hit the bag or lean on it?

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hit the bag or lean on it?

Postby Dana Sheets » Wed May 16, 2007 10:59 am

So last night, to stay humble, I did the following.
I stood facing away from a kicking shield that a partner was holding and elbowed it a few times.

Then I would elbow then punch with the same arm. The elbow went into the bag, the punch went into the air.

Then my partner (as I had asked him) without telling me, pulled the bag away - and yep...I fell over when I missed.

Happened three times.

Which means at a certain point my body got greedy and leaned into the bad instead of just doing an elbow strike.

The rear elbow strike is on my top #10 list of useful things to know how to do. Luckily - most of the times you'd need it the person who would receive it has their body against you in some way - so you'd know where they are.

However, the magically disappearing bag does a good job of reminding me that it is easy to get greedy when hitting the same object in the same place over and over again.

And greedy people go to...well...that's just a rumor I heard once. :wink:
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Postby MikeK » Wed May 16, 2007 1:33 pm

Maybe you're not being greedy enough. Are you moving your base(legs and hips) into and through the target or just thrusting the elbow backwards? If you're moving your base, even if the target has moved you should still have your balance.

Also if you can't feel the target it's OK to turn your head and look. :wink:
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Wed May 16, 2007 4:10 pm

IT happens.

A few years ago I recall seeing a film of Trot Nixon swinging for the fences. He missed, and strained an oblique. They practically carried him off.

That being said, your comment gives me ammunition for how I teach people to move in the "leaning" front elbow strike/thrust. I always comment that the rear leg is your accelerator, and the front leg your brake. When you think along those lines, you don't see people letting the front knee drift after the front foot plants. And it just so happens to help here in case you miss.

You still might look/feel a little stupid, but it could be the difference between stuttering a bit and falling on your face.

There are a lot of subtleties here. It's a reason why I teach people sometimes to hit before that front foot firmly plants. It's a different way of doing things, for sure. But it has its benefits, which include hitting the target earlier and not falling on your face when you miss.

- Bill
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Postby Dana Sheets » Wed May 16, 2007 4:52 pm

For the record I didn't fall over, over -- I lost my good, rooted, balance, and had to take a step to regain it - which is falling over in my book when I'm working on my stances.

T'was an interesting experiment. I'd enjoy hearing how others do at it.

I had my eyes closed so that I wouldn't see when he took the bag away and I was striking in both directions as hard as I could.

What it means to me is that I was driving my weight too far to the rear and possibly taking the elbow too far back. So now I've got a little something to work on.
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Postby JimHawkins » Mon May 28, 2007 2:05 pm

What's up guys... And hi Dana..

Thought I'd jump on this one..

I call this being top heavy and this is where I find that state of mind in terms of what your sub-conscious 'thinks' the body needs to do to make power.. I have found that more so the western thinkers tend to raise up their <Yi> or Intent and they end up leaning into the strike when they want to make more power which creates a completely different power dynamic.

The problems with this are many and contradict the concept of power generation in these kinds of systems which advocate making power from the horse... Sinking in the mind has to come before it's natural, we have to convince our sub-conscious that using our horse is the way to go for generating ground power and maintaining good stability for both receiving energy as well as issuing energy, which can be in the form of bridging or striking..

This is where the Easterners seem to have an advantage in sinking their 'Chi' which to me is not mystical just part of that metal component that can let us, or not let us do that cool technique the way it was intended... I find that when folks associate excitement or anxiety there Yi <intent> 'Chi' or 'mind state' tends to rise up, raise our center of gravity and reach/lean with it...

Sinking seems more associated from my experienced with being relaxed or loose, again, I think this mindset is the one to shoot for when looking to 'sink the chi'. Just one more reference to make Bill wince.. :lol:

Not sure why but this is a common problem, from what I have seen more in western thinking folks.. Folks also need to trust their horse and train it until their inner mind trusts it too. And BTW this is another very good reason to train push hands or Chi Sao because good play demands a good ground connection.

Just my thoughts and my experience. I still have this problem and was a standard part of how I fought in the old point matches..
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Postby jorvik » Mon May 28, 2007 4:29 pm


Postby Dana Sheets » Tue May 29, 2007 12:50 am

Hi Jim,
Welcome back.

So yeah - I saw a fascinating diagram in a book recently. Imagine a figure of a person. The top half filled with red and bottom half filled with black. This is the body of the Western mind. Now shift the two - and the bottom half is filled with red (chi) and the top half is filled with black. This is the body of the Eastern mind.
**this is a gross generalization**

The image is helpful for me, like that of a water balloon hanging.
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Postby 2Green » Tue May 29, 2007 4:21 am

I always wondered why the rear elbow strike required the palm to be facing down.

When no one could explain it to me I set out on an anatomical quest.

Here is what I discovered:

When your palm is face up, your bicep is engaged, and works against your tricep, which is driving your elbow back.

You can test this by placing your arm in the "pre"- reverse elbow strike position and simply placing your other hand on your bicep.

Flip the palm of your striking arm palm-up, then palm down, and feel the engagement of the bicep.

You will discover that when the striking arm is palm down, the bicep is relaxed, and now the tricep can fully engage, and ram the elbow backward.

The music spoke to me. I felt compelled to answer.
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Postby MikeK » Tue May 29, 2007 1:23 pm

The tricep doesn't have much to do with a rear elbow strike as it's function is to extend the arm. It's the bicep which folds the arm making the elbow pointy and then the back muscles that pull the elbow backwards. Think of the muscles used in a lat pull down with the palms facing towards you.
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