Tag Archives: kung fu punch

The Power of the Martial Arts Punch

Newsletter 792
The Power of the Punch

Work out quick!

Rain is coming in So Cal!
Of course, I can always work out in the house.
Simply draw a shoulder width square on the floor
and do your forms on the square.
Easy squeezy.
Teach you all sorts of things about motion in a closed space.

I am fond of telling people
that martial arts happen in a phone booth.
This is because you don’t need big, swinging punches.
You need short, little effective punches.
Consider the following facts.

If one punch comes from six feet away,
and the other comes from six inches away,
they will have the same power
if they have equal weight upon impact.
Of course,
you can see the one that is six feet away,
and it is easier to block.
The one that is six inches away,
that one is hard to block.

The power of a punch is measured not by speed or weight of arm,
but by how much weight is transferred
to the other body upon impact.
Understand this,
and you will have to drastically rethink
the value of muscles,
the angles inherent in the arm/body/etc.,
the value of speed,
and so on.

This last point was amply illustrated
by a fellow name of Matt Hamill.
Matt was a fighter in the UFC.
He was deaf,
and he wasn’t fast.
In fact,
he was slow.
But his punches were devastating,
they contained more weight than faster fighters.
Faster fighters would hit him,
but eventually he would land one of those hands of his,
and the other fighter would fold.

People think it is how hard you hit.
It is how much weight goes into the target.
Weight is not dependent upon speed.
you can increase weight by increasing speed.
But speed as the sole factor doesn’t equate.
So there is something more than speed.
Intention to travel through a target.
Intention to deliver weight to the target.

What is Intention?
What you desire,
especially as evidenced, proven,
by a plan.

So when you train,
and especially when you do your forms,
pay a lot of intention to the plan of the form:
to increase body weight
by grounding your weight,
by aligning all body parts,
and so on.

it goes without saying,
but I’ll say it anyway,
one of the goals of matrixing,
one of the plans of matrixing,
is to educate you as to the construction of your body
so that you can use it as one unit.

this will really build your intention,
and really increase the weight of your punch.

it’s not power you seek,
but efficiency in transferring weight.
Odd concept,
but if you think it through
you’ll find the truth of the martial arts.

Here’s the course for the week.


Check it out and remember:
knowledge is power!

Have a great work out!


The Mad Monkey Punch

Hitting Softer to Hit Harder

Good evening!
Or morning,
or whatever.
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.

Two feet,
you’re getting better,

One foot,
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,
and punch.
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.
I mean,
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,
and do,
is practice not closing my fist.
I just stick the bones of fist
into the other person,
or the bag.
It’s interesting.
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.
In Karate,
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,
it’s flow,
and almost a negative flow,
when you strike.

You can get a lot of valuable data about this,
from the book
Tai Chi Touchstones,
by Wile.
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,
but remember,
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 intention,
and flow,
and decisions,
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.
Going forward,
only forward,
never back,
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 finger,
Index finger,
middle first knuckle,
index first knuckle,
and then I would do a fist again.
I would create a rhythm
like a congo rythm,
or something.
Bump, bump, bump, bump (pause) bump.
that would be something like
C, C, B, B, C (pause) D.
Nifty, eh?

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.’

Or softer.

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,
same thing.


I republished the books I have been putting out,
renamed them
‘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.

Five steps,
Kung Fu to Karate,
Korean Contribution
American Power
One Year Black Belt
Birth of Matrixing.

Pan Gai Noon
Kang Duk Won
Kwon Bup
Outlaw Karate
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.
You know?

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,
lonely hours
staring at the rain,
working out!

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
in depth.


How to Break A Brick with a Karate Chop

Breaking Things is Fun!

Yes, breaking things with a karate chop or a kung fu punch or whatever is fun. Lots of fun. In fact, if more cops knew how to break bricks there would be less police brutality.

Okay, I had to throw that last one in, but it is true.

good karate punchFirst, cook the brick. Couple of hours at 300 degrees. This will remove all moisture from the brick, and will make it brittle and easy to break.

Second, place the brick one end on the ground, and the other end over the end of another brick. The brick will be slanted, and you can angle your hand in at a good angle.

Third, hold the upper end of the brick, start your strike, and drop the upper end of the brick so that the brick hits the brick it is atop of at the same time your hand hits the brick. Make sure you bpractice making your hand loose, then tight when you strike the brick.

This should break or shatter the brick fair easy.

Now, let’s up it.

First, place two bricks on the ground a fraction less than the length of a brick.

Second, place the dry brick on the two bricks.

Third, best to use a palm at first. Focus your strike, make it soft and loose, then snap it and tighten it a quarter inch or so into the brick. You can put your intention all the way through the brick, but I like the quick, snappy breaks. As long as your intention enters the brick this is merely a matter of preference.

Because the brick is very dry it should break, maybe even shatter, very easily. Also, you can place a light cloth, a washcloth or something, over the brick to protect the hand.

Now, let’s up it.

Try the first break again, but this time with an uncooked brick. Don’t get a new or wet brick, or one that’s been rained on. Get one that is sun dried and hasn’t been rained on for a while. An old brick is going to be easier than a new brick.

Once you’ve got that, do the second break, but, again, with an uncooked brick.

There you go, time to impress the girls and frighten the bullies.

Interestingly, you will find that the most important item in breaking bricks with a karate chop or kung fu punch, os the technique, and technique can better be developed with a good course of instruction, such as those at Monster Martial Arts, or with a simple book like ‘The Punch.’

break brick




The Hard Punch Of Flux Theory Could Be Called An Empty Strike

punch hardIf people really want to know how to punch hard they have to study this thing called Flux Theory. Flux Theory has to do with the flow of energy, and is specific to the martial arts. Except for a few broadly understood concepts, Flux Theory is rarely understood.

The Flow of Energy has two directions, and these would be positive or negative. Of course, this is a matter of viewpoint. For the transfer of energy from one person to the next is a flow and the viewpoint of positive or negative will change depending on who is looking at it.

When energy flows towards somebody it is called positive. When energy flows away from somebody it is called negative. To make the hard punch of Flux Theory one must hit with negative or ’empty’ energy.

What this means is that the fist is flowing towards someone in a positive manner, but the energy is flowing up the arm and away from the fist. I know this sounds like an opposing concept, but it isn’t, it is the idea of learning to relax until the arm is limp, and that while striking. Thus, you are striking somebody with an arm in which the concept of life is no longer there.

I know that sounds bizarre, but it isn’t. The whole notion occurs in your head, you see. You take the consideration of life out of the limb when striking.

What happens is that when you take the consideration for life out of the arm, you make it into an ‘inanimate object.’ Thus, you are not throwing an arm at somebody, you are throwing a ‘stick,’ a lump, a thing with no consideration.

And that means you are striking the other person without consideration. You don’t worry about whether they live or die, you just throw the object of your arm. This works as you become more able to move your awareness back from your head.

The reason this works is because people normally don’t want to hurt other people, so they put energy in the arm so that shock can be absorbed by the arm. Hit, hit, hit…and there is no damage because the arm absorbs it all. When the arm is an empty stick, however, and you have lost the desire to ‘not hurt’ your fellow man, the energy is transmitted purely and the effect on the opponent is the hard punch of Flux Theory.

hard punch

A Hard Punch in Kung Fu: Steel Finger Martial Arts Exercises

punch hardThe exercises on this page will give you the strongest fingers, and therefore an incredibly hard punch in the martial arts. This is going to be true for karate, kung fu, kenpo, taekwondo, or whatever. With a little thought, it can even be true in the Mixed Martial Arts arena.

It is said that a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. This principle can be found in the martial arts when it comes to any hand technique, and especially punching. The punch is only as strong as it’s weakest finger.

The first exercise is doing simple push ups. The point, however, is to do these push ups on the finger tips, and thus make the fingers like iron rods. It is difficult, however, to start on the fingertips, and one should work up to them.

First, do your push ups on the palms, then on the backs of palms. This will build up the wrists, which are going to have to be strong to support the fingers. After you can do palm push ups, go for the fists.

Fists are great for hitting, but you want to hit with a smaller and smaller fist area. You can knock a ball a mile with a club, but you can punch a hole in it with a screwdriver. This is the theory you want to pursue.

Do your push ups on your half knuckles, and slowly work your way down to two knuckles, then one knuckle. After a while, you will be able to go to just the fingers. At first, the fingers will be bent, but you eventually want to do your push ups on straight fingers.

You can help this procedure by doing the push ups in sand, or on a folded rag, which will adjust to the lengths of the various fingers. As you get better and better, you can reduce the number of fingers you are working on. Eventually, and this may take some time, you will get down to push ups on the index fingers of your hands.

This method for improving the strength of the fingers takes time, and you will find that it takes a high degree of mental focus. The mental focus is, perhaps, the most important thing you can get out of it, for the mind will last longer than the body. Whatever you get out of this martial arts exercise, no matter whether you study karate, kenpo, kung fu, taekwondo, or whatever, you will find that strengthening the fingers in this way will give you a hard punch.

Drop by Monster Martial Arts and check out The Punch. Guaranteed, do the exercises in this book and you will have a hard punch in no time!

Pulsing Energy to Make Your Power Punch a Weapon of Mass Destruction

Making a Power Punch is core to the martial arts. After all, the martial arts are really only a couple of things: kicking, punching, blocking, throwing. That’s it, that’s all of it. Of course, grin, the devil is in the details. But that said, how do you put the power in your punch?
I’ve written a full book on it, and you’re recommended to read that, but let me give a little hint, and perhaps guide your thoughts towards that book. Here’s a little video about putting that kind of pwoer in a nice, light, little kick, then I’ll tell you more about the chi energy involved.

First, plant the feet firmly. Yes, dancing like Bruce Lee and going ‘woop, woop!’ is cool, and I’m not going to deny that there is some power in that kind of punching. However, that is more of a boxing type of punch. In the more classical martial arts, like Karate, Kenpo, Kung fu, and that sort of art, you plant your weight. Then you turn your hip, which turns your body weight into the punch. Then you pulse energy up your arm.
To pulse energy you need to breath to the tan tien as you sink your weight, the resulting glow of energy in the tan tien can be directed up the body and into the punch. Now, picture one of those big cannons shooting, and see the recoil of the barrel. Now reverse that image of recoil, and put it into the punch with the pushing of the shot up the barrel.
Weird, eh?
But if you have the image in your mind, if you start pushing your arm as if something is traveling up the inside of the arm, that is what happens when you pulse energy.
Now, it takes a lot more than that, and there are a lot of little hints to help you get that. But this should start you. Work on it. Do it slow, do it with your eyes closed and use your imagination, and you will be on the road.
And, i hope you feel something of the energy that I am talking about, and then remember that this is only a hint, and that the full data is in my book Matrixing Chi, which is available at Monster Martial Arts. Guaranteed, read that book and you will understand everything there is to know about pulsing energy in order to make your power punch a weapon of mass destruction.