Most people in the world have received no formal self-defense training whatsoever, and yet they (men) instinctively know to ball up their fists and strike their opponent with them, while women tend to use open hand strikes.

That's just the way the sexes are "hard wired." You don't believe me? Go inside any bar in the world on a Friday night, whether in Frankfurt, Germany or Los Angeles, USA and observe two men go at it. It's a slugfest. On the other hand, what do you think you're going to see when two women are fighting each other? They call it a "cat fight" for a reason: scratching, slapping, pulling of hair and clothes. Obviously, nothing is 100% of the time, because I've seen some female gang members ball up their fists and beat their victims senseless, while I've seen a few men go spastic with slapping like motions. As a former law enforcement officer, I've have had to break up a lot of fights, not to mention being attacked many times by both men and women, and I feel confident standing by the stereotypes.

Let's face it. There's not much to punching. It's not rocket science. You make a tight fist, then as fast and as hard as you can, you drive it through someone's face, ribs, or stomach.

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Whomever can punch, kick or move fastest can bypass the defense and have a great offensive attack. Resistance bands are great for martial arts training because they boost your strength, speed, and power precisely for martial arts movements.

The bands increase the force specifically by using the same angles, movements, and leverage as kicks, punches, and grappling. These exact lines of movement and force are very hard to replicate with other exercises. Also, you can adjust the tension and force more by simply moving your body forward or back without stopping to change the weight. It is the reason why resistance bands produce significantly higher increases in strength, speed, and enhanced neurological adaptation with sport specific movements and techniques.

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A worthwhile modification employed by some schools is that of practicing the basics in reverse. Upper blocks, reverse punches, front kicks — indeed, any basic technique normally done while advancing — can also be practiced while stepping backward.

Although a bit awkward, blocks are more likely to be used in conjunction with some type of retreat or evasive measure rather than when stepping toward an attacker. This is not a hard and fast rule; however, it is the way it often happens for real.

Likewise, kicks and punches must frequently be delivered while backpedaling from a charging foe. By training exclusively while advancing, you may have difficulty summoning stopping power if you suddenly have to launch a technique while backing up.

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A quick review of a few of the science lessons you learned in high school is all you need to start generating more power in your strikes. The concepts — mass, velocity, momentum and so on — are basic and beneficial!

We have all seen martial arts demonstrations. A master squares off against his taller and heavier opponent, extending his arm until his fist stops a mere inch from the other man’s chest. Suddenly, the master’s fist slams forward with explosive force, throwing the opponent into the air. The foe lands in a pile 8 feet from where he stood.

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