"Float like a Butterfy...
Sting like a bee" - Muhammed Ali
Words of wisdom from the late Champ, as he knew that sheer power was not the only answer.
So many people ask me about "Energy Transfer", the reply is always the same, "Ease Up".
Because when you use power (or try to), many physiological things happen in the body. When you work with power it is a combination of many muscles that are called into play along with body alignment and planted firm stance.
The use of many muscles begins a chain reaction of antagonistic muscles working to execute the strike (as an example). For the Karateka that first involves the feet being planted to grip the ground and funnel the leg, hips, torso to the shoulder and arm muscles. Next the force is generated to a bludgeoning type weapon, that has the entire body lock behind it upon impact. While this type of strike (it equally applies to kicks, elbow, knees, headbutts and seizing or finger attacks), does have great power capable of damage of the opponents muscle and bone structure, it is like a snow show on the snow, keeping the weight of the blow spread out on the surface of that human shell. On impact the arm reverberates with the contact shock wave traveling back into the arm of the practitioner... sending sensory nerve messaging back toward the practitioners brain.
There are so many things involved in this process that restrict energy transfer into the opponents inner anatomical and physiological structure that actually can not enact the Kyusho well or at all.
- The planting of the feet involves sinking the weight and enacting the muscles of the legs for that stability and weighting. This requires neurological energy transfer from the brain to the muscles for constriction and action... diverting the kinetic transfer available for the opponent into the practitioners own legs.
- As the leg pushes off the ground to feed into the hips, even more of the kinetic energy is utilized for that action and in a different direction. It transfers from the straightening action into a rotational action, again requiring more muscles to fire and energize to not build as much momentum as they change directions.
- Next the torso follows the hips, rotating as it contracts the front torso muscles and relaxes the rear and side torso musculature. The opposite side torso muscles constrict to enact the torso rotation, this again diverts neuro-messaging from the brain to those muscles diverting even more momentum and velocity.
- As the shoulder (deltoid) muscles begin to lift the arm, yet another directional action differing from the turning action takes place.
- As the arm begins to extend the triceps begin to constrict, forearm and hand tighten, again all requiring great effort and nerve transmission to accomplish.
- The arm moves in an arcing action as opposed to the linear action until just prior to contact where it turns linear.
- The wrist on impact diverts the focus of the knuckles from the linear targeting and greater depth penetration.
- Arm locks to drive the full body behind it.
Film from YouTube of Chuck Johnson posted as a great slow motion example of muscle, body and reverberation described.
The film has been edited and slowed to greater detail the implications of a power strike.
Not meant as criticism or as incorrect, he did break the boards, which is no easy feat.
Here is a stepped explanation of how to convert your strikes for Kyusho so that they may transfer the energy into the intended target with greater affect.
The feet should be kept in motion so as not to plant the weight to divert the neuro messaging to the feet and leg muscles.
The body must be kept relaxed as opposed to locked and tight. Staying in motion like Mohamed Ali did dancing around the ring is a good example.
Body remains loose and relaxed which increases speed and velocity with less power.
As the arm extends toward the target, it is relaxed except the triceps which only extends the arm.
Arm remains lose only using one muscle to work, allowing more linear focus in the extension as opposed to the arc of the power strike.
Upon impact the hand rotates into the target with a twisting action much like a screw, using torque as the power generation.
The impact is the sharp focused knuckle with the trajectory sending the message into the nerve.
Arm never lock as the strike is delivered with a short,sharp jabbing action to penetrate past the surrounding structural barriers.
Especially for hard style Karateka this is not an easy transition,however once it is realized your entire art gains far more potential and possibility,not to mention your Kyusho gets better.
"Sting like a Bee"