Guest Columnists - Dynamics of Punches
I look upon the punching movement as a three-point/dot element. The stepping foot, the punching side hip, and the fist. Foot, hip, punch as the three dots.
When we move our bodies in this manner we generate motion, dynamics, mechanics, etc. The pivotal support would be the leading foot whilst the hips generate the rotation and motion to execute the technique. The best way to explain this would be to perform the simple 'end' motion of the technique.
Whilst in Junzuki allow your punching and Hikite arms to simulate the punching motion, and whilst doing this 'feel' what the hips and stance are doing. Additionally, allow the rear knee to bend and straighten and the rear heel raise slightly during this exercise. Also, whilst doing this, we can 'exaggerate' the feeling of the technique and see where the most effective part of the punch is coming from, and then further this 'feeling'. Go back to the beginning and simulate the complete punch and put this new 'feeling' into the technique.
This exercise can also be simulated with the Gyakuzuki, although in this case we are feeling the reverse motion. In Junzuki we have the leading 'pivotal' foot placed pointing forward and allowing our Junzuki to extend from this. The target of the punch would be centralised, so the line of the foot would be (in relationship) outward to the line of the punch, which would be directed inwards towards the centre of the target.
In Gyakuzuki, however, we have the opposite as the leading foot must be turned in so as not to cause 'over-twisting' of the hips (the hips are retained by the foot position, as with Nai-hanchi, etc.). Here the pivotal foot is secured and the 'rotational' leg (rear) is creating the necessary rotation and movement to generate the power for the hips. For this exercise allow the rear foot to twist on the ball (allowing the heel to be free of friction to the floor) of the foot as you repeat the punching movement from the same stance repeatedly. Again, 'feel' this effect you are creating. Your leading foot is turned in slightly, and your punching movement, and direction, is crossing over the line of the leading foot. Again, the punch is directed to the centre of the opponent. Now practise the punch from the beginning and put this 'feeling' into complete technique.
Gary E Swift, 8th Dan.
Chief Instructor to the British Wadokai Karate-do. British Wadokai