KI CHUAN DO TRAINING TIPS #1:
HOW TO DEFEND YOURSELF WITHOUT TELLING
YOUR OPPONENT EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO DO!
Training for Spontaneity and Non-intention
When you muscle up or attempt to control your attacker\'s motion
you essentially telegraph everything you\'re going to do. A great
way of training non-intention is to be completely passive when
you Contact Flow, push-hands, chi sao or spar. Now when we
say passive, we don\'t mean you become like a limp noodle.
Your movements and reactions should be like spring steel or a
delicately set mousetrap. It should take no more than a feather
touch to set you off towards a strike--or to completely change
direction and abandon a blocked strike and flow into another
Think of it this way: there\'s always someone stronger than you,
and more than likely it will be your attacker. Why fight muscle
with muscle? Think of a surfer: he cannot hope to change the
direction of an ocean wave weighing 100 tons or more. He flows
with it, skittering on it\'s surface and instantly reacts to changes in
speed and direction. The application for fighting is you must train
your nervous system to flow through openings and find them
unconsciously by feel--and not exclusively by sight. For most
of us, this requires a complete re-wiring of the nervous system.
SAVE TIME--TRAIN WISELY
This is what internal arts like Tai chi, Hsing i and Bagua attempt
to perfect. What we are doing differently in Ki Chuan Do however,
is instead of spending years and years on non-combative movements,
we are taking the lethally effective strikes of World War II Close
Quarters Combat--and greasing it with a sensitive reactivity. This
takes practice--but it is the way a mongoose takes down a snake--
or a pissed off 14 pound alley cat can elude your grasp and rake
your face to pieces despite your best efforts to throttle it.
To be completely passive, you have to remain in physical contact
at all times (because in reality, if you have enough room to spar
you have enough room to run--real mayhem only occurs in close
combat). At this point you \"lose yourself and follow the other\",
letting all his energy direct your responses--as if you\'re a turnstile
and pushing one end hard whacks you in the back or as if you\'re
Moe of the 3 Stooges telling Curly to \"hit this\" and then your hand
spins around on impact and hits him in the head. What goes in here,
comes out there. This way, you completely cut off your reactivity
from your thinking brain. If you rely on eye-hand coordination to
pick targets and openings you drastically increase your reaction
time. This can be a critical flaw of external styles.
Never try to CONTROL or suppress another person\'s motion--
USE it to power your own strikes back into him through folding,
sliding, skimming and snaking into openings. We will constantly
come back to these concepts in future Newsletters and there are
detailed drills on our videos to reinforce them.
GET LOOSE OR GET BROKEN...
You\'re 5 foot 10, weigh a well-muscled 200 pounds and can bench
press 300. That\'s impressive... but meaningless if your attacker is
6\'2\", weighs 250 and benches 400. There\'s always someone stronger.
Remember: stone shatters and water flows. You\'ve got to be loose
to survive impacts. What do we mean by looseness?
Looseness means the minimum muscular tension to keep you
standing. The feeling is like a marionette on strings, a wet dishrag,
a drunken chimpanzee, whatever. The point is, when you\'re hit,
you feel like jello to the opponent, and your limbs bend like spring
steel or a well-oiled mannequin. Using the opponent\'s incoming
energy and reversing it, like a spring or rubber band, amplified
by your whole body moving together in a relaxed coordinated
way, you need to add practically no muscular input of your own,
which keeps you responsive, sensitive and balanced, much more
so than if you commit full muscular grunting exertion which
over-commits your balance, tightens your muscles, and actually
slows you down and makes you incapable of reacting to a change
in your opponent\'s tactics, energy or direction.
There is a split second of full tension at the moment of impact of
your strike in KCD (this is analogous to the snapping action of a
whip--or a sneeze, as we like to say). But since you can generate
power with hardly any room or any need to chamber a strike with
Dropping Energy (shown in great detail in
The Attackproof Companion Video Part 1), you telegraph nothing
to your attacker. Obviously, these qualities of movement must be
practiced conscientiously in a free form spontaneous way in order
to become ingrained in your nervous system. Try to work these
qualities into your next partner workout, but move slowly at first
to get used to (what for many people) is a completely different
way of training.
Until next time, stay safe.
Home of Martial Realists:
\"A true link between Internal and External Martial Arts\"