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Finlay's picture
The double punch

A sort of back to basic question or idea here.

the double punch I feel sometimes gets overlooked a little in the pattern/kata application. After all, it is just a punch done twice. 

I think some traditional applications have the meaning as literally 'hit the opponent twice' and I have seen some ideas on applications that have the meaning that you should hit a lot, this is really just saying the same thing. both I feel are erroneous as we have n guarantee that the single punches found throughout the patterns will do enough to incapacitate an attacker, therefore at the end of every technique, we should be ready to hit again.

To look at the double punch I am going to pul a couple of examples:

Do san


Yul Gok


The way that I apply the sections of the patterns with the double punches all involve grabbing

in Do san, I see what is commonly called wedging block (0:26) as getting off the line and grabbing 2 points, shoulder and arm maybe, kicking legs or knees and then double punch.

in Yul Gok much the same in the opening movements, we have what I interpret as a reap, double punch, followed by an arm and clothing grab, kick to the groin and then double punch.

in all these cases I think that the double punch is giving us a choice. since both hands are busy holding, we choose which one we want o release to punch the opponent. This could be based on the position of the opponent or which even grip you feel is the weaker.

i would love to hear other's thoughts on this.

Heath White
Heath White's picture

For myself, my take on this would be that "double punch" is not the same as "punch twice."  A white belt can punch twice, maybe even with pretty good punches, but ask them to throw a 1-2.  It will not be fluid and if they speed it up, one of the punches will be done wrong.  So I take the forms that introduce double punches to be introducing the idea of a combination.   

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

If i'm understanding what you mean by double punch, I view it is a kind of core skill, lots of Karate involves doing something very generic with the lead hand (block/strike/grab/wedge/cover, etc.) and immediately use tactile feel to punch.

I almost think of it as the Karate version of a Jab/Cross, whereas a Jab/Cross combo is as prominent it is because you are not allowed to grab or punch from the clinch in boxing, so must use the jab to find the route to the cross, in self defense you just use the tactile information the second you have it to deliver the power hand. I see this general principle as being implicit in a ton of Karate techniques.

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

In general terms, I see the double hit as being either: 1) grab and hit / clear path and hit, 2) If enemy gets uncontrolled limb in the way of that strike, then clear and hit with other hand.

Kata can’t express everything on every motion, so some show just the primary strike and others show possible follow ups of that strike fails. That principle obviously applies to other failed strikes too, but it could be excessive to show it on every motion. So long as the principle is expressed somewhere with in the form, them it is part of the fighting system the form seeks to encapsulate.

All the best,