We certainly enjoyed the unseasonable weather this past weekend and got out to do more advanced training. Thanks Janelle and Patt for putting in the hard work and taking a few knocks. Trust me, they delivered a few too.
Saturday's lesson centered around elliptical striking and blocking and the way it helps cut down intervals of time. By applying the principal of ellipses to our work, we bring round movements closer to straight lines and therefore cut down the time it takes to get back to a guard position. We started with drilling follow up strikes from a standard, de Fondo inside block. The deliverer would launch a second attack with the left hand after the initial #1. What I wanted Patt and Janelle to understand is that the techniques we were working on were there in the basic movements and would allow them to block or counter the second strike if they made an adjustment to both their physical and mental activities. It only takes a slight adjustment to bring out the efficiency of elliptical movements and to begin to change our perceptions of defenses. We moved from the inside block to roof and went into one of the most technically difficult defenses on #1, the hook, third phase. At the end of class, we worked on Combate Adentro, applying the principals we were just working on.
Ellipses abound in our system. The principal not only applies to striking, but also to body movement and fighting power. I touched on the latter Saturday in going over the power arc of a strike or block. The key to speed and power, I believe, lies in moving your power through an eliptical arc. That is, the movement starts from a low power (albeit, not static) state through a high power state (the exact moment of impact) and back to a low power state. If you chart that out on a graph of distance over speed, you will develop an elliptical curve. This allows for explosive bursts in both blocking and striking. Combined with movement that is elliptical (closer to a straight line rather than an arc), this kind of power arc gets you back to guard faster and delivers fast, precise and powerful strikes and blocks. The martial artists I have seen who work curvilinear movement into near straight lines the best are boxers and fencers. Neither a jab nor a lunge are purely linear though we would consider them straight attacks. They are, in fact, both ellipses. The more you can compact the ellipse and concentrate the peak of the power arc, the more effective, faster and powerful your blocks and strikes will become. To add this to your training, look for arcs in your movements that can be compacted to ellipses and look for the concentration of the power arc so that the point of impact is the moment when the highest level of energy is in your weapon.
Keep training and if you want to know more, drop me a line or stop on by.