Defending yourself against a bigger, stronger opponent is a common concern in the martial arts. In fact, it might be the whole reason martial arts were developed in the first place!
In this video, Sifu Matt Ember shares a quick tip to help someone smaller and weaker be more effective when facing a larger attacker.
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Martial artists always ask me about speed and strength, but no one ever asks about acceleration.
Too bad, because according to Sifu Matt, acceleration is the secret to making a technique work when you’re smaller and weaker than your opponent.
What is acceleration?
Let’s say your car can race along at 100 miles per hour. That’s speed. But how long does it take to reach that speed? That time is your rate of acceleration.
In a fight, if someone is stronger than you and can adjust to your movement, they will resist and stop it. But if you can accelerate to a position before your opponent can resist, you will have a chance to complete your movement.
That’s why acceleration is so important!
Acceleration is the key difference between a SNAP or a TAP. If your partner has time to tap, that means you decreased your acceleration. If you snapped the same technique, you would cause damage before your partner even knew what was happening.
If you practice Karate, the word “kime” may come to mind. If you practice Kung Fu, you may think of “fa jin”. Either way, we’re talking about a moment of total commitment. That’s what adds SNAP to your techniques.
Of course, you still want to maximize your speed and strength, just don’t forget that speed and strength are not enough! Whole body acceleration is a crucial factor when someone faces a bigger, stronger opponent.
So, how can you develop your acceleration? Here’s a fun challenge for you…
The Beer Ring Challenge
1. Get some plastic rings from a six-pack of beer or soda.
2. Fold them over until you are left with just one ring.
3. Insert your fingers (two or three) to get a good double grip.
4. Take a breath and…
5. SNAP. Try to pull the rings apart.
Simple, right? But not easy!
Remember, the trick is acceleration, not strength. So, focus on exploding, not stretching.
Of course, the more important challenge is to apply this “trick” to your martial arts training. Focus on adding more SNAP to your workouts and let me know if that helps you handle a bigger, stronger opponent, too.
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MUSIC CREDIT: Believe Me by Jingle Punks/ YouTube Audio Library
WARNING: The advice and movements shown in this video are for informational and educational purposes only. Consult a doctor before engaging in any exercise or martial arts program.
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