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Thread: One inch punch- fa jing

  1. #1
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    One inch punch- fa jing

    Does anyone have practical training techniques for one inch punch?
    Far as I can tell, the best route is to physically be able to punch with "fa jing."
    The best (practical) explanation/ training techniques I found are located at www.wutangcenter.com/wt/fajing.html.
    Most videos and references for the one inch punch are not very helpful.
    If you can perform the one inch punch: I would love to read your insights into the training leading up to performance of the technique.

    Amituofo

  2. #2
    I would think that most references for the one inch punch "are not very helpful" because, maybe the one inch punch is not very useful....

    Let's look at this from a physics standpoint, and give me the benefit of the doubt here, physics and I are from a LONG time ago. But, here are the basics, that kind of make this discussion relevant.

    If you look at it from a FORCE aspect, consider this classical physics equation:

    Force = Mass times Acceleration.

    Or, in other words, since acceleration is a factor of how velocity changes over a period of time:

    Force = Mass times Velocity divided by Time


    What's clear from this, is if you want to increase Force, the force that hits your opponent, you need to either increase the Mass of the striking object, or, it's acceleration. Considering that the mass of the punch, let's consider it to be a fist, is constant, (you can't change the size of your fist, unless you add brass knuckles, or a weight in your hand), to increase the force hitting your opponent, you need to increase the acceleration of your fist. And to increase the acceleration of your fist of a distance of one inch, well, you can better change the velocity over time constant of your fist if you were moving it over a longer distance, giving your muscles more time to recruit more muscle fibers as the muscle contracts. Your muscles only work at a certain speed, given some variability. Also, what's relevant, is the position of the arm prior to the strike: if the arm is outstretched, there is less interaction between the contractile proteins of the muscle. If the muscle contracts (the arm is bent a bit), there is more "connections" between contractile proteins in the muscle fibers, thus more recruitment, and thus, more contractility. This gets more involved, as the position of the arm will also dictate what muscles come into play; a fully outstretched arm, for example, to flex, must first use the smaller and weaker brachioradialis before the larger, stronger biceps muscle becomes fully engaged.

    Now, if your muscles are made up of more of the higher twitch type of fibers, you're better able to increase acceleration than if you were a weight lifter who tends to build up stronger but lower speed twitch fibers. Which is why, I think, some of these Chinese guys who do martial arts tend to be faster than some of us westerners who add weight lifting to their regimens. As you can see, you can put a lot of factors into this to complicate things.


    One way to increase mass of the strike, is to put your body into it, so to speak. Moving your fist is one thing, moving your fist as a component of your body is quite another. This is why, for example, in the horse stance, some people strike not only by using their arms, but also by flexing their hips and straightening the leg on the punching side. This "throws" your hip (or body) into the strike, thus increasing Mass, thus increasing the Force that eventually hits your opponent.


    Looking at it another way, from an energy viewpoint:

    Kinetic Energy = one half Mass times Velocity times Velocity

    Kinetic energy of a non rotating object is the energy required to move that object; when it strikes something and stops, that energy is turned into whats called Potential Energy. Consider your fist the mechanism to provide energy to your opponent to hurt them. The more energy you hit them with, the more damage they take. So, in this equation, Mass is not as important, as you are dividing that by two. What's important here, is the velocity, as you are "squaring" it. Increase the velocity of your strike, and you greatly increase the energy imparted. Increase the mass, and you only increase the energy provided by half. So, in this view, velocity of the strike is more important. Given the fact that you are limiting your strike to "one inch", your terminal velocity at the end of that one inch is what is important; if your strike is over a foot or two, given similar acceleration provided by the same muscle, it figures that you have a better chance of having a higher terminal velocity over a longer distance (or time) traveled, given the constant acceleration that the muscles can provide. Thus, the roundhouse punch can provide more energy than some close in wing tsun punch.

    Let's complicate this some more, that equation is for a non rotating object. If you look at the horse stance, you start with the fist "palm up"; you end with the fist "palm down", thus, there is a rotation imparted to the strike. This adds a component of energy also, just from the rotation of the object.


    So, given the force equation, one can see that it is the acceleration of the fist that provides the amount of force. What you have to decide is how much acceleration the muscles can provide over that "one inch", over that small period of time. Remember, a body has inertia; a body that is not in motion requires a certain amount of energy to get it into motion, and therefore time, to increase its acceleration. Look at it with a bicycle example: how fast can you accelerate on your bicycle over a distance of ten feet, versus how much increase in acceleration can you achieve over a distance of fifty feet?

    Given the energy equation, it's clear that velocity of the strike is the ruling factor. Given a constant acceleration, the more time that you have, the greater the eventual velocity. It therefore makes sense that the longer the punch throw, the greater chance of increasing energy of the strike.


    So, and I think I've said this before, I wouldn't put much credence to this "one inch punch" bullshit. It was a Bruce Lee trick, and I don't think it plays any sort of a role in combat, or a realistic one in the martial arts. It all the years I trained in Shaolin, Kenpo, Seidokan, boxing, Muay Thai, etc, it was never mentioned as a viable strike.
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  3. #3
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    You get an A in physics

  4. #4
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    Joking aside, here is a good link with a (IMHO) brief and very accurate description for the technique:

    http://www.wingchun.org/viewpt/one/4/vp1-4n.html

    Also, a while back the Mythbusters did also some experimenting, and the difference between a one-inch punch and a real punch was around 200 PSI if memory serves correctly.
    Last edited by Uwe; 08-23-2012 at 01:07 PM.

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    well, honestly who the hell fights with their fists in asia anyway. it seems a rusty shank is the ultimate to the one inch punch typa shit.

    the bottom line is, developing short power is important, developing your connectivity, smaller circles, less telegraphic movements and short fast explosive blow, whether it be a punch or an elbow or a knee, is very important to me and when i trained with john he agreed and its why instead of raining knees on him for afar in the clinch, i would stay close and rapidly work the short knee/elbow strikes and he worked with me in that way naturally. this was a bitch in a way considering how short he is but to me again developing your short power imo is time better spent then long range strikes espcially with the fist like the long boxing @ shaolin in stuff, why not just kick the guy its faster n harder, develope short power in all your strikes and it increases everything else
    "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus

  6. #6
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    Good stuff. I get the theory.

    Doc: Your physics are spot on. This is an excellent summary of my understanding. Increasing acceleration is the key to increasing the force of the strike. And "It therefore makes sense that the longer the punch throw, the greater chance of increasing energy of the strike." I have come to similar conclusion.

    This dovetails nicely into Maestros comment about smaller circles and developing short power.

    www.adamhsu.com (http://www.adamhsu.com/articles/taiwanblog_FaJing1.html) has two articles that connect the concepts.
    In summary, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line (think straight punch). Per Doc's comments: the limit of the punch force is the acceleration of the fist from arm muscle. The muscle can increase acceleration over a longer distance. A "short" punch would need to accelerate over the same distance by twisting the body creating a whip. Think of the tip of the dogs tail as he shakes water off: the entire dogs body contributes to the speed the tip of the tail flicks.

    I would assume then training for the one inch punch is a combination of plyometric training (to increase high twitch muscle). And some sort of coordination training for the twist (for which I have no idea how you do that). Finally, as Doc and uwe pointed out, you should know full well that you are not going to ever have the same power as a well developed roundhouse. But, as Maestro elludes you would be a more complete fighter.

    Maestro, besides sparing, are there any other drills you use for "short" power?

    Aside: A Bruce lee disciple (James W. Demile) did put out a book on the one inch punch (amazon has it and I found a pdf for free through a googl search). It describes the "falling method." Essentially, the stance is assumed and the knees buckle to create a falling sensation. Simultaneously, the non striking hand is pulled back and the striking hand is extended. At the end of the punch the wrist flicks up and the strike is adminsitered with the bottom three knuckles. I have found it very difficult to generate any power at all using this method.

    Maybe it is all useless, I would like to try and figure it out. I have a gambling story that nicely illustrates my desire, but, it would lead to off topic discussion.

    Amituofo
    Last edited by J-schum; 08-24-2012 at 03:30 PM. Reason: grammer

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    depends, for sport personally id rather do pad work with a good partner, but working the heavy bag has its advantages aswell. When it comes to power, as long as the body is connected, meaning you put everything into it, no matter if its a downward elbow strike or a straight punch or an uppercut, as long as you know how to link the power rising up, sinking, twisting whatever your gonna do some damage. But as for short power, what you want is to be able to create a large amount of force in a explosive movement with very little space, this comes from technique, power training helps aswell but good technique is best, depending on the strike etc that can differ.
    "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus

  8. #8
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    With the technique "one inch punch," what coordination exercise would you (*you all, not just directed at Maestro) recommend?

    Or, maybe like Doc says "[you] wouldn't put much credence to this 'one inch punch' bullshit."

    I have reached a point where I think I understand the concept (and a great summary is in this thread). But, practical training and execution has hit a dead end. I actually think trying to twist into my punches has led to less power.

    Amituofo

  9. #9
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    not sure how you mean about twisting into your punches, but listen, the bottom line is what are you training for? sport or mastery of a style or self defense type of mind set? if your just exploring chinese arts and this is something your interested in keep going after it, but i agree with doc i think its bull shit, i wouldnt waste time training in it

    but, the whole one inch punch thing is really just a fancy trick some wing chun people do to show off their "short power" or short ging or whatever they wanna call it. but the reality is, bruce lee realised real quick when he got here that all that pak sao wing chun sticky hands shit didnt help him fight gigantic american guys with fists as big as his head.

    i already said my peace about what i think about short power, short strikes, i love it and think its great, espcially if you play with bridges and trapping and like the clinch either wresting or muay thai whatever, but as for the one inch punch technique in particular i think its stupid and waste of time
    "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by J-schum View Post
    Aside: A Bruce lee disciple (James W. Demile) did put out a book on the one inch punch (amazon has it and I found a pdf for free through a googl search). It describes the "falling method." Essentially, the stance is assumed and the knees buckle to create a falling sensation. Simultaneously, the non striking hand is pulled back and the striking hand is extended. At the end of the punch the wrist flicks up and the strike is adminsitered with the bottom three knuckles. I have found it very difficult to generate any power at all using this method.
    Again, basically just another way to putting the mass of your body into the punch. The "flicks up" is just a rotational movement that adds energy, albeit, not much, but still adds energy to the strike. In my opinion, this method is weak. You'd get much more energy out of a punch thrown using your hips, rotational energy of your upper torso rotating on your pelvis, anterior movement of the pelvis from extension of the back leg, rotational energy of the rotating forearm, rotational and linear energy out of the movement of the shoulder. The wing tsun stuff is weak.

    Remember, when you move a mass (your fist) with kinetic energy into another mass (your opponent), if the opponent doesn't move, he absorbs that kinetic energy via distortion of body tissues and absorption of the remaining potential energy; the distortion of those tissues cause localized damage and pain on a microscopic and macroscopic level. If the opponent moves back with the strike, ie, takes that kinetic energy and uses it as kinetic energy to move his mass, the amount of energy used locally is less, there is less generation of kinetic energy into potential energy, and you get less tissue damage and destruction. Which is why blocks that deflect are far more useful than blocks that stop.

    Maestro is always up for a gambling story. Don't hold out on us now... He's got many of his own, though, his gambling is not of the money or card playing kind...
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

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