The difference between Power and Strength
This is a question that is not asked often enough in many martial arts because there is an assumed understanding that power *is* strength. After all, it takes strength to throw a 100 kg human, right? Well, yes and no – but it’s not in a way that you may think. Yes, there is a certain amount of strength required to hold your body together, and even more to keep your wrist from folding when you punch, for example. But beyond that, it’s not strength that enables a person to throw another much bigger and stronger person.
In Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, as with other balance-based martial arts like Judo, Jujustu, and Aikido (just to name a few), power is developed by using natural body dynamics. It really doesn’t take much for us to lose our balance. So, when our biological operating system senses that we have lost our balance, it’ll direct all of our mental processing power to that one critical task (to prevent injury) – dropping guards in the process. This allows trained martial artists to keep their opponent constantly off-balance by using whatever controls the next opening offers – be it a pressure point, a strike to a vital area of the body, or a joint lock. And therein lies the secret to generating power without using strength. If you understand that “power” is “doing more with less” and “strength” is “doing more with more”, then you can appreciate the difference between the two concepts.
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(c) Paul Mann, 2015