Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hit Me! Hit Me! No ...

Now and again in silat class, I get paired with a newbie and I sometimes find myself offering how-to information that skips ahead too far.

This is perhaps understandable because nearly all of the students in our class came from another art; most of them had previous training in something, and much of what you find in one art is common to other fighting disciplines. A fist is a fist, right?

This isn't always the case, and you need to know that.

If you are going to start talking about combinations of technique -- punch here, elbow there -- it behooves you to know if the person to whom you are talking knows what a punch or elbow is, in the context you are offering it. So I have realized that I need to backtrack and get to the nitty-gritty.

First questions go to basics: Do you have any training in any kind of martial art? Do you know how to make a fist? How to punch?

These two videos address that, in my own bumbling way ...

First, the fist:




Then, the punch:


10 comments:

taintmonger said...

I was going to make a Narnia joke pertaining to your backdrop of choice there, but I don't want to get punched.

Bobbe Edmonds said...

Careful with those popping actions, Steve.

A man of your age is liable to pop something out of joint...Or off completely.

Steve Perry said...

I appreciate the concern, Kid, but a man my age? Can't do those popping actions, so not to worry.

Some guy said...

Hi. Nothing to do with anything but I wanted to thank you for recommending Meditations on Violence, even though I'm only part way through it. I'm the cliche armchair martial artist who probably spends ten times as much time reading about the stuff as practicing it, and this book definitely helps clue me in as to the grislier and less hypeful realities. Thanks.

Dan Moran said...

Interesting fist. This is not how they Taught Me Back in the Day ... I tried making a fist that way; it feels like I'd break the index finger trying to hit through a target like that.

Steve Perry said...

Never had that problem, Dan. I have, over the years doing open-handed stuff, jammed various fingers, and my left thumb in particular. Called Gamekeeper's Thumb, or Skier's Thumb, or as an old policeman in Louisiana once told me, Billy Club Thumb. The proximal joint -- base of the thumb -- and as a result the connective tissue there is scarred enough so I can sprain that thumb pulling a sock off. I keep it taped when I whack things with my hands -- I even put up a primer on how to do so, and that helps.

But I find that if I do that sun-fist, the action of wrapping my thumb around the forefinger helps stabilize the thumb better and results in a tighter fist over all.

Steve Perry said...

Might as well add in the two sayings about hitting things with your hands: Big bone beats little bone; and you hit hard-to-soft and soft-to-hard.

If you want to keep your hands intact.

Basically, hitting big bone -- like a skull -- with a little bone -- like those in your hand -- is not the best idea. Nose is okay, throat, even the chin, but an open hand against the head is better for your own safety.

Likewise, a punch to the solar plexus achieves the hard-to-soft ratio.

Think of it like this: A fully-grown man's head weighs around twelve pounds. Imagine you have a bowling ball perched on a table, covered with, say, a dish towel. How hard do you want to punch that using your fist?

Dan Moran said...

Yeah, I have a pinky that never healed right and a sunken knuckle from doing that. I did get smart eventually (heh ... smarter, anyway) ... I have wierdly assymetrical injuries -- broken right foot, right ankle, broken right leg, tore off the right kneecap, four broken ribs on right side, a variety of cracked fingers, blown right eye. All a coincidence, I think ...

The only bad thing ever happened to the left side of my body was me hitting a guy in the side of the head with my left. I got a sunken knukle and pinkie that healed crooked from that.

Dan Moran said...

Also, sometimes when I get to the end of a post, I can't fucking remember what I posted at the beginning.

Steve Perry said...

Guy goes to the doctor, and the doctor says, I have bad news. You have cancer and Alzheimer's.

Guy looks at the doctor, says, Well, at least I don't have Alzheimer's ...