Center line principle -- overrated?

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Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby C.J.W. on Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:20 pm

In many Asian fighting arts, guarding, attacking, and generating power from the center line is often taught as a key principle.

However, in street fights as well as combat sport matches, we see that people are very often knocked out by hook-like curved punches that leave the striker's center line exposed -- as opposed to straight-line punches like the orthodox jab and cross that appear to adhere to the center line principle.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby johnwang on Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:00 pm

When your opponent throws hook punch, his head will be exposed. If you can extend your

- left arm between your opponent's head and his right arm,
- right arm between your opponent's head and his left arm,

you can establish a clinch and take him down.



Image
I'm still allergy to "push".
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:28 pm

Adam Mizner talks about the center line principle starting at around 16:00 in this interview:

Last edited by oragami_itto on Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby thepoeticedda on Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:09 pm

Yes. Kinda. It's complicated.

Okay so centerline refers to the invisible line running down the center of your body that refers to the center of mass, but only in a left-right context. In external martial arts like the longfist I used to do and the internal-external southern chinese martial arts like wing chun and baji, the centerline is very important for beginners because it has a lot of targets (eyes, nose, throat, solar plexus, groin) and manipulating the center of an object manipulates more of the object. For an example of that in real life, look at a chess board. A chess piece in one of the center 4 squares threatens more spots on a chess board than any other square on the board. So for beginning chess players, a good hot tip to instantly get better is to focus on controlling those center 4 squares.

Thing is, "affecting the center" can be done from any point of the body, so when a person starts getting better at those centerline focused arts, they learn how to channel their power to more the opponents centerline from any strike, so therefore they start learning specific targeted strikes not on the centerline (liver, uppercuts to the chin, kidneys) and so the importance of the centerline drops away. Comparing again to chess, many chess masters have a bunch of different side focused openings. The importance of the center four squares never changed, it's just that they know counter strategies to counter strategies to counter strategies so their openings look different. Sports fighters are at that high level chess skills but the average Wing Chun intro video is geared to be an intro video and teaches intro level skills, so common knowledge about arts like WC is way different that common knowledge about boxing.

But we're still not done, cause internal arts are different yet. In arts like tai chi, you are focused on the energies (which sounds like goop.com type stuff, but energy exists and that's what these arts are focused on) and so as Adam Mizner deliciously showed in that video, the actual physical centerline of the body does not matter to someone with deep internal skill. To continue the chess metaphor, tai chi players are playing go and wondering why you're talking about knights and rooks.
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby Ozguorui on Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:33 pm

"the internal-external southern chinese martial arts like wing chun and baji,"

and baji???
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby Subitai on Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:45 pm

OK, cool...perhaps a nice topic, mabe some good things going to come out of it.

Of course...John posts something practical and useful. ;D

Next I was going to say something about a video of a guy sitting on a wall but I decided it's no use.
-argh- -argh- -argh- -argh- -argh-
==============================================================
As to CJW question about fighting:
...in street fights as well as combat sport matches, we see that people are very often knocked out by hook-like curved punches that leave the striker's center line exposed -- as opposed to straight-line punches like the orthodox jab and cross that appear to adhere to the center line principle.


- the issue is Timing. Many think strikes that travel Point A to Point B > beats curved or rounded strikes. But that's only true if they began at the exact same time.

Timing, rhythm / broken rhythm or better initiative for example can defy that underlined principle. As per your question about strikes...It's that simple dude.
=============================================================
About the centerline theory....Striking (for impact) and trying to manipulate someones center (via push hands skills for example) are not the same thing. If you have X ray vision and could see a persons spine...then you can see a good representation of their center.
In Grappling or even push hands, you feel where a persons center is. It never goes away persay...if a person is better than you, they just hide their center or deny you the chance to find it in the 1st place.

(!) Striking! But just from a pure dodging/bobbing/slipping (avoidance) point of view (not blocking or bridging), If I strike purely at your center (example directly at your sternum), it's Harder to avoid then if I only strike at your outside points... for example your shoulder joint (i.e. away from your center)
- Of course, what would be the point of only striking at the outside of your shoulder anyway???


Don't listen to some guy tell you about how they don't use the centerline theory. It won't keep them from getting Knocked TFO from strikes.
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby Bao on Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:34 am

The use and focus of the centerline is not something that comes from philosophy. It comes from a development through practical practice, how to use the body in the most efficient way. How to throw more efficiently, to punch harder, to develop a fast yet coordinated footwork. IMO, it’s rather underrated than overrated, because people tend to not take it serious and don’t really give this principle the focus it deserves. :/
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:08 am

We can't mention the centreline without the 6 palaces
The foundation of any fighting tactics
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby MaartenSFS on Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:17 am

I don't think that the principle is overrated, just the emphasis on striking it. I have made use a lot of round techniques to the detriment of Wingchun and low-level boxing stylists - especially the former. Footwork and Shenfa are critical to proper application, which is why Wingchun is doomed - they lack it.
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby willie on Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:46 am

johnwang wrote:When your opponent throws hook punch, his head will be exposed. If you can extend your

- left arm between your opponent's head and his right arm,
- right arm between your opponent's head and his left arm,

you can establish a clinch and take him down.



Image

John, I have to say that that is one badass move and I could transition into a very nice armbar from there . Also the twisting to it could rupture a vertebrae in the back, beautiful. I can't find anything wrong with that move, damn it, lol!
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby willie on Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:27 am

oragami_itto wrote:Adam Mizner talks about the center line principle starting at around 16:00 in this interview:


In his interview he speaks of others who he says are just regurgitating phrases without understanding the meanings. I agree with that, but I need to take that even one step further by saying that he is also caught up in the exact same situation himself. I do think that he is good, but I also think that Yang style is a lost art. The reason why I say that is because, all of the terms that are constantly used year after year decade after decade seem to never have any connection to anything that can be tangibly reproduced. Were they the original Concepts? I doubt it. I would be willing to bet that it was closer to Chen Style and as the years went by it has become more and more corrupt by gross misguided, left to ponder, misinterpretations.
Last edited by willie on Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby johnwang on Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:38 am

If

- A uses jab and cross,
- B uses double hooks,

my money will be on B. By using the Chinese spear principle, all straight line attack can be defected by clockwise circle or counter clockwise circle. When you use circle to deflect a straight line, you can also use your opponent's leading arm to jam his back arm.

If you use

- left arm to draw a clockwise circle.
- right arm to draw a counter clockwise circle.

you can deflect all the incoming straight line punches. I'll call that "double spears" strategy.
I'm still allergy to "push".
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby thepoeticedda on Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:52 am

Ozguorui wrote:"the internal-external southern chinese martial arts like wing chun and baji,"

and baji???


Oops lol. It would definitely help my arguments if I stopped being a dumbass hahaha.
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby willie on Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:05 am

johnwang wrote:
If you use

- left arm to draw a clockwise circle.
- right arm to draw a counter clockwise circle.

you can deflect all the incoming straight line punches. I'll call that "double spears" strategy.

What you're describing is simply Cloud hands, I believe
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby johnwang on Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:24 am

willie wrote:What you're describing is simply Cloud hands, I believe

Since in "cloud hands", your arms only move in one direction, the general term for circular movement arms should be called "分手(Fen Shou) - separate hands".

By moving your arms in circle with different directions, you can separate your opponent arms

1. both upward,
2. both downward,
3. left arm upward, right arm downward.
4. left arm downward, right arm upward.
I'm still allergy to "push".
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