Originally Posted by mrmyz
My punches are pretty fast. Ive heard of people that dont fully extend. I fully extend but I dont lock the joint. When you dont fully extend you become a weak hitter. I remember when I was in boot camp for the marines in marine corp martial arts they said a fully extended arm is a broken arm. They thought they were training safe fighters but they were really training weak hitters.
Also when you strike all of the weight should be on the ball of your foot if you look at pro boxers their heels dont touch the ground. When you see a heel touching that means his staminas on his way out if it isnt there already. You always want to be on the ball of your foot.
Ive noticed a trend that alot of strikers now a days are to concentrated on speed and are over looking punching streghnth. Yes speed generates power but the amount of contact you put into the throw is an even bigger factor. Thats why people brake boards in martial arts it has nothing to do with power its to train you to have good form and learn how to punch through your opponent. That is the most important part of striking.
I think the first part comes from the fact that you shouldn't be fully extending your arm if you are not punching into a target (i.e. shadow boxing). This is even more so if you are using weights to help increase hand speed. When you punch with power and intent, if there is no target to punch into the only thing holding your fist and arm back from seperating itself from your body is your own connective tissues. Add a weight to the end of that (even 16oz gloves) and you're looking at repetative stress injuries creeping in before your elbows and shoulders go trick on you.
Now on your last part, the real flaw isn't overlooking "punching strength." It's overlooking good form, as you listed. The ability to generate speed is good. It is one of the key components of creating force. I believe the physics formula is: Force = Acceleration X Mass. The general flaw or pitfall that a lot of strikers fall into is a flaw that is very common with folks who are new to the Martial Arts (whether it be kicking, punching or grappling). Unfortunately, the MMA Trend has kind of contributed to this. How? Well...
If we look at the physics formula F = A x M, the easier part for a new martial arts practitioner to train is the Acceleration (ability to generate speed). It is also the easiest part that they will see the biggest improvement on initially. Once they get that to a place that satisfies them, they stop. Unless they are serious and have a competant trainer that will show them otherwise.
This is very similar to the aspiring MMA competitor that comes onto a forum and asks, "What should I take to be an Ultimate Fighter in 5 years?" You're usually going to see a lot of responses akin to, "Start up MT for striking, BJJ for submissions and Wrestling for Takedowns." You're not going to see many people go out of their way to add in, "Take yoga for flexibility and the ability to focus, take up dancing to work footwork and cardio, get a hold of a nutritionist and dietician if your serious about making weight, start swimming on a regular basis to teach your body to operate while your cannot breathe freely" or other stuff like that. The truth is, the other less obvious stuff tends to be a lot harder to do, won't yield a multitude of results as quickly, and isn't considered cool.
Being able to add mass for force is definitely the harder part of the equation. We can't magically make our fists or feet bigger or heavier, but through the use of proper form we can train ourselves to commit our body mass along the same plane of movement as our strikes. Thats why you push off the balls of your foot, rotate your hips and shoulders and move into your strikes. That alone will make the biggest difference in striking power. It can only be pointed out by a serious trainer too.
But, what is someone more likely to post up on YouTube? A vid showing many times they can hit a heavy bag in 30 seconds, or a vid showing that they know to rotate their heel over when throwing a hook?