Body Mechanics

‘It is often easier to describe good mechanics if we look at what is bad. When fighting, your body needs to be mechanically stable, able to support itself without effort and move easily.

Everything is loose (what the Chinese call “Song”) and nothing forced. If at any time bones, muscles or joints are locked, or moved against their natural movement, then mechanics are bad. Part of training in standing postures is to enable you to instantly feel when your mechanics are wrong, thereby enabling you to adjust automatically. This is important in a fight, remember it only lasts a few seconds!!

Look at the body’s skeletal structure more and “fight with your bones.” You should concentrate on keeping your back straight when doing forms or practicing application. You will see the benefit of not leaning through an opponent (or using them to hold you up!). Move through your target with a straight back – there is more power, less effort and more stability. To do this you must be close. Get in – intent! You must strike through the target, and not stretch or lean in order to just hit the target at optimum range. (There is more chance at you being hit then also!!) Fighting this way is “hard”. The muscles have a huge tendancy to pull the skeletal structure out of shape, locking your own joints and “willowing” the spine.

Constantly check posture while training. Any joint that feels slightly forced or under pressure is mechanically wrong. Any knee, for example, that twists or rotates so far as to raise a flat foot is wrong. A straight leg means you should have already stepped, or as a consequence you have leaned to kick, etc. In all instances, the waist/Dan Tien no longer faces or lines up through the target.

Look at the first 3 of the Six Harmonies, read the formula for Attack – keep your back straight, feet flat and knee’s bent. Do not just look at your enemy, face him.’