Natural Laws of Motion
At a fundamental level what is martial art training really all about? It is about some style of movement, or that any one style is better than any other? Nor is it about fitness, or survival of the fittest? In my 36 plus years in the martial arts world, with what I have been taught and what I have seen it is about one thing. The Natural Laws of Motion.
Now I am not going to give you a physics lesson here today! While that might be fun I am instead going to discuss the Natural Laws of Motion and how they apply to martial arts and thereby self defense. This will relate back to some Kyusho Principles also. Specifically Body Mechanics.
Tough Wrong on Purpose
A new martial arts student needs to be broken down. Before anyone gets all bent out of shape about that statement let me explain. Everyone comes in the door with their own idea of how things need to be done. Methods of movement, in punches, blocks, walking, kicking, running, all things, that need to be reprogrammed.
This is one reason martial arts is a lifelong journey. Because it is discovery of the self. As Bruce Lee said "all knowledge is self knowledge."
What do I mean by taught wrong? First the new student learns very large movement, all in a linear fashion, as to show in great details what is happening. You can look at an Kata and see great examples of this. And this is 100 percent the correct thing to do! The student needs to be broken down! Then rebuilt, new and improved.
What is WRONG with linear movement? What you will see at the beginning level in self defense training is someone being taught to rush in to block and counter attack in a straight line. Why is this a problem? This relies on "timing" and speed, as well as putting the defender at risk rather than making them safe first, then to counter.
Timing is great when you are 21, but not 50!
As I said this is OK to start out. But most martial arts instructors I see never take their student beyond this state. I see Black Belts training this exact same way as the day they started. That is OK for sport, in fact it is perfect with sport. This coupled with "ring control" makes for a great fighter. But not for self defense or personal safety!
Natural Laws of Motion - Circular Motion
In Aikido circular movement is taught from day one! And this is awesome, and should be the second step in the harder styles of martial arts I am discussing at the inception of this article.
From the majority of what I see this is also large circles. And that is the best way to start. But once again it cannot stay there! Circular motion is defensive and that is great! But the attack become linear, then the advantage is given back. And once the large circular motion is well learned by the student, it MUST be converted to small circle, so small at times it is not even seen. But today that is also lacking.
Natural Laws of Motion - Zig Zag
The body and movement must be studied, mimicked and felt! Then advanced movement based on the natural laws of motion can be understood.
Despite what you think, you cannot walk in a linear fashion or a straight line. You walk in a Zig Zag pattern like the image above. As an example if you step to the right, your hip retraces, and you move to a 45 degree angle, then after the step return to the center.
The next step to the left is the same thing, on the opposite side! So since this is natural movement, the natural laws of motion why would you not train to do this more effectively once basic movements of the style are understood?
If your instructor taught this you are very fortunate! This is also why walking a straight line is a ridiculous test! Most people have issue doing this exercise because it is not natural.
When you look at the diagram above what do you see? I am hoping you see triangles and 45 degree angles! That is how nature works. Then add a circle, and you are getting into very advanced movement.
However once you put the circle inside an octagon, and then learn how the body moves naturally within these angles you are mastering the natural laws of motion.
This makes your study timeless, therefore ageless, and also takes you back to the original idea that size and age do not matter.
Was this information on the Secrets of the Octagon, the Natural Laws of Motion kept from the martial arts world for the last 75 years on purpose?
Likely no, I think it was excluded because of the idea of progress. Making things easier for the student.
Progressive seems to always be regressive in truth. Where can you go to learn this? I have no idea other than from me. I do not think the man who taught me is still teaching. He seems to have vanished.
I also believe it is overlooked because as complex as it is, it is very simple. Few martial arts taught today are complete. However adding the science of pressure point self defense Kyusho Jitsu to your current training, and then Octagon you will come as close to a complete training as it possible.
I will link more about my Octagon Courses and books below.
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This is must have information and will take your study of your root art to a new level!
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Have a great day!
Yours in the arts,
Grand Master Art Mason