How fast are you?

How fast are you?

People think that they are fast but what does that really mean? Does it mean that you can punch or kick really fast? It could mean you can go from standing still to full out crazy in a blink of an eye.

When I was younger I thought I was really fast. My kicks and punches while performing combinations were a lot faster compared to my peers. I know that was not the idea but as humans we always compare things so as to gauge where we all fit in. Doing karate for many years I always tried to out speed everyone. You only had to watch Bruce Lee move and that was all the inspiration you needed. He was so fast and quite simply a genius.

Analysing fastness is not an easy thing but if we look at it in another way it can not be just about how quick you can move your legs and arms. Sure genetics plays a part but it is only a part of the whole.

Although now touching sixty years old I think I am faster now than I was when I was younger and I know that’s a bold statement and you are probably thinking how can this possibly be?

Well we have not taken into account perception and on how quick you can read a situation. This can be reading an imminent attack and if we were paying enough attention to our surroundings we can stay ahead of the game. Many people say the attack just happened so fast where in reality it did not they just did not read all the tell tell signs and so could not take the appropriate course of action needed.

When we are training with our partners we practice moves over and over again for example we practice against a swinging right hand. Through this we then learn how the body moves and the tell tell signs of the shoulder moving and the arm going back ready to deliver the blow. If we wait until the blow is on it’s way it is already too late. Think about staying alert when you are out and about and your speed of thought and reaction will be a lot faster.

So fast and the way I look at it now is how quick you can read a situation before it gets right on top of you. This way you are always a step a head. Yes of course if you are blessed with good genetics and can move well so much the better. Timing is another thing to throw into the equation. When you have good timing people think you are really fast but again it is timing and not speed. They are two different things. Roger Federer comes to mind when I think about timing, when he goes to play a tennis shot he is always in the correct position with his body not only to play it but to receive the ball. He reads opponents so well and that gives him more time to play making it look effortless.

So being fast is not just how quick you can move your arms and legs but it is how quick you can read things and situations so you won’t need to move your arms and legs that fast!

Keep well and safe

GM Angelo