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Lv 6
Ymir asked in SportsMartial Arts · 9 years ago

Maximum transferal of force?

In a forward strike consisting of body weight in motion coupled with an extension of the arms, at what point should the body be from the target before straightening and generating muscle power through the arms to the impact zone?

For a visual aid, refer to :33 time slice

This is the closest and simplest example.

Instead of stepping to the target, as in the video, the question I am asking assumes you step beyond the target. Instead of the leading foot being in front of the target (bag in the video), it is half a foot or a foot beyond the target.

With this setup, what is the optimum distance between the chest and the target before you extend the arms for maximum transferal of force?


The system dynamics being assumed are Chinese kung fu, specifically low stances used by Tai Chi Chuan, based upon a "root" concept. The direction of force resistance is almost completely in the forwards direction. The feet are either placed in a 45 degree angle, top to top (horse stance facing to the right/left) or a slightly different variation is used. I believe ISDS is using a 90 degree angle on the back foot, with a 0 degree forward with the front foot.

That means that the force dynamics are different from boxing or muay thai. The back leg is designed to lock and funnel the force from the impact zone (fist or palm strike) to the ground. If the arm is extended too soon in attack before the body reaches the right spot, there might be balance and loss of power issues.

I'm looking for guidelines and concepts pertaining to this issue. The nexus between static arm strikes using fast twitch muscle movements and body weight power bases.

Update 2:

This may be repeating the obvious, but this isn't one of those commonly asked questions in the MA section. As a result, I would like many answers but know that I won't get many, if any.

Update 3:

To address some issues in the answers, I'm not thinking of a strike against a bag, light or heavy. It is true that bags are not functionally the same in terms of physics as a human body. The bag just happens to be part of the video. I'm applying it only with human vs human, no training armor or aid used at all.

Update 4:

The simplest case example would be a strike against the solar plexus with the palm heel, combined with the above listed attributes in my question.

Update 5:

The principles I get. I'm asking for actual applications. Meaning, practical limits and rules.

The question is not "how far away is the target" at a certain point. The question is "how far away should the target be before the initial hand strike is launched using arm muscles".

The body is already in motion with a forward motion. That is the control variable, what doesn't change. The changing variable is at what time is appropriate to launch the hand.

7 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You really opened a can of worms with this question. There is no simple answer. There are things that you stated that are both right in some cases, and wrong in others. It would take a book at the very least to untangle your questions and its different aspects. So no disrespect intended, but I don't think I'll even start on this subject. However, I will comment on something you mentioned. That being the term "root". We call it "rooting". bottom line here is that rooting is not always something that you do yourself. Rooting can mean to root yourself, or to root the attacker. We often root the attacker in order to control his options. I must also mention the opposite of rooting. That being "up-rooting". The easiest way to explain it is to say that all joint locks if done correctly either root the attacker, or up-root him. Example a lock causes the attacker to bend his knees lowering himself in an attempt to lessen the pain of a lock. A lock that up-roots the attacker is one that makes the attacker want to rise up on his toes to try to lessen the pain. All joint locks either root, or up-root the attacker. it is not obvious until after you step back and watch others training. Rooting and up-rooting can and is often used in striking as well.


    Source(s): Martial arts training and research over 43 years, (Since 1967). Teaching martial arts over 37 years, (Since 1973).
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  • Uguisu
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Ok, I'll attempt it, and I may be completely off because I'm having a hard time figuring where you're going with this...

    If you're leading foot is a half a foot to a foot beyond the target, the distance between your chest and target is going to be relative to your size, specifically the length of your legs and height of your stance. The deep stances used in training are meant as conditioning, not as fighting stances.

    The back leg is not simply a root, but also a push to begin the flow of energy from further away. The whole body coils and snaps forward across a short distance, accelerating the fist across a shorter vector with more energy.

    Remember you're looking at physics – specifically the transference of energy. The subject being struck is as important as the object doing the striking.

    Try to whittle away the excess and simplify the question a little. You seem to be going in multiple directions. Perhaps break it apart into a few questions and piece the answers together to find the first principle.

    Source(s): Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu
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  • possum
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    There isn't an easy answer, because much depends on factors such as the receiving medium (in your example, that would be the 65lb punching bag); the delivery medium (unpadded punch); and the support behind the delivery medium (a person of a particular mass); the delivery mechanism (straight punch); and the quality of the delivery medium (quality of technique).

    Because of these variables, it's best to start with a control, which is then modified by variables.

    So, without anything considered, the maximum transfer of force would be at the moment of impact. Without external forces, the bag would move at a speed related to the force used to apply it, and no more. Because a human is applying the force, then conditioning allows the possibility that force can be increased at or even after the moment of impact.

    But, a moderatly conditioned fighter against a heavy bag, and it is likely that the amount of force delivered after moment of impact is less - thereby making the moment of impact higher.

    If a padded punch were used, then there is greater dispersal and/or absorption of energy by the padding, lessening the applied force.

    If the receiving medium were human, then there is an increased perception of force - which, in a fighting context, can be just as important as the theoretical physics.

    If the delivery mechanism were a punch, then force X is applied over an area A. If delivery mechanisn were fingertip, then the same force X is applied over a smaller area A, with significant difference in effect depending if the receiving mechanism were human or a punching bag. Taking this magnification even more theoretical, suppose the delivery medium was a nail. Same force delivered over even smaller area: result is the bag is punctured with very little movement. The bag doesn't care; but if that were a human receving the blow, that would be devastating.

    A lighter bag, against a well conditioned fighter, means it is more likely that conditioning allows the force to increase even after moment of impact.

    Newton's laws of motion are absolute - but it doesn't mean we can't take advantage of them, or become victim to them. For instance, a straight punch offers an amount of force delivered at a vector. The point of contact is where the transfer of force is made. But, if the vector managed to change (that is, another force applied to that vector is made), then the amount of force delivered at the point of contact changes. That external force can come from the receiving medium itself. The bag will offer nothing more than its mass (65lbs - which is not truly is mass, but it is still easy to visualize) times 0 (if it's still). A fighter at 65lbs can move INTO the punch. The effect can be to lessen the delivery of force if the fighter were not able to take advantage of conditioning, or can be increase the delivery of force if the fighter were optimally conditioned. Of course, moving backward can lessen the impact in all cases - thereby relying strictly on physics.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    As a general rule, lead hand and lead leg techniques should lead out with the hand or foot.

    The hip and the weight follow the hand or foot.

    Rear hand or leg moves should follow the hip.

    Some of the specific mechanics involve the grey zone, right before your power dissipates into the ground. Your maximum power is when you are in between an arm-punch and a push.

    You have to find out for yourself how to get the grey zone mastered.

    A good drill is to practice kicks and punches in a swimming pool.

    see wong or bustillo jkd videos on you tube.

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  • 9 years ago

    This style is very similar to the one I practice ( Southern Praying Mantis) your strikes need to come as you settle into your stance. Keep your hand and muscles loose until just before contact tighten your arm inside of him so to speak your punch ends in his back. Palm strikes are similar except you pull you fingers back and push your palm up into the chest always dropping your weight you can do a good palm strike like this from the length of your fingers,

    With this style your fingers are the measure of distance your strike starts as your arm is almost extended and shoulders rolled forward. as soon as you can graze with your fingers you can strike never pulling your arm back beyond the length of your fingers. Use the dropping of the chi in your stance to increase power and speed. remember to breathe with each strike.

    Source(s): 9 Years southern praying mantis
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  • 4 years ago

    Bart broke it down pretty well. The only thing I would add is to push down with your rear foot as you punch. Try this: get in a punching stance near a wall. Extend your fist 3/4 out and press it against the wall. Then, push your fist into the wall hard - you will have to push with your rear foot to keep from pushing yourself backward. This pushing off your rear foot is how you generate maximum power with a punch. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to set your feet and punch with perfect form in a fight, but the more you train, the more automatic it will become.

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  • idai
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    Hi there

    Footwork, spinework then handwork. Simples!

    Or you could get the calculator out to work it out? lol

    How do you calculate a feeling? If youre thinking about it your dead!

    Best widai

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