piece of soft material.
plasterboard is good.
And you punch it in with your fist,
without denting the board.
sort of hard.
You keep denting.
a thousand times,
and you will appreciate a finer distance
with your fist.
here’s the funny thing,
control leads to power.
Power doesn’t lead to control
But control leads to power.
And I found I was able to stick my soft and untightened fist
into other bodies
here is where it gets interesting,
it hurts more!
When you see me punch somebody
on one of the training videos
and they suddenly wince in pain,
it is not because I punched them harder,
it is because I punched them softer.
Which is to say,
I used a soft fist.
to this day,
I still practice the tight fist,
because it leads me to the soft fist,
but I practice control,
and thus get more power.
The only time I ever really hurt somebody
I punched them with a soft fist.
This was right after I started figuring this stuff out.
It was back in Santa Rosa,
and I broke a student’s rib.
I was sorry,
and realized that I had reached a point
where the softer I hit
the more careful I had to be.
I hope this tells you something
about the fist
and how to empty it.
The principles are true for any art,
if you want the whole line up
so you don’t have any missing pieces
The thing is,
if you do what I have told you here,
you should have a good, soft punch.
if you don’t,
then you are simply missing pieces,
and all the pieces of the punch
time to see a man about a work out.
You guys and gals,
have yourself a most glorious week end,
filled with nothing but the glory of you
made pure by the work out.
Check out THE PUNCH!