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Martial Mechanics - Phillip Starr

Paperback Published: 25th March 2008
ISBN: 9781583942116
Number Of Pages: 208

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"Martial Mechanics" explains how certain immutable laws of physics and principles of kinesiology have an impact on martial arts techniques, and how and why many contemporary martial arts practitioners are unable to achieve a high level of technical proficiency. Most of them unknowingly violate key principles of body mechanics and/or physics, resulting in a loss of both speed and power. Although they probably knew very little about modern physics and kinesiology, the originators of the ancient traditional martial arts systems learned how to utilize these laws and principles to their best advantage, enabling them to generate uncanny striking force.Many of these time-tested principles have never been taught to Westerners; after all, the Japanese had suffered terribly at the hands of the Allies by the end of WWII, the U.S. had totally devastated Okinawa, and shortly after the war China vanished behind the iron curtain of communism. Of the principles that were taught, many have been ignored and/or forgotten by contemporary martial arts enthusiasts, resulting in an overall deterioration of martial arts skill. The book goes on to explain why certain popular training exercises are actually counterproductive to the acquisition of real martial technique, dispels some myths regarding popular training techniques, and provides the reader with highly effective alternative routines.

Industry Reviews

"Sifu Phillip Starr presents clear-cut, easy-to-read, and convincing explanations about the how and why behind some of the most important concepts in traditional martial arts training. This book divulges valuable insights that will save you from countless hours of incorrect practice, frustration, and injury. Read it, re-read it, and then read it again! It's that good."
--Mark Cheng, LAc, PhD, RKC II, director and chief physician, Chung-Hua Institute and contributing editor to Black Belt magazine

"This book will enrich any martial artist's understanding of the martial arts basics."
--John A. Morrow, adjunct professor of Kinesiology, St. Ambrose University and 7th Level Black Sash in Shaolin Chuan Kung Fu

"Martial Mechanics will make you a better martial artist...period. Using terms we all can understand and techniques you can integrate quickly, Sifu Starr gives you priceless insight into the ancient fighting arts in today's terms. Simply put, Martial Mechanics is extraordinary!"
--Kris Wilder, author of Lessons from the Dojo Floor and Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, Kodokan Judo, and Goju-Ryu Karate

Acknowledgmentsp. xii
Forewordp. xiii
Introductionp. xv
The Way We Werep. 1
Differencesp. 1
What's Real and What Isn'tp. 4
Principles of Powerp. 7
Basic Principles of Forcep. 7
Physics and the Martial Artsp. 9
Measuring Forcep. 9
Concentrated Striking Forcep. 11
Is Bigger Better?p. 12
The Big Bangp. 15
Making an Impactp. 15
Target Surfacesp. 15
Types of Impactp. 16
The Need for Speedp. 23
The Secret of Kinetic Energyp. 23
Terminal Velocityp. 23
Longer Is Betterp. 26
Coiling Powerp. 28
Common Errorsp. 29
That's Shocking!p. 31
Brute Force and Shockp. 31
Action and Reactionp. 32
Force, Reaction Force, and Shockp. 33
Common Errorsp. 39
Striking Through the Targetp. 41
Shorter Is Betterp. 43
Parachutes and Punchesp. 43
Impulsep. 43
The Footholdp. 47
The Importance of the Foundationp. 47
What Is a Stance?p. 47
Inward Tension Stancesp. 48
Outward Tension Stancesp. 50
Sit Straight!p. 51
Overextension of Muscles and Jointsp. 53
The Importance of Footworkp. 55
What Is Footwork?p. 55
What Is the Dantien?p. 56
How to Move from the Dantienp. 58
Common Errorsp. 64
Moving from the Dantien in Everyday Lifep. 64
Using the Body as a Firstp. 67
Lions and Tigers and Bears!p. 67
The Eight Body Actionsp. 68
Body Rotationp. 69
Body Shiftp. 72
Body Throwp. 74
Body Vibrationp. 76
Body Upp. 78
Body Downp. 80
Body Circlep. 81
Body Whipp. 81
The Secrets of Breathingp. 83
Breathing and the Martial Artsp. 83
Basic Forms of Breathingp. 87
The Real Meaning of Balancep. 92
Training the Breath and Balance Togetherp. 94
The Importance of Spinal Alignmentp. 97
Stand Up Straight!p. 97
Press the Head Upwardp. 97
Tuck the Coccyxp. 99
Spinal Alignment and Kickingp. 99
Testing the Effectiveness of Spinal Alignmentp. 100
Additional Benefitsp. 103
Don't Isolate ... Consolidate!p. 107
All Persons Are Created Equalp. 107
Principles of Upper-Body Techniquesp. 108
Principles of Lower-Body Techniquesp. 116
The Fighting Stancep. 121
Overcoming Inertiap. 121
What Is a Fighting Stance?p. 122
Standing on a Hair Triggerp. 123
Moving in a Fighting Stancep. 124
Positioning the Upper Bodyp. 127
Fast versus Suddenp. 128
Fighting Stances in the Real Worldp. 128
The Mechanic's Shopp. 131
Putting It All Togetherp. 131
Starting from the Feet and Anklesp. 131
Up through the Legsp. 132
To the Hips and Waistp. 133
Up the Spine and Out through the Handsp. 135
Techniques in Combinationp. 137
What Is a Combination?p. 137
Why a Combination?p. 137
Finding Combinations That Workp. 138
Combinations and Breathingp. 142
Comedy, Love, and Martial Artsp. 145
Borrowing the Opponent's Forcep. 145
Using Timing to Your Advantagep. 145
The Advantages of Sharp Timingp. 147
What? Disadvantages?p. 148
Horizontal Strengthp. 149
'Tis Better to Give...p. 149
The Third Footp. 149
Displacing the Forward Stancep. 151
Displacing the In-Line Stancep. 154
Applying Horizontal Strengthp. 155
Being Dense Is a Good Thingp. 157
The Importance of Densityp. 15
What Is Density-And Why Does It Matter in Martial Arts?p. 157
The Psychological Effectp. 159
That Extra Somethingp. 161
Moving from the Insidep. 161
How It Worksp. 161
Principles of Blockingp. 163
The Why of Blockingp. 163
The Key to Effective Blockingp. 164
Types of Blocking Techniquesp. 167
Training Exercises and Equipmentp. 173
Knowing Why and Howp. 173
The Striking Postp. 173
The Candlep. 177
The Heavy Bagp. 180
The Balloonp. 181
Resistance Exercisesp. 181
Questions and Answersp. 185
About the Authorp. 191
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781583942116
ISBN-10: 1583942114
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 25th March 2008
Publisher: North Atlantic Books,U.S.
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 17.8  x 1.3
Weight (kg): 0.4
Edition Number: 1