One Inch Punch – Martial Arts
Wing Chun is famous for the “One Inch Punch”. This striking technique allows students to generate significant power while hitting a target at very close range (versus taking the time/delay in order to fully draw back their arm for a traditional punch). This punch was popularized by Bruce Lee.
For information on other punches & strikes, please visit Black Belt Wiki’s main Punches & Hand Strikes section.
- From natural stance, turn around 30 degrees with the arm used to perform the punch leading (so if using the right hand the right leg should be slightly forward).
- Raise the right hand up to the target which should be around chest (solar plexus height).
- You should be standing close but not to close to the target so that you do not over extend the arm, with the upper part of the arm only slightly extended from the natural vertical position.
- Extend all four fingers and touch the target with the fingertips.
- Keeping the arm relaxed and at the same distance from the target retract the fingers and form a ‘loose’ fist. It is very important that the arm is relaxed and the fist is loose as a great deal of the power generated to perform the punch comes from the sudden tensing and clenching of the fist.
- Focusing all your attention and energy on a point slightly beyond the center of the intended target, execute the punch by ‘simultaneously’ thrusting and slightly extending the upper part of the arm while tensing the whole arm (especially the forearm) and clenching the fist tight.
- Another more powerful version of the one inch punch (the one famously used by Bruce Lee to send opponents flying backwards in his demonstrations) uses the exact same upper body technique as described but includes a slight skip forward and a slight twist of the hip, again all done simultaneously. It takes some practice but this way it is possible to focus the entire power of the body starting from the feet up through the hips then into the upper body and finally into the arm and fist. By following and practicing these simple instructions (always using padding and a safe landing area for a partner if you are practicing with one). You will soon be able to break a board or to send an opponent flying backwards.
Instructional Videos for the Wing Chun One Inch Punch