(By Tim Dickerson)

This week I spent some time with one of our up and coming Brown Belts running through his basic Hand Techniques in preparations for his impending Black Belt Grading.

One of the things that occured to me while going through these was just how much advanced skill can be attributed to a firm knowlledge of th basics.

To be quite honest labouring through the a simple punch is a boring task at best but man, is it important! The humble punch is more than a move, it lays strong foundations for just about every other hand technique you are ever going to learn.

The ‘donkey work’ of learning to punch hinges upon repetition – and a lot of it! However I’d like to mention here a little thought that has helped me to put in the numbers over the years…

Although a punch is simple it has always held a great fascination for me… The alignment of the bones, the twitching of the muscles, the locking-in of the frame, the coordination of the stomach muscles at the point of impact… and so on.

All these points and more I am reminded of when I punch. Not even as a beginner did I ever think that a simple punch was as straight forward as putting one arm out then swapping it with the other.

The bottom line here for me with punching, or any technique for that matter, is that unless you can look deeper than face value into a technique its practice is gonna be dull.

But if you can see more to it, if you can recognise its significance in your future practice and marvel at a techniques’ intricacies, well then practice isn’t practice anymore, instead each repetition becomes one step closer to a better understanding – and that’s not dull, that’s exciting!! Practice then, doesn’t just improve a technique, it improves you. You grow with every punch thrown. So now, why wouldn’t you wanna practice that?

See you in the Dojo!