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"Ideally, your self-defense will never get physical. Avoiding the situation and running or talking you way out - either of these is a higher order of strategy than winning a physical battle." - Wise Words of Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Chapter 7: after, subparagraph 7.1:medical

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider..." - Francis Bacon

Warning, Caveat and Note: The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

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When turning your punch over, do you turn at the elbow or shoulder?

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

First, what do you mean by turning your punch over? I suspect your talking about the “Twist-punch” used in some karate and martial arts systems. I would make that assumption for this response. 

Second, the twist punch has its uses but in general punching or punching with a twist, except in rare cases of well trained practitioners, using the twist punch in self-defense, fighting and combatives introduces to many variables that would result or could result in loss of energy in the creation and transference of force and power. 

It comes down to structure and alignments, two sub-principles of the principle of “Physiokinetics.” To achieve true force and power in a punch regardless of whether it twists or remains vertical a person must coordinate such things as, “Breathing, posture, centerline, alignments of the skeletal system with a strong alignment of the spine, your structure, centeredness, centripetal and centrifugal forces, sequential locking and sequential relaxation (this one is critical in timing, etc.), rooting and other such factors.

For instance, I believe Marc MacYoung mentions in his book of hitting and being hit, the shoulder girdle, the arm and elbow, the wrist and the fist formed by the hand and fingers clenching, etc. tend to bleed of energy and reduce force and power when striking with the fist. There are a variety of additional processes you can use to reduce and limit such loss. Example is to hit with the open hand vs. the fist. Those fingers rely heavily on how they form a fist because each phalange, its joints, its ligaments, it tendons and the strength used to clench that comes from the forearm muscles along with the wrists tendency to roll, twist and lose stability when hitting objects means a lot of energy is bled off or lost. Using the open handed strike removes most of that loss by taking the fingers and joints as mentioned out of the equation. 

As to the elbow and shoulder as it regards the original question it depends on how you are hitting. If it is a rising punch for example then the shoulder is down similar to the position take in the sanchin kata, the elbow down as if pointing to the ground and the wrist, hand and fingers all aligned with the bone structure of the forearm in a relaxed manner until you move your mass, drop step, sequentially lock with body skeletal alignment and structural support from the muscles, tendons and cartilage, etc., all coming to a single expression and transference of power and  force to a designated/chosen target. 

Note: In my example above I am sure I left of some aspects of a solid punch but you get the idea.

In the twist punch the elbow and shoulder should rotate simultaneously while keeping the upper arm, the elbow, the wrist and hand in a clenched fist aligned until you hit the target while taking into consideration that the rotational aspect to utilize a twist punch will reduce the power and force as the body change takes away some of the support of the moving mass of the body. This may be why the twist punch is more about doing localized damage vs. applying the type of power and force to stop and aggressive attack. It is likened to the flurry of blows that would disrupt the adversary’s OODA loop so that a finishing method of defense can be applied, etc.

Note II: Karate, Judo and Isshinryu with a great deal of study on the subject of conflict and violence as it applies to karate and self-defense. Serious study began in Isshinryu circa 1976. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

Note III: The Fundamental Principles of Martial Disciplines (for reference):

PRINCIPLE ONE: PRINCIPLES OF THEORY (Universality, Control, Efficiency, Lengthen Our Line, Percentage Principle, Std of Infinite Measure, Power Paradox, Ratio, Simplicity, Natural Action, Michelangelo Principle, Reciprocity, Opponents as Illusions, Reflexive Action, Training Truth, Imperception and Deception.)

PRINCIPLE TWO: PHYSIOKINETIC PRINCIPLES (Breathing, posture, triangle guard, centerline, primary gate, spinal alignment, axis, minor axis, structure, heaviness, relaxation, wave energy, convergence, centeredness, triangulation point, the dynamic sphere, body-mind, void, centripetal force, centrifugal force, sequential locking and sequential relaxation, peripheral vision, tactile sensitivity, rooting, attack hubs, attack posture, possibly the chemical cocktail, Multiple Methodologies [actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc. are best for stopping a threat]???see below)

PRINCIPLE THREE: PRINCIPLES OF TECHNIQUE (techniques vs. technique, equal rights, compliment, economical motion, active movement, positioning, angling, leading control, complex force, indirect pressure, live energy and dead energy, torsion and pinning, speed, timing, rhythm, balance, reactive control, natural and unnatural motion, weak link, non-telegraphing, extension and penetration, Uke. Multiple Methodologies [actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc. are best for stopping a threat])

PRINCIPLE FOUR: PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY (Mind [mind-set, mind-state, etc.], mushin, kime, non-intention, yin-yang, oneness, zanshin and being, non-action, character, the empty cup.)

Principle’s One through Four: 
Pearlman, Steven J. "The Book of Martial Power." Overlook Press. N.Y. 2006.

PRINCIPLE FIVE: PRINCIPLES OF SELF-DEFENSE (“Conflict communications; Emotional Intelligence; Lines/square/circle of SD, Three brains (human, monkey, lizard), JAM/AOJ and five stages, Adrenal stress (stress induced reality based), Violence (Social and Asocial), Pre-Attack indicators, Weapons, Predator process and predator resource, Force levels, Repercussions (medical, legal, civil, personal), Go-NoGo, Win-Loss Ratio, etc. (still working on the core sub-principles for this one)”Attitude, Socio-emotional, Diplomacy, Speed [get-er done fast], Redirected aggression, Dual Time Clocks, Awareness, Initiative, Permission, multiple attack/defense methodologies (i.e., actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc. are best for stopping a threat)

Principle Five: 
MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.
Miller, Rory. "ConCom: Conflict Communications A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication." Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2014. 
Miller, Rory and Kane, Lawrence A. "Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision-making under Threat of Violence." YMAA Publisher. New Hampshire. 2012
Miller, Rory. "Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide." YMAA Publications. NH. 2012.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Meditations of Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" YMAA Publishing. 2008.
Miller, Rory Sgt. "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected." YMAA Publishing. 2011.
Elgin, Suzette. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" Barnes & Noble. 1993.
Morris, Desmond. “Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior.” Harry N. Abrams. April 1979. 

PRINCIPLE SIX: CHEMICAL COCKTAIL: (Attacked Mind, Train It, Breath It Away, Visualize It Away, Sparring vs. Fighting, Degradation of Technique/skills, Peripheral Vision Loss, Tunnel Vision, Depth Perception Loss/Altered, Auditory Exclusion, Weakened legs/arms, Loss of Extremity Feeling, Loss of Fine Motor Skills, Distorted Memory/perceptions, Tachypsychia (time slows), Freeze, Perception of Slow Motion, Irrelevant Thought Intrusion, Behavioral Looping, Pain Blocked, Male vs. Female Adrenaline Curve, Victim vs. Predator, The Professional, Levels of Hormonal Stimulation, ???)

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