There are five movement principles in Junsado to help you maximize the speed and power of your fighting skills. These principles also provide points of evaluation to help you assess your performance, providing critical feedback to measure the fidelity of your movement and to determine what you can eliminate. Below is the first of the five Junsado movement principles:
For fighting purposes, the body can be divided into three regions: the head/torso region, the legs and the arms. Each of the regions has both major and minor parts. The hands and feet are the minor parts of their respective regions, while the legs and arms are the major parts. The same is true of the head (minor part) and the torso (major part). Together, however, the head and torso make up the most important power source in the body.
Mechanically, the head and torso work together as the axis of power when we move. Imagine a line running from the center of your pelvis to the crown of your head. You can generate significant force in every technique along this axis. Your legs support the axis while transmitting force up from the ground through the upper body. Your arms and hands are the tools that deliver the force via the axis; your chin and forehead stabilize your posture.
In twisting, the head-pelvis axis drives the arms for striking or grappling. Rotating your entire body along the head-pelvis substantially adds more force than simply striking or pulling with your arms. When moving forward or backward, the head-pelvis axis is the root of power in both pulling and pushing. The head-pelvis axis unites the power of your legs with the weight of your entire body, allowing you to move a much heavier opponent than you could by pulling or pushing with only your arms.
The key to applying the power of the head-pelvis axis is controlling the alignment of your head and torso.
To find the correct alignment, stand in fighting stance with your chin tucked slightly down so that the crown of your head is aligned with the center of your pelvic floor. Your spine should be neither upright nor hunched. Tilt your upper body slightly forward while relaxing your shoulders, keep both knees bent, and poise your body as if you are about to take off running. This creates a dynamic stance, in which your body is ready to be unleashed.
A properly-formed head-pelvis axis enables you to better control the speed and power in your techniques, delivering maximum impact to your opponent, by helping you contain the intrinsic potential power of the torso. Proper alignment of your body, therefore, is the key to establishing your physical center, creating a balanced foundation from which to launch your techniques.
You also gain economy of motion because you can employ long- or short-range attacks without changing your stance or using additional preparatory techniques. You simply shift your weight to the back and front to attack or defend as needed, without breaking the balance and force structure of your current posture.
This natural containment of your power not only makes you stronger but also reduces telegraphing when initiating techniques. Most importantly, when you have a strong head-pelvis axis, you project an image of discipline, strength and confidence that intimidates opponents even before the fight begins.
Practical Applications of Head-Pelvis Axis
Rotating your entire body along the head-pelvis adds substantially more force than simply striking or pulling with your arms.
Tilt your upper body slightly forward while relaxing your shoulders, as if your body is ready to be unleashed.
A properly-formed head-pelvis axis enables you to better control the speed and power in your techniques, delivering maximum impact to your opponent.
This article is an excerpt from Junsado Fundamentals, Standing and Ground Combat.
Junsado Fundamentals, Standing and Ground Combat ($5.99, over 650 full color photos) is available exclusively in e-book format for Kindle (Amazon.com).