Explosive punching techniques are the Holy Grail for most martial arts and self-defense practitioners. And for good reason: the more you increase your explosive punching power, the more damage you can do when you hit your opponent or attacker. It’s a no-brainer.
But I believe many people make the mistake on overly focusing on the physical training to develop their fast-twitch muscle fiber through all sorts of strength training protocols. Just to be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. On the contrary, it’s an important part of the puzzle. That said, I believe there is another part that s equally important: pulling the trigger.
One of the most difficult things to do in a fight, both in the ring or in the street, is deciding when exactly to strike. As in: “Not yet, nope, too soon, not yet, no, no, NOW!” When exactly that “Now!” is depends on too many factors to list here and they also change all the time but just to give you an idea here are two examples:
- A guy is in your face, blocking the exit of a bar you want to get out of and he’s increasingly agitated. He’s giving off all the pre-fight signals and your de-escalation techniques aren’t working. You realize that the only way to get out is to go through him. When exactly do you make your move? Which factors or actions on his part determine your choice of that particular moment in time?
- You’re competing in the cage against a tough opponent. You’ve traded blows and he’s gotten the better of you a few times already. You need to do some damage quickly before he becomes even more confident and aggressive because you don’t know if you can keep on taking what he dishes out. When do you throw your technique? At which exact instant do you initiate that punch, kick or takedown and why then instead of before or after that moment?
There are multiple right answers to these scenarios, it’s not black or white. This is a field of study in and of itself and if you like, you can call it strategy and tactics. There are as many opinions on this as there are people so it’s up to you to figure out what works for you. But here’s the thing:
Knowing when to do a technique is one thing, having the ability to pull the trigger on your technique at that precise moment in time is another skill altogether.
It’s that skill you are primarily training with this drill.
You also train other things and I’ll point that out in a minute but I use the drill primarily for this reason. Here’s how it goes.
This is the nuts and bolts of the drill. You can do it differently but I like this version as a starting point.
- You and your partner stand close to a wall. He’s in his fighting stance facing the wall and you are close to it, slightly to his side.
- Hold up a focus mitt or a light boxing glove against the wall, well above head height of your partner.
- Without advance warning, open your fingers and drop the glove.
- As soon as he spots the glove falling, your partner throws a straight punch at the glove and tries to pin it to the wall.
- Repeat ten times and then use your other arm for the punching technique.
Her’s what it looks like: [Read more…]