I am 5'7" barely and about 72kgs. There is an upper limit to my ability to punch an opponent. If I wanted to compare using the same punching dynamics as I was taught as a young black belt, I would be outpunched by almost any MMA, gym, or wannabe streetfighter junkie.
The fact of the matter is that it's not that the roundhouse punch is 'bad' - it's a good punch. It's a popular punch. But as punches go, if I use shoulder rotation to swing, irrespective of how rooted I am into the ground, I will need loads more shoulder muscles, arm muscles, and upper body strength so that I can throw more mass into the swing, and land it.
Using traditional training equipment however I noticed that the punching dynamics were way different from modern type punching. The arm was closer to the body, and as I pulsed the movement from the legs up to the hips and through the arm, I noticed that I could bypass the weaker shoulder muscles. Essentially I was throwing more weight into it because I was tapping into the larger muscles of my beer gut and legs.
All that was needed was the coordination, and a way of holding my arm so that the transmission of power was much more effective. I practiced and practiced, and soon discovered that I could generate a lot of power. The best thing is that I barely felt like I was doing much - as I hit that post I could hear my entire garage vibrate with the force of the strike. In truth, I was scared that I was hitting the target so hard - one slip was all it would take to break my wrist. But more than that, I was hitting the target to the point where I felt like I was at risk of hurting the bones on my striking hand and certainly the surface of the knuckles.
The incident which I mention in the above video happened for real - I was intoxicated with the sheer amount of force I got levy on that post that I was again at it AND missed. And I only missed the centre by about an inch. Maybe less. The knuckle sheered on the surface and immediately I got a sharp stinging pain that went through the dull ache that was already there.
I stopped punching with the right hand and started with the left - being a little more judicious with the striking force ... mostly. I tried to nurse the right hand by rubbing voltaren and Chinese kung fu liniment to no avail. 3 months. 6 months. 9 months passed. The medication and the massage was not helping.
I eventually went to see an old Chinese acupuncturist who laughed at my folly and my misfortune. However, in his defence ... he was able to cure me miraculously. It's true, he cured my problem with his needles in under 5 sessions. Now - as you can see - I advocate more wisdom in the way practitioners should use the striking post.
I've taken the initiative to include a video of a wall mounted makiwara affixed to a tyre - and that tyre being held for training. I think that's a brilliant idea. My only suggestion there is to make sure the wood frame backing is robust enough. Most el cheapo of the striking posts you buy, made in china, have compressed wood backing - which would just disintegrate. What I didn't like was the example of how they hit the makiwara in the end. For some really sharp makiwara practice, see ...
If you are inspired to make your own equipment, see Traditional Taekwondo Ramblings How to Make Your Own Training Equipment; Tire Makiwara.
Lastly, I'll leave you with one of students Sandy learning how to hit the makiwara.
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
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