Monday, May 19, 2008
Tim Cartmell Seminar: Bagua And Tai Chi Applications
Terry and Alex below, Tim Cartmell in Blue pants above
Tim Cartmell was back in Seattle for a seminar on Bagua and Tai Chi applications on Saturday. Tim (Read his Bio here) is the author of "Effortless Combat Throws", and teaches that these internal arts are composed of 70% grappling and throwing techniques. And believe me, after six hours of grappling and throwing, my nearly fifty-year-old ass feels it!
After fundementals, The Bagua portion delt with defense from a straight jab and a wide hook. The straight jab defense involved moving to the outside of the opponent and using an "eyebrow moping" technique, where you use your forearm and palm to turn the opponents head and neck to the point where he can no longer maintain stability and is taken down. This could begin with a forearm smash if needed. On the wide hook, Tim's technique involved moving into the hook early in it's arc and jamming it with Peng at the elbow. A strike with the other hand can be used. The opponent's arm is taken in a low pass across your body for an oblique shoulder-type throw (which is hard to describe in writing) or the arm is not passed but held with an overhook while your other arm (palm) is placed against opponent's thigh as a fulcrum for a snake-form takedown. There were many options and variations of these techniques.
Tai Chi applications began with yielding drills, showing that when one part of your body is pushed back, the rest of the body moves into the opponent. Also when pushed, your arms in a relaxed state will swing up to intercept and stick to the arm which is pushing. There were quite a few of these drills and variations. An important point I understood was that slant flying must enter the opponents body at near 45 degrees upward. Tim's comparison was that even a small kid can push over a heavy refrigerator if this angle is used. One thing that he really made a point about is that "Parting wild horse's mane" with your arm under opponent's arm and extending across opponent's chest is a flawed technique. He points out that it leaves you wide open to have your arm barred and broken across the opponent's chest. He recommends using it as a shoulder or elbow stroke instead, something I had not considered.
As always, Tim's approach is very scientific, no-nonsense and ultimately practical. His approach is on the grappling aspects, because the hitting options are self-evident.
This is in no way a complete description of the entire seminar, I'm still mulling things around in my mind and making notes. I'm also nursing some sore spots, in that good "I had a sound thrashing" sort of way.
Information on future seminars and Chinese martial arts in the Seattle area can be found at Jake Burroughs website www.threeharmonies.com