Page 2 of 7
Strength. More strength is required initially to move a fist and quickly increase its acceleration. Thus, increasing muscular strength will increase the quickness and power of a punch. Since it also takes strength to stop the motion of a punch, increasing muscular strength also increases control of a punch.
Time of Contact. When a punch makes contact with the opponent, forces are transferred to the opponent’s body. Since the body is composed mostly of water, which cannot be compressed, these forces are transferred through the opponent’s body to its base and to the ground. Since the ground cannot be compressed, these forces are reflected back through the opponent’s body to the point of impact. If the striking surface is still in contact with the opponent, some of these forces are transferred back into the puncher's body. If the striking surface is no longer in contact with the opponent’s body, the reflected forces are reflected into the opponent’s body again where they may do greater damage. Therefore, to achieve maximum power transfer, the striking surface’s time of contact with the opponent must be as brief as possible. Upon contact and penetration, punches are immediately withdrawn so maximum power is transferred to the opponent.
Duration of Force. As the distance a punch has to travel to reach its target increases, the longer it takes for the punch to reach its target. This means greater it will have a greater striking force, but it also gives the opponent more time to block or avoid the punch. Therefore, there is a trade-off between power and quickness. While sparring, one must constantly make split-second choices as to what level of power or quickness is required at a given point in time.