The mother of all movement

How one thing leads to another


Teaching today’s lesson we strayed into the martial applications of one move the student was having a hard time getting just right. It was a transition move between two recognisable postures, a kind of spiral action of both hands around a circle. In reality of course, there are no fixed postures, and no transitions between them, but when teaching beginners you have to start somewhere, so we did.

To help him get the idea of the way the hands move I showed him an application – “punch me”, I said. I deflected his punch with my left, reached through to the back of his head with my right and spiraled my hands to bend him over, ready for a knee to the temple or to be flipped right over. After we’d worked on this for a bit and he’d ‘got it’, I had to then explain that there was no one application for each move. When you break it down, the move in the form doesn’t work exactly like that application I showed (you have to reach in deeper to get your hand around the back of their head than the way you do it in the form, for example), but you can easily see how it’s the same thing really.

Each move in the form is the mother, and the applications are the children – each one subtly different. I can come up with a lot of applications for each move. For this one I had a strike, a choke, a throw, etc, all with slightly different emphasis. It’s endless, really.

After you’ve delved around in a few applications you need to come back to the mother movement, the one that gives birth to them all.

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