Creating Power in Techniques and Strikes
Speed vs. Body Mechanics
Pat Munk, Judan
10th Degree Black Belt
Everyone wants to be able to defend themselves effectively, but when we do our techniques how do we attain the maximum power and effectiveness. Well some believe that you have to increase speed to develop maximum power. They practice their techniques until they can do them lightning fast. Because everyone knows that mass (body weight) times velocity (squared) /2 equal maximum power. I only wish it was that easy. Sure speed has a lot to do with creating maximum power, and it is a key element, but there are some other elements that people forget about that have equal affects on power, and these elements are; correct body mechanics of the technique or strike being used, and transferring the body between good solid stances.
Can too much speed adversely effect maximum power? Yes it can. Let's look at all the elements involved in striking to gain maximum power to see how speed can adversely affect power. First you have your mass, (body size or weight), next the mechanics of the strike, then the proper use of stances, and lastly the element of speed comes into the equation. Once the speed becomes so fast that it affects the body mechanics of the technique, and the proper use of stances, then the power is effected. During a strike the pivot of the body between the horse stance and bow stance and back to horse stance help to maintain balance proper positioning and enables the most efficient deployment of body weight in the equation of maximum power.
Yes, we want to strike fast, and hard, when we are defending against attacks, but we want to balance the scales so to speak. There is a limit to how fast we can pivot between stances or move the body from position to position, and most people can strike a lot faster than they can move or pivot the body thus adversely affecting power. If the strikes are so fast that you can't pivot between stances or use the proper body mechanics of the technique you eliminate the mass (body weight) from the equation of power, because you are only using the weight of your arms and not your body weight. So we want the speed of our strikes to be fast as possible, but still be able to pivot the body from stance to stance, and use the mechanics of the techniques. This blending of speed, body mechanics, and stance transference, combine to create Maximum Power.
To find your maximum power speed, start working the techniques and/or strikes at a speed where you can properly use the body mechanics and stances of the strike or technique. Then start increasing the speed until you can no longer pivot between stances, or the body mechanics start to become difficult to do. That point just prior to that happening, will be your maximum power speed.
Instead of trying to obtain maximum speed in our techniques, try obtaining maximum effective speed by using all the elements of power and not just one, to develop maximum power.