Hand speed

K

Kenpo Yahoo

Guest
Sparring and Fighting:

I was wondering what type of drills some of you former boxers or contact fighters did to work hand speed. I'm trying to increase the speed of my jab, 1-2 combo, 1-2-3 combo. I know that some of you more experienced guys have a good fighting background, so I was curious if you would be willing to share any drills or ideas for the sake of posterity :D . Any help or direction would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,573
Reaction score
456
Location
Terre Haute, IN
I've always associated kenpoka with fast hands. (Not the John LaTourette eleven-hits-in-one-second thing, but legitimately fast handwork.) Is ther something kenpoka do for this?
 

bdparsons

Black Belt
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
522
Reaction score
14
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
OK, that was the easy answer!:D

I think that Kenpo practioners (of which I'm one) are known for their fast hands for a couple of reasons. One, Kenpo tends to have more hand strikes that are followed by additional hand strikes. Our legwork is typically lower and not as visible, but no less effective (in fact I believe more practical, and yes I can kick high when I want to). Two, speed is achieved with hands or feet by adhering to certain principles:

a. Combine movements whenever possible.
b. Keep action tight and compact eliminating unnecessary extension of strikes/blocks/kicks.
c. Maintain a continuous flow of motion, don't recock if the next strike/block is moving in that direction.
(Credit to GM Chuck Sullivan)

and... practice, practice, practice!

Respects,
Bill Parsons
 

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,573
Reaction score
456
Location
Terre Haute, IN
Originally posted by bdparsons

Maintain a continuous flow of motion, don't recock if the next strike/block is moving in that direction.

Yes, this is certainly part of it--it creates the appearance of great speed through its efficiency.
 
OP
E

Elfan

Guest
Not to imply that other arts don't have this but I think a big part of that amazing "kenpo hand speed" comes from proper body mechanics. For a very simply demonstaraion take your hand in the on the hip chambered position. Now move it up about 7 inches, rorate your wrist so that your palm is pointing down and then see how fast you can move. Not very without wrecking your shoulder. Or compare how fast you can strike while holding your breath, inhaling, and exhaling.
 
OP
C

c2kenpo

Guest
Originally posted by Elfan

Not to imply that other arts don't have this but I think a big part of that amazing "kenpo hand speed" comes from proper body mechanics. For a very simply demonstaraion take your hand in the on the hip chambered position. Now move it up about 7 inches, rorate your wrist so that your palm is pointing down and then see how fast you can move. Not very without wrecking your shoulder. Or compare how fast you can strike while holding your breath, inhaling, and exhaling.

Good thought there, another reason I belive that adding to proper body mechanics are the principles of hammer, thrust, and whip.
Adding these ideas increase by "whipping" (throw a frisbee) with an outward handsword/chop and returning the hand to the "hammering" (put same hand you just threw frisbee with up by your shoulder/face) refrence point and then striking with a hammerfist or inward handsword/chop.
But even that simple idea of hammer, thrust, and whip does take one thing

Practice, practice, practice.........

Yes Mrs. Peabody...........(hate piano lessons)
:asian:
 

bdparsons

Black Belt
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
522
Reaction score
14
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
These elements do create more than the "appearance" of speed. Properly incorporated they do result in greater speed. Basic physiological rules (or body mechanics).

Respects,
Bill Parsons
 

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,573
Reaction score
456
Location
Terre Haute, IN
Originally posted by bdparsons

These elements do create more than the "appearance" of speed. Properly incorporated they do result in greater speed.

I believe it--but I imagine it also makes the moves look smoother and faster.
 
OP
C

c2kenpo

Guest
Originally posted by arnisador

I believe it--but I imagine it also makes the moves look smoother and faster.

From the third person view using all of Kenpos principles the moves do appear to be extremely fast. Some would then say speed does not make for quality on contact and that is the beauty of Kenpo is that when you hit with proper body mechanics even with speed the force is devestating.

Recalling a seminar with Mr. Paul Dye and I questioned him about "recoil" OUch.....
 

Sigung86

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Mar 16, 2002
Messages
898
Reaction score
15
Location
Wright City, MO
In between bouts of going 90 mph, try very slow speed with your techniques sbout Tai Chi speed. This trains the synapses and allows you, consciously, to become aware of the muscular functions. That way, you are putting the knowledge into the body in several ways.

Ed Parker said, so I have heard, that when asked about how he was so fast, I move efficiently, not quickly... Or words to that effect.

The slow training is just one more trick in learning to move very fast and efficiently.

Dan
 
OP
E

Elfan

Guest
Sigung86, could you elaborate on that? Are you saying that the best way to become fast is to do it slow and get it right (efficient, proper body mechanics etc.) which will cause the speed to come naturally?
 
OP
R

rmcrobertson

Guest
I'm wit' Dan.

I think that the best best to develop "hand speed," and I'm not at all convinced that "hand speed," is worth a damn, is to really work your kenpo...the forms and sets especially.

In fact, I'm convinced that not only useful speed (as opposed to "useless") but any speed at all properly comes from the floor, the feet, the hips, the waist, in that order. Assuming, of course, that you're just moving by yourself--if you're hitting somebody, a lot of your speed comes from them. Example: the step-back and back-knuckle in, "Thundering Hammers."

Here's my cheap saying: "If your hands are wrong, look at your feet."

Then again, I can't imagine me and a speed bag.

Robert
 

Sigung86

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Mar 16, 2002
Messages
898
Reaction score
15
Location
Wright City, MO
Originally posted by Elfan

Sigung86, could you elaborate on that? Are you saying that the best way to become fast is to do it slow and get it right (efficient, proper body mechanics etc.) which will cause the speed to come naturally?

Exactly!!! To borrow a historical bit. Lord Talleyrand was headed to London in his coach and four in the days of yore. There was a major storm going on and the driver was trying to make quick time. He was running through puddles, and big gaping holes and greatly impeding his own progress. Talleyrand tapped up on the roof with his cane and told the driver, "Slow down! I'm in a hurry!"

Anybody can "rip" through techniques... You've probably seen some folks who can really "rip". But I will guarantee you that unless they have been doing it slowly and with sensitivity, they aren't ripping really well.

Doctor Bob says it well. How fast do you need to go? If you are ripping and tearing through a technique and the attacker's body hasn't had time to react to the previous strikes, you are either slapping air, or not hitting inappropriate targets.

Speed is pretty, but unless it is applied in a fastidious and understood manner, and afer learning what you "should" be doing, it is the same as flailing the wind and about as useful.

I, like my learned friend, Doctor Bob, shudder at the thought of mixing up with a speed bag... And I see no reason to. If you can do a technique at a very slow speed with applied efficiency of motion, you can rip! Talk to Dennis Conatser, Doc Chapel, Doctor Bob, Larry Tatum ... Well you get the idea. I suspect all of them will tell you that learning and moving through the techniques with good form, balance, breathing, lack of intense focus and slowness is a great way to get the technique inculcated correctly and well.

It's sort of like driving a C5 Vette. 380 HP on the front of a 6 speed tranny. Any fool can go fast, but by going slow and learning how to shift efficiently, which muscles work best and easiest... Slowly working your way through the clutch/shift points and idiosyncracies will allow you to much more effectively go through the traps at a race... Or get you to your top end a lot more quickly and efficiently ... That would be a 12.7 second quarter mile at 120 mph. Or you will more quickly get to your top speed of 177 mph. And do it with control and efficiency.

I'm not trying to teach, and sorry if I sound like I'm preaching ... If I'm not clear or can help in any other way, please feel free to let me know.

Saintly Uncle Dan :asian: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :asian:
 
OP
R

rmcrobertson

Guest
Then too, if you really want a serious workout...try doing Kicking Set 1 at t'ai chi speed.
 
OP
C

Chu-Chulain

Guest
I believe one of the reasons the slow approach to training is so effective in the long run is muscle memory. You are training the actual cells of your muscles and the related brain synapses to autopilot under the correct stimulus.

Everyone can experience this phenomenon during the period of learning a new move/form/technique/etc.. The first few (0-20) times you perform it will feel somewhat un-intuitive, even awkward. The more times you repeat the same motion, the more familiar it feels and the more natural. At the same time your speed and efficiency increase because your brain and muscle coordination have been pre-programmed by the repetitions you have previously performed.

This can also be seen with similar techniques you have previously learnt and hence programmed, especially with common initial moves. You might begin with the intent of one technique, but your autopilot takes over from your conscious thought and before you know it you've done Dance of Death instead of Sleeper, etc.

Clearly if your repetetious training is incorrect, through trying to be fast instead of good initially, you are then programming a bad autopilot that is less effective and efficient in the long run.

In terms of actual effective physical conditioning for speed, I believe the key is focused training. With any physical conditioning, your muscles will adapt to the highest imperative you place on them. Thus if you run a lot, your muscles (and other support functions such as heart, lungs, etc.) will adapt themselves to be most efficient when running, i.e. slow steady aerobic style activity. Now for Martial Arts, you really want explosive power and speed (and of course accuracy), things you don't really gain from running alot (or other aerobic exercise).

If you cross train and perform different types of conditioning, e.g. at the gym doing some running, some cycling, some slow, heavy weights, etc. What you are really doing is compromising your muscles to deal with many different imperatives and thus will not be fully efficient at any of them. To ensure you gain power and speed for Kenpo, perform exercises that mimic movements, but with resistance and explosive power. An ideal example is clap hands push-ups. You are basically mimicking a palm strike (and punch) action under resistance and at high speed. Another similar one is knuckle bounce push-ups (i.e. do knuckle push-ups and push up off the ground at the top, landing back on your knuckles- can also be good, but painful knuckle conditioning on a wooden floor!).

Frankly I think just practising Kenpo frequently and with passion and energy, and maybe use a heavy bag to add resistance, is an excellent way to train the body.

One last thought is the importance of flexibility and muscle looseness. The better stretching I do, the faster and easier my training and reactions.
 
OP
C

Chu-Chulain

Guest
An additional comment on the suggestions to perform various activities slowly, e.g. at Tai Chi speed.

This is a great way to instill correct technique, to enhance breathing with body motion and to strengthen muscles, but it will only enhance your speed as a consequence of increased muscle strength. In and of itself, slow movements will train your muscles to be slow, not fast.

When I perform something slowly a number of times, I make sure I perform it at full speed more times to train for full speed movement as well as correctness, etc.
 
OP
E

Elfan

Guest
Sigung86 I see what your saying now, I was a little confused by "Tai Chi speed" speed. When I think Tai Chi I think fluid, which is different from speed.... Anyway I couldnt agree more, become fast by doing the stuff right.

Just one point here:
How fast do you need to go? If you are ripping and tearing through a technique and the attacker's body hasn't had time to react to the previous strikes, you are either slapping air, or not hitting inappropriate targets.

When I think speed I think doing each individual move quickly. Not necessarily decreasing the time we take to choose what we are going to do. I think people who don't take any time (I mean fraction of a second) to choose are the ones who look like a crazy flopping fish.

Chu-Chulain, just a note, as you are no doubt aware the use of polymetrics, mimicking sports specific movements in the gym, "explosive" weight lifting etc is rather controversial.
 
OP
R

rmcrobertson

Guest
In my considered opinion, the pursuit of speed is a dead end. Certainly, I've never seen a martial arts book--not Mr. parker's--that advocates, or instructs, in building speed. Strength, yes. Power, sure. Form? Above all. But speed...nope, I don't think so. Because it's a dead end. Ask how to build better form.

Thanks.
 

Sigung86

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Mar 16, 2002
Messages
898
Reaction score
15
Location
Wright City, MO
Chu-Chulain, Elfan, I probably did not make myself clear when stating what I did. Im hearkening back to old days when Tai Chi Speed simply meant slow. I am sorry for not being clearer. But, by the same token, it doesnt hurt to do your techniques the same as you would Tai Chi Chuan, that would be the same as slow and flowing.

I didnt, at any time, advocate that you only do your techniques slowly. As a matter of fact, the whole idea, in my mind, and as I train, is to do techniques slowly with fluidity and very little external power, followed by slowly with fluidity and external power, and finally at speed with power.

Not being a follower of all the latest training fads, I simply do what works for me. A combination of all of the above adds a bit of the Yin and Yang and selective fun to the old training schedule.

Chu-Chulain There is, in my mind, a point to doing motions which are similar to the motions we do to perform a technique. Muscle memory, no matter how you define it, is an important aspect of being able to function quickly. Ed Parker saw this when he used to talk about how punching was simply an extension, if you will, of reaching in front of you for something. A Parry could be very similar to reaching up and running your fingers through the hair on the side of your head, etc. It stands to reason that teaching your muscles and muscle groups similar motions could not hurt. Even at speed and with strength.

I do, however, think that slow motion, in the beginning, is as important, if not more important than fast motion. Again, my opinion only, we are teaching the muscles motion with that type of exercise. Not speed, not power that can all be added with extra exercises and the type of training that Chu-Chulain is talking about and by simply doing at speed with power techniques. I simply think back to things that are natural For instance, we, as babies, did not start off running. We had to teach our bodies and minds the motions and efforts and Physical Alignments needed to create a controlled falling condition, that would be walking, followed by running LOL!

When I teach stance acquisition, I do it, in the beginning, slowly, and with deliberation, that way the student gets to feel all the muscular and synaptic connections that must be made to successfully acquire a neutral bow, hard bow, kneel stance, etc. I have found over the years that if you go at it fast and hard in the beginning, you will have to stop somewhere along the way and correct for bad habits acquired early on.

And not to sound stuffy, or anything like that, but I approach Kenpo more from the traditional Chinese methodology than many others. I have a relatively deep perspective from Shaolin Training of many years ago.
I work with Physical Alignments (thanks to you know who! :lol: ) and body training for the maximum application of power that is both external and internal. Before anyone gets heated up Im not saying that anyone elses approach is wrong, and I am not asking anyone to believe in something that they have not felt or experienced (Chi). It is simply my approach based on my early training and years of experience. There are, in my estimation, more types of power in the human paradigm than simply muscular application, but that is for a different series of posts. And, actually, whether there is or not for you, it doesnt hurt to train as if there might be! LOL! This is, after all, a lifetime journey, and one, in which, I want to explore all the possibilities.

Going fast at the expense of slowness and learning, may be better It is, as elfan said, controversial. I simply, personally, do not see it as a useful adjunct to teaching something that should be a lifelong skill. Beside that, it is just fun sometimes to slow down and at least see the roses! :lol:

When I think speed I think doing each individual move quickly. Not necessarily decreasing the time we take to choose what we are going to do. I think people who don't take any time (I mean fraction of a second) to choose are the ones who look like a crazy flopping fish.

Exactly Ripping quickly through techniques does not give you the opportunity, or the option to change, or more than superficially, control your desired outcomes.

Intelligent application of speed and power, combined with observation and determination is the way to go, in my opinion. It is much like the old famous gunfighters like Bat Masterson He said that he wasnt the fastest, but he was among the successful ones who realized that accuracy and choice was better than speed alone. Although, it is important, in my mind to have both. Extreme speed is, again my opinion only, a tertiary requirement.

Simply take my comments for what they are ... Comments based on opinion and the paradigm of my experience. That is, after all, the total of the knowledge that I have to draw on. Individual results may vary.

Dan
 

kenpo_cory

Purple Belt
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
302
Reaction score
5
Location
Louisiana
originally posted by Sigung86
I do, however, think that slow motion, in the beginning, is as important, if not more important than fast motion. Again, my opinion only, we are teaching the muscles motion with that type of exercise. Not speed, not power that can all be added with extra exercises and the type of training that Chu-Chulain is talking about and by simply doing at speed with power techniques.

This is exactly what my instructor tells us. He told me to work on my form first, and the rest, such as speed and power, will follow with practice. A saying he likes to use is a thousand times slow to one time fast. I'm sure he doesn't mean that literally, but we get the point. Most of the advice you gave in this post sounds a lot like my insructor.
:asian:
 
Top