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Thread: The natural standing position

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    Default The natural standing position

    Many kenpoists initiate their technique from a natural standing position. For many, Delayed Sword is accomplished by stepping the left foot back and pivoting to the neutral bow. The thing here is, you have no sound mechanical structure until that foot plants. Until then, you are essentially falling.

    The same with moving forward. Pick any technique you like, lets say its the right foot stepping forward to create a right neutral bow to 12:00. When do you rotate that back foot to create the neutral bow, and why at that time and not another time? What is happening mechanically before your right foot reaches its destination - were you to hit something mid stride, do you have structural integrity with which to deliver some force behind that strike, or does proper mechanical structure not occur until you land and pivot into the neutral bow?

    From a natural standing position, feet at shoulder width and pointed forward, posture casual, there are no muscles groups at your disposal with which to immediately generate power forward or backward (i.e. without executing some other precursor motion) . So what is the very first kernel of your action for rapid violence coming down on you? Does one really try to mentally digest the attack and thumb through the rolodex of learned techniques to pull out the right response (a paradox of technique-based training)?

    Opening up a discussion. Look forward to any responses.

    thanks,

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Well, in order to engage the muscles for action, and to secure some kind of base, as well as to move, the first thing you'd have to do is to sink your weight onto one leg and step with the other- forward, back, or to the side. To step, you would be pushing off on the weighted leg. I'd step into my stance (whichever I need), transfer weight to the steping foot, then adjust the previously weighted leg. This adadjustment should also PAM. This would seem to fit with the methods you've shared elsewhere, but I'm interested to hear your ideas here.

    Dan C
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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Unlike many martial arts styles, the vast majority of American Kenpo techniques start from a natural standing stance. One reason for this is that it allows the defender to move to virtually any position utilizing the clock principle. The natural standing stance also allows Kenpoists to utilize marriage of gravity to its fullest potential when executing their techniques.


    In techniques where Kenpo practitioners start in a neutral bow position, there will usually be a step employed so that marriage of gravity can be effectively utilized. With the addition of the step, centerline principles are maintained and you are put into zones of sanctuary and obscurity.
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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook View Post
    Unlike many martial arts styles, the vast majority of American Kenpo techniques start from a natural standing stance. One reason for this is that it allows the defender to move to virtually any position utilizing the clock principle. The natural standing stance also allows Kenpoists to utilize marriage of gravity to its fullest potential when executing their techniques.


    In techniques where Kenpo practitioners start in a neutral bow position, there will usually be a step employed so that marriage of gravity can be effectively utilized. With the addition of the step, centerline principles are maintained and you are put into zones of sanctuary and obscurity.
    That, and most people don't walk around constantly assuming neutral bow stances so it's more realistic to train to defend beginning from a "natural" stance!
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook View Post
    Unlike many martial arts styles, the vast majority of American Kenpo techniques start from a natural standing stance. One reason for this is that it allows the defender to move to virtually any position utilizing the clock principle. The natural standing stance also allows Kenpoists to utilize marriage of gravity to its fullest potential when executing their techniques.


    In techniques where Kenpo practitioners start in a neutral bow position, there will usually be a step employed so that marriage of gravity can be effectively utilized. With the addition of the step, centerline principles are maintained and you are put into zones of sanctuary and obscurity.
    I 100% agree with this, and perhaps my initial post wasn't clear enough. What I'm questioning is how to effectively establish a solid structure as an initial motion, not a secondary motion. In other words, to reach a neutral bow from a natural standing position, many will first step back, then rotate. Granted, it is easier to establish structure moving back because the moving foot can offer some stability in the form of a short forward bow, should the motion backwards actually cause that foot to plant. But this is not quite the same if one tries to launch forward into a neutral bow.

    So, moving forward from a natural standing position into a neutral bow. Do you (anyone reading this) step then rotate? If you did your motion against resistance, would it still carry you forward? (sorry to repeat that same application as one of the other posts, but there's a lesson in alignment by working against resistance).

    Sorry for any confusion here, but to clarify, I agree 100% with the importance of training from a natural standing position. My topic here focuses on gaining alignment and structure before you get to the neutral bow, moving in any direction. Your (anybody's) thoughts?

    Salute,

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Something to ask yourself: Just what is a "Natural" or "Neutral" standing position?

    It is actually NOT standing with feet slightly apart and weight distributed evenly on both feet. This is what is often thought of as a natural position to start from, when practicing techniques. But this position is actually not very natural and it is unlikely that you will ever find yourself in this position in daily life, whether or not you are being attacked.

    Pay attention to how you stand throughout the day in your normal activities outside training. More often than not, your weight will be shifted to one side or the other, in an uneven posture of some sort. Standing with weight evenly distributed is actually very unnatural. Maybe this should be taken into consideration when you practice your Self Defense Techniques. Just something to think about.
    Michael


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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    So, moving forward from a natural standing position into a neutral bow. Do you (anyone reading this) step then rotate? If you did your motion against resistance, would it still carry you forward? (sorry to repeat that same application as one of the other posts, but there's a lesson in alignment by working against resistance).
    yes, I step-then-rotate. If I am moving against resistance then I PAM (lift + plant) the foot I am about to move off of in order to give that leg the strength to propel me forwards/backwards. A good analogy my teacher gave me was that of an athlete going from standing still into a sprint. He/she doesn't start the sprint straight away - the legs always start off with a sort of 'skip' prior to transitioning to 'running mode'. The skip is the important part, it kick-starts the body and gives the 'pushing off' leg the necessary strength to launch the body forwards. I'd wager that stepping forwards/backwards 'explosively' with strength and stablity needs to employ similar mechanics to the sprinter example.

    sorry can't explain it any better than that

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    Sorry for any confusion, but yes, I agree 100% with the importance of training from a natural standing position. My topic here focuses on gaining alignment and structure before you get to the neutral bow, moving in any direction. Your (anybody's) thoughts?

    Salute,

    Steven Brown
    UKF
    I believe there are two options to consider here: moving to a neutral bow under your own accord, in which case you would do the necessary adjusting/aligning steps before and during the transition.

    The other scenario is when you are taken by surprise and knocked/pushed back (i.e. the transition has been forced upon you). For example, Delayed Sword: The attacker grabs you aggressively and in his attempt he knocks your left shoulder backward, forcing an instinctive step rearward with your left foot.


    James

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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    I 100% agree with this, and perhaps my initial post wasn't clear enough. What I'm questioning is how to effectively establish a solid structure as an initial motion, not a secondary motion. In other words, to reach a neutral bow from a natural standing position, many will first step back, then rotate. Granted, it is easier to establish structure moving back because the moving foot can offer some stability in the form of a short forward bow, should the motion backwards actually cause that foot to plant. But this is not quite the same if one tries to launch forward into a neutral bow.

    So, moving forward from a natural standing position into a neutral bow. Do you (anyone reading this) step then rotate? If you did your motion against resistance, would it still carry you forward? (sorry to repeat that same application as one of the other posts, but there's a lesson in alignment by working against resistance).

    Sorry for any confusion here, but to clarify, I agree 100% with the importance of training from a natural standing position. My topic here focuses on gaining alignment and structure before you get to the neutral bow, moving in any direction. Your (anybody's) thoughts?

    Salute,

    Steven Brown
    UKF
    Steven:

    I vomited a windy reply on KN; I won't destroy bandwidth by re-posting here. I did want to mention another training option we used to do in Huntington Beach on big wave/storm days. Ride the initial force by bobbing on/with the wave, so to speak, then settle into stance as the force dissipates. It's a momentary misalignment, but the floating part acts as a mobile zone of sanctuary.

    I've also seen seniors split their positions on dropping into an NB by splitting (neither forward nor back; just drop straight down as in a jumping jack). Combined, these would be float, then split. Great for push techs, but I wouldn't recommend it without drilling it aggressivley first.

    Regards,

    Dave
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    Steven:

    I vomited a windy reply on KN; I won't destroy bandwidth by re-posting here.
    Oh, go ahead. Otherwise, we'll have to destroy brain cells going to KN and looking for it!

    How long ago, and do you remember the title of the thread you posted under?

    Dan C
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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    So, moving forward from a natural standing position into a neutral bow. Do you (anyone reading this) step then rotate? If you did your motion against resistance, would it still carry you forward? (sorry to repeat that same application as one of the other posts, but there's a lesson in alignment by working against resistance). ... My topic here focuses on gaining alignment and structure before you get to the neutral bow, moving in any direction.
    I think I see where you are going. You are talking about the muscle groups engaged when you step, right?

    If you turn and then push off on the weighted foot, you engage the major muscle groups of the weighted leg- quads and hamstrings. If you push off on the side of the weighted foot, you only engage the smaller lateral muscles. With weaker muscular support, you are structurally unstable under force of an assault and easily pushed to a position of disadvantage and/or imballance.

    So, you are saying that the proper thing to do is first turn the weighted foot toward 12:00, then push of, forward or back, while steping the other foot? Would this also apply when steping to 9:00 or 3:00? I'm guessing you'd actually step to an oblique if moving those directions.

    Dan C
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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    Oh, go ahead. Otherwise, we'll have to destroy brain cells going to KN and looking for it!

    How long ago, and do you remember the title of the thread you posted under?

    Dan C
    Remember...you asked for it. Here it is, pasted from KN...

    __________________________________________________ ____

    How much time you got, Steven?

    You know I got a thing for structural integrity. I also got a thing for "controlled chaos", which is the ability to look between the moments of chaos, for the order running between them. Good eye for spotting a moment between moments (mid-step back w/o strong foundation).

    First, let me say I think a rock-solid foundation is an essential component of kenpo that most are missing. You and I have been on threads before where Doc has spoken to settling hard, and some of the mechanisms that work into the "statue effect"...lean, push, pull, tug, barrel into a guy from the direction of assault he's girded against, and he'll slide across the floor like the base of a statue long before he crumbles into a heap from a collapsible frame. Too many have never even seen this, much less put a thought to creating it, training for it, achieving it. So I will always encourage students to find this place of solidity before they start playing with the polar opposite. Yes, I know you don't always want to be like a rock...but at the moments of contact in a block or strike, contact or control manipulation, or high-risk moments of him slipping a guard to take hold, you need whole-body structural integrity.

    In the "in-between" moments, you have a couple options. One is the free-floating seen by some tournament players. Whipping off a backnuckle and a side kick all while leaping backwards through the air will not generate the same intensity of force on contact that a stable foundation will, and is extremely structurally unsound. It's weaker than strikes delivered, feet planted and stance stabilized. But the momentum of the moving limb will often be enough to sufficiently block an incoming attack or sting the guy long enough to buy the fraction of a second needed to establish a solid foundation.

    Finally, we must do deference to our founder by looking at borrowed force vs created force, and incremental progression to "the leading edge". By borrowed force, I do NOT mean using his forward momentum to propel you back, or those sorts of apps. It has nothing to do with the other guy, and only the mechanics within your own body.

    Borrowed force, in this context, is the internal mechanical stressors one uses to move a bodypart with intensity. Generally (meaning there are exceptions, and I know this), the relationships are contralateral & quadrant opposites. Meaning, right leg powers left hand, etc. Sliding in with a left jab, you off-weight the left foot, and press the ground with the right foot. Both forces of the contralateral opposites are abducting (thigh abduction at the waist on the right; shoulder abduction on the left). The contact with the ground provides the base that permits the expansion away from the original starting point, and into the strike. Think Vertruvian Man: You're limbs move explosively away from the center/contained position, to the "Man as Star" position, low right to upper left, and vice-versa.

    Rear cross: Right foot presses while right hand expands from midline into the strike. So, already an exception. But consider the role of the left foundational foot at the moment preceeding contact...your right foot, just before the blow lands, should be weightless...it served to start some momentum and get you here, but the REAL pressing -- starting about an inch before your blow makes contact -- comes from switching to pressing from the left (study tapes of ballistic power moves, such as shot-putters, javelin throwers, heavy-weight boxing technicians, pitchers, or tennis serves). Back to the contralateral & quadrant opposites. But these all borrow force from somewhere else in the frame; some resistance is being created somewhere else in the skeleton to provide a foundation, and is borrowed from to feed stability into the acting limb (block, strike, kick, etc.).

    Mr. Parker posed a question to us one day, that represented an apparent pet idea of his. What if we were able to generate force off the leading edge of the weapon, instead of borrowing it from the structure behind it? The closest that I know of in achieving this objective was un-named; good idea, though. Cut back on the number of joints a movement borrows force from within the body, by increasing awareness of the structure in the body that's essential to supporting a given movement. For explorative & explanatory purposes, we always worked the downward diagonal outward handsword:

    If it's the left hand chopping out and down (from the upper front of the body, down towards the rear), the right foot presses the floor moving towards the front, from the rear. Experiement: Left neutral bow. Fast-Fire the hip flexor on the right side like you're going to push the front of your right foot under some sand on the beach...let your heel float. You should notice an instantaneous shift into the direction of a forward bow, followed by a ripple that travels up the legs, pelvis, trunk, then chest, that sort of noodles your lead left arm in the direction of travel for a outward handsword (leave the left arm hanging loosely for this part). There's your first point of borrowing, and all the players in that complex kinematic chain, revealing themselves for your exploration. So, incrementally turning them off to learn what the most basic delivery unit is, would be the path of discovery to burning off a move, NOT borrowing from the feet.

    After the foot has pressed and turned, the knee internally rotates. So, try a couple wherein you only let your toes barely touch the ground, but no muscle activity is directed through the foot. Snap the knee into internal rotation, and let the wave ride up the body. "Complex Kinematic Chain, minus 1" (or, CKC-1). After the knee internally rotates, the right hip pivots on an axis through the pelvis that actually causes it to deviate away from the centerline. So go to CKC-2 by forgetting the foot and knee, and merely snapping your right butt-cheeck out and to the side. A ripple effect picks up from the beltline just above the pelvic bucket, and turns the torso "looking left", which winds up force in the shoulder carriage. So, go to CKC-3 by dropping the hip-pop, and starting the motion from the beltline, up. Snap-tightening the transversis abdominals obliquis on the right, and the lat dorsi and lower trapezium fibers on the left will create the same effect of winding up the torso (like I said, requires some experimentation and body awareness).

    You should be able to track this line of inquiry until you have isolated scapular stabilizers and shoulder/elbow/wrist complex musculature away from the rest of the original complex kinematic chain. In this "concentrated isolationism", if you merely take the time to throw 10 repetitions each time to subtract a step from the chain (to ensure you have "found" the musculature of the new chain), you will find yourself being able to generate nearly the same amount of power and speed in a blow as many in the arts do with their whole, UNAWARE body.

    The pinnacle of skill in this endeavor is the appearance of moving slow and mildly, while the sound does not support or match the eyed movement. We are accustomed to seeing speed and strength as a whole-body intensity thing. Remove the lower body support work from view, and it looks liike a guy is walking through his techniques at a medium-pace, but the snappada-slap-pop-whip-whiz-bang noise is filling the room like a man gone wild. Because the force generation is localized to the limb of delivery, the other hallmarks of intensity we are trained to watch for are absent.

    This was the closest we got to leading edge force generation. However, there are more subtleties in intent that change muscle firing sequence within the tail end of a chain movement, which can influence stability in the angle of incidence. Easiest example to offer is to try ending your outward extended block with two different intents, and see what effect the intents have on the speed of delivery. Throw one block with the intent of pushing "forward, more than out" at the end. Throw that a couple of times, working your way up in intensity, until you're giving it all you got. Next, do it again (starting off slow, then building), with the intent of pushing "out to the side, more than forward", and see what happens. Then try a couple settling the elbow of the block a little higher than is comfortable at the very end of the block, and a couple anchoring it/dropping it at the very end of the block. Each should feel different, and have differing effects on speed of the overall execution, as well as strength at the end (against the angle of incidence of contact against an incoming blow).

    To make a short story long, specific muscular firing sequences, which are automatically influenced by a moment of intent, can provide a small improvement in stability even from a point NOT assciated with the stable foundation of contact with the earth, or even without communication between upper and lower quadrants.

    Go back to some of those tapes of Mr. Parker on You Tube, and watch for when/where he executes dissociated basics. The speed and power are still there, but he'll often not strike a forward bow, as much as think about it from the torso or shoulder carriage, out.

    Regards,

    Dave

    PS -- sorry for the verbal hershies again; fine analysis and execution of the basics has always been a focal point for me, and quite possibly the most neglected aspect of quality kenpo. For those of you who follow my posts, and see me kvetch about the lack of solid basics...this is the level of attention I give them. And the level I expect from self-proclaimed "dedicated" practitioners.

    PPS -- you got no business working on form 6 if you haven't plotted the course in your own body for the maximal path for basics execution. You cannot fire a cannon out of a canoe (hence the need for whole-body structural integrity). But you can be a really crack shot with a .22LR, and still shoot enough vermin to have soup for dinner (incrementally dissociated basics).

    PPPS -- If you index in a united stance before moving, greater stability is maintaioned even throughout transitions, making this academic. Simply stepping with the travelling foot provides greater stability in motion and recovery than sliding it. (this PPS added for KT...not in the original KN posting)
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    I think I see where you are going. You are talking about the muscle groups engaged when you step, right?

    If you turn and then push off on the weighted foot, you engage the major muscle groups of the weighted leg- quads and hamstrings. If you push off on the side of the weighted foot, you only engage the smaller lateral muscles. With weaker muscular support, you are structurally unstable under force of an assault and easily pushed to a position of disadvantage and/or imballance.

    So, you are saying that the proper thing to do is first turn the weighted foot toward 12:00, then push of, forward or back, while steping the other foot? Would this also apply when steping to 9:00 or 3:00? I'm guessing you'd actually step to an oblique if moving those directions.

    Dan C
    I think there are two physical phenomena which we gain insight from on this topic - walking, and the neutral bow.

    Consider what happens when standing normally and you move to walk. The very first thing that happens is you bend one knee slightly (say the left for this discussion). This creates a line of gravity and the body starts moving forward. The right foot extends out to catch the body, the left calf now extends to propel the mass to the right foot, and on we go with the process of normal walking.

    In so far as power generation is concerned, the lifting of the heel of the left foot diminishes our capability of sustaining force imparted on our body - whether that force comes externally, or as the result of us attempting to deliver force forward. Additionally, we really have only the calf muscle to do any propulsion, which is walking.

    Now consider the positioning of the rear foot in the neutral bow. The NB uses the ~45 degree angle in the foot to promote lateral stability in addition to the capacity to thrust forward. Consider this in context of the positioning to move forward into the right neutral bow. If we stepped, as we do in walking, the heel of the left foot comes up and we are really only able to power the action with the calf. If from that first slight bend of the knee from the standing position (as if you were going to walk), you rotate the body and left foot (on the ball, to ~10:30) to capture the ~45 degree angle of the neutral bow. Now you have the quads of the left leg to propel you forward, not just the calf as in walking.

    So, this is how we (our group) engage into the neutral bow moving forward. "Stepping" forward lacks power, we need to engage forward using the largest muscle groups possible if we want to maximize backup mass. Because, lets face it, its all about hitting hard.

    The same applies to moving backward then. Rather than stepping to rotate, we will rotate the body and foot (this time rotating on the ball of the foot inwards) to establish the parameters of the neutral bow. We then push off that front leg to engage into the neutral bow. The foot work for delayed sword then, for example, would be 1) bend the left foot (very slightly mind you, just as if you were going to walk forward - no one will really be able to see it), 2) rotate the body (to the 7:30 / 1:30 line) and the foot (to the 10:30 / 4:30 line), the heel plants as though you weigh 1000 lbs at the same time the body reaches the angle of the NB, 3) Push off the right leg to thrust backward, 4) hit a solid neutral bow with the left foot.

    Items 1 & 2 happen rapidly and (as far as the lower body is concerned) is part of my conditioned response to any attack which I must deal with from a standing position. What the upper bodydoes besides rotate its angle in the neutral bow, is another topic. Same is true for what the mind does. But the conditioned response for the foot work is to establish the capacity to thrust in the necessary direction. The examples I have illustrated here were only 12:00 and 6:00, but the same principle applies in all directions.

    I think that's the most I've ever taken to try to describe that process. We call it Fortified Engagement, and you will find it is more conducive to attempting to attack from a standing position - its the activator mechanism we go to from a standing position. Nary a training session goes on, for myself or my students, where that conditoned response is not drilled, tested, and/or refined.

    Kenpo: the devil is in the details.

    Thanks for the thought provoking question.

    Salute,

    Steven Brown
    UKF
    Last edited by bujuts; 11-30-2006 at 03:42 PM.

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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    The foot work for delayed sword then, for example, would be 1) bend the left foot (very slightly mind you, just as if you were going to walk forward - no one will really be able to see it), 2) rotate the body (to the 7:30 / 1:30 line) and the foot (to the 10:30 / 4:30 line), the heel plants as though you weigh 1000 lbs at the same time the body reaches the angle of the NB, 3) Push off the right leg to thrust backward, 4) hit a solid neutral bow with the left foot.
    Well, I'm confused. Turning the left (trailing) foot to 45', then pushing off on the right (front) foot gives me the same "rocking back" feel to the foot maneuver that I thought we were trying to get away from. Did you mean to turn the front foot? That seems more stable to me.

    Dan C
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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    Well, I'm confused. Turning the left (trailing) foot to 45', then pushing off on the right (front) foot gives me the same "rocking back" feel to the foot maneuver that I thought we were trying to get away from. Did you mean to turn the front foot? That seems more stable to me.

    Dan C
    Ah, no. Sorry, my mistake.

    I meant to say, essentially 1) bend the left foot, 2) rotate the right foot inward to the 10:30 / 4:30 line (i.e. where it will be in the N.B.), 3) push off with the quads of the the right leg, thrusting the body towards 6:00, 4) hit a solid N.B. with the left foot.

    Yes, the other way would've been pretty awkward, LOL.

    Salute,

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    Remember...you asked for it. ... You cannot fire a cannon out of a canoe ...
    Thanks for posting that.

    I'm beggining to get an idea what you mean by that phrase. I'm putting this info aside to get to later. Right now, I'm in information overload. But that is a good, informative post.

    Dan C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    bujuts, if I'm doing this correctly, here's what I get:

    from a natural standing position, I'm going to step back into a right neutral bow facing 12:00.
    *muscles in the small of the back (behind tantien) turn the torso ccw as left foot flexes. This loads the left leg and puts your weight onto the ball of the left foot, while unweighting the right.
    *turn the right foot so the toes point to 10:30 and the heel to 4:30.
    *push off with the right foot, wieghting it and unweighting the left.
    *step the left to 6:00, keeping muscles of the right engaged until left is planted solidly at the same 45' angle as the right.
    *transfer wieght to the left and step the right straight over so that you are in a neutral bow with toe-heel alignment to 12:00 (this is a platform alignment/adjustment).
    *agressively set weight into 50/50 distribution.

    This does seem to be a lot more stable throughout, and "engaged" throughout as well, than the step back and rotate method.

    James, does this model fit with your understanding of PAM's?

    Dan C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Greetings, Dan. Glad you like it. My only clarification would be...
    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    *muscles in the small of the back (behind tantien) turn the torso ccw as left foot flexes. This loads the left leg and puts your weight onto the ball of the left foot, while unweighting the right.
    If you stand straight up, examine the very first thing that happens when you want to start walking. Lets say you are going to start walking with your right foot. What happens is a very slight bend in the left knee. This starts the motion of your body forward, creating a line of gravity. If you didn't put your right foot out, you'd fall over. The idea here is that your first direction is the depth, just like in walking. Just as that motion occurs, turn your heel out (rotating on the inside of the ball of the foot), and feel yourself kind of sink into the heel, with your body having rotated to that 45 as well. Let me emphasize that the motion forward is very slight - your spine will likely move forward no more than 1.5 inch or so. Feel what it does to engage your body and put you into attack mode.

    I examined the muscles involved, and I see where you're getting that slight flex from the interior trunk muscles (don't know the technical name). Your spine is straight up. While we always want to maintain an erect spinal carriage, try to feel the slight engagement forward when you create that (again, very slight) line of gravity as if you were walking forward. Think of "hunkering down" slightly as you do that rotation. Also make it a point to bring your right shoulder into the action, not your left shoulder back. As another helper, let your mind be ready to slaughter someone directly in front of you. Not KO, not beat up, literally decimate. That helps in adopting the proper posture, I find.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    *turn the right foot so the toes point to 10:30 and the heel to 4:30.
    *push off with the right foot, wieghting it and unweighting the left.
    *step the left to 6:00, keeping muscles of the right engaged until left is planted solidly at the same 45' angle as the right.
    Yes, and the foot lands in a solid "thunk" on the floor, however its not a stomp. I teach my students not to "settle" into a stance, but to hit it like a concrete post in soft dirt, supporting several tons.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    *transfer wieght to the left and step the right straight over so that you are in a neutral bow with toe-heel alignment to 12:00 (this is a platform alignment/adjustment).
    *agressively set weight into 50/50 distribution.
    I guess I'd have to see what you're doing here. When that left foot hit, you should be in your neutral bow, with all of the correct height, width, and depth parameters firmly established, ready to kick ass. Thunk thunk! is all a person should have heard if you were moving from the natural standing position, to the fortified engagement (first thunk from the heel turning out), and then hitting the neutral bow (second thunk). When you work this, you will also find out it is quicker than doing the "step-rotate" sequence. I'm not one for speed, but when someone is really coming in, you don't even have time for the step back. The fortified position we have been describing offers immediate mechanical structure.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    This does seem to be a lot more stable throughout, and "engaged" throughout as well, than the step back and rotate method.

    James, does this model fit with your understanding of PAM's?

    Dan C
    Salute,

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Greetings, Dan. Glad you like it. My only clarification would be...
    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    *muscles in the small of the back (behind tantien) turn the torso ccw as left foot flexes. This loads the left leg and puts your weight onto the ball of the left foot, while unweighting the right.
    If you stand straight up, examine the very first thing that happens when you want to start walking. Lets say you are going to start walking with your right foot. What happens is a very slight bend in the left knee. This starts the motion of your body forward, creating a line of gravity. If you didn't put your right foot out, you'd fall over. The idea here is that your first direction is the depth, just like in walking. Just as that motion occurs, turn your heel out (rotating on the inside of the ball of the foot), and feel yourself kind of sink into the heel, with your body having rotated to that 45 as well. Let me emphasize that the motion forward is very slight - your spine will likely move forward no more than 1.5 inch or so. Feel what it does to engage your body and put you into attack mode.

    I examined the muscles involved, and I see where you're getting that slight flex from the interior trunk muscles (don't know the technical name). Your spine is straight up. While we always want to maintain an erect spinal carriage, try to feel the slight engagement forward when you create that (again, very slight) line of gravity as if you were walking forward. Think of "hunkering down" slightly as you do that rotation. Also make it a point to bring your right shoulder into the action, not your left shoulder back. As another helper, let your mind be ready to slaughter someone directly in front of you. Not KO, not beat up, literally decimate. That helps in adopting the proper posture, I find.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    *turn the right foot so the toes point to 10:30 and the heel to 4:30.
    *push off with the right foot, wieghting it and unweighting the left.
    *step the left to 6:00, keeping muscles of the right engaged until left is planted solidly at the same 45' angle as the right.
    Yes, and the foot lands in a solid "thunk" on the floor, however its not a stomp. I teach my students not to "settle" into a stance, but to hit it like a concrete post in soft dirt, supporting several tons.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    *transfer wieght to the left and step the right straight over so that you are in a neutral bow with toe-heel alignment to 12:00 (this is a platform alignment/adjustment).
    *agressively set weight into 50/50 distribution.
    I guess I'd have to see what you're doing here. When that left foot hit, you should be in your neutral bow, with all of the correct height, width, and depth parameters firmly established, ready to kick ass. Thunk thunk! is all a person should have heard if you were moving from the natural standing position, to the fortified engagement (first thunk from the heel turning out), and then hitting the neutral bow (second thunk). When you work this, you will also find out it is quicker than doing the "step-rotate" sequence. I'm not one for speed, but when someone is really coming in, you don't even have time for the step back. The fortified position we have been describing offers immediate mechanical structure.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    This does seem to be a lot more stable throughout, and "engaged" throughout as well, than the step back and rotate method.

    James, does this model fit with your understanding of PAM's?

    Dan C
    Salute,

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    I guess I'd have to see what you're doing here. When that left foot hit, you should be in your neutral bow, with all of the correct height, width, and depth parameters firmly established, ready to kick ass.
    I'm trying to structurally align my hips with that last step. As Doc and others have commented on here several times, steping back into a stance (any stance) is structurally weak. While your method engages muscles and presents them for maximum support and availability for action, if the hips are out of joint, you are still weak. So a platform alignment mechanism of some sort is necessary to bring the balls of the hip joints xolidly into the sockets for a stable base. It's something else I'm strugling with to change/re-learn. But I think it is important.

    Dan C
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    Default Re: The natural standing position

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    I'm trying to structurally align my hips with that last step. As Doc and others have commented on here several times, steping back into a stance (any stance) is structurally weak. While your method engages muscles and presents them for maximum support and availability for action, if the hips are out of joint, you are still weak. So a platform alignment mechanism of some sort is necessary to bring the balls of the hip joints xolidly into the sockets for a stable base. It's something else I'm strugling with to change/re-learn. But I think it is important.

    Dan C
    We rotate the body to capture the angle of the neutral bow, don't attempt to keep the body square while rotating the foot to that ~10:30 / 4:30 line. Does that help?

    I can't speak as to how Mr. Chapel's group operates, but from my brief discussions with his students we appear to be on the same page in a number of regards.

    Feel free to shoot me a call any time Dan, 480-242-4024. Always willing to meet others in kenpo.

    Cheers,

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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