How to Hit Harder in the Martial Arts!
I had an interesting question today
this from a person who didn’t study the martial arts
He asked me
“How do you break those bricks and boards
and not end up with arthritis
in your hands?”
Good question, eh?
I told him
is that it is not how hard you hit,
it is hitting gently
and letting the power accumulate
over the years.
I remember my brother
back when Karate first hit the news,
punching a telephone pole
to make his hands tough.
He ended up with bruised and bleeding knuckles
that hurt for months.
sorry to say,
there are schools of martial arts
that do that type of training
to this day.
They believe in
‘no pain no gain,’
which is one of the worst sayings ever.
pain is a warning,
a signal that you are in danger
that you might get hurt.
You don’t ignore pain.
You learn to edge it,
to use it,
but you never deliberately hurt yourself.
That’s like printing
on your forehead.
you put up a makiwara,
you tack some rug pads to a tree,
you hang a heavy bag,
and you hit it not hard,
just hard enough to feel it.
Then you don’t bruise your knuckles,
you make your whole arm strong
working out day after day.
You don’t change your body…
you change the way you think about the universe.
that leads us to the second part of this thing.
There are three depths for striking.
To hit the skin never causes a bruise.
It pulls the punch,
and you can strike as hard as you want
nobody gets hurt.
BUT…your punches don’t develop real power.
So you punch a little harder, to the muscle.
This can cause a bruise,
so you have to learn how to tighten your muscles,
how to hit just barely hard enough
to rock the muscle
but not bruise it.
This needs a high degree of control,
but you know what I say,
there is an art to destruction,
but the true art is in control.
the third depth of striking
is to strike to the bone.
This causes bruises every time,
and puts the bones at risk.
with a little practice
break bones pretty easily.
This depth of striking
takes a lot of awareness,
not a lot of mindless bashing,
but a lot of concentration
and awareness of what,
you are hitting.
There’s a great book,
‘Iron and Silk’
by Mark Saltzman.
Got made into a movie.
Guy goes to China and learns Kung Fu.
the guy who taught him
was in movies,
and one of his training regimens was
to strike a piece of metal 2000 times a day.
He would just walk around
holding a little plate of metal,
and punch it.
When they shot the movie
they asked him to hit the plate,
and he did,
and the sound of his knuckles striking metal
made everybody sick.
They had to dub in the sound.
that is a punch
developed over time.
When you see the movie you realize
he is not hitting the plate hard,
just doing it
over and over and over,
a couple of decades,
and the mere sound of that punch,
makes people sick.
go read the book,
rent the movie,
really fascinating stuff.
so are you working out a lot?
Do you have a sheet of paper hanging on your bedroom door,
so you can see it every day?
Or taped to the mirror in your bathroom,
reminding you to work out?
Think about this punching thing,
about the three levels of striking,
and where you want to be in your martial arts.
but in a couple of decades.
make a plan,
stick to it,
and answer the question that guy asked me.
if you have books on the martial arts,
feel free to donate them to Monkeyland.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check your shelves out
maybe you have an old Bruce Tegner book,
or a DVD that you are no longer interested in,
send me an email,
and I’ll send you my address up here.
sorry to say,
will even have to spring for the postage.
We just don’t have the cash up here.
the idea is to have
the greatest martial arts library in the world.
So if you have anything to contribute,
it would be appreciated.
Some day in the near future
I’ll make a list of books
we have in the library.
wouldn’t it be great
for people to come up
and not just learn the best martial arts in the world,
but to have access to EVERY single other martial art?
To be able to do research into other martial arts?
that’s about all this week.
Check out this URL
And have a GREAT work out!