Karate punch mechanics vs boxing punch

Discussion in 'Karate' started by KidEspi, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    Can't believe I didn't remember this sooner. From the "Developing a Strong Jab" thread:


    A good way to develop this is by assuming a front or fighting stance, then slowly leaning all of your body weight forward onto that lead leg. Eventually you'll reach a point where you feel like you're about to fall straight forward, and that's when you quickly step into the other side stance and simultaneously execute that lead straight. Try performing one handed pushes on a heavy bag to really work this feeling. Once you get this down, start working it without the switch, again in the air and on the bag and mitts.

    This is how to apply that same idea using ido geiko. Though different from Dempsey's oft-quoted description, it is along the same lines as the shift with a falling step he mentions later.
  2. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    The straightening of the leg has not much to do with the falling step. It is not necessary part of the falling step.

    Basically the straightening of the rear leg is a method for power through hip rotation. It is similar to what fencers do on a lunge only the straighting is at the beginning of the lunge, not at the end. So IMHO, Kawasaki Sensei is combining mechanics for more power.

    He starts moving to a point where the technique is a falling step lead hand strike. His right foot acts as the slope with his left foot weighted. At the very end, instead of just using the falling step, he adds in hip rotation by straightening the leg. He loses a little bit of power on the falling step because of this, but gains probably more power from the hip rotation.
  3. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    yeah yeah... do what I mean, not what I say. :evil:

    Anyway FoD. When you push off your rear foot, it is different than using your rear foot like a spring board. It is a timing difference. When you push off your rear foot, you are actually shifting weight to it. This is a push like action and although it adds power, try doing this on a slippery floor and see what happens. You will see that part of your body (your foot) is going backwards, not forward. Maybe causing you to do the splits.

    When you don't push but just let your rear foot act like a spring board, it is very quick and requires you be on the ball of your rear foot. Do this on a slippery floor and you will see that our rear foot actually slides forward, not back. Probably causing you to fall flat on your face.

    Slippery floors are not fun.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  4. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Your post is an excellent way to get power in a jab. This, however, is using a weight shift with hip/torso rotation for power. It is not using falling step for power (although there is some aspect of a falling step, I associate it with weight shift).

    If your front leg remained in a cat stance, then you switched stance and punched, because you never shifted your weight to your front foot due to being in a cat stance but just let it act like a spring board... that is the falling step, IMHO.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  5. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

  6. KidEspi

    KidEspi New Member

    check out 3:28 of this video for an example of a drop step:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNZJqhMCWxc&feature=relmfu"]PT 2 BARE KNUCKLE TWO PUNCH COMBO - YouTube[/ame]
  7. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    At 4:06 a better example of a falling step in the video.

    The example at 3:28, due to it being slower, is a combination of a push off rear foot and a falling step. IMHO.

    I'm not sure I agree with 4:10 or so where he says the hand hits just before the foot lands as being a good thing, but that's another story.
  8. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    re: hand hitting before the foot: i've seen a convo on the kungfumagazine forums where it was mentioned that that's correct practice in xingyi stomping power generation (see the link in my other post re: the front foot thread).
  9. KidEspi

    KidEspi New Member

    From Dempsey's book:

    Now that you've got the feel of the stepping jolt, let's examine it in slow motion to see exactly what you did.

    First, the Falling Step launched your body-weight straight at the target at which your left toe was pointing.

    Secondly, your relaxed left hand shot out to relay that moving body-weight along the power line to the target before that moving weight could
    be relayed to the floor by your descending left foot.
  10. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Oh yes, that's right. I stand corrected. The punch does hit right before the foot hits the ground.

    I think I got myself confused with follow-through. I had this strange idea in my head for a moment that I am aiming several inches through the target. This penetration through the target happens slightly after the foot lands. I think this is actually follow-through.
  11. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    Not necessary for the falling step as described by Dempsey, but you asked how to get that forward momentum and that's certainly one way, one used by karateka. You can use that without adding in a hip rotation as well, if you want a "pure" falling step. Semantics really.
  12. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Well I only want a pure falling step to make sure people understand how to do it. It doesn't seem to me that it is taught in karate (except as supplemental training) because more emphasis is put on other methods for power generation.

    At least that is in my experience. The concept of the falling step is certainly known about but I watched classes and I don't see anyone really using it except those few that were specifically taught it (e.g. supplemental training).

    I wouldn't say semantics in this case. I'm pointing out that a whole class full of karateka doing lunge steps and maybe one out of twenty times there is an actually falling step used, and it appears by accident by the students. To me, 5% of the time and by accident does not make kihon.

    I can watch others that have been taught to use falling step and they use it, whether combined with other power generating methods also, or not, as part of their technique, not by accident.

  13. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    I don't believe the "falling step" is emphasized in Karate either. With little Karate lesson 钢柔流 that I had back many years ago, I was not taught how to use "falling step" back then.

    Here is another clip that "falling step" were used heavily.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1p8zdWSEMI"]XYLH - YouTube[/ame]
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  14. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    Notice how later on I emphasize training that feeling without the shift.
  15. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    Again, what is your definition of a falling step then? That would help to clear up a lot of this.
  16. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    It is a technique described by Jack Dempsey better than I could ever define it. Go by his definition. I'm not sure what you are asking, I'm going by Jack Dempsey's definition so why are you asking for my definition.

    “Let your arms dangle loosely at your sides; you won’t need to use [them yet]. Bend your body slightly forward as you shift your weight forward onto your front foot so that your [rear] foot is resting only on the ball… Now without any preliminary movements take a long, quick step forward with your front foot toward the object at which your front foot had been pointing at. I emphasize ‘no preliminary movement’ before the step. (You unquestionably will be tempted to shift some of the weight…NO PRELIMINARY MOVEMENT!) Just lift the foot and let the body fall forward in a long, quick step.”
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  17. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Okay, don't know if we care about getting back to the original topic (comparing karate to boxing punches), but I would like to.

    Here is more of what Jack Dempsey wrote:

    Now the "falling step" combines falling and springing forward. As I believe, in karate, the falling step technique is not emphasized, but is used by some karateka. In boxing however, you have many boxers learn the falling step footwork.

    What does a karate punch emphasize then? IMHO, rather than falling forwards, most karate emphasizes shoulder whirl, surging upwards, and springing forward for power.

    When the feet don't move or only move a little bit with a karate punch, there is usually a weight shift with a shoulder whirl for power. So in this comparison, the closest between karate punches and boxing punches is to compare the boxing hooks and uppercuts to a karate straight punch.

    So I would say that the karate straight punch is like taking a boxing hook or uppercut and adjusting it to be a straight punch. So the karate punch is very close to the same power generation as hooks and uppercuts in boxing, but because it is a straight punch, it has slightly more range than a hook or uppercut.
  18. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    i don't particularly think it emphasizes anything specific. the kihon form is simply an abstraction of the relevant principles into the simplest form possible in isolation. applied, it's just a punch.
  19. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    That's his explanation of the basic version, but he does reference variations, one of which includes shifting the stance with the punch which is what I'm describing in the above drill to initially familiarize yourself with the feeling before moving on to doing the actual falling step itself. Even Dempsey himself knew none of these principles were mutually exclusive.

    Dempsey's specific method is not as common as you might think. That was actually one of Dempsey's gripes in his book that the falling step was not being frequently taught.
  20. KidEspi

    KidEspi New Member

    at the risk at being pedantic, Dempsey also writes:

    Although the weight of your body was resting largely upon your left foot when you stepped off, you didn't fall to the floor. Why? Because the alert ball of your right foot came to the rescue frantically and gave your body a forward spring in a desperate attempt to keep your body balanced upright-to maintain its equilibrium. Your rescuing right foot acted not only as did the slope of the hill for the sledding boy, but also as a springboard in the side of the hill might have functioned had the sledding boy whizzed onto a springboard on the side of the hill. The left foot serves as a "trigger" to spring the right foot. So, the falling step sometimes is called the Trigger Step.

    That seems to indicate that the right leg is used to spring forward.

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