Strength and Biomechanics in Martial arts

Chris Parker

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I'm trying to understand here. WC has concepts, and all styles have concepts. WC has strategies and tactics that are derived from the concepts. But then you acknowledge that all styles have this, but WC is then unique.... Can you be a little more specific? I'm a bear of very little brain. I'm just having some trouble following the logic.

Hey Steve,

I'll try....

Essentially, it comes down to the training methodology, rather than the make up of the art itself. Koryu systems teach via predetermined sequences of movement, known as kata. These teach the principles, actions, movements, strategies, and other aspects that can be refered to as "concepts", but the concepts themselves are implicit rather than explicit.

BJJ teaches by learning the mechanics of various movements (submissions, bars, chokes, escapes etc) and positioning, then trains them by applying them in rolling and competition. Again, what is in these movements and positions could be considered "concepts", but again they are implicit in the overall system, rather than explicit.

Tae Kwon Do teaches by learning the mechanics of the movements, as well as drills in application, as well as forms, and then tests them through sparring and competition. Again, although there can be considered to be "concepts" underlying all the movements, these are implicit, rather than explicit.

With Wing Chun, it teaches by exploration of the concepts themselves, supplemented with a few forms, and tested in various forms including things like Chi Sau. So the difference really isn't in what is involved in the art, but in the way it's trained (according to, and exploring, the concepts of Wing Chun); as opposed to the way other arts train, where the concepts are held within the training methods, Wing Chun puts it the other way around, starting with the concepts (or principles), and then developing the training drills around them.

Did that help at all?
 

mook jong man

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Hey Steve,

I'll try....

Essentially, it comes down to the training methodology, rather than the make up of the art itself. Koryu systems teach via predetermined sequences of movement, known as kata. These teach the principles, actions, movements, strategies, and other aspects that can be refered to as "concepts", but the concepts themselves are implicit rather than explicit.

BJJ teaches by learning the mechanics of various movements (submissions, bars, chokes, escapes etc) and positioning, then trains them by applying them in rolling and competition. Again, what is in these movements and positions could be considered "concepts", but again they are implicit in the overall system, rather than explicit.

Tae Kwon Do teaches by learning the mechanics of the movements, as well as drills in application, as well as forms, and then tests them through sparring and competition. Again, although there can be considered to be "concepts" underlying all the movements, these are implicit, rather than explicit.

With Wing Chun, it teaches by exploration of the concepts themselves, supplemented with a few forms, and tested in various forms including things like Chi Sau. So the difference really isn't in what is involved in the art, but in the way it's trained (according to, and exploring, the concepts of Wing Chun); as opposed to the way other arts train, where the concepts are held within the training methods, Wing Chun puts it the other way around, starting with the concepts (or principles), and then developing the training drills around them.

Did that help at all?

Sounds good to me mate , I reckon Chris Parker could probably talk a bird down from a tree or sell ice to Eskimos lol.
 

BloodMoney

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Also, from the posts so far, I guess my first reaction is that Wing Chun might emphasize things as a policy to an Nth degree, but on a practical level getting to the point where strength, speed or athleticism aren't used, and where specific techniques are supplanted by application of broader concepts is only done at a very high level of proficiency. In other words, it's only when done at a high level that WC concepts can be seen in application.

Same in BJJ.

Personally I (perhaps arrogantly) think that [good] BJJ and Chun achieve this at a lower level of proficiency than many other arts. Relaxation, posture, geometry etc have much more importance placed on them in these two arts more than any ive seen or trained in, maybe save Aikido (ive also trained Aikido, Karate and Escrima, and dabbled in others).

That said it has taken me years to find a good BJJ school, likewise I was lucky enough to find a damn good Chun school too. Not all will place the same importance on such ideas, nor instruct it with the same efficiency.

Chun was designed to turn a peasant into a warrior in a short amount of time and with little training. It was effective at that, and continues to be on the street today. How much of that is internal understanding versus clever techniques? Hard to say, like I said depends on the school. Suffice to say I could learn enough within only several years of training to defend myself against multiple attackers far bigger than me (im only 5'7" and 74kgs so not hard). Likewise BJJ, if you have no idea what to do on the ground versus even a white belt with tips, regardless of strength or relative size, your going to have a little nap on the floor very quickly....

And Steve you should not have started by mentioning WC now all the WC guys are gunning for ya! Sshhh you should have used your own art as example then universal harmony would be the prevailing concept! :D

Heh some of us do both so we dont mind ;)

When you look at the top masters of a style you will really see those concepts in action.

Agreed



But, correct me if I'm wrong guys, even within the concepts there is technique in WC. The straight punch. Chain punching. How to correctly stand so that your pelvis is tilted in the correct way and all of that stuff... that's technique. Chi sao is technique. Technique that is driven by a higher concept.

Any question that starts with "how" is a technical question, and if you answer these "how" questions within your instruction, you are teaching techniques and not concepts.

And again, my point is that this isn't unique to WC.

Agreed. Chun is equally technique and concept in my opinion. If you havent drilled a center line punch then you will lack the accuracy to deliver it properly, regardless if its a mighty one inch punch or not. You can have all the internal intent in the world but without the capability to perform it then its irrelevant.

It comes across as training the technique to develop the skill vs learning the skill to develop the technique to me. Both approaches end up at the same place. One doesn't really explain it outright.

Yep, which is why I like Chun. I want it explained outright. I dont like mysterious layers being unfolded to me. I hate the whole "well we do that in training but on the street it would be different" or "Thats the junior way, when your a senior youll learn the true way" type of thing. I want to learn the right way right from the start.

Black Belt/Kuro Obi is an entire movie dedicated to the concept of simultaneous attack and defense as it relates to Karate. That's also a fairly common notion among all arts. (How it's achieved may differ tho.)

Yes when brought up many arts practitioners have said "oh but we do that as well"...yet strangely they dont drill the hell out of it in every class...another one of these hidden layers perhaps? Same goes for when BJJ became popular, suddenly all these other arts rediscovered their "lost" ground fighting arts...forgive me if I'm skeptical. I do agree, at their core many arts espouse simultaneous attack and defense, but very few that ive seen at home or abroad ever actually teach or use it.

But I can assure you that if you were hit for real by my late Sifu Jim Fung or Sigung Tsui Seung Tin you would be dead , end of story.
I have felt the power of these men and I was neither compliant or unsceptical if that is a word.

Agreed. Now imagine even a fraction of that kind of power transferred from a small elderly Chinese man into a big Aussie or Kiwi rugby player and yeah, absolutely its possible to deliver lethal (and almost superhuman) levels of damage. Anyone whos felt a good 1 Inch punch will know what im talking about.

To be fair though I would say the same for most arts (at their peak) once again. For example Mike Tyson in his prime punching you as hard as he could in the head would lead to coma or death for most, likewise a Karate master chopping you right on the carotid artery with all his force etc...very doable. Once again however I believe Chun has the means to achieve this level of lethality moreso than many arts.

Wing Chun people don't give a rats **** about competition , all that matters is it works down the pub when some prick is trying to shove a schooner glass into your face.

Agreed. Its not a competition art at all. The level of skill, internal understanding and technique involved to deal with the average joe in a self defense situation is a lot less than say a BJJ practitioner in his national heats. This is another reason why Chun can turn a scrawny women into an effective fighter quickly, shes not going to fight Mike Tyson. If she were to I would advocate dedicating many years to the art, likewise with boxing though!
 

teekin

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i agree with this to a extent. often the why may not be told just the do. If the why isn't told then it is harder for a student to understand the premise of what they are doing. Either way you are copying a instructor. That is the best example and easiest way to explain the movement. But the student that understands the premise of what they are doing will gain much more than the one just copying what they see. That same premise transfers to other things, and even greater understanding so the student can think for themself and apply it better overall. The latter is copying, and possibly only copying, so to a extent may suffer later on in applying concepts in new ways independently. Also as they progress they may be missing the vital understanding of how it fits together. The difference between going from one movement to the next and from understanding one movement to the next.

similiar to reading a book in another language i suppose. you read a book and dont understand the words you may still be able to copy the book. You could copy it word for word if you chose writing it down identical. But you still wont understand the book.

This is an excellent point, Bribrius. This seems to be the school of " insert tab A in slot B and bend 15 degrees right" BJJ. The sequences get longer but you never learn why tab A goes in slot B or why you bend it 15 degrees to the right. What happens if you bend it 25 degrees? or to the left? Why doesn't it work then????
Learning a pile of choreographed moves and then doing them over and over again ( rolling) with no understanding the underlying principals of WHY the techniques work seems to me to be a dead end to me. A road that ultimately leads to Nowhere but frustration. I expect the teacher to be able to, (and be willing to take the time to) explain the underlying principals to me. Maybe the bigger and stronger you are more likely ( and able) you are to muscle your way though MA and the less pure technique you must show or deeply comperhend.
 
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Steve

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Hey Steve,

I'll try....

Essentially, it comes down to the training methodology, rather than the make up of the art itself. Koryu systems teach via predetermined sequences of movement, known as kata. These teach the principles, actions, movements, strategies, and other aspects that can be refered to as "concepts", but the concepts themselves are implicit rather than explicit.

BJJ teaches by learning the mechanics of various movements (submissions, bars, chokes, escapes etc) and positioning, then trains them by applying them in rolling and competition. Again, what is in these movements and positions could be considered "concepts", but again they are implicit in the overall system, rather than explicit.

Tae Kwon Do teaches by learning the mechanics of the movements, as well as drills in application, as well as forms, and then tests them through sparring and competition. Again, although there can be considered to be "concepts" underlying all the movements, these are implicit, rather than explicit.

With Wing Chun, it teaches by exploration of the concepts themselves, supplemented with a few forms, and tested in various forms including things like Chi Sau. So the difference really isn't in what is involved in the art, but in the way it's trained (according to, and exploring, the concepts of Wing Chun); as opposed to the way other arts train, where the concepts are held within the training methods, Wing Chun puts it the other way around, starting with the concepts (or principles), and then developing the training drills around them.

Did that help at all?
I believe I understand what you're saying, but I don't know that I can completely agree. I can't speak for other styles, or for every BJJ school even, but at my school we learn concepts and themes. BJJ is grounded in concepts. Where Wing Chun has the centerline, BJJ also adheres to this. It's biomechanics. The further your hands are from your center, the weaker your arms will be. The further your hips are from your opponents, the heavier he will be. This is very much like the centerline concept and it's taught very much in the way you describe. We explore these principles and others, such as framing. We learn techniques, sure. But the techniques are constantly reinforcing core principles and concepts.
 

teekin

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Hey Steve,

I'll try....

Essentially, it comes down to the training methodology, rather than the make up of the art itself. Koryu systems teach via predetermined sequences of movement, known as kata. These teach the principles, actions, movements, strategies, and other aspects that can be refered to as "concepts", but the concepts themselves are implicit rather than explicit.

BJJ teaches by learning the mechanics of various movements (submissions, bars, chokes, escapes etc) and positioning, then trains them by applying them in rolling and competition. Again, what is in these movements and positions could be considered "concepts", but again they are implicit in the overall system, rather than explicit.

Tae Kwon Do teaches by learning the mechanics of the movements, as well as drills in application, as well as forms, and then tests them through sparring and competition. Again, although there can be considered to be "concepts" underlying all the movements, these are implicit, rather than explicit.

With Wing Chun, it teaches by exploration of the concepts themselves, supplemented with a few forms, and tested in various forms including things like Chi Sau. So the difference really isn't in what is involved in the art, but in the way it's trained (according to, and exploring, the concepts of Wing Chun); as opposed to the way other arts train, where the concepts are held within the training methods, Wing Chun puts it the other way around, starting with the concepts (or principles), and then developing the training drills around them.

Did that help at all?

Chris, I think a lot of teachers Do teach BJJ the way you describe, " by learning the mechanics" of the moves and practicing them but I think many schools also teach Steve's way as well, where you learn the underlying principals of WHY the mechanics of each submission work. You learn why technical profficiency is so important if you understand the physiology/ kinestetics behind the Art, if you understand why the best schools preach Position before Submission.

Chris if all a student does is learn, or more accuratley memorise, the mechanics of the submissions without understanding the underlying principals behind those moves, then their ability to apply that submission in open Randori is going to be close to Nil. If however they Understand the principals underlying each submission that allows that submission to be effective then they can adapt the submission via adapting their own possition to each new unique oppertunity as it presents it'self during Randori. That is the difference between memorising mechanics and understanding the underlying principals.

Lori
 

Chris Parker

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Hey Steve and Lori,

I absolutely agree that principles, concepts, or other such is required, however the difference seems to me to be the way it is structured by different arts. For example, I would say that BJJ (as many other arts) teach techniques that are bound together by their concepts, whereas Wing Chun teaches concepts that are then expressed through techniques/drills.... hmm, that doesn't seem so clear, does it? I'll try again.

I am not saying that other arts do not have concepts, or even that such concepts or principles are not part of the way they are taught. However, the way they are expressed is within the (established) techniques themselves. In other words, there are structured techniques and training methods, which are bound together by the concepts/principles of the system (what I often refer to as the guiding philosophy). In this format, there are established methods (techniques and training drills, testing methods, and so on) that teach the concepts, and those concepts should certainly be highlighted by a good teacher.

With Wing Chun, it's really just the same ideas, only backwards! Rather than teach a technique, and explain the principles and concepts, there really isn't much in the way of established "techniques". There are a few conceptual actions, and some conceptual drills, but that's almost all there is. In Wing Chun, the instructor takes the concepts first, and then develops an expression of them (technique) to teach with. The difference may seem semantic, but it's actually rather crucial to the way Wing Chun is taught. For the record, I'm not saying either is better, just that these are the approaches taken by these different systems (I tend to ascribe more to the "teach an established technique, and extract the principles out of that" approach myself....).

A good example may be to look to a short while ago. Bob was putting up a whole bunch of clips of various arts, and when he put up some "Wing Chun self defence" clips, Wing Chun practitioners said that it wasn't what they recognised. The "techniques" were certainly what you would see in Wing Chun, for the most part, but it ignored the concepts that make Wing Chun what it is, and in that way, even if the techniques are mechanically the same, it just isn't Wing Chun.
 

teekin

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Ok Chris I think I have a handle on what you are saying. It took a while, I kinda slow ya know. Here is an anology.
Nihilism has a principal and core concept. The writting springs out of that core concept. Without a clear understanding of the principals there would be no writing.
http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=...a=X&ei=wNmgTJOANMP98AbJi-G6Dg&ved=0CCsQ9QEwBA

As opposed to a Hiaku in which the structure of the writing is everything and the meaning of the words themselves spring out of that structure.

Is that kind of it?

Lori
 

eggg1994

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my martial art use's leverage and proper technique to defeat a bigger stronger attacker because we always know that our attacker is stronger and more powerful then we are and the art im taking is call bjj. i have a orange belt in bjj and im a leadership student which are like junor instructors. i also take a art the is a blend of bjj and kickboxing self defence techniques we call it ema which means extreme martial arts. so i do both because of better self defence skills plus i get to improve on my bjj self defence techniques and i believe that both striking and ground work are very important for self defence because you can't have one without the other.
 

xfighter88

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I don't think that there is a martial art from tai chi-wresling that focuses on strength over technique. In an equal contest with people of identical skill level though strength and athleticism will probably be the deciding factor. Heck even powerlifting and espeically olympic lifting focuses on technique over strength. Better strength is the goal in them but without the proper technique you will hurt yourself.
 
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