Bang! Bang! Bang!
More Bang! Bang!
I should not have shown my student how to do a penetrating punch on the shelter’s post. Now we are stuck here, in front of one of the metal posts supporting the shelter, our temporary striking dummy, learning how to align the body to hit hard.
The post is hard, unforgiving on the knuckles if you hit too hard. We are not trying to knock it down, just “tapping” and listening to the acoustics of what a proper punch sounded like as compared to the sound of a punch that pushed rather than exploded onto the target.
At the base level, a strong penetrating punch is a function of a properly, aligned, body getting the forces to converge on a singular target. It sounds easy but when I observed how my student punched some problems were obvious :-
a) The arm and body were not moving in-synch
b) The arm was rattling the wrong way, causing the force to be dispersed instead of concentrated
c) The fist was held wrongly; the curling motion when forming the fist just before striking was wrong
d) The arm-body positioning and alignment was wrong
e) Certain movements were excessive and not required, like this little flick of the wrist that I typically see Wing Chun practitioners do
In addition to the visual feedback, the sound of bones landing on the metal post helped to diagnose the impact that the punch was having. It was a good sounding board, giving good feedback as to whether the punching power was optimized.
Along the way, I pointed out why the Peng Quan that he had once learned isn’t correct. The mechanics were wrong, the principles were wrong, the optics were wrong, the sound was wrong.
When you get too many things wrong then the Peng Quan wouldn’t be the fabled technique that it was. I forgot if I mentioned the spear connection. I know I didn’t mention the Little Seven Star Fist in our Yang style Tai Chi Chuan that is a lot like Beng Quan.
We must have spent at least 20 minutes tapping the post. Fortunately, the folks upstairs didn’t complain. Whew………..