In Search of Efficiency – Part Five: Move with your Centre (The Third aspect of movement)

While I’ve put this as the third aspect it should also be called the Primary Aspect. It is only third because you need the other skills to do this one properly.

Your centre of gravity, your dan tien, your hara whatever word you want to describe it is a focal point. It is what you want over your base to be in balance and it is the transmission point used when the force is driven from the ground to your upper torso

Your centre is what you want to move. In training (learning) movement you should ask where is my centre moving and how is it being moved. All movement should be done by the centre; therefore, knowing these two points is crucial.

The centre can be moved in three main ways and in combinations of these three. While revolve and rotate can be similar I’ve distinguished them so that the way we move can be described.

Linear: Move in a line forward, backward, sideways, up or down.

Revolve: Move around a point (your foot).

Rotate: Move around an axis. For this purpose, your centre is the axis and the body rotates around it

Your centre will move in linear manner, it will revolve around a point, it will rotate the body around it, or a combination of those.

Knowing how the centre will move teaches you how to accomplish different things.

If an object is coming straight at me I can move in a straight line to the side (linear) to avoid it and gain a lot of distance.

If an object is coming straight at me I can revolve around using my front foot as the point to pivot on which will move me off the line of force and distance me but not as far the linear sideways movement.

If an object is coming straight at me I can revolve around my centre moving me just off line but keeping me close.

And we can combine the movements to gain a different result.

Moving with our centre provides stability and power by keeping us over our base and providing a grounding.

How we move our centre generates different results as described above.

When you train in forms you want to decide how you will be moving your centre. Which way will alter the movement in the form.

When you train self defence you want to decide how you will be moving your centre to achieve the best strategic position.

Once you learn to move with your centre you can see watching others who uses their centre to move and who doesn’t and you should then begin to see the opportunities offered by those who don’t.