Punches are hand attacks using a closed fist in mostly linear attack. Some punch arc (such as hook punch) or travel upward (such as uppercut). Fist may be held horizontally or vertically. Contact area is usually first two knuckles. Power comes from hip snap and driving off ball of trailing foot. ITF (International Taekwondo Federation) practitioners also use the knee-snap sine wave motion to generate power. Punches may be "snapped" out and back very quickly or "pushed through" where, upon contact, the fist pushes into target.
Click this link for a short video clip of the Bruce Lee's legendary one-inch punch (actually more of an 1" punch with a push at the end, just more of the Bruce Lee hype, watch Rocky Marciano fights to see real punches). Here is another clip of the one-inch punch (Lets analyze this: have a dummy stand straight-legged and stiff with feet side-by-side, and then push him into a chair with a "one-inch" punch. People were gullible in 1964.)
Punches Are Deadly
Rocky Marciano, heavyweight champion (1952-1956) at 187 pounds was one of the greatest fighters of all time. His professional boxing record was 49-0-0 with 43 KO's. His 88% knockout percentage is greatest of any heavyweight. He is the only undefeated fighter in the history of professional boxing. Joe Louis, who was knocked out by Rocky in the 8th round, said of Marciano, "It hurt to bump into him...." Archie Moore, who was knocked out by Rocky in the 8th round, when asked which of Marciano's punches hurt him, said, "Man they all hurt!"
Bill Libby in his 1971 book " Rocky: The Story of a Champion" described Macciano's fight with Roland LaStarza's as "Marciano's gloved fists broke blood vessels and bones in LaStarza's arms and elbows. First the arms grew heavy, then they began to ache awfully, then they grew numb. As the relentless battle wore on, LaStarza found it harder and harder to raise his arms, much less jab with them or punch with them. His hands lowered, his defense dissipated, Marciano began to punish him about the head. LaStarza began to take a terrible beating."
The one inch punch, made famous by Bruce Lee, is actually an ancient technique called fa-jing. The technique is used in the neija (Internal) styles of kung-fu , such as TaiJi-quan and Weng-shun-kuen. Fa-jing literally means "explosive power". Its power comes an "internal" source, as opposed to muscular strength. The technique uses relaxation and creating a fluid, whip like motion that does not telegraph your intentions. The technique surprises opponents and knocks them off balance. The ultimate test of the effectiveness of the one-inch punch of any other technique is "If it works as well as claimed, then why don't professional fighters use it? They could win more fights and make more money!"
There are many ways to generate power in fa-jing. In Tai-ji-quan, it is generated by shaking the waist violently. In Wudang weng Shun-kuen, it is come from the ground. The key is relaxation.
To perform fa-jing, hold your hand horizontally, palm down, the fingers hanging down. Then make a SUDDEN punching movement. The hand should snap into a fist from the sudden speed. Keep arm and hand relaxed, even when the hand is clenched into a fist. Fist should be rotated slightly upward at moment of impact and the arm should not be fully extended. Extend your arm after contact with the target while snapping your body in the punch. Do not push, punch through the target.
Once you have learned the fa-jing Punch, it is fun to demonstrate it as Bruce Lee did. Have someone hold a thick telephone book against his or her solar plexus. Now apply the fa-jing punch through the phone book.
On May 25th, 1965, in Lewiston, Maine, Muhammad Ali faced Sonny Liston for the second time after having beaten him once before. In the first round, Ali flicked out a short chopping straight right that knocked Liston down for somewhere between 12 and 17 seconds. During his time, the referee flapped around losing control as Ali stood over Liston shaking his fist. After the referee was informed of the time Liston had spent on the mat, he stopped the fight and declared Ali the winner by knockout.
Because most people did not see the punch occur, it was termed the “‘phantom punch” and caused many to believe the fight was fixed. Even the ones who saw the punch did not believe it was hard enough to knock Liston out. In slow motion, it is clear that the short right hit Liston on the jaw as he is regaining balance from a lunging jab and jarred his head with enough force to knock him out.
A knockout occurs when the reticular activating system, responsible for controlling consciousness is disrupted by the violent rotation of the brain on the brainstem. In most cases, this rotation is obvious, whether it occurs through twisting, moving side to side, or by the head being violently snapped backward. The movement does not have to be great; a short, quick movement is sufficient.
In 1965, some believed Ali was unable to punch that hard and that Ali was retreating when he threw the punch. Ali said the punch, which he called the “anchor punch,” was too quick for the eye to see.
The same thing happen on August 10, 2009, at UFC 101, when Anderson Silva knocked out Forrest Griffin in the first round with a backpedaling jab.