Performing applications in thin air is no good. It proves nothing. 
Striking target pads and bags are also unrepresentative.
Nothing compares to striking an actual person.

You may appear to have wonderful form and effecting-seeming self defence skills but it will all fall to pieces if your strikes are worthless.

You need to feel what happens when you physically strike somebody.
Do you feel a jarring, unpleasant jolt upon impact? Adverse feedback up your arm and into your neck?
Did the blow have the intended effect? Were you hurt yourself?

Hitting another person skilfully may not be as easy as you imagine.

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