When I was starting my training in the martial arts, it was a brand of karate much like shotokan, I was fascinated by the tales of one punch one kill. The idea that you could end a fight with one punch was absolutely fabulous! And that you could actually kill somebody with a karate strike, well, that was more than just a comic book, you know?
Then, along came kung fu and the concept of the death touch, the idea of killing with a simple touch of the fingers. Man, now this was something I just had to have, and I know it doesn’t speak well of my maturity, but, man! To actually just touch someone, with a finger or two, and have them drop dead, cowabunga!
We trained hard in our desire to make these killing philosophies a reality. We did our ritualistic dances and endless calisthenics and techniques and spent endless hours punching the bag. Oddly, the more violent we practiced in the training hall, the more peaceful we were once we left the training hall.
Finally, age caught up with me, over forty years in the arts, and, finally, and I began to realize the truth of this one punch, or even one touch, kill ability. I discovered that it wasn’t in the development of muscles. No matter how hard, strong and fast my body became, you see, there was a missing element.
The missing something was this thing called Intention. Intention is the will, the desire, to do something. Consider it the so called invisible line between the thought of an action, and the accomplishment of that action.
Watch a fight between two UFC gladiators, they bash each other for a few rounds, and nobody falls down. The moment one is rendered unconscious, however, you have seen the first real punch of the fight. The other punches were just trying to be punches, but not achieving. They were generated by thought, but the line of intention was to weak to enable them to reach completion, reality, actuality.
So, how do you gain the ability of the dim mak death strike of karate legend and kung fu mysticism? Don’t make your arm tight when you strike, for tense muscles slow the intention, lock it up, stop it from reaching the reality. Forget that the opponent is real and in front of you, and thrust your fist, or place your finger, through the space of his body.
Now, this is the truth, this bit of knowledge, and perhaps you can find training methods that will help you implement this knowledge. The odd thing is that when you finally come to realize the reality of this strike, you will not have the lack of compassion to use it, and you will find that the ability you earned translates into methods of living that are far superior than just killing. In the martial arts it is the knowledge behind the technique that is important, the technique is just a way to journey to your true self.
Al Case has taught martial arts for 4O years. A writer for the magazines, he has his own column in Inside Karate. You can find out about Intention and death punches at Punch Em Out, and a free ebook is available at Monster Martial Arts.