INB #24: Modes of Locomotion


Delivery, the fine art of getting your strike to the other person’s body is taught in three distinct steps, when it is taught at all.

1. PLANT THEN PUNCH. First comes the classic step then punch. The student moves forward, plants firmly and then throws the strike. If the planting of the foot is well-timed the snapping action into a stance will combine with the use of the limb to create a powerful strike. The student feels the power and sets a standard for himself and the l following levels of movement. He knows ho much power he is capable of generating if allowed to plant firmly. The next stage is to raise the ante and try a more difficult combination.

2. FROM THEN TO AND. If the first level is also known as step-THEN-strike, the next lever is step-AND-strike. The foot launches and so does the hand. They arrive together. But the “together” is very precise. The weight shift should just be finished as the strikes issues. When we talk about bag and dummy work it will all make more sense. This is a fairly difficult action to master. Don’t be fooled by the fact that students down at Level One already seem spontaneously moving in this manner. They aren’t doing it consciously and therefore, as the bag will tell, their planting and turning doesn’t really generate much power. It only looks like simultaneous movement but there is more to it.

3. WEAPONS FIRST: The last level is even more ironic because it is exactly what the beginner does without even trying. Talk about Beginner’s Mind. Watch your new students and you will note how many of them like to punch before their feet have started to move. Trouble is the result is a sort of lunging stumble. What should happen is a weapon launched and the foot advancing so fast that they arrive almost simultaneously with the strike a trifle ahead of time. In this method movement and movement cascade rapidly.

explosive punching at plumpub.comThink of it this way… Level One is body then strike. Level Two is Body AND strike. Level Three is Strike then body. Now let’s take it to some equipment. If you are using a hanging bag make it very clear to the student which level you are working on. You will soon see why the levels are in their proper order since the difficulty of executing definitely increases as you progress. Once he or she has caught the delivery and timing then see if your student can vary the methods on verbal command. To be at its best this type of timing training requires flexibility and pretty consistent training to retain the skill.

kung fu  punching at plumpub.comFurther Lessons: When a student has a grasp of the three distinct forms of power delivery she can mix and match. A broken rhythm Level Two can be a shocking technique when properly executed. Even Level One can be mighty deceptive if applied properly. By the same token guide the student on when and where each variant would be most appropriate. What if he is in-range? What if you are covering distance against a grappler? A kicker? A counter-fighter? Actually practicing these different timing problems will carve these sensations as well as strategies into the student’s ring of experience adding expression and irresistible execution to his technique.

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