Developing power begins with proper form.
When you master good form, you develop speed. By developing speed, you develop power. With good form, you don’t get tired as fast because you’re not “over-muscling” your technique.
When you watch a baseball pitcher throw a fastball in slow motion, they look like they’re going to throw their arm out of its socket. Their arm looks like a wet noodle. Their muscles aren’t tightening, they’re very loose. They’re throwing fast, not hard.
If I take a stone, throw it at you, and it hits you in the head, you’ll probably just say “Ow! That hurts!” If I take that same stone, put it in a slingshot, and shoot it at your head…you won’t be able to say much at all.
It’s the same when you’re punching or kicking. You’re developing “explosion” muscles. You’re throwing that technique as fast as you can. That is going to do two things:
- Give you power.
- Get you to your opponent faster than your opponent gets to you.
I teach my class this when we’re learning about technique. Say I weigh 100 pounds and I throw a punch at 70 mph. A bigger person with more mass behind them can throw a punch with the same amount of force at a slower speed. However, if I throw my punch at 70 mph, mine will land, and his will never get the chance to. Enough speed, guided by proper form, can take mass almost entirely out of the equation.
So what’s the proper form for throwing a punch?
First, you want to drop your weight and root yourself. You want to make sure your elbows are close to your body, unless you are deliberately trying to hook around and hit someone. But generally speaking, you want to keep your elbows close and your opposing arm should be tucked back in a sort of blocking position.
Your power is going to be directed by your hips. So you want to shoot your hips toward your opponent as you’re going into the technique. When you’re throwing the punch, keep your arm as straight as possible. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, after all.
At the very end of the throw, you want to twist your hand. Doing so produces dynamic power.
I always tell students to remember that:
- Your feet are where your power is rooted.
- Your legs are where the power is developed
- Your hips direct that power.
Your foot, your hand, whatever you are throwing, is merely the delivery object.
You would be surprised by how much power you can develop without being a very big person. Bruce Lee was not a big person by anyone’s standards. Chuck Norris is not a big person by anyone’s standards. And, not to brag, but I’m also not a big person by anyone’s standards.
But if you get on the mat with me and think that your size alone will give you the advantage… let’s just say it’s going to be a lot worse for you.
Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, register online or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!