Mobility and balance through the upper limbs

After introducing the 4 main categories of source of movement, we go into the details of the so-called “upper mobility”, the one that starts from the upper half of our body.

In the upper mobility, the points of “tow” for our displacements may be: shoulders, elbows, hands, wrists, head, neck or combination of one or more of these parts.

Basically to move we use:

  • The (explosive) momentum of body elements in the direction we want to take or from where we want to get away
  • The inertia generated by the soft force that drag the rest of our body
  • The dynamic balance that keeps our center of gravity in trim
  • The partial or total change of state of our limbs (solid, liquid, etc.)

It must be clear that when we talk about movement, we do not refer only on simple X-Z axis motions but in all the possible directions:

  • Upwards (jumping)
  • Downward (as a controlled fall)
  • Rewind a movement, advance frontally, etc.
  • Dips on the side, revolutions in place, etc.

Initially this type of interactions may seem absurd or impossible (especially in the absence of the necessary skills), however, with the right exercises, step by step, we will acquire this new ability to move.

A simple exercise to start getting comfortable with the upper mobility is to avoid a moving target (eg. an hanging elastic rope) moving us in different directions only with the momentum of the arms.

When our soft strength will start to increase, it will drag our whole body by an inertia always bigger, let’s follow it without resistance, almost as to fall (in future we will see more advanced exercises).

This type of mobility is very good in some cases (eg. if we have to dodge something) and is instead very deleterious in others (eg. if we have to keep an active guard), not surprisingly we have 4 types of movement suitable for (almost) any eventuality.

In the next article we will see the (more classical) lower mobility.

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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