Increasing Power, Speed and Accuracy in Martial Arts

You can increase power, speed and accuracy in martial arts. Here are three basic tips that will help in your training.

1. Defensive position … use the principle of the ‘unbendable arm’ when you step backward into an ‘on guard’ stance. If your arms are bent and too close to your body, your arms will collapse (fold) when blocking a strong attack. Think about throwing a softball. The point where you release the imaginary ball is where your hands need to be for the ‘unbendable’ position.

Senior Hwa Yu T'ai Chi Instructor Mark McGee
Unbendable Arm in Rooted Stance

2. Rooting the back foot … one of the main mistakes students make is lifting the back foot during a strike. Some students lift the back heel several inches off the ground. Other students lift the heel only an inch or two. The goal is for both feet to remain rooted during most strikes. The back foot is heavy because the student has stepped back to evade an attack (yield, clear, contact). The student will use the heavy back foot to push his/her body forward to strike (control, counter) their attacker. Once their body mass moves past the center point, the back leg becomes light and the front leg becomes heavy. Because of that, students must practice diligently to keep their back foot rooted to the ground at all three contact points (large toe pad, small toe pad, heel). Pushing off the back leg, keeping their back hip tucked (as in sitting), transferring weight from back to front leg while keeping the back foot rooted, will double or triple the power of any strike.

Grace Martial Arts Kata
Squaring Shoulders Toward Opponent in Kata

3. Blocking and striking with shoulders squared so that the center of body mass is facing attacker … strikes are strongest when the student’s center is facing the target. They can lose 40-60% of the power of their strike when they move their center off the target. A good way for students to see what they’re doing is to strike a target and stop as soon as their hand hits the target, then for them to see where their center mass is facing at the moment of impact. They lose power for every degree their center mass is off the target. They need to repeat the exercise until they can strike a target hard with their center mass facing the target at the point of impact. Not only is it a stronger strike, they can also fire multiple strikes at their attacker because they don’t have to move their center mass back toward the target after each strike. Another benefit is that keeping their center mass facing the target will greatly increase the accuracy of every strike.

Question – How do I change positions in facing my attacker if I keep my center on them?

Answer – Use your feet and legs to change positions while keeping your center on the attacker.

Sensei McGee Demonstrates Kihon Waza
Centerline defense by evading and entering

You can increase power, speed and accuracy in martial arts!

Grace Martial Arts classes in Alabama and Florida teach how to quickly and effectively deal with attackers. If you would be interested in learning about self-defense classes for businesses, schools, churches, small groups or families, please connect with us to learn more.

Classes are available in Huntsville, Alabama, and Tampa, Lutz, Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida.

© Grace Martial Arts 2018

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