Question: In the vertical punch, the little knuckle is susceptible to damage; correct? What can one do to avoid this?
Master Ho: Actually, the lower knuckles are aligned to the largest bone in the arm. This position will produce a stronger punch. If you feel pain in the last knuckle, perhaps your structure is wrong.
Wing Chun master Ho Kam Ming visited the U.S. in 1989.
From the Wingchunpedia:
Grandmaster Ho Kam Ming is one of Yip Man’s best disciples. He devotes his life in studying and refining the art of Ving Tsun and he is one of the few men who had completed the entire system under Yip Man.
Grandmaster Ho was held in high regards by Yip Man. He spent three and a half years to learn the whole system from Yip Man, then he helped Yip Man to teach his classes for another three and a half years. It was during this time when he learned the most advanced skills privately from Yip Man. As a matter of fact, majority of students followed Yip Man for less than two years…
A two day seminar was arranged in Tuscon by Sifu Augustine Fong and was also attended by Sifu Hawkins Cheung.
We can all thank Curt James for putting it together and posting it on Wing Chun World.
Question: About punching straight or slightly upward–you’ve stated that punching slightly upward will uproot the opponent and that punching straight will just knock the subject backward. What about the concept of explode power where the opponent should drop straight down or even forward after being hit? In this case what does it matter if one punches straight or upward?
Master Ho: If performed correctly, the punch should drop the subject right there. In case you’re not good enough, however, a straight punch may allow the opponent the opportunity to strike you. Punching slightly upward will eliminate this possibility.
Question: Is it too much to practice a thousand punches a day?
Master Ho: Do what you can do–don’t force progress. Otherwise, you won’t get good results.
Question: Should one lock the elbow out when practicing punching?
Master Ho: Yes, but when you lock the punch and release the power, don’t tighten up on the elbow.
Question: Should one practice both high and low punches?
Master Ho: You can practice high, middle, and low punches. But don’t practice too much until you can control your fist. This means you should be able to punch with a minimum of muscular tension first.
Question: Could one pick out, for example, the double punches and practice them?
Master Ho: Yes, but only up to a certain point. Actually, one could drill any motion of the form.
Question: Could you comment on the opinion that other styles seem to have on the Wing Chun punch? For instance, many believe this type of punch has little power?
Master Ho: The more force you feel or see in the punch, the more chance the power will stay in the body and not be released. The less you feel, the more release you’ll have. Like shooting an arrow–the arrow has no power; but the result is forceful. In Wing Chun, the punch is based on speed, not muscle. If you don’t feel power or muscle, then that means you can punch faster. This will promote explosive power.
Question: Could you talk about Bone Joint Power?
Master Ho: Bone Joint Power involves a minimum of muscular use. The less muscle, the more flexible the joints can react. Like a snake, the punch will be fast and quick.
NOTE: I find some of these Wing Chun websites hard to read, with their odd fonts and background images. I now use Instapaper (no affiliation relationship – I just like this free software).
You can add a bookmark to your browser and on your phone. If you find a good article, you click the link. It saves it to your Instapaper account, but without all the weirdness – just black type on off-white background plus images. Its really awesome.