Help with becoming less rigid

Danny T

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This may sound crazy, but put on soft some music, Go Slow, and pay attention to your reverse motion. Strikes are but a halfway point of a full swing, and that swing happens on a circle, so think circles, not strikes. :)
Huh! Go Slow you say?
Did you not post this on another thread?
I keep seeing people post about how going slow helps your technique. It doesn't.
 

yak sao

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Nothing against TKD...I've had the opportunity to fight against some of those guys back in the day and some of them were damn good fighters.
This is anecdotal at best, but the ones I've known who changed over to kung fu have a hard time unlearning that style of movement.

The advice so far is solid....just go through the movements, no power. Think of being in a pool of water, shoulder deep. Move in such a way as to not make waves.
 

Danny T

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I saw that too....I was going to bust his chops on it too, but thought maybe we got through to him
I did look at the previous post after posting this. Knowing what was posted there after I quite following it you are correct. Wasn't attempting to pile on, just questioning the different posting.
 

Brian King

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Welcome to MT hawkryger.
Some really good suggestions above thread. If I might add a couple for you to think about and maybe try? Disclaimer, I do not practice CMA.

Sometimes a persons perspective just needs a bit of opening up. The fact that a person moves the way that they do says something to them if they will listen. It is obvious that a person moves in whichever way because that way has in the past worked for them. It has been successful in someway that helped the body recognize it as a proper and correct way of moving. Recognizing that since the current way of moving has worked for them in the past is proof that it is not wrong, it is merely different. It is easy to get worked up by listening to that inner complaining/blaming voice, which by listening to it often just causes an increase or greater likely hood in the less desired outcome. In the case of the OP, an increase of excess tension. When hearing that blaming, finding fault inner voice, give yourself a pat on the back for having the sensitivity to recognize that you are moving with excess tension and let out that breath that was suspended, lol. Tell yourself that it is not wrong, just different, and right now you wish to try a different way of moving. Chuckle at yourself and look around - perhaps there are plenty of people training right beside you that are more than willing to give you lumps, no sense in giving yourself lumps.

One of the ways to move in a more relaxed manner is to first add excess tension. It is funny but for me true - trying to relax specific muscle groups can be difficult simply because your body does not yet have the specific neural pathways that would allow the muscles to release the held tension, or as often is the case, the nervous system is firing out of a fear response. Doesn't really matter. Either way you can trick the body into relaxing a bit. You will not be as free as your sifu or instructor, but you will be freer. Simply do which ever movement you were doing when you noticed the excess tension but this time make your body as tense as possible, head to toe, while still being able to move. Think isometrics. The body can be tense extended or compacted, heck do it both ways or mix it up. Then do the movement as relaxed as possible, think floppy and not martially. It doesn't have to make sense martially. You want to explore both extremes, too much tension, not enough tension. Right after, go back into the movement and try to move natural which should be somewhere between the two extremes and keep breathing.

Another trick is to focus your mind on something other than what your body is doing/feeling. Do the movements but focus entirely on breathing for example. Or focus on the second/minute hand on a wall clock, can you get thru a series of movements and never lose sight and consciousness of the ticking clock?

Good luck
Regards
Brian King
 

jks9199

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Another suggestion...

Stop trying to move forcefully or strongly, with crisp motions. Instead, take all the force out, and concentrate on moving smoothly and without stops or ends in the motion. Let each motion fluidly connect to the one before or after. Take the power out, and move intentionally. That's hard to explain in text...

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hawkryger

hawkryger

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Another suggestion...

Stop trying to move forcefully or strongly, with crisp motions. Instead, take all the force out, and concentrate on moving smoothly and without stops or ends in the motion. Let each motion fluidly connect to the one before or after. Take the power out, and move intentionally. That's hard to explain in text...

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By move intentionally do you mean to just keep flowing through the whole form, without pausing in any one movement?


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jks9199

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By move intentionally do you mean to just keep flowing through the whole form, without pausing in any one movement?


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Its kind of hard to explain. There's a difference between moving intentionally and simply moving. Think about the motion, and let it happen rather than making it happen, if that helps describe it. Kind of the difference between someone who is pretending to be relaxed and someone who is really relaxed... Or moving with purpose and intent rather than fidgeting.

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Brian R. VanCise

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Relax, be patient and follow your instructors lead. In time you will see yourself shedding the rigidity and moving into a more graceful flowing movement. However, it takes time.
 

Marnetmar

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Why not just create your own version of Northern Mantis that's as rigid as possible and call it "Tetanus Quan?"
 

Blaze Dragon

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I faced a similar experience going from TKD to Taijiquan, it was gradual overtime. I found that doing the movements slow and really focusing flowing through the movements slowly started to make a difference. I'm sure I'm still more rigid in my movements then I should be, however I am flowing through movements a lot better then I did 5 years ago. Once we started learning fajin, it made a difference too. I think what help the most was visualizing while I moved, imagining myself as water for example. After a while, muscle memory gets programmed in and you start instinctively moving different.
 

drop bear

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One of our coaches,rob,has been learning gymnastics conditioning drills. Which we will be adopting elements of for our body weight exercises.
(cos we do en wrong)

Looking in to that may help.
 

BTrent

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I had the rigidity of Korean martial arts disappear from mantis when I got to the intermediate level and after starting tai chi. Some people here say that TKD and TSD will hold you back, but I don't think this is the case. After doing Tang Soo Do for 26 years, I progress about twice as fast in mantis. Doing partner exercises in taichi really helps for loosing rigidity if you have a good teacher who knows what she/he is doing. You can do push hands in such a way where a push from your partner meets no resistance at all. Do that enough and you will know how to be flexible and not rigid.
 

Shai Hulud

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Qigong (if you remain unimpressed by Qi theory, consider Qigong a form of light Chinese isometrics) will help. Its movements are usually specific to concepts in Chinese Taoist tradition, and are relevant to Chinese martial arts, such as Northern Mantis. The circular movements that feature heavily in most Qigong sets should help you get a feel of most Kung Fu styles.

Dr. Yang Jwing Ming's book, Eight Simple Qigong Exercises for Health, covers the Ba Duan Jin (Eight Piece Silk Brocade), a popular and very simple external Qi Gong set that should serve as a good introduction to Qi Gong theory and its practice. It is important also that you grasp the concepts behind the movements to help you internalize them. The Root of Qigong by the same author offers a more detailed account of Chinese health practices.

Three other good books I would recommend are The way of Energy, The Way of Power, and Qigong for Anxiety by Lam Kam Chuen. You may also want to look into the Dayan/Wild Goose Qigong exercises.

:)
 
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hawkryger

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It's funny you mention wild goose, as one of my instructors recently certified to teach it. Thanks for the suggestions


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