Speed is composed of several elements which are necessary for martial arts:
Some important principles to focus when one works on speed in combat sports. – Agility, mobility, balance, coordination, flexibility, endurance, awareness, anticipation.
When an athlete train himself with weights to improve his speed, it should not leave balance, coordination, flexibility, endurance and mobility on the side.
Speed of the movement and speed of the brain
- Speed of the movement: To understand the speed of the movement, one must take several things in consideration. The position at a given time and the impulse must always work together. A good warm-up, will loosen up the muscles and will limit the risk of injuries. The posture enables us to be relaxed and in good position to act as soon as possible while keeping the balance. Endurance and speed are the keys for success during the fight. The fast and repetitive blows drains a lot of energy. You must train endurance, economy of energy and economy of motion.
- Speed of the brain: Relaxation is a significant component to reach speed in execution. Even if the speed of the movement is measured in a “physical” way, one must first of all be in a relaxed state of mind. One must be in the present moment to accentuate the perception, sensitivity of what surrounds us (awareness). Sensitivity of our senses: touch, hearing, sight… To capitalize on the position and movements of the adversary. Think quick and you will act quick. The reaction speed include multiple stages: perception, analyses, muscular action. The eyes detect a target, the brain receives the information and the brain send an instruction to the muscles to act.
The peripheral vision allows the high-speed perception of movements. It gives the total information of the field of view as a whole. The fovea vision for its part, stops on a point to obtain more detailed information. The peripheral vision then gives as quickly as possible a general impression of a visual situation. Improving the peripheral vision increases the speed of execution in the majority of martial arts.
Exercises to work speed:
- Shadow-boxing: Include Foot-work, head movements, level changes, rhythm, while striking. It is essential to know to relaxe your body and your muscles to work on your speed. No resistance is exerted on our body the one can reach maximum speed in techniques and recover faster (ready position).
- Ladder drills: Great for foot-work and coordination.
- Speed-bag: Good for hand speed, endurance, precision, rhythm, timing, and coordination.
- Focus-bag: Good for precision, rhythm, timing, head movements and coordination.
- Bag work: You can hit the bag the faster you can with the perfect technique for 10 to 20 sec. then take a 10 to 20 sec. break and repeat for a complete round.