Any martial arts lover remembers the famous Bruce Lee one-inch punch, the one he used to knock down his enemies from a very close distance. For many years, people were trying to crack the secret, but nobody seemed to be able to unravel the mystery. So, what’s the secret exactly? Is it some kind of special training? Maybe it has something to do with body physiology. Let’s find out.
The more relaxed the muscles are, the more energy can flow through the body. Using muscular tensions to try to do the punch or attempting to use the brute force to knock someone over, will only work to opposite effect. This is how Bruce Lee described this technique, which is basically a series of consistent kinetic strikes. The energy that he talks about is the force. The force comes through the body and reaches the point where he’s aiming at. This is the principle he taught his students. At the very beginning of the movement, the force has to appear in the legs and hips and then move towards the arms. The leg movement is directly responsible for the speed and power of a strike. You can check the effectiveness of this technique yourselves, but you’ll have to meditate for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
You should breathe deeply and slowly. You’ll have to try and relax completely. After you finish meditating, you can start to warm up your body. You can start by swinging your arms a little bit. Follow that with some jumping lunge. Get your hips involved. You’ll need to sort of turn on your muscles. Then you can go ahead and try to make a hit. Your body should be relaxed while you do it. Your objective is to feel the punch. So, you’ll have to listen to your body then go ahead and try to throw a relaxed punch. Do it in a short jump. At this point you should feel the energy flow through your legs, over to your shoulders and arms. Now keep on throwing punches with that energy flowing through your body. You will notice how your speed and impact will increase. The movements should be relaxed to natural. The longer you practice this technique, the stronger your hits will become. Trying this technique over and over again, you’ll get used to this joint way of controlling your body to make some really powerful blows. These regular exercises will let you develop some truly potent strikes. This technique is the basis of the famous one-inch punch.
And it’s Bruce Lee’s most famous shtick. It’s like you’re moving your hips, your shoulders and your fists all at the same time. If you watch Bruce Lee do it, notice his shoulders and hips. The close kinetic chain exercise allows Bruce to move the energy from the ground, through his feet, hips, body and shoulders. At the end, the energy gets concentrated at one single point. The fact that Bruce practiced it for so long, allowed him to master it to an extent that it became legendary. So, how exactly did Bruce manage to polish his technique so well? This question is kind of difficult to answer right away. So, let’s try to break it apart.
The story begins in 1960s, in Chinatown, in san Francisco. Back in those days, the district was packed with martial artists. Although most of them didn’t really like the way people of the West taught martial arts, Asian old school masters thought they shouldn’t share any secrets with the people from the West, Bruce Lee thought otherwise. Back in those days, Wong Jack Man, was one of the most influential figures in the world of martial arts. He was offended by the fact that Lee taught Westerners how to fight. And Bruce also loved to brag about and boast that he’s the greatest master alive, which used to irritate Wong Jack Man quite a bit. And so, one day they arranged a fight. They decided to keep the fight private, so, not a lot of people came to see it. There could be only one winner.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THAT FIGHT?
So, what happened in that fight exactly? Nobody seems to know that for sure. Till this day, it remains a mystery. According to one group of people, Bruce defeated Wong Jack Man in just a few minutes. He knocked him down and waited for Wong to give up. According to another group of fans, Wong Jack Man knew that Lee was too stubborn and that, in order to defeat him, he’d have to kill him. So, he took pity on him and only defended himself all throughout the fight. There is one more theory. Man and Lee were fighting for half an hour, when they realized there was no way either of them could win. So, they had to announce a tie-up. Either way, rumors about the fight and all the glory that Lee acquired throughout his history and film, makes fans ask the same question over and over again. Was Bruce Lee really that legendary of a fighter? Let’s think about it.
WAS BRUCE LEE A GOOD FIGHTER?
It’s a very difficult question to ask because there are very few footages with Lee’s open fights. Unfortunately, the peak of Lee’s career happened 20 years before mixed martial arts got officially recognized. Fights were rarely organized during the time of Lee’s glory. And if there were any at all, Lee wasn’t invited to participate. And even if he got invited, he wouldn’t be able to estimate his mastery based on those events. They give points for preciseness and the power didn’t really matter. Fighters could barely hit one another. A flying brutal force was simply not allowed. So, they usually barely touched one another. Famous American kickboxer Joe Lewis, once said in an interview, that he was preparing his torso muscles for a very long time in order to be able to withstand hard punches. While during the tournament, it turned out that a slight, but a very accurate touch could be regarded as a death blow, which seemed ridiculous to him at that time. Those kinds of fights couldn’t really prove the talent of fighters like Bruce Lee. Those couldn’t really show a fighter’s strength and endurance. And it’s precisely the fact that Lee did not participate in those fights, allowed some people to say that he wasn’t really as good as most people tend to think. And even though there aren’t many videos of Lee fighting, there are many other things that prove his incredible strength and agility. He showed one of his most famous tricks many times in public. He used to knock down those who were much heavier than himself, with his one-inch punch. People who took the blow were well prepared. They even wore a special kind of protective gear but even that didn’t save them from the powerful blow in the chest. Many of Lee’s fans say that he simply couldn’t fight other people in order to make sure that he don’t accidentally kill anybody. That’s how strong he was.
So, because Lee was born long before mixed martial arts received the status of official sport, the main point of his art was to make as much damage to his opponent as possible. To put it simple, Lee wasn’t trying to focus on the athletic side of things. He was training himself up in a way modern MMA fighters do it. And a proof to that is the fact that Lee was actively studying human anatomy. He was constantly learning about the mechanism behind physiological processes. This information had one purpose alone and was supposed to help him make his fatal blows. For Bruce, martial arts was a means of both defense and attack. Even though he somewhat adapted his style in order to please the audience every now and then, especially when he was making movies. Asking Bruce Lee to take part in an MMA match was like bringing a real gun to a paintball craze. Modern day MMA fighters also know how to make killer hits, but they still stick to certain rules and restrictions in order to prevent bad accidents. Still, if Bruce somehow ended up in the modern-day MMA fight, he would have a pretty rough time fighting, because for instance, modern ways of training get fighters prepared to fight round after round. Being able to withstand a great deal of very painful hits. Current rules does not allow the kinds of things Bruce Lee was famous for. If fighters of today suddenly began to practice Bruce’s style, the fights would become much more deadly. It would often happen so that the fight would end up with one of the fighters dying on the ring, right away. So, what does it all mean? We can say for sure that we shouldn’t compare Bruce’s style with those of the modern-day fighters. Because those are actually radically different styles.
BRUCE LEE SECRET TRAINING
A lot of Bruce Lee fans want to get a hold of his technique. They try to replicate the famous fighter as much as possible. Perhaps, one of the key things for Bruce was his love and passion for his craft. In one of the interviews, Bruce’s wife, Linda Lee Cadwell, said this…
‘They sometimes ask me how Bruce managed to find so much time for his training. The answer is simple. This is how he spent his time. Every day for a few hours Bruce was working on his mind and body. It was typical for him doing multiple things at a time. For instance, he used to bend his arms and stretch his legs while reading a book. He was always exercising while playing with the kids. He did that all his life. Ever since he was little. And he never changed since then.’
Lee was a big supporter of weight training. It’s not a secret that a heart works better and more effective with endurance exercises. So, Bruce was a big fan of those two. Still, if you want to train up your body in a similar manner, you’ll need to follow the congestion principle. Changing your habits, adding new ways of training to your program. Although, you should remember that overwork can cause stress for your body, which is also not a very good thing.
And that’s all for now. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time.
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