The idea in using the locked wrist position is to create a naturally strong wrist position.
When using a position that floats the wrist muscle tension is needed from the forearm to stabilize the wrist. This wastes energy in an attempt to compensate for a weak wrist position which at best is unnecessary and robs your power and creates dead energy.
The Bronze Dago wrote:
If the elbow isn't in a "sweet spot", your power will leak out the crook of it and once again, dampen your power.
Different elbow positions *are* different strikes. As I mentioned the key differences in all of these strikes or punches is the location of the elbow. The elbow and the striking weapons fills space through all phases of execution, the idea is to fill the space the opponent needs with your attack. As in billiards one may remove the opponent’s ball while sinking one of his own.
One way of looking at this is that the opponent's position, use of structure, lines of attack, etc., will dictate where your elbow and forearm needs to be. We train in part to place the elbow in a location where it will occupy the space where the opponent's attack is coming or likely to come. So the elbow fills that space and as a result of where the elbow is a natural alignment can be found between elbow and hand, connect those points and you have a natural fill, that morphs into a punch or strike.
This is another part of 'fitting in' the opponent's position, location of weapons, his action or inaction dictates the weapon of choice for that nanosecond.
The Bronze Dago wrote:
Of course, to much of a straight elbow... well, we all know what that can do.
This is another key difference is how WCK is taught vs. most Karate.
It is not a straight elbow that is the problem here, straight is exactly what you want when firing a thrusting type strike, be it curved or straight. The problem is when hyper-extension occurs which means that the elbow has traveled past the straight point and injured the joint.
The simple reason this occurs is that folks are not trained to fire the strike and then turn OFF the muscles in the upper arm. The idea is to turn the forearm and fist into a ballistic missile that gets a full energy transfer
from the body and arm muscles; Once that transfer is complete the muscles that did the work should be off and all inhibitory muscles should never have been on in the first place, such as the bicep. Over using the muscles and leaving them on for too long will only make your power stick to you, discussed in Rick's excellent article. This leaving the muscles on for too long can also cause the elbow joint to hyper-extend and will make you use more energy that is needed and during times when it cannot be transferred to the opponent, this is wasted energy.