6 posts / 0 new
Last post
Drew Loto
Drew Loto's picture
Insight into karate punch

Here we have a video of Michael Jai White explaining a very interesting and important point, especially for karateka:

Why do I think this video is so relevant to karate?  In my (admittedly limited) experience in the realm of applied karate, conversing with people who think it important to reexamine kata and refocus karate into something that is self-defense and reality oriented, I've detected a certain degree of insecurity or shame many people feel regarding the nature of most of the karate world.  Many people who are exploring applied karate even come from a background in which they primarily spent their time performing kata in overly ritualized contexts and without any regard for the techniques contained therein.  As such, it seems a lot of people who actually want to start teaching applied karate consider it necessay to include what I would term "standard punching techniques" or SPTs.  [Note: The acronym makes it seem more professional.]  We all know what SPTs are; the jab, the cross, the hook, and the uppercut.  It seems to me that a lot of karateka naturally understand that the body of karate knowledge contain in the kata or elsewhere doesn't actually include SPTs, so they  look to boxing or MMA to figure out how SPTs are thrown.  I'm not necessarily saying this is a bad strategy, as, in the video, which is the ultimate point of this post, White does not seem to think that he's showing anything that is radically not boxing.  

But we are not boxers.  (Unless you happen to be, but I'm surely not.  I'm a karateka.)  And to my fellow karateka (or other artists who dabble in karate), I think it would be very useful to take some time to look back at karate.  Certainly that method of bobbing the shoulders (that White was decrying) is not part of how karateka tend to train to move.  In fact, when watching the video, the way White would simply throw his weight forward reminded me of how karateka use their stances and weight shifting to generate power.  For me, watching this video gave me insight into the natural benefits of karate punching.  Martial artists seem to love criticizing the lunge punch, but in some way, White's punches reminded me very much of a lunge punch.  (It lacked the ritualized aspects that a lot of karate training includes these days, but the principles of throwing your weight, keeping your upper body relatively stationary, generating power from the legs, were all in tact.)  

So, am I just crazy and just seeing celebrities' faces in my food or do others think what I'm talking about just might make sense?

riversidema's picture

This is something worth chewing on.  Thanks for sharing!

Dillon's picture

As a side note, this probably seems reminiscent of karate because Michael Jai White is a karateka.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

This says to me there is a reason for that whole thing of standing there punching from "chamber" and having someone correct your form by observing shoulder movement etc. Hikite, learning to move in stance correctly, kihon in general  isn't just a kata application thing, nor is it just dumb drills to kill time...though it certainly gets practiced that way sometimes!

Good video.

karate10's picture

I met MJW last year as a guest in my Kyokushin Karate Dojo where I'm training...He's very methodical and smart Karateka and I remember one thing he said in class......"Kihons is your bread and butter and will determine your personal image, skills in Kata/Bunkais,Kumite,way of life,Moving basics e.t.c....If your Kihons is bad, your Karate will be a disaster".....I believe in what he said because I know guys not only in Kyokushin,but in other styles with 2nd-4th Dan that can't even do a basic MaeGeri kick properly, let alone not even knowing a correct posture in Dachis stances.

This vid is very vital and  he's 2nd Dan in Kyokushin, and he earn 6 Black Belts in Shotokan,Kobudo and other styles as well.

stephen's picture

You could view basic lunge punch as a training tool, not a technique. The "bunkai" of oizuki might well be a straight lead into the face!

I'll watch the video later, I'm at work and the video is blocked.