F=MxA (Force = Mass x Acceleration)
UYH=K (Use Your Head = Kyusho)
To a Karateka power is the quintessence of the art... really, use your head!
So the Karateka takes 10, 20, 30, 40+ years to develop that powerful punch... but to what end, this is doomed to ultimate failure.
OK let's build the scenario here; you enter Karate as a kid or teen, the instructor says you must develop force, you spend decades hitting STUFF, boards, bags, makiwara, bricks...even ice, to show you massive power, force, prowess... ego.
OK let's build some reality here; you damage tissue, you compress joints, you disfigure the hands, feet, elbows and head (like this girl). GOOD JOB.
It's done in the sake of tradition, to get snap sound from your Gi, to become superman!
So how do you do this:
- Speed - the faster it goes the more splat on contact it has (think bug - windshield)
- Distance - the longer the distance the greater the acceleration (think of the jeopardy theme song - click here)
- Mass - You put your whole body into the action (Think full body landing on wrist)
- Push yourself become the ultimate warrior
OK now lets use our heads a bit... take some time looking at the picture of the old masters over to the right...
Yes some of them (probably all) were powerful men, but does it stay with them or does that strength, power potential, speed stay through the years, in a word "NO". So all that time (decades) was spent chasing this fading ability? If they could still hit with the same power, force, speed, acceleration, mass, etc....
- What would that do to their weakened bone structure?
- How much energy can an old man give if they put everything they got behind each punch?
- What if the opponent actually moved, block or avoided that Power Punch, could they recover position fast enough not to get hit?
- What if the opponent took advantage of their extension (necessary for full power via acceleration), by attacking the extended and vulnerable limb?
They spent inordinate (compared to today's sport karate) developing specialized body weapons to penetrate into the weaker body structures of the opponent rather than trying to out power them with that mighty punch. They spent time on angles of attack, timing...and the key to all Karate FOCUS (on targets here folks...what is focus hitting a bowling ball size object like a head, a bigger object like a body), what kind of focus is needed for that????
So here is a question you should really ask yourself.... did they spend more time on building speed or did they spend more time on focus, targeting (knowing the anatomy), timing and the other essentials of good Karate?
What do you think?
I have no idea how the old Masters spent their valuable training time, all I know is that common sense points to “train for success”. So for me (Mr. average) I want to train to aim small to miss small, understand the human anatomy in order to exploit it’s weaknesses, and most of all… train to be superior mentally.
As the old saying goes – “A true Master never has to fight”
Wait… I just described Kyusho didn’t I?
Karate masters (I mean true masters. Those who keep training and take care of their bodys like treasures and their minds like temples) seem to keep the power for a long time when compared to the average person. I’m often surprised by elderly martial artists displaying extraordinary physical abilities. But the truth is they are not getting stronger, or faster…
And I’ve always been told I should master the basics because the technical skills are the ones that will last the longer.
Even if you are a fit young man, targeting skills will only get you closer to your goal.
I mean… I can have a sledgehammer I still prefer to hit the door instead of the wall.