What skill/technique are you learning right now?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Nachi, Oct 6, 2021.

  1. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Guys, keep it on topic.

    This is a warning. Play nicely.
  2. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I'm playing very nicely. I completely ignored an off-topic personal attack to continue to discuss a technique.

    I've palm striked people in the head a fair amount in sparring, and every time their head moves in the opposite direction to my palm, and my strike slows down (even if Isaac Newton is considered pseudoscience nowadays, he seems to be right about this). I'm struggling to envisage how you get your thumb in their eye from a palm strike.

    If I'm told "yeah, we put on a helmet with eye protection and I can make contact with my thumb from a palm strike quite often", or "yeah, someone in my club put a mugger in the hospital with a detached retina", then I'd take their word for it and reevaluate my position.

    If someone takes questioning a technique personally, I would say they have a problem. We should be dispassionate about technique, and be ready to bin anything that we can't make work for us.

    I'm honestly baffled at Tom's post, and why he would rather make personal digs than provide an answer, as I understand he has a lot of experience in kung fu.
  3. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    I’m not going to comment on the drumming doll, nor on your referenced to the hip movement, as I don’t have experience with it. If it works for you, I have nothing further to say about it.

    however, regarding the central pivot, it develops tremendous power as long as it is driven from the feet, literally from the ground up. The feet push against the ground to drive the rotation. The non-hitting hand does not simply get thrown back. Rather, it is actively pulled back as part of the torso rotation. This is not a twist of the spine, but rather a complete torso rotation from the hips up, driven by the feet pushing on the ground and the off-hand actively pulling back.

    It works very well to develop full-body connection, and techniques delivered with this method land like a sledge hammer.
  4. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    Double post.
  5. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I think you and Smitfire might be in agreement?

    It's that the non-hitting arm is moved by the body, rather than the body being moved by the arm going back. The direction of force is dictated by the ankles, knees and hips, not the arms.
  6. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    I don’t think so. The arm moves back as part of the torso rotation, but at the same time it is very actively pulled back, to augment the rotation. The feet pushing and the arm pulling work together. And to his comment about losing power out the back, I definitely disagree with that.
  7. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    But the shoulder has very limited range of motion to the rear, and for the elbow to go backwards it goes up rather than back, so the direction of force isn't there. It's also only 5-6% of body mass. Rather than augmenting, I think it is facilitating good hip and shoulder motion for some people.

    As for "losing power out the back", it's a funny way of putting it, but I guess he is talking about mass on the target side of the pivot. If you pivot on a hip you have more mass moving on the target side of the pivot than if you pivot on the spine.

    All that said, you can still generate plenty of power pivoting on the spine, and in many cases it is tactically superior. Power is only one consideration.
  8. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    The way my system practices this is rather different from the hikite as it is seen typically in karate which, from my observations seems to be more about pulling the arm back and less about getting significant rotation of the torso. But the rotation around the center is what we do, it just manifests a bit differently from what you see in karate. The range of motion of the shoulder is not an issue, because the torso rotates completely. Depending on the stance and positioning that one is working from, the feet may or may not shift. But the torso rotates completely to the side, so if you draw a straight line across the shoulders, the line is drawn from the back to the front. The torso is rotated 180 degrees from one side to the other. From this position, if you raise the arms so they are pointing out to the sides of your torso (one hand pointing to the front, the other to the back), it is a natural position for the shoulder (similar, sort of, to the Warrior Pose from yoga).

    As long as the root of the power is coming from the feet and legs, pushing on the ground to drive the rotation, then this is extremely powerful. I have not trained the method he is describing so I will not comment on it, whether one is more or less powerful than the other. But i can speak to this method, it is tremendously powerful.
  9. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Mod note: If anyone feels there has been a personal attack, the proper way to handle it is to report it to the mod team, not discuss it here.

    Personal note: The little dig is one made all the time towards traditional arts. I know you know this, David, having been on MAP so many years. I just said it was the only thing I disagreed with in the clip, that was otherwise good. No big deal. I am not taking it personally or upset. Hannibal's clip, he can say what he wants. Others understood. It was a response to Simon's post and he got it. Discussion stayed positive. No big deal. Side note to the main point. Let's not make it the main point and derail the thread.

    As for the discussion of this technique. As a mod I will say I agree with Simon. The point of this thread is a positive one to discuss and share what we are training. It isn't a debate thread. There is a difference between sharing thoughts on techniques from our different backgrounds and debating the effectiveness of a technique. There are plenty of those types of threads elsewhere and more can be started elsewhere too. I shared my thoughts and approach. But not in depth, not in exactly how in detail it might work, because that wasn't the point.

    If you want to discuss the effectiveness of a technique and debate it, feel free to start a thread on that topic. I may or may not join in. It depends on the tone in the thread. If it's a fun discussion, cool. If it becomes yet another ad nauseum "defend traditional martial arts" thread, I will probably abstain. Others can think what they want of my art and I really feel no need to defend it. Surely you can relate to that David?

    After addressing questions directed to me in this post, any further response from me will have to be elsewhere, as I will respect and support keeping this thread on topic. :)
    Tom bayley likes this.
  10. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Yeah, I understood what you mean.

    I don't think anyone was arguing that you can't generate power that way.
  11. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I wasn't going to mention it until it was brought up by Simon, so I guessed that a mod knew about it, seeing as it was a mod that mentioned it? :confused:
    Well, I've never trained in Olympic javelin or baseball, so I guess I don't have anything relevant to add to the topic at hand...:D
  12. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    aaradia please accept my apologies for leading your thread off topic.

    Returning to the topic of the tread – what are you working on right now.

    I have been working on power generation. As part of this I have been exploring my own personal understanding of power generation. Trying to find where my personal barriers to improving my own undersetting are. and trying to think of ways of passing these barriers.

    In terms of my intellectual understanding of power generation. From exploring foot work and power generation I have come to the personal belief that the majority of striking methods in kung fu are not about generating as much power as possible. There are constant trade offs, don’t commit too much, don’t commit too little, don’t sacrifice too much balance but do maximise leverage etc. in stead I have come to believe that the way of understanding power generation in kung fu is to think about the amount of power that can be generated by a given position and what techniques can be effectively applied using that amount of power.

    I have discovered that movement does not have to be initiated by the feet. But all movement goes through the feet. so looking at foot work is a great way to begin to investigate this. This is my approach to understanding the drum thing. It is an action that appears a lot in kung fu, often, but not only, associated with slipping an opponents strike, grab, or push.

    I have also come to the personal belief that the physics of striking provides some great principles for understanding, e.g. levers and flywheels. However it rapidly becomes too computationally complex for me to use to accurately describe and understand going on in detail. too things have become apparent as to why this is.

    Muscles don’t push. They only pull. Therefore in order to do a ‘simple’ action such as extending your hand forwards from a high guard. Your hand and fore arm will drop, you elbow and upper arm will rise and the resolution of the forces between the two will extend your arm forward. So in order to move in one direction – to push, you actually have to move in three directions. Complexity abounds.

    I am also beginning to think that power generation is a chaotic process. In the mathematical sense a chaotic system Is one where a comparatively small changes can have a disproportionately large impacts on outcome. In striking large muscles produce the power but small muscles and small changes in timing greatly affect the delivery of power. I have been looking at the impact of tension and slack on muscle movement. I have become increasingly aware of how this affects the transfer of force through the system. I have formed the opinion that the hikate hand is intimately related to patters of tension and slack in the muscles and to the transfer of power through the system.

    I have developed a method of training that is mindful of all the above. When I hit or lift things I try to pay as much attention to what my body is doing inside as I do to what I am doing to the thing I am hitting. I also try to be aware what my body is dong before i initiate the movement and after i initiate the movement. I am of the opinion that the coordination of muscles in preparation to initiate an action and recovering from an action is as important as what goes on during the action.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
  13. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    One thing I'm trying to do is be more consistent. I have lower back issues that come and go and I'm just getting over a bout of "bad". I know that if I actually stretched and did some core stuff every day (or even every other day!) it'd be more robust but I find finding the time tricky. I just did a seminar with Bill "Superfoot" Wallace and one main bit of advice was to stretch a little bit every day to teach the muscles to relax. Not to go so hard you're sore the next day and have to recover and try again in a few days. But a little bit. And then another little bit.
    I need to take that on board as I careen into middle age. :)
    Grond, aaradia and David Harrison like this.
  14. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    No movement of the body is initiated by the feet. It is initiated by the muscles around the pelvis: glutes, hamstrings, hip flexor, lumbar erector spinae etc. Force travels down to the ground and it is the resistant force met by the feet that allows power to be applied to the target (sorry, more Newtonian pseudoscience).

    The idea of power starting at the feet is a simplified visualisation to get beginners to use their body while punching instead of arm punching.
  15. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    As someone who is now well into middle age. and someone who has chronic pain issues i understand and empathise with you. Something that I have to remind myself, particularly when i am having a bout of bad is that - like the hair adverts - i am worth it.

    Bouts of bad set you back in life. one of the biggest things about pain is it stops you doing even the every day life maintance. So when a bout finishes you are left with a heap of jobs to do. one can spend all of ones time between bouts just catching up on 'Stuff'.

    I am working on making a concerted effort to put myself and my body first. to allocate priority time in my days and week to building good habits. in my case this is fitness and weight training. there is a never ending heap of other stuff to do. but if i dont put my body first no body else will. and like i say

    I'm worth it.
    Grond and Smitfire like this.
  16. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Yeah, since I had to give up my office to another little 'un I've been working at night on a knackered sofa at a coffee table. I can feel my sciatic nerves shortening at an alarming rate.

    I need to get into a preventative stretching routine, not scrambling to do a rehab routine when it gets bad.
  17. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Tom - Slight correction, this is not my thread. This is Nachi's thread, and a brilliant one at that! :)

    When you discuss mindfulness, it reminded me of my long instructor. She taught me that developing body awareness and self analysis/ mindfulness were what truly made one an advanced student.

    Ever since then, I try to learn as much as I can on my own. Figure out problems as much as I can on my own. But there are things I get stuck on, and those I bring to my instructors. This is as opposed to just showing up and doing what they tell me to do.

    This really maximizes my precious lesson time.
  18. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    Ok, so you understood what I mean, but my initial comment was in response to what @Smitfire had said.
  19. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    To what are you referring here?
  20. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Mod Note: Flying Crane, The mod team has asked for the thread to get back on topic, so please ask your question about this elsewhere. Either start another thread or PM him. Thanks.

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