SW Portland Martial Arts Blog

Day 82: Active versus Passive

June 4th, 2020

The fighting principle of active versus passive is deceptively simple. Surely it is better to be active rather than passive? Not always. There are many situations which are actually best solved by doing nothing. Neither is being passive better than being active. There are many situations which are best solved by taking action.

Aside from that double talk, martial techniques often start from understanding the passive and then moving to the active. Before you can throw really cool active punches, it helps if you know where to put your cover hands passively. So we explored passive covers versus active covers today in kid’s class.

In striking class, Dug explored the shin block. It’s not passive, but often, when working solo combinations, it’s easy to overlook defense. Don’t get passive and fall into the groove of just punching and kicking when you solo train. Defend.

For CrossFit class, we worked the big toe balance during the skill work. What a weird combination of passively standing still while actively pushing in different directions in order to stay still. Fun.

Day 81: Leading Centers

June 3rd, 2020

When you watch someone punch, what do you see move first? Their fist? Their foot? Their hip?

Often, when someone strikes, they will move their head, shoulder, or hip. Those are the leading centers. So if you want to fake someone out, you might try twitching one of your leading centers. See if they react to your twitchery. If they do, you might be able to use leading center fakes on them. Also, you might be able to “mute” your own leading centers so that your sparring partners won’t see your strikes coming.

Explore the idea in kid’s class.

Explore the idea via CrossFit class with thrusters. We don’t have to hide our leading centers in fitness movements. Power through the hips. Every rep.

Explore the idea in grappling class. Don’t lift with the arm… lift with the hips – the stronger leading center.

And then go off on a tangent and clinch with your heavy bag with my YouTube video.

Day 80: Defensive Choices

June 2nd, 2020

The simplest way to examine the fighting principle of defensive choices is to look at the way you hold your hands when you spar. So we kept it simple. Kid’s class today was all about trying out different covers.

I made a YouTube video that covers almost the same ground as the kid’s class – trying out different covers and experimenting with which strikes and kicks feel good from each particular cover.

For CrossFit class, we played with intervals. What happens when you do burpees for 30 seconds and rest for 15 seconds? What about burpees for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds? Answer: you get tired, pretty much no matter what.

For striking class, defense is on the menu as well! Combos with defense? Absolutely.

Day 79: Position

June 1st, 2020

We decided to continue on our running theme of fighting principles. In martial arts, position is everything. In fitness, position is everything. The three most important things in movement are, after all, position, position, position.

For kid’s class, we worked the idea of position relative to our own bodies. What is a good fighting stance? How do you hold your hands? Your head? Your elbows? After we figured out a good starting point, we played, strayed and returned to that starting point.

For CrossFit class, we worked, among other things, the L-sit. Want a position that gives you immediate feedback about if you’re in balance or not? Look no further than the deadly and unforgiving L-sit.

Finally, on Saturday, I did a striking class in which I laid out what the striking classes will look like when we *hopefully* re-open on the 12th. Check it out if you are planning on attending classes.

Day 76: Constant Forward Pressure

May 29th, 2020

The most fun fighting principle there is: constant forward pressure (CFP). The simple meaning of CFP is to just keep going. The more complex meaning is to keep feeding your partner problems, so many problems that they won’t be able to solve them all.

For kid’s class, we played the game “new kicks on the blocks”. Yeah. It is an awesome game where you jump from block to block constantly throwing kicks (also punches). CFP on those blocks!

For CrossFit class, we did 12 of everything. Split jumps, ground to overheads, Superman’s… and squats. So many squats. CFP on the squats.

Are you using CFP in your internal martial arts? You should be. You gotta keep working at it if you want it to work!