Fundamentals of Kicking

[Grandmaster Chu Training Episodes #007]

The last post, [Penetrating Punch and The Wing Chun Stance – The Jackscrew Analogy] dated 2014.04.07, talked about the jackscrew operation in the knee joints for kicking. To initiate such movement in the knee joints, it is actually the activity in the hip joint area that empowers the kick, albeit still through the jackscrew-type operation.

It appears strange, even awkward, that the “crux” of the hip-joint-controlled kicking is the going-in of the thigh bone into the hip area, as illustrated in this footage. How is this related to kicking, kicking with power?

I am not knowledgeable enough to offer a scientific explanation. Rather, by intuition: “Relaxing and softening” is the key in Ideas Wing Chun. Having this to work in the pelvis/hip area, which connects the upper and lower parts of the body and embodies considerable “muscles and tissues”, would mean “freeing” the hip joints from internal constricting forces. Described simplistically, at the back the hip joints (and thus the thigh bones) are freed from pulling by the back and hip muscles, as well as further articulated with the “expanded/elongated” spine via the tailbone which has been freed to move/slide in a little bit. This is commonly observed as “dropping”.

At the same time, in the front, the thigh bone is freed from pulling forces in the hip muscles. As such, the hip joint (front view) is no more “concealed” by thick, contracting hip muscles; there comes up with more room for further movement of the thigh – the thigh bone goes in.

In a way, the going-in observation serves as an indicator of deep relaxation of hip muscles in that area. Put it in another way: Without this happening, kicking still involves “flexing” the leg, the way of ordinary kicking; “flexing” refers to pulling forces inflicted by thick hip muscles. Such kicking is not initiated by rotating in joints. Although at the back the muscles are “dropped”, in the front the muscles are still dominating (in contraction mode) – rotating in joints is just half-way ready.

The going-in characteristic can be paralleled to the relaxing in the shoulder, where the upper arm bone is freed and goes in a little bit (more aligned with) the shoulder joint area, only that this is much less pronounced than that occurring in the much larger and thicker hip area. Arm movements basing on such are very powerful too.

In the last section of the footage, it is shown that sliding in the tailbone not only empowers kicking, but articulates the upper and lower parts of the body into one stable structure which always delivers the entire body weight as power in every movement, be it of the arms or the legs. This aspect is further illustrated in the footage #008.

2014.05.10

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