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Horizontal Control and the Four Strategies

When gaining the upper hand position, getting to the horizontal usually works to your advantage. Dropping your opponents into the horizontal plane in effect closes them in the up-down dimension. This makes it much more difficult for them to project force against you and is getting the upper hand into position to attack. From the lower hand horizontal position, it is tougher to achieve the spacing necessary to strike in. To strike from the lower hand position, the elbow extends and the shoulder flexes to straighten the arm.

NC March 2011 Workshop Recap

Last weekend, I made my regularly planned trip down to NC to train with Sifu at the NC ILC workshop.  As always, I left with a lot of stuff to work on.  I find going to workshops to be highly informative.  This is not just because of the knowledge that gets presented, but also because I get feedback from touching hands with more and different people than I normally would.  Interacting with different people gives me access to people with different feels, which is invaluable for learning to put principles into action.

Blink and the Power of Words

The Body Line

After the center of the feet, usually the first "easy" idea I teach to new students is paying attention to the body line. When the hand (or more precisely, the point of contact) is inside the body line, it is easier to absorb. Conversely, when the hand crosses outside of the body line, it is easier to project force. The body line is an important transition point which needs to be recognized to maintain unification with an opponent's force.

Repetition

 

 

Practice makes perfect, or so the saying goes. But what are you actually accomplishing from repetitive practice? Hours of drills are necessary to achieve mastery of any skill, yet the hours of practice do not necessarily lead to proficiency.

Martial "skills"?

A few months ago, I did a post on questionable body conditioning practices.  So, for your entertainment, here's a followup post about questionable martial skills.  Some of them are impressive, but none of them really pass my personal test for general sanity.

Penetrating the sphere: Geometry of attack

In a previous post, I discussed the point of contact in terms of vector components. When you penetrate your opponent’s sphere, you pass the diameter line of the virtual sphere at the point of contact and have technically passed your opponent’s defense. However, just getting past the diameter line is necessary but not sufficient.

Training Beginners

I sometimes get asked whether training with beginners is boring or pointless. When you advance to a certain level of skill, it can be frustrating to have to train “below your skill level.” However, I choose not to view it that way. After spending a significant amount of time (years actually) as the only I-Liq Chuan guy around and having to build a group from beginners, I’ve come to appreciate the opportunity presented by training with a beginner.

Kickin' Ass with Math: Vectors, spheres and points of contact

One of the topics that has come up in the past workshops is the idea of vector forces in the spheres of offense and defense.  To maintain your defense or invade your opponent's defense at the point of contact, the understanding of these spheres is essential.  The concept of the spheres can at first seem esoteric, but the forces involved can be understood with some elementary geometry and physics (warning, math to be discussed ahead).

Malaysia Trip Recap

A little over one week back in the U.S. and I feel like I'm just getting over my jet lag.  It's a weird feeling popping wide awake at 1-2 a.m. and being dog tired during the daylight hours.  Anyhow, I thought I'd jot down a few notes on my experience in Kuala Lumpur and training with Grandmaster Chin Lik Keong.

First, my experiences with Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur:

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