Putting More Power in Your Punch

By Glenn Catania, shidoshi

One of the most overlooked weapons in our art is punching. Everyone knows it is important, but because we train with friends, who we don't want to hit too hard, the strength of a good punch is often taken for granted. Like all the wrist locks and throws, punching can be a very devastating tool, and it too is a technique that must be learned well. I use the term technique only to label. Punching is not about technique, but in truth all about feeling. We must absolutely learn the fundamentals of the movement, but it is more important to let that go, once the muscles have memorized the movement, and listen to the body.

A good punch, like anything, comes from inside. If we think about punching like driving, we might think that those around us determine what we do, where the car moves. Punching should be looked at much differently. Usually, you see your opponent in front of you, and you think, I must hit them and get through. Let's look at this differently. See your opponent, but treat him more like he happens to be in your way. That he is there is inconsequential.

I did *not* say, "treat him as though he is not there." You should not allow yourself to think your opponent has no chance; far from it, you should have respect for your opponent's abilities. Treat every opponent as a deadly foe. However, don't focus your punch on what is in front of you, but what is beyond you. Many people end the movement of a punch when it connects. Instead, make that the middle of the punch, ending it only when you have moved beyond your opponent.