The Karate punch

Posted by: Matakiant

The Karate punch - 10/30/13 07:41 AM

So what is it?

This is something that bothers me. Quite a few times in life I've been told that my punching is not ''karate punching'' that it's just ''boxing''.

That I don't do this twist here or that I don't punch from the hip there or that I punch from a guard and so on...

When I try to explain that it is a Karate punch because of the body mechanics behind it, the way I use my legs, my core and so on I get looked at funny by most and then I realize I'm wasting my time with those people.

But the general question here is. What makes a punch a Karate punch. What is the Karate technique for you.
Posted by: Dobbersky

Re: The Karate punch - 10/31/13 05:35 AM

I compare it to the "fighting stance" used in Judo/Jujitsu the position of the hands/arms is the same as in Judo, also the push/pull in Jdo mirrors what is used in karate. Kuzushi.

For me "boxing style" punching is punching and "karate style" punching is Stand-up grappling
Posted by: Matakiant

Re: The Karate punch - 11/27/13 10:36 AM

No more answers? Let me clarify the question perhaps. What mechanic makes it ''Karate''???

Twisting? Punching from the hip (lol)? The way you use your hips in your school? Koshi? Go-tai?

Come on guys surely some of you have thought of this.
Posted by: Dobbersky

Re: The Karate punch - 11/28/13 06:04 AM

Sorry I've nothing more to add about it
Posted by: Shonuff

Re: The Karate punch - 04/26/14 07:58 PM

Hello,

For me karate punching is about maximizing power while conserving balance. It utilizes the legs and hips but never over commits by leaning with the torso unless effecting an evasion.
Posted by: gojuman59

Re: The Karate punch - 04/26/14 10:52 PM

I agree with Shonuff. Punches done "Karate style" should be linked to the ground through the stance/core. One should be mobile, but ready to strike and take advantage of grounding ones stance to get the most structure out of the technique. Legs and hips are all a vital part of power generation linking the floor through the legs/hips/back straight through the arms.
Posted by: mike2323

Re: The Karate punch - 04/27/14 11:11 AM

Maybe the people who think the punches are different are only looking at the fully extended karate punch done in front stance and can't see how it developed. Isshin ryu punches are vertical so I guess you could say they are different than boxing punches but both systems (boxing/karate) throw a punch the same way. push from the legs, rotate the body, rotate the arm, hit with the knuckles. Both the same. Only boxing's wild haymakers are different from karate punches. It's possible that the rules of a certain karate style allows for the hands to be lower, for example the rule no punches to the face, but the punch still generates power the same way. IMO
Posted by: MAGon

Re: The Karate punch - 05/16/14 02:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Matakiant
So what is it?

This is something that bothers me. Quite a few times in life I've been told that my punching is not ''karate punching'' that it's just ''boxing''.

That I don't do this twist here or that I don't punch from the hip there or that I punch from a guard and so on...

When I try to explain that it is a Karate punch because of the body mechanics behind it, the way I use my legs, my core and so on I get looked at funny by most and then I realize I'm wasting my time with those people.

But the general question here is. What makes a punch a Karate punch. What is the Karate technique for you.


Well, as specifically applies to your individual punch, I wouldn't think of offering an opinion, since I'd have to see it first.
As a general topic, though: Funny I should stumble on this thread today. That's 'cause yesterday I was watching a boxer training on the heavy bag in my gym. In fact, it was a woman. And as is often the case with very fit females, she had a figure worthy of admiration. So this was what caught my eye first. wink But soon enough I stopped watching the form of her body and became interested in the form of her punches. Watching served to remind me of what I think the main differences are.
IMO (and I emphasize that because others may well have a different take), the Karate adept will seek to ground himself more than a boxer will while punching. So, even from a boxing-like "fighting stance", the Karate-ka will at least try to widen his stance, if only a smidgen. He will also try to drop his hips, if only a bit. The most obvious difference will be the oft-mentioned hip rotation, which can be foreshortened, but is more pronounced in a Karate punch than in boxing.
Hand positioning while sparring/fighting nowadays is a question of how tight to the body the hands are held, as most Karate styles have dropped the more exotic guards in favor of those that resemble boxing's, whether the more open, back-of-the-fist-forward bare knuckled boxing guard or gloved boxing's tighter one. But there will be more of an attempt by the Karate-ka to add rotation to his punch. This is something that the boxer either doesn't worry about, or is an afterthought.
There is no, or very little, follow through with a Karate punch (or overextension, from a Karate point of view), whereas this is much more the case in boxing when delivering a power punch. OTOH, there is more emphasis in adding power to all punches in Karate, even the jab-like kisame-zuki than in boxing. As a result on this emphasis of lowering the stance, hips, rotation, etc., the Karate punch, though fast, isn't as fast as in boxing.
I might've missed one or two things, and will kick myself for it later. But as an off the cuff response, this is what comes to mind.
My take is that there is a much stronger sport bias in boxing tactics than there is in Karate. Gloves, rules and referee tend to prolong the fight. And the gloves make hits less damaging than bare knuckles. So the boxer has three things in mind: To try to knock out his opponent, to wear him out to make the first easier or to win by points. So, since number of punches thrown and landed count, the boxer is more willing to throw out quicker, less powerful punches. Lowering the stance and engaging the hips to add power takes more time than to just whip out a punch with arms and a bit of shoulder rotation, and score points. Conversely, lower stance and hips come at the cost of mobility being impaired a bit. The boxer wants to be able to move away quickly in order not to get scored on in turn. More follow through is explained by the desirability of a swift knockout, whereas losing balance and ending on the floor will cause the referee merely to stop the action until the boxer regains his feet.
Karate, OTOH, in it's origins (as opposed to more recent times) wasn't intended as a sport, but as a method of self defense. So Karate tactics are focused towards a short, sharp bare knuckles fight where the opponent is battered into being ineffective or until escaping becomes possible. So mobility isn't as much an issue as powerful punches, speed of delivery less an issue than hitting harder and remaining on one's feet is much more important than a bit more power in the punch with follow through. Thus a wider, stabler base, emphasis on dropping and rotating the hips to add power, more of a preoccupation with corkscrewing the punch and no follow through.
This isn't to say that a boxer won't use hip rotation to add power to hard punch, or a Karate-ka won't do "on toes" footwork. Just that the emphasis is different enough to be quite noticeable.
BTW, if you look for it in the archives, there was an epic discussion about boxing vs. Karate punches in this forum a coupla, three years back (more, maybe?).
Posted by: Matakiant

Re: The Karate punch - 06/24/14 09:20 AM

Sorry to be so late but I am not interested in arguments of Karate vs Boxing or something else.

I just wondered what made some of you think of your punches as ''Karate'' and not just throwing a punch or a boxing punch or whatever.

The mechanics that make it not just Karate but also your own Karate.

This is interesting for me not just what people try to do mechanics wise but how they can explain it or how they ''imagine/visualize'' those mechanics.

From arches running through the body to ''bow string'' like kinetic build ups, or ''fire'' and all these basic imaginative explanations all the way to the possibly esoteric sounding concepts.

Another way to phrase this question is. How do you generate power? And try to explain the hows and whys of it.

Posted by: geoman025

Re: The Karate punch - 08/11/14 01:27 PM

it'd be easier to explain with diagrams, but the way you apply the karate punch(a foward punch delivered from either a front stance or alternate stances) and adapting it to real life combat or MMA possible with some modifications.

For example, instead of a Jeet Kune Do stance ("side-on" like Mayweather Jr's crab defense) or Anderson Silva as well, the feet must face to opponent more, so that the punching arm is already "cocked-back" to throw a fast, strong punch with little telegraphing beforehand.

example of a JKD/outside fighter bait and ambush fighter - stance is the following diagram, with the
pivot clockwise about 30 degrees about the left foot, align the "triangle" foot positioning, then rotate the torso the opponent accordingly, internal(clockwise from the bottom), and that would correspond to the lines of attacks in the following diagram:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MuDntTFwfVI/T8...un-kung-fu1.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MuDntTFwfVI/T8...un-kung-fu1.jpg

Starting from here, you chose to attack to the down left diagonal arrow on the above picture. If you rotated the torso clockwise, say,20-40 degrees from vertical, you'd get Lyoto Machida's and Chuck Lidell's Power-Karate stance and straight punchs and haymacker hooks. A front attack would be possible ala Anderson Silva's giant rear-foot fully-extended front kick against Belfort.

http://cdn3.sbnation.com/imported_assets/592625/lyotodropssilvaagain.gif

Lyoto above.

Belfort-Front-Kick(Anderson)
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/537977/anderson-silva-front-kick-vitor-belfort1_medium.gif

Machida-Knockout-Punch
http://cdn3.sbnation.com/imported_assets/592625/lyotodropssilvaagain.gif

Above is the GIF of what kind of stuff the change in stance and style make.

The alternate strategy would be a total side-on approach/angle of attack, to keep distance, and then fence some "JKD-style/crab-boxing power jabs, lunging in and out of attack. Or he could commit to a knockout punch and approach in slowly and surely, square-up a little, pick the time, ready, go! Pop that follow-up stright/cross. [See highlights of past greatest boxers and Anderson Silva and GSP and Floyd Mayweahter Jr. ]
Posted by: Dobbersky

Re: The Karate punch - 08/12/14 05:14 AM

Karate punches will to me always be considered as grappling skills the push pull as practiced in Judo and Jujitsu not actual punching.
If you look at the origins of Karate through to Koda Te to Shuri Te and Tomari Te and Naha Te and beyond they were grappling arts very close to that practice in Judo and Jujitsu using many skills found in Chin Na an San Shou Kiao Juao.

boxing punches are proven in many conditions to be more powerful than karate punches
Posted by: Ed_Morris

Re: The Karate punch - 08/26/14 09:27 PM

there is no 'karate punch' - there is only a response that works, and one that doesn't. getting caught up in the details is drinking the kool-aid of whatever the particular school is teaching. alot of karate places remind me of esoteric software design..they over-engineer the solution to the problem which leads them down a path of focusing on over-developing minute details instead of the big picture.
Posted by: Matakiant

Re: The Karate punch - 09/18/14 06:07 AM

Originally Posted By: Ed_Morris
there is no 'karate punch' - there is only a response that works, and one that doesn't. getting caught up in the details is drinking the kool-aid of whatever the particular school is teaching. alot of karate places remind me of esoteric software design..they over-engineer the solution to the problem which leads them down a path of focusing on over-developing minute details instead of the big picture.


Well what is the big picture then?

And how is there no ''karate'' or any other style punch? The body mechanics taught or ''technique'' taught wildly differ in karate alone.

I've been taught one way another guy this way and a third guy in a completely different way. Even in your own style, if it still has teachers who are actually teaching not mimicking what whatever some great long dead Sensei who founded the style did, people will be using different technique and body mechanic to best suit their own bodies.

So I suppose thinking back on it now my question was sort of a double edged sword; 1 for people who do truly believe this textbook style stories of how a karate punch must have a twist or your shoulders should never be raised or any other kind of (to me) nonsensical absolutes.

A lot of people would crucify you for saying ''a punch is just a punch'' but in reality it is, the only difference is how it's being thrown, what the body mechanics behind it are, wether their solid or not-so solid.

Ultimately I think any practitioner should strive to reach a level where the mechanics they use are not directly mimiced off of anyone, if you practice long enough with focus and contact you should be developing your own ''style'' that fits and works with your body the best.

I am just interested in the different ideas behind proper body mechanics or technique so to speak. To my sadness I find that the majority of people who are practicing karate do not think about body mechanic they think about ''what sensei said & showed me'' and when that sensei him/herself isn't thinking about it... Well you get meaningless hollow techniques.
Posted by: Ronin1966

Re: The Karate punch - 10/09/14 03:16 PM

The structure and mechanics of a particular "labeled way" of generating power will vary meaningfully. What makes my "tode" different from yours in terms of methods to generate power in our bodies.

We start with a very precise and specific structure. How we move, what we turn or not is governed by the principles of our art. Maximum effect for the minimum possible effort.

Repetition causes muscle memory. Attentive, mindful repetition creates awareness of various excess or unhelpful pieces we sometimes (always?) add to a specific movement(s).
Ten thousand plus repetitions creates a basis on which to develop striking power regardless of technique.

Structure is fundamental and critical for power generation. Whether standing on ones tippy-toes, or done from the lowest horse stance either will help generate power. Provided that practice is micro focused and one is (with time) hyper-aware of ones body structure... power is generated because of incessant consistency.

Haphazard, random can definitely generate power, but repeating that, isolating the components is far more difficult, if not impossible. Consistency, repetition, structure are the concepts of power generation.

Add in UN-inhibited dead weight, relaxed weight if you will and power is easier still. However becoming aware of the muscles of the shoulder, arm, takes lots of time and insane repetition. Are we using only the tension we must to move the body OR are extra and unhelpful parts being tightened and slowing us down...?

This the type of thing you seek?
Posted by: Matakiant

Re: The Karate punch - 10/29/14 10:01 PM

Your post made me more think of this part

'' However becoming aware of the muscles of the shoulder, arm, takes lots of time and insane repetition''

This made me think of my own training and some of the training I've provided others.

I never just repeated the same thing over thousands of repetitions. I did some ''mindless'' repetition but quite quickly some basics of body mechanics became part of my study.

That is a longer story in of itself. But it reminded me of a question I had as a much less trained practitioner

Repetition or rather practice is surely good but how can we simply tell a complete beginner to MIMICK our movements and assume them to learn something without ever explaining the body mechanics or the ultimate goal behind the movement.