Friday, 11 April 2008

Efficiency of movement

Effortless power. I read a book called the Principles of Effortless Power which claimed that the author, a winner of wushu competitions in China (unheard of for a Westerner at that time) would imagine himself like a drop of water: fluid, mobile, unrestricted.

My teacher pulled me up on something the other day and illustrated back to me how I executed a technique. It was right (I note this for my pride...shame!) but I was adding in unnecessary movement. Power and movement should be effortless and above all efficient. I am reminded of something a very good classical guitar player told me once: the fingers should hover above the frets like pistons, ready to fire down onto the strings when needed. To lift the fingers high off the fret board is useless as they have to come all the way back down! Only bring them off the strings enough not to foul the note, but close enough to zap straight back onto the string when needed.

Thus it is for martial arts and movement of the body. Only do enough. Make power effortless.

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