PPS Kicking and the Balance
By Alvin Kan
Geoff Bennett Martial Arts International
"Balance is a necessary ingredient for optimal
martial arts performance."
Two masters of the System that is now known as
Progressive Protective Systems (PPS) disagree with this statement,
at least in its normal context. Master Ho Soon Cheng a famous Penang
Martial Arts Master and his disciple Master Geoff Bennett both
renowned for their kicking skills, exhibit attributes such as speed,
flexibility and timing which aid in kicking abilities. However
they attribute much of the functionality in their kicking to their
kicking method and partially in the minor, off balance nature of
their body mass. This together with other aspects of the dynamic
PPS kicking system will be highlighted
Many styles particularly Japanese/ Okinawan and
Southern Chinese Systems have an obsession with being balanced.
The kicking system of PPS was adapted from the northern Shaolin
leg method, the most famous kicking system in all of China. of
which Soon Cheng mastered.
Most styles want the centre of mass to lie above
their supporting leg. The kicking method of PPS dictates that the
centre of mass lies beyond the supporting leg towards the target.
This causes a feeling of off balance and falling that most martial
artists feel uneasy with. It is however, a feeling that Master
Bennett promotes in his teaching often nudging students whilst
kicking to ensure they correctly promote their centre of mass far
enough. This is best exhibited by Master Bennett's famous Three
inch sidekick whereby he hold a side kick inches from an opponent.
Master Bennett on the boundary of off balance performs a twitch
function, which launches his full body mass into the target send
it hurtling backwards.
Master Bennett Explain, " by being 'on balance' a
kickers mass is supported by the non kicking leg. Thus a stationary
mass. "Using the method I endorse a kicker fully transfer's his
body mass into the opponent. This allows power to be generated
from short distances." This enables multiple kick functions to
be performed with great power without full retraction of the limb
allowing multiple functions on the opponent's beat rhythm.
Also the method most people use to achieve this
balance involves counter balancing the kicking leg by leaning backward.
This throws the body's inertia backward. Before it can move forward,
the mass must pause before moving in the opposite direction (towards
the opponent). This not only cause loss in the velocity of the
body but also would cause the kick to be delivered a fraction out
of beat, Timing is lost, which is crucial and could mean the difference
between victory and disaster.
Many people have heard of the centerline theory
used in Wing Chun. PPS kicking derives from the centreline. There
are many reason for this:
1. Uniformity of the travel path of the knee prior
to chambering, disguising the kick. The sidekick, stomp kick, front
kick hook kick and roundhouse kick derive from this same action.
2. Protection of the groin during the primary
stages of the kicking function
3.Minimises the arc of the roundhouse kick making
defense harder due to the smaller arc of the kick.
4. Promotes adaptability of functions performed
such that they may be changed according to the opponents reaction
eg if the opponent motions to defend against a front kick, the
kick may be modified to a roundhouse from the same initial function.
5. Promotes dynamic knee lift resultant from the
interaction of leg and abdominal muscle groups as opposed to leg
chambering being a function of counterbalancing and leaning back.
Whilst flexibility in the limbs is important,
flexibility moving through the different planes of the hips range
of motion is paramount. Whilst most styles state that kicking power
comes from the hips, this statement normally refers to torque generation.
It is however the mobility and agility in the hips which allows
proper bio-mechanical alignment and positive center of mass mobility,
which is the source of speed and power in PPS's kicking arsenal.
Master Bennett also stresses that utilization
of hand and foot attacks in unison. Quite often when hands and
feet are coordinated in combinations they are functioned on full
beats or greater. "This is the major reason kicking is often dispelled
as not being effective in actual combat", states Master Bennett.
To truly use kicks effectively they should be inserted within the
beats of a hand combination on the half beat, or even on the quarter
beat between checking and hand attacks.
Kicking is too often left in the domain of kicking
range. Kicking however is very effective when done in closer ranges.
This is because the opponent is often concentrating on the upper
body and the kick originates under the opponent line of site. It
is again very important the counter balancing is not utilized as
this often telegraph kick attacks in closer ranges. Counter balancing
dictates that the upper body moves backwards which is in the line
of site of the opponent. This alerts the opponent to an impending
Progressive Protection System incorporates a comprehensive
kicking system utilizing the science of physics in its power generation
and bio mechanics to derive methods to execute these powers generation
methods with the combat context. Beat theory is as important in
kicking as in other combat method, but however is often neglected
leading to poor functionality in kicking. The principles of the
PPS kicking system may be adopted by any other system to aid increased
functionality and success.
About the author: Alvin Kan has been studying
Martial Arts for 18 years starting with Judo, 6 Years with Master
Michael Spinks Studying Jin Wu Koon Double Dragon Shaolin Gung
Fu and the Past 11 Years with Master Geoff Bennett studying Progressive
Protection Systems, which is based on the Five Ancestors Gung Fu
System. Alvin also has investigated the arts of Brazillian Ju Jutsu,
Kickboxing and Kali and currently teaches Progressive Protection
Systems in the Hills District, North Western Sydney.
To Contact Alvin:
Master Geoff: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit us at : www.martialarts-int.com.au