ATTN: Scott re Punching

Scott I remember an old thread where the Russian style of punching is somewhat different from more American styles.

A point brought up was Igor Vovchanchin's looping punches.

Could you please repost your info on this.

I've seen some other info on the same subject and I've begun to investigate this in my own way.

Mule, are you refering to the fisticuffs question that I asked Scott? If so, I have the entire thread saved and can post it here or email it to you.


Here is a repost of the thread I'm refering to.Subject: RE: INFOFrom: SSonnon Date: 06-Mar-01 | 12:00 AMChris, there are many forms of Kulachnoi Boi, or "Fisticuffs" throughout Russia. I am only familiar with several styles, and the *process* of education in "fisticuffs" as it is a direction of training in the ROSS System.

I am unaware as to what your Sambo friend alludes when he speaks about wrist slapping. Fisticuffs is a highly elastic and unorthodox form of box. Fisticuffs is just another training exercise in all-Russian Martial Art, just like Sambo sport-wrestling and Sambo free-fighting. There are different ways of safely maintaining the mature fighting form in the adult man. There have been historically records of hand to hand duels such as the legendary duel between Charles XII of Sweden and Tsar Peter the Great in 1700, but these are not the means of preparation. The Slavs believed that to hone the "elite" athlete would be at the detriment of the collective. Their entire world view is a different paradigm. They chose to have a battle preparatory methodic that would increase the entire village, rather than indentify and enhance the most elite of the tribe. Additionally, the concentration was on a lifetime ability to participate in defense of homeland, kith and kin. As a result, although the training exercises (such as fisticuffs and jacket wrestling) were designed not on domination, but on the refinement and development of attributes throughout the lifetime of the men, young to old. For instance, in current day, sovereign countries of the dominant culture have "professional fighting forces". These men tend to be of a certain age bracket (say 18-30). A man fighting in this phase of his development is capable of absorbing Herculean punishment (merely watch any NHB event and marvel at what men of this age can absorb). In the current day, countries have economic foundation to support a professional fighting force. All of the battle preparedness is aligned with the cultivation of the fighting form in this professional force (typically of the age bracket 18-30). [continued]

Subject: RE: INFOFrom: SSonnon Date: 06-Mar-01 | 12:00 AMA tribal community however, cannot/could not support the "specialization" of a professional fighting force. These martial traditions had to be conducted after the day's harvest, trading of whares or hunting of game. If a man had to spend a day, or more, in convalescence, he was incapable of contributing his daily quota to the survival of the tribe. Children and old alike participated in the traditions. All men. To jeopardize their safety for the immediate development of a few individuals was not an evolutionarily sound survival strategy. Injurous, or highly hazardous martial activities were not conducted. Yes, there were MANY martial traditions, many means of maintaining and cultivating the mature fighting form in the men. But they were unlike the fighters of today. One to one the NHB fighter of today would trample the ancient tribal warrior. No tribe (extant or extinct) could survive against the onslaught of a modern professional fighting force.

But this was/is not the goal of a cultural martial tradition. A "culture" is a world view, an integrated system of survival strategies - bound in lore, dance, games, skills, legends, and song. Fisticuffs is a part of Russian Martial Art - a particular means of maintaining the mature fighting form in men (meaning, cultivating and preserving adroitness, dexterity, endurance, tenacity, power, sensitivity, alertness, repose, etc...)

All men, young and old, could and did and do participate in Fisticuffs, just like Sambo. And the old men are the best at the games. In Sambo, for instance, the older the Sambist, the better his Sambo. It's amazing to be tossed about easily in Russia by a man 30 years your senior, while he breathes at ease, moves with ease. It is equally amazing to watch a child learning the game of fisticuffs, learning what we call "shock engineering" (bodily blows for takedowns, not for vital targeting). Would the talented child or the skillful senior have a remote chance of success in a NHB "competition"? Not likely. [continued]

Subject: RE: INFOFrom: SSonnon Date: 06-Mar-01 | 12:00 AMBut what is important to try to explain is that this is not the goal of fisticuffs (nor of Sambo or any other aspect of Russian Martial Art for that matter). These martial traditions were meant as a lifestyle activity, something that you continue to do for your entire lifetime, that you increase in ability your entire lifetime, and that you improve your health your entire lifetime.

Yes, there is a wealth of training benefit from Fisticuffs, even for those wishing to participate in NHB type events, but it is unwise to think that Fisticuffs is a "variation" of a NHB event. It is just an excellent game - an integral aspect of the physical culture of Russian Martial Art.

Perhaps it would make best sense to say that Fisticuffs like Sambo is not a method of battle rehearsal not a specific method of combative conduct, but a means of maintaining the mature fighting form throughout the course of the entire lifetime of all men. If on the battlefield, you would not use Fisticuffs, nor Sambo, nor Wall-fighting, nor Bayonet Fencing, nor any other of the ritualized martial traditions. You would simply rely on your attributes and the strength of the morale of your tribe. It's not what you fight WITH, but what you fight FOR that makes a warrior.

[reprinted with permission from the "Russian-Style Hand-to-hand Combat" Field Manual for the Russian Special Forces] FISTICUFFS

Subject: RE: INFOFrom: SSonnon <> Date: 06-Mar-01 | 12:00 AMExpose Karate fighters, who perform katas (formal exercises) or conduct duels, to fighting on the frozen rivers. Those who are experts in these Eastern fighting styles immediately pick up on what is different. Either a barefooted, kimono dressed man whose feet start to cross each other starts to slip and all, or he is dressed with well-fitted boots (it's also possible to have felt boots and a sheepskin coat) has to principally change his technique, which, as a result of the ice, already has nothing in common with Karate. This happens for a simple reason - in this nutured-in-Japan style, first and foremost, creeping along the ground movements are used, and they are permitted, it's strictly said whenever there is a great coefficient of friction between the soles of the feet and a foothold of a reliable interlock. However, the Japanese combat system does not at all become absolete from this. In Okinawa, where Karate comes from, it is not freezing cold and it does not snow and worry of duels on the ice hardly disturb the local residents. Fine people that they are, they constructed their own system based upon their own physiques, upon their own particular climate. They are twice as worthy of the exercises that preserve and develop their cultural traditions. Over a period of many centuries, the custom of wall combat has lived in Rus (the old name of the region that is currently known as Russia). At Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday), most often on a frozen river, men and lads of neighboring towns and villages met and walked in lines forming walls. Fist fighting can show us senseless cruelty and barbarous ceremony. But to judge it as such means not to know our native history and the reasons that produced it. But why meet in the winter and on the frozen river? Rivers were important routes of the wooded and swampy Rus. In the summer, boating routes ran through them and in the winter, sled paths. Even armies moved along the frozen-over rivers and swamps. The likeliness of a battle on the ice was great. The outcome of fight was won not only by the militia units (professional soldiers), but also many militiamen who were simple people, Christians, and artisans. And since wars went on continuously (it is rare that a year would pass peacefully), that every man had to have combat skills. But for the militia units, the ability to master weapons served as the basic method to obtain food. They could daily develop their master. Then whoever was not in the militia unit, and cultivated their own food, studied their own trade, did their own business, were forced to prepare themselves for battle between their other affairs. This life compelled them to find a method of how to prepare young men for battle, how to support the fighter form in a mature man, and how to achieve a willingness to fight shoulder to shoulder at the first call of the militiamen. Thus arose the tradition of wall-fighting. The rules were almost identical throughout all of Rus. Everyone met in lines forming walls and each group could have two, three and even more rows deep. Striking to the face and below the belt were forbidden, and you could not hit a man when he was down. After all, he was still a Russian (this is the difference from Eastern styles, where the opponent, whether symbolic or real, was finished off; it is an absolute condition). On the other hand, strikes to the chest and the stomach could be landed with every part of the arm up to the shoulder, without concession. The wall that breaks through another wall is the winner. [continued]

Subject: RE: INFOFrom: SSonnon Date: 06-Mar-01 | 12:00 AMWall fistfighting was a preparation for war, or so it was called, without a break from it being conducted. Militiamen would always strive to compensate for a shortage of weapons and a use of professionalism in an unexpected situation. In the famous Battle on the Ice (battle fought on a frozen lake in 1242), militiamen, who had been gathered together by Aleksandr Nevskij, did not wear any armor but took along spears. They knew that in April, the ice on Chudskij Lake was treacherous and therefore, they could not take too many heavy items.

The use of spears made it easier to pull off the heavily armed knights from horseback. The legs of animals on the ice would spread apart. They were clumsy and therefore the militiamen who were accustomed to walking on the ice (how many of them were successful wallfighters!), possessed the initiative and forced their attackers into a position which is advantageous for themselves. That is how they completely crushed the opposition, some in hand to hand combat, and some they drove into an unfrozen patch of water in the ice.

Incidentally, on the Kulikov field (the historical event where the native Russians stopped the advance of Ghenghis Khan and the Golden Horde), the front line regiment completely consisted of militiamen whose duty it was to withstand the first onslaught. Although they, the Leading Cavalry, overran the opposition, the wall was not broken. In wall fighting the sense of comradship became more polished in combined force, which was mutually beneficial. Everyone yielded to a single goal which was to let yourself be killed if it helped save your comrade. However, aside from a mutual harmony every wall fighter had to possess a personal skill. For these acquisitions, there were some methods..."

written by Gen. Alexander Retuinskih President of the All-Russian Federation of Russian Martial Art ( Vice-president of the International Combat Sambo Commission for FIAS Deputy-chairman of Russian Combat Sambo Committee for All-Russian Sambo Federation Master of Sambo & Judo Founder of ROSS Training System

Hope this helps you out Mule.

BTW send me your email again please

Chris ,

I don't know Chris.

Can you email it to me and I'll read it and see.

It discussed the looping punches of Russian Martial Arts and the theory behind it.

Ok Scott

Here goes. I'm curious about the looping style punches that fighters such as Igor Vovchanchin uses in his fights.

Could you give me run down and some training advice on developing these punches.

Thanks Chris I saved it this time.

My email is

I'll blaze you one later, I haven't sent you one in a while.

Thanks all.

And Scott if you have anything to add in regards to more looping punches versus linear punches and lack of use of the overhand right, which I believe is a very powerful but underused punch.

Thanks again Scott.