F = ma

Ten years ago, I was training with a couple of colleagues and we were using boxing gloves and punching bags.  As I led them through some drills, one of the guys I was training with asked me how it was that I could strike with such force and veracity, considering I was about the same weight and size as he.  I ended up explaining the concept of what makes an actual strike within the martial arts…

You see, a strike is simply a strike.  This is true of any fighting art, but the reality goes much deeper than we assume. I’ve seen 90-pound “weaklings” deliver a knockout punch to individuals many times their size and mass.  I’ve seen “behemoths” that couldn’t throw a proper punch to save their lives.  So what makes the difference?

The formula I’ve used for today’s title is one of the fundamental formulas of physics. Basically it means that Force is measured by multiplying Mass by Acceleration.  The layman’s explanation for this formula is that is doesn’t matter the size or power of the object performing the strike, provided the acceleration and technique are correct.

Think about it for a second…  If I palmed a 9mm bullet and tossed it at you, you’d likely look down at where the bullet struck and wonder what was wrong with me.  It’s nothing but a tiny piece of brass, affixed to a metal shell filled with a small amount of gunpowder.  However, if I accelerate that bullet to the 1500 feet per second that it comes out of a pistol, suddenly you find your life in jeopardy.  It’s the same concept with a punch or kick.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re tiny or a massive weight lifter (except the bulky weight lifter likely has trouble moving freely).

Once you recognize these facts, performing powerful strikes becomes child’s play. So long as you factor in proper technique, bone alignment and stance, your strikes will become more powerful, regardless of strength or power.  But it takes practice.  Much like anything else, you have to be taught the proper way and then… practice, practice, practice! ☯

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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