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Philosophy of Balance: Power vs. Precision/Accuracy



The attributes a martial artist needs to be their best are very broad. It is quite unique when compared to other types of athletic endeavors. The winners are not always the fastest, strongest, or smartest. Often the athlete with the advantage is the one with the right balance of a huge number of different attributes. To make it even more complicated, sometimes victory even comes down to chance. Every fighter has the old "puncher's chance" during a fight. On the battlefield, sometimes it is not the best warriors that survive but the luckiest. No athlete wants to talk about this wildcard because it is not something you can control, so there is not much value in worrying over it.


It does pay however to work on the attributes that can radically increase the odds of success. How do you choose what to focus on with so many options? Striving for a balanced set of attributes is key to becoming your best. Let's focus on learning about power and how it relates to precision. Obviously having power is an important attribute. Some people are naturally powerful, other have to train hard for it. Others may even find themselves always struggling to attain the right amount of it.


Power is being able to generate a certain amount of force in a certain amount of time. Martial artists want to be able to maximize how much power they can produce in the shortest amount of time possible. Power is created by many many variables. It has to do with how strong the athlete is combined with how well the athlete uses their bodies to generate the most power possible. Power is a function of good technique that utilizes the full potential of the body's kinetic chain combined with the physical speed and strength of the athlete. Power can be radically increased by focusing on technique. Increasing power through increasing strength/speed is slower and much harder. However, speed/strength provides the foundation for how much technique can help. A martial arts athlete should always work on their speed and strength as both are a function of power.


Accuracy in striking is being able to hit the right target. Precision is being able to perform the same way consistently over and over even when the athlete is tired. These combined together creates something interesting that rivals the effectiveness of being powerful. Being able to hit correctly and accurately over and over again has the potential to be much more damaging than just raw power. This gives hope to athletes that may not be able to hit as hard as their opponent.


What is the goal of hitting hard vs hitting with accuracy/precision? Each one is trying to achieve the correct amount of damage to the opponent to incapacitate them. This may be one giant power-shot, or multiple accurate shots, or somewhere in-between. It is quite obvious that combining both of the attributes together creates the best chance for success. How they are balanced together will depend on the personality and physical attributes of the athlete. Some athletes tend to be very powerful, while others tend to be very technical in their movements. It basically works like this, the more powerful you are, the less accurate/precise your strikes have to be to achieve their goal. On the other side, if you are lacking on power, then precision/accuracy can make up for the lack of power. The reverse of all of that is also true, power with very little accuracy/precision does not work well. Neither does a lot of accuracy/precision without much power. The best of all, of course, is to develop both together and be as well-balanced as possible.


In martial arts finding the right balance of attributes is extremely complex and varies athlete to athlete. Power combined with precision/accuracy, in the right balance,


generates the most success for an athlete. The goal of this article is to help martial artists understand how the attributes of power interact with precision/accuracy. Balance is key. You don't have to be the hardest hitting martial artist to win. You don't have to be the most technical with the accuracy/precision of your strikes either. Find the right balance that works for you through training and coaching from your instructors. Ask questions and never stop looking for ways to improve!

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