Accuracy and power are essential for delivering a decent striking technique; the strike must hit a target that will affect the opponent and it must have enough behind it to do some damage or at least get some kind of response that stops or delays the adversary’s attack.
So, clearly, it is to your advantage, as a martial artist, to develop your accuracy and power. There are various ways to achieve this goal in your training and we will go over those ways in this article.
Focus mitts are a great way to develop accuracy. Your partner has the mitts on and gives you different targets, which you must quickly hit with accuracy and decent body mechanics and power. He gives you two facing you straight, you do a jab, cross; he gives you one facing you and the other palm down, you do a jab, upper-cut. One side-ways and one facing you might give you a cross and a hook. Mix it up different ways, and be creative. The point is, it improves your focus and speed.
Personally, I like using a Wave Master. It’s just as good as a hanging bag, but more convenient. You can just roll it away into the corner when you’re done with it and empty water out of the base and pack it into the truck to take it somewhere to train with it if you like.
At any rate, using the bag increases your power. You get used to hitting something that has resistance, not just hitting at the air like you would when you shadow box. Your muscles get worked and you’re challenged to hit as hard as you can. It increases stamina too, it’s quite a cardiovascular challenge.
The Wave Master XXL is even better than the original Wave Master because it allows you to fully work on your kicks, including low kicks, because it’s a longer bag.
Of course, there’s good old fashioned conditioning, using your own body, the traditional way to develop endurance and toughness in martial arts. You work and strengthen your muscles and you can vary what muscles are worked simply by changing hand placement during the push up.
Crunches and Other Abdominal Exercises
Of course, if your core is strong, everything else is strong. Working your abdominals builds great strength; working from your core muscles, your punches and kicks have added power.
Like pushups, you can vary how you perform crunches too. You can get the front of the abdomen and the sides, to get a full workout and make them all-around stronger to give you punching power.
Of course, weight training will increase your strength too. The shoulders and chest figure heavily into strikes and punches, so it makes sense to do exercises that develop these muscles. There is a lot of pushing type movement in a punch, so such exercises, that develop the chest and shoulders, like presses will give you punching power: Bench presses, standing presses, etc.
Power comes from the legs too, the whole body comes into play with a power punch or strong kick. So you might want to do some squats, as well as curls and extensions.
The important thing to remember, especially considering that powerful punches involve use of good body mechanics, is that a lot of different muscles are used in a strong punch; the legs, the glutes, the hips, the abdominal muscles, the whole arm, the chest. So, you want to work all of those muscles. Pushups work the chest, the triceps (back of the arm), shoulders and even biceps. So do bench presses and chest presses (on a machine). Squats and lunges work the legs. Crunches and leg raises work the abdomen/core. Curls work the biceps. Extensions work the triceps.
Above all, repetition develops all these attributes; the more used to doing punches and kicks with accuracy your body is, the stronger, faster and more accurate your kicks and punches will be; and they will be done with ease because now the body is programmed to do it, in the muscles and neural-pathways of the brain.
Basically, Everlast has been making equipment for boxers for decades. Their focus mitts are durable and are good for martial arts training of all kinds involving punches and strikes.
In 1981, at the age of 11, I began training in Goju Ryu Karate at a local community center on the Central Coast of California. I trained there for about a year. In 1984, my family moved to Northern California, where I began training in Kenpo Karate under Professor Charles “Chuck” Epperson. I trained at Professor Epperson’s dojo for about a year. I left the dojo, but returned in 1994. I earned ranks up through second-degree black belt under Chuck Epperson. I tested for brown and black belts in front of Master Richard “Huk” Planas, first-generation Ed Parker Kenpo black belt. I taught classes at Professor Epperson’s dojo from 1998 to 2002. I have also taught private lessons for friends and family. I have training in Doce Pares Eskrima under Charles Epperson and have attended seminars by Master Anthony Kleeman and Grandmaster Cacoy Canete. I have also trained in DeCuerdas Eskrima under Professor James Muro. In addition to my martial arts training, I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, have worked in the Human Services field since 1996, and currently spend most of my time writing web articles.