Strikes are not meant to tap the opponent. I know it might seem obvious, but it is common for the beginner to not follow through with strikes and kicks: Therefore, their strikes, kicks and punches don’t reach their targets or have no impact if they do.
Strikes are meant to penetrate a target and cause maximum damage. Fortunately or unfortunately, self-defense is about causing damage, injury. Unless you damage the attacker, he has no reason to stop. You have to make your commitment to stop him stronger than his commitment to attack you.
You have to stand your ground.
Without choice, if your strike, punch or kick has full commitment behind it, your body and intention going into it, it will back him up and possibly put him out. This is why you aim not just at the target but past it.
Power and Effectiveness
For your attack to have power and effectiveness, not only does it need to have the correct angle and be backed up with momentum, speed and mass, but it must have decent penetration. It must penetrate through the target.
As stated, to defend yourself, which means stop an attacker from attacking you, you must injure him. When you do actual damage to him, he is defeated physically and psychologically; he’s forced to deal with an injury, think about it and it could even debilitate him. Causing pain has it’s value but it isn’t enough. It may or may not stop him and may only do it temporarily. Injury has a much more traumatizing effect and will put the attacker out of commission or make him change his mind. Penetration is necessary for this to happen; that punch must go deep into the rib cage or into the bone of the nose to break things and make it harder, if not impossible, for the attacker to hurt you.
The opponent–well, everyone–has height, width and depth zones. When you check these zones, manipulate them or attack them, you can check the opponent. One of the best ways for you to defend yourself is to attack the attacker before he attacks you. This is because you have penetrated his depth zone, put him on his heels, have him thinking about being hurt and attacked and less about attacking. For him to attack he has to have control of his own zones. When you compromise his zones, especially his depth zone, he can’t get footing to attack. He’s off-balance and on the defense. When you deeply penetrate this zone you’ve put him at a marked disadvantage.
As attacker’s head comes forward from the groin kick, defender delivers a heel palm strike, doubling the impact.
So, for your attack to have strength and to be effective, for to have any impact and for it to do damage, which you need to do, it has to penetrate into and past the target. This assures it will stop the aggressor, stop his aggression, and it gives you the upper-hand.Well, it could save your life.
Man on right re-directs punch low and scores with what is called a “progressive indirect” attack in Jeet Kune Do.