Reverse Snap Punch on a Makiwara

Guess what this sound is, my brothers.

BNK!-rrr. BNK!-rrr. BNK!-rrr.

The first 'BNK!' is only the sound that my reverse snap punch makes when hitting the makiwara (actually it's not a real makiwara, but a cheapo wall-mounted striking target) in my garage.

The second sound 'rrr'? Why, that's only the sound of the garage as my punch vibrates its single brick walls.

I've posted on this before, but working with this particular punch is one of the best things to happen to me in my black belt years. It's how I'd like everything I am practicing to proceed - more power through technique and through less effort. The reverse snap punch indeed starts with the knees, legs and the hips. The hip twist movement is then transmitted through solid core muscle tension and tight lats. The lats hold the upper extremities close to the upper body in order to benefit from the increased body mass. Letting the punching arm leave the body and have freedom of motion only reduces striking power as it is driven by shoulder, pectoralis muscles, and arm muscles.

I have not yet installed a real makiwara. Even the martial arts supply shop guy thought I was half-mad throwing any sort of power onto the wall-mounted striking post he sold me. So I really try to restrain myself to keep those arthritic knuckles at bay! But this punch rocks, baby!


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Tom said…
Nice post. The reverse punch is a great technique for learning how to tie movements together. I love that feeling when students move beyond reaching out with their fist and linking it together with their hip so that the technique explodes outward.

I prefer to use a heavy bag for reverse punch though. I have sensitive knuckles. :)
Colin Wee said…
About a year ago I was working on my el-cheapo striking target - and missed the reverse punch a little to the side. Let me tell you, the knuckles on my right hand hurt for 8 months ... and only stopped hurting when I went for acupuncture treatment ($60 per pop times 5 ... ouch!). So there's great wisdom in using a heavy bag.

When do you teach the reverse punch?

Potatoe Fist said…
At our class we learn the reverse almost immediately, but it's one of those things were you learn it quickly and it takes a lifetime to master. I'll have moments where I know it's working and then the next day it's back to step one to make everything crack.
Colin Wee said…
My experience? I learned the reverse when I was about 15 years old. But it was never taught to me correctly and I have dismissed it as a lightweight technique for many many years. This is one of the reasons why I think that the validity of martial arts lessons need to be revisited for younger students as they mature. No point in equipping them with facsimiles of techniques. Colin
MARKS said…
Very true, the reverse punch can be extremly effect if used correctly, regarding twisting of the hips and shoulders on the punch. Great website by the way, let me know if you would to exchange links!
Colin Wee said…
Hey Marks. Great to see TDA Training here at my blog! I see we've already done the link exchange - too efficient! BTW - TDA Training ROCKS. Best regards for 2008. Colin

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