While I typically emphasize that strength isn’t exactly a necessity in some areas of martial arts, being able to pack a punch certainly has its benefits.
In this video, a woman and a bloke are practicing simple (simple for them, anyway) Northern Mantis drills. The good thing about the video is that they’re pretty aggressive about it, showing the potential of these moves if you were in a combat situation and needed to up the force.
You’ll notice that she is damn good and often gets inside the guy’s defenses. Not to mention that she has that leg hook take down DOWN.
I’ve always talked about how, if you’re not the strongest person in the world (which I’m certainly not), then well placed strikes, pressure point blows and their ilk will work a treat.
The truth of the matter, however, is that a lot of martial arts emphasize quickness and power as well as precision and body knowledge.
The guy in the video genuinely looks stronger than the woman. She can anticipate his moves and get in for an attack but can you imagine what she could do if, once inside his defense, she hit him with full strength punches? It would be devastating. Coupled with that take down, he’d be fucked.
I think that’s why being “well rounded” is important. I used to hate my Wing Chun teacher because lesson after lesson after lesson he would focus on how to throw a Wing Chun punch.
I’d get pissed off…until he’d punch me, with seemingly no effort at all, and it would hurt like fuck. His power came from his technique, not weight training or body building.
His point was that I wasn’t a meat-head. I wasn’t a trained boxer. So, he could teach me all the offensive techniques in the world, but if I couldn’t finish off my opponent, it was all pointless.
This is especially important for women, I think. No, I don’t think you’re all weaklings. I just think that most men, unfortunately, think you’re weaklings. So, imagine not only being able to shut an attacker’s defense down but landing a punch - or flurry of punches - that puts him the fuck down.
That’s why so many martial arts are considered COMPLETE SYSTEMS. It’s not about being able to move your body correctly. It’s about moving your body correctly, knowing where to strike, when to strike and how to strike.
It’s about footwork and being able to step into the offense and step out, into defense. It’s about mentality. Being able to read a fight situation. Shit, it’s about knowing when to RUN.
And it’s about strength. Strength of spirit, of wisdom and YES, strength of body. You don’t necessarily need muscles to punch. You just need to know exactly how to punch and where to land it.
To refer back to the video. Imagine if this was a real scenario. Picture her countering his offense, getting inside, landing some precision punches, then hooking his leg, putting him down and, finally, following up with a few more blows. I’m pretty sure it would be night night time for this bloke.
This is why Bruce Lee and countless others have philosophized about martial arts. They understand the importance of exploring and becoming familiar with every avenue.
You can’t defeat yourself by knowing how to do one thing but not knowing how to do so many others. It’s like knowing how to chew, but not swallow. You’ll get the taste but never the nourishment that comes with it,
Okay, enough pontificating. I hope you guys enjoy the video and that I don’t sound too much like a pompous bell-end.