To defeat an attacker, especially one that’s bigger and stronger than you, you need to know not only the instant destruction points that will take them out quickly, but also the close quarters tactics that will allow you to hit with extreme power.
It’s easy enough to learn those targets, and with practice you can become a master of technique for close counter strikes.
But what’s the secret to developing bulldozer-like power that will make your enemy see stars with every punch or kick?
Einstein had the answer when he came up with his formula:
Energy or power equals mass times velocity squared.
What this means to you is that velocity — or speed, not size and strength — is what matters when it comes to creating maximum power.
So, how can you train for speed and deliver more power in all of your strikes?
Not long ago I spoke again to famed martial arts expert Loren Christensen about how to increase your fighting speed.
Here is a run-down of what he had to tell me.
Street Fight Training: 3 Tips To Strike Faster And Harder!
There are a lot of myths about fighting speed.
If you look up “speed hitting” on YouTube you see a lot of really ridiculous stuff.
You see guys turning their hands like little eggbeaters.
If they were to bend over and put their arms in a tub of potatoes, they’d make mashed potatoes.
The person they’re doing it on goes, “Whoa! Whoa!”
He backs up and he’s all amazed at the speed.
The puncher is doing it fast, but how effective is that?
(There’s one style that does that quite a bit.)
It is just speed for the sake of speed, without having any thought of hitting hard or hitting to a specific target.
Then there’s the other kind of speed.
That’s speed that complements other elements, such as your body alignment, your skeletal alignment, your balance, your ability to penetrate into a target, your fighting strategy.
When you can complement those elements with great reaction speed, perception speed, and physical speed, THEN you have a NASTY technique.
Self-defense is all about accuracy.
It’s all about dropping people by hitting specific targets.
There are also vulnerable targets you can hit.
Even if the person can’t feel those blows, he will still react to them because they are targets that debilitate, or cause unconsciousness, or cause a person to lose the stability in their legs — that sort of thing.
So it’s all about targets.
More importantly, it’s about penetration to vulnerable targets.
Here are three tips to get faster:
Tip #1: Don't Go Too Fast Too Soon
The biggest mistake people make in training is by going too fast too soon.
It is easy to do, but you don’t want to start off that way.
Slow down so that you can learn all the nuances of the technique, or combination.
You want to make sure you have proper hip rotation, which is really key.
You also want to make sure that you have good body alignment, that you have good balance and penetration, that you’re closing or crossing the gap properly and safely, and that you’re escaping after you do your damage.
Tip #2: Make Your Exit As Fast As Your Entry
Another mistake is if you come at your attacker and hit, hit, hit, and then stay there and admire your work.
Get out of there.
That guy may have absorbed your attack.
He may have eaten your blows and is not affected by them, and he starts hitting you back.
So get in there, do your thing, and move back out.
Tip #3: Slow Down To Get Faster
The fastest way to fix these things is simply to slow down.
Part of being mature and wise in the martial arts is to control yourself.
Take your time.
You’ll get faster sooner if you go slow in the beginning.
Create that physical pattern that comes from doing repetitions, and specifically combinations.
Do the combinations over and over and over again and pretty soon you’ll find yourself starting to speed up just a little bit.
If you have a partner and he says, “You’re looking pretty good. I think you can pick up the speed,” or you can be really honest with yourself in the mirror, then you can slowly start to speed up.
Slowly start to pick up your speed so you don’t lose your accuracy.
If you start to have problems, slow down again.
That speed will come faster if you take your time building it up.