Please take a look at Articles on self-defense/conflict/violence for introductions to the references found in the bibliography page.

Please take a look at my bibliography if you do not see a proper reference to a post.

Please take a look at my Notable Quotes

Hey, Attention on Deck!

Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!

When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:

I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me

I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me

I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull

I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death

I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed

I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes

I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados

I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers

The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn

Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung


The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated. - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources (this applies to this and other blogs by me as well; if you follow the idea's, advice or information you are on your own, don't come crying to me, it is all on you do do the work to make sure it works for you!)

“You should prepare yourself to dedicate at least five or six years to your training and practice to understand the philosophy and physiokinetics of martial arts and karate so that you can understand the true spirit of everything and dedicate your mind, body and spirit to the discipline of the art.” - cejames (note: you are on your own, make sure you get expert hands-on guidance in all things martial and self-defense)

“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne

Search This Blog

The Corkscrew Punch

In Isshinryu the twist punch or what some call the corkscrew punch was mostly removed for what appeared to be a more efficient and "natural" method of punching and striking with the fist. This is about why the twist punch is of value and may still be an Isshinryu technique even if the Isshinryu practitioners are not aware that it is still in use.

When you visualize a twist punch most see the fist at the waist and as the strike begins and ends there is a spiraling or twisting action all the way through its path and to the target. This is simplistic and in violation of the fundamental principles of martial systems in that this teaching method, a very valuable tool for any sensei, is for novices who have yet to realize the true nature of principles for the sake of the learning process. 

Even the Isshinryu vertical punch for beginners starts at the mid section and processes up and into the target. This too falls into the same space as the twist punch described above except that when explaining its value and efficiency over the twist punch you remove the process of the rotation and spiraling moves into a more direct line that it seems the vertical punch is more efficient but that is misleading. 

Let me clarify, the vertical punch is more efficient than the twist punch but as to its value outside of a teaching tool for beginners it is still way below what is necessary to adhere to and apply the fundamental principles of martial systems. Just take as an example the time it takes to reach a target. The hand/fist still has to travel from the waist to the target. While the twist and spiraling motion is removed the distance remains the same. Removal tends to add more speed but that is still insufficient in a real fight. It ignores what principles are needed for power for what looks and feels right. The crux here is learning something without the benefit of sensei having experienced, and remembered adequately, the real fight. 

Now, to truly understand that both are of value and both adequate is to understand what is misunderstood and missing from using a twist punch. Think of complex forces as they benefit how power is applied when all other principles a in line. In reality the sub-principle of "spiraling" teaches us that most often the twist/corkscrew punch is taught incorrectly and that the vertical fist punch is often taught the same, i.e. without the complex force of a truly applied twisting/spiraling motion. 


The most obvious demonstration of this principle is the "twist-punch/corkscrew-punch." The critical element of this technique and any other spiraling techniques used is when the actual spiraling action occurs and that is during impact. The fist, wrist and forearm must rotation during impact, it has to penetrate as the fist spirals into the target. Normally, martial artists work to penetrate about one to two inches but others have the practitioner focus on striking the other side of the bodies target point. 

In addition, some rotation must occur post-impact. When one says "impact" this means when the fist first encounters the actual target on the adversary. Even if the spiraling begins just before we have to ensure that some of it actually occurs after the impact. Take into consideration the principle of economic motion for a twist/corkscrew punch using to much spiraling can result in wrist injuries. 

Joint locks also benefit from spiraling motions. You can witness more of this sub-principle in Small Circle Jujitsu or what the author of "The Book of Marital Power" says should be "Small Spiral Jujitsu." 

Avoid that spiraling arc you see when a novice tries a corkscrew punch/strike. The path that the punch takes does not need to spiral, it does not add any power to that strike/punch as that decreases power at impact. It is most efficient to turn the fist, wrist, forearm on the radial axis (Radial Principle). 

In other areas the spiral is also part and parcel to the other principles that nature uses in all life. Spiraling or the spiral pattern is found everywhere, i.e. look at the branches and bark of a tree and you will find that it spirals, when you look at pictures of the other galaxies you will see many, if not most, forming a spiral pattern and the path that the earth and moon follow traveling through the universe forms a spiral - the moon forms a spiral pattern as it rotates around the earth while the earth travels through the universe. 

Think spiral or helix and this also relates to how both centrifugal and centripetal forces work, another set of principles. 

As you can understand from the excerpt above if both types of punch are applied correctly you no longer have a twist/corkscrew punch and you don't truly have an exclusive vertical punch. The vertical punch and corkscrew punch, for certain tactics and techniques, are actually one in the same. You use a vertical punch model to apply that punch faster, not from the waist either, and then you apply the true twist/spiral motion at the point of impact. You twist/spiral for a very subtle way at the the point impact and into the target. 

The times you may not actually twist is when you apply other complex forces such as carving and shearing or both. After all, everything is more about a cumulation of things as the need to fully benefit from principles by applying all principles as "one" whole and holistic application of martial arts. 

No comments: