In knockdown karate, martial artists have recognized that there are three factors that will determine victory: speed, power, and techniques. Keep in mind that none of these can be neglected and training one of these should never be detrimental to the others. However, when learning knockdown karate, martial arts masters emphasize good technique time and time again. And, for good reason. While all three aspects have to work together to be successful, there are advantages of learning perfect technique vs. speed and power alone.
Speed and Power
Speed is an important factor in a fight. If faster than an opponent, a fighter has better access to attacking the vital areas of the body. However, even with the advantage in speed, a fighter still needs to know the techniques and be able to know exactly where and how to strike. With speed, a fighter can create the needed opportunities to strike and retreat before the opponent has the chance to react.
Power also is an important factor in knock-down karate, but it must be tempered by the other two areas. Some opponents will try to win matches by brute-force so it is important to focus on this area. If we take a look at the UFC, where Royce Gracie was facing guys that were much stronger and heavier, you’ll notice that while it appeared at times that he was in trouble, he was just waiting for the right time, while the other guy is exhausting himself, and then he’d move in for the finish. I would not doubt that a very strong untrained person can do damage, but a individual with perfect technique training watch out! A strong opponent will be able to withstand attacks and quickly recover from them. Also, a fighter whose arms, legs, and hands are weak will become injured much more quickly. Both speed and power should be priorities in a training curriculum since they make up a practiced fighter’s physical advantages.
“Power is contained in the mechanics of the technique. However technique teaches us selection of specific targets (i.e. the nose, under the chin, ect.) where as unguided power has no specific target. You can have all the strength and power in the world, but if you can’t hit your target it is completely worthless” Anonymous
Learning Perfect Technique
What is perfect technique? Technique includes a wide range of skills from intercepting an attack, proper footwork, an accurate form in punches and kicks, sequential moves, and overall fluidity in motion. Training techniques will also include incorporate the use of sound fighting strategies. All of these techniques including offensive and defensive ones will take into account the vulnerability of the fighter’s vital areas when fighting.
What makes perfect technique a priority is that it’s the mind behind the motion. Technique includes how a fighter critically thinks through a match and trains the body to react appropriately to their opponent. However, it’s also one of the more challenging aspects of knockdown karate to learn and many fighters neglect this area, choosing to focus primarily on speed and power. All three need to exist in balance, but good technique can make up for a lack of both while nothing can compensate for poor technique.
Conditioning both the body and the mind over time is the key to learning in practice and training. This process is long and gradual, taking years to learn and fully master so patience is required. However, with dedication to learning perfect technique throughout the process, students can begin to grasp and master knockdown karate.