Do Power Strikes Reign Supreme Over Combinations?

There is an ongoing discussion between the merits of using predominantly powerful strikes or combinations. But what is the end aim for striking a person? It is to knock the attacker/opponent out. Depending on your view, it could be to stop an attack. Both have slight nuances as to their differences but they can be bunched together as the meaning is almost the same.

A brief explanation is provided for each position and then a video showcasing each approach is offered to better highlight how each approach is applied. The power approach is provided by a high level Muay Thai match and the combination approach is provided by an Ernesto Hoost highlight video.



The power camp believe that each strike thrown should only ever be thrown if it is intended to knock out the attacker. They do not want to waste effort by throwing a technique that is not intended to knock the attacker out as it may be intercepted and countered if it lacks intent. It also wastes energy.

The powerful striker will also place fear in the minds of the attacker as the strikes are felt. They are indeed powerful. There is more fear in facing an opponent who really wants to knock your head off rather than just score points...

Initial strikes can be difficult to land. Here, the power fighter will need to learn more of the subtleties of combat such as stop hits, feints, draws, counters and other higher level tactics to land their powerful strikes.

Some in the combination camp feel that people who always strike with power may lose balance and their composure if their strikes miss the mark. This is not always the case. The video below highlights this...

Below is a video that showcases the power approach. It is powerful Muay Thai and demonstrates the power approach well.

An excellent example of power striking


The combination camp believe that it is difficult to land the first strike. Other strikes are thrown in an attempt to set up further strikes by encouraging the defender to defend a certain way to allow strikes to other areas in. In some sports matches, this approach is used to score points.

The combination approach can overwhelm a defender as the strikes just keep coming. The defender can be apprehensive of another long and confusing combination attack being launched again.

Often, the combination fighter will not utilise as many tactics such as feints and draws as the power fighter but will instead use their own techniques to prompt reactions from the defender which aims to open up the defender for the combination fighter to land strikes at will on various parts of the body.

Some in the power camp feel that people who use combinations lack knock out power. This is not always the case. The video below highlights this...

Below is a video that showcases the combination approach. It is a highlight video of Ernesto Hoost. It shows the good combination fighter striking certain areas and then striking other, now open areas. He is especially good going from high (punching the head) then kicking low when the defending is thinking about protecting the head.

An excellent example of combination striking

So, what approach do you feel has more merit, the power striking approach or the combination approach? Leave your comment below.

Image via lecercle