Mar 27 2009

The Physics of Striking?

Published by at 3:57 pm under Bujinkan Training Drills,Training at Home

I am not going to make this a post where you have to follow along with complex mathematics.  I just need to explain a few things which I believe will help you understand a bit about generating power for strikes.

Lets first look at the quoted equation.

K = 1/2 mv²


Energy = 1/2 x mass x velocity squared

I will not get into momentum (which we all know is an integration of the previous formula right? :P ).  I will take time to explain why speed is not important.  Well maybe that’s going to far, I will explain why speed is no more important than technique.

In the simple equation that I have above, if you have a certain mass behind your punch, (let’s say half your body weight) and a certain speed (the velocity does not matter) you will create a strike with a certain amount of energy.  Now if you double the mass behind your strike and the speed stays the same you double the energy.  If you double the speed behind your strike you get four times the energy.  Thus speed is the answer right?  WRONG!

Do you understand how hard it is to increase your speed?  You will hit a wall and it will diminish with age.  Have you ever tried to move a car?  By changing your technique you can add a considerable amount of force behind you.  I would go as far as to say that increasing the mass behind your strike is 8 times easier than increasing your speed, and 13.42 times easier to maintain in old age (by my arbitrary but seemingly accurate predictions).

But wait there’s more!  You don’t always want to strike quickly.  You might want to change up the speed to throw your opponent off their game.  In this case having the correct weight behind your strikes using proper technique to anchor some of the mass from the ground is even more important.

In conclution, don’t believe the you need speed nonsense.  It is a misunderstanding of the classical mechanics when applied to the Human Body.  I am willing to debate anyone on this, it can be quickly articulated and demonstrated in person.  So if you have people who doubt send them my way I welcome the peer review.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “The Physics of Striking?”

  1. Patrickon 28 Mar 2009 at 11:47 am

    Very nice. I agree that it seems like a good argument; you’re saying that the correct use of technique lets you properly utilize more of your own body weight, and also some of the environmental force (I think you could include gravity in this, since a lot of moves hinge on sinking / changing position downwards with respect to the ground; correct me if I’m off track here). Then speed can be just icing on the fist-cake.

    Another point to lend merit to your arbitrary number of 13.42 is that people usually put on weight when they get old. So blobby old men with good technique should theoretically rule the world.

    (N.B. This assumes there are realistic bounds on speed and mass. In a perfect physics world, the speed term would dominate and eventually negate the mass term as both race to zero and infinity, respectively. A mountain that has no ability for motion hits with no force, since it doesn’t hit at all. Running into it, however…)

  2. Eric Mon 29 Mar 2009 at 9:14 am

    That’s why I’ve always preferred strength over speed.

    Ladies and gentlemen for your own safety, please don’t look directly at the gun show. It may blow your mind.

  3. Antonon 31 Mar 2009 at 3:15 pm


    you see this is why you need people like me to review your papers, as the velocity approaches “c” the mass will approach infinity before velocity ever could. Granted I said we are strictly dealing with classical mechanics here but you were talking about a perfect physics world. You are forgiven this time.

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