“Mitch, you cheated!”
I was astounded… Within hours of posting my video yesterday of my One Inch Punch I received dozens of likes and comments, both privately and in public. However one person responded that I had cheated… not only had I straightened my fingers (giving me 4” from tip to knuckle), but I also brought my fist back several inches before striking. I went back and watched the video, and sure enough at the millisecond before impact you can clearly see several inches between my fist and the board.
Pictures don’t lie… I watched the video over and over again, and came to the same conclusion. This had not been a one inch punch.
I have cheated in my life… I cannot think of a really good example right now, but I have not always been the honest person I am today. However I live my life by a code of honour (reinforced by and completely compatible with the Martial Arts). Cheating is not supposed to be in my vocabulary, let alone in my toolbox.
Of course, there is an argument to be made that I did not cheat, I just failed at what I tried to do… but bragging is bad enough, bragging when you didn’t do something is terrible. So Thursday evening I decided to try to make it right… I was at the Belt Testing for the Eglington branch of Master Kim’s OMAC, and after the testing was over and most of the people had left I gave it another go.
I tried with two boards first, but that was not feeling right. In the end I had Master Kwan hold a single board for me, and with a couple of my biggest fans looking on (Mrs. Anita has always been one of my favourites, but I have only recently become familiar with Mrs. Toni) I tried again:
As you can see in the video I am not extending my fingers, rather I am only extending the first knuckle on my index finger, and while it is possible that for a split second my fist was 1.5” from the board, it is certainly a lot closer than it was in my first attempt (which was really my second – I didn’t record the first one).
I will say that after I was accused of cheating I went to the web and watched several masters perform (and explain the feat. Watching Bruce Lee perform it is simply impossible – the cameras that recorded him did not slow it down enough, and the resolution was terrible. However Sifu George Hajnasr (a Jeet Kune Do Master from Boston) gives a great demo of it, as does Senior Instructor Jeremy Lynch of Chinatown JKD. Watching Instructor Lynch’s explanation of how the body’s muscle groups work together really helped me to increase the power and snap in my punch.
While the One Inch Punch is a great demonstration, it would not be effective in a real combat situation unless it is used in combination with other techniques… When I am able to get back into training I am going to try to add that last inch into every punch that I throw. The body mechanics that go into the punch do not have to be exclusive to this one punch. However for now I am thinking that I should take this demo to the OMAC Canada Championships coming up in May… Want to come watch? Let me know and I’ll get you the details!