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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 12:50 pm 
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jorvik wrote:
what I don't understand is that you want to learn Wing-Chun, this is an almost completly fist orientated style


Not so.

The fists (only three) are simply variations of the basic punch. All other strikes use open hands, elbows and shoulders. Most of the moves done with the fist can be done with one of the palms.

I think it's great Van is so open to new things and I'm very much looking forward to sharing what I can with Van and also getting his take on things. :)

jorvik wrote:
and what is worse the bottom two knuckles are used to strike, which is where the breaks usually occur


Yes and no.

The bottom of the fist is used not the knuckles per se. Using a pronation of the wrist, locking it up, the fist leads from the bottom, aligning the bottom of the fist with the forearm bone forming a single unit like an arrow.

When making contact on target the fist's bottom is pushed into the fist, compressing it, not pulling it apart from the rest of the fist. Pulling apart the bones is what happens in a 'boxer's fracture' when the bottom knuckles are ripped away from the rest of the bones in the hand, sheering apart on impact. This occurs because the fist arm alignment is reversed in this up tilted vertical fist as compared to the floating, non-locked, horizontal fist.

In the up tilted vertical fist compression occurs when making contact with a hard surface see below.

Image

I am applying around 100 pounds of force here and my fist is quite compressed.


When making contact on soft surfaces the fist compresses less and remains more pointy leading with the small knuckle, which creates a pointed edge that penetrates deeply into soft tissue.

This fist tends to rise like a palm heel since both impact on the bottom part of the tool. The up tilting also adds energy from another joint, the wrist which snaps up and locks on impact.

There are other dynamics at work as well that account for the overall position, not the least of which is keeping the elbow in and under when firing the punch. This angle and structure dynamic seems very similar to what these guys are doing:

Image Image

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 1:37 pm 
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jorvik wrote:
imagine fighting someone who is going to bob and weave...do you honestly believe that you will land the perfect palm heel


Don't agree with the logic.

If imperfect then more chance for error and more chance for injury, and even more chance for injury with a fist under the wrong conditions.

If bobbing and weaving, :roll: then open hands are that much better to transition to clinch-work and finishing using trapping, locking and grappling.

jorvik wrote:
(a technique which lacks the speed and targeting of a punch).


Really?

Fists have their points, pardon the pun, but I don't agree with the speed/accuracy question; In fact since making the fist means using muscle tension and using open hands doesn't I would suggest that open hand moves are quicker and faster. Open hands also contribute IME to staying relaxed and this equates to all kinds of speed, quickness enhancements.

An open palm also blocks the opponent's vision better than can a fist.

I also don't know where the idea comes from that open hands are fine motor while fists are not, I don't see that.

Using open hand strikes IME has always made transition to other kinds of open hand techniques in the clinch more natural and faster.

So while fist do have certain benefits, I think open hands are tactically superior, offering more protection, energy transfer and improved conversion to finishing and controlling techniques.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 1:59 pm 
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Amen, Jim.

Thank you for a most professional treatise. When reading your post, one has to come to the conclusion that so many of us are really rank amateurs on the ‘fist subject’_ and it shows in the discussions. :P

One point, and a good one, brought up by Gem sensei, is that training a two men drill, using open hands, can be dangerous [sprained wrists, bent or broken fingers_ we have had many ugly injuries over the years, resulting in deformed fingers caught in kicks] _

What is your take and advice on this?
:idea:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 2:48 pm 
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Van Canna wrote:
One point, and a good one, brought up by Gem sensei, is that training a two men drill, using open hands, can be dangerous [sprained wrists, bent or broken fingers_ we have had many ugly injuries over the years, resulting in deformed fingers caught in kicks] _

What is your take and advice on this?
:idea:


Ummm, this is tough not knowing exactly what is happening. But the first thing that pops into my head is that perhaps folks shouldn't block kicks with their hands... 8O

Best to avoid great force and not be there. Oh no here we go forward again... :lol:

The same space filling concepts used for hands goes for kicks doubly. That means going in with the body, filling space when they circle or clashing at an angle with the legs when dealing with straight leg attacks. Same concepts, attack the line, in this case with the legs.

If the kicks are low the legs should enter, absorb if needed and attack, and if the kicks are high and you need to 'block' or parry a kick or even a powerful strike then using the arms, not the hands, to dissolve or redirect while closing, attacking and smothering with the body and structure is the best I can suggest.

IME one needs to dissolve the force of kicks either by smothering or blowing them down before they develop power any 'block' or parry should be secondary to using body position to nullify the power of the kick. Hands should not meet a powerful kicking force and arms should be aided by body position.

Many kicks can be dealt with simply by kicking to the center and/or moving into the center. When, for example, someone goes for a plain vanilla high round kick try just exploding right into the them and see what happens. Any guard need only support the body entry which will choke the structure right out of many, but not all, people doing that technique and knock them over.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 4:52 pm 
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What an excellent post, Jim.

The advice lends well to our kata applications.

To a large extent, this is the way I dealt with the power kicks of TKD/TSD during the tournaments of the 60/70’s, and the way I taught my team to compete, with great success.

And one reason why I used our prearranged kumites to practice such power entries and smothering counters, against kicks and punches, with my students.

Not something I would do with other Uechi practitioners, lest I be accused over and over of being an animal, and blamed for any injury, even for giving an opinion.

‘Exploding’ into the center of powerful punches and kicks is what gave me some rewarding wins in tournaments against some of the best kickers in the business.

The problem with injuries, I have always found with the giving people space and backing away, or even to the side.

The ‘Ram concept’ always seemed to work best. This shows your concepts well

Image

Smothering, shutting down the attack. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 9:06 pm 
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George said,

Quote:
Face it : It is interesting to talk about and experiment with deadly techniques, but few people will actually do it for more than a short time.

Why ? Probably because we don't see the benefits doing the "deadly" vs doing it the way we enjoy doing it!


I don't agree with this. I'm not suggesting we practice shoken strikes full power to the windpipe. Practicing palm strikes is just as doable as any drill that uses punches. We're pulling our punches often in pre-arranged kumite so why not do the same with palm heel strikes? What's difficult about doing slow-speed sparring drills allowing for striking through the target at slow speed - similar to your slow sparring drill, George. These can be done against the body without too much concern for injury, provided people use the usual protective gear and have the same respect for their partner as they would with seiken techniques.

Occasionally, I've sparred with partners where we work the ridge hands and a few open-hand slaps from Seisan. Again, as long as it's done in the proper training spirit, you're as safe as you'd be with any seiken technique, again, provided you use padded gear if you want to up the speed and power.

A lot of injuries I've seen from people blocking kicks from blocking with their hands is, well, because they're blocking with the hands and don't understand or haven't been taught and practiced enough the proper "shaving" done with the forearm, not the hand or wrist, in the downward wing block. I broke a finger joint once blocking with my hand against a low kick, and that was one injury, and relatively minor in almost 15 years. We practice these blocks and spar with them all the time with nothing protecting the hand. Most of the green belts at our dojo can do this block easily and safely because they're drilled on it constantly and injuries are very rare. There are far more injuries, almost all minor, from arm rubbing/pounding, conditioning the shins and foreamrs, etc.


Mark


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 12:51 pm 
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Van Canna wrote:
The problem with injuries, I have always found with the giving people space and backing away, or even to the side.


Naturally, since when we move away we place ourselves into the high velocity and power line of the (next) weapon - exactly where they wanted us in the first place... :roll:

Even as a white belt in tournaments I knew this was a bad idea. I used to watch 'advanced' people spend almost their entire match running around like ducks in a shooting gallery giving the TKD person the chance to work just about every possible combo in their arsenal and landing many hard blows - it's tough to attack when you're running around and getting nailed for two minutes. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:08 pm 
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Jim said,

Quote:
I used to watch 'advanced' people spend almost their entire match running around like ducks in a shooting gallery giving the TKD person the chance to work just about every possible combo in their arsenal and landing many hard blows - it's tough to attack when you're running around and getting nailed for two minutes.


I laugh at myself thinking of all the times I've done this, as a black belt! It's too much like tag and doesn't develop the right fighting spirit.

Mark


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:30 pm 
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I don't agree with this….What's difficult about doing slow-speed sparring drills allowing for striking through the target at slow speed.

Occasionally, I've sparred with partners where we work the ridge hands and a few open-hand slaps from Seisan. Again, as long as it's done in the proper training spirit, you're as safe as you'd be with any seiken technique, again, provided you use padded gear if you want to up the speed and power.

A lot of injuries I've seen from people blocking kicks from blocking with their hands is, well, because they're blocking with the hands and don't understand or haven't been taught and practiced enough the proper "shaving" done with the forearm, not the hand or wrist, in the downward wing block.


I have to agree.

What you are describing above is akin to the jiuy Kobo [JK] training concept used by Kanbun and as practiced today by the Zankai group, and as presented on this page a few times.

Lt Drew Doolin might want to jump in and explain even more, if he is reading this. [Hope you are enjoying life, Drew]

According to Toyama sensei, JK is a very difficult drill, but very rewarding to the practitioner.

I can relate to Gem’s views on fun and enjoyment of our practice, but we also must focus on discipline in our training_ and drills as you suggest, Mark, and the JK drills, do demand training discipline. Something essential in every workout with a view to ‘martial applications’ as we do practice a ‘martial way’ _

So we can combine our practice to reflect what Gem says and what also should be part of the training ‘package’_

And we did practice very intensely in the 60’s and 70’s _ much more than the ‘watered down’ classes of today.

Here is Jay… http://uechi-ryu.com/jsal1.htm

Quote:
I started my training in Uechi-Ryu back in 1968, at the Mattson Academy of Karate. Located in Boston Ma. I remember back in the very early 70's, we had a weekly sparring class, held on Thursday evenings.

The instructors of that class, are names many people in and out of the Uechi-Ryu world will recognize. Names such as: Robert Campbell, Arthur Rabesa, Van Canna, Jimmy Maloney, Clearance Von Wilder, Ed Huff. The class was by today's standards, "A TOTAL BLOOD BATH."

We at the Mattson Academy in Boston were doing full contact karate, before it became fashionable. If it were done today, the court system would be full of martial art related lawsuits. Many nights I would walk out of the dojo with, black eyes, bloody noise, banged up ribs, and once a dislocated shoulder.


PLEASE, do not get me wrong; I do not advocate this type of training any longer. At the time it was the standard way of doing things. But above all, I learned how to defend myself.


At first I tried using techniques direct from my katas (Dojo Karate), as well as my two person sets.

It did not take long for me to find myself, flat on my ass, on the VERY HARD wooden floor. That is when I first started to analyze and develop self-defense strategies (Street Karate) that I could use, to SURVIVE THE CLASS.


This type of class was as close to a real attack on the street, as one could get. We wore no protective equipment (Not Invented Yet). There was only one speed, FULL CONTACT.

For example, Sensei himself, Bob Campbell is 6' 4" tall, with great reach. He also was a (Super Smart Fighter). For matter of fact, Bob Campbell is the finest fighter I have ever seen in all my 29 years of training.

Then we had Jimmy Maloney, and Arthur Rabesa. These men are very deceiving, they may be of average height, but they are built like refrigerators, and they are that strong.

And to make matters worse, all the instructors were fearless. They had no fear of being hit. Jim Maloney and Arthur Rabesa are both Very Strong and Aggressive Fighters.

Van Canna, and Ed Huff were not only strong and aggressive, they were also thinking fighters. They looked for any weakness they could find.

The only way you will survive a real and serious street confrontation is to understand the following. Karate alone will not give you the tools you will need to survive the attack. Successful fighting skills require that you not only have a good fighting sense, but also the ability to be, effective in the delivery of your techniques.


Well put Jay. Something that needs to be done, at some level, to develop some semblance of ‘engagement proficiency’ _ something taken for granted today and left up to lady ‘mushin’ _

Question is what will ‘mushin’ let surface. Not something readily understood.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:07 am 
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I confess I have skipped some of the intermediate pages of this post, but a year or so ago I saw a copy of Black Belt magazine featuring Tony Blauer.
The cover showed him punching a helmeted adversary, and on top of that he was using the 3rd and 4th knuckles to do so.
I recall that Mr. Blauer commented that the 3rd/4th knuckles can find the target more naturally, which I am neither debating nor conceding.

What I am debating is the wisdom of striking with the 3rd/4th knuckles at all, rather than the "traditional" karate 1st/s2nd knuckles.
I can plainly see that karate is full of "unnatural" motions which require training to make habits. I buy the 1st/2nd knuckle habit as being one of these. It seems to make physiological/biomechanical sense, in terms of being physically supported by the skeletal structure.

It seems that experts disagree. I acknowledge Mr. Blauer as an expert.
I also acknowledge traditional karate advice in this matter as expert.

If it comes down to the necessity of a plain fist-strike, which is mechanically the most effective and the most "sound" in terms of not injuring the puncher? The traditional 1st/2nd knuckle strike, or Mr. Blauer's 3rd/4th knuckle strike?
Personally I lean toward the 1st/2nd but I'm a son-of-a-heretic, so what the heck!

Any comments please.

NM


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:17 am 
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If punch you must, look at the WC method, as explained by Jim Hawkins.

Better yet, train yourself out of punching altogether.

Watch the movie, Malone, on cable. You will see a very realistic fight scene.

The punch results in a hand badly cut.

Two palm heel strikes to the face leave the guy like he had been hit by two missiles.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:28 am 
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I have not read beyond the first page but I could not agree more. I wrote an article on something similar which was published in Karate International about 8 years ago.

I have been a chiropractor for almost 20 years and am now a 4th year med student (MD) and still believe open hand striking is better than fist punching is pretty much an accurate generalization. I know some of the Peter Urban Goju Ryu stylists say "hard to soft and soft to hard" meaning hard fist strikes to soft areas and soft hand strikes to hard areas.

Just doing push ups open handed and closed fists on concrete is enough to convince most people that it feels much better to hit something hard with the open hand.

I read a study about 15 years ago in which they compared deaths in baseball to softball. The softball resulted in more deaths - mostly from strikes to the sternum of umpires. The reason they theorized was that the softball, being soft, deformed and therefore stayed in contact with the object being struck longer - transmitting more power into the object. A hardball, by not deforming, bounched off and did not stay in contact as long - therefore although harder did not transmit as much force. The softball apparently resulted in not a few ruptures or fatal tears of the heart (Dim mak?)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:34 am 
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JimHawkins wrote:
This angle and structure dynamic seems very similar to what these guys are doing:

Image Image


Punching with the bare fist is very different than punching with gloves - maybe (and I stress its only a maybe) this is why Mike tyson broke his hand when punching mean Mitch Green in a street fight.

However, punching like these old bare knuckle Marquis Du Queensbury boxers did is not what I would want to learn for self defense - unless I knew it was one on one and I would be allowed to go 53 rounds before the guy would pull his knife. Otherwise I want techniques that will finish the fight much much sooner....like maybe within 52 rounds.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:54 am 
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Bruise* Lee wrote:
However, punching like these old bare knuckle Marquis Du Queensbury boxers did is not what I would want to learn for self defense - unless I knew it was one on one and I would be allowed to go 53 rounds before the guy would pull his knife. Otherwise I want techniques that will finish the fight much much sooner....like maybe within 52 rounds.


Striking in general with the elbow in and under with the vertical fist is quite useful as I posted above; including for closing off the lower lines, sticking, bridging, issuing energy and aides in power/body/arm alignment, just to name a few reasons for its use. Most of the Southern Chinese Styles contain these kinds of strikes that are similar to those used by bare knuckle fighters. Those guys had to deal with different and more realistic, unpadded fist strikes that could penetrate and do damage in ways not found with the use of gloves.

Additionally, the lack of gloves in fighting is something these BKB were quite familiar with. No gloves changes many dynamics, including how tools clash, how tools are used, how big openings have to be to use, how the fist manages impact, the ability to feel, etc, etc.

No one is holding up the Bare Knuckle Boxers as the ultimate warriors of all time. But I am sure that if the average black belt of today was to fight John L. Sullivan that the match wouldn't last more than 50 rounds... :lol: :lol:

In any case these BKFs fought full contact with no gloves and therefore this venue is certainly another valid martial source when looking at the use of the (bare) fist, heck even Bruce 'researched and absorbed' BKB info.

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 11:12 pm 
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I just noticed that while working some techniques this weekend I didn't use a punch once while being the good guy, but while being a bad guy I use all kinds of punches like overhand rights, left jabs and haymakers. Odd how I broke it down that way. Last year I was punching all of the time but now that the techniques have gotten more serious I rarely us a closed fist to strike with. This is not a bad thing because I'm a horrible puncher anyway. :lol:

Also, last weekend I was moving some tapes to DVD and one of them I did was of Gushi doing Kanshiwa. After doing some freeze framing I'd swear he was using a shoken and not a seiken in the opening moves.

Just some casual observations.

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