Many people think that real Karate Power is the result of big muscles. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. To fully understand the power we are talking about here we must change our fundamental notion of what a muscle is and does.
The purpose of a muscle is to pull, to retract, and thus to make a limb or body part move or become tense for some purpose. Thus, when somebody does endless curls so he can have a big gun, he is reducing his punching power. Punching power comes from working the triceps, which cause the arm to go out, which is where you’ll find a punch.
The point is to figure out which muscle, or set of muscles, results in what action, and then to isolate and work those specific muscles. Want hard punches? Then do a slow strike and examine the workings of your arm and body.
Figure out which muscles are working when you send out the arm, which muscles support the impact of the arm, and that sort of thing. This will help you create unique exercises which will build power in the striking muscles…which will help you have a stronger punch.
If you want to really gain some punching ability, try doing ‘punch ups.’ These are push ups done slowly, where you don’t go all the way to the ground, you only go down six inches, then up. This isolates and builds the exact muscles which come in to play at the point of impact of a knock out punch.
Yes, you should develop other muscles and muscle groups, explore other deviations of push ups, but focus a good portion of your work out on punch ups and you will shortly be amazed at your growing ability to knock someone out. You should also think about this idea for places on the body where you might get hit. By this I mean some sort of wrestler’s bridge so you’ll have a neck dense with muscle, or some sort of crunches for when you get hit in the body, and that sort of thing.
Now, the other thing you should be concentrating on is endurance. By this I mean you shouldn’t be growing a large, bulky muscle, for that weighs more, runs out of juice sooner, and is more awkward to move around. Instead, you should be growing dense muscles, muscles that are leaner and not fatter.
To do this you should cut the size of the weight you are working with (or just go to body calisthenics, which is my choice) and focus on how long you can do the exercise. Try for hundreds of repetitions of deep squats that take 3-4 seconds to complete (build the number slowly to avoid injury), or build up the number of pulls ups you can do into the hundreds. I’ll write more on this idea later, but for now, this should give you a good notion on how to change your work out so that you have maximum body endurance, the potential for lightening quick moves, and all the other things that go along with creating real KaratePower.
Want a strong punch that can knock out an mugger? Go to Punch ‘Em Out.