By Jim Graden
2. To Create Power, Impact and Accuracy with Your Strikes!
"There's only one basic principle of self-defense- you must apply the most effective weapon, as soon as possible, to the most vulnerable target"
- Bruce Lee
I have had many people ask questions and make statements like" fitness kickboxing is not a legitimate form of self-defense, it’s just about getting in shape, right?" The answer is "it's all in how you approach it".
Fitness kickboxing can be just about getting in shape if you want it to be. Most people that participate never even scratch the service of all that can be achieved through focused martial arts fitness training.
The challenge for many, is that most fitness kickboxing instructors have little knowledge or experience to really make a difference in a members skill level.
This is the reason I wrote the eBook Fitness Kickboxing - Learn To Do Right and plan on many similar books to follow including one about making your fitness kickboxing workouts into your self-defense training.
Create Power, Impact and accuracy with Your Strikes!
I am a strong believer in the self-defense concept of stun and run. Stun and Run Self-Defense System is designed to teach how to hit vulnerable targets with strong, fast, and accurate strikes. Strikes effective enough to stun or freeze your attacker long enough to allow you to get far away.
As we get beyond the partying age, 40+, self-defense encounters become more life-threatening. They go from petty squabbles that turn into a fight to someone who trying to rob, rape or car jack you. Women have it even worse, because you have always been seen as a soft target to criminals, even when you are young.
The last thing you want, If you are a women of any age or a male over forty, is to get into an extended confrontation that may include exchange of blows, or rolling around on the ground.
This is why you first want to learn how to create power, impact and accuracy with your kickboxing strikes. Then, learn to use that same power, impact and accuracy to execute Self-defense strikes that can hit vital target areas of an attacker.
If you have thrown thousands of fast accurate jabs, over months of training in kickboxing, you have developed a weapon. Not just a weapon that strikes with your fist, but a strike that can easily be turned into a palm to the face, strike to the throat or a finger jab to the eye.
By learning to execute your kickboxing techniques properly you are developing an arsenal of weapons' that can potentially save your life. You think it's a joke, just watch and listen to Mike Witcraft in the video below about his real-life self-defense encounter.
A well-executed cross punch can easily become a palm heel strike or even an elbow strike. A sidekick can become a stomp to the knee. Once you learn the ability to create power by turning your hips and shifting weight into your strikes it won't matter what the strike is, you will hit with real impact. Strikes that can be used to stun or stop someone so you can get away.
You need to understand that 95% of body movement to create power, in any strike, is the same. Like a cross-hook combination can be turned into a rear elbow-forward elbow combination, or as I like to say, "flinging elbows". Most grown men have little to no respect for a woman's punch, but if you learn to throw powerful and accurate elbows, grown men will back away or drop you.
Whether you are throwing a cross, hook, palm heel or elbow. You create power the same, by shifting your weight and turning your shoulders and hips into the strike. I like to say to my students "you just change the batt you whack them with, the body movement is the same".
When it comes to kicking it's about learning to put maximum power into your kick. Learning the proper rotation of the hips and body for whatever kick you are throwing.
Just remember accuracy, hitting the target, is the most important element of self-defense. Even more important than executing your techniques right.
I would rather hit someone with a bad technique than miss them with a good one. There are no style points in fighting.
We all like to kick the heavy bag high and hard, it looks and feels cool. So, you may think, "If I can kick to the head or body, I surely can kick low and to the leg, right"? Wrong.
Remember the holy grail of self-defense is accuracy. You must hit the target! So, focus on working your self-defense as part of your kickboxing workout. Throw elbow and knee strikes during your training. Work on side kicking the knee or round kick the knee and thighs.
Don’t be surprised if the first time you try to hit a bag with an elbow strike you completely miss the bag. You must get used to the distance, that is why you should make it a part of your workout.
When shadow fighting to warm up, practice your punches, but also your palm heel strikes and eye jabs.
I will be publishing a new book soon called Stun and Run - Fitness Kickboxing for Self-Defense. In the meantime, if you have no reference to learn how to throw an elbow or any other self-defense strike. Just email me at JimGradenMartialArts@gmail.com and I will guide you to some great videos.
Remember the only way to do anything right is consistent repetition with focus on proper execution. Not just focusing on getting a workout in but also creating real power with your body and developing accuracy with your strikes. Once you have that down changing the part of the body you strike with is easy. It’s like learning and practicing golf, even if you hit the ball a million times, if you hit it a million times wrong it will always be wrong.
Learn to focus on doing your kickboxing skills right, over and over again!
Mike Witcraft tells the story of attempted robbery in a parking lot in Rochester, NY.