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How we build better striking power

Working with our combat athletes, particularly the Kyokushin Karate guys, we spend a fair bit of time thinking about power.

For these guys, the ability to generate high levels of power repeatedly is essential to their success.

Power requires strength and speed. But more than that, it requires well coordinated movement to deliver that strength and speed.

If the movement and structure are off, the power will leak out like water from a leaking hose pipe. And that’s simply wasting energy.

So how do we train it?

We start with building a good foundation of the base elements, Strength, Mobility and Endurance.

We build strength with the basics, Squats, Deadlifts, Presses, Pulls and some core work. Nothing fancy, certainly nothing insta-worthy

We build endurance through low intensity cardio, be that circuits, running or whatever means suits. To be honest, with most combat athletes, this isn’t too much of a priority as most of their skills training falls into this category.

And mobility is developed through the warm up and cool down practices, it’s used in the cardio sessions and we ensure full range of motion on all the appropriate exercises.

Then we look at power. Power comes from the hips primarily. So we like High Pulls, Kettlebell Swings and Clean & Push Press. Speed is important, too much weight and we’re going to slow down, too little weight and we don’t develop the attribute we want. It must be just so. And it must be coached and coached until the athlete understands both how and why we’re doing whatever drill.

The final stage is the actual sport patterns. The heavy bag is our friend here. Big single, double and triple shots thrown as hard as humanly possible with plenty of rest. This is attribute training, not skills or tactical training. Which means this is the hardest buy in for the athlete. They want to work the bag like they’re used to working the bag, but again explanations bring understanding, understanding brings buy in.

Of course we can use med ball tosses, we can use angle barbell “punches” etc But not too heavy. Not too light. Just right.

If you’re a fighter looking to up your game, I’d love to talk to you. We offer online and in person training, drop us a line to find out more

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Dave Hedges

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