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Lustâhn



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PostSubject: questions regarding the strong jab and joint injury   Sun May 24, 2009 8:27 am

May I just start by saying that I've received and devoured the SFS Starter Pack, and it has really improve my self-defence abilities. After only a few drills, I've gained a lot more confidence in regards to physical confrontations, which is greatly appreciated.

Due to my Karate background, I'm most comfortable using the left fighting-stance. Coincidently, I'm left-handed and thus stronger with my left hand, which is also my jab-hand. This used to be just fine, seeing as a [committed] jab, could have roughly the same power as a follow-up punch.
However, would the jab be effective in a fence position? I ask this, because since I'm left-handed, I naturally put my left hand the furthest from me as a defensive measure (to prevent my opponent from walking in to me), and as a result, it very prone to be knocked away, should my aggressor decide to advance. Any ideas on how I may optimize my fence -- perhaps by standing in a "right fighting stance" instead?

Also, I don't have a regular training partner nor a punching bag, which is why I usually practice the old Karate way: punching and kicking in the air. The problem is that the whipslash effect (when I use all my power and fully extend my arm at the end of the punch) causes a lot of strain on my elbow-joint, which leads to pain after only a few commited punches. Is there any way to prevent this? I lift a lot of hand-weights, if that's a factor.

Thanks in advance,
Lustâhn
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thugsage
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PostSubject: Re: questions regarding the strong jab and joint injury   Sun May 24, 2009 3:15 pm

hi mate,

i have some ideas, Richie's may be more sound, but this is what i feel from what you're saying.
usually when someone favors an arm forward, it makes me think of some deficiency [speaking
in general terms now--not regarding you]. like sight being weak in one eye, or lack of coordination
in the reverse punch, guarding those vital areas and not wishing to commit to the turn. your reason
appears different--you're a southpaw trained in a system that assumes right handers, right? either
way, i think the remedies will largely play out the same way--as the favoring will incline certain
things to be stressed whilst training [in my opinion of course].

your joint question--believe me mate, i understand. i happen to think there are several things wrong
with the way the traditionals train with air. air banked is air cashed. put up your mattress against
the wall, put on your winter gloves--and feel some real resistance. no more joint problem. air punchers
commit to years of putting on their own breaks as they train to end at their targets. real resistance gets you in the mode of making your oponent your breaks. let his head stop your arm--period. let the resistance train you for that as you visualize what the pad is doing for you. vital. you seem to be hyperextending your arm--which might mean that you're not putting on too much of your own breaks.
good for you mate. slow down the air drills and visualize going through someone's head. imagine your target closer to you and your fist coming out the back of all your techniques--punching someone in the solar plexus or whatever, but your fist is coming out of his back. no more target practice that pulls in to the parking space just in front of your threat. forgive my forwardness, i had years of this stuff to undo.
get the idea that a barrage of punches needs to come out of you. not an erol flynn like sword thrust--which may be good for the tournament scene but can be too much invested when there's so much farther to go. your fists need to be a drum roll mate, with no end in site . to hold a pillow agains the wall,
and imagine yourself reverse punching a person with the other hand. do 100's of these to train that other hand to join in the fun. but by all means, keep your good hand in front, it may be a pschological edge that serves you. if you have a good jab, you'll figure it out. either a lightening recoil and fire--if tapped, or use that jab as the tenticles that once slapped away, serves as the trigger and fire mechanism for that reverse punch you've been OCD training against that wall. your arm that holds the target in place, that's the arm that's either stiff arming someone back as you continue to fire that reverse punch assault, or that's the arm that's grabbing and constantly pulling someone off balance as you continue to nail him in many different way that present themselves on the back/side/front of his head.

i've taken, when completely lacking the proper equipment, to strapping cushion of all kinds around a tree, putting some gloves on, and just making do. you need the resistance--makiwara. and the reminder that forward motion will be the venue. the stance just may disappear, under the pressure to simply keep those guns firing in...if you can salvage proper mechanics at some or all of the time, great. don't lose yourself in form. the objective has to be met.

the way it worked for me was to start with jab/crosses on resistance [or stepping punches with follow up
reverse punches]. you'll need both sides comfortable. but if you can put your happy side first, do that. don't go for pacing and endurance. go for all out when possible--like each time on the pads is a real fight with terrible stakes.

get Richie's bare knuckle boxing--if you haven't already, which stress the added importance of light fist to wall contact [light], as a good measure reminder for your realistic and conditioned conditions.

get the explosivity dvd as well. that's a foundation there.

my thoughts from years of shotokan, karate must be reassessed and tweeked. good foundation there, but usually with some points to go over so some of the patterns of training can support you when you need them most.

in short. train with resistance--you'll have to be inventive how to construct those conditions. train air as a visualizing aid, focusing on driving through. padwork should be with visualizing too. the first hit on the pads, if you can...try and step into it in a manner that feels like being in motion and having to step into someone and hit them,after that simply finish your set in place. that first stepping in is a very important reminder for some muscle memory that you'll have to draw from whilst training without a partner. if you can occaisonally get the odd friend to help--say, from your karate club. do some slow motion forward drills that allow you to see what is really happening to your feet in the forward blast--and how it may differ from the sword fencing style of 'in-out' that clubs usually ascribe to.

bruce lee used his forward strong hand--but he had some wing chun behind him which provided a great
back up of support...

good luck with your training. what you put in is what you draw from under fire. don't be shy about being a class "A" nutjob when it comes to improvising and working for something.

lol! -Russ

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RichardB



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PostSubject: Re: questions regarding the strong jab and joint injury   Sun May 24, 2009 4:42 pm

Ok, first thing that strikes me. Fully extending the arm while messing around with high kinetic energy = Recipie for injury. That's got to be damaging the connective tissue. You can't really work power in the air the way you can with a bag. Full extension might mess up your distancing as well. First time I ever kicked a bag after beating up a lot of air, I kicked the thing with a push kick, the leg was perfectly straight by the time it got there. Hurt like a bitch. It might be better to slow down a bit and go easy on the power so you can focus on body-mechanics. As a general rule it is best to always have at least a little bend in your joints when fighting and training. In fact if you do there shouldn't be any problems going full power in the air if you so choose. Because the strain is on muscles and tendons, and not the joint. Be sure to visualize exactly what it is you want to be doing while beating air. It's not as effective as having a partner, but you do keep imprinting certain actions over and over in your brain. Just base what's happening on how real fights happen, and how people move.

http://www.psfights.com/


Left/right stances and handedness Vs. the fence... You could of course simply switch sides, setting him up with the right hand, and striking with the left. But if we're going to explore ideas for how to use the lead hand from the fence, something that might work is from a Dog Brothers DVD. "The false lead." That is, normally you say you're standing with your strong side forward, and that means, being left handed you got your left leg up front too. Simple enough. Now keep the legs where they are but switch sides with your upper body. So now you have your right hand the furthest away from you. And your left hand is sneakily chambered for a powerful strike, be it a hook or palm heel or whatever.

I suspect it may look slightly more combative than a normal stance, but that can probably be worked on to the point where it appears pretty casual. I think it's the fact that it's chambered and loaded for power that makes it look more like what it is. So making arm and leg positioning appear loose and conversational it probably the trick. Particularily the power-hand (left in this case). Now when you say you come from a karate background I guess I should point out that the right/left stance switching isn't as drastic as that of karate. You don't want to be twisting yourself into a knot. Laughing Think something more like boxing instead. Wider stance, less angle.

Otherwise I don't think you could get much power out of the lead hand from the fence. Power comes from bodyweight and body-mechanics. If you look at Bruce Lee's one inch punch thing, it's all legs and body. The arm just puts the final touch on it. From the fence you might be able to generate power, but it will probably have more of a push quality than the explosive quality of impact from a strike that has had time to get up to speed. Like rear hand or false lead strikes. If you're willing to give up power in order to simply get the ball rolling in your favor. Simply getting the hand in his face and moving forward, along the lines of the GCR and SCTS stuff may be of value. Of course, you can apply shredder stuff from there. Or simply use it as a setup for rear hand strikes.

That's some ideas... Russ beat me to it. Some good ideas there as well. Improvising equipment seems very relevant. Ambidexterity is important. Full, aggressive continual attack after the initial strike too. Once you get in, don't let off the pressure until you're done. Holding a pillow at the wall and striking seems like a very good and very simple training method for ambidex and grab & strike, indexing and so on. I even put a jacket on the BOB just for the sake of the grab and strike thing. Good stuff. Back to ambidexterity of the hands though, that one is interesting.

One way I've found very useful for getting that explosive, high-power quality of the main hand over to the other (because really, there's no logical reason why one hand should be weaker) is to build the strike on elbow mechanics. It never struck me until I followed some icepick-grip, edge-out slashing stuff from a knife guy. I always thought it was ridiculous as there was too little leverage and reach and everything. Never liked it. but he said, elbow strike the thing through. Ahh, very, very different effect. and after playing around with the idea a bit with an imaginary knife. It finally dawns on me that it's the same mechanics of a punch. In hindsight it looks like this is what some of the more effective boxers are doing when they get up close. Their hooks are basically elbow strikes with a forearm attached. And it works for straighter strikes as well. I think Mick Coup demonstrated this too on a youtube video. Keeps the power delivery chain from your body to the hand more intact. Actually, in the Strikes DVD from Vladimir Vasiliev. This is basically what he does. Begins with some goofy chest bump stuff, then shoulder bump, then elbow strike, then punches and slaps and all that. Each builds upon the preceding. It works pretty well. I don't quite like the goofy way of moving they have, but you can get some oomph out of the body-mechanics. But going back to just the elbow. If you can do a good elbow with your off-hand, you can simply attach your forearm and hand to it. Then get used to it up close and work your way out to straighter strikes.

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Lustâhn



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PostSubject: Re: questions regarding the strong jab and joint injury   Mon May 25, 2009 9:35 am

Thank you for your very informative replies.

To Russel Sage:

I’m indeed trained in a system which favors right-handed practitioners.
You make it clear that Karate systems need to be tweaked in order to be an efficient tool for self-defence. I will do as you suggest, and practice with the intention of delivering more reverse-punches, as they are theoretically more powerful. I will also seek to acquire a punching bag or substitute of such, so I won’t have to ‘stop’ my punch, but rather let the punching bag stop it for me, thus allowing more speed and power. I acknowledge that this is the fallacy of the old punch-the-air training method.

The “Street Boxing” DVD looks interesting. I like how Richard Grannon emphasies on “stepping through” with the punch, thus creating more power. This is a concept which I’ve been applying in the last two years or so – to the dismay of my Karate friends, as it doesn’t look very aesthetically pleasing. However, in regards to “boxing”, I would ideally want to palm-heel strike rather than punch. Even though I’ve conditioned my knuckles and hands over the years, I still dislike the idea of punching into very solid matter or accidentally into a germ-infested mouth.

By “explosivity DVD”, do you mean the Beta-8 “Train Hard, Fight Easy”?

To RichardB:

Your advice is sound. I’ll refrain from fully extending my arm, but instead focus on technique and precision rather than power – which should be reserved for the bag.

I’m decent with the right-sided fence, but I merely feel a bit unnatural, as I’ve been fighting in a left battle-stance for over 6 years, and as such, I sometimes don’t function to the best of my abilities. I will do as Russel recommended, and practice the right-sided stance / fence a lot, so it may become less of a liability.

Your “false lead”-concept, is completely new to me. That aside, I find it very intriguing. However, due to my Karate-stance, applying the concept feels very unnatural and disorientating. I’m used to the powerful hip, leg and shoulder movement in order to generate one massive blow, as opposed to the boxer’s barrage of 3-5 quick punches. I have little knowledge about boxing though, and can barely do a boxing stance let alone a punch which violates the “straight-punch”-principle, which has been drilled into my head for ages. I can, of course, hit the jawbone, but not with the splendid “looping” motion which boxers advocate.

Regarding your last paragraph; I’m afraid I didn’t quite understand the analogy between the elbow and the punch. I’ve tried doing the same motion, but it doesn’t seem to amplify the power / speed of the strike. Can you elaborate on this?

Thanks again for your insight, gentlemen.
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PostSubject: Re: questions regarding the strong jab and joint injury   Mon May 25, 2009 2:26 pm

Did anyone see the Lyoto Machida vs Rashad Evans fight?
Machida has a background in Shotokan, and though I did not see it, apparently you can see it very well in this fight.
I've watched highlights from other fights, and his fighting style is very interesting. His timing is also great.
Here is a link to the fight. I could not make it work for me, but perhaps you'll have more luck:
http://mmalinker.com/search/zero/MR/1/0/20/mr/15921/i/lyoto_the_dragon_machida_vs_rashad_evans.html

Lustahn, perhaps this will give you inspiration to see where a Karate background can go, note Machida never punches with a straight arm, he changes lead etc etc - Think outside the box.... Very Happy . (If this link does not work, check out some of his other fights)

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RichardB



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PostSubject: Re: questions regarding the strong jab and joint injury   Mon May 25, 2009 8:27 pm

Regarding applying elbow-strike mechanics for punching. Primarily (but not exclusively) this applies to hooking punches. It becomes slightly different as you straighten the arm for straighter punches, as you're not committing bodyweight in the same way. But what you're always doing is explosively moving the humerus bone from the shoulder, and there is more of an automatic tendency to properly put the body behind the movement. Same as a good elbow-strike. Simply put, this is power-generation for the upper arm. And it comes from the legs, hips and shoulders.

Now, for the lower arm. Try to keep the entire forearm from the elbow to the hand on one line to your target. Don't just strike with the fist. Make the entire lower arm into one structure. Then elbow strike it into the target. Look at a lot of these boxers. It's basically what they're doing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C69SNL5IdT4&feature=related

Although there isn't a lot of it happening in this clip, you can really tell when someone is just trying to punch by moving the arm or having poor structure. It doesen't seem to have the same "bang" to it. Boxers, may refer to it in other terms. I think Mark Hatmaker referred to it as "putting bone behind the punch" but I'm not sure if that's what he said or if he was talking about this. Anyway, elbow strikes are fairly easy to get right for beginners. "Elbow striking the punch through" seems to be a quicker way to get the idea across to people.

If something feels unnatural (unless it really is unnatural) you only have to keep drilling it until it becomes yours.


BTW Here's more Machida fights. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMYJc1OkttY

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PostSubject: Re: questions regarding the strong jab and joint injury   Tue May 26, 2009 3:55 am

Lustahn,

quote///
By “explosivity DVD”, do you mean the Beta-8 “Train Hard, Fight Easy”?

yep!

quote///
However, in regards to “boxing”, I would ideally want to palm-heel strike rather than punch. Even though I’ve conditioned my knuckles and hands over the years, I still dislike the idea of punching into very solid matter or accidentally into a germ-infested mouth.


it's what i do, so it can be done--with or without boxing mechanics. it was actually important for me to have no associations with my shotokan, having my palms open for most of my techniques. that way i could begin to unlearn certain things. ridge hand became a j-slap, etc... as Richie says, the open hand stuff means you're closer in, with alot of forward drive this is okay. you'll also find the added bonus of power being more forgiving on your knuckles and wrists. said another way, you can let go and pile in without as much of a concern for hurting yourself. fists invariably require being more selective and causious.

the boxing theme needn't worry you too much, from your karate you have all the leg and waist memory you need. all that's really different is that you'll be raising up on your rear toe to allow the force of your punch to travel were it needs to go--if that's what your after. karate foot placement with it's philosophy of being rooted to the ground unfortunately works against itself for force--to a small degree. foot facing off at an angle, torque and arm attempting to fire straight in front. by raising up on that toe and shortening your front stance, your almost there already. because boxing is closer in for range, that's what is happening to your punches--they're instead crooking in, to great advantage for power.

what's interesting about bare knuckle boxing [with or without palms] is that it is sort of a midway point between karate like step drags, stepping, and a longer reach for the boxer's punch. said another way, it can be looked at like a slightly crooked straight karate punch, or a boxer's extended punch with forward motion and intent to connect and drive through. a wee bit less of a tight guard [on Richie's dvd] and more power. watch this fighting clip between 3 and 4 minutes and you see the compromise that's being done to form.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mla2VxabR74
a boxer would ideally like to catch up with someone, set in his stance, then generate incredible force in his leg/waist torque. a karatika wants is used to samurai like charges where be an emphasis of landing the foot (to stance) at the same time as the hand (to strike) employing the mechanics of torque on the landing. this match shows how under pressure--a compromise was worked out, that almost resembles karate more in many of the forward assaults.
...

i really don't think you'll have to do much to make the adjustment. work with it on the pads and you'll know what to expect from yourself . at the end of the day you'll be tweeking it to you anyway. if you want palms, forward drive is your new best friend as the range is shorter. it was okay for me because suddenly other things presented themselves at that range--using my head, elbows, etc...not really a part of my shotokan reality, even as the techniques were adressed in kata.
if you're happy with karate, i think Richie points out on the bare knuckle dvd, that you can come in straight from your right to your opponent's left--in affect still drawing the chin spin that is so conducive to k/o's. for an example of that, check out this fight...the guy in stiped shorts looks like karate back ground--and at 6:30 approximately into the video clip, he steps off a bit then heads in straight
coming from the side, just enough for the head spin.
http://www.worldofcombat.net/lyoto-machida-vs-thiago-silva-video.html

find a friend to work with slowly for the mechanics, range, and feel for it. then hit the pads for power, but expect to loosen the reigns on form for the higher objective of what you want from your target, rather than your body as it executes the technique. this is the crux of no dogma. in the end, you're after the result, however it needs to be done to achieve that objective. my short frame requires things that a taller person's doesn't. even when wedded to a style, we're all tweeking what needs to be done as the martial seperates from the art. i found it important to having a driving back drill--getting friends to hold a collosal pad as i drove them back with strikes--Richie's idea from his e-book. in this way i'm not in the point sparring mentality, i'm closer to realizing what i have to do under real pressure. i've made the mistake of having a strong start, then suddenly a pause. or of hitting, but not through someone. or of training so much for form, that i haven't been prepared for how much my form will cave if i'm chasing someone with strikes. sometimes i vary the drills so one will be slowed for body mechanics--empasizing power...then the other will be until i'm spent--simply trying to let go as many fired punches as possible.
trying to find the balance that doesn't waist the good body mechanics, but also not be so slow it's impractical to the task.

it also helps to remember to let go of the soft targets. be a head and knee hunter with your punches and kicks. after a while you can branch out--or not, really. i made a real cock up defending myself once, kicking people in the stomach whilst his mate tore my lip open with a can--little by little not making enough of a showing can really allow confidence to gain in your attacker [and in turn be robbed from your performance].

good luck. i'm sure you'll work it out. violent intent is another dvd you'll like. it helps the mind set tremendously. that would be my top 3 picks for dvd's.

-Russ

RichardB's and Maija's points are excellent as always. i'll be checking out the clips--intrigued now.

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mike brown



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PostSubject: Re: questions regarding the strong jab and joint injury   Tue May 26, 2009 5:12 pm

maija wrote:
Did anyone see the Lyoto Machida vs Rashad Evans fight?
Machida has a background in Shotokan, and though I did not see it, apparently you can see it very well in this fight.
I've watched highlights from other fights, and his fighting style is very interesting. His timing is also great.
Here is a link to the fight. I could not make it work for me, but perhaps you'll have more luck:
http://mmalinker.com/search/zero/MR/1/0/20/mr/15921/i/lyoto_the_dragon_machida_vs_rashad_evans.html

Lustahn, perhaps this will give you inspiration to see where a Karate background can go, note Machida never punches with a straight arm, he changes lead etc etc - Think outside the box.... Very Happy . (If this link does not work, check out some of his other fights)

A toe-to-toe slug fest is always entertaining but you can see that at the bar. It was refreshing to see skill the dominate factor. I’m ol’ skool and think Machida is a class act… all business… no need for trash talk and funny hair-dos.
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