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Apr
13
comment Systema: “Beyond the physical” force generation
@SteveWeigand - When studying Xinyi Liu He Quan, there was a lot of talk with Sifu about "tendon power" vs "muscle power", which he equated to a debate between internal and external arts. Tendon power is structural in nature, but allows for subtle, but intense, power generation. He hinted that much of the mysticism found in internal arts can be explained by this tendon power. In his word, rooting your chi into the ground so it bounces back and reflects into your opponent is fancy talk for proper posture.
Apr
13
comment Systema: “Beyond the physical” force generation
To add to this answer, many martial arts and combat sports have now been studied from a biomechanical view point, and a lot of the mysticism can now be explained as proper application of forces and leverage. When something is too heavy, you use a lever to move it. In martial arts, many techniques use similar principles to use parts of your own body (or those of your opponent) as levers, allowing you to achieve results beyond the traditional application of physical strength.
Apr
9
comment What is the most effective cold weapon alternative to knife?
@slugster - Some of the prohibited weapons are very ridiculous. I mean... who carries a manrikigusari or a morningstar? But yeah... in Canada, owning and using weapons are very different. You can own pretty much anything, but if you have any intention of using it offensively or defensively, it's illegal. Truth be told, when coming to and from the dojo, I wouldn't hesitate to use my weapons if I got mugged or something. But I'm not carrying those weapons for that purpose specifically. Rather, I'm using them to legally practice martial arts, and I happened to have them on me at that time.
Feb
27
comment Shotokan Karate front stance - weight is over the front knee? Or centre?
@TheWudangKid - It's mostly used for 90 degrees turns on the front leg's side (i.e. turning left when left leg is in front). It looks "sharper" for kata exams, as you minimize movement. We usually agree that it's not practical when moving around in a fight, however, so we have other exercises to practice movement in general.
Feb
26
comment Shotokan Karate front stance - weight is over the front knee? Or centre?
I practice shorinjiryu karatedo, which shares its roots with shotokan karatedo, and your graph is pretty spot on. As for the "turning on the ball of your foot" part, Pinan/Heian Shodan is a very basic and linear kata, involving few turns. In the video you linked, you can see he is turning from a position of power, using his back leg as a support and simply shifting is foot to the proper direction using his heel as a pivot. In actual combat, this might not be possible, as your opponent will not be static, but katas are where you try to train with "perfect" form.
Oct
6
comment What are the differences between ITF and WTF Tae-Kwondo?
Personal experience could prove invaluable to the answer, but not the one provided here. Based on some of your comments, it seems you had some contact with the WTF at some point. Can you tell us if some of their techniques are different? If so, how? Are the katas the same? Do the competitive rules differ?
Aug
22
comment Martial Arts Technique Against Knife Attack
+1 for "Run". There are very few ways to get out of a knife fight without at least a few nasty cuts, and this is your absolute best bet...
Jul
26
comment How to properly initiate or use karate( any style that uses the beginning blocks since they're actually grappling techniques)grappling techniques
The grappling found in karate is mostly optimized for enabling other attacks, such as strikes to the bones and joints (to break or dislocate them), trapping and joint locks to control your opponent while still hitting him yourself, etc. If "karate is a grappling art", it is one that specializes in the trapping aspect of grappling as an enabling mechanism, but only superficially covers throws or ground fighting. Of course it's gonna lose in a judo competition against opponents that specialize in that sort of combat!
Mar
9
comment What is Qi power and has it been proven to exist scientifically?
That video demonstrated that the monk could withstand these blows, not that "chi" allowed him to. Because the monk calls it "chi" does not make it true. He was probably taught these skills since a very young age and truly believes them to be mystical, or maybe he simply is lying... Also, because the show calls itself "Fight Science" doesn't automatically make it scientific...
Apr
6
comment Karate - Hangetsu (Seisan) - can one damage one's muscles through slow movements?
Starting with slow katas and gradually increasing speed is a good way to get into a rythm before training, but it doesn't stretch your muscles enough for the more demanding stuff. Keep up the good work, and be sure to check with your sensei and/or a doctor if the pain persists despite proper stretches!
Oct
27
comment What is the most effective martial art in a street fight - no weapons?
Those are really good arguments, but I can't find myself agreeing to all of them... Probably because you can't expand on them too extensively in the comments... But I'll figure out the good question hidden in here and ask it tomorrow night when I get back from work!
Oct
27
comment What is the most effective martial art in a street fight - no weapons?
@DaveLiepmann - I'm just wondering, really. Wouldn't focusing on competition orient the combat system towards moves and techniques that are efficient in scoring points more that they are at saving your hide in an actual fight? I'm not saying it's bad, though, I'm just genuinely curious about what you guys think about this. Because I don't think non-competitive should automatically mean no sparring either.
Oct
26
comment What is the most effective martial art in a street fight - no weapons?
Good answer! I don't like how you oppose "hard-sparring" and "non-competitive", though. Can't you spar often and hard without participating in organized competitions?
Jul
26
comment How to deliver more power to my turning kick?
@QuestionOverflow - I know using high school physics is not the best way to explain martial arts, but maybe this will help you out... Each kick can only perform a set amount of work. Displacement requires work, usually calculated by multiplying force and distance traveled. But causing damage also requires work, as in breaking bones, bruising muscles or rupturing internal organs. All the work that goes into displacing your opponent does not go into causing damage. But it does make the bag swing more... (this is only a gross simplification, but the general idea should be sound enough)
Jul
26
comment How to deliver more power to my turning kick?
It might be that you are "pushing" rather than "snapping" with your front kick. When pushing, you get lots of displacement on your opponent, obviously, but you absorb a large part of the blow yourself. A snapping front kick could lead to more damage on your opponent, but will push him back a lot less. Depending on your intent (displacement vs damage), it might actually be that your turning kick technique is better than your front kick.
Apr
20
comment Choosing a Target When Cornered by Multiple Attackers
@Lex Thanks for the vote! In the other answers, I really liked the case made for positioning myself, and I must say that positioning- and opponent-based defense are not mutually exclusive, as in you can use positioning to gain an advantage on key opponents, maximizing your opportunities to flee/fight. Basically, use whatever means you deem necessay to achieve a safe conclusion to the encounter. In the end, it's all that matters.
Apr
18
comment Choosing a Target When Cornered by Multiple Attackers
I practice Shorinji-ryu Karatedo, a close cousin of Shotokan. Some of our katas include very explosive beginings, which we interpret the same way (i.e. go for the biggest threat you can manage quickly first). But I must say we do not practice against gun-wielding opponents, which can probably show in my answer.
Apr
5
comment Impact of being smaller(shorter arms) and how to overcome this
Good answer! I'd add that, if you are equally strong despite the size difference, you are actually at an advantage for many grappling manoeuvers because your center of gravity is lower. I do not know how much Wing Chun uses chin na, but if you are trained in the basics, it can become your best tool: by rapidly closing the distance between you and your opponent then using chin na to restrict his movements/prevent him from moving out, you can put yourself in a position where he can't use his full power because you are too far inside his reach, while still being able to fight at 100% yourself.
Feb
28
comment What is the best way to determine board-breaking ability?
My pleasure! And don't worry too much about the downvotes. I haven't been here so long myself, but I have found that the community is actually pretty fun to hang out with! Just remember to stick to the original question :p
Feb
26
comment What is the best way to determine board-breaking ability?
I'd argue that doing the technique in slowmotion will give you an insight as to an individual's skill, but it's not enough to assess board breaking ability. Technique will tell how well the martial artist applies power, not how much power he can apply. You need a benchmark to measure board breaking ability, and that benchmark pretty much has to be a board itself. Preferably, many boards of the same material with similar grain and all progressively thicker that can be calibrated against mechanical tools. Have martial artists attempt to break them, find the hardest one he could break. Voilà!