The Science of Power… the Secret to Bruce Lee’s One Inch Punch

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Topics: plyometric exercises


Athletes are defined not only by their strength, but their ability to use their strength. So merely lifting heavy objects is not defined as athleticism. Again, the ability to use your strength dynamically and variably defines a great athlete. Muhammad Ali was not only incredibly strong, but he was quick, nimble, and agile. Martial artists and athletes looking to harness their strength usually train in plyometric exercises because they build power. Here’s the basic formula for power:




Power is the ability to generate strength in the shortest amount of time. Explosive use of strength is power. Fighters, martial artists, football players, basketball players, ice skaters, and baseball players all need to be able to quickly release their strength.

The Force-Velocity Relationship

Traditional strength training is concerned with force, but does not typically consider speed. Power training tries to apply the same amount of strength in a much shorter amount of time. Technically, it’s not difficult to find someone who is very strong, but not very powerful. For athletes like martial artists and gymnasts, the explosive use of their strength is a crucial component of their athletic ability. For example, Bruce Lee wasn’t bulky, but he was very powerful.

The way to increase power is to shorten the time it takes to produce force. Plyometrics are the best way to do this. This site is full of both lower and upper body examples.The goal of plyometrics is that the time spent on the ground should be reduced while the time and distance away from the ground is increased. This trains your body to absorb shock, stabilize it self, and rapidly change direction. It’s perfect for combat situations where with unpredictable variables like number of attackers, the angle of attack, speed, etc.

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