Upper-lower body disconnect

shesulsa

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I have some students that appear to have a disconnect between upper and lower body mechanics: it's as though they learned the upper body portion of movement separately from the lower.

Any recommendations?
 

Touch Of Death

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I have some students that appear to have a disconnect between upper and lower body mechanics: it's as though they learned the upper body portion of movement separately from the lower.

Any recommendations?
My teacher used a big stick! But make sure they point their toes toward the target. It helps. We call that being disjointed, and use a maneuver set to help them feel like eveything is part of the same thing. :)
 

Rich Parsons

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I have some students that appear to have a disconnect between upper and lower body mechanics: it's as though they learned the upper body portion of movement separately from the lower.

Any recommendations?

Good Comments so far.

I use a basic simple little h form.
Turn to the right and Block and then step and punch. Turn 180 and do a block and then step and punch then back to the front with another block and then three punches. Turn 270 degrees and block and then punch. Then basically repeat the 180 and back.
I bet you have something like this in your system. This gets the student to move and move their hips and feet and shoulders and arms all at once.

I have them use stance work and of course bending their knees. I also use a shoulder width to shoulder width and a quarter length in the stance. This gives them a good stable platform to work with. I know some systems want more , yet this is a good place to start.

I also do the first couple of moves over and over until they start to get it. Then I add a couple more moves. Then I start at the beginning and repeat until they get the last moved I showed them. They get better usually over time and the repetitions of motion. I count out the moves to keep it slow and work one move at a time.

I am not a forms guy, yet I found that this sometimes accomplishes what you are asking.

I also use a stick box drill that requires strikes and steps for blocks and strikes. I am not sure you have access to this, so I started with the above first for my comments.

Good Luck
 

dancingalone

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I find it is helpful to utilize movement in the warmup that helps the beginners get used to the idea of using multiple muscle groupings at once. Simple stuff like doing lunges while raising both arms up or rotating one leg and then the other to a side kick chamber while in a floor plank position.
Also as mentioned forms can be a great help in this area. A handful of karate/TSD/TKD forms have the tea cup saucer hand chamber position before exploding into a front kick or side kick with backfist or hammerfist simultaneous strike. Practicing these sequences over and over also can establish a more whole body connection within students.
 

Xue Sheng

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have them stand in whatever the posture is supposed to be before the move for several minutes (Generally I would say Zhan Zhuang but that is a CMA thing), do that often for longer periods of time each time, and eventually they will sense the link between upper and lower

And/or have them do the entire form you are working on slowly and correct as they go. This means saying stop when it looks wrong and making them stand in that position until you have walked around and corrected all involved. Start with te worst first so they have a longer time to feel the correct posture
 

Gnarlie

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Bind the upper and lower body together by practicing drills that make those two parts do different things simultaneously.

For example, in a warm up, begin bouncing.

Feet move back and forth in a scissor motion.

Hands move out to sides as in a star jump.

Feet change to star jump motion, arms begin to rotate forward

Feet cross and uncross, arms rotate backward.

One arm rotates forwards, the other backwards, with simultaneous alternating knee raises, and so on.

These exercises increase awareness of the extremities and the upper and lower body, and over time improve coordination in exercises where the two need to work together.

It's also important to keep the rhythm of the bounce.
 

Touch Of Death

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Another trick is to tell the students it is Kung Fu hour. Play flowing music and make them go through some Kata with nothing but a flowing motion, and no lock out. Good times. :)
 

Touch Of Death

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Then, of course, make them do forms or Kata focusing only on the return motion. I could come up with stuff all day, here. ;)
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I have some students that appear to have a disconnect between upper and lower body mechanics: it's as though they learned the upper body portion of movement separately from the lower.

Any recommendations?
Try to perform your form by putting your both arms behind your back. If you understand that the body should push/pull the limbs, all the power generation should come from the body, whether you use your limbs or not is not that important.

Exercise that's similar to the following clip that you only move your body without thinking about your arms can be very helpful. You can even put your arms behind your back when you do this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El3_EaXYB6g&feature=youtu.be

There are time that you will need to disconnect your upper body from your low body. When you use "foot sweep", your upper body is spinning into one direction while your low body is spinning into the opposite direction direction.
 
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Ever see one of those wooden pull string toys where you pull the string and the arms go up and the legs go up? A lot of students look like that. They throw a kick and the arms go flying up.

The first thing to do there is to simply point out the action and then tell them to mentally cut that string connecting their arms and feet. Have them watch someone elst doing the same thing. That works for a good number of them. You still have to point it out from time to time but it helps.

Other students need to have their arms tied to keep their hands up. And you thought that belt had no purpose.
 

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Can't give a lengthy reply right now -- a lot depends on what you're meaning by "disconnect." If they're having trouble integrating upper and lower body movements to a unified technique, work on generating the movement from the core, not the upper or lower body. Also -- move the hands and feet together. You can start by walking with the natural sync of the hands and feet, then start linking hands and feet on the same side.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Xingyiquan three external harmonies... wrists-ankles, elbows-knees, shoulders-hips

It's a such simple guideline that can be used for all MA systems. I like to divide all MA techniques into 2 different categories:

1. same side coordination - my right arm coordinate with my right leg.
2. different side coordination - my right arm coordinate with my left leg.

For example, when I apply

- defense move such as to block my opponent's punch and move out of his striking path, I like to coordinate my left arm block with my left leg sideway stepping.
- offense move such as to use hook punch to set up under hook, I like to coordinate my right arm hook punch with my left leg advancing behind my right leg.

Sometime a

- same side coordination may followed by another same side coordination.
- same side coordination may followed by another different side coordination.
- different side coordination may followed by another different side coordination.
- different side coordination may followed by another same side coordination.

If I always think about which arm should coordinate with which leg when I apply any technique, I will never have "upper-lower body disconnect" issue. After I can coordinate with my arm and leg, I then go into more detail level of joints coordination.
 
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marlon

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all of the above and also, do the form for them and with them repeatedly. some students need to "see" before they can do. Do it for them slow and fast over and over again so they have a good "picture" or movie in their mind of what things are supposed to look like
 

seasoned

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shesulas, keep it very simple, something everyone can relate to. Pick one student out of you line up and have that student walk up then back to starting place. The simple act of walking, something everyone does everyday, is, connecting upper and lower body movements. The trick is to introduce techniques with that same body connect that everyone already knows.
I generally start with techniques stationary, from a ready stance while training upper body with consecutive punches. After a few classes I will stay stationary and work front kicks. A few more classes down the road and still stationary, we will tie together the punches with the front kicks, (right punch/right front kick), (left punch/left front kick). You can also change up right punch/left front kick.
Once this is done, I will do line drills where students will place their hands on their hips while I introduce the front stance. With the hands still on the hips they step out left front stance then step back to the ready, then step out right front stance then step back to ready.
Now they are ready to move up and down the dojo with hands on their hips, in the front stance, while making sure the body moves as a unit. (not many people walk properly, but fall forward with each step and catch themselves with their next step).
Once everyone is moving on balance with proper weight distribution, introduce the moving front kick, hands still on hips. Once the form is there, balance is good, they are bringing their kick back before stepping forward, then, introduce moving/kick/punch.
When you feel comfortable with the class participation, and they feel good moving while kicking and punching, pick a student out of the line up and have them walk up and down the dojo and back in line.
At this point you can tie in the fact that body mechanics are no different, movement is movement, it just takes practice incorporating and blending everything together.

I'm not sure how advanced your class is and I'm not sure if this even comes close to what you are looking for. It is only the beginning, because the next stage, once the upper and lower connection is made is introducing power transfer from the ground through the lower body, hips, spine, shoulder and down the arm to the target.
 

David Lader

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Great question...

If your students are mature adults, have them routinely practice simply combined hand and foot movements by your own design...make sure that their ultimate focus is on the coordination of these movements with their exhalation, and have them focus on engaging their "center," or "core," throughout...

If you're teaching youngsters, have them find creative ways to incorporate martial techniques into "old-school break dancing" (particularly the full body "waves", "popping", & "locking" maneuvers)... Use music for fun and inspiration...

Enjoy...
 

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Each TMA will have a goto kata or drill that will make this connection. This, will be one of the first kata learned and sometimes thought of as elementary.
In GoJu it is Sanchin which sets the standard by which all other kata after it will gage against. It was mentioned above, about core training, which is the catalyst for transfer from the floor up. OP asks a great question, but, it would involve a very hard answer.

Chojun Miyagi referred to it as (3) year Sanchin kata where it was the only kata taught. Many karate ka never made it past this first segment because of the lack of understanding of this kata and (the connection) it made with upper and lower body.

Three years by "now a day" standers would not be feasible for student retention. :) But, I am sure if you focus on the buzz word "core training" which was the "old" meaning for connection, along with training upper and lower body together it will suffice for your students learning experience. Great question,Good luck. :)
 
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