(Telegraph) Powerful punch is all in the brain, study finds
By Hannah Furness 7:00AM BST 15 Aug 2012
A powerful punch is not the result of strong muscles, but the features that make up the brain, scientists have found.
A study of karate experts has shown the make-up of the brain is the key to determining how much force is generated when sportsmen or women punch at close range.
Scientists, who compared karate black belts trained to punch with physically fit members of the public, found the brain’s white matter – which acts as the connections between brain regions – correlated directly with punching ability.
They concluded the power of a punch is not down to the strength of muscles but the timing, with synchronised movement between the wrist and shoulders essential.
While it is not yet certain whether differences in white matter were the cause or effect of successful punching, scientists suspect the brains of those who can punch changed and developed as a result of training.
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