Initially I am less concerned with how the form for the student looks looks because my goal is for them to figure out and feel what works best for them. Some people exhibit non-intuitive footwork paired to their striking and it’s not something they can correct in a two-hour session. Building sound fundamentals takes time and effort and if you're serious about training, it is a must-have for a complete self-defense skill set.
For those who know how to move well from previous athletic experience or sports, it’s easy to tie into whatever sport or activity they have practice with, and show how simple it is to adapt that movement to hitting someone as hard as you can. For example, tennis players tend to have an easier time learning elbow strikes because of their familiarity with moving their feet and hips together.
Here are a few of my favorite strike-improvement training strategies that I use and teach to clients in private self defense lessons:
- Slow-motion striking: practicing slow mechanics so that the student is more conscious of his/her body movement.
- Cycling of strikes: patterning how to cycle palm strikes, hammer-fists, and elbows quickly with forward pressure.
- Resistance band striking: anchor two resistance bands looped together to a wall or anchor point and go through the motion of your linear strikes.
- Hitting a heavy bag
- Hitting focus mitts: pros- you get to work footwork, movement, covering up, targeting, striking, and combinations. Cons: you need a training partner that knows how to move & how to hold pads.
- Slam-ball throws: grab a 15lb slam-ball (it’s a heavy rubberized ball that does not bounce much when you throw it against the ground/wall) and throw it against a wall repeatedly using the mechanics of a palm strike.
Train smart & stay safe,
NOVA Self Defense