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Post by Internalfitness » Thu May 18, 2017 11:49 am

When I was learning the combat / defence side of tai chi I learned about the relaxed fist - namely how the fist stays quite loose and relaxed until the last little 'sneeze' when you finally tighten it and give it a little jerk forwards and up (also the basis of Bruce Lee's 1 inch punch I think). Equally I've seen some Korean calisthenic courses where they will do a slow push out to the sides for about 85-90% of the way, then do a sudden and powerful jerk to finish the move.

I can appreciate the explosiveness of the move, but I've always been a little wary of such jerking movements - anyone know the mechanics of the movement, and it's safety?


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Re: Jerk!

Post by David Gentle » Fri May 19, 2017 6:25 am

Peter Yates is the expert on this one. As an aside, i did find looking through an old Fairbourn book of how to use a match box held in the hand tight as a great weapon capable of killing your oponant. mind you , this was in a combat book for the war. David Genbtle
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Re: Jerk!

Post by Talbot » Fri May 19, 2017 8:36 am

Jerking movements? Perhaps it's your terminology here, however the increase of speed, and the extreme muscle contraction, at the end of the movement, are not supposed to be "jerking movements." Rather they should be smooth, precise transitions, with no jerking motions at all.

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Re: Jerk!

Post by sticksb » Fri May 19, 2017 8:54 am

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Re: Jerk!

Post by peter yates » Sat May 20, 2017 7:31 am

Hi Richie,
It seems as Talbot mentioned that it is a case of terminology and finding a way to describe the action. Anyway i will give my contribution on what i think you mean. First and foremost it is important to understand that a strike/punch does not come from the hand or arm but the whole body and generated from the feet, legs and waist. The hand closed or open is the transmission point of the force generated. In most of the so called "internal" arts short strikes are used and the whole body is mobilized behind the strike.In order for this to be effective there as to be A. a relaxed state both physically and mentally,B.connection of internal and external forces/energies,C.smooth coordinated movement.At the moment of impact there is a tensing of the body which must be released just as quickly,there should be no JERK but an EXPLOSION on impact.Well that was easy enough to write and easy enough to read i hope but certainly not easy to execute. Just imagine this has all to be done while you are in the heat of a conflict,another person is trying to do you harm and nano seconds are all you have to work with.Now it is all very good to see a demonstration were one guy holds a thick pad and another gets set and delivers the short strike and the guy with the pad goes flying backwards.What is wrong here is that no one is going to be standing waiting for you to hit them and is most likely on the offensive.So no time for any kind of set up,you will have to be moving and delivering almost simultaneously, no time for thought, it has to be instinctive. This as we can see can only come from years and years of CORRECT practice.That explosion at the end is not something you can choreograph or force but is something that happens because all of the necessary factors are in place,which as just mentioned takes time to develop.Another problem with the guy holding the pad flying backwards is that this type of reaction comes from a push which is a forced expression,not a natural one in which the aggressor would fold and drop on the spot. You can try this on an heavy bag by hitting it as hard as you can.In most cases it will move away from you.If you get it right it will buckle in the middle.Of course we see that boxers can do this because they have actually had to develop many of the same attributes need to execute explosive strikes and you will notice in many boxing match knockouts how the opponent folds and drops down were they are standing. I am not really sure if i have in fact answered your question and may have rambled on too long but it is not an easy subject to write about as there is much involved in combat that is not easy to describe.However jerky movements in combat are wasted energy, they may have some meaning in the exercise systems you mention but i am not sure. Just as an addition, Muscle Control practice will be a valuable aid to all martial arts practitioners.
Peter Yates

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