Introduction In my article “ Kime: the soul of the karate punch ” I described the essential feature of the karate punch as being “focus” – ie. a combination of minimal deceleration before impact and optimum distancing – usually performed in karate with a straight thrust . Many have, and will continue to, argue that this straight thrust is less powerful than a boxer’s follow-through punches. This is true. But to understand why this does not necessarily mean that the former is less effective we’ll have to examine punching methods – what someone I know calls “delivery systems” – in greater detail. To the extent that karate punching is “less powerful”, I will then go on to examine why this is a tactical choice rather than a necessary failing. Categorising punches In a very general sense karate punches can be divided into 2 kinds: straight line and curved. In boxing, punches can be divided into 2 different categories that overlap with the karate ones, namely: 1. jabs (ie. punches which
Back in about 2009 I was talking to a friend of mine who does krav maga, telling him I was off to Taiwan to train in combat taijiquan (tai chi). He laughed. "Combat tai chi? Isn't that an oxymoron?" I can see why he thought that. Because when you look at the soft, slow art of taijiquan, adding the descriptor "combat" does seem to be a contradiction in terms. In fact, the idea of it being used for fighting can appear ludicrously funny . And to be frank, in the case of most taiji practitioners - including many who profess "fighting skill" on the interwebs - it almost certainly is. [In the case of the preceding link, note the string attacks against zombie opponents - more on that later!] By now, I doubt there is anyone in the martial arts who hasn't heard of the debacle that constituted the recent fight between MMA fighter Xu Xiadong and self-described Yang style taijiquan "master" Wei Lei. Xu beat Wei senseless in under 10
Martial pioneer Bob Davies has passed away. Technically brilliant, encyclopaedically knowledgeable, uncompromisingly exact, frighteningly powerful, brutally efficient and unerringly resolute, he taught me that nothing is impossible. His biggest lesson: endure . A flawed man who provided endless inspiration, his lessons will live on in me, my brother and our students. He will remain one of the biggest influences on my life. He was my sensei .