Circling the foot--how many and where?

Re: Circling the foot--how many and where?

Postby Bob Ashmore » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:21 pm

Audi,
As always, an extremely cogent description and explanation.
However, I was shocked by one part of your reply:
"One situation where we seem to de-emphasize smooth, even movement of the legs is after kicks. I think we are simply supposed to withdraw the kicking leg without linking that movement to the next step. I do not recall a specific justification for this, but I think it is to avoid getting in the habit of leaving a kicking leg out for the opponent to grab and also to make a habit of protecting the groin."
I have been teaching my students how to make this smooth, even, flowing and connected for the last several weeks, since one of them said very much the same thing about feeling that movement as disconnected.
I know, I'm a broken record, but...
The smoothness and evenness (I guess those are words, spell check didn't go nuts on me :lol: ) of this movement comes from an integration between the two kuas and the waist.
The withdrawal is accomplished by continuing to rotate the hips (legs, kuas) through their cycle as you kick out from the waist, and continuing through that cycle as you withdraw the kick from the waist.
The rotations are much smaller, "internal" rotations, but as long as you continue them in conjunction with the energy being issued and withdrawn from the waist that's all they need to be.
This continues the energy, continues the flow and connects this movement with the next.

Bob
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Re: Circling the foot--how many and where?

Postby Audi » Mon May 28, 2012 2:44 pm

Hi Bob,

I realize that I never replied to your post.

However, I was shocked by one part of your reply:
"One situation where we seem to de-emphasize smooth, even movement of the legs is after kicks. I think we are simply supposed to withdraw the kicking leg without linking that movement to the next step. I do not recall a specific justification for this, but I think it is to avoid getting in the habit of leaving a kicking leg out for the opponent to grab and also to make a habit of protecting the groin."
I have been teaching my students how to make this smooth, even, flowing and connected for the last several weeks, since one of them said very much the same thing about feeling that movement as disconnected.

I think I did not express myself well, and your statement is more correct.

What I was trying to acknowledge is that our kicks in the form are one of the places where our form technique differs from how the energy would be used in real usage. During Fajin, you would kick with the energy you bring up from the ground, but in the form we really don't do it this way. We form the one-leg stance and only then kick out. We then return to the same stance. Elsewhere in the form, I do not think we ever come out the same way we go in like this. When I practice Fajin, I have a different feeling. Although there, continuity seems not to be so much of an issue.

Returning back to the same one-legged stance with no movement in the arms gives me a feeling of discontinuity in my intent, even though I can feel continuity in the movement. It is almost as if I climb a tree, go out on a limb, do something, return to the tree trunk, and then climb back down to do whatever is next. It is hard to feel a useful circle, even if I can keep the movement smooth. In reality, when I do form, my mind tends to be on other principles when I do the kicks, and so I am not too bothered. In fact, the challenge of being smooth and even, even when I cannot circulate the Qi in that way helps me to practice the maxim: "The energy may stop, but the intent does not stop."

Maybe this clarifies my feeling.

Take care,
Audi
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Re: Circling the foot--how many and where?

Postby Bob Ashmore » Tue May 29, 2012 6:51 pm

Audi,

I used to think the same thing.
Then I learned more correctly about hip rotations and now maintaining the flow through the kicks makes just as much sense as maintaning the flow through the rest of the form.
The flow of movement never changes, it goes on: "Continuously and without interruption"
To understand this is to understand not only that the hips rotate, but the correct direction for the rotation and that they rotate in yin/yang balance while working in harmony with the waist.
Complicated?
You bet!
But worth it's weight in gold once you discover it.
I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. But it may be that you've not put the hip rotation together through the kicks.
I didn't, not for a long time.
Now it's second nature.


Bob
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