I started playing baseball when I was 8 years old. As a talented player in my teens and twenties, I played on touring all-star baseball teams while competing in and winning martial arts tournaments. During this time, I developed a unique and innovative “system” that integrated my martial arts skills into my baseball skills. The results were incredible!
I am now 59 and still play over 80 games a year on an elite traveling senior softball team in the Pacific Northwest, USA. All the players are over 50 years old. I have worked to perfect this unique “system” for over 40 years and it is still very effective.
I’m going to give you an overview of these “secret” techniques to help you improve your baseball hitting. You should “go off the beaten track“with these techniques, but they have been proven to work without fail.
Let’s try a simple technique …
The secret of the 2 “hip measurement.
Take your bat now and step into your normal batting stance. Do a few movements using the usual physical movements you are used to. Take a mental note of the position of your body in your stance. Now, before you swing again, consciously rotate your hips just 2 inches back, away from the pitcher. Think about those 2 inches in your mind while you are in your stance. Feel those 2 inches. Now take your normal swing with that extra 2 inches of hip rotation.
You will be able to “feel” the difference in your swing. That simple 2 inch change in your hip rotation just added a lot more force to your normal punching power. Your swing will seem much more “free” to you. This small 2 inch hip circumference “frees” your swing and adds more power when you come into contact with the ball. It will take some time to adjust to this change and you have to remember to think about it consciously every time you step down to the plate. But once you get comfortable with this simple technique and its timing, you will see a dramatic improvement in the power you generate with the bat. I guarantee it.
In Okinawa Shorei-Ryu Martial Arts, all powerful punches are thrown starting from the hips. The fist begins next to the hip, and just before the point of contact, the hip is rotated in perfect sync with the fist. This hip circumference generates tremendous force through the arm, fist, and into the target. The more the hip is turned, the more power the punch generates.
I have learned to apply this force generated by the martial arts hip bend in my baseball strikes and the results have been incredible after just a short time of training. If you take the time to practice this, you will see a marked difference in the potency you generate with the bat in a short period of time.
Let’s take a look at another mental technique that can help you improve your punching power …
Generate energy with the technique of “imaginary tree roots”.
Okinawa Shorei-Ryu teaches us how to mentally “draw” power from the ground and use it physically. When we throw a punch, we mentally imagine that our feet are rooted to the ground like a tree. We mentally “see in our mind” the roots attached to our feet anchored deep in the ground below us. This mental technique gives us what we call “power to the ground”.
A punch thrown using this mental technique increases the actual strength generated physically. We mentally draw massive power from the ground and that generates more physical strength in our hand strikes. It can also generate more force in a baseball bat.
When in your batting position, mentally imagine that your back foot (your pushing foot) has some imaginary tree branches attached and they are deeply rooted in the ground. These tree roots are attached to the bottom of your foot. Think about the solidity of this “push-off” foot which anchors your position with those roots buried deep in the ground. Now when you start your bat swing image in your mind, the massive power you are pulling from the ground is through those roots.
This power comes out of the ground, in your body, through your arms and hands, and comes out in the bat. Imagine it clearly in your mind. Work with the timing of your physical swing as you hold this image in your mind. Practice it over and over again. Once the physical timing is tuned with the mental image, it will produce results for you.
This technique takes practice to learn. Any new skill, mental or physical, takes practice. But the benefits it produces are well worth the time spent using it. This technique has been practiced by martial artists for centuries and has proven successful. And that will produce results when hitting a baseball.
The following technique is simple and can be learned in about 5 seconds. It is powerful and can be used immediately …
Improve your balance / power with the secret “Take to the floor with your toes” technique.
Okinawan Shorei-Ryu martial artists improve their balance by learning to “grab the ground with their toes” before moving. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But I’ll prove to you that it works.
Return to your normal batting position. Your weight should be distributed evenly between the soles of your feet and your heels. Most players never think about how this weight distribution affects their balance. But without the right balance, you cannot generate real power.
Now just curl your toes down and mentally and physically “grab the ground” below you with your toes. It is a very simple technique, but when you curl your toes downwards you will instantly feel more balanced and more powerful. It’s a subtle sensation, but it’s there and you can feel it. Give it a try. Don’t try to “grab” the ground, just do it easily. You will immediately feel the increase in balance. And when you swing the bat with this simple technique, you swing with more balance in your stance.
It’s a technique you can use right away to add power to your strike. Practice.
I would like to talk about the importance of relaxation in the batter’s box. Being able to relax until the “right time” will improve your typing with this next technique.
Relax and explode your “focused energy” in a controlled “burst”.
Most batters are tense and stiff when standing in the batter’s box. The pressure is strong to get a hit. But when you are tense and rigid, you cannot “transfer” and “release” your true power in the bat. When you swing and hit the ball in this state, your power is “locked” within you. You cannot properly “release” it with all of its force. Muscle tension before your swing acts as a brake on powerful shots.
When a martial artist fights an opponent, he learns to stay relaxed during the confrontation. By remaining relaxed, his physical movements are free, fluid and controlled. He has speed and quickness in a relaxed state. Muscle tension slows down all physical movement and limits speed and speed. But when he strikes, he tenses every muscle in his body and delivers the hit with a “focused burst” of his full energy into the target on contact. This relaxed state works extremely well when hitting a baseball as well.
In your batting position you should be totally relaxed, not tense and rigid. When the pitcher finds himself and delivers the ground and you decide to commit to swinging into it, you instantly tense all the muscles and mentally “pull” your energy out of the bat and into the ball at the point of impact. You mentally and physically “explode” all of your “concentrated energy” in the bat.
Being relaxed before this point you allow all of your power to “flow” into the bat in this “concentrated blast” of intense energy. By not being tense and rigid before this point, you are not “locking up” your power within yourself. When you are relaxed until this “explosive explosion”, you “release” all your power at the precise moment of its full intensity. Your true power is transferred into the ball through the bat and a concentrated concentration of energy and power is produced.
It might seem complicated at this point, but with dedicated practice it becomes very easy to master this technique. It is about timing the tension of the muscles with the exhalation of your breath at the precise moment you hit the ball with your bat.
And once you’re proficient, you’ll quickly advance several levels in your typing skills. For the first time in your life, you begin to think about relaxing at the plate and “exploding”, and “unleashing” your power and “focused energy”. You are no longer tense and rigid with your power “locked” within you. Once you are exposed to this new way of thinking, it prompts you to grow taller. It stays in your mind. You start to think about it more and more and you start to improve your skills. You see that is the real power.
To end this “sample” of my “secret system”, I would like to ask you a question. How good do you want to be and how far are you willing to go to be the best you can be?
When I was young, I was not the most gifted natural athlete on my teams. But I’ve become one of the best in just about every team I’ve played for. And I did it by surpassing the most talented players. In my free time after school and playing baseball, I decided to “practice at my own pace. “
I would go to our house garage and just swing my bat 200 to 300 times every night by myself. I did this 7 days a week, it only took 20-30 minutes. Within a week, I had swung my bat at least 1,750 times. In one month, I had swung my bat over 7,000 times more than the rest of the players on my team. My ability to swing freely has improved dramatically. My typing has improved considerably. Can doing this make a huge difference in your typing?
Practicing “at your own pace” will make a huge difference in your skill level. Are you one of the few who wants to do this extra work? How badly do you want to be one of the best? Most gamers won’t. But if you want to level up and commit to doing so, you will reap huge rewards. I guarantee it!