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Phytomancer

Techniques for Controlling Strenghts

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Hey guys,

 

I just started Muay Thai, and I have a lot of fun with it. I love explosive movements, the economy of your body, and the cleverness this art entails. Plus it makes me more connected to my culture.

 

The problem is: I notice that I might play too hard. When we practiced blocking, my partner's arms were bright red. Once, the instructor put his hand out as a target, and when I punched, I realized I may have hit him too hard. He did not seem too happy about it. I don't want to hurt my instructor or my partners during the learning process. (Point taken that this is a martial art class, someone will end up with some bruises, but I don't want to be the one keep giving them to others.) 

 

Going all out all the time means that I can't control my muscles well enough to generate the results I want. I don't know how hard is 'just right.' Or at least my body doesn't. 

 

It seems also that I have a little accuracy problem especially with the kicks. Can it be from my heavy lower body? I can't control the speed either, so I just explosively jerk around most of the time without direction.

 

Anyone have a suggestion on these? What muscles should I practice to control strength and accuracy?  

 

Thanks ahead! 

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Disclaimer: I am not a muay thai instructor. 

 

The big thing I've found when people are hitting too hard, especially early on in training is working on posture and relaxing. Usually when I have a student punching too hard, they're doing it with bad form, so I'll work on snapping punches with them, avoiding throwing the shoulders or leaning. Making them focus on using hip rotation to generate force but to stay light and snap. A good concept to work is staying loose until the point of impact. This will take a fair amount of work, but you'll eventually strike much better and have more control of your power. The big thing is, it'll have you working control now which should help lower your initial power. You're end power will be much stronger than you're doing right now, but you should have far better control of it.

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Thanks Draken. Any suggestion is gold to me.

 

I don't think relaxing or posture are the case. I do relax when practicing (at least for a newbie-- and I should relax more when taking punches) and use the power from my hip when I punch. I talked to the instructor and it seems that I just have to learn slowly about how to control. For him, it's iteration. Also, I will take your suggestion of the point of impact to good use when I practice.

 

 But until I learn how to not bruise my partners, I am moved to hitting walls, sandbags, and Germanic Nord giant until I can get my strength to a controllable use.

 

As for speed and direction, seems I need more lower back muscles, and I'll see to that.

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Control movements, not muscles. It's all learning new motor skills. It's all slow and sloppy in the beginning, but once the patterns are set they become easier and smoother. Work on perfecting your technique, power will come later.  It doesn't matter if it's slow, as long as it's perfect. As they say with weight lifting, never sacrifice form for weight. And yes, everything should be relaxed, like hitting someone with a whip rather than a stick. That is why you "throw" a punch, not "push". The movement is explosive; power-based, not strength.

 

P.S. Hitting walls (or anything hard) is a bad idea. Leave that for the Kung Fu movies. Otherwise, just do this:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPFt-Tlh9m8&feature=player_detailpage#t=7

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Ouch,

 

I gasp.

I sob.

I whimper. 

I grab my crotch and run away from the screen until the bad pictures stop moving.

(By the way, that's another problem with my spars with taller people. I'm too flightly to do any damage.)

 

Thanks for the suggestion though. It's valuable. The whip comparison is interesting.

 

What's the different between power and strength?

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