When it comes to the martial arts a knock out is a home run. I don’t care if you study kenpo or pa kau chang or savate, if the end result of your strike, or chokehold, is that the guy does not go unconscious, then you have not hit a home run. In short, you didn’t complete the work.
If you swing and miss with your punch, it is a strike. Enough of these and you’re going to strike out, because the other guy is going to come to the plate and get his chance to hit. And you cannot bet that when he gets to bat he is not going to swing for a home run.
If you swing and hit and do no damage, it is a foul ball. If you hit a foul in this manner, you have wasted time, and he is that much closer to taking his own turn at fisting your face. So foul balls are the wrong thing to do in the martial arts.
If you swing a fist and hit him and hurt him, that is a base hit. If he takes a step back you have strategic advantage, you get to take another swing. You have gotten to first base, and you may, depending on further swings of the fist, make it all the way around to home base and knock him out.
If he staggers or shows weakness in any way, then you are solidly on second base. You have hurt him, and lessened the chances of him hitting a home run. Further, you have an advantage, no matter how temporary, and you need to really rock and roll on the guy.
If you swing a fist and knock him down, you have made it to third base. Now you know he is hurt, you see the look in his eyes, you see the awareness that you might be able to knock him all the way out. Knocking somebody down is awful close to knocking him out, and home base is in sight.
Now, the above being said, getting a base hit is okay in the long run, but they are not the home run, and there is risk of being put out yourself before you make it home. So you have train yourself to knock your opponent all the way out. You have hit him hard, you have to have the hardest punch in the world, and that is the real solution to the real home run.
The truth of the matter is no matter what martial art you are studying, Kenpo or aikido or savate, you have to knock him out. If you don’t, if it goes to a decision, then nothing has really been decided. If there is no knock out then the fighters were only dancing, not really fighting, and neither fighter was able to get the job done, and they better get back to the dojo and study The True Martial Art.
Al Case has analyzed martial arts for 4O++ years. A writer for the magazines, he is the originator of Matrix Martial Arts. You can pick up a free ebook about matrixing at Monster Martial Arts. You can find out about the hardest punch in the world at Punch Em Out.