Joseph G Bellone wrote:Great post. Excellent way to describe rooting and loading. Two very important and different aspects of training.
I see these really as part of the essential horse or base.. Loading, rooting, alignment and body connection all act as the power delivery system..
Most folks I see in their stance appear completely disconnected from the purpose of the stance.. They are not really connected to the ground, they "do" the stance as if it was separate from function, because they are 'supposed to' do the stance.. The stance should feel as though it is storing lots of power, it should make you feel heavy, make you feel powerful and make your arm movements feel more powerful, faster, even when NOT moving. Feel and explore the connection running from the feet, legs, hips through the back and into the elbow and arm.
If folks can't feel these things when in their stance then they are in a stance but the stance is not alive and active or useful.
Some drills folks can do to energize the base:
Toi Ma... (Moving Horse)
From Sanchin position: (Both the mover and the person being moved should also be using the 'stance' to make power) More than one stance can be used or not.
Have a partner push you from different angles, push forward on the chest, forward on the arms; sideways on the body, sideways on the arms, pull folks forward from the arms, neck, from the shoulders, from the back.. Diagonally, all angles can be explored.. Use plenty of power, enough to FORCE them to move.. Break their position and make them get it back. Back. forward, forward, back, sideways, pull, push, jerk, shove them all over the floor.. Move them around.. Teach them how to load the stance USING the power you give them.. Teach them how to use a 'broken stance' to load a new one...
Pull down their guards with great sudden force and show them how to recover their position WITHOUT resisting this force.. Press their guards over and up and down and show them how to recover position WITHOUT force..but also test their structure as might normally be done.. Make them 'wrong' so that they have to correct it in an alive and real time manner..
Partners can take turns..
Later the folks being moved can also actively move to help them adapt by facing, closing and...? You can get very creative with this too...