Sunday, August 30, 2009

Underground Zen Combat: Be Like a Spring

Bruce Lee said we are to be like water...well, he is right....but we should also be like a spring. Not the watery type, but the bed spring fact more like a ball point pen spring.

In my last post I spoke of Fa-jing and short explosive power. Sanchin helps develop this and the best way to describe this type of power is a spring. When coiled it contains tremendous energy just waiting to explode.

When you open Sanchin with a palms pushing towards the ground this is when you establish your 'root' and set your coil of the spring. When you do this properly you should feel the energy swirling in your legs...if you don't, don't worry. With practice and visualizing of this type of energy it will eventually arrive. Just be patient. Remember to grip the ground with your toes, keep your hips forward to eliminate the 's' curve in your lower back and draw your energy in and down your centerline.

Fa-jing is a springy energy and if you think of each joint you have in your body as a ball point pen spring, flexible yet kinetic, you are well on your way of increasing your power. Each joint is a reservoir of energy and a turning point that can explode with power. The toes, ankles, knees, hips, waist, vertebrae, shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers all can be used in a coiled-like spring action.

In a self-defense situation your opponent actually helps you 'set' the springs when he pushes or pulls or strikes at you. His energy coils your a shock absorber absorbs a bump in the road...and then when his energy has been aborbed you are in perfect position to release the energy.

Sanchin testing helps you to develop this energy as well. That is why you start with soft hits and eventually get hit with harder and harder develops your ability to absorb like a spring and send the shockways into your joints and if need be into the ground. Just think of all those joints we have that can absorb energy...and give it out.

Sanchin dachi is a perfect stance for developing fa-jing. A good visualization is to just stand in Sanchin Dachi and see in your imagination all of joints as flexible springs....loose, flexible and able to receive any type of pressure. We practice Sanchin with hands open. So, stand for a few moments and feel the energy...and then visualize compressing the springs while doing a reverse breath. Begin with compressing the toes and work your way up the body until you can get your whole body to compress (does this make sense to you?)

After you get good at compressing then do Sanchin Kata. Compress your springs on the inhale and then let the appropriate one let loose...I hope you will able to feel the difference. Fa-jing is loose, relaxed and explosive. It is not muscular power...hell, if it was I would be in trouble. I am a small guy and will lose going toe to toe with someone bigger than me.

Combine this with adapting a ferocious animal mentality and you have a great combination for superior strength. The animal mentality is extremely important and one point on this is that you should remember your opponent is going to have a lot of adrenaline going (or jacked up on crack) and has a high tolerance for pain. You must get your energy to match and exceed his...and do it instantaneously. Only practice will do.

Take Care and hopes this helps with your training,

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