The One Inch Punch is in fact an old Wen Shun Kuen technique. It was made famous by Bruce Lee. it is also called the Ging punch, the Hovering punch and a variant of it is known as the three inch punch.
What is it, exactly?
Surprise #1: the one inch punch is not a punch as such. It is actually an explosive pushing motion where the initial impact is designed to knock your target off balance, and the pushthrough is what makes your target fly.
What is the difference between a one and three inch punch?
The three inch punch is performed with one inch distance from the target as well, but here the hand is open. The difference in distance that is gained from having your hand open is enough to make the punch incredibly much more powerful.
For beginners, the three inch punch is a good place to start, as it is relatively easy to gain full effect from the technique.
How can I do an one inch punch?
I'm assuming you are right handed. if not, reverse instructions
If I told you, I'd have to kill you. But because it's you, I'll tell you anyway. Then, when you finish reading this, run, because i'll have to track you down and kill you. Or something.
- Stand towards your target, facing it squarely
- Extend your arm so it touches your target. Both shoulders should still be the same distance from your target.
- Move one inch forward, and pull your fist one inch back from the target
- your fist should be upright (as if holding a hammer), and your elbow should be pointing down
Okay, brilliant. you are now going to push your target backwards. Because you are not in a fighting stance (your feet are a shoulder width apart, both feet being the same distance away from your target), you cannot push with the back foot. Therefore, you need a different way of delivering your punch
When you perform this punch, you want maximum inertia. Because you have only a minimum distance usable to accelerate your fist, the punch is not a punch as such - getting your fist to speed in less than an inch of distance is futile.
What you want to do is to let a wave go through your body. the wave is sparked by snapping both your feet on the heel, toes to the left. This wave motion continues through your hips and your upper body.
Start your punching movement with your arm when the wave is half way across your upper body. you want to time this exactly, so the punch coming from your arm arrives at the exact same time as the wave hits your shoulder. What happens when your fist impacts, is that your arm will be just about straight, and the entire load of energy, both from your elbow (the arm punch) and from your shoulder (the wave) will impact into your target at the same time.
The effect of this punch is amazing. Even though it looks like you could never generate any power this way, you can make your target fly through the air.
Okay, now you have the wave ready. Now we add an additional element - the fist. When doing this punch, you actually hit with your bottom two knuckles (whereas you would usually hit with your top two.)
When you start off the motion, your top knuckle is one inch from the target. As the punching motion actually happens, you will turn your wrist, so you punch with your bottom two knuckles, using the top two as some kind of virtual pivot point.
When you get this down to perfection, you can deliver massive amounts of pressure, sending even the sturdiest people to the ground on their backs.
in practise, this technique can be applied to "normal" punches as well. Be aware, however, that if you hit somebody in the chest with this technique, you can possibly punch through, fatally injuring your target. The reason this punch was invented was to punch through wooden / leather armor.
When practicing this on somebody, Even though they had a phone book in front of their chest, I knocked the air out of somebody quite severely. Never - ever - try this punch at full strength. And definitely not on someone / something you are not willing to kill.