Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Bag work

Regardless of what some people might think about me as a martial artist, I don't go around beating people up on a regular basis! I do often work with a partner and this is essential for timing, distance and striking points (vital areas) and of course feeling the dynamic of different people. What you can't really do with your training partner is whack them really hard, as you might in a real fight or defence situation. So it was with some pleasure that the teacher got some focus mits and pads out the other night. I knew we were in for a punishing session as Master Campbell had a glint in his eye-lots of aerobic and lots of thwacking!

As well as a great feeling of energy I found that the bag work helped me focus on how I hit correctly. The parts of my hand (in this case) which made contact with the pad sort of worked itself out on its own! As I was half way through 30 kap kwon (back fist or uraken) strikes I realised I was connectnig with the wrong part of my hand. How did I know? The back of my hand was starting to smart and the hit felt 'flat' without a cutting sharpness I expected. I had to work on angling the fist outwards slightly in order to connect with the knuckles. This worked better and was less painful. I also had to check I wasn't damaging my elbow by over extending. All this together made for what I thought was a powerful back fist and I appreciated the feedback the bag gave me.

Of course just because it smarts a bit doesn't mean that you're striking with the wrong part! My knuckles did redden (you can also use bag mits for this sort of training and certainly juniors shouldn't attack bags without adequate protection on their hands and feet and then again only lightly: their bodies are still growing and forming!) but this coupled with my own knowledge of how to strike made for a good exercise.

Strike well!


Dojo Rat said...

That's why when pro boxers get in street fights, they often break their hands. The fist can only take so much impact, which is why I've given a lot of thought to palm strikes to the head, fists to the body.
--Hey, you're on Dojo Rat today!

Littlefair said...

Get in!

Thanks DR! :-)
Fame at last.....!

I was pondering slapping to the face the other day as an alternative to punching and I think your policy is very sound! Also quite natural if your hands are up in a 'pleading' guard ('I don't want any trouble....BAM' style)

I also remember seeing this vid sometime ago:

An amazing SLAP knockout!

Interesting to note the slappers 'fence' with his hand to his shin (like Doshin So) and the slight move forward by the slapee which may have instigated this incredible strike.

Keep palming DR...

Ikigai said...

Yes I've heard that theory discussed before by a man named Bill Hayes. He would say 'soft to hard, hard to soft'. That means use soft style techniques (open hand palm for example) to hard targets like the skull, and hard strikes (closed fist) to soft targets like the groin / kidney.


Littlefair said...

Hey, nice piece of wisdom there Ikigai!

I think I've been drilled far too much into thinking you have to punch, punch, punch! ...but this idea of soft to hard, hard to soft is a real eye-opener for me. It's a good maxim to train by- thanks!

Meg said...

I'll have to start paying attention to the way I'm striking something or someone when we're doing our drills in class. It makes sense that you'd recognize how hard or soft that you're hitting someone. That's a good thing to pay attention to.

Thanks for this! I will have to look at this the next time I'm in class where we drill like that or when my Jujitsu friend at work comes back so I can practice with him.

Littlefair said...

Practice with him or on him Meg?
(Poor guy)