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ralph haenel, hänelwingtsun, wing tsun kung fu instructor, author, publisher, self-defense expert Sifu Ralph Haenel, learning and teaching Wing Tsun Kung Fu since 1984
Changing lives, one punch at a time.
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Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver Blog
Sunday, 25 June 2017

Wing Tsun movement chains

Just a week ahead of the 150th Canada Day, we held on June 24th the latest open-air bonus class for members and friends of Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver, the first Canadian WT branch (est. 1994).

The frame was set by an exercise during which our training partner pushes us with both hands and we enter into this attack. Now the interpretations reached from Pak-Sau & Man-Sau, Pak-Sau & Biu-Tze-Sau, Pak-Sau & Fak-Sau. How come? The names or terms are only describing the isolated temporary function of our arm-technique. This of course changes every fraction of a moment, also depending on the input by our training partner.

1. Awareness
2. Mindfulness
3. Expressive delivery aka bandwidth of performance

1. We initially worked on the importance of your awareness while defending yourself / attacking the attacker. This extends to your awareness of how and when to talk your way out of an confrontation, to get away, or to instantly respond the moment the scenario turns physical. All leading to a general awareness of your surroundings, preventing any conflict before it happens.

2. Be mindful of your training exercises. Ask yourself if you know what you are doing, when, why and how. Be alert as to what you want to achieve. How does your progress manifest? Be mindful of the main factors, distance, timing, hand- and foot-work coordination, power generation and delivery, balance, fluid whole-body motion and more.

3. I often talk about over-acting your delivery. Become aware of the muscle-chains involved. How does it feel? What should you feel in regard to power generation. Not unlike a workout in the gym, feel your muscles, feel how to connect from one muscle group to the next.
Start BIG, then perform step by step smaller movements. Until it looks like you are barely doing anything.

Attention to details of movement chain:
- ankles
- knees
- hips
- spine
- shoulders
- elbows
- wrists

When you defend yourself by attacking the attacker;
how mobile are your ankles or do you lose balance?
Can you more or less bend your knees, to lower your center of gravity?
Do you hips generate rotational forces?
Is your spine compressing or elongating? Are you aware of the movement of your rib cage?
Do your shoulders lock up, or are they an elastic part of your movement chains?
Can you deflect attacks or generate attacking force by using your shoulders, elbows and wrists in sequence?
We are, of course, not just talking about the joints, rather the muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia tissue.

Connecting the two major contact points:
A Feet on the ground
B Arms contact to training partner

When defending yourself or attacking the attacker; either way, you have two major contact points that need to adjust to and with each other.

Example: When a defensive contact happens somewhere on your arms, often all the attention is on the upper-body. Suddenly the stance becomes rigid or fragile.
Toes come up, losing balance backwards. I call that the “questioning toes”.
Or the heels come up, losing balance forward, I call that the “inquisitive heels”.
You give a problem a name; now you become aware, notice sooner and can often improve faster.
Example: Some grind their stance into the ground so that the attacks or defenses shatter, since this time all the attention is on the lower body.

As with everything in life, so in your training, there is a yin and yang.
Balance, baby! ;-) 

Yin and yang.
Mindful training.
Situational awareness.
Bandwidth of performance (expressive delivery).

Posted by ralph haenel at 2:14 PM PDT

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