Many of you have seen this wonderful execution of Bruce Lee during Longbeach martial arts festival in 1964 (see the video), throw a punch without momentum and send his opponent distance away.
Here are few explanations and ideas if you wish to acquire this incredible power of one inch punch.
Before starting, it is important to come back to the Wing Chun style foundation that is relaxation. For those who wish to read one of my previous article on this question, here is the link: click here.
It is hard to think that the more I am relaxed, the harder I will punch but if you succeed in changing your mind and begin follow this idea, you will observe that relaxation will allow explosive strength of muscles and that through an opposition effect, the more you are relaxed, the more you are explosive. It is common to observe very cool people become all of a sudden furious and be impressed by this devastating energy. It is the same for muscles.
To begin with, it is said in Wing Chun there are 5 connecting points for a punch, Chinese name these 5 points the 5 stars. These connecting points are joints of the ankle, knee, hip, elbow and wrist. As you can notice, shoulder is not taken into account. It is said Wing Chun was created by a woman. Myth or real fact, what is interesting is the underlying idea, that a woman not being able to hit with shoulder’s muscles must hit with her body mass.
As a practitioner begins its training, he has to find the body synchronism to transfer energy from the ground to the fist and the shoulder unfortunately disturbs this synchronism.
Of course shoulder allows hitting stronger but you need the associated physical strength and you have to know that a lack of synchronicity between body and shoulder tends to disperse or overexploit the delivered energy.
So first, base your exercices on energy transfer between your ankle and your knee by oscillating movements, then ankle, knee and hip and go up until energy transfers from ankle to the wrist while maintaining your shoulder relaxed.
As a possible exercice, you can work this relaxation and flexibility using the guard posture facing a wall at a distance of opened arm and hand, then you just have to try touching the wall. You can afterwards increase distance between you and the wall to enhance your flexibility.
Another possibility is to practice your hitting skill with a very thin paper sheet, trying not to hit the sheet, but to make it move through a blast of air generated by your fist.
To allow relaxation, you can also perform this same exercice pulling your shoulders down so that your body will balance your shoulder’s height. Today with stress and muscular training shoulders have a tendency to go up and you often find yourself head pulled into the shoulders.
Then you have to concentrate on ground anchoring.
To do so, foot must learn using all of its surface. Here too, you could as for boxing consider that starting from the sole of the foot is more powerful and you would be right, but then you would use less of your body mass and more of your muscular mass.
The last idea will be mental projection at the hitting time. If you do not want to hit at the moment you are making your move, you will probably not get the expected effect. To do so, recall Bruce Lee using its famous and legendary « Catchaaaa » shout. For those who don’t know, catcha means cockroach in Cantonese. This shows how Bruce put his mind and punch in a will to squash its opponent with all the emotional charge the sight of such little bug may provoke.
Based on this, find what will synchronize your mind and body and enjoy your training…