Re-creating Bruce Lee’s One-Inch Punch


Here is quite a good and believable demonstration of fajing, or the explosive delivery of internal energy, by Stephen Hwa, who teaches taijiquan at the University of Buffalo and in Fairport, New York. He shows the “one-inch punch” made famous by Bruce Le (see below), who at the 1964 Longbeach championships knocks someone into a chair, without any windup, his fist starting an inch away from the target.

Master Hwa shows how it is possible to generate this power using the taiji “hollow-fist punch.” He explains that other people have recreated this but using “external” or purely muscular power. In his demonstration, he has his fist pressing against the pad held to another person’s midsection, while someone else holds onto his bicep and forearm, to feel his muscular contraction.

With seemingly little effort, he knocks back the man holding the pad, who feels a sudden surge of power. The man holding Hwa’s arm says it is relaxed before and after the punch, with only brief tension as the power is delivered into the opponent. Hwa explains that if the arm tenses before the power is delivered that the force will be greatly reduced.

[Via Zsolt Sepa]

One Comment

  1. Hi (Peter):

    Thank you for this. I am a student and teacher for Classical Wu Style Tai Chi and Master Stephen Hwa is my “sifu” for 10 years now. Before this, I was a student and teacher in the Wu Family, traveling back and forth from Buffalo to Toronto for many years. Although of the same lineage, even the Wu Family does not do what Master Hwa does with “tight compact” stances and “internal discipline”.

    I am also the “man holding Hwa’s arm” in the “recreating” video so I guess I am as qualified as the next guy to comment on what happened. I have a Blog article wherein I discuss this and much more which anyone can view at : Interestingly enough, Master Hwa taught Taiji at Faust’s USAKarate for many years in Fairport, with several students including Black Belt’s learning Tai Chi. As I just came back from a Florida visit, I report that he is longevity personified while living in the “springtime of his life” c/o Pompano Beach. He teaches several classes at a large Buddhist organization and he mentioned that one can even teach “one inch punch” to an 80 year old Buddhist nun.

    He goes back to China a couple times a year. He is restoring his family property, translating family poetry written in traditional Chinese. Both the property and the poetry date back probably beyond the 14th century. He tells me that Hwa familial name is a relation to “Hua Tuo” who was China’s first surgeon, c. 200 bc. No doubt one can understand why “forest rangers” in China have to have degrees in archeology for every place one goes, one is walking on history.

    Thanks again,

    Sifu J. E. Roach

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