Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Energy Leakage And Efficiency

We talk about being technical all the time. So why is that so important? Why can't I just spaz and power moves? It can't be just a matter of pride, or showmanship. There must be an ultimate reason. The reason is effectiveness. Moves done technically are just plain more effective no matter how strong you are, if you do it more technically, it will be more effective. What does being technical mean? It means my movements are efficient and use economy of motion. So why is efficiency so damn important for martial arts?

So it boils down to the idea of energy leakage. When you do something efficiently, its only efficient because you are using most of the energy applied. If you did it without efficiency, a certain percentage of your strength will be lost in the move.

For example you would leak 40% of your energy doing a deadlift with a rounded back. Where does that energy go? It has to go somewhere. It goes the the apex of where you are rounded, and most likely will leak itself into an explosive injury. Same with knees and joints in other athletic movements.

So there's no point in even training to get stronger, if you leak so much energy because of poor technique. Trying to strength yourself without addressing your leakages, would be like pouring water into a jug that has a hole in it. Not only that the more water you pour, the bigger the hole will get.

It is important to get stronger, but the first priority is to deal with any amount of inefficiency and energy leakage.

How do we do that? It comes back to technique.

In all things, when they use the term technical, from dance to fighting to sports, it is the athlete's ability to move or create straight lines. Moving straight vertically, punching straight, making a neutral spine, straight legs, standing straight, etc. Because the fastest way from one point to another is a straight line.

Curved lines like I said have an apex of the curve where it is weakest. It could mean rounded backs, it could mean knees bent laterally. It could mean your armbars are not straight, it could mean you don't aim true when you punch, it could mean you don't shoot straight through your target, etc.

Before you correct me and give me examples of when there aren't straight lines, yes those are examples but not the general rule. Even a circle needs a focal point. From the focal point out to the circle is still a straight line.

So before you go out and try to do all this conditioning that you saw on Countdown To UFC, make sure all your techniques are correct before you try to strengthen them. From your martial arts techniques to basic lift movements. One other point, sports specific movements do not work.


  1. great post.

    I'm a big fan of biomechanics and 90 degree angles.

  2. http://www.innerbjj.com/2011/06/angle-concept.html



Affiliate links are used and I may receive a commission if you click.

Inner BJJ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.