Chapter 11 : Bruce Lee's One Inch Punch
I believe Bruce Lee’s One Inch Punch to be one of the most important and functional things a person can train. I also believe that the One Inch Punch is the most overrated and least affective tool in martial arts. All though these statements appear paradoxically they can indeed co-exist. When one throws any punch or series of punches for the very first time, they will have a proclivity to wind up, exaggerate, be off balance, and have no body mechanics. Conversely as that person puts in more time training and improving their punches, there will be absolutely positively no telegraph at all. Additionally each punch that is thrown, will have the full force and weight behind it. Now as that very same person, puts in even more time and gets even better the actual extension and trajectories of all of the punches will get smaller and tighter. Picture starting off boxing somebody, with a 3 foot head. And then after a few years they have a two foot head, then a one foot head. Pretty soon as this individual escalates into the professional ranks, the trajectories of his punches could vary from several feet, to as tight as several inches. Therefore, “if we back are way in on this problem” so to speak and work Bruce Lee’s one inch punch first we would indeed be emphasizing and working the same muscle kinesiology as our pro boxer. Simply put the attributes gained from training the one inch punch, can directly transpose themselves and even turbo charge one’s regular punches.
So for these aforementioned reasons Dan Inosanto stressed with me over the years just why it is so important to learn the one inch punch. Ironically enough, too have the ability to hit somebody hard from an inch away is about as helpful in a street fight as being able to guess their birthday. Think about it. If you are battling some person bent on your destruction when and how would your fist attempt to punch their face, stop at exactly one inch and then continue the deadly one inch punch. Once you are an inch from someone’s face, most likely you have already hit them. When Bruce Lee came to America he spent much time and effort demonstrating his art of Jeet Kune Do through sparring. And when doing so, 95% of the time would end up straight blasting his opponents. Subsequent questions, after his many demonstrations always came from Karate people, saying the same thing. “Yeah but, you maybe hitting this guy, but since you are not “chambering on the hip, there is no power behind the punches”, and Bruce being Bruce decided to intercept that question by adding an addendum to his demo. This time after he sparred, and straight blasted his opponents into the next zip code, he did a subsequent demo. And asked someone in the audience to hold a phone book on their chest, and Bruce proclaimed that he was going to strike this person from an inch away. After a couple snickers and a few eye roles, Bruce would launch his punch. The demo partner would go flying backward 3 feet, slam into a chair and be toppled over. And the phone book would go flying off in the other direction at 90 miles an hour. From that point on no one in the audience ever questioned the power of Bruce’s short range punches again. Until next week !
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