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Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Body Behind The Punch

Easter Long Weekend - my Si-Fu held a technician-only seminar, lasting from 10am-4.30pm. Awesome times...albeit a bit hung-over that morning from a night out with clients (counts as work, right?).

In every seminar, it seems that there seems to be only a handful of themes..maybe one or two, but a hundred details in every theme. Always the case, isn't it?

I'm sure you're familiar with saying "get your body behind the punch"...the general idea is to get the weight of your body into your punch, rather than solely relying on just your triceps, shoulders and chest to do the punching.

But the take home message i got from this seminar extends upon this theme and is about getting the body behind every move, whether it's a punch, step, defense, redirect, etc.

This makes things a lot more difficult, requires a new way of moving, of letting loose, of letting go our most natural forms of movement, out of comfort zone.

Getting the body behind every attack, every step forward, every turn, every defense means the whole body has to be able move more freely and quicker than your arms can. Think about that. think about how fast that incoming punch is, how fast your arms have to react just to make contact, and somehow your shoulder, back, hips and legs have to follow.

It's not easy. But when applied, it's more successful than the fastest punch, the fastest block.

Getting the body behind every move also means you have to commit. Your body has to commit to the move, not just the arms. You have to commit to the move, whether that be distance, or just going with the attack or defense that ...at that instant...feels right..even though a better option may exist. there is no time for hesitation. Better to commit to the plan B, then to hesitate with plan A.

The concepts such as the "falling step" or "rising step" can be...relatively easy to understand. Drop the weight into the punch (eg. think of a right cross). Raise or lift yourself into the punch (eg. think of an uppercut). Got it.

But applying this to the odd nature of wing tsun movements such as bong sao, kao sao, tan sao is something else. And..since the body is behind each of these "odd" moves, it almost contorts your body to move in the most uncomfortable ways. But applied correctly, you would move in the most fluid of ways...it has to be, otherwise the body can't follow the move you want to perform if it's not fluid.

this is not for beginners. Beginners must focus on arm positions, stance training, stepping. Once this is mastered, the next step is getting the body to move behind these arm positions, behind the stance turns, behind the steps. This is where your body starts putting the mechanics together to apply these moves successfully...

we're not even talking about fighting.

we're still talking about getting the basics down so it's practical.

If your body isn't moving (eg. legs, spine, knees, hips, abs, etc) during your wing chun drills...none of your stuff works....and if it does, your partner is being too nice.

Until then.

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