If you are training in or thinking of training in Defence Lab you would be forgiven for thinking that it is all about the elbows and hammers. However, that isn’t the case.
One of the unique elements of Defence Lab is its ‘power’ generation system.
Andy Norman, the founder of Defence Lab will actually say “If you hit like Mike Tyson on your feet, you need to be like Mike Tyson on the ground and on your knee’s”. The basic premise here is to hit hard from any position but how do you actually achieve this?
How to Hit Really Hard
If you are now used to seeing Defence Lab in action via the On-line learning packs or the free videos here at Defence Lab.com you will know that body mechanics are essential to your training. Yes speed is great and it is an asset but the ability to hit hard comes from hard work and the study of body mechanics and not just punching speed. If you have good body mechanics then you will be able to hit harder from any position.
I have made no secret that I came to Defence Lab via a process and it is this:
- Vale Tudo/ MMA
- Submission Grappling
- Defence Lab
The above represents my journey in martial arts and it would be fair to say that all of those arts are at the higher end of the food chain in terms of street applications. That was always my goal, to be able to protect myself and my loved ones so everything I ever learned had to be easily translated into self-defence. By this I mean that I needed to be able to take elements from each art and use them in the street, and I did but you have to understand that Defence Lab wasn’t around back in those days. If it was I would have been spared from having a broken tooth, nose, cheekbone and multiple other injuries that come from doing those types of sports
Trust me when I say this; what I love about Defence Lab is that it takes the core elements from my favourite martial arts and adds its own unique elements. My personal schedule at one point was training 6 days a week- Boxing, Judo and Vale Tudo training. It was crazy but looking back Defence Lab would have easily given me what I was looking for.
Power- Big Power
One of the biggest barriers in self defence training is learning how to hit hard. Power is essential and by this I dont mean you all have to hit like a baby Rhino, you need to strike with enough power so that any attacker will be rocked. On you back, on your knees and on your feet. But how exactly do you do this?
If you go to physics and look at how force is generated.
Mass x Acceleration= Force
So you have to think of your fist, elbow or anything else as a’mass’ and you need to accelerate that object. However, this is only part of the puzzle because as we know this would mean the person with the fastest hand speed would hit harder and we simply know this isn’t the case.
Weight, timing, strength and even muscle fibres all come into play when we talk about ‘power punching’ but above all this body mechanics is the core of power striking. In 20 years of boxing and martial arts training, I can tell you that Defence Lab cracked the power generation code with its amazing use and study of Body Mechanics.
If you take a look at Paul ‘The Demolition Man’ Strauther who is one of the highest ranking DL crew members you will see amazing body mechanics on display. Now please note, this isn’t about saying Paul hits harder than Lennox Lewis- Paul hits as hard as he physically can! This is the key here, we all have a maximum power threshold based on our size, strength, weight and our DNA. The key is to improve your body mechanics to get you hitting as hard as YOU can.
Ducking and Diving
When I first experienced Defence Labs power generation method I was immediately taken back to boxing. I know Andy Norman has studied boxing and its easy to see. Even in the basic Defence Lab drills we see ‘plyometric loading’ in the striking. As a result, the body mechanics are not that different from that seen in power punchers such as Nigel Benn, Mike Tyson or Rocky Marciano
Lets Take a look at each individual boxer:
First a classic look at Nigel Benn delivering a knockout blow;
You can see here that Nigel Benn has started to lower his weight as he loads his body power via rotation.
Now look at his body, now the weight has dropped and he has started to circle his body ready to drive power into his strike
Here Nigel has popped up and his arm and body is full of plyometric power to unleash
The result is clear to see. You can watch this and other Nigel Benn knock outs on the video below, study him to see a power puncher in action and you will easily spot similarities to how DL students train and move:
And next we look at Nigel Benn on the pads- notice his power generation with the hips and waist:
If we look at Mike Tyson we see similar body mechanics on display where he combines Defence into Attack:
Rocky Marciano was another classic example, although his body mechanics are not as pronounced in the video you will see he often drops his weight and loads up for the power shot, its a very slight movement compared to DL and Nigel Benn but look closely and you will see it.
So what has this got to do with you?
Well if you train Defence lab you need to focus on your body mechanics because this is what will lead to your results.
Do you have 5 men attacking you? How are you going to stop them?
Well using your shapes and combined with explosive power you will be able to hit hard and this changes everything. Power makes eveyone think twice before attacking you with another strike. Hitting them hard makes them stop in their tracks.
What to Focus on in Class
When you go to training what do you think of?
Nothing? The trainer? The training partner?
You are wrong if you do any of these things. You need to make your training environment real and put pressure on yourself if you want to develop quickly. This is the key to rapid development.
When you hit the pads, in your mind are you are hitting the man who is attacking you? When you hit the pads to need to ask yourself “was that with the right intensity? Was that really good enough? If not then you do better with the next shot.
This micro focus compounds and by the end of the session you haven’t just trained DL you have actually fought 20 people and landed dozens of strikes! It is this mentality that will give you an edge.
Tips and Techniques
When Andy Norman created Defence Lab, he did so after a lifetime of study and training and everything has a purpose. The body mechanics are your core. They power your striking, but this wont happen over night. You need to develop it over time and this itself takes effort.
If you want to make your striking amazing then you will need to mentally focus on this and study. This goes beyond your training in class and you do it each day, multiple times a day. Work on your body mechanics when you are cleaning your teeth, when you go to the bathroom, when you walk to the kitchen to get a drink and any other chance you get. This adds up and before you know it you are getting better, faster.
Now if you are reading this and expecting me to tell you exactly what to do to hit hard, well I already have. Work on your body mechanics- it is that simple. No one is going to swoop down and with one touch make you a harder striker. You have to study, put the time in and go from there.
In this article I have placed videos of experts in boxing and you should literally wear those videos out (if they would have been on VHS). I wore out hundreds of boxing videos when I was a boxer. Now you live in digital age and you should make the most of these types of resources. Defence Lab now has a lot of free and paid for videos that you can learn from. These have taken time and effort to develop but let;s be clear these are not just entertainment to watch on a Friday night. These are professional training tools.
If you read a book or watch an instructional DVD then you will have wasted your time if you do not take ACTION!!!
So what is action? Well it is you actually taking he information and using it. So here is some real advice on getting the most out of any training;
1. Get a Notebook
2. Make detailed notes about what you see
3. Go and practise on your own time
It sounds too simple to be true but trust me its effective. This is how you will get better far faster. Now go and access the free DL training videos and analyse them. Watch how Team storm members Grek, Ruben and Paul move and make notes then work on it.
To be a power striker takes time and effort but you CAN achieve this if you out in the time.
Train hard, punch hard and focus on your mechanics folks
Until next time.