Tag Archives: strongest punch

The Hard Fist Of Karate Training Makes For An Phenomenally Powerful Punch!

When it comes down to save your bacon self defense, a hard fist is what is needed. Of course, what training method does one follow to make a fist hard enough to create a powerful punch? The answer is through the use of good, solid, sweat your fanny off, Karate training.

Karate is the martial art Mas Oyama, of Kyokushinkai fame, used when he killed bulls, and his hands were reputed to be as hard as steel. Add in the old legends of the Okinawan Karate instructors who could twist raw bamboo into pieces and you really have something. And, the tales of the Karate Masters who could punch a fist right through the body armor of the Japanese Samurai, are the cherry atop the ice cream!

Today, karate training methods promote makiwara training. This is a plank, thinner towards the top, that is sunk in the ground. While punching the Makiwara has much benefit, it does not return one to the training methods of old.

Punching a tapered two by four, you see, can only be done so long, and then the fists start to turn red and ugly and to bruise up. Fifty punches per arm per day is just not enough to make the rock solid fist that we are looking for. No, we need to look a little deeper, go a little more mad dog to find our perfect punch.

Oddly, the method we used in my karate school, and this was over forty years ago, before Karate had a chance to be ‘watered down’ by commercialism, tournaments, protective gear, and that sort of thing, didn’t actually involve the use of the fist. It didn’t use the fist, especially as in bashing, but rather used the fingers. Make the fingers solid, and you have a solid hand.

We started out doing simple push ups. These strengthen the whole body, and they work the punching muscles directly. Then we started altering our push ups.

We would do push ups on our hands, then on our fists, then we would use half-fists, and finally just our fingers. This was incredibly difficult as it required more than just muscle, it required awareness. Eventually, doing our push ups on one single, outstretched finger, and our increased awareness put unbelievable power in our punches.

Close Combat Self Defense

The Art of the Hard Fist!

One single, outstretched finger was what we were shooting for. Not a finger and a thumb, not a bent finger or two, but a digit as stiff as a rod. And, our awareness became as stiff as a rod…and as unbending as steel. This is the type of Karate training I always describe for students who want the hard fist that is needed for the strongest punch.

Want a hard fist using the latest karate training methods? Go to the source of Karate. Head over over to Learn Karate Online. Pick up a free book (offered on the home page) while you are there.

The Craziest Person Who Ever Studied Karate!

His name was Bob Hope, just like the comedian, and he studied Karate. Unfortunately, he was nutty as a fruitcake. It was obvious he was nuts because…well, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me tell the story, and then you can make up your own mind.
We called him Mud Car, because that’s what he had on his license plate. The license plate was on a fortyish delivery wagon. He had modified the beast so much we didn’t really know what model of vehicle it had originally been.
One day he offered me a ride home, I slid into his car and looked into the backseat…a hundred strands of webbing stretched across the innards. “That’s parachute webbing,” Mud Car explained. “I use parachute webbing because it’s the best thing there is for holding the inside of your car together. He turned on the left turn light and we crawled into the rushing traffic.
On the floor and every side of the car fire extinguishers had been clamped.
Mud Car leaned forward and clicked a switch. Nothing happened.
“What was that?” I asked.
“That puts more energy into my tail lights. I’m facing away from the sun, and I want people behind me to be able to see me even though the sun is reflecting off my taillights.” He came to a full stop, looked both ways, checked his side mirrors, looked at his rear view mirror, and crept around the corner into–you guessed it–the rushing traffic.
Now, you may have come to the conclusion, as any right thinking person would, that Mud Car was crazy.
Oh, tip of the iceberg, mon ami.
Mud Car had memorized the times of ALL traffic lights in San Jose. The point of which enabled him to traverse the town without ever hitting a red light. I am not kidding.
And now we get to the juice.
He was terrible at Karate. Couldn’t concentrate properly, couldn’t make his body take the proper positions, and it always hurt to work with him because he had no control and always hurt his partners.
Still, the reasoning went, the guy on the street who attacks me is going to be crazy, so Mu Car, being crazy, is good to practice with.
One day in class he actually interrupted the proceedings to say, “I have a little pain right here, on my shin, it’s just a point, and it doesn’t hurt so much as nag me, do you know how I can get rid of it?”
The instructor looked at me, why me I don’t know…unless it was so he didn’t murder Mud Car. At any rate, I received the full brunt of his rage. “Hit your shin with a lead pipe! That’ll make the pain go away!”
Yes, Mud Car was certifiably crazy not because he was whimsical and quirky, but because he drove everybody around him nuts. I think this is the final argument when it comes to such things.
Now, the point of all this blather.
Mud Car was never promoted to Black Belt by my instructor. The reason is that the pre black belt rankings, called ‘Kyu,’ mean boy. The black belt rankings, called ‘Dan,’ mean man.
It is a statement of maturity. It is a calm peace of mind, an evolutionary thrust of the spirit, and one who has achieved a real black belt has made this statement of maturity. He is different, and people around him always feel the calmness he is spreading. This is a fellow who will always seek a superior solution to the possibility of violence. He is a man.
Mud Car, because he was crazy, could not make this statement. He could not forge his spirit in sweat, and become a calm, reasoning human being. He was just too crazy.
So, my instructor retired, and a new instructor came on board. The first thing he did was promote Mud Car to Black Belt.
Mud Car immediately left the school.
Hey, he got what he wanted, no more reason to stick around.
Now, why did the new instructor do that? Because he knew what would happen, and he didn’t want Mud Car around.
Oddly, I missed the nut. I enjoyed him, and I learned from him. Sometimes he made me crazy, but my crazy was temporary, and when I was on the other side of it…I had learned something.
And, I have always held the opinion that this incident somehow foreshadowed what would happen to karate.
You see, these days people don’t promote people to black belt because they have matured. They promote them because they can ‘fight good.’ They promote them because they had paid enough money. They promote them because they trained in a school of mixed arts and didn’t know what the specific end result of a specific art like karate was.
I guess, in the end, all I can say is…embrace the crazy people, for they are the stock from whom we all come, should we only adhere to the discipline of old time Karate.

If you want to go crazy with through the martial arts, go to Punchemout(dot)com
If you want to go sane through the martial arts, go to Monstermartialarts(dot)com

New Technology Destroys the Martial Arts!

I saw the beginning of this some forty years ago while studying Chinese Kenpo Karate, and it is still going on. In fact, it is worse than ever, and infects the majority of arts. I will give you a couple of examples, and hopefully you can fix your martial art.

I was studying Ed Parker Kenpo Karate, and we began using pads. At first, the pads were only used to help fellows with knee problems, or that sort of thing, but the assortment of pads quickly grew. Soon pads were used on the shins for bruises, on the feet, on the shins, on the elbows and wrists, and so on.

Suddenly, somebody figured out that there was money to be made. School owners realized that selling pads increased the income, and began pushing them to every student for every class. The selling of padding became a million dollar business that infected every school.

Now, you might be wondering why this is so bad. We’re just protecting little Johnny, right? But this is part of the school owner propaganda, and part of the selling gimmick.

When you wear pads you think your punches don’t hurt as much, and so you begin punching harder. Thus, the protective gear actually encourages more violence, and less control. When you think about it, if you have to be aware and responsible so that you don’t get hurt, you start to learn the true art.

The true martial art has to do with control, you see. If you learn how to control yourself, then you start learning about yourself, and this makes you a better person, in and out of the ring. If you think you have to hit harder to be more effective, then the people you fight are going to be more at risk when they fight with you.

Now, I saw this type of thought spread throughout the martial arts world in tournaments. I also saw the introduction of softer (plastic) weapons, so that people wouldn’t get hurt, which also decreases the need for control, and for the true appreciation of one’s own potential. And, now people must wear cups, chest protectors, mouthpieces, and whatever else they can be scared or forced into buying.

The people who invented the martial arts, who passed them down for millennium, did not use such devices, and I suspect they would have laughed at them. Bear in mind that I am not asking people to get hurt, I am asking that people study martial arts with no accoutrements, so that they can take responsibility for what they do, and not be cushioned against learning about themselves. Whether you study Ed Parker Kenpo, Hapkido, classical Karate, or whatever, you should follow Ed Parker’s advice…’I come to you with empty hands.’

Want to learn more about the true martial arts? Drop by Monster Martial Arts. Pick up a free ebook while you’re there.

Monster Newsletter #307–Make Me One with Everything!

Hey Guys and Gals!
Happy Day to Ya!
I’ve been workin’ on the Pa Kua lately,
whole body is buzzin’ and awake,
the glory of a work out.

You know,
I watch the news
(as little as possible)
and the martial arts are a cure.

If the government studied some martial arts,
they would respect their opponent,
and maybe not even pick a fight with us.

If Al Gore studied martial arts
he might not ‘grow apart’ from Tipper.

If every citizen in Arizona knew martial arts,
there would be no illegal immigrant problem.

If every citizen of California studied the martial arts,
they wouldn’t be picking a fight with Arizona over immigration.

You know?

Wouldn’t it be great to demand
that our politicians had a black belt
before running for office?

Problem is,
they’d start training for trophies,
instead of what the martial arts offer the spirit.

the heck with those bozos,
the things you get from the martial arts
are what is important.
After all,
you see the light…
and they don’t.

Remember the workout where you were so beat
you thought you couldn’t do one more kick,
so you did another one?

how about that time you got socked in the belly,
went down to your knees gasping for breath.

That’s the martial arts.
Overcoming pain.
Finding the correct solution,
often as not,
means thinking things through,
and then training in the correct manner.

the things the politicians could learn.

like I say,
it’s not about them.

Think about it this way.
Every form of government on earth has eventually failed,
even our great country,
will fail.
Times will change,
new problems to be solved,
and a better government needed.

But the martial arts always remain.

Every child needs to learn how to fight
with politeness and vigor.
Every woman needs to learn to defend themselves.

not to beat those ragged politicians with a rotten skunks tail,
but every politician needs to find self worth,
that they will be of some value,
able to resist the corruption,
maybe find their way back home to us.

That’s why we do martial arts.
A better world.
That’s why I write this newsletter,
and that’s why I push the matrixing method.

A better world.

You know,
economy is down,
everything’s a fruit cake,
and I want to tell you one thing…
you’re the one that matters.
You’re the one who is going to make things right.
Not the idiot politicians,
not the taxers and regulators,
but you,
martial strong you.

that’s about all.
Pretty busy today,
got to see a man about a horse…
and you go see a man about a horse, too.
Have fun.
Grin at odd times and make your enemies uneasy.
I said something right.
Laugh…and make your enemies uneasy.
it just goes to show,
if you put a hundred monkeys in a room
with 100 typewriters for 100 years,
you never know what you’re going to get.

Here’s the pa kua link,
just in case you want to make your body buzz.

Butterfly Pa Kua Chang

Have a great work out!


This is one of the best articles I have written, really changes the way you do things.
What is Going to Happen When You Have No Reaction Time!

Leave a comment if you can, it helps my statistics.

Did you hear about the Zen Master who ordered a hot dog? He said…’Make me one with everything.’

The Toughest Karate: The Toughest Karate Master

There’s going to be a lot of opinions on who was the toughest Master of Karate, but Motobu Chōki certainly deserves consideration. He was one of the first instructors to teach Karate outside of Okinawa, and he is responsible for the fame and notoriety that resulted in the spread of Karate through Japan. Interestingly, this ‘George Washington’ of Karate is not a commonly known figure.

Motobu was born in 1870, and descended from the royal lineage of Okinawa. As the third son, he was actually not supposed to study Karate, but that seemed to make him want to study all the more. He spent much time hitting the makiwara, lifting heavy objects, and training however he could.

Eventually, because of his tremendous agility, people called him Motobu the Monkey. He also was looked on as a fierce, though unschooled (brutal?) street fighter. Though he was held in low esteem for his street fighting, instructors took him on as a student, presumably because of lineage.

His instructors read like a Who’s Who of early Okinawa. Among the masters who taught him were Ankō Itosu, Sōkon Matsumura, Sakuma Pechin, Kōsaku Matsumora, and Tokumine Pechin. This would be like somebody who studied under Morihei Uyeshiba, Bruce Lee, Gichin Funakoshi, and Ed Parker.

Motobu eventually made his way to Japan, where some Karate instructors were earning a living teaching the art to the Japanese. Motobu being a rough character, and not succeeding at business, was talked into signing up for a fight in a ‘Judo v Boxing’ match. He was fifty-two years old the night he entered that contest, and he was about to change Karate for all time.

His opponent is said to have been a strongman from some western country. Strong or not, Motobu is said to have moved forward with a single punch to put the fellow down for the count. People were astonished at this incredible win, and newspapers gave the story coverage, and here is where the tale takes an odd twist.

The newspapers didn’t have a picture of Motobu, so they published the only image they did have, which was of a young fellow name of Gichin Funokoshi. That’s right, Motobu knocked the strongman out, but his fellow countryman, and competitor, Gichin Funokoshi, got the credit. Thus, Shotokan was spread around the world, and Motobu went home.

Motobu Chōki, brawler and roughneck, is as responsible for the spread of Karate as anyone, and he was a true master. He was a karate technician of tremendous punching power, and he founded the Motobu Ryu Karate school. People may not know much about him, but he is definitely in the running for toughest Karate Master of all time.

If you would like to know more about Karate, and a revolutionary way of teaching it, visit Monster Martial Arts

Using Karate Techniques To Break Bricks Without Breaking Your Hands!

Using Karate Techniques, which are the same as Hapkido techniques or gung fu techniques, it is incredibly easy to break bricks. I’m not going to say that your grandma could do it, or a child, but you could. Heck, a little work and practice, the ability to decipher the sacred words I am about to impart, and you could be smashing the holy heck out of sun dried rectangular blocks.

Now, there was a fellow went to the orient, and he knew martial arts, and orientals loving their back yard barques, and even a few beers (pretty American, those orientals) everybody laughing and joking, and they asked this American to break a few bricks for them. You breakee bricks! We have good time!

So the American chopped a brick and the brick sat and stared at him and he near broke his hand. Those wacky tailgate orientals, you see, had baked an iron rod into the brick. Oh, ha ha ha…isn’t that funny?

Well, actually, it is pretty funny. I tell ya, those orientals keep it up and they’ll be downright American! The point here is…don’t break what you don’t know about, select your material to be smashed with care.

This subject of picking your material is pretty important. People who break big stacks of ice, for instance, neglect to tell you that the ice has been pre-broken and stuck back together, which makes the ice easy to break. That tends to bend the game.

And, the people who break stacks of bricks or boards often do so by placing spacers between the bricks or boards, which, again, makes the bricks or boards pretty easy to break. Have them break the bricks and boards without spacers, and you are seeing a real power break. And, yes, your humble author can break five one inch pine boards, that’s five inches of wood, with no stinkin’ sissy spacers.

When you pick a brick to break, pick a dry one, dry ones are easier to break. If you want your ten year old cousin, or your grandma to break a brick, cook it in an oven for an hour or two. And, it helps it you set the brick with one end on the ground and the other end on another brick, and drop the end of the brick as your hand hits the brick, this increases the sharpness of impact and makes the break that much easier. Now, those are the tricks, except for the specificsthemselves.

When you break a brick have your hand loosey goosey, and slam it down, and tighten it upon impact. This will focus your energy and protect your hands, and I have seen these principles in virtually all martial arts. Korean Karate techniques, Shaolin techniques, Kwon Bup techniques, Kenpo techniques, they are all based on the same principles, and these principles define how easy it can be to break bricks.

If you want to learn more tricks and technqiues, come on by Punch Em Out. We have the most powerful punches and the strongest kicks in the world. Period.

The Deadly Power Punch Technique From Korean Karate!

This Korean Karate technique is one of the simplest and most deadly techniques in the classical martial arts. As simple as it is, it requires perfect and exact timing, and a number of little elements I’m about to tell you about. Understanding these little points, and practicing a bit, and you are going to have one of the most powerful tools in your martial arts arsenal.
I discovered the technique in the form Pinan Five, it happens right after you execute a crescent kick and low block. You are now standing in a horse stance, and you swing the right arm to cover the left side of the body with a weird, fingers pointed palm block. You then execute a left punch to the left, and that is your power punch.
You can do this move right out of the form, and it will work with plenty of power. But there are ways to tweak it to make even more power, and to make it even more workable. And we want more workable, because we want to understand this technique so well that we can use it on the street.
Have your partner face you, handshake distance away. Have him step forward with his right foot and punch to your face with his right hand. You step back with your left leg into a back stance as you execute a left palm block, this causes your partner’s right hand to pass in front of you, and this presents his body for the counter.
To counter, turn the hips and feet into a horse stance as you execute a right punch to his body. Now, this has got to be snappy, and you have to sink your weight and snap those hips, and you are going to find that this technique, if executed correctly, is going to smash his ribs to splinters. In addition, if you happen to go precise, and this will happen naturally over time, you can stick your fingers into his armpit.
The point that must be remembered is that you must have perfect CBM, Coordinated Body Motion. This means that all parts of the body move at the same time and in harmony. Thus, you strike with a couple of hundred pounds of body weight (assuming you weigh a couple of hundred pounds), and not twenty pounds of arm weight.
In addition, you must set the stance at the exact and correct distance so that your arm is nearly straightened out, only has a couple of inches to extend, when you make contact. If you decide to use the fingers, go slower, and add fingertip push ups to your work outs. If you decide to go deep, you can set your legs so that your punched out arm can sweep him over your horse.
I always found this to be a thrilling technique, quick and easy, and I love the feeling of moving in quick and light and then dropped the deep power into the last snap of the fist. The potential for damage is wonderful, and it is very usable on the street, and can be adjusted or modified as one needs. The official name for this punch, in my system, which is a slight modification of Korean Karate, is The Power Punch, hope you like it.

‘Punch Ups’ Build the Most Powerful Punch in the World!

The purpose of the exercise I am about to detail is strictly for punching power. This is not for getting into that bikini, or flexing in that mirror, this is so you can use that gnarly mitt on the end of your wrist to knock over the fattest elephant you can find. Period.
Most exercises are rather generic things, tune the whole body, maybe isolate a muscle group at best, and they are not designed for a specific function.
This exercise is designed for a specific function, and to define that function, let me ask you something. When you punch somebody…where do you feel the weight?
You feel the weight when you hit the target.
So why do you need to do a full push up?
A push up is like a punch, you extend the arm and support weight, but why support weight all the way through the punch? That, as will become obvious later on, might actually slow your punch down!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not disparaging a complete push up, I think you should do lots of them. They are good for the whole body. But we are talking about the punch here, and we are talking about the working end of the punch. We are talking about the end of the punch where the rubber grips the road, the foot hits the pedal, or, if you will, where the knuckles hit the ribs. Or jaw, or whatever.
That said, I want you to do your push up in the following manner.
Lay on the floor, keep your body like a plank, and push up to six inches from full extension, that is where your punching push, your ‘Punch Up,’ is going to start.
Push up to full extension, lower six inches.
Push up to full extension, lower six inches.
Got it?
Now, you are supporting weight at the exact peak of the punch, the place where the arm has to support sudden impact.
Want to jack it up?
Push that last six inches so hard your body rises six inches off the ground. When your fists slam down you are going to receive almost exactly the same jarring effect as a punch.
Now, a couple of things we want to be aware of.
It is best to do these push ups on your fists, and when you do so, wear gloves. You don’t want to abuse your knuckles, you don’t want to bruise them so that you can’t strike somebody, you want to build them up and use them.
Keep your body straight and like a plank. You will find as you do these push ups, that your core starts to burn. The core is incredibly important. This is the belly wherein the energy center for the whole body resides. All power comes form the core, so make that core strong, and never let it sag an inch.
Remember that it is your shoulders we are most concerned with.
Forearms are cool, as are biceps and triceps, but when you punch something the real shock goes into the shoulders. Think about what I am saying. Do some of these six inch ‘Punch Ups,’ and isolate exactly which parts of your arms take the shock.
You will find that the shoulders are the most important thing in the whole equation.
Okay, now comes the question…how many?
A lot.
I want you to consider something. Does a fellow who is going to run a marathon do fifteen minute sprints? No. He runs all day.
Yes, a punch is like a sprint, but to get the best sprint you are going to have to work those arms like a marathoner works his legs.
Obviously, start out slow, and spread them out over the day, and if you feel any pain at all in the shoulder joint, if it starts to stress, back off. We want to buildup the shoulder, not tear the rotator cuff or otherwise disrupt the working joint.
One thing to remember here is that we are not going for bulk. Bulk can actually work against you. If your arms are big and thick then there is more mass to move, and it takes more time to move more mass.
No, what we are going for here is density. Feel a marathoners legs and you will feel ungiving density. You simply can’t put your thumb into his muscle. That’s kind of muscle you want, and specifically in your shoulder if you are going to have a great punch.
Now, where is that pesky elephant?

The Degrees Of Emptiness In Tai Chi Chuan

Tai Chi Chuan is the art that espouses emptiness. One must move without force to realize true Tai Chi. And, in Tai Chi, you never run out of emptiness.

One must realize, of course, that there are degrees of emptiness. The beginning student will have one idea concerning this concept, and the advanced master will have another, and there is plenty of room in between. Indeed, one could almost say there is a different viewpoint of this great nothingness as there is students to perceive it.

In the beginning there is much confusion. The beginning student tries to get in the way, has realizations of the mechanistic nature of the universe, and works his way through confusion. Eventually, the beginner starts to realize that there is more to this idea of space than he at first thought.

There is space inside the body. The apparent concreteness of muscle and bone gives way to perception. Awareness can float unhindered through the contrivances of the seemingly real body.

This reflects in practice. The beginning student becomes advanced as he loses reaction time and begins to move in concert with the incoming attack. It is a short journey, once started, until the student joins his body to that of the attackers, and is able to draw upon the energies of two bodies in harmony, as opposed to just one in conflict.

Eventually the space of the body gives way to the realization that there is a great space. Indeed, the body stops being a dividing line between the student and the universe. The student becomes master, and his perceptions are not stopped at the threshold of space, but rather are unlimited and as far as he can perceive.

The new master touches arms with beginner, and he speaks of great space, and he gives way that the beginner may fall into a new arena of perception, an entire and new and glorious perception of the universe. Slowly, the new student accepts the journey of the master, accepts gravity only to refuse it in his thoughts, and the circle continues. The fresh sprout grows, becomes tree, seeks the heavens, undergoing cycles of existence that enliven the mind throughout time.

This is the journey of Tai Chi Chuan, endless, immutable, hastened only by the striving towards knowledge of the student. This is the tai chi of a race, of a humanity, and it is a goal and a method and a principle that should be sought by all. What would happen if all governments gave way to the kindness of the people?

The Hellish Beginnings Of Tae Kwon Do

Many people walk to the corner mall, walk into their Korean Martial Arts dojo, and train in nice, neat uniforms, watching themselves in wall sized mirrors, hit bags in between sips of their designer water, and think that they are doing the die hard Tae Kwon Do. What these people should know is some of the history of Korean Karate, and particularly of Korean Karate. They will find that that polite kick punch combination they are practicing was born in hell, perfected in hades, and then things got nasty.

Just to let you know, this article is speaking of the history of the kwans from Korea of the fifties. This includes the nine major kwans, which are sung Moo Kwan, Chung Du Kwan, Moo Duk Kwan, Chang Moo Kwan, Yun Moo Kwan, Han Moo Kwan, Oh Do Kwan, Kang Duk Won, Jung Do Kwan. There are other Kwans, and schools that grew from these nine, but these nine are the main ones.

Korea is a rugged, little peninsula, about half the size of California, jutting from the Asian continent. It is a land constructed half of plains, and half of rugged, eternal mountains. It experiences extremes of siberian cold, stifling heat, and monsoon rains.

Throughout its history, Korea has been embroiled in countless wars. The Japanese held sway during the first half of the last century, and in the early fifties Korea became the battleground between the free world and communist forces. Thus, this small bit of land came under the boot heel of million man armies, and the people were in constant flight, or killed outright.

The communist forces attacked first, causing a mass exodus the length of the peninsula. Peasants were made part of the vast communist army, given no weapons, and put into massive meat grinder attacks. If the peasants survived the exodus, or being forced to fight, they had to endure a winter with temperatures often at 30 degrees below zero.

Those that managed to survive the winters, and the spring offensive of the United Nations armies, continued with their study of the martial arts. That’s right, during all the death and disease, in spite of the weather and starvation, the nine kwans survived. Indeed, they thrived.

One tale that made me shake my head in awe of these incredible warriors was that, when the war front approached, the students would pick up the boards of their dojos and head south. That’s right, they didn’t even nail the boards down, because they knew they would have to flee, and they perfected their spinning, jumping kicks on unsecured, splintered, weathered boards. Got a splinter up your foot…pick it out and keep going, because that’s the martial arts.

So enjoy your matts and mirrors, and sip your designer water in appreciation. That Tae Kwon Do you are practicing was forged by supermen, and it is a legacy dripping with blood and sweat and hardship. And when you bow…bow extra low, your ancestors deserve it.