The next attribute, after Coordination and Precision, in Bruce Lee’s Tao of Jeet Kune Do, is Power. I think there is often a lot of confusion about what power is and what it is not. Because an individual is strong, it does not necessarily follow that he or she is powerful. Whosoever can “exert his strength quickly” and efficiently, regardless of how many pounds he can lift in the weight room, is a powerful individual. In combat, I am much more interested in applied strength; developing strength can certainly enhance what I am doing, and Lee states that “high levels of strength lead to excellence.”
Lee talks about the athlete who completes a brand new task. There is no coordination yet—the neuromuscular system has not learned the best way to accomplish the new movement pattern. . .yet. Lee explains that muscles tend to be “overmobilized” in the beginning. I see this all the time with new students. Movement is gross, for the most part, and there is little efficiency until the finer details are learned and honed over time through tweaking and streamlining (with the attentive and determined athlete). Many I see are big, and many are strong, but at first they just do not meet their own power potential. If each was placed in a fighting scenario with a faster, low-drag opponent, these bigger and stronger individuals would be too slow to hit the mark. The mark would hit them first! Add superior conditioning into the mix, and it would be a very bad day for our student. With males especially, I have observed that it takes a while to discover how to effectively employ the powerhouse: the hips. Punches tend to be all arm, and they tire very easily.
“Power equals Force times Speed.” Projectiles can be very tiny, but with enough force and speed, they can cause quite a lot of damage to an individual. This is good news for small people, and for women, in general. Nevertheless, a big strong guy who learns how to utilize his size and strength towards the production of power, is truly a force to be reckoned with!
Lee, Bruce. Tao of Jeet Kune Do. (1975). Valencia: Black Belt Communications LLC.