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Post  Chris on Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:01 am

Hey Dave,

Hope you are well.

I was trying to get across the need for correct posture to the lads and the correct method of transition in and out of postures.

I always remember the emphasis you place on correct posture and movement. I also noted the way every Goshinkwai guy I have ever seen at the high end "sinks" into place. I was trying to find a suitable way to explain it with words but struggled.

How would you explain correct posture to a student? If someone came to you and you had to show them the "correct" way to create that platform for action. Also, how did John Warfield teach those same lessons to you?


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Re: Posture

Post  David Turton on Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:55 am

Hi Chris

You never ask easy ones do you mate? Ha Ha

right .. postures are perhaps the most fundamental part of learning any martial art, but especially the Goshinkwai based ones.

my old expression "You cant shoot a cannon from a canoe" perhaps illustrates it best.

All 'sports' have postures or body positions that are a necessary requirement of that sport.. golf.. batting in cricket.. serve in tennis and so . even darts (if you can class darts as a sport!!)

the necessary ability to provide both a launch and a delivery platform is paramount in order to project your maximum power, speed targeting etc.

work the opposite side of the coin and get students to try and perform strikes, throws etc in really bad postures and they will soon see the necessity for good ones.
who for example would stand in front of a punch bag on one leg or with feet together and expect to strike well?

also remember its very rare indeed that we will be in the 'delivery' platform (or posture) when we start our moves.. there will be a 'launch' (or starting) posture first.
The ability to transfer from the launch to the delivery platforms is created by tai-sabaki and stable postures.

the end product often masks the transfer parts (the bits from start to finish).
if you are in a rekaxed posture and are attacked you HAVE to swiftly move from this posture to another quickly, smoothly and efficiently.
practising these transitions on their own without actual strikes etc is the best way to feel them

as for the slight 'sinking' this comes under the topic of 'rooting' and 'grounding' .. both similar but slightly different.

Your body during any part of combat from start to finish MUST be under the support and control of MUSCLES not Bones..
for example.. when we stand relaxed and normal we are conserving energy by having the bone structure support us.. without getting too anatomically technical, think of the fact that the femur, tibia, fibula etc are the main supports in standing. The muscle are almost 'secondary'.
However when we move in states of stress or danger we have to have those muscles working and ready for further rapid and powerful movements.
So for example if we step into and obliquely towards an opponent and are intending performing say a strike to the head, then we need to 'ground' ourselves by this slight sinking.. this allows the muscles to automatically make sight balance and power adjustments .. we then dont need to do this consciously as our training will make it more or less an automatic movement...

as for John .. we spent hours (lots of bloody hours) 'moving' both with and without techniques attached to the movements .. almost like 'dance' or even (not really but similar) to 'katas' but not with a specific flow of moves... just moving around feeling the movements, absorbing and understanding the postural changes and just 'knowing' that posture 'd' is wrong when moving from posture 'w' etc, and that perhaps posture 'f' may be the better one.

hope that helps Chris .. blood early in the morniong for thinking Ha Ha

cheers mate

David Turton

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