The Secret to Hitting REALLY Hard

The secret to hitting hard….

The secret to hitting hard….


We're always looking for shortcuts. Fitness, sports...we LOVE when we get a little "secret" that gives us an edge over the competition and when it comes to training to hit hard - there are a TON of expert opinions.

But after all is said and done and you've wasted your time hitting X-RAY paper and flimsy pine boards, sparring with your booties on and practicing your forms...NOTHING and I mean NOTHING replaces HITTING SOMETHING AS HARD AS YOU CAN.

This is why the makiwara was used so extensively in classical karate.

This is why kenjutsu experts would cut bamboo.

Because nothing develops the EXACT skill you want then doing that EXACT SKILL (and punching and kicking air isn't going to do it).

This makes it 100% certain you're developing the exact muscles, tendons, striking surfaces and motor skills to accomplish the task.

It's not that complicated...if you want to get better at something...PRACTICE IT LIKE YOU WANT TO DO IT.

But there's a catch....

First, you need to practice on something that resembles your target. Like a training dummy, or you can get away with a heavy bag. Anything more elaborate is going to take too much time to build for most people. Before dummies we used to build our own with black pipe, foam, springs and duct tape.

Second, you need to take your time. Can't use wraps, gloves or hand protection...this is self defense and unless you wear that stuff all day - it's not going to help you.

Next you need to be patient. Start off slow and let pain be your guide. If you're injured you can't train. Let your hands develop the toughness needed to deliver full power. Most people are shocked at how quickly this takes. Especially if you're using techniques that use the stronger and meatier parts for your hand and body.

Third (and most important) you can't do this every day...and you're not going to have to. Your hands and body will get sore and you need rest because this type of training is a bit uncomfortable (and no one likes doing it).

Plus - if your hands are too sore from hitting hard, you're not going to come to class three and four times a week and master koo ki do doesn't collect the tuition he needs with the one lesson  a week plan. Instead it's easier to line you up in rows, have you strike the air and pull your punches when you spar.

No one gets hurt, no one gets discouraged and EVERYONE comes to class!!!

Unfortunately this is doing NOTHING for your power and turning your cupcake hands into granite.

Instead it's giving you a false sense of confidence, that will probably get you out of most situations, but when someone calls your bluff, your punch is going to be about as effective as a pie in the face.

It's no wonder that makiwaras are few and far between and most times...covered in dust.

This type of training is hard - but NEEDED if you ever think you're going to strike someone outside the dojo, dojang, gym, studio or school.

The same can (and should) be said for weapon training.

How the hell can you become an expert in the bo staff if you've never hit anything with it? In fact, you should do most of your training HITTING SOMETHING.

I love the knife and stick fighting experts who never practice stabbing or striking something with full force. Again, this is not a once in a while thing...THIS SHOULD BE ALL OF YOUR TRAINING.

Actually hitting, striking and stabbing develops REAL "ikken hissatsu". Not the crap most instructors claim to teach.

When you stab something for real, you will immediately fix your grip, angle of attack, power of your thrust.

Now do it 100, 200, 1000 times.

Apply that to every core technique.

Give it 4 to 7 days rest and do it again.

I guarantee you in a month you're going to hit, stab and strike harder than ever before.

1 to 3 times a week is all you will need.

Your body will figure it out.

My business doesn't depend on your buying year long memberships, testing fees, or making sure you bring a friend.

My business depends on giving you the truth - all of the information you need for self defense and the tools to develop your skill just like we've been doing for decades.

Whether or not you choose to do it is up to you...but at least I'm not going to be calling, emailing or making you feel bad for missing class.

Look if you want to win competitions and trophies, go join a martial arts school - but if you want know exactly how to protect yourself and your loved ones without the crouching contract, hidden promotion test fee, then you've come to the right place.

Train Honestly,


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Published by Damian (Instructor)

Founder, The Self Defense Company

Join the Conversation


  1. Thanks for your insight very useful ..I will continue to learn this path and make it my own for my livelihood.. Thanks again Damian

  2. Does anyone no how to build a GOOD Makiwara? ive tried ones ive seen on youtube etc,,and there all junk,,i see a floor bracket on Ebay that seems to be a way to go but its like $1-200.00 any help would be Greatly Appreciated Brian

    1. Yes, those metal bases can get expensive.

      But if you don;t mind getting a little wet and cold you can do the following.

      1. Get a 4X4 fence post (treated for outside), Duct tape and and Thai kicking pad

      2. Did a 3 to 4 foot hole.

      3. Stick the post in the hole.

      4. Tape the pad to where your targets head should be (you can tap additional pads for shin/knee and groin).

      5. Beat the crap out of it.

      Because the post is in the earth, it will move and absorb the shock as needed.

      You can get creative with the striking surfaces (rope, leather) it up to you.

      When the duct tape tears…put another layer on!

      I hope that helps.


        1. This is a good idea. However I would use a larger piece of plywood on the base with a heavy duty spring hinge on the striking post (which should be a 2X4) and set the post farther away from the dummy since you don’t want the post to hit the dummy – that may injure your wrist.

          1. Where can I get a Heavy Duty Spring Hinge? to mount on the 2 by 4 striking post? and where do you mount the spring hinge to the front of the striking post or the bac of the striking post??

  3. I would like a refund, I never opened the e. Book and never will, send my refund of. $19.00 and unsubscribe me from any future stuff from your training program Thank You

    1. That’s a customer service issue. So that’s not for the post…but since you brought it up…

      If the secret to the universe was in a ebook you wouldn’t read it?

        1. It NEVER ceases to amaze me…

          Forget the decades that I put into the training here, forget the century of research and all of the work that came before me…(holy crap I used to have to drive HOURS to train in this stuff).

          Forget all that….

          If you’re not willing to open an ebook or log on and look at a video for something that will potentially save your life…I highly doubt you have the will to actually defend yourself.

          If clicking a button is too much trouble – what happens when someone kicks in your door a 3am.

          I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but when I think of all the crap I had to go through to learn this stuff and some guy “want’s a book” I have to chuckle.

  4. Thank you teacher for again showing us techniques for training. I read your e mail daily and very often learn from it. Thank you again sensi….jim

  5. Just got started watching and reading the materials coming from a Facebook ad. Even that info is QUALITY TRUTH about surviving in a hostile attack situation. And the lesson on SEEING IT COMING before things are at that point of no-return … priceless for children. This one … training full on, full strength. No BS priceless. You rock, Damian. The guy that can’t open an e-book or login and watch some videos (since that appears to be the delivery system) … for God’s sake, stay home at night. Thanks for all you’ve put into this.

    1. Thanks Jim – much appreciated.

      From what customer service told me, he refused to even look at it.

      We help people with tech issues all of the time – NEVER a problem. But still some people…IDK.

  6. Where would you recommend getting these Thai kicking pads from? I have no martial arts contacts/experience with that-only military hand to hand training.

  7. GREAT POST! I have doctoral and post-doctoral training on brain functioning. New learning and improved skills are developed by the process of brain “neuroplasticity”, i.e. brain neurons that fire together, wire together. This means repeated training, ongoing proper practice, as realistic as possible, will develop the necessary neuronal – body connections to best perform a given task, whether it be riding a bike, playing a musical instrument, giving a speech, or pounding some thug’s ass who is trying to impose his violent will upon you or loved ones! I say the SDTS is well supported by brain and neuroscience research even though I read many criticisms by “so-called” martial art experts. I stake my life on Damian’s great programs.

    1. To reinforce the prior comment: I research self-defense and training at the collegiate level. Back in 1991, Icek Azjen reinforced that continued, focused practice will improve performance. No surprise?
      Perceived behavioral control, as commonly assessed, is comprised of two components: self-efficacy (dealing largely with the ease or difficulty of performing a behavior) and controllability (the extent to which performance is up to the actor). Continued focused practice improves performance. Apply this to Damian Ross comment: if you want to hit hard, practice hitting hard. Likewise, if you want to move and strike fast, practice fast movement and striking. Apply this to everything else: if you want to develop a skill, practice that skill. I practice squats and lunges weekly, and I know that kicking power, speed, and accuracy come from practicing kicks.
      Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human
      Decision Processes, 50(2), 179-211.
      Bernie McPherson M.S.

  8. No worries Damian. I am still trying to find my socks from yesterday, LOL. Thx Bernie for your eloquent and scholarly reply. You both make excellent points about how to get the most out of our self-defense training, which is all that matters IF ever required. I have long moved away from the arm bending, wrist twisting, joint lock, blocking, and other complex body movements of my prior martial art trainings, too much of which never made real sense to me if faced with a sudden violent attack. I did, however, learn important skills and lessons along the way. Some of my teachers, particularly my Korean Hapikido instructor repeatedly stressed the importance of moving our bodies “as fast as possible” during training, with repeated power strikes to a heavy bag. I did not know anything about fast-twitch muscle fibers back then, but I train hard and fast now with the K.I.S.S. acronym, Keep It Savagely Simple! I want the best odds of survival if ever needed and thank you once again Damian for your SDTS that gives us that best edge. Is my pleasure to know and be affiliated with both of you.

  9. I have watched and did all the Makiwara drills and really see the benefits of training with a Makiwara, BUT i think its the Backfist Drill Damian hits it straight on then to the Head of the Makiwara, my Question is how to make the head on the Makiwara, i see how it leans out but how to attatch the head and what to use to make the head, ?

  10. Where or ware can i get one of those Leather Pads you strike on your Makiwara? im using rope and i can live with it and i dont want a thai pad, I would like to buy a leather pad like on your Makiwara, looks like the best way to go, Thank You

  11. Damian what do you think about this Maiwara, do you think it would be good enough to gain hitting power, basically is it worth buying? looks real good but im a 2 year rookie to SDTS and a total Makiwara rookie

  12. Hello Damian, I am truly enjoying your material as it is very similar to what we were learning in Switzerland and Germany 3 decades ago. The issue here in the USA is that if a student goes home with a bruise you have a lawsuit coming your way. Therefore the “uke” syndrome all to common here.


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