More About Muscle Tension

Here is a real Zen riddle for you, in two parts. First... the looser the muscles then the faster the blow; but the lighter the muscles the harder the blow.

This means that if you throw a punch with relaxed arm muscles it will be more like a speedy jab but had you tensed your arm on impact the blow would have projected more force. Adding some hip roll and body weight would in turn further raise the value of the blow.

The second important aspect of muscle tension is related to inflicting and not sustaining damage. To hit someone effectively you must make your hand into a fist. Not only will this hurt them more but it will protect your hands from breakage. As discussed earlier, it is important to actually make a proper fist if you are going to punch. This means tightening the musclcs in your wrist and clenching your fingers tightly together with the thumb held well in.

Never try hitting someone with a hand that resembles a bowl of spaghetti because you will break it, and if you do. don't think that he's likely to stop hitting you just because your hand hurts!

The other part of this riddle is that having relaxed musclcs will help you avoid injuries. Relaxed muscles will roll, rather than repel, incoming blows which boxers call shedding. This is covered under the chapter on Blocking. Having relaxed muscles will give you more manoeuvrability which translates into duck, bob and weave.

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