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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:45 pm 
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Why do we teach students to punch and chamber when in fighting the hands must always press forward?

Why would a beginning student punch on one side and chamber on the other?

Why would an experienced student do the same exercise?

Are they training the same thing?

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Last edited by Dana Sheets on Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:25 am 
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Because the chamber is drawing and pulling in, the other hand moves in the same time to strike or dis balance. Hands are forward to attack and parry, but the chamber is used in clinch/close quarters.(assuming you actually do live training there)


An experienced students would do the same exercise becaue he wants to refine his ability to draw and attack at the same time.

Thats how i look at it. Because chambering when punching...never happens.

But clambering to grab or control works great, especially when accompanied by the other side that acts as a compliment. If you transfer doing solo drills and then progress to actual pressure testing you will see how great it can be.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:59 pm 
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When I last trained with Master Takara, Master Nakamatsu, and Master Thompson, each asked that we train this exercise. Each spoke about a focus on "coordinating your entire body." Each did the exercise very slowly at first. Each pointed at the legs and at their centers. Each did the exercise from horse stance and then from sanchin stance.

I'm not trying to be cryptic, I'm sharing this memory because I think there's an important lesson about not confusing a stationary stance with a static body and not confusing a retraction with opposing forces. Holding the body motionless in such a way that you're isolating parts of your body is very different from an actively engaged body that doesn't move very much. Both Master Tarkara and Master Nakamatsu said "coordinate your whole body and then make it smaller."

...something to think about the next time we're all sitting in horse stance and punching.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:18 pm 
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I have a question...why do you teach it differently for a beginner and an experienced student? Wouldn't all students benefit form viewing this from different perspectives?

Why even teach the concept of "chambering", when starting? Is it simply to make it simpler? Doesn't this teach a bad habit of static stance that has to be "broken" later?

I think the concepts of rootedness and active engagement in stillness are useful no matter the level. Even at my level, I know there can be more to it than that...but what is the harm of starting from that concept...even simplified, at the beginning level?

I'm sure I'm missing something, so I look forward to the replies!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:18 pm 
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I didn't say the exercise was taught differently, I said that a beginning student and an experienced student might be training differently.

When I train this exercise I especially like to have all of us hold light weights (say 2 or 5 pounds) in the hands while sitting in horse stance and "punching" very slowly.

A beginning student might find that their entire mind is occupied with "left punch, right punch, don't drop the weight, ow my legs hurt, oh wait, I shouldn't be holding my breath the entire time, oh my left shoulder is up again" and would be training differently than a more experienced student who is focused on maintaining a good connection with the ground, keeping the shoulders relaxed, and is focused on improving overall body awareness and connection from the connection to the ground at the feet out through the hands and throughout the body--including issuing the same about of force forward or backward at any given time.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:30 pm 
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A retreating hand never returns home empty could be restated as:

The hand that looks like it is going into a chambering position should not be a useless, lifeless, floppy, flailing arm devoid of awareness or power.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:34 am 
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Guilty! :oops: It seems that the instant I'm concentrating on one hand, I 'forget' about the other. I can't seem to fix this, and am constantly reminded about it. Any suggestions on how to address it?

Dana Sheets wrote:
The hand that looks like it is going into a chambering position should not be a useless, lifeless, floppy, flailing arm devoid of awareness or power.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:57 am 
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Try the approach I mentioned above. Go very slowly, try to initiate the movement in your core before you let your hands move, and hold a weight in each hand.

The retreating hand is the "yin" to the punching hand "yang" but that doesn't mean it is weaker. It simply means that it is delivering power in the opposite direction.

Also - try just sitting in horse with one arm extended and the other chambered for about 5 minutes without moving. If you focus your attention on your body and arms, I think you'll begin to feel if you've somehow "biased" your body toward the punching arm instead of using your stance and core to support both arms equally. Be sure to do this on both sides as your dominant arm tends to be treated differently by your brain than your non-dominant arm.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:37 am 
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Seems there is a consensus on what the so called chamber is really for(which i rather would call a pull)

So why not let it get reflected more so in the bunkai. It shows up in nearly every form. We probably would see it a lot in bunkai!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:39 am 
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If we're talking about power I'm not really sure it's a pull. If you're punching, I really don't see how pulling the other guy increases your power as the pulling motion creates resistance slowing down the punching side.

If it's a tactical pull where you're trading off power for breaking their balance or immobilizing their arm then I could see the returning arm being used as a pull.

FWIW, All styles chamber, they just chamber differently. I was recently watching some MMA guys working the heavy bag at the Y and they had a chamber where the fist was pulled back to the side of their head and the elbow was out to the side. I asked someone who does MMA and they said it was because of stance and sometimes not being fully on their feet when punching. I'm looking into this one more as it solves a problem of how to hit when your base is broken.

Watch Fidor's punches and notice the retreating hand and how there doesn't seem to be a lot of pull back in it. It's just going in the opposite direction of the striking arm.

how to throw a punch with frank-shamrock

Let's end with Chuck Liddell, and I think the best video, on the benefits of a low chamber that uses the hips to drive the punch.

Watch Video HERE

Watch his other arm, no pull or effort moving it back, it's just going along with that side of his body.
One more thing, the guy I train with is always launching low strikes that come at you from below the line of sight and they look like a tighter version of Liddell's.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:48 am 
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MikeK wrote:
If we're talking about power I'm not really sure it's a pull. If you're punching, I really don't see how pulling the other guy increases your power as the pulling motion creates resistance slowing down the punching side.

If it's a tactical pull where you're trading off power for breaking their balance or immobilizing their arm then I could see the returning arm being used as a pull.

FWIW, All styles chamber, they just chamber differently. I was recently watching some MMA guys working the heavy bag at the Y and they had a chamber where the fist was pulled back to the side of their head and the elbow was out to the side. I asked someone who does MMA and they said it was because of stance and sometimes not being fully on their feet when punching. I'm looking into this one more as it solves a problem of how to hit when your base is broken.

Watch Fidor's punches and notice the retreating hand and how there doesn't seem to be a lot of pull back in it. It's just going in the opposite direction of the striking arm.

how to throw a punch with frank-shamrock

Let's end with Chuck Liddell, and I think the best video, on the benefits of a low chamber that uses the hips to drive the punch.

Watch Video HERE

Watch his other arm, no pull or effort moving it back, it's just going along with that side of his body.
One more thing, the guy I train with is always launching low strikes that come at you from below the line of sight and they look like a tighter version of Liddell's.


But your thinking a only of striking, im thinking dirty boxing/clinch and brawl, close quarters. Drawing backward with one hand while striking with the other. Great for breaking balance.

With an overhook or an under hook it works.

If you have an underhook on your opponents right arm with your right arm, while with a neck tie with the left, chambering the left while expressing forward with the right hand ,puts your opponent into a head pike(this is the name i know for the technique, im sure there are others.) While striking with the left and drawing in with the right breaks your opponents balance to the right back side, making a leg trip or other things easiers.

While my description matches pulling, grabbing, pure grappling, striking is easily added. The two can be interchangeable. You can strike forward where you have the right underhook to cause injury or break through resistence, while the left can get a rabbit punch. When expressing forward with the left neck tie and drawing back with the right hand, the hand that has the neck tie can break the balance by smashing the forearm against the opponents face, while driving them off balance at the same time. The right hand pulling in facilitates this and acts as a counter force.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:01 am 
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On a personal basis I've been thinking about the chambering issue a lot in the last year. I have had difficulty (pain and weakness) with both of my shoulders. Thank God both sides seem to have healed. However, the physical therapists I saw, and speak to on a daily basis (I work in a rehab hospital), had one answer - Scapular Instability. They summarized this is due to an inbalanced emphasis on the front of the body during exercise and activities. I did not like this at all, because Uechi generally is very front oriented. It is for this reason I think that from the aspect of a balanced activity or workout. The pulling and chambering activities become very important and maybe should be emphasized more. Just a thought.

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