ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Kinetic Linking: How to Maximize Striking Power

Updated on March 4, 2011
Kinetic linking helps maximize punching power
Kinetic linking helps maximize punching power

We all know by now—or at least we should—that arm and shoulder strength play a minuscule role in the power of an upper body strike. I’m going to stop here and talk a bit about what exactly is meant by “power.” In classical physics, power is equal to work divided by time. We’re not really interested in how many watts or horsepower a cross generates. We care about damage. It turns out when we talk about striking “power,” what we really mean is impulse. Impulse is equal to force multiplied by time. Because of the impulse-momentum change theorem, to maximize damage, we want to minimize time and maximize force. Force is equal to mass multiplied by the acceleration of that mass. In this article, I will focus on the maximization of acceleration by using a phenomenon known as “kinetic linking.”

Just so we’re on the same page, I’m talking about the acceleration of the mass that is making contact with our opponent—the fist. In the interest of staying on that same page, acceleration is the change in velocity over time. I want my fist to travel to the highest velocity it can, over the shortest amount of time possible. Enter kinetic linking.

It takes energy to drive acceleration. If we can increase the amount of energy driving our fist, we will increase the acceleration of our fist. To increase this energy, we need to make use of as many muscles as possible. This is why we put our entire body into our strikes—not just the nearest muscle group. More muscles = more energy—more energy = more acceleration. The question becomes: how can I efficiently transfer energy from a comparatively far muscle group to the striking point? In order to make full use of the energy being generated, it has to travel to the striking point in a seamless chain reaction—thus the term kinetic linking.

Use kinetic linking to maximize the power of a cross.
Use kinetic linking to maximize the power of a cross.

How to Punch Hard

For simplicity, let’s take the example of a cross. If I stand still and just throw my rear fist straight out, it does not move very fast. If I engage my core muscles by rotating my shoulders toward my target just before I extend my arm out, my fist moves much faster. This is where kinetic linking becomes an art—in the transfer of energy from muscle group to muscle group. The ending motion of one muscle group should be the starting motion of the next group. If I move too soon, I lose energy. If I move too late, I lose energy. In the case above where I use my core to rotate my shoulders, as soon as my shoulders face square to my target, I use that energy to shoot my arm forward. You can practice getting a feel for maximized kinetic linking by isolating your cross to your shoulders and arm as in the example above. Practice rotating your shoulders square to your target and firing out your fist precisely as your shoulders square out. This should be a fluid and smooth motion. Pay attention to the sensations in your core, shoulder, and arm muscles as you do this. Watch your fist, and try to pair the sensation you feel with the fastest strikes. Once you get a feel for proper kinetic linking, incorporate the rest of the muscle groups for the cross.

A damage maximized cross starts from the ground and works up. Engage the legs by pushing up off the ground and leaning slightly forward. Next, the hips add power by torquing toward the target. The core follows this rotation toward the target, and the chest and shoulders end square to the target. The arm snaps out in a corkscrew motion utilizing the triceps, forearm, and wrist. Each ending motion is the starting motion for the next link in the chain. Remember to keep all motions smooth and fluid, engaging as many muscles as you can. Use the energy from the previous link to drive and add energy to the following link, all the way to the striking point. By doing so, you will maximize acceleration, which as you will recall, is 50% of force.

Kinetic linking can be used for all strikes. While it is a very important part of striking damage maximization, it is certainly not the whole story. Future articles will cover impulse maximization by maximizing the mass behind strikes, minimizing the time of force delivery, and putting all three together in a combat effective way.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I disagree with two things written here.Shoulder strength and endurance plays a MAJOR role.And if you stand still and simply throw a right hand using JUST your arm it will actually be faster.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 

      5 years ago from California, United States of America

      Very good explanation of how to accelerate a technique so that it has power: Correct use of more than just the arm muscles, plus the right timing. Very clear and thorough examination.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)