Many modern reality-based self-defense systems, including certain styles and schools of Krav Maga, are guilty of reinventing the wheel rather than drawing from and using ideas, concepts, and principles that have already been developed and proven. The traditional martial arts (Kung Fu, Karate, Judo, etc.) have already worked out many areas of combat that simply don’t require a great deal of re-examination.
One of these areas is power generation when striking. Quite simply, Boxers – I consider Boxing a traditional martial art – Karateka, Muay Thai practitioners, Taekwondo artists, etc. have answered every question there is regarding how to strike with power and how to generate different types of striking power (e.g. it requires a different type of power to break a board than to cause a concussion).
In this article, I want to look at three common principles, ideas, and lessons around power generation that these martial arts teach us, so that we can apply them to our own practice, regardless of the style or system that we practice or teach. As Bruce Lee said, we should “absorb what is useful”, and the traditional martial arts contain a lot of useful stuff where power punching and striking are concerned.