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vantheman
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Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 249

Styles: Chinese Kempo Karate, Brazilian Jujitsu

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:53 pm    Post subject: Basics of Chi Reply with quote

A couple weeks ago, my class was working on the reacon strike (basically a backfist going down, I'm not entirely sure how its spelled), and one the more advanced adults in the class demonstrated that if you started the strike with an open hand and then clenched it as it came down, it would be more powerful than if you started with a clenched fist. He claimed it was more powerful because it allowed his Chi to flow better. I do not have a very good understanding of chi or how it works. Could someone give a basic explanation of what it is and how I can use it?

I probably will search around for it as well, but I figure I will get better info here.

Thanks

-VTM
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"Throws are like strikes, except you hit them with a planet instead of your hand."
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Zaine
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1660
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Shorin Ryu, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Mantis, Schola Saint George (Fiorian sword fighting)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not familiar enough with how chi actually works to speak about that but I do know the science behind it. By opening their hands I'm assuming that they're not tensed at all and then at the last minute they tense up. They are relying on a mixture of their gravity and weight to increase the velocity of the strike. At the last second they prepare for impact. If you stay clinch all the way it is only you who is doing any kind of movement, and you factor out gravity a bit more than when you kind of let it do its thing.
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Groinstrike
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Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 923
Location: Richland County
Styles: Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do, BJJ M

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zaine makes good points.

I myself to not believe in "chi". What i do believe is the ability to condition your body through rigourous training and conditioning. As per the TS's question about making strikes more powerful. Relaxed muscles move faster than tensed muscles. Speed equals power. There is no mystical force behind it, IMHO.
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vantheman
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Joined: 18 Apr 2012
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Styles: Chinese Kempo Karate, Brazilian Jujitsu

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I wasn't really sure about the whole Chi thing, and just wanted to make sure there was not something involving it that could drastically improve my performance.

Thanks again,

-VTM
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Van

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MasterPain
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Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 1949
Location: Parts Unknown
Styles: Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Backyard Kali, Satsui no Hadou

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Basics of Chi Reply with quote

vantheman wrote:
A couple weeks ago, my class was working on the reacon strike (basically a backfist going down, I'm not entirely sure how its spelled), and one the more advanced adults in the class demonstrated that if you started the strike with an open hand and then clenched it as it came down, it would be more powerful than if you started with a clenched fist. He claimed it was more powerful because it allowed his Chi to flow better. I do not have a very good understanding of chi or how it works. Could someone give a basic explanation of what it is and how I can use it?

I probably will search around for it as well, but I figure I will get better info here.

Thanks

-VTM


If you ask a dozen people who believe in chi what it is and how it works, you'll get 13 different answers. If your instructor says that chi is using good body mechanics to produce more power, then by all means develop your chi. If they say chi is a lifeforce that you develop by running sprints and lifting weights and eating a good diet, then by all means develop your chi. If chi is using breath and muscle tension to better aborb a strike, fine.

If it starts to look like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUDrs8IYevM
this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm5WtE-2dPg
this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=Vt7MGgxbhho
or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22Tj_l4PcPs
then it is not so good.
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vantheman
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Joined: 18 Apr 2012
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Styles: Chinese Kempo Karate, Brazilian Jujitsu

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MasterPain wrote:
vantheman wrote:
A couple weeks ago, my class was working on the reacon strike (basically a backfist going down, I'm not entirely sure how its spelled), and one the more advanced adults in the class demonstrated that if you started the strike with an open hand and then clenched it as it came down, it would be more powerful than if you started with a clenched fist. He claimed it was more powerful because it allowed his Chi to flow better. I do not have a very good understanding of chi or how it works. Could someone give a basic explanation of what it is and how I can use it?

I probably will search around for it as well, but I figure I will get better info here.

Thanks

-VTM


If you ask a dozen people who believe in chi what it is and how it works, you'll get 13 different answers. If your instructor says that chi is using good body mechanics to produce more power, then by all means develop your chi. If they say chi is a lifeforce that you develop by running sprints and lifting weights and eating a good diet, then by all means develop your chi. If chi is using breath and muscle tension to better aborb a strike, fine.

If it starts to look like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUDrs8IYevM
this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm5WtE-2dPg
this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=Vt7MGgxbhho
or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22Tj_l4PcPs
then it is not so good.
In other words, its not the force? I was getting excited for a moment.
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JusticeZero
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Joined: 02 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not 'the force'. It probably comes from people who believe that any ability to do something that they personally do not know how to do must obviously be because of supernatural powers. It's not helped by the fact that it is a lot easier to spend two minutes explaining a visualization exercise and get students performing a task well than it is to spend an hour trying to discuss body alignment and have them still not get it because it's one of those counterintuitive things.

Much like the example by the way. If you are tensed up, that means you are applying muscle force in the opposite direction from where you want to go, by definition.
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vantheman
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Styles: Chinese Kempo Karate, Brazilian Jujitsu

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When he explained where the strength came from I vaguely remember him telling it from both the scientific and chi perspective. I guess he understands that chi is not as "magical" as its told to be. Chi has never been a focus of my Dojo, which is why I decided to ask this question. Thanks for all of the responses.

-VTM
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Van

"Throws are like strikes, except you hit them with a planet instead of your hand."
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Zaine
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
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Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Shorin Ryu, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Mantis, Schola Saint George (Fiorian sword fighting)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chi really belongs to a branch of Eastern Mysticism that is really dying out in the martial arts being practiced in the west. There was nothing wrong with the practical chi practitioners, and in fact it was more of an inner peace deal and had a lot to do with balancing your body in your mind. The unfortunate advent that we see today is also a largely western monster. We're lazy and the eastern immigrants to the west capitalized on that and blew it out of proportion. This is not to say that this didn't happen before martial arts migrated to the west but we have a certain way about us that makes us take stuff like this, that promises a quick way out and just running with it. Your teacher seems to have the right of it.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14498
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Proper use of ones hips along with proper execution of any said technique, that equals power, not chi...imho.

In the Uraken Uchi, the striking hand is kept open until just before contacting said target. If the striking hand is closed throughout, then the effectiveness is arrested. A tensed weapon doesn't flow to any said target like an open weapon does; being relaxed is beneficial. Your instructor left the hand open and then closed it before contacting said target because that's the proper methodology of all te techniques.

Try doing any te technique with a closed/tensed weapon, one would see that it's quite ineffective. However, do any te technique with the weapon relaxed/open, one would see it's quite effective over the former alternative.


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