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ikko Bamboo
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"Instructor Tips"
ikko Bamboo
Watch concept exampleWatch Concept Watch concept example
                      Part I                  .
             The Watch Concept is based upon the mechanics of a fine Swiss Watch.  There are several gears in the watch, some are utilized for the hour hand, another for the minute hand, yet another for the second hand, and still others for the month, the day of the week, the date,  the year, and depending upon the sophistication of the time piece many more gears for many other uses.
     A unique feature, is to examine the way in which the gears "rotate", regardless of the number of gears in a watch, there are only two (2) options as to the direction they rotate .... clockwise or counter clockwise.  The gears may be of various sizes {for different functions} as well as having differing numbers of "teeth" on each wheel.  This of course, will vary the speed of each wheel, which will in effect, create a different result due to the timing of the particular gear.
     The size of the gearing is also to be examined, small gears with few teeth give a different timing than that of the same size gear with many teeth.  As we realize, there are several gears of varying sizes,  each with differing numbers of teeth that must work harmoniously which results in an accurate and sophisticated timepiece.
     If we examine ourselves, the human body functions much the same as the watch.  As an example, lets look at a straight right punch.  Starting with the right hand chambered at or about the hip, palm up, as we deliver the punch forward we see that it rotates counter clockwise at which it ends up palm down at its final position.  There are many variations which differ in the regulation on exactly when the "punch" starts making its rotation (some when the mid forearm reaches the ribs, another when the elbow reaches the ribs etc.) however, most agree that the proper completion of the punches rotation, is just prior to the extension of the arm ending with the palm down.  As we examine this action we see several "gears" working.  The upper portion of the arm (shoulder to elbow) is -from the practitioners point of view- moving in a clockwise direction, the mid portion of the arm (elbow to wrist) however, is as it extends, going counter clockwise, and at the same time is also rotating (palm up to palm down).  This action as you see only involves "two" gears, upper arm and mid arm, the wrist should be locked for this action.  If you were to "throw" a right punch say from a left neutral bow ending in a forward bow, you would additionally involve more gears, i.e. the body, which would rotate: counter clockwise,  the forward leg which would involve upper leg, lower leg and foot (3 gears), the opposite arm (2 gears), rear leg (extending- 3 gears) etc., As we study and break down the mechanics of this action we find we find that the body movements in one smooth action are all working together harmoniously to achieve the goal which is the punch.  Further scrutiny from this perspective shows that only 2 movements are present (clockwise and counter clockwise), if fact, if you study any movement or combinations of movements you will find the same results.  To make improvements on any such actions, either the instructor or the practitioner must be observant and knowledgeable of motion to correct inappropriate movements or (tuning of the watch if you will).  When your movement is not smooth or you cannot deliver the action (say a punch, chop or kick) or even a complete self defense technique in the manner in which you or your instructor would like, you might need to isolate this concept and really study your individual actions to find clues to better execution.
     If the watch has a gear installed that is the wrong size or has a flaw, you cannot expect harmonious movement.  Usually this is detected at the manufacturer by a quality control agent.  In our studios the instructor has the task of isolating these flaws and helping the student towards progress.  Human movement however is not so easily fixed or located as a flawed gear in a watch which can be replaced in seconds.  Often times many repetitions are needed just to recognize the exact area of deficiency and then prescribe a cure (usually drills designed to hone the action to perfection).
     Remember, Mr. Parker stated: " While there is a difference between the terms "opposite" and "reverse" both provide answers to thoroughly understanding  the "effects" of motion".

Dennis Conatser AP
Life Kenpo Student
Copyright 1999
All rights reserved.

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