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YOUR QUESTIONS...

KCD HEALTH BENEFITS (LIKE TAI CHI?)

Q. You say that KCD uses internal principles like tai chi does. Are there health benefits like tai chi has?

A.
Good question. Though no clinical studies have been done on KCD, I can relate my personal experiences with doing Contact Flow. Over the past several years I have had some health and stress challenges that made it difficult to both sleep and exercise. Along with martial arts, I like to run, ski, lift weights and play basketball. There were times when I could barely drag myself to work, and engaging in any of these activities would actually make me ill. Slow jogging could bring on flu-like syptoms with a pounding heart and cold sweats. Yet no matter how bad I was, there was something about doing slow speed Contact Flow that never failed to make me feel better. My head would stop spinning and exhaustion would magically disappear. I suspect that, like doing the tai chi form, slow speed contact flow increases your chi without hi-level aerobic or muscular exertion. Disregarding any "asian mysticism,"  I feel that heightening your proprioception, balance and body unity while "listening" with your sensitivity to another person's movements has the effect of deepening your breathing and emptying your mind. When really letting go of my thinking brain and immersing myself in the sensation of changing pressures, I get into a distinct meditative state that I recognize from years of sitting meditation. I also think that because Contact Flow is improvisatory (as opposed to choregraphed, like the tai chi form) you get a real energy boost from creating movement out of your subconscious.

I'd point out that, in line with many past articles stressing this, you won't feel any of the above if you're trying to win, exert or accept pressure from your training partner (all factors that limit your sensitivity).
--Matt Kovsky

Q. Lt. Col. Al--Thanks for your informative and challenging article on balance in Newsletter #54.Coming from a Taekwondo background, often our stances have a centre of balance that's in the middle of the feet (50/50) ie: walking stance. In a nutshell your point is that it's easier to move instantly when the weight is resting more on one leg (L stance) than two.

Your article mentions how double weighting destroys mobility and Master Perkins is quoted to say 99% of the time his weight is on one foot. Now may question is: In you book Attack Proof on Page 129 - Headed, "The Formless Stance," You talk about "neutral balance" This paragraph says the body needs to adopt this position, where we "distribute our weight evenly between both feet" and describes a stance that is double weighted.

I'm confused, it sounds like a contradiction here? Maybe I'm misreading it, could you explain this a little further for me?

A. Just as there is no such thing as a perfect person unfortunately when it
comes to books written by said persons there are no perfect books as
well. What the sentence should have read was:

"...where we are able to freely move back and forth between one root
point or the other while not over committing to either leg", instead
of where we "...distribute our weight evenly between both feet."

This was an oversight on our part; we were actually trying to make the opposite
case and some how it got all jumbled around.

Understand that "Neutral Balance" is more of a figure of speech, in
other words you do not want to be "so committed" to either root (even
when both feet are on the ground) that you are caught in a position where
you can't easily transition from one foot to the other. I also want to
point out that even when fighting, the time I may spend on one foot or
the other only lasts long enough to step in and strike-- and then
transition to a new root point while I'm hitting. The point is, you want
to develop a root that can't be found.

Double weightedness is exactly how your legs feel when you are balanced
over both legs in the horse stance. While it is true that you are
balanced, the problem is that you cannot move. As I'm sure
you've already discovered, it even becomes difficult to kick and rapidly
advance from this stance.

Because in a fight you are in a constant state of change and adaptation, your root must change to completely separate the yin from the yang and completely deliver your body's full mass, both to avoid and deliver strikes. You are either completely yielding or completely attacking, and the time between these must be cut shorter and shorter in all your training. Hanging out in the middle between your roots with weight distributed on both legs impedes your ability to load your spring and explode from one root to the other. Again, this does not mean you are frozen like a statue on one leg either (like Daniel-san in "The Karate Kid").

That being said, you actually can root on both legs briefly, but only for the length of time it takes to Drop and explode into another root, which is like a millisecond. This is far, far different than what is experienced in most styles and has to be seen to be appreciated.

I hope this clears things up for you.