One of the first and probably most important lessons I learned from my Freshman physics professor, was that we all have the ability to hand problems that need to be solved over to our subconscious mind. On the first day of class, he assigned a problem set that was to be due in a week. We were told to do two things that night. First, read the problems with the intent of taking in all the information(variables) contained in each problem. Then, make sure to have a clear understanding of what specifically the problem was asking to be solved. We were also instructed, however, NOT to begin solving the problems. We were as he put it, “just planting the seed.” To be honest, I thought he was full of bologna. For that reason I was all the more surprised when his method actually worked! Ideas about the problems would suddenly pop into my conscious mind when I would least expect it. I think almost everyone has had that experience at some time or another. For most people, this happens when they’ve been working for what seems like endless amounts of time on a problem without making any progress. Then they finally give up; only to find the answer comes to them in a flash at some random moment. This is something author Robert Greene calls, “serendipity” and it is a clear demonstration of the power of the subconscious. Although most have had these experiences, few try to harness their power. This was the lesson I learned from my professor, and one I’ve carried with me ever since.Read More
Being able to effectively describe and understand motion is a necessary step in achieving mastery over motion. From kinematics, which is often referred to as the geometry of motion, we know that all movements are broken down into both linear and circular components. Many martial artists tend to rely on either linear or circular moves when executing their art, but the wise practitioner learns to incorporate both types to make for more economical motion. One of the principles that governs the execution of our techniques is the simple idea that, “where the line ends the circle begins, and where the circle ends the line reappears.” This fairly straight forward statement serves as a reminder to explore how both linear and circular movements may work in combination with one another. A deep understanding of this one concept may yield many martial applications. For the purpose of this article we’re going to take a look at just one of the ideas that we can derive from this statement, which is how the use of linear and circular moves in conjunction with each other may aid in conserving energy within a variety of combative situations.
This concept is illustrated within many of Kenpo Karate’s self-defense techniques. That is to say that linear and circular movements are often integrated in such a way to allow for a continuous flurry of uninterrupted strikes.
To take this a step further, let’s take a look at the case where our linear action may have been interrupted by our opponent through the use of either a check or a block. (This is the scenario depicted in the video below) From the point our attack is terminated, we have two basic options:
1) We can withdraw our attack and begin to execute another action or…
2) We can begin a circular attack from the point where the line ends.
I think it’s fairly obvious that the second option will yield the quickest, most direct attack, not only that but often times our opponents block can actually aid in orbiting us into our next action. Keep in mind that these same principles very often hold true when the situation is reversed and we initiate our attack with a circular movement instead.
The lesson, then, is that the termination point of one action can many times serve as the starting point of our next action, and that developing an understanding of how to interweave lines and circles may allow us to do this in the most efficient and effective means possible. Keep in mind that even in the few ideas presented here there are several other lessons that can be teased out of this one concept. These ideas will be expanded on in future videos and articles; for now what has been covered in this article should serve as a starting point from which you may develop a deeper understanding of the fundamentals regardless of the system that you study. To see this concept in action please view the video below.
In martial arts it’s important to learn the lesson of moving from the “center.” When we speak of “center” we’re referring to the center of mass, which is located approximately 3 finger widths below the naval. The goal is to learn to initiate movement from this point as apposed to moving in a sequential fashion. This is a skill that takes time to develop, but is well worth the time and brings with it many benefits such as:
- More powerful techniques
- Quicker and more explosive movements
- Enhanced Stability
In a recent video, we demonstrate a drill which can help you to develop this incredibly important skill!
The triangulation point is a core principal; having a thorough understanding of this concept is integral to executing effective martial arts techniques. The following videos discuss this concept and cover some basic applications. The first video defines exactly what the triangulation point is in detail and then covers how the concept may be applied to throws and take-downs. The second video discusses how the concept may be applied to strikes and kicks. In the future other videos may be added covering additional applications of this concept.
In this video we demonstrate a method of stretching the quadriceps that not only stretches the quads, but your hip flexors as well. What most people don’t realize is that the hips must be put into flexion in order for the stretch to be effective. Without putting the hips in flexion, the rectus femoris won’t be targeted leaving you with only 3 of the 4 quadriceps being stretched. The method we demonstrate in this video, will show you an easy way to target all of your quads, and it can work quite effectively with the PNF method of stretching demonstrated in a previous video.
I’m extremely excited to announce the launch of our new “Online Dojo”! This is a project that has taken a tremendous amount of effort, cooperation as well as time. To all who were involved with its development, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude! I’m certain it was well worth the effort, as this additional educational tool will undoubtedly prove to be an invaluable asset in aiding students as they progress through their journey in the martial arts.
The members’ area is currently available to students of our dojo who are enrolled in unlimited classes. If you currently qualify, or would like to upgrade your membership so that you may qualify, simply create a user name, see me in class and we will add you to the system. Once inside the “online dojo” you’ll find hours of review videos covering all the techniques taught up through black belt in our system. New content will be continually added throughout the year. Production is currently in process on a 3-part video series covering the major theories behind training self-defense techniques!
For a preview of what you’ll find within the members’ area, check out the video below!