[QUOTE]Originally posted by Omega-Point:
Anatomically, the 3/4 twist punch is safest, and the most natural. If you hold your arms out in front of you without any undue twisting of the wrists, you will find that your hands rest at a 45o angle. The vertical punch is also structurally sound and fast, but a lot of styles don't pay attention to biomechanics and make improper (and unsafe) fist-forms. Striking with the foreknuckle and middleknuckle is harder to accomplish on some targets. The 3/4 twsit punch doesn't take the full-force of impact straight down the length of the radius. With the 3/4 twist structural integrity is enhanced and force distribution travels in more of a spiral vs. a linear fashion. Less chance of injuring your weapon.
The full-twisting punch is a "safe" punch. Moreso for your opponent than you. This is the adapted Okinawan "koryu" punch- the 3/4 and vertical variety. It has less velocity and is safe for sparring and kids karate. The funny thing is that the full-twisting motion actually is less stable than both the vertical and 3/4 variety, as the ulna loses contact, and structural support, from the last 2 digits. The ulna and radius actually cross each other as the wrist is twisted to 90o. The twisting action activates both antagonistic and protagonistic muscles in a way that actuallly slows down the punch. Speed is essential!
Isshin Ryu is a solid style. I don't know very much about Goju, but it seems to be a very good style too, depending upon which Goju you are speaking of. Folks are under the impression that all Ryuha and fighting styles are equal in efficacy. That is just ridiculous. It's kind of like saying all cars are of the same quality. They will all get you "there", but will they be dependable and last the duration?
I guess with enough innate ability and diligence any style can be effective for self-defense. Some styles are just more practical for the general populace and easier to understand, use and learn. Too bad the average person that enters MAs doesn't really understand the subtleties. Remember "RRIF- Reading and Researching Is Fundamental" and "K.I.S.S- Keep It Simple Stupid".
Hello all. I'll give a quick intro and some back ground experience. I am a practitioner and teacher of Shorei Goju Ryu and Shobayashi Shorin Ryu. I also have a strong back ground in Chinese Gong Fu. Of which, one of my teachers was also an Isshin Ryu black belt under Steve Armstrong, and taught much from this well of knowledge in particular the vertical punch.
I would like to say that Omegapoint brings some good points up in his brief explanations concerning the positions of the bones in the arms throughout the striking process of the punch. IMO all good teachers pass on to their students at least a rudimentary understanding of stacking the bones of the wrist, arm, shoulder, ankle, knee, hip etc in any striking process.
To get a true grasp on anatomical structures (of the living being) and how they relate to each other one would do well to investigate courses that a chiropractor or massage therapist etc. are required to take. Anatomy, physiology, bio-mechanics, are all great courses. Knowing not only how bone structures move but also where and how organs, nerves, ligiments, mucsle etc sit in the body ie what's behind or in front of what, where organs sit in relation to other organs, these are important in the understanding of mechanical efficiency as well as learning truely effective bunkai.
I have been of the mind as I have followed the differing view points of the various punch formations (vertical, cork-screw, stand-up etc)that each have their boones and banes. Concerning speed in my personal research and experience yes there are some methods of punching that are mechanically slower but it also depends on how the puncher is engaging thier body throughout the punch. A snap is almost always faster than a thrust. Vertical punches IMO don't seem to make as good of thrusts are they do snapping strikes. But as a snap its not as damaging. Vice versa for twisting punches. We often did our verts with a sideways leaning/lunging in motion which in itself can create balance instability. In Shorin/Goju the twisting punch is launched from a solid platform almost without fail. I can only think of one vert punch off the top of my head that we do in Goju. It is in a kata called KinTsuru (Golden Crane) and that is not even a Goju kata is is a Chinese form added to our curriculum by our Shihan John Roseberry. We do have inverted strikes Shita-Tsuki but this strike is more in its own catagory.
In Shorin Ryu (under Kyoshi Jerry Gould) we have specific Kumite that utilize the vert punch from a Neko dachi. We practice as a snapping tech in a manner which strikes up from below and IMO in a path which may serve to conceal itself from the opponents view until it is too late to respond.
As far as all styles being equal or not equal. Unless one has practiced to mastery all styles the judgement is pre-mature. If I was to try and find an equal ground upon which to judge the efficacy of styles, place then the masters of the day side-by-side and perhaps than we could get a better idea. Though I do agree with Omegapoints ascertion about the practicality and ease of learning for the general populace that's probably one good reason there are so many poignantly simplistic styles and teachers. If the average person new all the subtleties there would be no reason for them to train.
One last thing I would like to ascert, IMHO 'speed is not essential'. The longer you train the slower your opponents will become. Superior strategy, thorough knowledge of the body (and effects of strikes to it), effective movement, good ma'ai, proper striking and the will to do what must be done these are essential.