Thursday, October 18, 2007

Basic Body Work

Here's an example of the type of basic drills Mike teaches. These help us learn about "whole body power"
There are applications towards the end of the video.
The seminar I attended was billed as Mike's only trip to the U.S. for this year, he now lives and teaches in Belgium, and his website is HERE


Patrick Parker said...

that's pretty cool stuff. am i way off or is that really sorta the same thing as silk reeling motions?

Dojo Rat said...

Hi Pat-- silk reeling is generally more circular or spiral, and somewhat slower.
This type of warm-up develops relaxed power, and you see some of the applications near the end.

Patrick Parker said...

Yeah, but in silk reeling, from what i understand (and I really don't think i understand much) you're still throwing the arm with the hips and legs - just slowly - and it's still about relaxed motion. right?

and some of the arcs in this film look like some of the arcs in some silk reeling films. Of course there's only so many ways you can move your arm in an arc...

I guess I am asking is Mike doing a fast/relaxed variation of some silk reeling motions?

Faik Bilalovic said...

Hi! I replied the same post on my blog to you John.

Hi John!

I am glad that you have found someone who’s really trying to teach you basic relaxation exercise.

But first, let me just explain you what I have seen in Martellos’ first basic “arm hanging and swinging” back and fort exercise. If you are for example are doing that exercise for the first time (and only doing it alone), it’ll going to be very difficult for you to objectively separate the relaxation and tension “feeling” of the shoulder and of course the whole arm which is hanging on that shoulder. We are all different and our CNS (central nervous system) is also different. That’s why we can’t rely on some subjective tests. I would start that same exercise with a partner who would stand on the side and would hold (press down with his fingers) my shoulder while doing that exercise. This is more objective way of finding that “sense” of relaxation. After some time (couple of days or maybe 1 week) I would start doing that exercise alone. And of course, there are many variations of the same thing. In yiquan we’re relying all the time on objective means of learning relaxation until our body learns to do those movements automatically, without thinking of it.

Anyway, I’ll try to show you that in my next video. Maybe then you’ll see what I am trying to tell you.

Depechie said...

What ! Mike is living in Belgium now ??
Oh my God ! I follow the Dojo Rat blog a while now and I was amazed with the posts about Mike Martello... so to find out that he now teaches at a place just 20 minutes drive away from where I live is just unbelievable !!

I'm definitely going to contact him !

JoseFreitas said...

Hi Patrick,

Think of Silk Reeling more of a way to "charge up the body" prior to striking or using power. It's like twisting a towel. If it isn't twisted, and you move one end of it, the rest probably won't move, and in any case the power or structure of it will be off, it will be "limping". If you twist the towel beforehand, when you move one end the other end will instantly move too, the connection will be continuous (thanks for Scott at Weakness with a Twist for this image).

There are many ways of doing this and they will vary between styles, but continuous coiling motion throughout the entire body is one of them, with the muscles remaining largely relaxed and soft.

The drills that Mike is showing are more for developing deep looseness and relaxation in the body, rather than strictly for silk reeling. Of course, they do have their place, because they also represent one way of training this connection of the body's parts.

Aikido players may not realize this, but they do have a type of silk reeling power. This happens when they correctly apply a technique, when there is a continuous chain of "structure" or "connection" towards and into their opponent, which also requires a connection inside their body that makes it continuous and integrated.

A friend of mine defines it as "taking off the slack" both in your opponent's body and in yours so that any motion or power is carried instantly from one end to the other. Basically, if you pull on someone's arm and it is bent, you first must spend your power to "straighten" his arm before you actually start pulling him off balance, right? If you had managed to get him with his arm more or less straight with no slack, any pulling motion would instantly carry through to his body and pull him off balance, without any waste.

Think of this as applying to both you and your relationship with your opponent. This is one basic way of defining silk reeling: taking off all the slack inside your body so that any motion is instantly transmitted to the outside without wasted energy.

Dojo Rat said...

Jose' has a very good explanation of these exercises, Thanks, as always for your thoughts Jose'--
I will follow your videos, thanks. I was fortunate to have Mike help me make corrections and try to increase my range of motion while not using arm strength, etc.
Man, if you only live 20 minutes away, you should be training with Mike!

Patrick Parker said...

Jose, Thanks for the detailed info. I think I understand a little more a little better - but i'll have to play with it and work on it some more.