Archive through March 30, 2006

Tim's Discussion Board: Tai Ji Quan : The Ultimate Self-Defence (by definition): Archive through March 30, 2006
   By Russell on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 04:23 pm: Edit Post

I think these points about striking without moving the arms are what I was trying to say. It makes sense if you accept that the arm might not move but the force does - from as far away as the feet and up into the hand. That's getting on for 2 metres, further than one could swing a punch. The requirement is full relaxation and a solid root. The 'wave'-like movement would resemble a tsunami in it's effect.

Incidentally, there was a video of Bruce Lee's one inch punch - he gave a sort of shaking motion before pushing the guy over into a chair.

Here's one video showing that - though it admittedly doesn't seem to be the same 'shake' that I recall:

http://www.bofunk.com/video/1007/bruce_lee_one_inch_punch.html


   By Jerry on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 07:47 pm: Edit Post

"the arm might not move but the force does - from as far away as the feet and up into the hand. That's getting on for 2 metres, further than one could swing a punch."

The distance has nothing to do with it. f=ma, right? Force equals the mass times the acceleration. It's kinetic energy, i.e. force, from the large muscles of the legs, hips and back, driving essentially your whole mass, against the target, although the point of transfer is just, say, the knuckles of one hand.
Like a big hammer hitting s little nail.

What makes it a powerful strike, instead of a push, is that the transfer happens quickly. Take the element of speed out of it, though, and think about lifting a barbell off the floor. If you lift a 300 lb barbell one foot off the floor, or you lift a 100 lb barbell 3 feet, it takes the same amount of force, 300 ft lbs.
OK, so now turn that around, and think about driving a nail, not by swinging the hammer, but just by dropping it on the nail. If you drop a 1 lb hammer on the nail from 1 ft, or you drop a 6 lb sledge from 2 inches, it applies the same force, 1 ft lb.
It doesn't matter how far the hammer travelled, it's how much force is applied.

The thing you have to get is that a well-coordinated whole body movement can deliver a lot of force through a short movement. Watch Bobby Bonds sometime. His swing is amazingly short, and he drives the ball hundreds of feet.
Same principle.



Thanks for the video. Very interesting. I was totally prepared to believe in Bruce Lee's 1 inch punch, but this video is pretty unconvincing. First of all, it's hard to tell, but it looks like the punch travels several inches, not one inch. Secondly, yeah, he does seem to back up and take a run at it. Finally, you can't tell how hard the punch is; the guy falling backwards looks pretty fake.
Not saying he couldn't do it, or somebody else couldn't, but this video is not impressive.


   By Shane on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 07:55 pm: Edit Post

I'm a big fan of Bruce Lee- but if you look at that clip- the guy who falls is in a parallel stance, Bruce puts his fist in the guys stomach- then eases the guy onto his feels- then extends the punch.

I'm sure the guy isn't 'faking' his reacation- but if he'd been in a normal fighting stance- I doubt he would've been knocked back at all.


   By Jerry on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 08:01 pm: Edit Post

I thought of a better example: Olympic weightlifting. You start with a heavy barbell, hundreds of pounds, at rest on the floor. The lifter's hands are already on the bar; they don't have to travel one inch, or any other distance, before the bar starts to move. Yet this heavy barbell is yanked abruptly off the floor and into the air.

To move a 500 lb barbell even the first foot off the ground takes 500 ft lbs of force, and that force is applied basically instantaneously, with no windup or swinging your arm or anything.
Being hit with 500 ft lbs of force would be about like having a 500 lb barbell dropped on you from one foot, or a hundred lb bell from 5 feet. Or a 3 ton weight from one inch! Probably it would hurt.

So if some 128 lb Bulgarian guy can do that, yank a 500 or 600 lb weight off the floor and over his head, why can't a fighter deliver a few hundred foot pounds in a punch or push, without the hand having to travel some distance first?


   By marc daoust on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 08:54 pm: Edit Post

if a 1 lb hammer travel 1 foot,it's the same as
a 6 lbs traveling 2 inches?
where the hell have you been to school?
lifting a barbell that weight 500 lbs and clean it,you need to accelerate it quite a bit before
it goes up.and that means that in the few first
inches there is not enough force to get it up
but after picking up momentum,then you can!
so to say that someone can generate enough
momentum and force without distance is bull!
and for the genius jerry;
f=ma force=massxacceleration right?
p=fxd /t power=forcexdistance divided by unit of time
so acceleration is a big part of force,but
how can they're be acceleration without distance
force without distance is no power!
what do you think TIM,you been around good
IMA masters, can they really generate that kind
of power to knock someone out without distance?


   By Russell on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 02:18 am: Edit Post

I don't dispute the f=ma physics (not so early in the morning, at least :-)) Where distance is involved is that the force comes the distance from the feet up to the hand. The hand can already be in contact with the target as that is only the last part of the strike. Whether it's a strike or a push is not the issue, the force can be applied slowly or quickly as appropriate.

How much distance, though? The idea is that the relaxed body tissues form a kind of spring with a fixed root. Think of sending a wave down a rope - the rope can be short or long, shaken quickly or slowly - force is transmitted in both cases.

Though the distance can be short the acceleration can be rapid. This is where distance is irrelevant for a skilled practitioner able to accelerate the body mass rapidly (like a sudden sneeze.) With less skill, more distance is used to compensate for lack of acceleration (ie inferior technique.) The force is bound to be less and likely to result in a push than a strike. The distance factor then is nothing to do with the physics, rather it is a function of the relative skill of the practitioner. I agree with Jerry about the physics then (so it seems - I can't do sums before midday :-))

re the video: I agree the video is interesting if not very convincing - it's not the clip I originally saw though that wasn't brilliant either.


   By marc daoust on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 02:43 am: Edit Post

early in the morning?
where the hell do you live?
it's 11:30 in the real world!
just kidding! don't be like bob and kick me off
the site in your own mind,and then call your mom!
listen i really want to believe that someone
can do that,but until i see it done?
i weight 180 lbs and i hit pretty hard,
but there is no way i can knock anybody out
within a few inches!
(for all of the magic people that can do it
i'm ready to fly anywhere at your expenses
to prove me wrong!)
ps.physics has nothing to do with it(or almost)
i beleive in anything metaphysical,but show it!


   By Russell on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 03:06 am: Edit Post

Marc,

I'm in Germany - it's still before midday here!

I need to practice, admittedly, but will let you know when the demo is ready :-)


   By Jerry on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 03:16 am: Edit Post

Marc,

the math is correct. I did go to school, but that doesn't matter right now. Physics is not my field, and I don't claim to be a genius. I have picked up a few things here and there because when I get involved in a discussion, I pay attention to the point and avoid personal attacks. You should try it some time. Next time, please try to grasp the point before contradicting it, and just lose the insults, man, it's a waste of everyone's time.


I'm not talking about a hammer travelling, I'm talking about how much force it takes to lift a weight. Lift one pound one foot, that's one foot pound, which is the unit of force. Lift 6 lbs one sixth of a foot aka 2", also one foot pound.
Works the same, in reverse, when you drop the weight.

Of course it's true that when you lift a barbell all the way overhead, you have to keep accelerating it after the initial fast deadlift part of the lift. My point is that the weight comes up off the ground fast, without your hands having to move before the bar does; that first 500 ft lbs to get a 500 lb weight one foot off the ground is delivered very quickly.

Your power equation is also correct, and I did mention that the difference between a push and a powerful strike is the time it takes to transfer the force to the target. In delivering a lot of force with a short blow, or a no-distance blow where you're already touching the target, or yanking a weight off the floor when you're already grasping it, there will be a lot of force (considerable mass, basically your whole body, attains a fair velocity), times a short distance, divided by a short time.
I agree the striking hand or fist will move, but not far, and here's the point so please pay attention Marc, NOT NECESSARILY BEFORE MAKING CONTACT.


   By Jerry on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 03:49 am: Edit Post

Ruseell,

I agree with this, and it's well stated:
"The hand can already be in contact with the target as that is only the last part of the strike. Whether it's a strike or a push is not the issue, the force can be applied slowly or quickly ..
"Though the distance can be short the acceleration can be rapid. This is where distance is irrelevant for a skilled practitioner able to accelerate the body mass rapidly (like a sudden sneeze.)"

I differ with you on this part:

"Where distance is involved is that the force comes the distance from the feet up to the hand."

The force doesn't really originate in the feet.
It originates mainly from the large muscles of legs, buttocks, and back. Newton's 3rd law, equal and opposite reaction for every action. For your hand or fist to deliver 100 ft lbs to the target, your feet deliver the same force to the floor. If you want to talk about the force travelling, then it travels in both directions from the center.

The main point is that the hand doesn't have to travel far, or at all, to get to the target; what it is has to do is impart force to the target.
What has to move is the striker's whole body, including the hand, but it doesn't have to move far, and as we agreed, the hand can already be close to, or in contact with, the target.

"With less skill, more distance is used to compensate for lack of acceleration (ie inferior technique.) The force is bound to be less and likely to result in a push than a strike.

I don't entirely agree with this either. As I said before, the hand doesn't have a rocket motor; it's not accelerating as it goes.

Tim mentioned in his seminar that a strike, say a punch, is either straight or curved. If it's a mixture of the two, it doesn't have the full power of either. This one inch punch, or no-inch fa jing, that we're talking about, is a straight blow. To take a different example, about the curviest, whippiest strike I can think of is a roundhouse slap with wrist snap at the end.
In that type of blow, there will have to be some movement of the hand before striking, because the hand is on the circumference of the circle. The waist (center of the circle) turns, very fast let's say, so the acceleration is rapid, but not very far. The hand accelerates at the same time, but it's lighter, and it's travelling much faster than the pelvis. That's how the whole system works: it's an impedance matching transformer, like a set of gears. It takes the relatively slow movement of the relatively massive pelvis and converts it into a rapid movement of the hand.

In the straight "one inch punch", the hand is moving at the same speed as everything else.
That's why the straight and curved punches are two different things and don't mix well.

Either the straight or curved blow can be done in an unskillful way that doesn't allow the full power of the body to be delivered.


"The distance factor then is nothing to do with the physics, rather it is a function of the relative skill of the practitioner."

Skill is making the physics work for you!


   By Russell on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 07:31 am: Edit Post

Jerry,

I was a bit dubious about the distance factor as I wrote that so take your point. I think the example of the weightlifter is a good one and also your explanation of the body mechanics.

Looks like I am going to train with renewed enthusiasm now, if only to answer our critics someday :-)


   By Jerry on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 12:33 pm: Edit Post

"Looks like I am going to train with renewed enthusiasm now, if only to answer our critics someday :-)"

Whatever works to motivate yourself!

This is actually very simple and unmysterious.
Never mind whether the punch can be only one inch, or whether it "knocks people out" or "ends the fight", and it's not necessary to understand the physics if not interested. The fact that you can deliver a hard, sudden push or strike while already in contact is well known in tui shou and taiji and CMA generally; it's called fa jing. Tim can demonstrate it for you any day in class.

Can boxers hit hard with a short punch? Sure, you can find someone to show you that in any decent boxing gym. I saw the first Ingomar Johannsen/ Floyd Patterson fight on TV (yes, TV was already invented then). Johannsen basically knocked Patterson out with one short, straight right that slipped in between the "peekaboo defense". It was a few inches, not just one, but that's not what's important. He had to throw a few more punches after that, but Patterson was defenseless after that first one. In the rematch, Patterson didn't let him do that.

With so much misinformation and disinformation and wild claims in the martial arts, it's no wonder people don't want to believe some things that are actually true. I used to believe a lot of those crazy things about taiji myself-- a taiji master couldn't be hit or couldn't be thrown, taiji has no attacks, the attacker is doomed because of his philosophical error in attacking, etc. Tim, and Erik, and even the Iron Bastard were a big help in clearing that nonsense up for me.


   By Russell on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 02:41 pm: Edit Post

Jerry, thanks for the encouragement!


   By D. Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 03:22 pm: Edit Post

Do you need distance to the opponent in order to:

Pull back your shoulder?
twist the waist?
twist the wrist?
push your foot down into the ground?
change your weight to the other foot?
lean?
Stretch your arm?
stretch the rear leg?
Hollow the chest?
change your posture?

If the answer is no on each and every point, why should distance to someone be necessary in order to knock him(or her) down?

/Bao


   By Bob #2 on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 05:02 pm: Edit Post

so... If you and I got into an average sized phone booth- do you think you could knock me out with one punch?


   By marc daoust on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 05:54 pm: Edit Post

borg you got a point,the fist is not moving
but the body is.so distance is still a factor!
so if you lock your knees,your elbow and turn your hip all the way to the side of your punch,
do you really think that power can be transfer
(i mean enough power!) no(sorry bob#2)
bob#2 i like more and more,the phone booth thing is great!
ps. like i said before jerry,if you think you
can knock me out with 2",well fly me to any where
to prove it.
(except china the masters are magic there!)


   By marc daoust on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 05:56 pm: Edit Post

and there is no personal attacks,well unless you take it that way!
if so,big deal!


   By The Iron Bastard on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 06:40 pm: Edit Post

Pull back your shoulder?
twist the waist?
twist the wrist?
push your foot down into the ground?
change your weight to the other foot?
lean?
Stretch your arm?
stretch the rear leg?
Hollow the chest?
change your posture?

You might get to P in pull before someone dropped you. If you are, thinking of these above terms or even developing any training process using them. Here is a hint: "change your weight to the other foot?" means to step or stepping, very simple. All of the above are hints toward a very simple answer. The complexity comes from; can you do it?

What distance are you talking about, long, middle or short? If you canít define these ranges clearly and the possible attacks that come from them, god help you when the real world catches up to you.

The individuals who wrote these hints did it for a reason. If they also gave us the answers, everyone would think they know them. I practice stepping everyday and find something new every time.

Your last post, Mr. Borg, smacks of down right intellectual snobbery and nothing more. This is just a shallow self-serving method conducive only toward perpetuating a myth in your own mind and everyone elseís. Harsh words, you bet, words I frequently use on myself to break out of this mode of thinking.

Jerry you still think too much.


   By marc daoust on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 07:23 pm: Edit Post

pin pull????????????????????????????
i read but i'm not sure what the hell you're
talking about?and i'm not trying to be a dick!
did you read it before your sent it?
i do now,because the minds mean one thing,
but the computer says another!
i hope you're not saying that with your leg locked,elbow straight and hip turn,
you can create power just by shifting your weight?


   By D. Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 07:29 pm: Edit Post

Iron B. You need to work more with your body, I think you dont understand what I am talking about. I dont think your words are harsh, You just dont understand my point. Thats all.

Here is a test: walk foward very close to a punching bag, put your clossed right fist on the bag. Twist your waist as much as you can to the right. Pull back your shoulder as much as you can. Keep the closed fist attached to the bag. Stand in a normal, comfortable position

First, test how you feel just releasing the tension. You will understand that just releasing the tension is a very strong move. Then you can test different things, like keep the fist at a distance of one inch, different stances. Does the stance or distance affect your movement. Then you try stretching the fist as you release it, but stretch it gently, and at the same speed as your waist move. Then you can try to add extra power with hip, waist or changing weight. You can also test other thigs to add to the movement and speed up this releasing. This practicing method will certainly increase your striking skill, even if you add these things or not to your own striking.

If you practice these things, you will understand that relasing tension is just as strong as creating tension. You will alos understand that distance to the goal(bag) is not important, only your knowledge of body mechanics.

After studying this for a while, you will know that my words in the lost post are not empty. In fact you will understand that those words are based on a long time studying these things.

Bob 2. I am sure anyone could knock you down just putting their fist against your temple, or against your throat, just stretching the arm quickly. That doesnt need any space or distance. Why dont you let someone try it, and if it doesnt work, you come back telling me?