15 Oct 2007
Dan-gun: Speed & Power of the Lead Jab
Once again, this image is not me. I've got longer hair!
Drills from Dan-gun I suppose if I talk about a front jab or round house punch with the lead hand, I'm referring to drills that I do linked with our second form Dan-gun. This is the instance after the first shuto where you extend your left hand and then do a head high punch with the right.
Lead Punch Jab Drill The last session ended off with a drill hitting the target (an open hand) with a lead punch jab. The back hand was held high to cover the face and the elbow of the jabbing hand was rotated so that the elbow was equal height with the punching hand. It's easy enough to send the hand out and strike the target, but to get any speed you need to relax the arm, send it out, and retract it fast. Once you get speed, then you can focus on the power of the punch. To get power, we focus on the rotation of the shoulders.
Common Mistakes - the Kihon Kata Koma Syndrome Look at most of the students doing this front jab, their power is curtailed by the first drill they do in my school - the lunge punch or oizuke. The lunging motion is important, but the oizuke is driven from the linear acceleration of the legs. The entire body is a battering ram.
Troubleshooting the Punch For the lead jab however, the rotational force of the shoulders drives the power. Just thinking of the lead hand shooting out and back is not sufficient. One quick trick is to punch but look backwards away from the target. This forces the reverse shoulder to swing back and sends circumfrential force right into the lead hand. Once you get the shoulders to work for you then you of course look forward when you strike the target. Make sure the hips are supporting the movement. Draw a straight line from the right head of femur (the corner of the hip) to your target. So long as the hip is traveling one or two inches toward the target, you're set!
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