6 Secrets for Building Blinding Speed for Attack and Defense

Effective techniques, whether offensive or defensive in nature, require sufficient power applied to the proper spot at the proper time. To create maximum power and to deliver it where required, you need speed. Additionally, while being far from a replacement for timing, proper positioning and overall good technique, speed can help compensate for shortcomings in any of these areas. 

In the end, effective speed is the most important type of speed.  For sake of this discussion, effective speed comprises the overall expression of a movement from processing of the need to move, the decision of what movement to make, and the overall physical execution of the movement, start to finish.   All of these factors require separate analysis and active training to achieve marked improvement.  Absolute speed, the actual speed you can move your body, will be the primary but not sole focus of the following tip.  

For simplicity, hand work will comprise the majority of the following examples but the tips apply to the whole body. 


-Separate speed training from other conditioning work.

Train speed after you are warmed up but otherwise fresh. Don't push too much after you notice significant slowing in your movements. You will be training endurance, not speed after this point.


-Separate breathing from movement.

When you strike are you doing a heavy squat with a barbell on your back? Or are you just moving your body like when you sprint? Unless you are gassed, disconnect your breathing from striking, just don't hold your breathe.  Smooth continuous breathing is key.



In the case of the arms you should have minimum tension in your arms to hold them aloft until you fire each punch.  Relaxation also interrelates with proper breathing.


-Burst training.

Using singles, or double or triple combos to focus on speed and not endurance.  Pause in between sets. Full stillness then max speed.


-Focus on the pullback.

If you are trying to punch faster emphasize a very quick drawback. Try to pullback faster than you punch out. That is not to say you should slow down the extension but make the delivery and return are as fast as possible. You are already trying to punch fast so think about making the withdraw as fast or faster than the punch. This not only encourages a faster punch but a more damaging impact as you are being mindful to shorten the impulse of the energy transfer to the target.



Whatever speed you have or will build in the future, you must work to leverage it with efficiency.  While efficiency is not the focus of absolute speed training, be mindful you are not drilling inefficient movements that will need to be trained out later.

Use efficient movement. Do nothing extra. Do not preload. Make as straight of a line possible from starting point to target.


Try integrating regular speed training into your workouts with these ideas or examine where you may be violating these methods in your existing training.  Give it at least 6 weeks and you will see some changes!


Happy Training,

Sifu Nick Edmonds

Red Light Wng Chun Phoenix, Arizona

Posted by