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    Just relax

    Matt
    Matt

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    Join date : 2008-07-21

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    Post by Matt on Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:42 am

    Hi Tony and all,

    The question I have centres on how to relax. I currently find it difficult to 'flow' through the moves and let the mechanics of my body do the work.

    I am concious that when drilling a combination I tend to try to generate all of the power in a punch through my shoulders and end up very tired very quickly. In a similar vein to Esther's question rather than looking for the trigger for aggression I am looking for a trigger to relax.

    All the best,

    Matt


    Last edited by Matt Viall on Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Steve Rowe
    Steve Rowe

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    Post by Steve Rowe on Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:36 am

    Hi Matt

    I don't want to pre-empt Tony's answer here but you need to get rid of the tension before the movement. In Tai Chi we stand still and take our mind through the body in good posture, with deep breathing getting rid of all excessive tension before movement and after every movement we 'soften' (the word relax has connotations of rest - this is dynamic) into the next movement. Softening should always be uppermost in your mind because becoming tense is easy Very Happy

    It seems to me that moving with the muscular handbrake on is a common problem in MA's.
    Tony Terranova
    Tony Terranova

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    Join date : 2008-06-15
    Age : 62
    Location : Cheltenham

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    Post by Tony Terranova on Wed Aug 06, 2008 12:38 pm

    Hi Matt,

    Good question and by the way you are doing really well in your training considering you have only been coming a few months. You are a big powerful rugby player with good attitude and intent and we love that at FFMA.

    Steve’s replies are always full of good information. If you get a chance get some of the MAI magazines I gave Alan Macdonald and you can read his monthly articles as they are all full of wisdom (I enjoy his articles).

    Back to your question, I will give you some pointers for you to think about as you will find there are many different opinions on this subject. The fact is that tension is the enemy of good technique and reduces power.

    At these early stages of your training try and get your technique right before you go for power. Do not hard wire bad habits as they will stay with you. When you do drills pull back on the power, breath more and try to move smoothly. Try to be more conscious of your breathing and ask your training partner to point out if you are holding your breath at any time. Also look at someone who moves smoothly and effortlessly and try to model their movement. This is a good way to learn all movements.

    Example; when you a do right cross just imagine your right hand is a simple spear; all you have to you is stick it out smoothly using your hip and shoulder to get the momentum. Also by focusing on smooth movement your transition from one technique to the next will be better. I have learned a lot from Peter Consterdine about the adverse effects that tension has on movement. The underlying principle being that relaxation and a good understanding of the technique results in a smooth transition from one move to the next – therefore they become linked and not individual techniques – this saves energy and makes you faster and move more efficiently.

    You are an intelligent guy so try and apply some Kinesthetic learning by studying one technique a week (or a month) to just get the basic bio-mechanics hard wired into your head. Let’s take the right cross and break it down.

    The creation of power starts from the ball of your right foot and travels all the way up your right leg to your right hip and shoulder to the concluding part which is you throw your arm out and punch. If you look at a javelin thrower you will see them run up to the line and wind their hip, then shoulder and then arm in a loose whipping motion in a straight line finishing with a snap of the hip/shoulder as they drive the javelin forward. The right cross has more or less the same bio-mechanics (your hip is the hinge). Keep your right elbow neatly tucked in by your side with your right hand at about chin/cheek bone level and twist your fist like a rifle coming out of a bullet at the very last split second that you land your punch. Work on staying relaxed until the moment of impact then apply some tension for a nano second. It helps if you learn to punch with your fist slightly open and close it upon impact. If you clench your fist it tightens the muscles in your forearm and slows you down. Combine all these things together and execute them in a relaxed manner and keep drilling until it feels instinctive. Use Steve’s recommendations together with the above tips and you will get there mate.

    Your power in a right cross does not come from your arm it comes from your body movement. Force = mass x acceleration, therefore if you move your entire body correctly and stay relaxed (which gives you better acceleration) you will develop the ability to deliver a good bitch slap in a short space of time.

    Take time every week to come and chat to me or one of our instructors about a technique with your goal being to understand movement and developing good breathing.

    I have always thought all martial arts irrespective of style are simply one word that is ‘movement’. This was further solidified when a few weeks ago I mentioned my theory to Bob Spour and he said ‘you are right mate, but it is movement of the body and the mind’. His point was you not only move your body but you move your state of mind. In your instance the latter part would be to from hereon to decide that you will change your state of mind to be being relaxed when learning a technique.

    Hope this helps and keep up the good work

    Tip of the day: “don’t eat yellow snow”!

    Regards,
    Tony
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    Guest
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    Post by Guest on Wed Aug 06, 2008 12:48 pm

    lmfao

    Nice post tony,

    I cannot add to what Tony has already said,

    I totally agree with learning the technique before implementing full power, as Tony says you can and do pick up bad habits, but doing it the way Tony has outlined will minimise the chance of this. Any bad habit which is learned takes a lot longer to un learn that it did to pick up in the first place. Power comes from relaxation. so making sure you learn the technique and knowing how it works creates a sense of postive instinctive knowing. where by you will not need to think about the technique but it should just flow and indeed it will in time given you train it correctly. Once your moves become fluid and you can do them correctly you will naturally relax into them and it will progress from there.

    I also know when I have reached the relaxed state as I try and imagine my hand is like a cannon ball on the end of my arm, which takes total relaxation, then the motion of moving the arm with the hand ( or cannon ball ) in my case lol being thrown through the target. Basically just a heavy hand but using visualisation helps a hell of a lot when doing this, and when done correctly the power transfer is a lot more also.

    Like has been said, learn the technique, train your technique, breathe correctly, and it will all come.

    Nice post tony, lots more widsom there.

    ps
    Love the tip of the day.

    Craig
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    Nick Engelen

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    Age : 40

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    Post by Nick Engelen on Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:49 am

    Hi Tony,

    Lovely post.

    What I learned in aikido is body movement and movement of the entire body in a coherent way.

    Would you mind explaining the tip: don't eat yellow snow?

    Reminds me of my skiing trips were people often have a leak at the side of the skiing slopes. Those are also the spots people where like to fall as a coincidence.

    Kind Regards,

    Nick Engelen
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    Guest
    Guest

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    Post by Guest on Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:41 pm

    I think that tip is kind of self explanatory mate lol!
    Tony Terranova
    Tony Terranova

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    Post by Tony Terranova on Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:13 am

    Hi Nick,

    No worries in explaining the yellow snow - I understand when there is a language barrier as I had to learn English when I came over from Sicily.

    The yellow snow comment is meant as a joke - it was my fun tip of the day - as you have pointed out yellow snow becomes yellow when someone takes a leak"

    Regards,
    Tony
    Matt
    Matt

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    Join date : 2008-07-21

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    Post by Matt on Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:39 am

    Thanks for taking the time to respond Gents. The breathing is so simple and yet clearly so important.

    In addition trying to relax or soften up until the point of impact is something I will work on.
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    Guest
    Guest

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    Post by Guest on Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:52 am

    No Problem Matt

    Practice makes perfect, and we all practice a lot hence we all still on a journey which will never end and always strive to be better at what we do. The biggest upside is we are all willing to help and train with each other so you cannot help but improve over time.

    Regards
    Craig

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