Power and Control

Discussion in 'Karate' started by DaveB, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Some karate schools/styles have a strong focus on control from the very start of the karate journey.

    I think that this is putting the cart before the horse and that the first year or so of training should be geared towards maximising power. After power speed, after speed, control.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    No control is the most important thing if you don't teach control they're going to be injuring there training partners and also learning control in class is also learning control outside a class. So if your ever in a situation you can control yourself and only use necessary force
     
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  3. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    You can punch with full power on your opponent's shoulder (or next to your his face). You don't need to control your power.

    One day I control my power and pull my punch back. My opponent didn't. His full power punch landed on my face. That was the last day I ever control my punch. Point sparring can build up bad habit.
     
  4. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Not sure what the difference is.
     
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  5. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah those guys with one speed at sparring. Always fun.
     
  6. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Black Belt

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    [​IMG]

    I suggest that you them all from the get go, and don't think that one can be powerful without being able to express force at higher velocities. The exception would be if you were talking about strength. There is a good amount of data now to suggest that stronger people make better adaptations to power training. So, focusing on strength early before mixing in high velocity movements would be a logical decision. However, martial arts training alone is really not going to do that much to improve strength unless one is coming from a very de-trained state, so working on the ability to express force at high velocities is important, and it should be started early on, as it is a product of years of training.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  7. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    I think control is a result of good technique.

    If you learn good technique...you will develop control...through good technique, you can maximize power....so it all goes together hand in hand.
     
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  8. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    what do you mean by control/ ?
    all the,atributes you mention come from control of your nervous system, if you hadn't got that you will never have power or speed. You need to build up the motor skills so you have control of your body, then you can add control of power or speed to that. Just learning to move your arm with speed and or power is not use at all if the basic motor skills aren't there. You will just be someone waving his arm around very quickly and powerfully with no application. A bit like most school yard / bar fights

    or take up crossfit
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  9. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    You know there is a crossfit self defense right?
     
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  10. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    So the reason behind my disregard for control in early training is that I feel first we have to have something to control.

    For any given batch of first time students there are always one or two who are too timid to make contact and the rest just don't know how to use their bodies correctly to generate real power beyond whatever arm strength they have.

    To my mind power flows from correct use of the body, ie technique. Speed is from continuous repetition of correct technique. Therefore spend the initial training period developing their kinetic chains. Express this through pad work or if they must do partner work let them use heavy boxing gloves.

    The idea is to first give the student something that needs to be controlled, both in terms of physical power and psychological aggression, rather than inhibiting these areas from before they are developed.

    I agree that control of ones form is good technique, but not control of ones power within that form. That would mean good technique was less powerful than we may need.

    Most of us learn control of our controllable nervous system in our first 2 years of life so clearly karate training is a level above that.

    Sorry if I missed anyone.
     
  11. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    I do
     
  12. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    I see what you are saying. My line of thinking is this:

    If you teach someone a right cross and I tell them to focus on power chances are in trying to generate more and more power they will develop bad habits. They will start loading up, over-extending, pushing target after impact instead of punching through, make it more of an overhand or hooking it.

    Whereas, if you teach them a right cross and have them focus on the technique and throwing it right....they power, speed, and control all develops together naturally.

    So in the beginning the thing to control and focus on is the technique itself and by doing that everything else (power and speed) should naturally develop. Focusing on Power or Speed is what often times creates bad habits.

    Kinda like hitting a baseball....Bat speed and swing power is useless if I never make contact with the ball.
     
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  13. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    but your view,seems dependent on people,arriving at the,school with very low physical,fitness. Rather than some one who has at least average power speed and,co ordination.

    I agree that is not uncommon, in which case I agree, that fitness training to get them up to a,reasonable level is probably more important to their,development than learning countless low speed techniques'. Ivecrun this view before that MA is failing,a lot of its,students by not prioritising fitness and just teaching skills, which it believes will make up for,fitness deficits'.to get a frosty reception, from,a few that,seem almost,anti fitness.

    but then there are other that,already have power and,speed, that need to,skills to apply them, so techneque / control training is what they need most.
    I think each belt level should have,a minimum fitness level with it, which if you can,achieve means you can't progress
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Okay, two things I want to address on this one.

    First, as CB said, control is part of putting that power to use. You don't teach someone a kick by having them kick the snot out of the heavy bag in the first lesson. You have them work slower and softer first, to make sure they are going to get the most out of the kick. If you train them for maximal power from the beginning, they'll develop bad habits that will rob power and probably lead to some injuries (theirs and others').

    Secondly, no single approach works for everyone. You referred to those students who are too timid. You still work for control and good form with them, but have to focus on delivery and intent (not really the same as power, but related). You don't change the whole approach to fix a problem some students have when they come in the door.
     
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  15. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Black Belt

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    Speed and accuracy are inversely related. In other words, the faster you try to go, the less accurate you will be in your movements. This relationship always exists, no matter how well trained. However, the slope the line can and does change as someone becomes more well trained. So, for example, a really skilled martial artist will be able to place a strike at high velocity far more accurately than an untrained or moderately trained person will be able to do. However, even for that well trained person, if they were to examine their own accuracy at their top speed versus lower speeds, they would find that they are more accurate when they move slower.

    Long story short, one needs to do both. Slow work to develop precision and accuracy is a must. Plus, movement patterns can be learned correctly in a way that is harder to do if you start off doing everything rapidly. At the same time in one's development, it is important to work on those same movements at speed (safely by the way), so that you develop the ability to perform with greater precision at higher velocities.

    Then, one needs to consider what motor learning people refer to as Environmental Regulatory Conditions. Specifically, when someone is trying to prevent you from performing the movement. In martial arts we typically refer to that as sparring or training against a resisting opponent. If one ever hopes to be able to execute their skills reliably against another person, this step is crucial.

    This is a motor learning/control issue, and it is going to take a ton of reps to get there.
     
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  16. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    im not accepting of your claim fact that accuracy of a punch declines with speed to any meaningful extent, accuracy falls of a lot through tiredness. The issue is how accurate do you need to be
    a few mm makes no difference as long as you hit your target. If you cant punch a stationary target the size of a head at full speed, then you have significant co ordination problems
     
  17. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Black Belt

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    Well, then you are wrong. There have been data supporting this since the 1950's. Here are just a few examples of the hundreds of research studies that have been published on the subject. It is a well understood phenomenon that has been reported in a variety of settings ranging from sport, occupational, and clinical and in persons ranging from elite athletes, normal healthy, and with varying types of disease.

    • Belkin, D. S., & Eliot, J. F. (1997). Motor skill acquisition and the speed accuracy tradeoff in a field based task. Journal of Motor Behavior, 47, 144-152.
    • Englehorn, R. (1997). Speed and accuracy in the learning of a complex motor skill. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 85, 1011-1017.
    • Heitz, RP, JD. Schall (2013) Neural Mechanisms of Speed-Accuracy Tradeoff. Neuron. 2013 Nov 8
    • Ho, T. S Brown, L can Maanen, BU Forstmann, EJ Wagenmakers, JT Serences (2012) The optimality of sensory processing during the speed-accuracy tradeoff. J Neurosci. Jun 6; 32(23): 7992–8003.
    • Lawther, J. D. (1972). Speed and accuracy. In J. D. Lawther (Ed.), Sport psychology. (pp. 147-167). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
    • Liu CC, T Watanabe (2012) Accounting for speed-accuracy tradeoff in perceptual learning. Vision Res. May 15; 61: 107–114
    • Southard, D. (1989). Changes in limb striking pattern: Effects of speed and accuracy. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 60, 348-356.
    The curve can be flattened out to a large extent with training (think of a major league pitcher who can place a 95 mph fastball with pinpoint accuracy), but it still exists. Fatigue can certainly impact things as well.
     
  18. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    I said there was no real world difference to a fast punch that's a few mm of target, when the target is,as big as a head.

    if you have some research that's says you can't land a punch at full speed on someone head then post it up.
     
  19. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Reading your responses, I'm wondering if we are all using the same definition of control?

    What does control mean to you?
     
  20. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Black Belt

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    What I responded to was: "im not accepting of your claim fact that accuracy of a punch declines with speed to any meaningful extent"

    And it does. Your acceptance of it or lack thereof does not matter one bit.

    That does not mean that one should not train at the beginning stages of skill acquisition at high velocity. In fact, they definitely should. But, they need to know that they will suffer accuracy when doing so. However, that will improve over the long term.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
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