Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Power and consistency in evasion

Photo courtesy of Yelnoc

In a previous post on gett'n out 'da way, I characterized trying to lunge, or push yourself out of the way as “feeble and inconsistent,” as compared to turning a leg off and falling out of the way. I'd like to expand on that some.
First, consider the position of your legs with respect to your center of balance. In whatever stance you want to put yourself in, your legs are mostly vertical below your center. That means that they are positioned such that the only thing they can do well is push against the ground to lift your center. You can expend a ton of energy with your legs and not get much horizontal motion. Basically, the only thing that pushing with your legs does, is jumps you into the air. Pushing with your legs is a terribly inefficient way to get out of the way.
Also, consider this, it is hard, if not impossible, to push the same way, with the same strength several times in a row. Your muscles fatigue, the joint angles change, your balance changes, and all this lends to your speed of evasion being inconsistent. Sometimes you push hard and move slow. Sometimes you push more weakly and move somewhat faster. The upshot: you never know how much time it takes to get out of the way (i.e. to move your center 18 or so inches). On the other hand, gravity always works at the same speed, and if you learn how to collapse and fall out of the way from from shizentai, it takes very close to the same amount of time every repetition. You have a constant understanding of how much time it takes you to get out 'da way, which, when compared to a good innate knowledge of ma-ai makes for a very powerful evasion skill.
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  1. You really have an excelletn blog my friend.

    The Tai Chi classics have lots of interesting tid bits.

    "A tai Chi man is like iron wrapped in cotton." "Choose and direction then sink"

    Thank you for your work!

  2. Thanks, bud! I'm glad you're enjoying it.


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