Hitting Softer to Hit Harder
whatever time it is
it is perfect for a work out.
Just think about it.
Think about the way you feel after you work out,
and you can do that any time you want!
Did you know that most fights happen in about an inch.
If you’re good,
then they happen in about an eighth of an inch.
Real inside the phone booth stuff.
the fight starts out with a bunch of talk,
or some undesired collapsation of space.
The sucker is getting closer,
treading on your ground,
invading your space.
here’s the funny thing,
the closer the space,
the further you can see it coming.
And it translates like this.
If you can knock somebody down
with a punch that takes three feet to deliver,
then you’re probably not a very good martial artist.
you’re getting better,
and we’re finally starting to get close.
When you can hit somebody
from one inch away,
then you are good.
The way I test this is to place my fingers on the target,
I only push the fist forward,
closing the fingers before impact.
I do not withdraw the punch
and then push it forward.
I call this finger punching,
or one inch punching.
If I can hit with authority,
really get my body behind it,
in the space it takes to close my fingers,
then I figure I’m doing all right.
my instructor was probably a 64th of an inch man.
He was that good.
there isn’t really a way to measure this.
it’s not distance now,
but how lightly you hit
and create greater impact.
So we have gone from measuring distance
to throw a punch,
to measuring the less and less effort
you use when you strike.
One of the things I did,
is practice not closing my fist.
I just stick the bones of fist
into the other person,
or the bag.
it is only for certain types of strikes.
here’s the neat thing,
when you get down to that level,
your grabs start to REALLY work.
In Tai Chi you just angle it right,
and blow the guy away.
you hit without force,
and don’t even close the fist,
and the guy just crumples.
you have to have the discipline.
you have to practice.
you have to do it right,
which means you have to understand what it is
you are trying to do.
It’s not force,
and almost a negative flow,
when you strike.
You can get a lot of valuable data about this,
from the book
Tai Chi Touchstones,
the data is written weird.
It has been translated into mystical language,
and not the hard core physics
that the martial arts are.
I say physics,
there are two types of physics.
There are the physics where the apple falls on your head.
Then there is the physics of thought
and all that sort of stuff.
let’s say you’ve spent a few years
pounding on makiwara,
or something like that,
here’s what you do
to practice the effortless punch.
Point your hand at a wall,
preferably one with a pad of some sort,
from an inch away.
strike first the fingers,
then the first set of knuckles,
then the fist knuckles.
I call it the ‘Mad Monkey’ punch.
Saw it in a movie of the same name.
movie or not,
you don’t hit hard,
you just touch,
and your fingers get stronger.
Another one I used to do
had six strikes,
with five different knuckles.
From an inch away,
middle first knuckle,
index first knuckle,
and then I would do a fist again.
I would create a rhythm
like a congo rythm,
Bump, bump, bump, bump (pause) bump.
that would be something like
C, C, B, B, C (pause) D.
I practiced it,
and I soon found that I couldn’t do it to sheet rock walls,
they would just dent.
And hard wood hurt too much.
So I looked around for pads.
Maybe three or four rug samples,
and OI tried to find a midway point
of not too soft and not too hard.
Do that type of thing long enough,
not with force,
but just thinking about
your bone alignment and your timing,
and your punch is going to get harder,
while getting ‘easier.’
The idea is to do it so your intention engages,
so that your awareness focuses,
and not your muscle,
or some kind of brute force.
Awareness is ALWAYS more powerful than force.
I sometimes say flow is more powerful than force,
I republished the books I have been putting out,
‘The Ultimate Karate Encyclopedia.
So they might have been off the shelves for a day or two,
but they should be back up pretty quick
if they aren’t already.
Kung Fu to Karate,
One Year Black Belt
Birth of Matrixing.
Pan Gai Noon
Kang Duk Won
Buddha Crane Karate
The thing is,
I was doing these arts,
over about a forty year period.
I was doing a lot more,
but these happened to be the ones
that I put down on paper.
So there is a tremendous amount of work here,
tons of forms and techniques,
and you can,
if you do them,
experience the differences.
You can evolve yourself
exactly as Karate evolved.
I don’t see how somebody
who has only studied one or two systems
can say that they know Karate.
it is a lifetime,
it’s on Amazon,
or should be pretty quick.
Just type in the name of the art and ‘Al Case’
should be able to find it.
got to go,
there’s going to be a whomper stomper of a storm up here,
I’ve got to nail stuff down,
weather proof everything,
and get prepared to spend long,
staring at the rain,
You guys and gals work out, too!
Here’s a link to ‘The Punch,’
if you want to explore some of the things I’ve said here