I know BJJ is complicated, ground fighting in general has pins, reversals, a multitude of positions and movements / transitions between these positions, etc.

Striking to a layman like myself seems to be 'less complex' but I know this is not true I just haven't understood it on as deep a level as I understand groundfighting. I'm wondering what's something that I can look into to help me understand striking on a deeper level?

I already understand some concepts like distance vs range, rhythm breaking etc. These are deep concepts and I don't fully grasp them (obviously) but wondering, is there more?

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    I feel like this is too broad, or too opinion-based, but maybe I'm not close enough to the problem. Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 12:04
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    Hi @muaythai201 - I edited your title to clearer ask what I think is at the heart of your question. Please feel free to change it if I've misunderstood. Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 12:18
  • Yeah, multiple ways to answer this. We don't do well answering broad, "theory of everything" kinds of questions. I would like to link to one of my answers, though, which talks about a small piece of the puzzle: martialarts.stackexchange.com/questions/6498/… Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 18:03
  • @steveweigand: I was really expecting more people to chime in... Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 0:49

1 Answer 1


I think one thing that most people do not understand at the beginning, and might not realize for years in some Traditional Martial Arts, is that striking requires energy and will wear you out, even more so in a scenario where uncertainty means you can't set yourself to do one technique over and over again. A classic example in popular culture is Muhammad Ali's "rope-a-dope" defense where he let attackers wear themselves out while he found ways to absorb their blows with less damage. More often, I've seen TMA practitioners learn that lesson when pointed to a heavy bag and told to just attack it continuously for a few minutes. It does wear you out, and in an actual fight scenario, the added required strain of being prepared to dodge, block, or strike at a moment's notice just adds to it. And, not always obvious to people, missed or pulled strikes are almost as exhausting as ones that you land "with full force" because you need to exert just as much force, just in different ways.

Even in MMA circles, it's not uncommon, especially at the heavier weights, to see new participants "gassing out" pretty quickly.

Truthfully, this is as much a matter of cardio as tactics, but learning to strike selectively, to husband your energy for when you need to throw that flurry of blows, and how to recover while still defending yourself if that flurry doesn't work, is something you need to learn.

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    Muhammad Ali was known for the rope-a-dope, specifically against George Foreman. I think you wrote that part backwards.
    – Paul
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 20:18
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    @Paul You are right. I got confused. Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 20:58

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