The Key to Powerful Strikes

Have you ever wondered why Mike Tyson hit so much harder than everyone else in the heavyweight division during his prime? Was he born with a special gift or did the famous Cus D'Amato teach him to throw such devastating punches? Or how is it that Anderson Silva, the UFC Middleweight Champion, can seemingly knock opponents out at will? Silva is certainly not an intimidating looking guy. Yet, he connects with frightening accuracy and power, causing his opponents to fall to their knees.

At Evolve, we could write a whole book on this topic. However, for brevity's sake, we will hone it down to a simple answer. We believe the answer is natural ability + excellent technique = devastating power. In other words, you need both. Yes, some people instantly hit hard even without ever learning how to throw a kick or punch properly. And yes, other people can learn how to punch or kick for 10 years and yet would not even be able to hurt a fly with their power. However, the truly great knockout artists of our time have both elements. They were born with a gift and they possess beautiful technique.

Luckily, the good news is that excellent technique will always maximize your power even if you are not born with natural ability. If you can master excellent technique from instructors who truly know what they are doing, then you will have power in your strikes. If you have natural ability and you learn from the best instructors possible, then you will inevitably have impressive power in your strikes.

Here are the basics to developing POWER in your strikes (punches, kicks, knees, and elbows):

1) Learn from the best. Knowledge is everything. If you want to learn how to cook Italian food, go to Italy. If you want to learn how to speak French, go to France. If you want to throw powerful kicks, learn Muay Thai from a Muay Thai instructor in Thailand. It is critical that you learn from elite instructors who can show you all the details of a given technique. Technique is the foundation that unleashes your power. Without it, you will never truly maximize your potential in this area. If you unknowingly pick up bad habits at an early stage of your martial arts career, then it will be very hard to undo. Knowledge is power.

2) Hips and legs. Those are the 2 magic words for developing POWER in your strikes (punches, kicks, knees, and elbows). It is not the size of your biceps or how much you can bench press or how fast you can swing your arm. The secret to developing truly devastating power in your strikes is to learn how to use your hips and legs effectively. 90% of the power in your strikes is generated from your hips and legs. If you learn how to use your hips at precise moments, you will hit harder. It is the rotational (or thrusting movement for knee strikes) torque of your hips that drives the power of strikes. So in the future, always look in the mirror and watch how your hips rotate as you throw a strike.

3) Practice at 100% power against a heavy bag every day. Assuming your technique is solid and that you really know how to use your hips and legs to generate maximum power, then you need to hit a heavy bag with full force over and over. Muay Thai fighters use heavy bags filled with sand and they throw thousands of kicks a week at full power. The reason why Muay Thai fighters kick harder than anyone on the planet is precisely because of their technique (hips and legs) and their training regimen. This type of resistance training with repetition is excellent for maximizing power.

In any case, this write-up is just a mini summary on the concept of power. We could write a whole book on this topic. For further details, please feel free to contact any of your instructors at Evolve. You can go to for our contact info.

Train hard. Love the game. Achieve Greatness Within.

Team Evolve