"Speed" in Japanese and/or Okinawan karate

Gaucho

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Speed is always important, but are there some styles which really focus on developing speed in strikes more than other styles do?
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Buka

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I think that depends more on the school and the people teaching than on the style. I was friendly with a lot of folks who ran dojos over the years. Some schools trained differently from others of the same style, some of whom came from the exact same lineage.

We did a lot of speed exercises, a lot of fast twitch work, but a lot of strength work as well.

We also did a lot of work on how to beat superior speed. With superior timing.
 

isshinryuronin

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There are some styles that stress speed as part of their design: escrima & silat, American kenpo, and some Okinawan styles, come to mind. Economy of motion, timing, balance, muscle tension, and hand position in kumai/guard all affect speed. These factors involve relative speed - may not travel as fast, but get there soonest (which is what really counts.) Then there is raw speed - how fast the practitioner's weapon can travel thru space. Physical ability, reaction time and, I believe, one's mental/spiritual bearing contribute to this. So, style, raw and relative speed all combine into this question of speed. And, as always, it takes an instructor to pass these concepts on to their students.
 

Gweilo

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Speed is excellent, when used in the right context, unfortunately speed can make some people delusional. See what I mean in the following FB link

A Idz Pan W Cholere
 

Buka

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There are some styles that stress speed as part of their design: escrima & silat, American kenpo, and some Okinawan styles, come to mind. Economy of motion, timing, balance, muscle tension, and hand position in kumai/guard all affect speed. These factors involve relative speed - may not travel as fast, but get there soonest (which is what really counts.) Then there is raw speed - how fast the practitioner's weapon can travel thru space. Physical ability, reaction time and, I believe, one's mental/spiritual bearing contribute to this. So, style, raw and relative speed all combine into this question of speed. And, as always, it takes an instructor to pass these concepts on to their students.

I agree with you. But I think that all striking arts teach that. I'm talking more about drills to actually improve speed. One's actual speed can be improved if worked on properly. What one does with improved speed is something else entirely.
 

CB Jones

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It's all about what type of muscle fiber you are building.

To build speed in striking it's about adding fast twitch muscle fiber.
 

Buka

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I'm so fast I can steal your radio and leave the music.
 

jobo

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It's all about what type of muscle fiber you are building.

To build speed in striking it's about adding fast twitch muscle fiber.
You can't add muscle fibres at all? ,Your rather stuck with what God gave you, you can convert type two to type two A, , that's faster , slow twitch fibres or slow fast twitch , one of them

But speed , as opposed to power , us more governed by the. Co ordination of nervous system Han which fibres your using,
 
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gpseymour

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You can't add muscle fibres at all? ,Your rather stuck with what God gave you, you can convert type two to type two A, , that's faster , slow twitch fibres or slow fast twitch , one of them

But speed , as opposed to power , us more governed by the. Co ordination of nervous system Han which fibres your using,
I think the common confusion about adding muscle fibers is because the cells can actually add new myfibrils during hypertrophy. If that's what they refer to by "fibers", then they're right. If they mean "cells", I think you're correct.

As for changing type, there seems to still be argument about that. There are studies going all the way back to the 1960's that purport to show slow-twitch muscle converting to fast-twitch and back. Apparently, we (maybe) all have some amount of "hybrid" cells that can change rapidly in response to the demands of a given course of activity. They're more common in sedentary people, far less common in elite athletes (to the point that they may have no hybrid cells). My best read of what I've seen is that these hybrid cells are what shifts around, so we can change our FT% by recruiting these hybrid cells to fast-twitch/superfast-twitch.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

Not everyone can have speed, but nearly everyone can have good technique. Not everyone can have strength, but nearly everyone can have technique.

Good technique can beat speed and strength. It's great if you can have all three, but if you cant, focus on technique. Age and infirmity will take this from you last.
 

jobo

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Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

Not everyone can have speed, but nearly everyone can have good technique. Not everyone can have strength, but nearly everyone can have technique.

Good technique can beat speed and strength. It's great if you can have all three, but if you cant, focus on technique. Age and infirmity will take this from you last.
well sort of, id postulate, thatgood technique is co coordination, an so to a large part are strength ( power) and speed. but of the three, allowing you trained them all, strength is the last to go

at 60 I'm stronger than I've ever been, unfortunately, despite no end if effort, i can't recapturethe speed or co ordination that i had in my 20s, but then i was heavily blessed with both,
 

JR 137

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Speed, strength, and technique are great and all, but IMO something trumps them all: vision (for lack of a better word, and not from an acuity sense). If you can see things unfold early, you can react early. Ever spar with one of those people who seemed to know what you were going to do before you knew what you were going to do? That’s what I mean by having great vision. I hate sparring with those guys. And I love sparring with those guys. Everything I throw gets countered by those guys before I’m done throwing it. There’s a woman at my dojo who’s one of the best fighters I’ve ever been around. She’s not very fast, to say the least. But she sees the kick or punch coming and the opening its left and my punch is deflected and I’m hit 2-3 times before I’ve followed through with the initial punch. She doesn’t hit me like that because of hand speed. It’s her “vision.” Someone who’s got average speed and power is going to hurt you if they see the fight right.

All IMO.
 
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Gaucho

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JR 137 describes an interesting phenomenon, which is a matter of eye>to>brain coordination, brain speed, and sometimes brain>to>body speed on the way back out. I know a martial artist like that, and he just functions on a different time frame, so to speak. He has trained a lot, but he has natural ability as well, as have most (or all) top athletes. I sparred with him, and when I threw a punch at him, he turned a little bit and slapped me across the head with a side kick before my punch got to him. I may as well have been fighting Superman.

Wayne Gretzky has that, which allowed him to figure out what was happening and what was going to happen before the other hockey players did.
 

JR 137

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JR 137 describes an interesting phenomenon, which is a matter of eye>to>brain coordination, brain speed, and sometimes brain>to>body speed on the way back out. I know a martial artist like that, and he just functions on a different time frame, so to speak. He has trained a lot, but he has natural ability as well, as have most (or all) top athletes. I sparred with him, and when I threw a punch at him, he turned a little bit and slapped me across the head with a side kick before my punch got to him. I may as well have been fighting Superman.

Wayne Gretzky has that, which allowed him to figure out what was happening and what was going to happen before the other hockey players did.
Gretzky is a great example. He wasn’t the fastest, strongest, and most purely physically gifted hockey player. He saw the game unfold and always put himself in the right place at the right time. That’s that vision I’m talking about.

Michael Jordan is my default example. Like Gretzky, he wasn’t the fastest and most physically gifted guy. He was above average, but there were plenty of better athletes when he played. But he always seemed to be a step ahead of everyone else. Everyone remembers those spectacular dunks and jump shots where he shook off two guys right in front of him. He did that by seeing what was going on and taking advantage of every little opening he was given. It was like he had ESP and knew what was going to happen before it actually happened.

I think that’s what truly separates the elite from the rest. They see what’s going on and somehow consistently anticipate things right. They’re seeing the tells, cues, etc. and reacting. If you know exactly what’s coming and where, it makes getting into the right place and countering a hell of a lot easier.

I’m not saying I’ve sparred with MAists on Jordan and Gretzky’s level. Not even close. But the people I have in mind that I have sparred with have that trait of being able to easily read what I’m doing and take full advantage. And they’re not particularly gifted with purely physical attributes. And they didn’t sit there and study my movement before they sparred me.

I wish I had that ability. I keep trying :)
 

Bill Mattocks

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That 'vision' thing could be technique. It can be learned and practiced. The first thing I've noticed about those guys is they're not looking me in the eyes...
 

jobo

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That 'vision' thing could be technique. It can be learned and practiced. The first thing I've noticed about those guys is they're not looking me in the eyes...
yes it is a technique, but a cerebral one, its modeling the " world" and using that model to make predictions, its what we do all the time when driving, or should.advance driving course will focus very much on building that skill by doing a running commentary of what you see and what you predict may happen. " pedestrian staring at his phone, fairly good chance he will step out with out looking" etc

even if you are making multiple predictions, out comes of increasing likelihood, the fact that the eventually when it occurs has been already considered and your response to some level predetermined means your reaction speed seems greatly increased, in advance examples as given above to the point you appear superhuman
 
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gpseymour

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That 'vision' thing could be technique. It can be learned and practiced. The first thing I've noticed about those guys is they're not looking me in the eyes...
Much of it is likely an unconscious pattern recognition, paired with an unusual level of trust in that process’s result.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Much of it is likely an unconscious pattern recognition, paired with an unusual level of trust in that process’s result.

Trust is built based on results, positive and negative.

I've had people say I'm fast when I spar. I'm not. I'm actually quite slow. And most of the fast people in my dojo are much too fast for me. Usually I don't need to be fast, I'm prepared.
 
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