Friday, March 16, 2012
Efficiently Applying Effect, Without Wasted Motion
I was recently reading several articles (written by “martial artists”) about energy transfer, and efficiency in striking and the mathematics of energy/momentum etc. All of which, was... interesting. My problem with them being, who cares?
Don't get me wrong, I find each of those subjects interesting. I'm just not convinced as to whether the degree to which these individual's were taking their own speculations, was beneficial, or detrimental? (in regards to my own training). Specifically in regards to how (they believed) that they were applying that energy.
Between the different articles, there was a cluster of formula's being bantered about (with conflicting arguments as to which were actually applicable). Each had it's valid point, but each also had a fault with the viewpoint (hence the arguments over which formulas were valid , and when).
Some of Taika's lectures give one the impression that he has had specific academic tutelage over the given subject (his understanding is that good, LOL). The difference between one of Taika's explanations and one of those commonly found on the internet, is that Taika's are in layman's terms. His lectures are rarely complicated and/or involved (technically).
From listening to, and studying from Taika, one of the (many) things I've learned, is that something doesn't have to be complicated, to be effective. It doesn't matter what time, or day of the week it is, Or if some location is associated to dog nuts, or motor oil. As long as you strike the right location at the correct angle, you'll get the result your after.
I've recently had my student's working on (their own) motions being (more so) focused upon being made towards the aggressor (during a confrontation, and/or during practice). My reason for doing so, began with a mistake that I was observing (many of) them make during their partnered practice.
Now granted, it's not like this problem began out of the blue or anything. They'd been doing this for awhile. I hadn't stressed it's correction before, because (frankly) they had greater problems with their technique execution to concentrate upon than this one (you can't fix everything at once! LOL).
This problem, had to do with chasing the striking hand's wrist. Even though we slow our practice down (to a very controllable speed), the tori tends to chase the striking hand (with their own).
I'm not (exactly) sure why a student seems to believe that a striking arm, can (only) be controlled by moving the wrist of that arm? Anywhere from just beyond the shoulder (upon the upper arm) to anywhere down to the wrist, will motion that entire arm away from it's intended target.
Yet, despite being (repeatedly, LOL) told, as well as shown this fact, student's will still attempt to “catch” that striking wrist (in order to motion the striking arm away).
Well, seeing that simple suggestive verbal guidance wasn't going to fix the problem, I began having student's practice placing their (same side) hand upon the uke's striking upper arm/shoulder. This motion raises from the side (where the hand/arm has been “hanging” loosely) ala “el natural”.
As the arm is extended (toward the uke) and raised (open-hand, palm toward the uke's center), the tori will focus upon that hand being placed upon the outer/radial side of the striking arm. As the uke is raising their arm, the tori will cross their own extended arm's hand over the top (in front) of the uke's striking arm. That hand/arm will continue it's crossing/downward motion towards the uke's solar-plexus region (initially, by sliding open-handed down the uke's chest).
What seems to be most discerning to student's, is that there's no (aggressive?) forcefulness being applied to the (initial) motion. It should also be noted, that this is but only 1 piece of the entire defensive action. My eventual intent, is to emphasize each individual component of the entire defensive sequence.
Commonly, this initial motion is pretty simple for student's to perform. It can be done with either hand (for their respective arms), but, for the (intended) entire technique, each hand will be performing separate motions (and So begins the student Drama, LOL).
Once the same-side's arm motion has been practiced, we add the opposite side's arm motion (which naturally, is different). That arm's motion begins by motioning laterally (in front of the groin), pivoting mainly at the elbow, and raising in front of the tori (a few inches away from the body while it does so).
Once the forearm is vertical, it is extended forward (by motioning the elbow of that arm forward). This extension continues only a short distance (the arm overall, should not completely straighten). When performed in this manner (if the uke should have thrown a Left punch towards the head of the tori), the tori's Left hand will (either) end up striking the uke's upper-arm (just above the elbow, on the medial side), or will project over the top of that arm, nullifying it's ability to continue the extension necessary to strike the tori (in the face, or otherwise).
Though requiring several paragraphs to write-out, the described motion is actually easy to perform. Student's have the most problem with it, when they attempt to do (something) specific with it (the motion). Instead of performing the motion (and dealing with the resultant outcome), they attempt to do something specific with it (while not changing the practiced/performed motions).
(I know, confusing to understand what's written here, LOL)
The motion has the designed capability to be modified in it's response to several different/common defensive scenario’s. None of which require a change in the motions initial actions.
This (of course) doesn't mean that a student won't have to practice all those different possible responses/situations (in order to be able to utilize them).
This (combined) motion is simply a building block for further applications. It acclimates the student to performing different actions with either hand (at one time). At later stages, the student incorporates body motion, and includes a straight kick. Each of these variables changes (both) the aggressor's and the defender's abilities (both pro and con).
As each variable is included (and studied) the student will better understand the effect and the required effort to affect those variables. Efficiency is not only about one ingredient in an equation. It is the over-all summation of those ingredients, and their combined effectiveness.