fall and catch

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

fall and catch

Postby rojcewiczj on Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:28 pm

lately I've been focused on what I describe as "fall and catch" power. "Fall and catch" is like a "bow and arrow", in that its a combination of two things working together to create an effect. Essentially, it is the power of putting your weight in a state of falling and then catching yourself on your opponent. The reason for developing this method is to be able to use your weight to full effect. The difficulty of this method is to keep your body in a falling state and then only use the necessary strength to catch yourself on the opponent, as opposed to trying to drive your body into the opponent. The power can be so great that you can even injure your own arm if you dont catch yourself correctly, as in the case when someone trips and falls and then puts their arm out to catch them selves. I find that using falling and catching power is mentally very different from using driving power, but is much more powerful and flexible. Falling can take many forms and catching can take many forms. Forms of falling include stepping, dropping, and shifting. Forms of catching include using palm, fist, elbow, shoulder or any thing you can catch your own weight with. Any thoughts on this way of working with the body/power?
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Re: fall and catch

Postby Finny on Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:27 pm

Jack Dempsey - Championship Boxing
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Re: fall and catch

Postby .Q. on Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:12 am

It's one of the major power sources in shuaijiao so they have specific drills to train it. I use it primarily for footwork. Might be what you call shifting.
W/ regards to Jack Dempsey, Finny is referring to the "falling step" part of the "jolt" punch. Dempsey described the mechanic in great detail.
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Re: fall and catch

Postby rojcewiczj on Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:07 am

I think the major point is to get to the level where you can intuitively apply two forces where most everyone will only use one. Meaning, you can apply the falling power of the body and then build on that power with the catching power of the limbs. This creates penetration in striking and effective take-downs in grappling. How? when the opponent is still under the effect of the initial body force, the limb extends that force through the target. In Taiji demonstrations we see this as seizing and then issuing. First the body force is applied, often through the opponents chosen contact point, this creates a momentarily stiffening and unbalancing effect on the opponent, then, while the opponent is still suffering the initial body force, the limbs can act to shape, extend, and build on the initial force. If you only have one force against the opponents one force, it will always tend towards being an even fight. If you can apply one force with your body and then build on that force with the limbs, you can use two against one. The two forces are one action, the second extending the first, you break their balance with the first force and throw them down or away with the second force, all in one action.
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Re: fall and catch

Postby Quigga on Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:56 am

Oh that's very cool! At first I thought of just shoulder bashing and then hitting right after. But two as one is the same when someone hits you in the ouchy, you are soft and Ting Jingy, swallowing their force via point of contact (no Homo), redirect it in the body and then spit it out. The result will depend on your intent and killing expression. In a drill this is pretty easy, in sparring you should notice the magic happen more and more on its own. The full development of this body-state ability should be really really fun to play with.

And to be so precise in your movement that you can initiate this from any point of contact is very impressive. Thanks for bringing this up.

Or you can hit and take the rebound in the body as a catapult for the next move.
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Re: fall and catch

Postby marvin8 on Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:37 am

rojcewiczj wrote:I think the major point is to get to the level where you can intuitively apply two forces where most everyone will only use one. Meaning, you can apply the falling power of the body and then build on that power with the catching power of the limbs.

Most everyone will use more than two forces: 1) ground force from pushing off back foot 2) elastic force 3) weight shift (open/close kua 4) rotation (shoulder/waist) 5) falling. Five forces generates more power than two forces.

One should follow six harmonies (e.g., head not pass foot), not over committing to avoid being countered.

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rojcewiczj wrote:This creates penetration in striking and effective take-downs in grappling. How? when the opponent is still under the effect of the initial body force, the limb extends that force through the target.

The biomechanics of striking (above) are different from throwing (lever and couple) and tripping.

rojcewiczj wrote:In Taiji demonstrations we see this as seizing and then issuing. First the body force is applied, often through the opponents chosen contact point, this creates a momentarily stiffening and unbalancing effect on the opponent, then, while the opponent is still suffering the initial body force, the limbs can act to shape, extend, and build on the initial force. If you only have one force against the opponents one force, it will always tend towards being an even fight. If you can apply one force with your body and then build on that force with the limbs, you can use two against one. The two forces are one action, the second extending the first, you break their balance with the first force and throw them down or away with the second force, all in one action.

You're describing a trip from grappling range which mechanics are different from striking. Other skills are more important in unbalancing an opponent than power.
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Re: fall and catch

Postby johnwang on Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:50 pm

marvin8 wrote:One should follow six harmonies (e.g., head not pass foot), not over committing to avoid being countered.

You need to move your head to pass your foot to do many throws. Without "over committing", there won't be any sacrifice throw.

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Last edited by johnwang on Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: fall and catch

Postby rojcewiczj on Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:09 pm

While there are many forces in the body at any given time during an explosive movement. Most everyone will tend towards combining them all into one force for a single effect. For instance, pushing off your back foot and turning the waist and throwing the fist together in order to create a single powerful punch. There are many many possible degrees of separation between one force and another. To thread the body force (gravity, structure, ground-path, combined for the sake of clarity) through to the limb force or technique in such away that the first force is fully realized and the second acts as an ideal extension of the first is very difficult. To me this is why the sort of power clarity we see in high-level practitioners is relatively rare. My point to be clear, is that using two forces that create two different effects (first seizing and second throwing-down or penetrating) in such tight sequencing as to become one action, is what I consider attainment in martial art technique.

to respond to John Wang, aside from the technical details you describe. If we look at the take down through the lens of my described model, we can see that the body is used first to unbalance the opponent before the specific throwing technique is applied. The threading of these forces is such that they become one action, but in fact, the turning and throwing would not have been possible before the shoulder lift was applied.

when we look at quality taiji demos we can see the initial seizing caused by body force which allows all manner of techniques to applied seemingly effortlessly.

I enjoy doing Judo style grappling on occasion for experience. When you grab the opponents jacket and apply a body force through stepping/shifting and you feel the balance of the opponent become siezed, then you can attack with second extending force or technique. If your step/shift has no effect then the second force will almost certainly fail.
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Re: fall and catch

Postby Quigga on Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:14 pm

John, the gentleman throwing his partner definitely has six harmonies in my opinion. It's about connecting tissue not thought out geometric alignments. When the tissue is one, force is one, from head to toe. You could do a backflip with 6 harmonies... And you should!

So, uhm... I agree with you Mr. Wang.
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Re: fall and catch

Postby marvin8 on Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:40 pm

rojcewiczj wrote:While there are many forces in the body at any given time during an explosive movement. Most everyone will tend towards combining them all into one force for a single effect. For instance, pushing off your back foot and turning the waist and throwing the fist together in order to create a single powerful punch. There are many many possible degrees of separation between one force and another. To thread the body force (gravity, structure, ground-path, combined for the sake of clarity) through to the limb force or technique in such away that the first force is fully realized and the second acts as an ideal extension of the first is very difficult. To me this is why the sort of power clarity we see in high-level practitioners is relatively rare. My point to be clear, is that using two forces that create two different effects (first seizing and second throwing-down or penetrating) in such tight sequencing as to become one action, is what I consider attainment in martial art technique.

I may have misunderstood. Your OP mentions "falling/stepping and catching/fist," not "seizing," which is why others mentioned Dempsey's "falling step" punch. The more forces you separate/leave out (only falling), the less powerful a single punch may be.

rojcewiczj wrote:to respond to John Wang, aside from the technical details you describe. If we look at the take down through the lens of my described model, we can see that the body is used first to unbalance the opponent before the specific throwing technique is applied. The threading of these forces is such that they become one action, but in fact, the turning and throwing would not have been possible before the shoulder lift was applied.

If you mean the above throw https://i.postimg.cc/PJvJYhDs/single-leg-flip.gif, it appears to be two movements, lift and throw—which is not "very difficult" and common to judo's single leg/ura nage (out of competition), wrestling, etc.

rojcewiczj wrote:when we look at quality taiji demos we can see the initial seizing caused by body force which allows all manner of techniques to applied seemingly effortlessly.

I have seen taiji demos where one point touch (na/seizing) unbalances the opponent (Liang De Hua). However, I have not seen that done in competition. You may want to post a sparring/fighting or demo clip for more clarity and discussion.

Sport fighters do seize opponents with or without touching before striking while avoiding counters.

rojcewiczj wrote:I enjoy doing Judo style grappling on occasion for experience. When you grab the opponents jacket and apply a body force through stepping/shifting and you feel the balance of the opponent become siezed, then you can attack with second extending force or technique. If your step/shift has no effect then the second force will almost certainly fail.

In johnwang's shuai chiao clip, an opponent can defend against the single leg having "no effect." So, I see no difference between that combination and judo's or wrestling's.

johnwang wrote:
marvin8 wrote:One should follow six harmonies (e.g., head not pass foot), not over committing to avoid being countered.

You need to move your head to pass your foot to do many throws. Without "over committing", there won't be any sacrifice throw.

https://i.postimg.cc/PJvJYhDs/single-leg-flip.gif

I was referring to striking. Although, some MAs take a more conservative approach preferring to use trips over throws.
Last edited by marvin8 on Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: fall and catch

Postby rojcewiczj on Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:18 pm

Thanks for all the responses! I have no doubt that effective practitioners of various disciplines apply what I originally referred to as "fall and catch" power. The choice of describing the action in two parts as opposed to one is to help illustrate the nature of the method. The first part, "falling" refers to body force, including all methods that can combine to produce force on the body, the second part "catching" refers to any method of exerting some strength with the limbs or shoulders. The ability to clearly use these two forces as a kind of invisible or "internal" combination, in my opinion, is the main skill of Chinese martial arts. All martial arts to be successful must implement some of this internal combination, like Dempsey's jolt punch or a judo/wrestling take-down. The combination of body and limb, falling and catching, can by applied through a single point or multiple. Sumo wrestling is full of examples where a single hand push is the technique that sends the opponent out of the ring or down to the ground. In my opinion, Sumo is the sport with the closest skill set to Chinese martial arts like taiji or xingyi. Why is that? because in Sumo the body is used typically as an initial force from which pushs, pulls and trips are expressed as a second force. Apparently, when the Chinese were meeting to form their own combat sport of Sanda, the main thing they decided to take from Chinese martial arts was the take-downs. Why is that? From my experience, I would say that Chinese marital arts has nothing special or even particularly good to give to someone seeking to strike their opponent into a painful submission. If you want to really make a point of developing the body, limb / falling and catching / seizing issuing internal combination power then Chinese martial arts is wonderfully rich in exercises. A part of the tragedy of Chinese martial arts is the failure to protect this particular focus and character.

In the below clip we have a disciple of Chen Zhonghua who is also a Muay Thai fighter, teaching "sink waist, and press elbow".
Sink waist, press elbow is just one expression of the body/limb, fall/catch, seize/issue two part power method I'm trying to highlight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO3rpfYV920

here is a short clips of the same Sun Yang fighting in Muay Thai rules. It illustrates how he uses Taiji techniques mainly to unbalance his opponent and create take downs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoYzhuYISJ0

In the below clip we have an interview with someone who witnessed the developed of Sanda as a sport.
About four minutes in he talks about how english boxing was found to be superior but that the Chinese take-downs were kept.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDOkPNzKGBg
Last edited by rojcewiczj on Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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