Many people equate striking power with fitness and muscle strength. The faster or stronger you are, the more power you can put into your strike - it's logical. But that only works when you are applying power correctly in the first place. For instance, if you're flapping your arms, straining to raise your leg up, feel unbalanced after sending your leg out, or if you take a little longer to get back to a guard position after firing a kick, well, chances are your kick isn't as effective as it could be.
Fitness and strength would only help you improve on a kick that's already good. Fitness and strength isn't going to give you a powerful kick.
So back to this informal session I had. My young friend had power through his leg but his body was fairly relaxed. The leg was basically a jab. What I wanted to explain was that for that particular long range 'roundhouse' kick, the power generation was done using a 'pendulum' type swing. It's not about just extending your leg and hitting the target.
So I got my friend in front of me and performed his kick on his gut. I made sure to hold my body still and kick him with enough power that he knew that the kick was solid. The kick hit, and for sure, you could see the hydrostatic shock going through his gut. Then what I did was to show him that for the force represented by the leg, it was connected to the body at the hip - that was the fulcrum, and the counterweight was the body. So what I wanted to do was to link the power of the leg to the greater mass of the body.
So I set up for a new kick, this time ratcheting the power of my leg down so that you could visually see that the power of the kick was less that what I levied on him at first. The second kick however, engaged my body mass more because I tightened up my core mucles, linked it up with the extension of the leg and the swinging motion of the kick. Upon impact I increase muscle tension so that the mass of the body was 'transmitted' into the target more effectively.
The next question out of him was a very pertinent one - he doesn't see the body moving as much as a counterweight as indicated by my basic explanation. It's true. But the counterweight can still be applied effectively if you tighten the muscles at the right time, the shifting of the body and the hip need not be so overt as to show an equal and opposite movement because the body is not piece of machinery - all you need is the correct muscle control immediately before and immediately after the point of impact.
- Hwa-Rang: how to do a high roundhouse kick to the head
- Hwa-Rang: calibrating short range roundhouse kick
- Power generation in roundhouse kicks
Joong Do Kwan Chung Sah Nim
Hikaru Dojo Shihan
Founder The SuperParents A Team
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