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Nabakatsu

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So... here we are again.. I would like to talk about structure!
I've been trying to keep all my muscles relaxed whilst doing SNT but.. I can't even lift my arm a fraction of an inch without it stiffening.. I'm lifting it as lightly as I feel I can.. I'm curious to know who hear has made progress relaxing and what they feel is responsible for this progress.. I find it impossible to maintain trying to execute the movements properly, keeping my arms as relaxed as I can for now, anddddd having forward thought/intent all at the same time, sinking down with my legs and adducting seems to get lost in the process after awhile as well.. I may start putting an apple back between my legs or.. maybe I'll do as yoshi suggested and get an egg.. who the heck wants to clean up 20 eggs a day, the potential negative karama alone is certainly something i'd prefer to avoid :p
So yeah.. this horse has some life left in it I say!
 

mook jong man

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Unfortunately mate there is no shortcuts only hardwork , sweat and sometimes blood . But if you do find one let me know will you.

You have already made a big step forward anyway because you are aware of the tension in your muscles , a lot of people are not even aware that they are tense , at least you can recognise it .

There are degrees of relaxation , I'm more relaxed than a beginner , my instructors were more relaxed than me. You just have to keep doing the SLT form and consciously trying to will them to relax , maybe each time you do the form concentrate on a different muscle group .

Say for example next time I do the form I will concentrate on just relaxing the shoulders , the time after that I might just concentrate on relaxing the thighs , you get the idea .

Just let the meat hang off the bones , don't let the movements get too floppy though , they still have to be done as correct as possible. One thing I used to do sometimes was to tense the particular muscle group on purpose as hard as I could so I could feel what extremely tense feels like .

Sometimes you have to do things the wrong way so that you can recognise what the right way feels like . Just for kicks , tense your whole arm and shoulder as much as you can , now try and throw a fast punch . See how slow it is , how much energy it takes , and most importantly recognise what it feels like .

Now shake your arm out for a couple of seconds till it is reasonably relaxed and go back to doing it the proper way , feel how free and easy the proper way feels , now try and recognise that feeling and capture it in your mind.

After some time you will even be able to recognise different degrees of relaxation in your limbs , for example my right arm is more tense and slower than my left arm , I have had this problem for years and I'm still trying to correct it .

There are a couple of exercises you can do apart from SLT , they are mostly for the shoulders. You can do the chicken wing exercise , bend your arms like chicken wings , put your finger tips touching your upper pecs near your shoulders and start doing big circles with the points of your elbows , do them clockwise and anti clockwise as relaxed as you can , try to get the feeling of having no friction in your shoulder joints.

Now let your arms hang down limp but in the optimum angle , make small circles with the points of your elbows , now bigger circles , now circle the other direction . Visualise no friction in the joint , and no real effort required to move your arms , its just the momentum that keeps them going.

Next extend your arm out in front of you and start doing circles with your arm , then back the other way, in the same manner you did the above exercises.

Oh I forgot there is one more , start of with your hands down by your side in the optimum angle ( angle of your Tan Sau) then swing your arm up till your hand is a little bit higher than head height , then let it fall down again under its own weight , keep doing it ,don't force the movement stay relaxed and let the momentum move the arm.

Make sure you do all of these exercises in your stance , I can tell when my muscles have reached a certain state of relaxation because my arms will feel slightly heavy and I just feel very fast. I would do these exercise a couple of times a week before I did SLT or chi sau

We had to do these exercises for about 10 minutes before an instructors class with my Sifu.
 
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Nabakatsu

Nabakatsu

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Thanks much mook, I will give those exercises a shot right now before doing some SNT, the shoulders seem to be the hardest thing for me to relax as of now, at least for the upper body, relaxing my thighs seems an impossible task, sifu tells me my knees need to be a fist differance apart and... just seems next to impossible to relax my thighs, those babies are rock solid no matter how hard I try.. practice practice practice!
 

mook jong man

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Thanks much mook, I will give those exercises a shot right now before doing some SNT, the shoulders seem to be the hardest thing for me to relax as of now, at least for the upper body, relaxing my thighs seems an impossible task, sifu tells me my knees need to be a fist differance apart and... just seems next to impossible to relax my thighs, those babies are rock solid no matter how hard I try.. practice practice practice!

Are you serious about having your knees one fist distance apart .
I don't want to contradict your Sifu , different lineages and all that jazz.
But I just did what you described and my thighs tensed up like a rock too. In our lineage the stance is shoulder width apart , toes and knees pointing towards the centreline .

There is a slight gripping action of the toes like a bird on a perch this is believed to increase the surface area of the foot and improve the stability of the stance . But there is no tension in the thighs and the knees are not forced to try and come close together , you just sink down and relax.
Is this the adduction thing what you lot keep talking about ?

Oh well you better do what your Sifu says then , I'll take the high road and you'll take the low road and I'll be in Scotland before ye .
 
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Nabakatsu

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Aye, I was watching videos of that tony bloke who does the seminars out there and his beliefs on structure are so vastly different from ours.. the knees adapt the natural bend and such, our stance is pretty much the same, it seems we deter in that we push our thighs together until the point of which our fist can barely fit between our knees, we try to sink down a fair amount, toes inward at about a 45 degree angle.. my sifu never mentioned anything about gripping the ground with the toes, but I always do anyways, just feels so much more stable.. and yeah.. back straight, I don't recall them ever mentioning a slight contraction of the anus, but I do that too anyways.. just feels so much more unifying.. Sifu Emin describes it as being tensed in a relaxed way.. I think the concept is similar to forward pressure of the arms, supposed to enable us to jump into the fray that much faster I guess, as well as a connected feeling between the knees to create more stability..
I'm sure i'm missing a few of the finer details and perhaps even mis-worded a few things, but thats my understanding in a nutshell :)
 

mook jong man

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Aye, I was watching videos of that tony bloke who does the seminars out there and his beliefs on structure are so vastly different from ours.. the knees adapt the natural bend and such, our stance is pretty much the same, it seems we deter in that we push our thighs together until the point of which our fist can barely fit between our knees, we try to sink down a fair amount, toes inward at about a 45 degree angle.. my sifu never mentioned anything about gripping the ground with the toes, but I always do anyways, just feels so much more stable.. and yeah.. back straight, I don't recall them ever mentioning a slight contraction of the anus, but I do that too anyways.. just feels so much more unifying.. Sifu Emin describes it as being tensed in a relaxed way.. I think the concept is similar to forward pressure of the arms, supposed to enable us to jump into the fray that much faster I guess, as well as a connected feeling between the knees to create more stability..
I'm sure i'm missing a few of the finer details and perhaps even mis-worded a few things, but thats my understanding in a nutshell :)

No worries , its just differences between lineages , its all good. But if you are going to adopt some of our methods . Then I will tell you the right way to do it . Don't grip very hard with the toes , just a slight pressure is enough.

Tei Gong ( internal contraction) requires a hell of a lot of mental discipline to maintain.

Again it is only a slight drawing up of the muscles surrounding the anus , it should be activated any time you are in your stance . As you sink down do the Tei Gong and imagine your spine and head being drawn upwards . The Tei Gong contraction locks the upper and lower body together as one unit it also relaxes the thighs and gets them ready for action .

One thing you have to remember though if you sink down to far it will hinder your mobility and your weight will be transferred to the front of your foot and you will be susceptible to being pulled forward , as a general rule in our lineage when you look down your knees should be just over your toes .

But everybodies physiology is slightly different so usually through practice of SLT , pivoting and chi sau the individual will arrive at their own level of being sunk down , a level where they can still move speedily and yet be extremely stable.
 
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Nabakatsu

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Thanks for the pointers, and proper spelling of tei gong!
I'm a little bit flat footed, so I have been gripping the ground for dear life! lol
I'll try and slack it up a bit tho, I bet I can get somebody to give me a little tug every once in a while around the house to see how easily I lose my root, that should prove interesting.
 

mook jong man

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Thanks for the pointers, and proper spelling of tei gong!
I'm a little bit flat footed, so I have been gripping the ground for dear life! lol
I'll try and slack it up a bit tho, I bet I can get somebody to give me a little tug every once in a while around the house to see how easily I lose my root, that should prove interesting.

You can test your stance by having someone apply pressure from the front sides and back.
 

profesormental

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Greetings.

In my experience, "relaxation" in the case of doing the forms comes from "effortless" movement, and not from actually being completely relaxed... the musculature that doesn't have to be involved is the relaxed part.

This comes from repetition and from the body determining that the movements are optimal, so it doesn't have to use that much muscular effort.

Interestingly enough, even though you're using less muscle effort, it is the effort needed for the body to be structurally sound for the amount and direction of pressure load that it is supposed to handle.

In the beginning, you have to put the body in the geometrical structure prescribed. And you have to put some effort. Then the body realizes that the geometry practiced is comfortable, easy to establish and structurally sound, in the form and in Chi Sao and partner drill practice.

So the form helps, yet the load from partner drills and dummy drills helps cement this structure, since the feedback allows the body to realize this much faster.

Hope this helps.

Juan M. Mercado
 

geezer

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No worries , its just differences between lineages , its all good. But if you are going to adopt some of our methods . Then I will tell you the right way to do it . Don't grip very hard with the toes , just a slight pressure is enough.

In the WT system, as I learned it, we did grip lightly with the toes, exactly as you described, Mook. But, also, as Nabakatsu mentions, our stance in SNT involved adducting, or squeezing, the thighs together while at the same time tucking the pelvis forward under the spine and clenching the buttocks a bit. The opposition of these two movements creates a light, springy tension in the legs... a sort of gentle isometric which can seem a bit taxing if you do the form slowly. But it builds up adduction strength of the thighs which we use extensively in all our stances and steps (in the WT lineage).
 

punisher73

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So... here we are again.. I would like to talk about structure!
I've been trying to keep all my muscles relaxed whilst doing SNT but.. I can't even lift my arm a fraction of an inch without it stiffening.. I'm lifting it as lightly as I feel I can.. I'm curious to know who hear has made progress relaxing and what they feel is responsible for this progress.. I find it impossible to maintain trying to execute the movements properly, keeping my arms as relaxed as I can for now, anddddd having forward thought/intent all at the same time, sinking down with my legs and adducting seems to get lost in the process after awhile as well.. I may start putting an apple back between my legs or.. maybe I'll do as yoshi suggested and get an egg.. who the heck wants to clean up 20 eggs a day, the potential negative karama alone is certainly something i'd prefer to avoid :p
So yeah.. this horse has some life left in it I say!

A muscle cannot move without tension. This is a misnomer that you can be "totally relaxed". You can, but you are going to be laying down on the ground. What you are actually striving for is moving in a way that only the muscles that need to be firing are doing so.

Here is a simple experiment to try. Wing Chun relies heavily on centerline movement. Keep you elbow close to your body and lift your arm and with the other hand feel your deltiod muscle. The anterior (front) deltiod is resonsible for that action. Now move your elbow slightly away from your body and lift it. You will now feel both the medial (side) and anterior (front) of the deltiod tensing. This is because the side portion of the deltiod is resposible for lifting the arm laterally, or to the side. On a centerline punch, what is the action? It is straight forward, so you would need to make sure that the elbow/arm does not come away from the body and engage the side portion of the delt.

Now start to do this mental checklist when you do your forms. Also, the more reps you do, the smoother the process becomes because your mind/body knows what to do and won't engage things that don't need to be (which is why beginning movement is so jerky...they brain is trying to run a new program and is engaging far more things than it needs to).
 

mook jong man

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In the WT system, as I learned it, we did grip lightly with the toes, exactly as you described, Mook. But, also, as Nabakatsu mentions, our stance in SNT involved adducting, or squeezing, the thighs together while at the same time tucking the pelvis forward under the spine and clenching the buttocks a bit. The opposition of these two movements creates a light, springy tension in the legs... a sort of gentle isometric which can seem a bit taxing if you do the form slowly. But it builds up adduction strength of the thighs which we use extensively in all our stances and steps (in the WT lineage).

Yeah I think there is a picture of GM LT in his book demonstrating his adduction strength by having some guys on either side of him with ropes tyed to his legs and they are trying to pull them apart.
 
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Nabakatsu

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Thanks for all your support and good advice, tis quite appreciated good sirs!
 

AceHBK

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Geezer told me to masterbate before class a the best way to relax.

I opted for calling my girlfriend to come by before I left for class. :)
 
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Nabakatsu

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I'm going shaolin style on this one baby, storing my sexual energy to retain my insane level of sexual tension/testosterone. Than I will let it fuse into my center and flow accordingly throughout my body bringing about a quiet state of peace and relaxation, with an insanity streak just around the corner.
 

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I can't even lift my arm a fraction of an inch without it stiffening.. I'm lifting it as lightly as I feel I can.. !
Stop trying to lift your arms, relax to your center and take your mind off your arms. Move from your center. No one can teach a feeling, you have to feel it for yourself.
 

mook jong man

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Geezer told me to masterbate before class a the best way to relax.

I opted for calling my girlfriend to come by before I left for class. :)

You want to make sure your chi sau is top notch , because you are going to need it when you go blind . :)
 
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Nabakatsu

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TY seasoned, you are very true, that was a very wing chun like response!
I am.. beyond words as to the rest of you gentlemen.. -shakes head in dissapointment-
 
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