An important consideration is that the body does not truly absorb force

When we discuss force/energy we tend to use words such as flow, kinetic linking, even going so far as to say that force/energy flows along the Kinetic Chain, for instance from foot, through knee to hip, to spine, to shoulder, to arm to hand.

As convenient and often used, even by yours truly, as this approach is it is full of holes.

The idea/concept of the kinetic {or kinematic} chain is a great place to start but our body is not a chain and force/energy does not flow like water through a hose.

It would be more accurate and easier to understand if we see it as a “Chain Reaction”, an impulse that passes from one link/location to another sequentially along an obvious path.

If we use light as an analogy instead of seeing force as a solid beam of light similar to a flashlight we would do better to see it as an ultra-rapid series of pulses, like a quasar, that we perceive as continuous.

I am by no way an expert in this type of thinking, I did not go to Uni’ or ‘Med’ school, I am a moderately researched layman that approaches the work with a specific and personal agenda, Martial Art.

If we think ‘Chain Reaction’ as opposed to ‘Chain’ it opens up the possibility that sections of the body, such as the lower section that contains our foot, our calf, our thigh, the hip, the pelvis can be an individual chain that is self-contained.

This body section could now operate as a link and cause a ‘Chain Reaction’ with another body section such as our torso which itself can be seen as a self-contained chain.

The torso could now react with our arm, another self-contained chain.

The following may appear as a bit of a sidestep but remember issuing force and accepting force happen at the same time instantaneously.

An important consideration is that the body does not truly absorb force, at least not in the way we often speak of it, as a global/whole-body occurrence taking force at the arm and transferring it to the floor.

Our body absorbs contact force by transferring that force to local muscles where contractions in the opposite direction neutralise the force.

It would be more accurate to say that we join with the force instead of absorbing it.

This joined force is transferred to the next body segment and the pattern is repeated, a series of local phenomenon, not a global/whole-body event.

This is, of course, a conceptual approach, but one that has very practical applications if we do our Forms with this consideration in mind, it opens up many new dynamic possibilities and a deeper understanding of how to make our Forms come alive.

The mental method I employ is that my body is made up of three independent segments.


Segment 1. The legs and Pelvis.

Segment 2. The torso, which sits inside the pelvis.

Segment 3. The Arms, that hang from the torso.


If we consider a step and punch from this perspective.

When the legs move the pelvis the torso goes along for the ride at the same velocity in the same, usually linear direction, this is a very important point to keep in mind.

The torso is not involved in the legs moving and as such is free to make its own movement, which is usually lateral rotation, the upper body pivots to face the target.

The arms are not involved in the rotation of the torso so they are free to make their own movement, which in the step and punch would be linear, straight to the target.





All movement creates power, and as we know acceleration increases power.

Acceleration it is not only going faster, this is an aspect of acceleration, positive acceleration, slowing down is also acceleration,  negative acceleration.

Acceleration is a change in velocity.

If we change the direction of the movement of our torso from the direction of the movement of our legs or change the direction of the movement of our arms from the direction of the movement of our torso we are changing the direction of the velocity and creating acceleration.

This is very much the model adopted by throwing sports.

It is known as sequential acceleration and results in successive force summation.

For force summation to be successful we also need sequential stabilization of body parts, which I find easier to understand with the three-segment method.

Force Summation is a big post waiting to be written.





1 thought on “EXPLORING {the?} FORCE.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s