Different martial arts teach and instill different postures that have been designed to offer the ideal position(s) to best use attack and defend actions for that specific style. Although what works for Aikido is so substantially different from Kickboxing or Wing Chun they all make sense when you apply the techniques from their particular repertoire.
This post addresses basic concepts about what a strong posture is and how it can be better understood and improved.
Some basic attributes of a strong posture
- well balanced: attacks can come from different directions and your posture should be able to cope with it;
- well rooted: you should feel in control of your balance and how to shift it back, forth and sideways;
- relaxed: the posture should not involve any unnecessary muscle;
- with a proper guard: a strong posture for martial arts will always have to reflect the most adequate guard for that style;
- ready to action: you should be always ready to react to an attack so your posture should reflect that; do spend some time analysing “what if” situation and try to be realistic with your own level of fitness and proficiency in your style.
Developing a strong posture
A strong element of self awareness is essential to well perform martial arts techniques and moves: good news is that the actual training helps developing the self awareness that helps its own improvement. Following the teaching of an expert teacher you can surely have a feeling of what is suggested and required by the style you are practicing.
The next step, once you are fully comfortable with the basics is experimenting and see what works for you, your body shape and level of fitness: what is ideal for an Olympic champion of tae kwon do will not equally work for a software engineer practicing Ju Jitsu.
Understand and improve your strong posture
In my opinion the best training for your posture is to increase your level of awareness about it. Be aware of your position feel it with your eyes closed. Then try moving forward and back, then side to side and then in circle: stop in between, literally freeze in position and check.
A mirror is also a great tool: if you see your image and can balance all elements associated to it you are likely to store them into your unconscious memory when automatic reactions are originated.
The final and next step is asking a friend or training partner to test your posture by pushing, pulling or simply testing where weak points can be found.
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