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Is Power Really the Most Important Quality in Fighting?

We've all heard that famous line from "Enter the Dragon" - Boards don't hit back. Bruce Lee said that after Bob Wall punched a bunch of wooden boards in an attempt to intimidate him. Obviously, it didn't work. But what does that line really mean?

One of the major principles of our system is taken from Bruce Lee's philosophy: Fighting is all about hitting your opponent at will and not getting hit. Most martial artists tend to focus on the first part of that sentence and ignore the second part. The idea is to hit while not getting hit. It sounds simple, but it's not. I'll tell you why.

In the reality of self-defense, the attacker usually holds a big advantage over his victim. It could be he is bigger, stronger, tougher, has a weapon, or is with his gang. In all ways, he holds all the cards. In tournaments, fights are matched according to gender, weight classes, and age. For example, the goal in a Jiu Jitsu tournament is to make the fights as evenly matched as possible. No one is supposed to have an advantage. But in a real fight, you will find cases of elderly women being assaulted with weapons by a younger, stronger street thugs. Or you'll find smaller kids getting bullied at school by much bigger boys. This means that if these "victims" tried to protect themselves by fighting back, they won't stand a chance if they absorbed a solid hit by the attacker. If a young woman fighting off a bigger man tried the typical "take-a hit to give-a-hit" approach taught in karate studios, she wouldn't survive. She'd need to deliver many solid and effective hits to her attacker without getting hit herself.

To do this, she needs to blend her striking power with well-timed evasiveness. This is something that our programs at Tandez Academy excel in. Instead of delivering one board-breaking punch that measures one hundred percent power and leaves her vulnerable to a counter-hit, she instead delivers five fast punches that measure seventy-five percent in power but doesn't put her in a vulnerable position. Think of a board-breaking punch or kick as a high reward, but high risk action. If you hit, you score. But if you miss, you're wide open to a counterattack. Instead we recommend multiple rapid-fire strikes that hit targets with precision and stop the enemy while keeping us safe and balanced.

So is power the most important quality in fighting? No, it isn't. To be effective in a real fight, you have to be able to hit a moving and resisting target precisely first, and avoid getting hit with a powerful counterattack while you're doing this. Remember - you do not want to "trade blows" with your enemy, or you may lose quickly, especially if he's bigger and stronger than you. Learn to move and hit, and hit and move. The one-punch knockout is awesome, but it's not as easy to pull that off in the real world.

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