In martial arts schools, most students practise the same martial arts techniques to get faster and develop raw speed. Unfortunately, they really do practise the same drills and exercises. What if it were possible to significantly affect your speed?
Increasing Fighting Speed—The more you try, the worse it gets.
Beginning students often ask why the more they try to develop speed, the worse it gets. The explanation is actually quite simple:
It has to do with contracting muscles. Believe it or not, the more you strain, the slower you strike. It doesn’t matter if you kick, punch, or even punch with your elbow; the stiffer your muscles, the slower the thrust. To develop martial arts speed, you
need to be relaxed and loose.
The question is, how do you keep the muscles relaxed when they seem to want to tense themselves when you throw a quick punch or kick?
Play martial arts games to get faster.
One way to trick the brain into letting go of the muscles is to play a game, so to speak. When the brain is focused on the game or activity, it can’t focus on everything it takes to deliver a quick punch. You focus on the object of the game-the goal. And you forget the “stuff” that might get in the way of your improvement.
You can try everything from Hot Hands to Coin Snatching. Sure, play games that work… at speed. It is logical.
The problem with martial arts games
The problem with martial arts games is that the students often only get fast in the games. They don’t seem to convert the skill of the game into practical martial arts speed.
Making your speed skills practical is paramount. If you don’t match the path you take in the speed game with an actual technique you would use for self-defense, then the skill won’t generalize.
For example, don’t play hot hands where the open hands start at the ears and strike toward the center if your punches don’t start at the side of the head.
Martial arts games can make you faster, if
If you’re hitting your opponent’s center, make sure you practise the coin grab toward the center… or on the centerline, if you’re at an angle.
To start a self-defense punch from a neutral stance, exercise your warm hands, placing them on the sides of the body with both feet shoulder-width apart in a neutral stance.
If you really want to develop speed through martial arts games, check out Coin Snatching: The Reputation Builder.
It covers several hot hands games, teaches one of the most impressive demonstrations in all martial arts, and has specific chapters to link the demonstration to the actual speed of martial arts.
Grab your coins, focus mitts (or a small pillow) and get ready to hit.
Keith Pascal has been teaching martial arts for over 25 years. In 2000, he left his high school teaching job to become a full-time writer.