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Ferocious Velocity!

Hey everyone, in my pursuit for Mass and Strength, I have neglected working on my speed.

I’m a martial artist, and I am the fastest student in my school. I’m looking for Mind Blowing speed and power as a martial artist.

Do you guys have any advice or direction? For nothing short of Mind Boggling Ferocious Velocity???

Westside methods should give explosive power. Olympic lifts. Possibly olympic lifts with a westside lifting protocol. ie: the speed and max effort days centered around cleans etc. Try execises such as bench throws. Pylometrics is worth a shot. Another nasty thing you could try is starting your lifts in the bottom possition. Example: Bench in a power cage but set the bars up just above your chest and START in that possition. Explosive possitive, return the bar to the safety bars and let 4 secs pass to let the myotatic response disipate then do another rep. Try sets of 3 with 60% of your 1 rep max so you can get phenomenal bar speed. These are just some ideas I’m sure there are better ones from the other members. Lastly ask Coach Davies I know he has some serious punishment to increase your speed. nkeago. :slight_smile:

I would highly recommend getting a hold of Coach Sonnon or Coach Davies as. 

I believe Compensatory Acceleration Training would be of great help. It basically involves using a submaximal percentage of your max weight, and accelerating it during the concentric portion of the lift. A word of caution… toward the end of the lift, consciously slow it down. The last thing you need to do is pop yourself in the jaw with a dumbell during a bicep curl.

I think a modified Westside would work well for you. What you have to remember about Westside training is that it’s geared for maximal strength development. While this training does offer increased explosive power this is just a side benefit. Remember to think specificity in all things, particularly while training for a sport.

Since you are interested primarily in the speed aspect of the power equation I would suggest training just that. You need to look at improving the time to peak tension for your motor units. Because you are also interested in it for you martial art I would also train it that way. Afterall, it’s not going to help you as a martial artist to be able to run a 9 second 100m is it? You need to be fast over the first 5 feet, the rest is irrelevant.

All that having been said I would suggest something along the lines of the following:

1 day per week of heavy lifting, try again to think of specificity. Wide grip bench will not do you a lot of good, pick exercises that more closely mimic your sport.

1 day per week of general explosive training. This could be olympic lifting, it could be plyometrics, it could be a modified Westside. I would recommend either Olympic or modified WS (by modified I mean slightly lighter weights than they dictate you want speed, not strength).

I would then train your martial art 2-3 days per week. Try and spend perhaps a little less time on other aspects of it and more time on speed drills. Rapid movements over short distances from and to strange positions. Remember that this needs to look explosive so we’re talking about singles with rest in between not wind sprints.

Without knowing more about the martial art you’re practicing and a little more about you that’s about all I can throw out. I hope it helped.


I was going to mention this but thought the whole reply was a bit long, this is an anecdote of mine.

I’ve done martial arts for many years, out of all of them Judo was where I spent the most time. While taking my phys. ed. degree I was taking advanced biomechanics and we were replicating a study done on the influence of foot position over a 40 yard sprint. We used timing gates at 5 yards, 10 yards, 20 yards and 40 yards to give us split times.

Now I should mention that I had been out of any martial arts for a while and I was fat (22%) and I felt slow. In our class we had three sprinters, one who ran the 100 and 200m at a national level. A running back and a reciever from the football team.

When we did the test and the results came in the guys were laughing at me because I was the slowest male in the class (thank God none of the girls were sprinters or it could have been worse).

When we got back to class and our prof put all the results up I was again being mocked for my lack of speed. This is when my prof pointed out that while I was the slowest male through the full 40 I was the fastest through the first 5 yards. I was still the fastest at the 10 yard mark and one of the sprinters (the reciever) had tied me at the 20 yard mark.

That kind of shut them up. Our prof pointed out that my lack of overall speed was simply the result of poor running mechanics (something about a duck with a firecracker up it’s ass. . .) but I digress. He also pointed out that while he could teach me to run properly he could never teach them to start like I could.

Why was I so fast? Judo! Afterall the first 5 feet are really all that matter, I just managed to carry that a little further.

So this is a story of specificity, remember to train over short distances and in a motion pattern relevant to your sport.


Relax. Punch with your body. And don’t lead with your head.


Olympic lifts and sprint intervals (on a bike and on foot) have worked well for me for both grappling and striking. As Stutart’s post pointed out explosiveness is probably what your after, not 400yard kinda speed.

Working on speed drills while doing MA is essential. focus mitt drills for striking, and shooting (or uchikomi in Judo)drills for grappling arts work well for this.


Wow, awesome response!

Alright, I am truly a striker not a grappler at all.

Im involved with TKD, and stuff like that. I don’t do any grappling or ground work at all.

My last post was right after I saw Matrix Reloaded, that’s the kind of stuff I like and do, so I was very excited to say the least.

There now you know what Im involved with :slight_smile:

Whoops, sorry If I wasn’t clear enough.

Ummm…the best way to describe my type of martial art, would be to watch the Matrix. Exactly that kind of stuff.

So you can dodge bullets, fly, and bend spoons with your mind? Right on! What’s the name of your martial art? Sign me up!

Vaines-While Westside is great (I se their methods from PL and Strongman) simply getting stronger will not make you punch faster. “It has been established that there is essentially no correlation between the absolute speed of an unloaded movement and relative strength. In particular, increase in strength has virtually no effect on speed of movement if the external resistance is small.” (Supertraining, 149). So, if you were throwing a punch with a heavy dumbbell in your hand, being very strong would help. Since you’re not (I hope!), you are better off increasing explosive strength and speed strength since the external resistance (your hand/arm) is small. Westside focuses on quasi-isometric strength (ME Day), as well as strength-speed and speed-strength. Also, there are many other things that make one faster, such as ability to relax certain muscles, efficiency of movement/skill, reactive ability, quickness etc.

For a powerful punch, you need to have good technique. Without that, you will not be able to make the transfer of power, from legs, to hips, to shoulder, and then finally to the fist.

The heavy bag is probably the best tool for developing power. Use the heaviest bag, and have some one hold it so you get plenty of resistance to your punch.

As far as the gym, others have already covered that aspect. I highly recommend powercleans, snatches and push presses. When you do these, you need to use a weight that allows you to generate some serious bar speed.

Im gonna put this thread in my favourites so I can check it out whenever I want.

No, I can’t dodge bullets(atleast not yet ;)) What I meant was when the chinese guy and neo fight, they block, strike, kick eachother in a fight. That’s my type of martial art.

Is there any specefic program you guys may have in mind??? I would love to check it out. Im a 3rd dan black belt, so my technique is pretty much perfect. If you do, please post it, as I am new to west side, CAT, and any other Ferocious Velocity developing program.

I think what Vaines ment was that he practices some form of kung-fu. As we all know only I can dodge bullets. I’m still working on my freezing in mid air jump kick. I’ll let you know. Ciao. :slight_smile:

ko is absolutely right in saying that learning to coordinate your entire body in kicking/punching is crucial, and relaxing at the same time.

mental imagery works well when learning to relax - for ex. a whip with a iron ball on the end. your arm should be relaxed up until the moment of contact when you should tense and blast thru the target.

By the way being 3rd dan has little to do with anything. My former teacher in karate is 6th dan and he always said how far he had to go in improving even the most basic punch. And his teacher, a 10th dan from Okinawa still worked daily on the most basic techniques, and even HE spoke of how far he has to go.
hope this helps

Vaines-Since nearly all sporting movements are initiated from the hip, it would benefit you greatly to become proficient in the olympic lifts.

By no means did I say I know everything. I said my technique is perfect, which is true, through countless hours of practice.

Olympic lifts, westside.

Got ya!

Vaines-Westside is well suited for people needing to produce force against medium to very high loads (with medium to quasi-isometric velocities), for you, since the velocities are very high and the load very low, Westside would be a poor choice. Olympic movements would be better, as would other approaches.

Other approaches?

The truth is, for about 4 months I did alot of Olympic Lifting. And I notice my punch and kick are much more explosive, and fast. Now im doing a bodybuilding routine, to increase weight/muscle. But I will be focusing on ferocious velocity after bodybuilding phases.

God, I wish T-mag did an article specificly for Martial Artists like me. 1 article for grapplers, and the other article for strike fighters like myself.