Speed is Just Correct Motion

Basically for a strike to be fast it simply needs efficient motion. This means it must have three elements:

  • Must come from point of origin
  • Must be economical
  • Must be non-telegraphic
Umberto Salvagnin, Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Umberto Salvagnin, Flickr. Some rights reserved.

The strike coming from point of origin simply means the hand or foot moves from where it already is; if the hand is up, you strike down, as an example. To go out of the way to deliver the strike would not only make it slower and use up more energy, but it would also make it telegraphic, meaning it can easily be seen and detected. This is jokingly referred to sometimes as the “John Wayne” punch, meaning that the person draws the fist back before delivering the punch. Such attacks take longer and can be seen coming, giving the opponent time to defend.

The strikes must also be economical which means your delivery uses as little movement as possible or only enough motion as is necessary but the impact is still effective; remember though, it bears repeating, that the strike must still be effective. If it has no travel or the path is an incorrect angle and line of entry, it can be fast but lose all of its power and effectiveness. In other words, the strike must first have a path that ensures the weapon hits the target square and does not glance off and must build adequate momentum to have an effect on the opponent. Taps won’t do, you want to hit hard.

I’ve already alluded to telegraphic strikes. These are strikes that can be detected by the opponent because there is “wind up” of some sort; drawing back or issuing some other movement that signals to your opponent that you are about to hit him and how you are trying to hit him.

By Jane Davees (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jane Davees (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

While energy and muscles have something to do with speed, the underlying thing that makes you fast are principles of correct motion.


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