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Fusion Martial Arts

ITF Taekwon-do + modern sports science + ideas from other Martial Arts

Day Time Location
Monday 6:15-7:15pm Macquarie
  6-8pm Barton (Telopea)*
Tuesday 6:15-7:15pm Holder
  6-7pm Belconnen*
Thursday 6-7pm Belconnen*
Friday 6:15-7:15pm Holder
  6-8pm Barton (Telopea)*
What Our Members Say...
  • 2 years ago, I was introduced to Taekwon-do by a close friend. My first impressions were how amazingly well-mannered the younger students were. As a father of 3 under 10 this is something I noticed immediately! I started my journey with Fusion and over time I got 2 of my children involved in training with Instructor Nick at Fusion. They now love training twice a week after school and practicing constantly. I love that they get a great mix of physical education, appropriate discipline and the feeling of accomplishment from learning the art of Taekwon-do. The skills they learn will always serve them well, and I encourage other parents to come along and try Taekwon-do with their kids.

    - Robert, Fusion Parent & Student

  • "I like to going to Taekwon-do because it is fun and I learn new skills and play interesting games"

    - Oliver (age 9)

  • "Our three children have been learning Taekwon-do with Fusion Martial Arts for nearly two years now and we could not be happier! Our children have learnt a range of valuable skills (including strong discipline) and improved their self-confidence, coordination and core body strength. Fusion Martial Arts has inspired our children to apply themselves in a diligent manner and we have been particularly impressed by Nick's dedication. Nick consistently puts a great deal of effort into his classes and is finely attuned to his student's needs. We would thoroughly recommend Fusion Martial Arts to anyone."

    - Zoe, Fusion Parent

  • "Nick is a good teacher who loves doing it and helps us a lot"

    - Sarah (age 12)

  • "If someone asks Nick a question, he listens and if he does not know the answer he will look it up for us.  He doesn't just ignore us"

    - Benjamin (age 9)

What Powers A Strike

If you watch skilled practitioners of any form of fighting in a sparring or self defense situation, you are likely to find that their core skill-set lies in the understanding and maintenance of distance, angles and timing. Angles open targets on your opponent, distance dictates the available techniques and timing plays the dual role of using your opponent’s motion against them as well as the proper orchestration of the movements required to execute a technique with power and accuracy.

Below we take a detailed look at one way to dissect your timing by breaking down complex techniques. Being able to identify composite parts allows us to break techniques down into smaller pieces that can be individually polished then reintegrated into the whole.

Four Sources Of Power

There are (at least) four ways to generate power when striking or dokken-style (offensive) blocking:

The Drive, Turn and Drop motions are ultimately powered by inertia; body mass in motion. The Swing motion is ultimately powered by the bio-mechanics of muscles pulling on bone. An argument can be made that some forms of the Swinging motion (specifically forward penetrating strikes) can be described as a Driving motion, but as these motions are primarily powered by mechanics rather than inertia (as in isolation they only incorporate the mass of their appendage), any motion of appendages involved in the striking portion of a technique are referred to as Swinging motion.

While few techniques utilize all four sources of power, a thorough understanding of these methods can assist in maximizing the power of a technique.

Constructive Interference

Each source of power can be analogized as a wave, where the greatest power is at the peak of the wave. As there are potentially (and preferably) multiple sources of power for a technique, it is imperative to align these peaks at impact to maximize power. Looking at this through the lens of physics, aligning these waves at their peaks is referred to as constructive interference:

Enlarge… Animation thanks to the University of NSW

Or in musical terms, traveling waves and standing waves:

Enlarge… Animation thanks to the University of NSW

These examples illustrate waves traveling in opposite directions to simplify the effect. These effects also additively contribute to the height of the peak when traveling in the same direction:

Enlarge… Animation thanks to the University of NSW

As you can see, when the individual peaks align, the overall peak is higher. However… when the peaks are misaligned they can actually be subtractive to the overall peak of the wave (or for our purposes, the power of the technique).

Enlarge… Animation thanks to the University of NSW

Thinking about which of the four sources of power a technique is utilizing and then considering the constructive interference of their peaks in power can lead to a better understanding of which portions of technique execution need improvement. Furthermore, techniques that utilize multiple sources of power can provide an explanation as to why certain techniques are inherently more powerful than others as well as to help inform as to a technique’s advantages and disadvantages.

Stored Kinetic Energy

As mentioned above the Drive, Turn and Drop motions are powered by inertia; it takes time to get the mass into motion (so they are slower) and it takes time for that mass to come to rest (so they are more powerful). A semi-truck is slow off the line at a traffic light but once it is in motion the damage it can deliver to a brick wall is substantial. The Swinging motion incorporates far less mass and is therefore able to utilize speed to its advantage. A motorcycle is fast off the line but would at best only displace a few bricks on impact due to its comparatively small mass.

The motor vehicle analogies are apt as they segue into another area of physics that helps to explain the effectiveness of techniques; stored kinetic energy. Motor vehicle crumple zones were developed specifically to combat stored kinetic energy:

A 2,000 kg (4,409 lb) car traveling at 60 km/h (37 mph) (16.7 m/s), before crashing into a thick concrete wall, is subject to the same impact force as a front-down drop from a height of 14.2 m (47 ft) crashing on to a solid concrete surface.[7] Increasing that speed by 50% to 90 km/h (56 mph) (25 m/s) compares to a fall from 32 m (105 ft) – an increase of 125%. [7] This is because the stored kinetic energy (E) is given by E = (1/2) mass × speed squared. It increases by the square of the impact velocity.

Small increases in speed (when paired with mass) create outweighed increases in energy delivered on impact. Crumple zones work by extending the amount of time the energy has to disperse from a collision, or in the context of martial arts the compression of muscle, bone and/or simply pushing your opponent with your technique. The take away is that if we are looking to inflict as much damage as possible on an opponent with a technique, we should look to limit the amount of impact time while paring the technique with mass in motion.

Applying The Knowledge

A jab is a lighting fast technique but as it only employs the Swing motion (in its most simplified form) its capability to damage an opponent is limited by its low mass. A rear leg low side kick takes comparatively longer to execute but employs all four sources of power. If all four are orchestrated well, they come together at impact to deliver at the speed of a motorcycle (via Swing) while reinforced with the hit of a semi-truck (via Drive, Turn and Drop).

These are just two generalized examples. If you move slowly and technically through your art’s techniques the four sources of power will begin to reveal themselves. Once you have identified which methods are being used for a given technique, you can isolate the execution of each and polish its timing. With further practice the proper orchestration of the technique (that is the lining up the peaks of the waves) will evolve.