Punching and lifting the heel

Tim's Discussion Board: Tai Ji Quan : Punching and lifting the heel

   By Kenneth Sohl on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 08:17 am: Edit Post

Monte, your first paragraph proves you have more sense than a lot of other "martial artists". You wouldn't learn to fly from someone who had never flown solo themselves, why would you learn fighting from someone who had no experience at it? True, legalities (and bullshit artists) make such things impossible to publicize. There is no formula for finding such, no certain "styles", no trophies or grand titles, you'll just have to recognize it when you see it (if you ever see it).

As far as loud mouth, true fighters are notoriously frugal when it comes to sharing their insights, some of my best(most painful) lessons were learned by baiting.

   By Mont F. Cessna Jr. on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 10:29 am: Edit Post

Who says I share my best techniques on the board? :-)

However, I know some skill fighters like to have an air of mystery about them and are difficult to get info out of (or have other reasons not to) but there is so much b.s. on fighting out there (just read some of the ads in blackbelt magazine, its always gives me a good laugh) that I feel it is my duty to share my knowledge. Tim if very skilled and he seems to have no problem teaching everyone (though me may be keeping his "death touch" and "flying chi blast" techniques under close wraps).

One more thing, has anyone else noticed how easy it is to cause your opponent to drop to his knees without seriously injuring him via a simple, one handed wrist grab/manipulation? If you use your body weight effectivley and shift your balance at the correct time, even a fully resisting opponent has little chance of stopping it. I don't know if you Shen Wu guys practice anything like that.

I think it makes a good preemptive technique to disable an opponent without injury when you can't risk him initiating violence. (possible street fight/bar fight situation)

   By Mont F. Cessna Jr. on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 10:33 am: Edit Post

I almost forgot, I had some real street fighting experience (a couple 1x1 and one 2x1 fights) that I soundly defeated my attackers in before I even started martial arts. I figured there must be a more effective method of fighting to learn than what came naturally (not that all natural fighting instincts are bad) and thats what started me on my journey.

   By Karl (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 09:48 am: Edit Post

Hi Tim,

You say: "Lifting the rear heel (muck like boxing punches as Brian pointed out) allows you to transfer the weight of your hips and torso into your striking hand."

If i take a look at the punch in Sun Tai Chi, it seems, that there is not a lot pressure against the floor in the rear leg. So the power comes not from the ground via the rear leg? I noticed the same in Wu (Hao) Style. They also have a follow step in most moves. Comes in this Styles all the power from body turning and forward momentum?

I ask this, because most Tai Chi People allways say, that the power has to come from the ground, and both feet have to be rooted.

I like the idea of better mobility, but what is your opinion about punching and rooting.


   By Tim on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 05:04 pm: Edit Post

Unless you release your mass into one leg (usually your forward leg), you will never be able to strike with whole body power.

Im not sure what you mean by both feet have to be "rooted."

   By Karl on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 04:21 am: Edit Post

Hi Tim,

"Im not sure what you mean by both feet have to be "rooted.""

Many people who do IMA say, the rear leg has to be flat on the ground, to produce power from the ground via pressing and using the rebound in the moment of impact.

In the past, i see this also this way, but now i am unshure if this is the right way.

Your description makes a lot of sense.

In you book "Effortless Combat Throws" you wrote something like. "If you feel from where the power comes, you dont use whole body power". This makes me think :-)

Is there only a moment of pressure into the rear leg in the punch (sun style) to drive the body forward just before the follow step, or is there no "active" pressure, but a natural forward movement of the whole body with no focus of initial pressure into the rear leg?


   By Tim on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 06:23 pm: Edit Post


The forward weight shift occurs mainly by sinking (it will feel more like 'pulling') with the front leg rather than pushing off with the back leg.

At the completion of the punch, the rear leg will hold almost no weight at all, and the heel will usually be raised.

   By Karl on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 03:37 am: Edit Post

Hi Tim,

thank you very much!


   By Paul Tennet (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 10:21 am: Edit Post

Hi Tim,

I was always taught in Wing Chun (My main system) to drive off the back leg so I find it very difficult to understand the comments on having no weight on the rear leg! When you have driven off the back leg then the heel will lift naturally and the front leg stops you falling on your face.

Also in Hsing I does some the weight not stay on the rear leg? (I don't know much about Hsing I so forgive my lack of knowledge)

Anyway this is my first post and I check out the disccusion board reglarly and highly respect Tim and his published work.

Paul Tennet

   By Tim on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 03:47 pm: Edit Post

Hi Paul,
I've never studied Wing Chun, so I can't really make a valid comparison of punching styles.

In the Internal styles, in most cases, there is virtually no weight on the back foot at the time of impact. The back foot is then immediately brought up and re-weighted so the fighter can move forward again and attack with the whole body weight (this is evident in the prevalence of the "San Ti" alignment in Xingyiquan, as opposed to a long forward weighted "Bow Step" common in external styles).

   By Paul Tennet (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 04:26 am: Edit Post

Thanks for the reply Tim,

How you describe, sounds very similar to my wing chun movement, I guess much of it is how things are described! My teacher has always promoted driving the weight forwards off the back leg instead of some schools that keep the weight on the back leg and sort of use the front leg to drag the body weight forwards.


   By sleepydragon (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 04:42 am: Edit Post

I am a Wing Chun and Hsing I artist... the Hsing I and Wing Chun stepping are almost the same...

The art of Hsing I, specifically the footwork will make your wing chun better.

   By Paul Tennet (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, September 06, 2004 - 04:25 am: Edit Post

Thanks Sleepydragon,

I was always interested in Hsing I from a wing chun viewpoint as they do seem to have many things in common.

A friend of mine does Hsing I with James McNeil but when I did some stuff with my friend I could not get into it. I might try again in the future.

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