Tag Archives: punch

The Problem with Split Timing in Martial Arts

Split Timing Improves Martial Arts Freestyle

When I say split timing in the martial arts I am talking about somebody punching, and you coming in over the punch.

Not reacting, but going through the door at the same time he has, but with better angles.

This is actually the kind of thing that Bruce Lee taught. You can see Anderson Silva doing it in his fights. the other guy punches, and Anderson is not blocking and punching, but rather slipping and punching right over or around the other guys punch.

Classical martial arts trains with block and counter methods, which is not split timing, but a definite tick, tick, tick of the clock. This is reaction timing, or reaction training.

The problem is that reaction, to react, is to when you move because of something else, and it means he did something, he made an action, which caused your action. But that means that you are fighting after the other guy. You are always playing catch up.

And the problem is that this type of training method is prevalent in MMA, or Mixed Martial Arts. You will see fighters in strikeforce or the UFC, and they will punch after the other fellow punches. That puts them a full count behind. they need to split the count,to split the timing,and punch while the door is open.

Let the other guy open the door, but punch at the same time, or right over, but with better angles.

The reason this is so difficult to get is because of the reaction timing built into so many training methods.

But those methods are for beginners.

Advanced is split timing.

Advanced is not reaction, but seeing what is going to happen, and ating before, or at least in concert with.

When the other guy goes to punch, you should already be in motion. You should have seen the lean of the body at the very least, and, if you are an advanced martial artist, then the lean of his mind.

If you do the classical methods long enough you will see the though happen before the action. Once you see it, once you have reached a point of awareness where you see what is going to happen, you have to construct striking methods that take advantage of the window of opportunity.

This is one of the things that is possible through matrixing. Through making the art logical, the person can better reach the point of awareness of seeing what is going to happen before it happens.

He can move out of reaction time and into time ‘inside the moment.’

Not after, but before, or, at least, during.

If you are interested in developing this advanced freestyle ability, if you want to learn how to strike during or before your opponent’s strike, you should look for Martial Arts courses which have ‘lop sau’ in them, such as Matrix Kung Fu or the Shaolin Butterfly.

How to Put the Empty in the Fist

Karate means empty hand.

And some people say it means

you don’t hold a weapon.

That’s cool,

but there’s a heck of a lot more to it.

empty hands

Do you know this Okinawan Karate Master?


the mechanics.

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,

palm down

when you extend and tighten the fist.

This is a method to create more loose-tight.

More focus.

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,

sucking blocks,

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.



this data

and a LOT more

is in ‘The Punch,’

which is here,



let’s just take one narrow slice of the procedure.

I realized,

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.


it wasn’t.


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

rib deep.

Really worked.


having the power,

I could go for the softer,

less powerful

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.

Try it.

you’ll see.


I tried to break things

while holding thumbtacks.

Good results.


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

came about

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

with ease.


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,

felt bad,

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 Punch.’

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

are in

‘The Punch.’

Oinky Donkey,

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!

zen martial arts

Take a Punch and Walk Away Smiling

Take a punch is something every karate fighter has to do. Only a fool would assume that he could walk out of a karate match, or a kung fu fight or taekwondo contest, without taking a punch. So this article is going to tell you how to survive getting hit.

hard punch

All Arts ascend, coast, and descend!

First, it goes without saying that you are going to need conditioning, and plenty of it. This is going to be very specific conditioning, but if you are in good condition then you will know if you can take a punch. This conditioning will cover the torso and the head, as they are the primary targets in a fight.

You should concentrate on the basic body calisthenics such as sit ups, push ups, and that sort of thing. Honestly, you should be able to do hundreds of them, and with no effort. If you can do them with no effort, your body is going to be tight and taut and able to absorb punches with ease.

The head is a different matter, as there aren’t any easy exercises to ‘strengthen’ the head. But one can survive a strike to the head if they understand what actually happens to the head when it gets hit. Understanding the ‘impact process’ will enable you to take punches with just one simple exercise.

When the head gets hit the brain bounces around inside the skull. The trick, then, is to position the head so that it doesn’t move much. The way to do this is to strengthen the neck muscles.

The way to strengthen the neck muscles, the one simple exercise, is to hold a tennis ball under the chin while training. This not only strengthens the neck, but it positions the head forward, which is good for bobbing and weaving and ducking under. Furthermore, when one does get hit the force goes down the neck, instead of creating a ‘whiplash effect’ in the head.

Now, when one is doing Karate or kung fu, one should be fighting more from a distance, using the legs, and keeping the head out of the action. However, as the fight closes, as the distance collapses, one should intuitively lower the head, make it more ‘bull like.’ This will enable one to slip the punches, and to even deflect them to the shoulders.

In closing, do a lot of basic body conditioning, old standards like sit ups, crunches, push ups, dips, pull ups, and that sort of thing. Specifically for the head, do the tennis ball under the chin trick to strengthen the neck. Whether it is the ring, a street fight, or even a karate match or kung fu contest, it’s not a pleasant thing to get hit, but with a little work you will be able to take a punch and walk away smiling.

 take a punch