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


Bob Patterson said...

"And believe me, after six hours of grappling and throwing, my nearly fifty-year-old ass feels it!"

Dr. Patterson recommends a nice vodka and tonic. In fact several and all the better if you use flavored vodka.

You are sore because your liver is weak and it must be punished.

On a serious note I look forward to hearing more about the clinic!


Dojo Rat said...

How 'bout Vodka and sour Grapefruit juice?

Tim is very good at pulling the hidden techniques out of the form, his many years of experiance in China and Taiwan show.
Being a former high school wrestler, I would have loved to have started BJJ and other throwing arts when I was younger and more durable. They didn't even have BJJ in the US in the late seventies.
We did do Judo and I was introduced to Aikido during my time at the Tae Kwon Do school, but not mat grappling as is done today.
I would, however, like to focus more on the Chin na applications that are found in the form, and I will try to talk to Jake and Tim about some more of that for next time.

Bob Patterson said...

If all goes according to plan I'm visiting that Chin Na class next week. I also am visiting an aikido dojo before June.

Sabum is studying aikido and likes it. However, his hard taekwondo approach sometimes gets in the way. I'm thinking Chin Na may be better suited for me due to my hard background.

We shall see. Either way expect reports on my blog!

Grapefruit juice? I will consider this...


Hand2Hand said...

I would love to do a Cartmell seminar.

I've always suspected that there is far more grappling to most striking arts, even arts like Okinawan karate or Shaolin Gung Fu, than most people realize.

Today, I got together with my former boss, Ken Gullette, who is shooting some DVD's on the internal arts. We did a lot of self defense applications of Chan Taiji and Bagua.

I haven't had to use my breakfalls as much today as I have in more than 10 years.

Excuse me, but I'm off to soak in a mix of bathwater and zheng gu shui.

Dojo Rat said...

Four days later and I'm still sore...