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    Default structure

    Doc, you have talked here in the past about how structure is effected by the way you step into a stance- particularly how steping forward gives the pelvis and trailing leg good, solid structure, while steping back destroys structure unless corrected. This is markedly felt in the hip joint of the trailing leg.

    I also think I remember that you are familiar with some of the Chinese styles, particularly Taiji (though I don't know which system/s). I have also heard that SGM Parker was a student of Taiji and the Chinese arts. I've been experimenting, and I have a question relating the movements of American Kenpo to those of Taiji as they relate to structure.

    When a taiji practitioner moves, he opens and closes his joints as he transitions through each movement. First, he weights one leg, then moves or steps forward with the other. As his weight transfers to the steping foot, he turns the now unwieghted trailing foot into a 45" allignment. At this point, his structure is solidified, the joints closed. The same thing happens when he steps back- weight transfers to one foot, the other steps back- except now he must transfer weight to the leading foot and rotate on his trailing heel slightly in order to close the hip joint.

    Steping back into a neutral bow is a static move, as opposed to the continuous movement of taiji, and so leaves the trailing hip joint open and loose. However, if you turn the foot in a litttle on the heel of the trailing foot and drop your stance on the trailing leg just slightly (almost imperceptively) it feels like that effectively closes the joint and solidifies the stance. It seems to lock in both hip joints, as it induces a small pelvic counter-rotation. Furthermore, I can close and open both joints repeatedly in the same stance by rotating the trailing foot forward/in and back/out.

    Is this, in your experience, a good application of solidifying a stance?

    Thank you for your time, sir.

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    Default Re: structure

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan
    Doc, you have talked here in the past about how structure is effected by the way you step into a stance- particularly how steping forward gives the pelvis and trailing leg good, solid structure, while steping back destroys structure unless corrected. This is markedly felt in the hip joint of the trailing leg.

    I also think I remember that you are familiar with some of the Chinese styles, particularly Taiji (though I don't know which system/s). I have also heard that SGM Parker was a student of Taiji and the Chinese arts. I've been experimenting, and I have a question relating the movements of American Kenpo to those of Taiji as they relate to structure.

    When a taiji practitioner moves, he opens and closes his joints as he transitions through each movement. First, he weights one leg, then moves or steps forward with the other. As his weight transfers to the steping foot, he turns the now unwieghted trailing foot into a 45" allignment. At this point, his structure is solidified, the joints closed. The same thing happens when he steps back- weight transfers to one foot, the other steps back- except now he must transfer weight to the leading foot and rotate on his trailing heel slightly in order to close the hip joint.

    Steping back into a neutral bow is a static move, as opposed to the continuous movement of taiji, and so leaves the trailing hip joint open and loose. However, if you turn the foot in a litttle on the heel of the trailing foot and drop your stance on the trailing leg just slightly (almost imperceptively) it feels like that effectively closes the joint and solidifies the stance. It seems to lock in both hip joints, as it induces a small pelvic counter-rotation. Furthermore, I can close and open both joints repeatedly in the same stance by rotating the trailing foot forward/in and back/out.

    Is this, in your experience, a good application of solidifying a stance?

    Thank you for your time, sir.
    Well sir first you must understand that although I have a great deal of knowledge gleened from the Chinese, it is from the perspective of my influences. Ark Wong, Edmund Parker Sr., James Woo, Tiny Lefiti, and Douglas Wong. All of my teachers and collaborations have reiterated the same thngs to me. "In the Chinese Arts it's all the same, the only difference is how you want to train and what you focus on."

    That being said, I have no real background in the teaching of Traditional Taijiquan persé. Jimmy Woo taught it, but also included other elements in his version of Taijiquan. I learned elements of the Chinese Arts as they related to the practical applications they were attempting to teach me. Being exposed and immersed in Taijiquan, Muk Gar, Five Animal, Splashing Hands, Hung Gar, Wing Chun, etc with no clear deliniation between style preferences or philosophy. So although I recognize the methodology you describe, my opinion is that it is only a part of the equation to solidification of structure, and as far as I know, it is from Taiji. Taiji is the beginning of the teaching of methodology, but does not teach application. When you get to practical application or Quan, than other elements such as the Platform Aligning Mechnisms or PAM I speak of often are added. These are quite common however in Hung Gar, Five Animal, WHite Lotus, Muk Gar, and of course now SubLevel Four Kenpo or Ed parker's personal kenpo as it really is. Great question sir.
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    Default Re: structure

    Doc, thank you for the response. I appreciate being able to find out that I'm not too far off on a tangent with my experimentation.

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    Dr. Chapel.
    I know on MT you were asked a couple of times about the Similarities of San Soo Kung fu and our system. You had stated they were sister arts. I can't seem to locate either of those 2 threads there. Maybe I didn't search the right way but would you be able to elaborate once again on how the two are so closely related.
    Thank you, sir and apologize for making you do it again.

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    Default Re: structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc
    ...although I recognize the methodology you describe, my opinion is that it is only a part of the equation to solidification of structure, and as far as I know, it is from Taiji. Taiji is the beginning of the teaching of methodology, but does not teach application. When you get to practical application or Quan, than other elements such as the Platform Aligning Mechnisms or PAM I speak of often are added. ...
    Doc, I have a question on this part of your response.

    First, I'll state a basic premise for consideration: anything that you do with one part of the body will effect the entire body. Even moving a finger can destroy or enhance structure in another part of the body. I think you've commented a little on this before, but I want to make sure I have it right.

    My specific question concerns punching. Most schools teach basic punching with full range of motion, torquing their straight punches so that the palm faces downward on delivery. Structurally, this feels like it has the same effect as letting your elbow fly out. Whether a lead hand punch steping forward into a neutral bow, or a trailing hand punch as you pivot into a forward bow, I feel the same dislocated effect in my hips as steping back into a stance. At full extension, the shoulder is also thrown out slightly. And it builds a lot of tension in the arm, which robs power. My opinion is that this method teaches bad habbits.

    In personal practice, I deliver my punches "naturally". The arm rotates only enough so that at any point in its travel, there is no tension or stress. For most punches, the fist is either vertical or at a slight (@15", usually no more than 45") angle. I think that any stress in the arm, from over rotation or over extension, is translated to the pelvic girdle and effects stance.

    This too is a Chinese methodology, especially found in Taiji. But they are as narrow minded as us Kenpoists sometimes. The Taiji guys say it is all abou Qi flow. I think both, qi and structure.

    I look forward to your comments, sir, as well as others.

    Dan C.

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    Default Re: structure

    Quote Originally Posted by jfarnsworth
    Dr. Chapel.
    I know on MT you were asked a couple of times about the Similarities of San Soo Kung fu and our system. You had stated they were sister arts. I can't seem to locate either of those 2 threads there. Maybe I didn't search the right way but would you be able to elaborate once again on how the two are so closely related.
    Thank you, sir and apologize for making you do it again.
    Simply Sir, the commercial application and selling of Kenpo-Karate mirrors commercial San Soo in that it is technique based, and its structure in that sense is the same. However, in most commercial San Soo, there is a tendancy to practice at less than realistic speed, and even forms and sets take on a 'faster than taiji, but much slower than reality' speed, with 'precision' not being a point of focus from what I've been exposed to.
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    Default Re: structure

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan
    Doc, I have a question on this part of your response.

    First, I'll state a basic premise for consideration: anything that you do with one part of the body will effect the entire body. Even moving a finger can destroy or enhance structure in another part of the body. I think you've commented a little on this before, but I want to make sure I have it right.

    My specific question concerns punching. Most schools teach basic punching with full range of motion, torquing their straight punches so that the palm faces downward on delivery. Structurally, this feels like it has the same effect as letting your elbow fly out. Whether a lead hand punch steping forward into a neutral bow, or a trailing hand punch as you pivot into a forward bow, I feel the same dislocated effect in my hips as steping back into a stance. At full extension, the shoulder is also thrown out slightly. And it builds a lot of tension in the arm, which robs power. My opinion is that this method teaches bad habbits.

    In personal practice, I deliver my punches "naturally". The arm rotates only enough so that at any point in its travel, there is no tension or stress. For most punches, the fist is either vertical or at a slight (@15", usually no more than 45") angle. I think that any stress in the arm, from over rotation or over extension, is translated to the pelvic girdle and effects stance.

    This too is a Chinese methodology, especially found in Taiji. But they are as narrow minded as us Kenpoists sometimes. The Taiji guys say it is all abou Qi flow. I think both, qi and structure.

    I look forward to your comments, sir, as well as others.

    Dan C.
    Actually sir, I completely concur with your observations. I have taught that the 'Japanese' twisting punch is an anatomical anomoly and incorrect for the reasons you mentioned. Additionally, when the arm reaches this position it is no longer a punch and, as I teach it, it becomes a "Brace." The true 'horizontal punch' anatomically much be executed parallel to the torso to maintain structure, and is in fact represented even in commercial kenpo. 100% on the money sir.
    Last edited by Doc; 06-19-2006 at 06:12 PM.
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    Default Re: structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc
    100% on the money sir.
    Well, sir, that is good to know. Again, I thank you for your time.

    Dan C

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc
    Simply Sir, the commercial application and selling of Kenpo-Karate mirrors commercial San Soo in that it is technique based, and its structure in that sense is the same. However, in most commercial San Soo, there is a tendancy to practice at less than realistic speed, and even forms and sets take on a 'faster than taiji, but much slower than reality' speed, with 'precision' not being a point of focus from what I've been exposed to.
    Thanks.
    Now how did the structure become close to the same. What I was really after was the who's who. How could another person imitate the Parker system so closely? I thought we were the only one's who had sets. I was curious more on how their structure was so closely related to ours; more in lines of the people behind it.

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    Default Re: structure

    Dr. Chapel.
    I found this thread. However that really wasn't the one I was thinking of. I tried to refine my search & still recieved 84 related threads on San Soo . Still, thanks for the conversation & I'll keep looking.
    http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/sho...hlight=SAN+SOO

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    Default Re: structure

    Quote Originally Posted by jfarnsworth
    Dr. Chapel.
    I found this thread. However that really wasn't the one I was thinking of. I tried to refine my search & still recieved 84 related threads on San Soo . Still, thanks for the conversation & I'll keep looking.
    http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/sho...hlight=SAN+SOO
    The link covers it pretty well sir, however I stand by my assessment and looking at the video link posted, I think you can see it for yourself.
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    Default Re: structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc
    Actually sir, I completely concur with your observations. I have taught that the 'Japanese' twisting punch is an anatomical anomoly and incorrect for the reasons you mentioned. Additionally, when the arm reaches this position it is no longer a punch and, as I teach it, it becomes a "Brace." The true 'horizontal punch' anatomically much be executed parallel to the torso to maintain structure, and is in fact represented even in commercial kenpo. 100% on the money sir.
    This is a fascinating discussion. In my personal journey, I have come to the same conclusion as thedan, although it did not start out as a search for structural integrity. I have since been trying to think about structure more, and have experimented with each of the tips and experiments that I have seen Doc and Dave give. I don't even teach the 'classical' reverse punch to my beginners at all now, only the vertical punch. Thank you Doc for your helpful comments. Maybe one day I can get down to SoCal and get together with you!

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    Default Re: structure

    There's more from the Grand Nexus Fighting folks (Taiji guys), if you don't mind, Doc.

    Elbows down, shoulders rounded naturally. This is in Kenpo, though not stressed like in taiji. Basically, when I raise my shoulders, I feel the disconnect in my pelvic joints and my stance becomes unstable. Take Thrusting Wedge- get into a good right forward bow and just lift your arms slowly to the double claw position. You can really feel the hip joints loosen. Problem is that you have to get that wedge high to keep his hands off you, but he still has forward momentum. If something goes wrong and you miss the crane and elbow strike, you might have to take that momentum with an unstable base. Is there a mechanism for correcting this instability?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I'm having to do my techniques slowly and so am paying a lot more atention to the internal aspects, and I can really feel some of the things you've talked about here.

    I appreciate your insights, sir.

    Dan C

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    Default Re: structure

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan
    There's more from the Grand Nexus Fighting folks (Taiji guys), if you don't mind, Doc.

    Elbows down, shoulders rounded naturally. This is in Kenpo, though not stressed like in taiji. Basically, when I raise my shoulders, I feel the disconnect in my pelvic joints and my stance becomes unstable. Take Thrusting Wedge- get into a good right forward bow and just lift your arms slowly to the double claw position. You can really feel the hip joints loosen. Problem is that you have to get that wedge high to keep his hands off you, but he still has forward momentum. If something goes wrong and you miss the crane and elbow strike, you might have to take that momentum with an unstable base. Is there a mechanism for correcting this instability?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I'm having to do my techniques slowly and so am paying a lot more atention to the internal aspects, and I can really feel some of the things you've talked about here.

    I appreciate your insights, sir.

    Dan C
    I'm teaching right now sir, but as soon as I finish I will give a more detailed reply. Hint: there is a reason we don't claw in Sl-4. PNF bad mojo.
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    Default Re: structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc
    I'm teaching right now sir, but as soon as I finish I will give a more detailed reply. Hint: there is a reason we don't claw in Sl-4. PNF bad mojo.
    Well, sir, since you said that, it sort of flows into my next project. Heel palm claws, reverse heel palms, push down blocks- all these cause the arm to rotate and the elbow to turn out. They feel to me like they effect structure in the stance. However, they are important tools and I'd hesitate to get rid of them. Some of the things I catch myself doing (amazing what you find when you really slow down and pay attention to what you are doing) is compensating with the muscles in my legs, throwing more mass into the maneuver, or rolling a little forward in my stances. The body allways tries to compensate, whether we feel the imballance or not.

    Not sure where I'm going with this, but it does seem to be worthwhile looking into it. Punches were easy to correct. These will be a little more difficult, I think.

    Dan C

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    Default Re: structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc
    I'm teaching right now sir, but as soon as I finish I will give a more detailed reply. Hint: there is a reason we don't claw in Sl-4. PNF bad mojo.
    Well we perform the technique different from the commercial version but this could help some unless you think I'm crazy.

    First are you right handed or left handed? Before executing the wedge, spread your fingers, flatten your dominent hand, and tap your self on the forehead with your palm, with your non-dominant hand on top of your dominant in the same way. Do not cup your hand but instead keep it flat, fingers spread. Then execute the wedge.

    Second when you execute a "claw" with a primary limb sensor, you are in a physical no man's land. Your entire body will slide into 'neutral' and this is the reason you feel everything breakdown. Not that claws cannot become a part of your arsenal, but they must be cultivated into the mind body connection like any new physical activity to be supposrted by the body structure.
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    Default Re: structure

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan
    Well, sir, since you said that, it sort of flows into my next project. Heel palm claws, reverse heel palms, push down blocks- all these cause the arm to rotate and the elbow to turn out. They feel to me like they effect structure in the stance. However, they are important tools and I'd hesitate to get rid of them. Some of the things I catch myself doing (amazing what you find when you really slow down and pay attention to what you are doing) is compensating with the muscles in my legs, throwing more mass into the maneuver, or rolling a little forward in my stances. The body allways tries to compensate, whether we feel the imballance or not.

    Not sure where I'm going with this, but it does seem to be worthwhile looking into it. Punches were easy to correct. These will be a little more difficult, I think.

    Dan C
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    Default Re: structure

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan
    Well, sir, since you said that, it sort of flows into my next project. Heel palm claws, reverse heel palms, push down blocks- all these cause the arm to rotate and the elbow to turn out. They feel to me like they effect structure in the stance. However, they are important tools and I'd hesitate to get rid of them. Some of the things I catch myself doing (amazing what you find when you really slow down and pay attention to what you are doing) is compensating with the muscles in my legs, throwing more mass into the maneuver, or rolling a little forward in my stances. The body allways tries to compensate, whether we feel the imballance or not.

    Not sure where I'm going with this, but it does seem to be worthwhile looking into it. Punches were easy to correct. These will be a little more difficult, I think.

    Dan C
    What you are seeking is what I call Body Indexing. Every physical move you make has one or more Index Points that must be passed through to recruit the proper support from muscles, connecting tissue, and skelatal structure, as well as negate body mechanisms not needed for the action. This is so basic, it amazes me that more have not reached the same conclusions you have. My first day beginners start with Body Indexing.
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    Default Re: structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc
    You have no idea, ...
    Ha! Probably more true than I care to think about! On the other hand, if I knew, I'd probably quit trying...

    Thanks for the info, sir. I'll work with it a little then get back to you.

    Dan C

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    Default Re: structure

    Preliminary results are in:

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc
    ...this could help some unless you think I'm crazy...
    I don't question your sanity, sir, but some are questioning mine! Not to worry, I'm used to it.

    Question- do you do this in actual application? (Before executing the wedge, spread your fingers, flatten your dominent hand, and tap your self on the forehead with your palm, with your non-dominant hand on top of your dominant in the same way. Do not cup your hand but instead keep it flat, fingers spread. Then execute the wedge.) Or is this working toward building in an allignment mechanism that is used later without the "full range of motion?"

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