Speed verses Power
back when I was attending a national martial arts convention
I overheard an interesting coversation amoung several martial
arts/self defense instructors. We happened to be sitting in
hotel lounge and this group was at the table along side me and
a friend. They were discussing (more like arguing) over which
was better for self defense, speed or power.
arguments for speed were:
I can hit you first I have the advantage.
2. If I can hit you and you can't hit me, I win.
3. If I am quick I have a better chance of getting my shot in.
4. I can hit you multiple times if I am fast enough.
5. Speed always outclasses power.
6. Etc., etc.
power guys were saying:
could never take me out with those quick shots as they just
not powerful enough.
2. The first time I hit you (because of my power) you are going
3. On the street it's a waste to pitty pat. Just go for the
4. Power always overcomes speed.
5. Etc., etc.
guys went on about this for at least an hour and were still
debating the issue when my friend and left.
which is better for self defense? Speed or Power? In a word...Both!
A little motto I teach is; "Stun them with speed and Finish
them with Power!"
are times when it's difficult to land a power shot. The more
power you put into a punch, kick or strike, the more it tends
to be telegraphed. Your opponent can usually see it coming and
block, duck or move. Additionally, if you do miss a power blow,
you tend to be off balance and usually leave yourself open for
an opponents counter attack.
other hand speed techniques many times will not stop an attacker.
Remember, his adrenaline is pumping too. He may barely feel
those quick but low power shots and keep coming.
my opinion you need to use both speed and power for the best
results in self defense. Typically your initial attacks (counter
attacks) should be quick, non-telegraphed strikes, kicks, punches,
etc. They get to their target quickly. They are hard to see
coming and difficult to block or avoid. It's best, if possible,
to use your closest weapon to the intended target. For example
your lead leg or closest hand. Your weapon has the least distance
to the target giving it the best chance to find it's target.
those quick (although minimum power) strikes can be used to
distract or make an opponent move slightly, making your escape
from a hold or lock easier.
you have stunned, distracted or emotionally upset your opponent
you can then move to power blows. They are then, so much easier
to land. You have that extra half second to load up so to speak.
blows may be necessary to end the conflict. But at least once
you have your opponent stunned you have that extra time to get
that power strike off with a good chance of landing. Usually
once the first good power blow is effected the rest of the finishing
blows are easy to land and with devestating power.