Sunday, January 11, 2015

Body Alignment

Controlling body alignment is a key tactic used in Aiki based arts. Proper body alignment includes a straight spine from tail bone to the crown of your head. It also includes keep both feet beneath you and in the case of the arts I study it means keeping your feet a bit wider than your shoulders. What this looks like and how to make this work effectively in motion is a constantly changing dynamic that takes time and practice. Suffice it to say, body alignment is very important.

Why is it important?

Ever try to walk or run with your head to one side? How about lift weights with your legs on an uneven surface? The problem with these things is that they may still be possible but they take a feat of extraordinary strength when having proper alignment makes the task much easier. The same is true of fighting. Punching, kicking, and grappling with an opponent is much simpler with alignment and rather difficult to make effective when not aligned.

The reason this information is important in a fight is because whether you use Aiki or another art. Maintaining your alignment and balance is as important as making sure your opposition cannot maintain their alignment.

We can affect improper alignment in someone by things as simple as adding a bit more weight than normal to one part of their body or by striking them in such a way as to mis-align there spine.

Manipulating a person's spinal alignment at either end is the ideal. Meaning controlling the head or and legs. In addition to being a good mental reboot. A punch to the head is a good way to put someone's head out of alignment. At the other end of the body, pressing a knee into someone's leg can force their leg straight or force them to move. Movement is by its very nature, less stable than an object that is static.

The next time you get some lab time in class or get to spar with an opponent. Especially you Karateka out there. See what techniques you can use to get someone out of alignment and therefore out of balance. The tools you have now work for this tactic. You need not learn any new special move. Find someone that will work with you and offer you reasonable and realistic resistance. See what you can come up with...

If you come up with any observations during training as a result of this post, comment them below. I would like to hear what you find.

Keep Training!

Nick