Speed versus Power...
There are many debates that you enter into at your own risk...nature vs nurture...chicken vs egg...dog vs cat...In every aspect of life there is an example of this dualistic conflict, in combat sports it's the question of whether speed is more important than power. You should never start with a conclusion (really why they are called conclusions) however my opinion is that you NEED both to be a successful fighter and indeed every successful fighter I can think of has had both of these attributes at there disposal. However, if I had to choose just one it would be speed. Why? Well there are a variety of reasons which need to be explored in greater detail.
1. Speed can be applied to punching, movement or defence. Each aspect provides a multitude of benefits to a fighter.
2. Speed in punching may result in lighter punches being thrown. Lighter punches will require less energy expenditure.
3. Lighter punches can be thrown from a variety of less conventional angles and positions. This ultimately allows the fighter to create opportunity to attack which may serve to confuse their opponent disrupting their timing and rhythm.
4. Speed can be varied. Switching up and down through the gears can provide a broken rhythm for your opponent, making you harder to predict and counter.
5. Ultimately speed in punching will lead to a higher volume of punches being thrown. The higher volume of punches you throw, technically the more punches you should land and the more damage you'll inflict.
6. Speed in footwork will make you a very different proposition. You become more evasive, harder to hit, effectively a ghost of a fighter. Your opponent then wastes valuable energy just trying to find you in the first place.
7. Speed in movement, directly provides a much more successful defensive capability. Improving your defensive game will lead to less damage being taken and again makes your opponent waste energy as they repeatedly commit to unsuccessful offensive moves.
8. Speed leads to power. Hit anything slowly and it doesn't matter how big you are, it just won't have any impact. Physics tells us that speed is the most valuable component when it comes to generation of force. Speed is fundamental to the generation of power in the first place. Also its worth considering that throwing a high volume of light punches at speed, provides a great opportunity to randomly drop in a hidden, more loaded, power shot with reasonable chances of it landing.
In the next posts we will look in more detail at each individual area, investigating what advantages this creates and ways in which we can culture and train the capability. Playing with speed starts here....
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