I was in Junior High-School when the Navy guy at my friends out imparted some fighting tactics to me. You see he was a black belt in Tang So Do Karate and was trying to impress us kids for some reason (and after ingesting a couple of beers). I was playing the what if game with him.
I asked him what would he do If I tried to punch him. He said, “I would chop your arm – breaking it and then chop your neck!” Wow I thought… Then I asked what about if I tried to kick you? He said, “I would chop your leg – breaking it and then I would punch your ribs – also breaking them.”
I asked him how he could break my arms, legs, or ribs and he simply said he would punch through the target. I had heard of punching through the target from my Okinawan karate instructor as he was teaching the moves. The idea was instead of aiming at the proximal (or close – on top target) one would aim 6 inches deep into whatever you were aiming at.
In this post I am going to discuss what punching through a target really is and why it is not used much today. Lets take a quick look at a video that shows some of the mechanics of how to surface punch a target.
Looking at this video the part they got right was to rotate as one is throwing a reverse or counter punch. Actually they got more wrong than right. First off if you are not worried about getting hit back we can suspend disbelief and not cover as one is throwing the punch. The video guy kind of torqued half way but stopped short and just twisted the upper body some.
The more I have entered into this quasi social networking blogasphere I have come to realize that there are plenty of the more esoteric karateka that seemed to have divorced themselves from the notion that the end goal of any martial art is to ultimately defend oneself! I mean on the one hand it is good that one has the option to fight or not in today’s society but are we in danger of losing sight of the prize?
In this post I will list some arguments for learning how to fight (whatever you call it) and conversely learning a black belt as one might earn a doctorate. No disrespect to doctorates but there are two kinds – the scholarly professors that don’t have to practice real world skills (just teach them) and the practicing professional doctors, JD, MD, DVM, DBA and such that provide a real service!
The previous example might be a bit of a stretch but I am hearing about and have known black belts that cannot and some that even do not think it is important to fight themselves out of a paper bag.