Friday, May 4, 2012

The difference is in the small details

We tend to focus on what can easily be seen, like speed and power, but if we pay more attention to the small details, speed and power will come more effortlessly.
Take for example the postural direction of “eyes back”, a very simple and subtle direction that has many implications.

We say “eyes back” which is not a physical movement but rather a prevention of head forward posture that is so common, and allowing the spinal muscles to extend the spine and head up against gravity as 5 yrs old naturally does.
With the eyes back and the spine extended, body action, such as rotation, is effortless and has more range.
The back muscles, thoracic extensors and scapula adductors are at optimal length for function, and therefore force from the feet can transfer through the sacrum and than the thoracic spine using those upper back muscles. If the head is forward top power using the shoulders in isolation is likely.
When the head is aligned properly the weight of the head assist with using ground reaction, more pressure to back foot is available.
With head forward the weight of the head will make the front leg heavy.
Eyes back allow for holistic view, and the mind can be calm, and we can talk about breath reaction and breath initiating the technique, rather than analyzing and than moving.
Head forward posture will reverse the thoracic curvature, with time the shoulders migrate forward and movement at the shoulder will not be at optimal axis of rotation, which wears out the shoulder.
The more the head shifts forward the more lever arm and stress on the lumbar spine.

Now this is just one example, there are countless examples of small details that appear not so important but make a world of difference when they all come together, those small points make the difference between efficient movement of an expert, and novice techniques that are strength dependent.
This is the beauty of karate, what makes it an endless, unlimited journey, where one can keep getting better and better even at the age when physical strength is declined.

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