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The intriguing science behind Bruce Lee’s one-inch punch

It’s a punch that has captivated our imagination for decades. From the distance of one-inch, Bruce Lee could break boards, knock opponents off their feet and look totally badass doing it. It’s one of the most famous — and fabled — blows in the world. Days ago, Popular Mechanics set out to solve the mystery behind it – and did.

Drawing upon both physical and neuro power, Lee’s devastating one-inch punch involved substantially more than arm strength. It was achieved through the fluid teamwork of every body part. It was his feet. It was hips and arms. It was even his brain. In several milliseconds, a spark of kinetic energy ignited in Lee’s feet and surged through his core to his limbs before its eventual release.

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Now THAT’s what I call a useful application of science. The answer (at the link above) is a lot like how slender athletes can still whack the hell out of a golf ball or baseball. A fascinating blend of physics and neuroscience.

Next we’ll have to tackle the fluid dynamics of Bruce Lee:

Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

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