Martial Body Foundations: online course with Chris Davis

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Martial Body Foundations: online course with Chris Davis

Postby Tom on Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:03 pm

I recently completed the Foundations online course in the Martial Body training methodology of long-time forum member Chris Davis ("middleway"). This course is well-organized and clearly demonstrated. Chris draws on more than a quarter-century of both training and teaching experience including basic grappling and boxing, jujutsu, aiki jujutsu, taijiquan, Hebei xingyiquan and baguazhang, as well as sound principles of physical conditioning, biomechanics and curriculum development, in offering specific principles, training methods and exercises to develop six broad groups of mental/physical attributes he calls Heavy Body, Stable Body, Connected Body, Elastic Body, Spiral Body and Fluid Body. These groups of attributes are readily translatable into specific martial arts and techniques.

I recognized many of the exercises and drills, having encountered them in slightly different formats with different arts and teachers. Most teachers/arts do not place such exercises and drills in a broader practical context, i.e., combative purpose. Chris organizes the training so that the student is specifically taught not only what to train but why. Following the idea of progressive and cyclical training, the same six sets of attributes can be revisited in a deeper intermediate context, and then again in a more specifically combative (usage/application) environment.

Chris is one of a small number of internal arts teachers who have worked with the idea of training the "combative body" as foundational development for progress and deepening actual fighting skills. In principle, this approach is not really different from building gongfu through jibengong and basic forms--but the scientific understanding of body/mind work is deeper today and it is helpful for modern students to have a clearer understanding of what their (hopefully) hard work and perseverance is building. I think of Rickson Gracie's embodiment of training connectivity, breath and Ginastica Natural exercises; Ken Fish's explanations for basic jibengong or the Tian Gen of Gao Yisheng baguazhang; Tim Cartmell's wide-ranging collection of solo exercises; Akuzawa Minoru's Aunkai; and Dan Harden's Sangenkai. I've explored all of those different approaches in some depth. All of them are good and worthwhile training methods. I found Martial Body Foundations to be the clearest and best-organized for the student, not as dependent perhaps on training in person and feeling the founder/teacher in order to make progress.

You can find more information about Chris Davis' MartialBody method here: https://www.martialbody.com/The-Method
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Re: Martial Body Foundations: online course with Chris Davis

Postby aiasthewall on Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:58 am

Which series did you go through?
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Re: Martial Body Foundations: online course with Chris Davis

Postby Tom on Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:57 am

aiasthewall wrote:Which series did you go through?


The Foundation (beginning) series/package for the Heavy Body, Stable Body, Connected Body, Elastic Body, Spiral Body and Fluid Body programs.
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Re: Martial Body Foundations: online course with Chris Davis

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:28 pm

Thanks for sharing, Tom. I am not at all surprised by your positive remarks. Chris' project has always seemed worthwhile, and the arts he trained are diverse and complementary to reverse engineering things a la Harden, Ark, etc...Plus, it's nice to have more people teaching this stuff without inflated egos. Chris seems to be bringing more balance to this dynamic along with the Aunkai folks.

This sort of stuff, much of which can be done solo, is particularly great during pandemic times.
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Re: Martial Body Foundations: online course with Chris Davis

Postby Bao on Wed Jan 27, 2021 4:46 am

" I found Martial Body Foundations to be the clearest and best-organized for the student, not as dependent perhaps on training in person and feeling the founder/teacher in order to make progress. "


Pretty good endorsement from someone who has an understanding of many different approaches.

I skimmed through the pages and the courses seems to be arranged in a clear and logical manner. I suppose that if it was a traditional Chinese art, the different methods would have animal names. When teaching body methods, it's always better to leave poetry and abstraction aside.
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Re: Martial Body Foundations: online course with Chris Davis

Postby jaime_g on Thu Jan 28, 2021 4:20 am

I have followed Chris through all his online projects. His work is excellent, he is a great example of internal qualities being used in a modern environment, and he always tries to keep improving as a teacher.
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