Power- equation of Speed and Strength

To me power is a an important element of martial arts and something we should train in the dojo and out of, endurance is an important aspect if the fight lasts a long time, you are drained that day and someone jumps you need to be able to last a long time.

But to mean to make your strikes more devastating and lasting an impact we need power, but what do I mean by power. In my head (yes it is a weird scary place) power is not what I refer to as brute force, that someone can overpower you with strength size and muscle mass, only some people are blessed with that trait but the combination of speed and strength, too strong and you slow down your strikes are more heavy but have less impact and your opponent’s can read you easier. Too fast and the strikes can seem flimsy and a bigger person can just walk through them. True power or explosiveness is when these two realms are perfectly balanced like yin and yang making the strikes that much more devastating and damaging, it is a very fine balance between the two.

I have seen people who weight train (the wrong way) which makes them really strong guys, and I mean really strong. They could beat me by brute force alone, and yet despite them being bigger than me I would argue that I am more powerful because my balance of speed and strength is more central to theirs.  I know on guy who use to have devastating kicks, he is a big guy and he could time them so well that I never wanted to be within his range. But he is so focused on weightlifting the wrong way (I think it is very beneficial to martial arts, if you train with the right aspect – explosive power) that his kicks slow down too much, of course he still has that danger of brute force (combination of strength and muscle mass) and it still hurts, but it hurts far less now he has slowed down so much.

I have trained with people who just focus on speed, which is great but because their impact is so low I just keep closing the distance and they feel panicked that I am not reacting.

Now if both camps had the right balance the impact of their strikes would make them far more devastating opponents, but you have to train it right. An explosive movement should never been turned into an endurance exercise, the body doesn’t work that way and can lead to injury and very bad form. Both endurance and power should be trained but never mix the two into that same exercise.

I’m not saying endurance doesn’t have its advantages; we just need to think outside the box, what could a fight be like in a dojo, a ring, a cage or on a street, alley way in a pub. We need a balance of endurance and power, a balance of speed and strength, it all ties in with ying and yang, with Go and Ju – Goju.

Keep training, never give up, OSU


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