Let’s start at the very beginning
The first thing we learn in DTS Kali is our 12 basic strikes, much the same as you would basic strikes or kicks in any style of martial arts. The proper motion is tag to the students to be reviewed time and time again. The proper chamber is taught as well as angles and stoke zones. Basic power is generated through the mechanics of the arm (or Leg) itself.
Hips don’t lie
The next step is to incorporate the movement of the hips back and body. Like Shakira says Hips don’t lie. By using the torque of the hips and body the power of the strike is increased significantly. The same mechanics would be used in the generation of power for a reverse punch, elbow, or round kick as well as a plethora of other techniques.
Legs like springs
Now let’s engage the legs. When we think of utilizing our legs when striking with our arms or hands, we should imagine how a hydraulic jack would be used to pick up a car to change a tire. We should think of the legs as springs using the ground as a base to propel the forces from the ground to the tip of the hand or weapon.
So how do we strengthen and prepare these natural weapons that we have and train? There are many answers to this question, but I will give my humble opinion. If we are going to strengthen the muscles of the body, I am and always will be a huge proponent of body weight training. I believe weight training should only be used to make yourself look better. And for me to look better, it would take a miracle. The best upper body exercise would be push-ups and the best lower body would be squats or pistol squats, (Tom Tui’s for you Kung Fu fans). I would like to suggest whistlekick’s own strength training program. I recently started using it and I would say it is very effective.
And a little extra
With the arts themselves, to build strength and power in motion repartitions is key, 10,000 times as the saying goes. If you train Kali using a Baston, you can vary the size, length, and girth as well as the different densities of the bastions themselves. Metal ones and thin ones are exceptionally good for increasing grip strength, and heavier ones develop increased striking power. In addition to solo drills in the air, there are numerous amounts of equipment drills that can be used to assist us in our quest. Tires are one of the favorites in the Filipino arts. You can also use heavy bags for power, and hanging targets for accuracy. There are also countless partner drills to project the power properly. You should develop power in your partner drill with proper control, so when you need it in a self-defense situation, you will not hesitate.
And a little more
There is one more training option I would like to suggest to expedite your training. That would be the inclusion of some Qi Gong drills to strengthen the ligaments and joints in the body. These are the drills that make a great difference when training with someone with decades more experience than you. I won’t go into depth here. If you’d like, send me an e-mail and I’ll send you a few of my favorites. I promise they will be quick and easy.