Motion, Posture then Technique
What drives us in our day to day activities? How do we accomplish the tasks at hand? Do we move forward or just glide along? How do we become better as we age?
After 30 years of training and teaching martial arts I question almost everything I do. Did I train smart enough or hard enough to move forward?
When I was a young black belt, it was all about strength and endurance. How to jump higher hit harder and move faster than my opponent. Today I’m pushing 60. Some of you will say I’m still young and to you, I say you are right. That’s not my point.
After several injuries over the years, mainly to my joints with a few broken bones thrown in for good measure, my thought process began to change. I started to understand what a Master had stated many years earlier. “We must first learn to breathe before we can move, then learn to move within our breath”. With movement and good body alignment all techniques become more proficient, much like a hammer in the hands of a seasoned carpenter.
Work smarter not harder we’ve heard a 1,000 times. Newton’s law of motion is used in martial arts every day. We’re trained to use force against force, redirect or move to avoid the impact. I’m more inclined these days to go with, move to avoid the impact
Newton’s Laws of Motion states that a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it and a body in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.
To compete against an opponent faster or larger then you, you must increase your speed to equal the force used by that opponent. This works great if you are as fast or are similar in size. I have found as I age my speed has not increased, in fact it has decreased. I have to work smarter, I like blending with my opponent. When you blend it may appear as if you’re faster, in truth you’re using their force to increase your speed. Work smarter not harder.
Once we have motion, good body alignment is imperative (posture) otherwise the techniques used become less effective or useless.
As children, we’re told to have good posture, “Stand up straight!” “Pull your shoulder back!” Yet, we were seldom taught how to accomplish this. Do you recall ever being told what good posture is? Like power, instructors insist on telling their students to increase power without defining how to generate power.
The end result of poor posture can be restricted breathing, loss of balance and power, missed strikes, joint injuries and even broken bones.
A general rule for maintaining posture is keeping your head directly above your spine at all times, this would be ideal, but not always feasible. Let’s pretend you are in a cone, your head is at the narrow end, how place your hands directly above your head palms facing each other, then move your head forward then back, left, right then back to center. Where you feel the least amount of tension in your neck and shoulders, this should be where your head and spine are aligned. Whether you are sitting, walking, running, kneeling or training for your next marathon this can help reset your posture. The more you practice moving back to your center the better your posture becomes. Your movements become more proficient and you should see an increase in power.
Motion, Posture then Technique
First learn to breathe
Then to move with the breath
Now with posture composed
And the body at rest…
Comes the power of motion (Technique)
f = ma
Master Brad Deaton
6th Dan (received August 2011 from Grand Master Jung)
Began my training in November 1986 with Eric Heintz Black Belt Academy,
Received my 1st Dan in February 1989,training through 1998 where I had received my 3rd Dan. At the closure of the Eric Heintz Black Belt Academy, a number of Master Heintz black belts forged Two Rivers Martial Arts in the likeness of his school. 2016 I’m still an active member, instructor and the president of the board.