When I first used the makiwara, the tension in the body - whilst sufficient for shadow boxing and light gap closing type strikes - was inadequate for a powerful strike. Most of the power seemed to come from the shoulders and a lot from the arm. The strike of course only seemed powerful because the upper body generated the tension and was the source of the strike ... and this can be misinterpreted as having sufficient striking force.
The secret here - yes, the usual cliche - is to generate the strike from the legs and hips, amplify it through your core, and then transmit it into the striking tool. The factor for success is to make sure that this pulse sent along the body is synchonised very quickly, to not overly use your arm or shoulder muscles to generate power, and to strike with your body mass as a single unit.
When you're hitting that target correctly - you'd know it. There is absolutely no way to hit more powerfully unless you pack on an additional 30 to 40 pounds of additional muscle. And when you do so, the strike will seem easy - not more powerful. It would be like your body was acting in concert with itself. You will however be rewarded with a resounding thump on your strike post - if you're hitting it dead on.
Check out my post How to Hit a Striking Post
- Like being hit by a bullet
- Power generation through Kime or focus
- Get more striking power through Traditional Taekwondo
- Getting punched in the gut
Joong Do Kwan Chung Sah Nim
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