A functional and unified body is an important aspect of any sports activity. It allows you to be more efficient, functional, and better prepared to achieve your athletic goals.
In this post, I want to discuss the Central Channel (中定) a traditional Chinese martial arts concept on how to stabilize your centre.
When you were a child, did you play with a spinning top? When did it spin most smoothly? Obviously, when its centre was stable. However, when the spinning top lost this stable momentum, it swayed and fell. The same is true in your movement. You need a stable centre to turn and project power.
To stabilize your centre, assume the basic posture. Relax your lower vertebrae, sink your perineum, and slightly lift your occiput (the point at the back of your skull), This posture helps to sink your centre of mass (COM).
In this basic posture, turn from your Central Channel (CC). It runs, as an imaginary line, from the crown of your head down to your perineum.
Your core also plays an important part. When you tighten it, you anchor your CC. It seems counterintuitive because most beginning students turn from their hips and shoulders to turn “fast and powerful”. (Do you?)
Instead, void any tension or muscle contraction in your hips and shoulders when you turn. Your body should feel relaxed and light.
Turning is a fundamental move in martial arts. Here are examples of how you can practice turning from our CC in the Wing Chun forms and Chu Sau Lei Chinese Boxing.
Wing Chun forms.
Cham Kiu, first section 180 degrees turning and 90 degrees turning Lan to Bong Sao.
Cham Kiu Ma turning.
In Biu Jee, Wing Chun’s 3rd empty hand form, we turn 180 degrees with overhand elbows.
Second section: double Gang Sao.
Chu Sau Lei Chinese boxing
Practice basic punching methods and combinations with footwork, pivots, stepping, and change lead to a south paw stance.
When you start, practice slowly, first train technique, then power and lastly speed. Feel your body and notice any tension or instability when you move.
Turning or twisting your body is a fundamental move in martial arts. In our Wing Chun, we turn from our CC. This gives stability and enables us to project power. Practice this concept and improve your Wing Chun!
Looking forward to your comments.
Head Coach Chu Sau Lei Wing Chun