Reversals (counter-intuitive elements)

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Reversals (counter-intuitive elements)

Post  Admin on Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:13 pm

martial arts demands several 'reversals' of a few highly ingrained tendencies.


moving directly backwards when attacked.
winding up or chambering to generate force
breathing high in the chest
looking directly at targets or feared weapons
locking down and basing out and using tension or strength
having a defensive mindset

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Re: Reversals (counter-intuitive elements)

Post  Admin on Sun May 31, 2015 9:55 pm

moving backwards in the face of an attack, to get some space between you and the threat, is the default reaction for most people, even 'trained' ones. in kuntao, and some other arts, it is considered a bad choice for a couple reasons. one is that you are moving the wrong way to deliver strikes to your front effectively, or with full strength. another reason is that people move significantly faster forward than backwards. backpeddling can be a useful movement in the right circumstance, but speed wise it doesn't compete with lunging. a third criticism is that moving backwards is born of a defensive mentality, and that it automatically yields the advantage to the attacker, especially when the attack is relatively continuous...i.e you can jump back against a single attack, but if they press the issue you are liable to get run over.

despite all that, people do tend to do a lot of moving back and forth in sparring and fighting, and do so to good effect, at times. you can yield backwards slightly with a small adjustment of the footwork and then spring forward following the opponent's retraction. but again, this type of thing really works best again single attacks, and not so great against combinations on the advance.

the real issue here is the development of 'forward drive mentality and mechanics.' you want to develop the ability to move into an attack, either directly, or at an angle, so you can intercept it or blend with it.

instead of being wary of their attack, you have to want to them to move on you.

it's not the 'moving backwards' per se that is the problem, it's the mindset of avoidance as opposed to the desire for engagement.


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Re: Reversals (counter-intuitive elements)

Post  Admin on Sun May 31, 2015 10:41 pm

I do want to reiterate that moving straight backwards is not usually a good strategy, at least not in kuntao.

in some skill areas, like throwing, moving backwards is used to pull or draw the opponent into the technique. this usually requires 'loading' the opponent in some fashion, most often on the hip area. kuntao stresses mobility, so there isn't much use of body throws. offbalancing takedowns are preferred, so you are more likely to keep your feet.

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Re: Reversals (counter-intuitive elements)

Post  Admin on Sun May 31, 2015 11:15 pm

so then, moving backwards is to be in fear of a threat, in the martial arts context. it's tough to overcome that protective reflex, even when you are consciously working on it, for instance, by practicing basic turning three movement. you have to get to the point where you don't feel threatened by a partner's attack, even at full strength.

granted it's a controlled environment, but you have to start somewhere. if you keep at it, you will start to transform your baseline response from moving backwards, to rotating and taking an angle.

a simple thing at work here is that people tend to think they need to invest a lot of energy/time into blocking and parrying techniques, and they don't think they can evade an attack, bodily. they just don't think it's possible, or they don't trust their own ability to do so. because they are scared of being hit...

as a concept, and a practice, turning three is not so difficult. it's flipping the emotional script that takes work.

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