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  1. #1
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    Default Kicking/Punching Faster To Strike Harder

    I am currently reading a Jack Reacher novel in which he talks about how speed is just as important as force when kicking down a door.

    This got me thinking in how this principle applies to Striking and Kicking. In Boxing your Jab is usually taught as a faster Punch used to set up your Power Shots, which then follows the logic that your Power Techniques should by design be slower. Why else would you need a faster Punch to set up your Power Shots?

    Now I realize that the distance to the target, for example the Jab being a lot closer to the attacker than the Right Cross plays a role as well as the mechanics of executing a technique-A lead leg Roundhouse Kick to the attackers Front Knee is easier and therefore faster than the same kick executed with the Rear Leg.

    But knowing that words have power, are we not unintentionally slowing down when we want to Punch/Kick harder and then speed up again when we use the weapons that are closer to the attacker.

    If I am on to something here then Mike Tyson personifies this idea, a devastating Striker as well as one of the fastest Heavyweights.

    OSSU!
    Elfie
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  2. #2
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    Without getting tied up into the scientific definitions of power...speed is part of hitting hard. Period.

    Of course, one can throw a very fast punch that doesn't penetrate the target. If your structure is bad, power that should be projecting through the target is leaking out your joints...essentially your arm is collapsing on impact. Related to structure, but different, is how heavy your punch is. Lots of people punch fast but not so many punch HEAVY.

    There should be nothing inherently different in the speed of a jab vs. a cross from the puncher's perspective. Of course, a cross usually has to cover more distance, so from the target's perspective it may seem marginally slower.

    What slows down a punch is flexing your muscles too much. If you muscle a golf swing, the club moves slowly and doesn't hit with power. A punch is the same thing. Most people muscle their punches...this slows them down and thus don't hit nearly as hard as they can. I think the cross (done with the "power hand") is often slower because people are tensing that arm even more than the jab. More muscle helps but only if you're tensing it CORRECTLY; unnecessary tension is like riding the brakes while you mash down on the gas.

    Strikes should create SHOCK. Most people don't strike with shock...instead of a real punch, they are just throwing a hard push. Which can certainly be enough to hurt someone else...but it also means they aren't hitting up to their potential.

    All strikes - punches, kicks, elbows, etc. - need the following:

    *Speed. This requires relaxation. Don't muscle the strike, just throw it, using only enough muscle to fire it (like the powder going off in a bullet), to hold it on course (marksmanship), and to hold it steady through the target (follow through).

    *Structure. This is about joint alignment and connection. This is something all martial arts purport to teach but I don't think most do it very effectively. Everyone knows you need your joints aligned properly if you're lifting heavy weight; striking requires the same. But just because you know it doesn't mean you DO it. Beyond having your joints in the right place is a mental connection between those joints. This fires the right muscles in the right way so that your strike doesn't collapse on impact. Solid structure different from weight, but it's a requirement to hit heavy...

    *Weight. Hitting heavy is about projecting your weight through the target. Everyone knows that just hitting the surface isn't enough, but projecting your weight through it is more than that. It's not just moving your arm, it's moving your body forward to support the punch.

    Guys like Dempsey and Tyson knew how to hit with speed, structure and weight. It's why a guy like me, who's certainly not built like Tyson, can punch over our weight.

    Most people punch slow. But your arm is capable of moving incredibly fast. Try touching a hot stove and see how quickly your hand moves. That's how you should punch.
    Last edited by Brent Yamamoto; 09-19-2019 at 03:15 PM.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

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    Advanced Close Range Gunfighting - Nov 2-3 Mapleton, OR

  3. #3
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    Aug 2019
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    besides a speed bag
    what would be good exercises to focus on hand speed if you have power already?

  4. #4
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    Brent, I hope people who read your posts truely appreciate the wisdom you share.
    Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every action must be done with love.

    “Adversity introduces a man to himself.”

  5. #5
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    Focus on relaxing your muscles. Not "limp noodle" relaxation but relaxed readiness, no unnecessary tension particularly in your arm muscles.

    From a guard, throw light, staccato punches. Not with power, but with quick, whipping speed. Do this with one hand...fire once, light and quick. Fire twice, same hand. Fire three times. If the arm goes out at 100mph, focus on it coming back 110.

    Do the same thing but alternating L, R. Forget power, just focus on being quick. There's the time the punch takes to reach the target, but there's also the time between punches. Minimize that time.

    Learn to go from "0-100" instantly. Start with your hands at your side, relaxed but ready (not in a guard position). With no preparation or wind up, fire a punch to face height. You can also do this simultaneously while dropping from a relaxed, standing posture into a fighting posture (a drop, not a hop).

    Punching with both speed and power, punch once, then twice, and so on up to five punches, alternating hands and doing it as quickly as you can. Take a few relaxing breaths between these sets. Working on building speed, not on getting a workout.

    Speed requires fast twitch muscles. It's easy tear yourself up if you're not warmed up, so get a light sweat going first. Spend 15-20 minutes working on speed, then drop it. After that you're just developing endurance...which is fine but that's not the goal when working on speed.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Advanced Close Range Gunfighting - Nov 2-3 Mapleton, OR

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalms23dad View Post
    Brent, I hope people who read your posts truely appreciate the wisdom you share.
    Thanks man, I appreciate the comment.

    A wise man once said, if you throw enough shit at the wall, something will stick. ;)
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Advanced Close Range Gunfighting - Nov 2-3 Mapleton, OR

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalms23dad View Post
    Brent, I hope people who read your posts truely appreciate the wisdom you share.
    Very much this !

  8. #8
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    Little to add here, but something one of my old TKD instructors used to say: "It's not about speed, but about acceleration. Speed is simply how fast you end up moving; acceleration is how much time you take to get from resting to striking the target, and the greater the acceleration, the more power [given the existence of all the other factors Brent mentioned]."

  9. #9
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    Fair point about acceleration. Striking hard is still about the speed at the point of impact (among other things), but how quickly you get up to max speed is an important consideration. A lot of traditional martial artists can hit pretty hard at full extension, but they need the full range of motion to get there. Firing punches while standing in horse stance with your hands chambered at the belt is certainly useful training (because you want to develop that full range of motion), but if that's the only way you can hit with any power, your training is lacking.

    We must be able to accelerate the fist IMMEDIATELY, from whatever place in space our hand is. Think about where your hands are...relaxed at your side, chambered on your hip, in a guard position, gripping an opponent...they can be anywhere when something kicks off and they must accelerate from 0-100 immediately. The one inch punch for instance - this requires quick acceleration.

    Another example - my Jujutsu instructor used to teach his guys to move in close on a Karate person, because he said the Karate puncher only has power when their punches reach almost full extension. Move in close before it's extended and you can smother their power. I told him this was mostly good advice but only because there are so many poor punchers out there. A good punch should accelerate and hit hard even if it starts chambered at the hip and only moves an inch before it hits the target. (He became a believer after I hit him like that.) :)

    So, this requires the ability to accelerate throughout its range of motion. From the hip, from the guard, from hands up in a fence, hands at the side, etc. etc. etc. That means lots of practice with lots of different angles.

    One problem with "traditional" karate is that so many only practice punching from that chambered position (which is IMO not an accurate description but most people know what I'm talking about when I say it).

    Firing a fast punch from your sides isn't too different from a draw by the way...
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Advanced Close Range Gunfighting - Nov 2-3 Mapleton, OR

  10. #10
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    I suspect that I'm the epitome of the "push with the fist" puncher.

    Thanks so much for the information and especially the advice on how to develop speed.
    "I have many people, but few men."
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