The Big Think

May 23, 2014

Hit Me

Filed under: Humor and Fun,Science — jasony @ 3:25 pm

The Science of Bruce Lee’s One-Inch Punch:

“By the time the one-inch punch has made contact with its target, Lee has combined the power of some of the biggest muscles in his body into a tiny area of force. But while the one-inch punch is built upon the explosive power of multiple muscles, Rose insists that Bruce Lee’s muscles are actually not the most important engine behind the blow.

‘Muscle fibers do not dictate coordination,’ Rose says, ‘and coordination and timing are essential factors behind movements like this one-inch punch.’

Because the punch happens over such a short amount of time, Lee has to synchronize each segment of the jab—his twisting hip, extending knees, and thrusting shoulder, elbow, and wrist—with incredible accuracy. Furthermore, each joint in Lee’s body has a single moment of peak acceleration, and to get maximum juice out of the move, Lee must layer his movements so that each period of peak acceleration follows the last one instantly.

So coordination is key. And that’s where the neuroscience comes in.”

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