Sifu Says – Natural Power

Selections transcribed from “Refinement of Basic Exercises”

presented by GM Sam Chin with Instructor Rich Kelly
21 November 2020; online

One kind of knowing is a direct knowing and another kind of knowing is from our memory–our past knowing.

In the moment of action, of responding, we want to have a direct knowing: a direct knowing of the moment itself. The direct moment itself is based on spacing and timing. When we talk about spacing and timing that means you must be able to move freely, move efficiently, and move with ease and also with power.

The right power means they’ve got to do it with the right angle of movement, but sometimes we just phrase it through the reference of being ‘relaxed.’

So, “relaxed” must have all these conditions, the advantage of movement. Practically you can say that it’s all about power, limits, understanding limits, or understanding power based on the timing, spacing, and angles of movement.

But overall there must be one reference that is the most important part and that is about the center of gravity and the center of mass. This is the main reference for where the power comes from and where the balance comes from.



“In the moment of action, of responding: we want to have a direct knowing; a direct knowing of the moment itself.”
~GM Sam Chin


Gravity Power & “Natural Power”

When we talk about the center of mass and the center of gravity that is called the gravity power: that means how to hold on to the gravity power. There are certain kinds of power: gravity power is the first one, but there is also the point of contact power.

The point of contact power we sometimes call it the “natural power “and natural power means that on point of contact it has “the circle with center” of 90 degrees. Now, the center of mass and the center of gravity is also 90 degrees–that is the center of gravity power.

That 90 degree doesn’t change; it always must be maintained in order to be with the center of gravity. The natural power and point of contact, do change – from different angles–as long as the point of contact is 90 degrees.

Hold on to the point with that 90 degrees in order to connect; this is the first main point. To review: all movements must be based on these two things: One is the center of gravity power and one is natural power on point of contact that is 90 degrees.

Do you understand what I’m saying here?

You see, now, when we have these angles, or any slight change of angle, as long as it’s 90 degrees to the point of contact, that is the natural power of 90 degrees. Later on, that mass has a relationship with the center of gravity.

Balancing To Connect

In order to have that center of gravity, that one line, and also the natural power in different angles, there is a lot of balancing to connect because there is a lot of separation and unification.

So, through our joints, from our ankle, knee, the hip, the spine, the shoulder, elbow, and the wrist–all these joints. Here, itself, is how we need to balance in order to meet the 90 degrees. That is one thing.

Another thing of movement — that movement of angles– sometimes we call it Shun Li Bei Li (順力背力), that is, “accordingly”, it’s natural. [Shun Li refers to going along the (path/flow of the natural) power; Be Li – going against the (path/flow of that) power.]

But there are also forces that are against–when you use more force to do one little thing, that is called ‘against.’ Shun Li means that you use a minimum force and have the things done–that is called appropriate force. That kind of knowledge is based on understanding the body structure, how your ligaments, tendons, and muscles work: recognizing how it works so that you create power.

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