UPDATED: 6 tips to MAXIMISE your punching power

Choi Kwang Do punches can be extremely powerful even for a beginner with limited technique.  Being able to hit with power is an essential component of your self defence skills, no matter your size, as the harder you can hit, the better your chance of creating a situation where you can get out of a fight and flee safely, or even knocking the person out.  With that in mind then here are a few good tips to improve your overall punching power.

  1. Get your stance right. Your stance should be shoulder distance apart. Too narrow and you restrict your hip movement and minimise the effect on power it has and you lose balance easier. Too far apart and you restrict your leg and hip movement taking about 60% of your maximum potential power away. Your knees should be slightly bent.
  2. Your body weight should start off slightly more on your rear leg than your front leg. About a 60/40 weight distribution. A big part of creating huge impact power with your punches is to transfer your body weight (mass) into the target. If your weight is at 50/50 you won’t be able to push off as well to get your body weight into the punch.
  3. Maximise your “follow through” by trying to punch through the target, not stopping or pulling back on impact.  Make sure your body weight is now on your front foot and you are leaning in slightly so that all your mass is behind the Punch. The best metaphor to describe the last two points is to imagine pushing a car. You wouldn’t be totally upright with your body weight 50/50 on each leg as you would get nowhere fast.
  4. The most important tip is also the hardest for a lot of people trying to punch hard, and that is to RELAX. A tense body restricts the speed of your movements. You need to be nice, relaxed and loose to maximise power. A good psychological tip is when you are trying to hit as hard as you can, tell yourself you are going to try and hit at 85 to 90 % power. Studies have shown in athletes that if they try and give their full 100% power then they tend to tense up and reduce their power, and when they hold back a little bit they have more power.
  5. Get your distance right. If you are too close to the target for the punch you are using, you will hit with your arm still bent, or you won’t have enough room to drive your body into the technique. This seriously reduces your power. If you are too far away you will hit at the point where the power is tailing off and your impact will diminish.
  6. Final tip. work on your technique. By using the correct sequential motion (sequence of movements) starting at the foot, driving the thigh and hip forward, rotating the trunk after and letting your arm lag behind the body a little, creating a plyometric stretch, before rotating the shoulder and punching you will have a great technique where each sequence in the movement chain multiplies and adds to the force you generate. The best way to really get a technique absorbed into your muscle memory is to perform it slowly and purposefully. We too often learn a technique and want to hit hard and fast straight away and that doesn’t allow your nervous system to fully absorb the correct movement patterns.

For those of you who prefer to see your tips in video format, i’ve recorded a short video to demonstrate some of these tips.

UPDATE:  I managed to track down some of the old Choi Kwang Do information that Grandmaster Choi used in developing the punching power in Choi Kwang Do.  This information came from studies based on Russian boxers who were trying to maximise their punching power.  Of the punch, only 12.24% of the power comes from the arm.  37.42% of the power comes through the hip and torso twisting and FINALLY 38.46% of the power comes from your legs pushing off and transfering weight from the rear foot to the front.

You can see this information in the following video clip from 1minute 15 seconds in.


I hope you enjoy these 5 training tips.  If your interested in Choi Kwang Do classes for your child, family member or yourself and are in the Bristol or Trowbridge area then please go to my web site at http://www.CKDBristol.co.uk for more information on our Choi Kwang Do classes that are great for teaching you self defence, self-confidence and also keeping you fit and healthy no matter your age.  We offer 2 FREE lessons to all who sign up via the web site.

If you don’t live in my area and are interested in Choi Kwang Do then please visit http://www.ChoiKwangDo.com where you can find the nearest location to you.  Most of the classes offer some sort of free lessons so please take a look.


Dale Miller

Master Instructor of Choi Kwang Do.


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