Saturday, August 13, 2011


Sonny had some great words for describing things that sometimes did not connect until you thought about it, for instance "Today we are going to work on rappelling" turned out not to be about ropes and rock faces, but "repelling", as in the thing that similar poles of 2 magnets do when they come close.
And what we were actually working on was disengagements where the moment of disengagement had a feeling like 2 magnets, very close yet repelling around each other at the last minute.

Yesterday Kev was talking about 'Sizing' in the flow, a word Sonny used for a way of moving with an opponent.
In dueling or empty hand sparring, there is some time spent working out how your opponent moves, their rhythm, their tendencies, some 'sizing up' being done. 
'Getting the measure of' might be another way of putting it, physically and psychologically ... and movement is the key.

To quote Steve Morris:
"... movement is the translation of our emotions thoughts and sensations [intero, extero and proprioceptive ] within the integrative action of the CNS."
Or S Higgin: 
"Movement is inseparable from the structure supporting it and the environment defining it."

So moving with someone can tell you much about them if you how to play it.

'Sizing' is a really important skill, to do it successfully you have to be in the moment, present and listening, but not hypnotized or frozen. You can't be grooving to your own tune as though no-one is there, yet you cannot be just following what your opponent is doing.
You can't be in range, yet you should not be too far away either as your opponent needs to have a reason to move - remember it's the movement that's key, however subtle.
Lastly sizing is not purely defensive, part of it is cutting off opportunities or intentions from your opponent. If they have an opening, they might attack straight away so you are instantly out of time, you have to learn to move so as to cut these off at their inception.
Of course in a duel you are not going to wait around any longer than absolutely necessary, but flowing helps build this skill set so increasing the flow time here is an advantage, and to do that you not only have to be able to cut them off, but at the same time invite them to keep trying, so you can learn as much about them as possible.

Sizing skill should be practiced with many different partners, though especially with someone that can change the flavor of their movement as the flow progresses. The ability to adapt through the changes is crucial.
Sizing is like learning to see the lines, but dancing in the gaps.

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