MMA gladiators circling the eight sided ring, searching for the shot, and, WHAM, somebody is knocked out. The price of the ticket, the roaring crowd, they are all worth it if you can see a good knock out. What most people don’t realize is that a good knock out, with a little practice, is actually easy to do.

More than three decades ago, in Kang Duk Won Karate my instructor explained that A tight fist is a heavy fist. Man, that was a stunner info that was worth it! Just curl the fingers together, fix them in place with a thick thumb, and, zingo bingo, you have yourself an stone shattering fist.

The trick, of course, is to be relaxed before, and to be relaxed after. This is the concept of focus, and it is vital to a good, knock out punch. Hard to do it the way they wrap hands and put them in gloves these days, but there it is.

imagine it like this, a radar station is scanning the open skies for incoming targets, it is scanning, and what would happen if the radar screen suddenly filled up with static? The radar operator wouldn’t be able to find the incoming targets for all the static. So when you make yourself loose and empty, and make your fist totally relaxed, you are trying to get rid of the static, make it so you can see what is going on around you.

Then, your perceptions picking up the flight of fist, the anger, the very intention of the attacker, your fist will move faster because it is empty, and it will hit harder when it becomes tight. Muscular tension will not slow down your fist, and it will fly fast and, your radar not being blind, will better hit the target. The moment of impact your fist tightens, and that increases the mass and weight of the fist, making it hard enough to knock somebody out.

So there are two things a fighter in the UFC ring, or just a guy out on the mean streets must do if he is going to have real knock out power. The first thing to be done is to be loosey goosey empty, not trapped because of his own muscular tension. This frees the inner radar to find those incoming targets, and enables the MMA fighter to move faster because he does not think of himself as heavy.

The second thing is to make the fist tight when it hits, and loosen it immediately afterwards. This is real nanosecond stuff here, but it really works. The energy comes to bear, the power focuses, and that which was empty and quick suddenly becomes full and heavy.

If you are an Mixed Martial Arts fighter in the UFC or strikeforce, or even just a guy who likes watching it on the tube, think about the physics I have described here, and figure out how to use them. Empty/full is actually a well worn concept from traditional Karate, and it is used extensively in the ancient Shaolin types of kung fu like or Choy Lee Fut or Hung Gar. Emptiness and focus, these are the keys that will lay them out and close their eyes!

Al Case has analyzed Karate for 40 years. He has written hundreds of articles for the magazines, and had his own column in Inside Karate. You can pick up a free ebook at Monster Martial Arts, or get the straight skinny on hitting harder at Punch ‘Em Out

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