Had a good sparring class last night where the instructor said- “Fighting is dictated by universal principles“…we went over two principles that scream 2 Taijiquan classic principles. Bear in mind, Jeff Ruth(does NOT study or practice Taijiquan. He is a former MMA, Muay Thai, Boxing, and Juijitsu champ. Unquestionably, his reputation as a excellent coach comes by way of his students gaining Championship belts.
The first demonstration the instructor Jeff, had a guy throw a strike or kick, and he returned what he termed a ‘reaction strike’ in which he hit the guy before the guy hit him using a short punch or kick. Reflective of this is the Taijiquan classic, “At the opponent’s slightest move, I arrive first.”
The second was called ‘set point’. Set point in fighting is attacking before a guy is able to set in (or root). Opponent will have a powerful strike based on connection with the ground. For instance, if a guy is throwing a punch, he has to step and root to have the link from “foot, leg, hip/waist/spine- arm to fist”, for powerful force. Remove that ability to remove opponents force by hitting or pushing the them before they make a ‘set point’ is the drill to work on. Coach’s cues in regards to striking are: “turn shoulders, hip, knee, and foot”, which is reverse bodily connection to ground compared to Taijiquan theory of ground path.
This is a favorite with one of my sensing/push hands instructors when keeping a guy off balanced or away from a ‘set point’ so that he can not have an effective push or strike:
The chin [intrinsic strength] should be
rooted in the feet,
generated from the legs,
controlled by the waist, and
manifested through the fingers.
If correct timing and position are not achieved,
the body will become disordered
and will not move as an integrated whole;