Mike Tyson on How to Knock Someone Out

I don’t try to intimidate anybody before a fight. That’s nonsense. I intimidate people by hitting them.
Mike Tyson

I am a big fan and student of the early Mike Tyson, the Tyson forged by relentless hard work under the tutelage of Cus D’Amato in the woods of Upper New York State. He knocked out 19 professional boxers in an undefeated string on his way to becoming the youngest heavyweight champion of all time.

D’Amato and the other trainers told him what to do and he did it religiously and laid down mental and physical grooves that were like fine machinery.  Watching him fight was like watching a machine operating perfectly, doing what it was designed to do.  This is not a criticism or saying he wasn’t human – he was a human who made himself into a weapon that knocked people out, which is what we try to do with Wing Chun.

I believe that fighting success rests on maximizing the delivery of your potential power. You can dance and trap hands all you want but at some point you have to hurt your opponent and this requires power. Wing Chun saying: First courage, then power, then skill.

Skill is last.  You have to learn to hit hard.  You can’t avoid forever – in fact, you want to avoid the absolute minimum necessary.  You must go into the house to fight the fire.  This means you walk right up and stand a bent arms length away and chain attacks into their head.

Power can be captured in a formula: mass times velocity equals momentum.

You weigh this much and you are this strong and your training must enable you to take that strength and weight and deliver it to the head of your opponent optimally, with as little loss of energy as possible.  Tyson was able to deliver a huge percentage of his potential force into his opponent.

Watch the knockout highlights in the second film.  Observe how his opponents crumble after receiving those tremndous shots to the head. While his technique is not ours, we can learn a lot about how to create grooved, reflexive movements watching Tyson.

This is the best compilation I could find of his fights. NOTE: halfway through it switches to a rap song with some harsh profanity. But the footage is clear and the editing is tight.

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