This question is a little different than a previous question on speed and footwork. Recently my sensei critiqued my sparring, saying my block and counter techniques are pretty strong, but I'm lacking in that initial attack speed. Essentially, I'm doing better with defense than offense. While my footwork can still use some improvement, I know what to do for that.
He suggested using hand and ankle weights when practicing the techniques, but I am resistant to that idea for a couple reasons. First, is the loading just isn't natural and increases the stress on the joints. Second, my sensei also had to have both his hips replaced due to the extra training like this that he did when he was younger. However, the basic principle of his recommendation seems sound: add resistance so that you need speed to overcome it.
From my weight lifting experience, when lifters are trying to work on speed they will use band resistance on the bar. That increases resistance the further the bar travels. Basically, you have to do the technique quickly or you won't be able to do it at all. I was thinking that this might be a good way to apply my sensei's recommendation without killing my joints. When I mentioned it to my sensei, he said it makes sense and would be worth a try.
So, am I on the right track, or is there something else I should try or incorporate?
Just an addendum. My technique is good according to my sensei. The "go slow" approach and focus on technique is how I got as good as I am with blocking and countering. Once the distance is closed, and I am actively fighting, I'm in my element.
The issue is increasing the speed to close the distance and deliver the initial attack. Depending on the situation and the opponent, you can't always rely on just the block and counter. There is strategy involved, and sometimes going on the attack is what is needed to deal with a particular opponent.
In terms of power, once my strike lands it will deliver in spades. The fundamental problem I'm trying to solve here is to deliver that power quicker. While I'm not a physics guy, I do know enough that when you combine work and speed you get power. The engine has enough torque, it just needs some more horsepower.