National Korean Martial Arts Association

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The following training outline will help explain the mechanics of a punch. This tool is meant for begineers and teachers of the Martial Arts. This article is not meant for individuals who are not being trained by an experienced teacher or instructor of the Martial Arts. Proper implemenatation and application of this technique should always be guided by a trained professional.
The punch (Chung-Gwan in Korean) is one of the most basic and improperly taught technique taught in the Martial Arts world yet it is the most used technique. We will be discussing the dynamic application and technique of performing a proper frontal punch.
When starting to learn the proper movements of the hand, wrist, arm, and shoulder it is improtant to focus on these areas thus we will not be focused on the stances or posture in the first section of material.

Start by completely opening your hand by extending fingers and thumb. Curl the tips of your fingers twards the palm of your hand. Try not to allow any space be formed between your fingers and palm (The tighter-the better). As the fingers are rolled into the palm try to create a 90 degree agle between your third knuckle and the top of your hand. This angle is important to prevent the set of third knukels from striking a target. When the fingers are tightly closed into the palm, place your thumb over the second knuckles of your index and middle finger. It is important to place the thumb tightly in this position to stregthen the fist and to prevent the thumb from being torn from the hand by being caught on an object. You have now made a fist.

Stand in an upright relaxed position with feet shoulder width apart. place both fists, with palm facing up, along side of your hip bones. Imagine a target in front of you in the center of your body at a height equal to the location of your middle of your sternum (where your ribs come together in the front part of your chest). Slowly extend your right fist in a straight line twards that target. As you extend your fist twards the target start to rotate your wrist over when the arm is approximately 3/4 of the way fully extended. When the arm is fully extended the fist should fully rotated with the palm facing down.
It is important to NOT lock your elbow when the arm is fully extended, always keep a slight bend in the elbow to prevent shocking and damaging the joint (tennis elbow).
It is also important to keep your shoulders square or parrallel to the target. This prevents over extension of the shoulder joint (pitchers arm). follow a straight line to the target.

Now we can use the synergistic movements of both arms to create a more fluid and efficient strike.
With the right fist extended, duplicate the extension of the right fist with the left fist while reversing the right fist.
Visualize a rope wrapped around each wrist and wound behind you so that when you move one arm your other arm will be forced in the opposite direction.
The rotation of the wrist will be opposite and simultaneous to each other.
Repeat this drill several times slowly while concentration on the rotaion of the wrists and extention of the arms in tandom.

Now that we have the movement of the wrists and arms under control it is time to learn about the alignment of the wrist and striking knuckles.
If an object is propelled at an angle towards you it will be deflected off of you at a similar angle. This is also true with joints/linkages. If the bones of the wrist are not properly aligned with the bones of the hand (knuckles) and the hand strikes an object the weakest link will submit, either the object or the wrist, preferably the object.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with body in an upright relaxed position.
Extend one arm out with a fist with the top of the hand facing up. The other hand should be at your waist in a fist with the top of the hand facing down.
Slowly extend your fist in a straight line towards the imaginary target you have already choosen. As you extend the fist at your waist towards the target, simultaneously pull the extended fist back to your waist. Start to rotate both of your wrists over when the arm is approximately 3/4 of the way fully extended (last 1" to 2" of travel). When the arm is fully extended the fist should fully rotated with the palm facing down and your other wrist along side of your waist with the palm facing up.