The Mechanics Of Powering Your Martial Arts Movement

Wing Woo Gar

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This is one example. Here the back fists is aimed at the face. Do this same motion in the mirror and attack your reflection on the under the eye. Then use the same motion to attack your reflections collar bone and you'll feel that downward strike developing

most people think of them as quick pops, but you can get some serious power out of them so long as you know how to get the power started. In the video. Pulling back the arm starts the power generation. Do this combo right foot forward. Right straight punch - left straight punch - Vertical down back fist.

As you are pulling the left punch is extended that back fist should be at a point where it's "powered." Now try the same thing with just the back fist. No power generation.
I like to combo this with an overhead punch. I also use it in a 10 punch combination with cross steps and spin outs for training. Thank you for the detail.
 

J. Pickard

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The biomechanics and quality of efficiency is affected by a great number of things, otherwise why do two similar sized people punch harder or faster than each other? If Dirty Dog and I were twins, he might still have a better grasp of how to apply his levers( or wrenches) than I do. If I missed two nights of sleep, i will certainly have an obvious deficit In my proprioceptive capability, which would definitely affect my mechanical efficiency. There are just too many factors involved to get to a useful and applicable equation that fits each human at any given moment.
yes, human bodies are variable. Nobody is debating that. But the basic mechanics of HOW never changes (so far). But still not my point. My point is that properly identifying what it is you are trying to learn can help you achieve it faster. There is a reason many (most) of the top athletes and professional sports teams hire kinematics scientists and look to the field of sports sciences to find a way to improve their team/athletes overall performance. This isn't possible unless the terms of the question are properly asked. Take for example the study out of University of Tehran that I mentioned in a previous post. What they were focusing on in that study is broken down into a few parts: 1. what punch has the highest potential of impact force in boxing? 2. Why? 3. How can we train this punch to be the most efficient (deliver highest impact force consistently) for any boxer? In this study they found out the best way(s) to make a hook punch deliver the highest impact force under given circumstances and determined the most effective forms of exercise and training to accomplish such a goal. This doesn't mean it is the most effective always. It does not take into account size of the target vs size of the puncher. It doesn't take into account reaction time or experience or muscle fatigue. It is looking only at how to, in basic terms, hit the hardest. That was the topic of this thread, the mechanics of delivering "power" i.e. hit harder. This is a topic studied extensively in sports sciences but in the case of a punch or strike or kick, power is not the accurate term to define what we are trying to accomplish. I am suggesting, maybe in a poorly worded fashion, that it can be easier to understand the basic principals of hitting harder if you define the terms more accurately to better understand what it means to hit harder, or as put her with more "power". I can accept that power here is a colloquialism and defining it in a literal sense is somewhat pedantic, but if you really want to understand something I would expect that means correctly understanding the definition of the terms used. You don't call a kick a foot strike (maybe you do?) even though it is exactly that because it isn't the correct term in most situations. If teaching someone how to do a basic front kick you don't say "lets practice foot strikes" you say "lets practice kicks" because it is the correct term. So when you say lets explore the "power" of strikes and are implying how to hit harder, the more accurate term is not the colloquial term "power".
Also here is your equation for a person punching (image because not all text format is supported here)
1638544542806.png
 

Flying Crane

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It is looking only at how to, in basic terms, hit the hardest. That was the topic of this thread, the mechanics of delivering "power" i.e. hit harder.

Ah, I see the problem. I believe this is NOT the topic of this thread. The topic is really about how does the engine under the hood work in an overall way. Upon what methodologies is your martial system built, to make it effective. Powerful punching is part of that picture, but not the strict topic of this thread. The method that I described for my system, for example, is effective in building powerful punches, but can be used in application of joint locks, throwing, displacing an opponent from their position, etc.

So we are looking at a larger picture than just powerful punches. This is why I pointed out earlier that getting slogged down in the semantics and the definition of power in the context of physics isnt useful. We are not really interested in that kind of strict measurement or narrow use of the term.

And a little side note on your reference to the Tehran study. Granted, I havent read it. But you commented that they identified the best way to build power for certain punches. My comment would be that at best, they identified the best way insofar as the methods with which they are familiar and have access to quality instruction. I suspect there are methods from other martial systems that they would not have been in a position to test and compare. I say this simply because there are way way too many methods out there to reasonably believe they would have experience with all of them.
 

dvcochran

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yes, human bodies are variable. Nobody is debating that. But the basic mechanics of HOW never changes (so far). But still not my point. My point is that properly identifying what it is you are trying to learn can help you achieve it faster. There is a reason many (most) of the top athletes and professional sports teams hire kinematics scientists and look to the field of sports sciences to find a way to improve their team/athletes overall performance. This isn't possible unless the terms of the question are properly asked. Take for example the study out of University of Tehran that I mentioned in a previous post. What they were focusing on in that study is broken down into a few parts: 1. what punch has the highest potential of impact force in boxing? 2. Why? 3. How can we train this punch to be the most efficient (deliver highest impact force consistently) for any boxer? In this study they found out the best way(s) to make a hook punch deliver the highest impact force under given circumstances and determined the most effective forms of exercise and training to accomplish such a goal. This doesn't mean it is the most effective always. It does not take into account size of the target vs size of the puncher. It doesn't take into account reaction time or experience or muscle fatigue. It is looking only at how to, in basic terms, hit the hardest. That was the topic of this thread, the mechanics of delivering "power" i.e. hit harder. This is a topic studied extensively in sports sciences but in the case of a punch or strike or kick, power is not the accurate term to define what we are trying to accomplish. I am suggesting, maybe in a poorly worded fashion, that it can be easier to understand the basic principals of hitting harder if you define the terms more accurately to better understand what it means to hit harder, or as put her with more "power". I can accept that power here is a colloquialism and defining it in a literal sense is somewhat pedantic, but if you really want to understand something I would expect that means correctly understanding the definition of the terms used. You don't call a kick a foot strike (maybe you do?) even though it is exactly that because it isn't the correct term in most situations. If teaching someone how to do a basic front kick you don't say "lets practice foot strikes" you say "lets practice kicks" because it is the correct term. So when you say lets explore the "power" of strikes and are implying how to hit harder, the more accurate term is not the colloquial term "power".
Also here is your equation for a person punching (image because not all text format is supported here)
Fully agree.
Our son does data analytics for pro and college teams. Primarily in the evaluation of talent (ability). He has built some impressive models and the depth and breadth of what they capture is amazing to me.
Determining the measurables and figuring out how they can tie together and how to weight them has been an evolving process for him.
When we talk about it, where I am totally out of my element, he is very matter of fact that his job is to capture and coalesce data. Not what is done with the data, which you mentioned. He really gets the distribution (of labor) properties very well.
He has said before that he sees his data mining becoming an established process at some point; where a coach/trainer can take the model and check the boxes an athlete does or does not meeet, determine a score and cull or continue to the next process with that athlete.
This is essentially where the intangibles begin. As you said, two identical people can do a punch or kick or pass a football the same way (in essence) but have completely different results. His models go pretty far in to factoring this into account but, man oh man, does it take a lot of code and conditioning of the results. For example, in your equation, capturing the variables, deciding how to use them, and deciding how much affect each one has is difficult; especially when you are trying to factor out subjectivity.

Bringing this back to MA's, I cannot count how many times I have pondered this when watching people do forms. You can watch them do individual moves with proficiency but when consolidated into a form they can just look wrong. However, identifying the 'why' is very tough sometimes.
Sometimes this can translate to their sparring ability. While harder to translate the mechanical deficits, it can be easier to identify mental quirks or deficiencies. But factoring these elements out is much more difficult most often.

It is a very deep well.
 

dvcochran

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We are not really interested in that kind of strict measurement or narrow use of the term.
Who are the "We" you are referring to? I find the mathematical breakdown fascinating.
My comment would be that at best, they identified the best way insofar as the methods with which they are familiar and have access to quality instruction. I suspect there are methods from other martial systems that they would not have been in a position to test and compare. I say this simply because there are way way too many methods out there to reasonably believe they would have experience with all of them.
This is a different way of saying exactly what has been said using math. Just a semantic viewpoint of the same material.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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yes, human bodies are variable. Nobody is debating that. But the basic mechanics of HOW never changes (so far). But still not my point. My point is that properly identifying what it is you are trying to learn can help you achieve it faster. There is a reason many (most) of the top athletes and professional sports teams hire kinematics scientists and look to the field of sports sciences to find a way to improve their team/athletes overall performance. This isn't possible unless the terms of the question are properly asked. Take for example the study out of University of Tehran that I mentioned in a previous post. What they were focusing on in that study is broken down into a few parts: 1. what punch has the highest potential of impact force in boxing? 2. Why? 3. How can we train this punch to be the most efficient (deliver highest impact force consistently) for any boxer? In this study they found out the best way(s) to make a hook punch deliver the highest impact force under given circumstances and determined the most effective forms of exercise and training to accomplish such a goal. This doesn't mean it is the most effective always. It does not take into account size of the target vs size of the puncher. It doesn't take into account reaction time or experience or muscle fatigue. It is looking only at how to, in basic terms, hit the hardest. That was the topic of this thread, the mechanics of delivering "power" i.e. hit harder. This is a topic studied extensively in sports sciences but in the case of a punch or strike or kick, power is not the accurate term to define what we are trying to accomplish. I am suggesting, maybe in a poorly worded fashion, that it can be easier to understand the basic principals of hitting harder if you define the terms more accurately to better understand what it means to hit harder, or as put her with more "power". I can accept that power here is a colloquialism and defining it in a literal sense is somewhat pedantic, but if you really want to understand something I would expect that means correctly understanding the definition of the terms used. You don't call a kick a foot strike (maybe you do?) even though it is exactly that because it isn't the correct term in most situations. If teaching someone how to do a basic front kick you don't say "lets practice foot strikes" you say "lets practice kicks" because it is the correct term. So when you say lets explore the "power" of strikes and are implying how to hit harder, the more accurate term is not the colloquial term "power".
Also here is your equation for a person punching (image because not all text format is supported here)
This is very descriptive. I appreciate your efforts. I am not educated enough to really grasp this equation. I do want to say that what I was trying to get to isnt how to strike harder. What I am interested in here is how each person describes how they experience or generate the energy that creates the motion that is expressed in the strike. Im not looking for the best way, I not looking for how to strike harder. im interested in the feeling or sensation of how different people experience this, including you. Equations dont tell me what you feel or what you experience. Im not a great writer and Im not highly educated so Im doing the best I can to express what I am asking about. Thank you, I do enjoy reading your response, in as much as I am able to understand it.
 

J. Pickard

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This is very descriptive. I appreciate your efforts. I am not educated enough to really grasp this equation. I do want to say that what I was trying to get to isnt how to strike harder. What I am interested in here is how each person describes how they experience or generate the energy that creates the motion that is expressed in the strike. Im not looking for the best way, I not looking for how to strike harder. im interested in the feeling or sensation of how different people experience this, including you. Equations dont tell me what you feel or what you experience. Im not a great writer and Im not highly educated so Im doing the best I can to express what I am asking about. Thank you, I do enjoy reading your response, in as much as I am able to understand it.
Well I seem to have misunderstood the point of your initial post. My mistake.
 
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JowGaWolf

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So we are looking at a larger picture than just powerful punches.
Exactly Which is why I wanted to focus on the movement of generating power. The movement will always be constant and wouldn't need to take into consideration the many variables.
 

Flying Crane

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This is very descriptive. I appreciate your efforts. I am not educated enough to really grasp this equation. I do want to say that what I was trying to get to isnt how to strike harder. What I am interested in here is how each person describes how they experience or generate the energy that creates the motion that is expressed in the strike. Im not looking for the best way, I not looking for how to strike harder. im interested in the feeling or sensation of how different people experience this, including you. Equations dont tell me what you feel or what you experience. Im not a great writer and Im not highly educated so Im doing the best I can to express what I am asking about. Thank you, I do enjoy reading your response, in as much as I am able to understand it.
My personal, non-scientifically researched opinion: there is no way to reliably identify the best method for any of this. There are simply too many variables between people and how they relate to methods and what their abilities are within those methods. I suspect this issue is so prominent that at best, what can be determined is a comparison of how a single person performs when executing a variety of techniques. Once you try to expand the sample size in the study in order to discover trends, the variables become extremely difficult to control for. Issues like natural talent; raw strength that may or may not be relevant to one type of punch vs. another; the length and depth and type of training that a person has had in their martial history; the specific methodologies that they have trained, and how closely those methodologies relate to the common method being tested for; and a whole lot of etc. after that.

I really believe these studies are problematic.
 

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My personal, non-scientifically researched opinion: there is no way to reliably identify the best method for any of this. There are simply too many variables between people and how they relate to methods and what their abilities are within those methods.
This is true. At best, it is possible to draw conclusions about some generalities, but specifics are too varied from one person to another.
 
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JowGaWolf

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My personal, non-scientifically researched opinion: there is no way to reliably identify the best method for any of this.
This reminds me of when I asked my teacher how was he able to strike me so quickly and block me so quickly. I asked him. "How do you react so quickly" He said. I don't react. I've been leading you to where I want you to be and how I want you to punch.

If you don't know this information. Then your physics will make the assumption that there was an equation to your speed and if you can move at speed x then you can do the same thing. Then they will develop a training program to make people faster. All of this would be done without the consideration for the simple reality "It's easy to be quick when you know what's coming."
 

Flying Crane

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This reminds me of when I asked my teacher how was he able to strike me so quickly and block me so quickly. I asked him. "How do you react so quickly" He said. I don't react. I've been leading you to where I want you to be and how I want you to punch.

If you don't know this information. Then your physics will make the assumption that there was an equation to your speed and if you can move at speed x then you can do the same thing. Then they will develop a training program to make people faster. All of this would be done without the consideration for the simple reality "It's easy to be quick when you know what's coming."
Damn, I had a good set of thoughts written here and something blipped and it disappeared.
 

dvcochran

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My personal, non-scientifically researched opinion: there is no way to reliably identify the best method for any of this. There are simply too many variables between people and how they relate to methods and what their abilities are within those methods. I suspect this issue is so prominent that at best, what can be determined is a comparison of how a single person performs when executing a variety of techniques. Once you try to expand the sample size in the study in order to discover trends, the variables become extremely difficult to control for. Issues like natural talent; raw strength that may or may not be relevant to one type of punch vs. another; the length and depth and type of training that a person has had in their martial history; the specific methodologies that they have trained, and how closely those methodologies relate to the common method being tested for; and a whole lot of etc. after that.

I really believe these studies are problematic.
To be clear, I do not think there is any mathematical equation that determines the 'best' MA method. There are formularies to determine the best average method. This is exactly where our training (styles and techniques) evolved from.
We fail, we do it again. We fail again, we do it again figuring out a better way to do it. This is a physical form of analytics.
 

J. Pickard

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To be clear, I do not think there is any mathematical equation that determines the 'best' MA method. There are formularies to determine the best average method. This is exactly where our training (styles and techniques) evolved from.
We fail, we do it again. We fail again, we do it again figuring out a better way to do it. This is a physical form of analytics.
I don't think this is necessarily true for individual techniques. There is a definitive max value based on the variables put in. Meaning one person's max potential value is not necessarily the same as another person's max potential value. And there is definitely an optimal way to achieve this since our understanding of body mechanics is very thorough we can find one way that is better than another. For example, no matter who the person is, a punch that uses full hip rotation timed well with the punch will always have more force than a punch that uses only the arm from that same person. That's actually how these equation works, all variables are undefined until you define them which is entirely dependent on the person. There is not one max output, and one person's max potential output can still be less than another persons 50% potential output. A child of 8 with perfect punching technique will likely never be able to hit as hard a a 250lb 6ft2 man that has terrible technique. But the method to maximize the output of force from the punch is necessarily the same for each.
 

J. Pickard

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To be clear, I do not think there is any mathematical equation that determines the 'best' MA method. There are formularies to determine the best average method. This is exactly where our training (styles and techniques) evolved from.
We fail, we do it again. We fail again, we do it again figuring out a better way to do it. This is a physical form of analytics.
and only now did I realize I think, once again, I misinterpreted your point. Just to clarify, are you saying there is no one best Martial art to develop technique? In that case I 100% agree. Each martial art with a similar goal (striking, grappling, etc) all usually try to train the same parts of the body for the same reason they just have different approaches. Karateka might hit makiwara or hand pads to develop penetrating strikes while a boxer would use a heavy bag for that purpose but both are developing the same thing just in a different way.
 
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