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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:23 am
by global village idiot
We had a little ice today - enough to where the walks are hazardous and everyone's walking in the street. While at the gym earlier tonight I caught a teaser on the television news news about a fight on an icy pavement in Chicago which was caught on a security camera. I know nothing further about it since I was finishing up my workout (cardio) and what's one more tussle in Chiraq anyway?

But it made me think about how well I could fare if I had to hold my own on ice because wouldn't it be just my luck that the one time in my life I ever had to seriously fight someone would be on ice.

So about a half-hour ago I put on my snivel gear and did the form on the ice on the walk. It's challenging and forces you to concentrate very hard on rooting and where your ch'i is at any given moment. Once I got a feel for it - the ice has a way of "communicating" with you through your feet if you have the wit to listen - I was able to do the entire form without falling down.

This first effort was somewhat clumsy and tentative but really was only to establish a baseline - what does it feel like? Well, now I know and will keep it up for as long as the ice holds out in order to make use of the resource.


Re: Ice...

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:04 pm
by DPasek
Sensitivity in the feet is an important tool. Since we try to use “whole-body power” rather than force from isolated limbs, this means that our power primarily originates in the feet. Of course, our rooting also goes into the feet. The interactions of the feet with the ground can be a feedback mechanism for us if we are aware of the sensations in the feet. The quality of contact between the feet and the ground includes rocking and rolling, as well as deadness and aliveness, sliding and centering, etc.

I think that it is good practice to do push-hands on ice or in slippery shoes. Many practitioners seem to try to brace towards their partner/opponent, resulting in long stances, and forces tending to transmit fairly horizontally through the feet. In my opinion, we should train to get the transition of force from or into the ground to be more vertical. This allows for greater stability and maneuverability. On ice (or using slippery shoes), the more vertically the force is into or from the ground, the less slipping there will be.

Another thing that one may try related to rooting would be to practice in a pool. Your buoyancy in the water lessens ones root, and practicing to lower ones center of gravity in this condition can also help ones rooting ability.

Re: Ice...

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:49 am
by global village idiot
I learned - or rather realized - something quite by accident last week regarding rooting. My realization was that one of the best training resources for this is my dog Samson. He likes to pull at the leash when we go on walks.

If I'm not rooted, he'll pull me all over the place; but if I "sink the chi to the dantien" like we're supposed to, neither of us is going anywhere.

All this to say that I don't have easy access to a pool but Sam is right here.