For those of you who have read my last post, you know that I am working on strengthening my fundamentals. Here are a few things that I have learned this week from some of the masters in Cincinnati who have been helping me towards this goal. Below, I have listed a few kicks, and what I have learned about each.
As a practical application, I was actually pleasantly surprised at how difficult a front-pushing snap kick is to block. When the leg is chambered up so that the ball of one’s foot (the striking surface of this kick) is close to the opponent’s body, even if the opponent blocks the upward vertical movement of this motion, that block will in no way prevent the kick from being thrust horizontally into the opponent’s body.
Further, I re-learned that one ought to turn the supporting foot to the side for the final acceleration through the target. This adds a lot of power to the kick.
The knee while chambered should come past the target surface’s plane so that the energy of the kick can better kick through the target. I had apparently been just straightening my leg out form the chamber as if my foot were on a straight track in between my hip and the target surface, so I hadn’t been kicking through my target.
Previously, I had seen no practical use for ball-of-foot roundhouse kick, but now it seems quite useful. Since the kicking surface of the foot is 5 or 6 inches forward of where it would be for normal roundhouse kick, one doesn’t have to bring the knee as far over in order to achieve the same affect on the target. Furthermore, this kick can be used to reach around an opponents arm in order to access the kidney area.
I’m still figuring out how I was doing this wrong before, but I had been told that I was side kicking like a roundhouse kick, and that’s no good. It seems to be the case that I should bring the chamber more fully over before executing the kick. The horizontal alignment of the upper leg should be parallel to the target surface, and the leg should then “roll out” during the extension so as to provide that acceleration through the target.
It seems to be the case that if the chambered knee is pointed downward instead of horizontal, the kick becomes more powerful even though it can’t get as high. Again, this is something that I need to understand why that is the case; it’s practical use seems very beneficial to know.
I was reminded again that the chambering for a spin side kick should be so narrow that one can do in while standing close to a wall without the leg hitting the wall. This causes the energy and direction of the kick to be much more focused and concentrated.
The Way of Whipping with Hand and Foot
I have also been working much more on getting all of my techniques to be sent from my hip instead of from a closer muscle group. This has been particularly challenging for me to do for knifehand strikes and blocks. I keep trying to imagine my limbs and whips that are propelled forward from my hip (and for hand techniques this motion starts in the feet too). This is something that I remember Master Pearson saying again and again about how the limbs are like whips, and I guess I forgot how to apply this to my techniques that should each have a snap at the end.
I’m still working away here especially on the whole from-the-hip-thing. Though it is frustrating to be struggling with seemingly basic stuff at my rank, it is stuff that I should already have known before, and it’s good that I’m at least becoming aware of it now. I think that I could get a lot of benefit from video recording myself practicing because this may point out to me how I am actually moving my body as opposed to how I think I’m moving it.