Punch retraction

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Punch retraction

Postby dspyrido on Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:21 pm

Bhassler wrote:By developing a strong, explosive, and efficient retraction, you're also improving the ability to safely throw the limb out there in the first place.

Or you could do something wacky, like using some kind of trained body motion to project force to the limbs without relying upon local musculature in a way that needs oppositional control (i.e. retraction) to prevent injury, but I digress...


Makes sense as a teaching tool. People starting out might not naturally retract so emphasising it will help to teach whippy impact. Perhaps a teaching tool that got lost in translation to create a view that emphasising pull back faster creates more power ... it does for a beginner that does not know how to punch.

Also to add to the why retracting list:

4. Pull back to strike in the opposite direction. In 5 elements xy with wood the pulling back arm is emphasised/visualised with a rear elbow impact.

This does open up a #5 which is cantilevering but this makes more sense in weapons.
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Re: Punch retraction

Postby LaoDan on Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:36 pm

Bhassler wrote:It may also be a training artifact. The body has numerous mechanisms to protect itself from flailing about and causing injury. The muscles used to retract a punch are the same ones used to act as brakes if the punch misses-- and the nervous system doesn't know that a punch is a punch, it just knows that the arm is being thrown out quickly and it better be able to deal with the consequences of that.

By developing a strong, explosive, and efficient retraction, you're also improving the ability to safely throw the limb out there in the first place.

Or you could do something wacky, like using some kind of trained body motion to project force to the limbs without relying upon local musculature in a way that needs oppositional control (i.e. retraction) to prevent injury, but I digress...

Sorry that this is off the topic of punch retraction, but the above quote brought up the following for me.

I have been wondering about human evolutionary muscle development and the implications for martial arts (especially TJQ), but there does not seem to be clear research evidence for many of the questions that have come up for me when looking into this topic. Does anyone know of scientific studies that examine the “protective” or “inhibitory” mechanisms thought to exist to protect humans from muscle usage damage?

It certainly seems like humans have difficulty using full strength and power. This is brought up anecdotally with the stories of emergency use of strength to lift a car off of a child, or the greater muscle activation when under a strong electric shock, or the presumed greater strength per body mass shown by chimps and other great apes, etc. for example. But why would we so inhibit ourselves when the other great apes (e.g., chimps) seem to have more capability to be “full on” when exerting their strength.

Here are some unconfirmed speculations: Human children are closer to the “full on” approach that other great apes use, but we learn fine control and precision as we develop (this aids in tool use, the ability to use precise and finely graded movements, etc.). This development includes a greater percentage of slow-twitch fiber content in humans than in other great apes. Is the greater percentage of slow-twitch muscle somehow inhibiting the full usage of the fast-twitch muscles? It also seem that humans recruit the smaller and more efficient slow-twitch muscles for tasks, prior to recruiting the larger fast-twitch muscle fiber bundles when the smaller muscle groups are not sufficient for the task. Could this progressive recruitment of muscles contribute the seeming lack of ability for humans to utilize more of their muscle power during normal activities? Does the slow-twitch fiber content aid in fine and precision control of our muscles, but at the expense of the explosive power that can be generated by fast-twitch muscle fibers? Adding muscle mass (bulking up) appears to primarily involve increasing the fast-twitch muscles, but at the expense of tiring quicker (the fast-twitch muscles are anaerobic and produce lactic acid as a byproduct...). Adding fast-twitch muscles may be good for increasing one’s power and explosiveness, but would not be good for a marathon runner, for example. There seems to be a trade off [note that sport fighting formats seem to favor fast-twitch power athletes who exert effort over relatively short bouts with breaks in between bouts in order to recover from the previous bout’s exertions and to be ready for the next round – the formats are generally not ones that favor those who possess greater endurance instead of power].

TJQ appears to primarily train the slow-twitch muscles, but these develop much slower than muscle mass from bulking up one’s fast-twitch musculature. Since humans have evolved to posses a higher slow-twitch muscle content than other great apes, the efficiency and endurance provided by this difference can be speculatively explained as being beneficial for humans (being able to tire a prey that has greater burst speed than we do and can easily sprint away from a human, but tires more over time when continuously being pursued). But why inhibit whatever power we still retain from the explosive fast-twitch muscles? Can athletes train to overcome any apparent “inhibitory” mechanisms so that they can strike with more power? Are the mechanics of a jab “unnatural” for humans (and other great apes), and therefore more prone to injury consequentially requiring measures to prevent injury, than striking with “flailing” arms would be? Are TJQ and other martial arts that refer to tendon and ligament strength, rather than the muscles, developing power differently than the typical fast-twitch power and explosiveness, but still is capable of producing power by some other mechanism? If so, then what is that mechanism? Does it have something to do with the slow-twitch muscles? If so, then how?

I do not know. There are so many questions that I have not yet found clear answers for.
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Re: Punch retraction

Postby Yeung on Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:21 am

suckinlhbf wrote:
instead of answering the question you move to the problem of the shockwaves

Sorry. My thought didn't come in the right way.

The saying is in the stretch-recoil cycle. It permeates in most of the styles like Silk reeling jin in Taichi, 5 element fists in Xingyi, Shi li in Yiquan, Grind the bean curd in WingChun, Move the bridge in HungKuen......etc. It is not the shockwaves can do, and the shockwaves can cause huge problems to the body if execute using upper body.


Thank you for your suggestion, maybe we should have a look at "move the bridge" in Hongquan:
Image
Basically there are two methods, the first one is contract the arms as hard as possible and then stretch them out, and the other one is to stretch out the arms as much as possible. In both case the elbows are pointing downward, any comment from practitioners?
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Re: Punch retraction

Postby Subitai on Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:33 pm

C.J.W. wrote:In many northern styles, the two arms are considered as one (connected through the back or 'tongbei'), and there's a yin/yang relationship between them.

THIS from what CJW said ......
"So when one arm is retracted, the other arm should extend with equal speed and power. This means that by retracing a punch quickly, you are also adding more speed and power to the arm that is going out."


For peets sake... it's basic martial arts!
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Re: Punch retraction

Postby C.J.W. on Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:51 pm

Subitai wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:In many northern styles, the two arms are considered as one (connected through the back or 'tongbei'), and there's a yin/yang relationship between them.

THIS from what CJW said ......
"So when one arm is retracted, the other arm should extend with equal speed and power. This means that by retracing a punch quickly, you are also adding more speed and power to the arm that is going out."


For peets sake... it's basic martial arts!


Sure is -- but it gets deep. Not to mention that most people don't do it right and do not understand it's significance in not just striking but also grappling. ;)
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Re: Punch retraction

Postby Yeung on Wed Oct 07, 2020 5:54 am

Just comparing the whip cracking world records of Nathen Grigg in 2017, with one whip is 359 and with two whips is 697. This sort of proved that the speed of a punch does not improved by the retraction of the other arm.
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Re: Punch retraction

Postby Quigga on Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:02 am

When boxers keep their right hand up as a guard and jab with the left, they do not retract and extend respectively.

Nor is the speed of retraction something you would neccessarily need to actively apply in fighting as in grabbing something, hitting a second time on the way back or to protect yourself.

The entire body is the whip. You want to release some force through the limb. Stretching is contracting and contracting is stretching. The punching or releasing motion doesn't end at the point of contact.

DK Yoo is pretty good at this. You can practice by hitting a single towel or newspaper hanging in the air and trying to get to neutral position as quick as possible. Punch, throwing out force is one thing; then comes relax into stretch, letting it flow in the opposite direction inside the limb.
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Re: Punch retraction

Postby suckinlhbf on Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:46 am

the first one is contract the arms as hard as possible and then stretch them out, and the other one is to stretch out the arms as much as possible

I saw most of people in the younger generation do the first one, and the older guys do the second. Maybe the old guy cannot hold on for long and I prefer to do the second one.
the speed of a punch

Newton's first law: Force = Mass x acceleration. Newton's second law: Momentum = Mass x velocity.
The speed of a punch suggests it is a constant value from the starting point to the ending point. It would fall in the regime of momentum. If the speed of a punch changes once it lands on the body, it could be a Force. One step further, it could be an acceleration or deceleration from the moment of touching to entering the body. And there could be an acceleration or deceleration as well when the punch is retracted.
When we punch, do we use Force or Momentum? Which should we use? Any comment?
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Re: Punch retraction

Postby oragami_itto on Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:51 pm

suckinlhbf wrote:Newton's first law: Force = Mass x acceleration. Newton's second law: Momentum = Mass x velocity.
When we punch, do we use Force or Momentum? Which should we use? Any comment?


Force and momentum are properties of a body, you don't use one or the other, they're both just quantifiable.

All you've really got to work with is how much mass is hooked up into the body that you're trying to accomplish work with. A flicking finger, a swinging limb, an entire human body?
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Re: Punch retraction

Postby Bao on Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:59 pm

LaoDan wrote:Are TJQ and other martial arts that refer to tendon and ligament strength, rather than the muscles, developing power differently than the typical fast-twitch power and explosiveness, but still is capable of producing power by some other mechanism? If so, then what is that mechanism? Does it have something to do with the slow-twitch muscles? If so, then how?

I do not know. There are so many questions that I have not yet found clear answers for.


Muscle force refers to unrefined use of strength. It’s the way a common person punches without training. Or with training it uses the same “dumb” mechanics. To use the tendons, the joints need to open up and stretch without muscle tension interfering the movement. I.e. you need to relax when you punch. You must be able to align the limb properly and maintain the relaxed mode upon impact. The result of the trained mechanics is jin. If you tense up, you replace your jin with Li.

suckinlhbf wrote:Newton's first law: Force = Mass x acceleration. Newton's second law: Momentum = Mass x velocity.
When we punch, do we use Force or Momentum? Which should we use? Any comment?


I am not good at explaining things using physics, but from my understanding you actually don’t “use“ either force or momentum. Those are the results of use, not what you actually use. Force is the result of accelerating. Momentum is the result of maintaining a high speed in a specific direction. Mass is what you already have, so you only need to think about acceleration and maintaining the fist in movement. In Chinese methods, the body is taught to maintain the movement by stretching and relaxing into the target while maintaining it’s speed. This type of jin is designed to facilitate both force and momentum. Many other methods focus on build up force, but lack the momentum.
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Re: Punch retraction

Postby suckinlhbf on Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:10 pm

you don't use one or the other, they're both just quantifiable.

The goal of throwing a punch is to hurt. Both force and momentum are quantifiable. And how to get the most out of a punch with in efficiency and effectiveness. Force or momentum, or combination of both, or their relative proportion.
All you've really got to work with is how much mass is hooked up into the body that you're trying to accomplish work with

Well, there are two parts in the formula, and it is a multiple. Able to change anyone of it helps.
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Re: Punch retraction

Postby oragami_itto on Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:32 pm

suckinlhbf wrote:
you don't use one or the other, they're both just quantifiable.

The goal of throwing a punch is to hurt. Both force and momentum are quantifiable. And how to get the most out of a punch with in efficiency and effectiveness. Force or momentum, or combination of both, or their relative proportion.


Is a stop sign red or octagonal?
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Re: Punch retraction

Postby suckinlhbf on Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:38 pm

red or octagonal

If I understand it correctly, "red" is color and "octagonal" is a shape. Is a stop sign color or shape? The stop sign is to let somebody know to stop. As long as it serves the purpose, it works. Red in color is so happened to be the universal color to use so people know. The shape may not be octagonal at the traffic light. I think to better serve the purpose is the goal.
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Re: Punch retraction

Postby suckinlhbf on Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:25 pm

Mass is what you already have, so you only need to think about acceleration and maintaining the fist in movement

Yes, we already have our mass. How much of our mass can get involve in the movement is a question. Again yes, we need to maintain the fist in motion. And how to move the fist to break a rib or to damage an organ without breaking the rib is another question. When I learnt to throw a punch to the head, we learnt how to shake the jelly in the head with the punch. Of course, it started with hitting the head and is more than just a punch. The old guys said "only hit after the hand can touch the body". There is a lot to happen to make that simple punch.
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Re: Punch retraction

Postby marvin8 on Wed Oct 07, 2020 5:52 pm

suckinlhbf wrote:Newton's first law: Force = Mass x acceleration. Newton's second law: Momentum = Mass x velocity.
The speed of a punch suggests it is a constant value from the starting point to the ending point. It would fall in the regime of momentum. If the speed of a punch changes once it lands on the body, it could be a Force. One step further, it could be an acceleration or deceleration from the moment of touching to entering the body. And there could be an acceleration or deceleration as well when the punch is retracted.
When we punch, do we use Force or Momentum? Which should we use? Any comment?

The following article says we should use both force and momentum.

Excerpts from "THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE PUNCH:"

Boxing Science wrote:
• A hard punch occurs when you’re able to generate a lot of force in a short space of time.
• At impact, a hard punch has a lot of ‘snap’. To get snap you’ll need to create something called ‘effective mass’.
• How hard you punch isn’t fixed. It can be trained by developing technique and physical training.


Image

... SO YOU CAN MAKE A PUNCH HARDER BY GENERATING MORE MOMENTUM – YOU CAN EITHER BE AN ELEPHANT OR A ROCKET.

Since momentum is the mass of an object multiplied by its velocity if we improve one, we can improve momentum.

But being a boxer usually means you have to compete at a particular weight. That means unless you’re a heavyweight it’s difficult to make you into an elephant.

But you can be a rocket.

And since hand speed is an important component in how hard you punch we’re on to a winner.

INCREASE YOUR ‘SNAP’ WITH EFFECTIVE MASS

To have a truly effective you’ll need the ‘snap’ at the end of your punch.

This is what’s known as ‘effective mass’, where the whole-body creates a brief stiffening upon impact, this occurs mainly in the arm, shoulders and core.

When you deliver a punch at the target, you’ll use the momentum created when generating the action and the addition of the snap to produce force at the target site. This creates impulse (force x time). If you generate a lot of impulse you’ll be able to transfer that to the target site and create momentum.

That target site being your opponents head, arms or torso. The greater the momentum, the greater the potential for your punch to be effective.

And all of this means a harder punch.

Image

So we need Force, Speed and ‘The Snap’ for a harder punch.

Force, speed and ‘snap’ are the three basic physical elements required for an effective punch that take no talent to master.


These physical qualities that can be trained and improved through strength and conditioning.

Image
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