Pullback and the Drawstring

Imagine that there is a string between the hand that you are going to strike with and your opponent’s hand. If you pull back even a little you’re drawing your opponents attack to you: cueing the opponent, telegraphing your move.”

Jeff Hutchings NL Shotokan Karate Black BeltSensei Lee and our 5th Dan Sempai learned a lot from Nishiyama Sensei over the fifteen years they trained with him, not the least of which was how to make things visual.

So, last night as we were doing our jabs with a subsequent backfist, we were visualizing that if we pulled back at all, we were triggering the opponent’s attack…and it worked! Even in the span of the class time, backfists became shorter, faster and more intense.

This analogy of the string tied to your hand and the opponent served as a reminder that pull back is wasted time and energy. Bruce Lee (the actor) was famed for his one inch punch where there was zero pull back. Upon taking a close look at this, it seems that it is a very complex technique. The organization of muscle fiber, the mental intention, and the coordination of the knees, hips arms and wrist are only part of it. Science shows that Lee’s devastating short punch had a lot to do with how Martial Artists have built up a certain microstructure of white matter in the brain that actually does the complex coordination to allow the delivery of immense power at tiny distances.

Explosive power with zero telegraphing and zero time loss; now, there’s something to work on!