Thursday, January 21, 2010
Bob over at "Striking Thoughts" and "The Urban Samurai" have been exchanging posts on Fundamentals and Basic training, so here's my two cents:
Structure, Structure, Structure.
In my early days of Karate training I got my first two Black Belts in Tae Kwon Do. Great exercise, bad structure. Crappy fight strategy.
There was too much hip-hopping around and flashy head kicks and jump-spin-shit. A grappler would decimate them.
At a Wing Chun seminar several years ago, my training partner Corey was paired up with a big body-builder guy. The big guy had fast hands and Corey couldn't penetrate his defense. Instead, he closed on the guy and gave him your basic Tai Chi Chuan push that threw the guy across the room and into a Wing Chun Dummy. Really took the wind out of his sails. So while the big guy had good handwork, he had no root to the ground, and was easily defeated.
The above picture is of a Bagua Master. Initially, you might say it doesn't look like a powerful or rooted stance. But what we see is a classical flanking technique unique to the art.
Note the structure in the extended arms. All the best defenses use "The Bridge".
The Bridge remains extended, like a bubble you encase yourself in. If someone is attacking, you move your stance to accomodate the attack, but the Bridge remains intact. Before I learned this concept, it was possible for opponents to collapse my guard and trap the arms. Use a good, structured Bridge!
A Few Powerful Techniques
Above is the "San Ti" posture from Xingyi. Good structure, good root.
Five basic techniques. That's right, Five. All the advanced techniques in Xingyi are minor variations of the Five Elements.
It is generally agreed on that Gross Motor Skills are what works in the chaos of an attack.
My friend was at a wilderness medic seminar while working at the fire department. There were three Navy Seals that were also in the week-long class, and they were about to be shipped off to Iraq.
The Seals would get up every few hours and do a little sparring to take a break from the bookwork and medic training. I asked my friend what techniques they used. It was nothing more than western boxing, and low stomp kicks. They would work their way in and get their opponent in a choke, and it was all over.
That's about five techniques; Jab, hook, cross, low stomp, and choke.
More thoughts on this subject coming up later...