When studying Jeet Kune Do techniques and the principles behind their development it’s important to understand the goal of our training. One of the greatest gifts I believe Sifu Ted Wong has given us is the understanding of what we are trying to perfect and why.

When you look at the principles behind the Jeet Kune Do techniques and it’s applications they are remarkably simple in nature, and yet it might very well be this principle that gives us our greatest challenge. This is the “Principle of Translating Force” as I like to call it.

The truth is we only translate a percentage of the force we generate through our kinetic chain into power in a given technique. No matter how effective or efficient we may be we will never translate 100% of that force. At least I’ve never seen a martial artist that was capable of doing this; although I have seen a rare few that comes remarkably close, one such individual being Sifu Ted Wong.

When striking a target, regardless of the pounds per square inch measurement, we are not translating all of our body’s energy into power output. Typically only a fraction of the force we generate actually makes its way through the kinetic chain and into the target. As we become more skilled we learn to translate a higher percentage of this force. The rest of that energy is consumed by inefficiencies in neuromusclar recruitment, physiological adaption (our motor patterns), lack of proper balance, and improper biomechaincal alignments which is what I am referring to as our kinetic chain. At each link in our kinetic chain comes an opportunity to effect our power output.

Many fail to translate power at a high efficiency due to a lack of identifying this principle or a lack of understanding this principle. While many concern themselves with outputting a lot of effort, they often overlook the greater importance of translating that effort more effectively.

Think of it this way, it may not be how hard you hit that needs work rather how much force you can effectively translate that needs work. Although that may seem obvious it is however not normally the focus of our training. Many times we concern ourselves with how much power we generate yet that is only a fraction of the power being communicated through our kinetic chain into the target. If we are tense, if our physical structure is flawed, if our movements waste energy, etc., then we only communicate a small fraction of the overall force into power in our techniques.

Looking at this, a smaller person that can use the “Principle of Translating Force” in their Jeet Kune Do techniques effectively will in turn generate more power than someone much larger. This is why Sifu Ted Wong can generate so much power with what seems to be so little effort.

The truth is we can only generate a finite amount of force at any given moment of time. The quality of that force generated will vary based on training. There are other obvious factors such as mass, velocity, acceleration, physical conditioning, etc.; however my intent here is to focus on the principle.

The goal of our training is to better translate force into power by reducing the factors that effect the energy output in our Jeet Kune Do techniques. This is also how we begin to use the road map, as Sifu Ted Wong calls it, as the guide to our destination.

So in our practice we should measure our progress against this principles. This is where we stop comparing ourselves to others and instead focus our development against principles thus creating limitless progress.

Author's Bio: 

Tom Harvey is a Master Trainer with over 15 years of Fitness Consulting and 20+ years of experience in the Martial Arts. He currently works with students and clients on general fitness, sports performance enhancement, MMA conditioning, MMA Striking and footwork, and Jeet Kune Do instruction.

Please visit: www.TomHarveyTraining.com