The Myth of Internal Energy Strikes in Martial Arts Your Martial Arts Ezine Issue 31

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Does kata (forms) help you with self-defense? Your Answer

yes I believe they do -once you truly understand them-not just do them. they can often give you new insights on your art and can often lead to a sharper and clearer mind-making the warrior within that bit more tempered and refined, after all combat is fought on more than one plane.

kind regards,



Does Kata help with self defence... You KNOW that's gonna spark debate;

here's my part of the fuel for the fire Bottom line? Yes... sort of... Kata are a definite asset to training; they help with form and bring familiarity to the various techniques.

They also, unfortunately, breed habit with specific responses towards some actions. I believe that if a student is learning a Martial Art, Kata are a must (if included in the specific art).. If a student is strictly learning self defence, they should likely stay away from hard-set forms and concentrate more on confidence with a few select techniques. This is said with the premise that self defence is a specific end as opposed to a devotion to training.



Kata adds to the art in the martial arts. It adds nothing to self-defense ability other than a broken jaw from chamber punching and not keeping your hands up.


Can a good street fighter beat a black belt? Your Answer

Anytime, any day.



It depends on whether the stress on the style is tournaments or combat.



It totally depends on the type of black belt the person is.  If they were
trained in the traditional, full contact old styles of the arts, then
probably not.  It also depends on whether the street fighter is trained, or
if they attack the bb from behind.  I have witnessed many a black belt
loose a street fight because of these factors:

1.	They are a point fighter.
2.	They trained at one of those "Anyone can be a black belt schools."
3.	They were jumped from behind and hit with a club or pipe.
4.	The street fighter was a well trained Martial Artist or boxer.
5.	The black belt just plain sucked.
6.	The black belt was from a Tae Kwon Do "Super Mall" school (one that
teaches for money).
7.	And lastly, the black belt didn't have chance because he was drunk or

After working security for many years in bars, I have one thing to add to
this question...could a street fighter beat a qualified, well trained black
belt in an actual front to front face?  The answer would probably be no,
but remember that no matter how tough you are, there is always someone


Shihan S Franz, 6th Dan Black Belt
Aiki-Te Ryu Karate Do


Yes, having a black belt means a lot, but I have read and heard of schools that give a black belt too soon in a students martial arts career. Having a black belt doesn't neccesarily mean you are invincible, but if you have had the right training and have practiced it would definatley improve your odds.



Can a good street fighter beat a black belt ???

My answer is, that's a great possibility.

Black belt don't guarantee a man to be able to beat up street fighter. It depends heavily on our continuous training, reflexes, and senses. I don't know about the condition in America, but here in Indonesia, we can't underestimated street fighters. Here, many black belt people being beat up by street fighters.

I've seen some persons who takes Kempo classes ( three black belt persons ) being beat up by a single lonely street fighter, and then those Kempo black belts went down unsconcious with only a fast single slap to their face


Black Belt-ers, If you think that you can beat up street fighters, then try Indonesia's street fighters. You have to think more than twice to face them !!!!! Even if you had a gun ....!!!!!!!!


I believe so in some cases. And in others no . In the dojo there are rules such as no groin shots and unwritten rules such as don't hit to hard. However , on the street there are no rules. In the dojo they may throw at you a combo such as a high kick followed by a chest punch. There you are fighting someone you are acquainted with on relatively good terms and fighting the same style. On the street there is no combo. Once they start moving in on you they don't let up for any reason and unfortunately there is no sensei to stop it.



A subscriber has written in and was wondering what martial arts exercises he can do to help lose weight? Your Response

There is a fun little exercise that really gets the blood going.. it's called a prostration.. You stand straight, hands above your head... then you lie down on your stomach, hands extended in front of you.. then you stand up straight, hands above your head.. that's one. do as many as you like/can.. usually, if you hurry, the average guy will get winded after 10 to 15.. standard Martial Artist, about double.. try doing 50 a day, whatever the pace.. you will loose weight guaranteed..



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biomechanics of impact training

The Myth of Internal Energy Strikes in Martial Arts

"You must burn your hands in this secret potion my son, sit under the water fall for 15 minutes, and do these secret breathing techniques." Bull! Usually after doing an article such as this I get at least one person who teaches like this unsubscribing and three more who appreciate my honesty subscribing. I have heard explanations even from honest martial arts instructors that sound mystical, "You must allow the ki (chi, bio-energy) to flow through the arm and into your attacker's body.", but I hold that to the way it was explained to them and not having a background in exercise physiology such as I do or their path of research following a more easterly direction. Before many of my martial arts friends get mad at me for this statement, as a teacher with a background in physical education, I believe it is important for my students to understand the physics behind a martial arts technique as much as possible. I believe it allows them to improve their martial arts techniques even faster if they understand what they are striving for physically. I apologize in advance if I offended any honest martial arts instructors.We all have our own teaching styles. I'll be happy to post any comments you have in the next martial arts ezine. You may also post comments on our new bulletin board.

It takes practice yes, but as opposed to what some instructors would lead you to believe, there is nothing mystical about internal energy strikes. It is a strike like any other,based on physiological principles. So why do I still call it an internal energy punch? It is simply a term with which martial artists are familiar and the shortest one I can think of. My students begin learning the basics of internal energy strikes within their first month. Although all the internal energy strike drills do for them in the beginning is to increase their striking power. Later on, at blue belt level, they learn how to execute internal energy strikes more rapidly since they have already been introduced to some of the drills.

Internal energy strikes involve proper breathing, proper coordinated movement, stability, and proper use of antagonistic and taganistic muscles.

Proper Breathing

Have any of you ever seen a boxing match and heard the boxer breath out explosively through his nose? This is done for a two fold purpose, to increase the power of the punch and prepare the boxer's body if he takes a blow. If your health allows you to try throwing a punch while holding your breath. Now throw the same punch while exhaling hard. Did you notice a difference in the power and speed? Similar breathing is done during the internal energy strike, with the exception that you continue to breath out as long as you are following through. Visa versa continuing to breath out helps to prolong your follow through and do more damage to your attacker. Now let me stop right here and tell you that you should not try any of these techniques or drills without the guidance of a good instructor. Furthermore James R. Kirkham, The Martial Arts Ezine, nor any of The Martial Arts Ezine's contributors nor advertisers accept responsibilitly for any injuries which may take place attempting any of these techniques, drills, or exercises including injuries to the practitioner, partner of the practitioner, or attacker of the practitioner. I'm sorry I have to take time for that, but some people will not accept responsibility for their own actions.

Proper Coordinated Movement

I know this sounds basic, but the hips and hand must move together and in the same direction to execute an internal energy strike. The basic mistakes when throwing a punch is to lean forward, lock the front knee out, and fall forward as you punch. This must be corrected in order to execute any type of good punch especially an internal energy punch.


Stability is different than balance. In order to be stable, you must be able to remain in a stationary position against resistance. The best position to be stable in the beginning is a front stance. Later, through proper use of weight shifts and straightening a leg, you can be stable in almost any position. Practice your internal energy punch slowly, against a resistance in order to make sure you are stable. It should be done slowly at first to make sure you are not compensating for lack of stability with speed and inertia.

Proper Use of Agonistic and antagonistic Muscles

Antagonistic muscles are those muscles which inhibit a movement you are trying to execute. anantagonistic muscles are those muscles that aid you in executing a movement. When I tell my students they must be completely relaxed when they throw an internal energy strike, I am not being completely honest. Muscles are always at some level of tension commonly known as muscle tone. In order to stand up and have our legs support us there must also be some contraction of muscles. By the way if it ever comes up, muscles can only contract, they cannot expand, although they can stretch and are more efficient in a stretched state, thus the wind up for a pitch or drawing back (or chambering) to throw a punch.

My students seem to understand the concept of being as relaxed as possible and still staying on their feet however, therefore I allow myself this tiny fib.

When you execute an internal energy strike it must be done with a complete totally relaxed movement and follow through. Any tension from antagonistic muscles will decrease the power of the strike and hinder the flow and follow through of the movement. The fact that an attacker is in the way of you doing a complete follow through should not hinder you from completing your relaxed, flowing follow through.

I am presently working on an ebook on methods and drills for internal energy strikes . If you are looking for mysticism do not buy my book, you will get facts, drills and how to's in my internal energy book in plain language. I have one section of my meditation ebook already including internal energy strikes. Those of you who would be interested in my book on internal energy strikes or advertising in my ebook on internal energy strikes please let me know.

Sensei J. Richard Kirkham


Honolulu Hawaii

Sensei J. Richard Kirkham

Sensei J. Richard Kirkham is a 26 year martial art veteran. He is a dual certified teacher with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Physical Education with a background in Special Education, Exercise Physiology, Movement Education, and Behavioral Modification. He is presently an in home tutor, self-defense instructor, and body guard. Mr. Kirkham is presently teaching in Honolulu Hawaii. He can be reached at 808-528-5775 Ext. 5. He has one challenge which has yet to fail him, he can increase anyone's striking power 50% to 100% in one lesson. For those who cannot see him in person, he offers the same service with others on affordable custom video tapes. Sensei Kirkham has the unique service of offering in home classes so that people may learn self-defense in the privacy of their home without worrying about travel after a hard days work.

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I am a 6th generation disciple of Master Man Kwong Fong who was the youngest student to train eatensively and learn the complete system of Pak Mei Kung Fu also known as White Eyebrow Kung Fu under the personal instruction of Grandmaster Cheung Lai Chun. PAK Mei is a rare,unique and advance form of self defense which is rarely seen is the martial art circle.Pak Mei Kung Fu is one of the few system that combines both shaolin and Taoist practices into a single fighting style.
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Hi Richard,>> I've have added a link to your site from my MartialArts Link-Site. >> I was hoping that you return the favour and add alink from your site to my > Link-Site.>> > > Sincerely Yours,>> Adam W. Gibson> (Martial Arts Author)


 All right that's about it this time. How often will this come out? You let me know how often you would like to come out by submitting articles, space ads, and or classifieds. Have any suggestions yourself? Let me know.


Sensei J. Richard Kirkham

The Myth of Internal Energy Strikes in Martial Arts


Shower Power Martial Arts Quick Training Methods for Martial Artists with No Time for Martial Art Training

Admiral Yi Sun-shin A Historical Warrior

Training Your Unwilling Spouse in Realistic Martial Arts


Modern Teaching Methods of an Ancient Art, A Humble Courtesy to All Martial Arts Instructors


Martial Arts Swindlers and Martial Arts Egomaniacs

Rape A True Story Of Survival

A Martial Arts Poem - Tygre

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