SPEED or POWER
This will be a really interesting article, because the topic of the article is something you are all discussing, maybe even fighting about. I don’t need to keep it a secret since you see the title, right? So without further ado, let’s get this started.
You go to a gym, what do you hear people argue about? – Mass or definition.
You go to a comic book shop, what do you hear people argue about? – DC vs MARVEL.
You go to school, what do you hear people argue about? – Literally everything.
Well, when you go to a boxing gym or any type of mixed martial arts gym, what do you hear them argue about? – SPEED OR POWER
You often see a kung fu guy trying to explain it to a way bigger and buffer guy, how speed can always win, and how power and strength is not enough. Then you see the other guy trying to make his point. We will break down both of these claims and come up with something that will give you an answer. What is better, speed or power? Who would win, a lightning fast monk or a incredibly powerful boxer? Let’s make a conclusion together.
Let’s start with SPEED.
The benefits of SPEED in fighting
If you ask Conor McGregor, a two titles holder in the UFC, he would always pick speed. Plain and simple. He would do so because speed is what his body allows him to do. He is naturally gifted, but also worked hard in order to develop it. As you know, his speed is really effective. But let me clear one thing before we go further into discussion. Speed alone won’t help you go anywhere in a fight, just like power won’t get the deal done by itself. You can be the fastest of them all, but without accuracy and technique, you may end up kissing the floor. So speed COMBINED with accurate, on point punches will get you a win in no time.
That’s exactly what Conor is doing. If you watch some of his fights, just take a look at his shot selection. You can notice that he is picking and sizing up, every single shot that he throws. When he isn’t tired it works like a charm. The main benefit of speed is just that. You can’t defend yourself from something you can’t see right? That means that you can end your opponent with only two, well connected punches that are struck at the right moment. If you ask a kung fu, aikido, taekwondo master, he will tell you that strength is not the answer. He will also tell you that you fight with your mind and heart and that power comes with that calmness.
When you see a boxer get angry he is everything but not at peace, and if he isn’t thinking, he will throw his punches just like that, wasting tons of energy and hitting nothing. That’s what those type of master are trying to teach you. That only tells us two things – A fast guy who knows what he is doing is not to be messed with, and SPEED IS DEADLY! Another example of a speed fighter with incredible precision would be, none other that Muhammad Ali, the greatest of them all. So with him brought up to this argument you maybe wonder, what is there for power fighters to offer, but there is a lot to be told here! Yes, Muhammad did have frightening speed, but he had everything well packed together, making him a “Bad man”. Here are other benefits of having speed:
A guy that has fast hands and movement can literally “Freeze” his opponent. If you play mind games with your opponent in the ring, punch him a few times here, then land a few other strikes there, all that with tremendous speed, he won’t know what hit him! He will be confused, start backing away and keep his guard up the whole time not being able to see clearly what’s in front of him.
Land more punches
If you play your moves right, possibly freezing your opponent, like mentioned, you are in a win-win situation. Use it. Your opponent will throw less punches, knowing that you made extra fast counter attacks that landed on his body or head. With that in play, he will be full with doubt, and doubt kills. With doubt, fear will take his body, making it slow, and fear is an even deadlier killer.
Being hard to hit
If you have a good opponent on the other end of the ring, who is able to punch his way through your barrage of fists, then you are in for a fight. But know that having speed can help you with that as well. Don’t nurture speed only in your hands, make your body fast. That way, you will be something like a ghost, almost impossible to hit. If you know the right movement and make it fast, you will make your opponent’s job that much harder. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” – that’s what the greatest, Muhammad Ali, used to say.
All of these are benefits of having speed. But you need to know that having speed comes with a cost. Some people are born with it, it is easier for them to maintain it, but others aren’t. Yes, it is possible for others to “get” speed. With the right training, eating, and training again, it is possible. And what is that cost that we have mentioned? It is being always fit and well conditioned.
You can be fast, but without good conditioning, you will lose it really fast. If you watched Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz fight, the main reason why Conor lost to him the first time, was because he lost his breath. Nate took his punches like a punching bag, Conor went at him with all of his speed force, and then what happened? He got tired and couldn’t fight like at the beginning. Getting tired is normal of course, but you can train that as well, through conditioning. So let’s make a conclusion – Speed without accuracy, fitness, and conditioning is nothing.
The benefits of POWER in fighting
And now we bring to you the big guns. Strength is usually mentioned with power. Yup, it does play a part, but not as large as you may think. Like with speed, power need technique as well. You can’t just go at it with all that you have got, swing those bad boys and be pleased with moving your punching bag away from you with every other punch. If that’s the case you are missing the purpose. People who have natural power are very gifted. Power can be such an asset on the battlefield. Here is why.
It helps you last longer
Having power on your side requires fitness as well, your body type won’t be the same like your training won’t be the same with requiring speed. What power can provide is – endurance. You will be able to get hit and keep on going. That depends on a lot of different factors but usually, it will be of good use when getting pounded.
You will, obviously, hit hard
You could end up hurting your opponent even if his guard is up. Note that, with power, all it takes is one punch! If you place it right, hit hard enough and at the right spot, you will get an instant KO or at least a very injured opponent. He will try and put that guard up, but you could break it with enough force. Be careful with this though, it can backfire on you. Putting too much force and hitting at a bad angle will end up hurting you! So this is a sword with two ends. Like everything, it needs lots of practice. Also, if you are missing a lot, you can end up losing your stamina in no time.
Hitting your opponent once will let him know that you have power. He will need to “dance” around you and try to avoid getting hit, but if he does, you are even closer to victory. Making him fear those punches is a ticket to victory.
Speed or power – The Breakdown
You know who George Foreman is? His nickname, “Big George” tells you enough about him as it is. He is a two-time world heavyweight champion who had iron fists. Punching hard is what he knew best. He didn’t have that flashy, good, footwork but his fists did all of the talking. So yes, power is a serious weapon of destruction in the world of fighting also. If you don’t miss, measure your punches and fight smart, you are a power punching force.
There is a reason why people love heavyweights. That’s because in that category people get blasted and knocked down pretty hard. It is really entertaining how one punch can end an opponent, that’s what all of us are waiting for. Of course, we want a good fight going up and forth, but a good one punch knockdown is something that ignites crowds all across the globe. Power fighters are war machines and putting them against each other makes it pretty fun to watch.
Now let’s go back and answer the main question, and the big dilemma. Speed vs power – Power vs speed? Of course, and ideal fighter should have both. You can figure that out on your own. Is it possible? Yes it is, but it is very, very hard. As a matter of fact it is hard being able to master one of these, let alone both. Training regimes are different when it comes to speed and power.
Obtaining both of them will require an almost perfect body, high fighting IQ, and incredible technique. Usually, good fighters have a mix that is not even. Some have lightning speed, with a little bit of power in them, and that makes them killers, other are so strong and powerful but also have a bit of movement speed which makes them heavy tanks that can doge and deliver. Either way, having them both, one at a high level and other at a normal level will make you pretty tough to beat. But what is better separately?
Speed or Power – Final Thoughts
Our answer would be – Speed. If you master speed you get all of its previously mentioned benefits which are enough to dismantle your opponent. We believe that speed beats power in any day of the week, if that speed is on a high level of course. You can end your opponent in two fast and precise punches, maybe even one, if you hit him right. You are hard to catch and constantly a threat. Many martial artist actually believe, and this is also a fact, that SPEED IS POWER.
They say that with the right amount of speed and velocity, you can deliver some serious power hits to your opponent and neutralize them. And of course, they are right. Power will probably ensure you rock stability, and endurance, but if you hit that rock multiple times, in all angles, it will break into pieces. Power can beat speed if speed isn’t properly developed and if you aren’t accurate, there is no doubt about that. But know that whatever your decision is, whether it is speed or power, you have to put your mind into it 100 percent! You can never have enough speed or power.
You can always grow. That’s what you need to remember. So, if you feel like you can develop both, and if your body allows it, go for it. There is nothing better than a complex fighter, but if you want to master only one, a better choice, by our opinion, would be speed.
That brings this debate to an end. Speed vs Power is a never ending argument, but with this article we hope we at least helped you learn something new.