I have spent the last three years learning how to punch in a traditional karate way believing that it is a method of striking that has been worked out and tested by old masters of karate and that it is an effective, hard hitting way of striking. It requires a lot of detail to body, foot and arm positioning; correct hip rotation, correct relaxing and tensing of muscles and a final wrist rotation at the point of impact. I am of the understanding that if I do not give proper attention to these details then my punches will not be effective.
With the introduction of the waveform punch everything I'd previously learnt had to go out of the window! The back heel is lifted, the arm is not chambered, the fist is held more loosely, the whole body twists prior to delivering the blow, the punch is not retracted, the fist is vertical, the non punching arm holds onto the target. To hit harder I am told to do everything opposite to the way I have been taught!
Can both ways of punching be right? Is there any point in trying to understand the bio mechanics of punching if the complete opposite is just as effective anyway?
I tried to find out more about this waveform striking......
The person who is an authority on the waveform is Russell Stutely , who is also well known for his pressure point fighting system. My instructor has recently been on a course with Russell Stutely and this is where he has learnt about waveform striking.
Here is Russell Stutely demonstrating waveform striking techniques:
It looks casual, it looks relaxed, it looks fairly naturalistic, it looks effective - it doesn't look like karate though!
I was unable to find any clear explanations of how this waveform method of striking generates greater power. It's presumably something to do with sine waves. I found some rather pseudo-scientific sounding theories involving quantum physics and the uncertainty principle but it didn't really make any sense. If you can explain it to me in straight forward way I'll be glad to hear from you.
On Stutely's own website a review article just says that it is important to strike using a downward motion because this downward force greatly affects the body's physiology, weakening the opponent both physically and psychologically. Apparently it causes an 'internal disruption'. It also says that, "this method uses a wave-like motion through the body that starts at the feet and rises upwards, almost throwing the user off balance as they project their energy into the strike."
In my humble opinion this description of the effects of a waveform strike do not fit with what I see in the above video. In the video the opponent is clearly being knocked off his feet by the strikes. My understanding is that this dissipates the energy of the blow and therefore reduces the chances of internal injuries. In a classical gyaku zuki the opponent will literally drop straight down to the floor (rather than be pushed back) because the punch is retracted quickly, allowing all the energy of the punch to enter the opponent and cause internal damage. Is my understanding wrong here?
This experience has turned my understanding of punching a bit upsidedown at the moment. Can anyone unravel it for me?
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