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    Need help - how to relax?

    That civilisation may not sink,
    Its great battle lost,
    Quiet the dog, tether the pony
    To a distant post;
    Our master Caesar is in the tent
    Where the maps are spread,
    His eyes fixed upon nothing,
    A hand under his head.


    - W.B. Yeats

    #2
    i have the same problem - this doesn't help you, but anyways.

    my instructor keeps slapping my head when he walks by...

    Comment


      #3
      Spar more, if possible. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will get. Otherwise, hard earned experience.

      Comment


        #4
        DO you remember the first section of siu nim tao? Try playing it slowly(at least 20 mins) Try to move your elbows and not your shoulders. This helps relax your arms and shoulders so that when striking you rely on the stronger muscles in your back. Its also very relaxing in general(breathe thru your nose with mouth closed, have the tip of your toungue touching the roof of your mouth).
        If you don't want to do anything ving tsun related, you could try deep breathing or stretching. I usually feel pretty relaxed after I stretch really good for 10 or 15 minutes.
        "It does not matter who the master is. It does not matter what the face looks like. The masters are of the Qimen school of qigong/meditation which is related to Zen. The master wears white robes, and the predecessor master wears bright gold robes. The qimen school travels the univers and is not restricted to what paradise they live in. It has many masters" -Serious Harm

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          #5
          its all mental, focus on your breathing when sparring, dont think about what the opponent is doing just breath and relax be at ease within yourself, let the other come to you...have fun

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            #6
            Lawyers tend to think too much which is not good to do while sparring.

            Take a nap or rest for a half hour before you fight and do some relaxed stretching to clear your mind.

            The possibility exists that you are one of those high strung individuals who may only benefit from the use of antidepressants.

            It's pretty difficult sometimes to unplug from the outside world and not bring the everyday tensions into the gym.

            Another thing that works is going for a relaxing jog before sparring and concentrating on your breathing.

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              #7
              Tai Chi. Helped me understand how to relax in grappling, in sparring.

              I additionally say 'spar more' as MAYBE it is your inexperience and subconscious fears paralysing you. Have a 'no mind' while fighting. :)

              Warm up enough, don't think you have much of a arctic climate in your local but keeping warms keeps me loose.

              Breathe.
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                #8
                One thing about "losing power" on the stiff arm punch. I think you actually do. We are encouraged to keep fists like rocks but a loose arm. The punch should be like a wet towel but straight in with a tight fist. Use the hips too...argh getting into the punch ....ANYways yeah, if you feel yourself getting really tense, just take a deep breath and exhale. Try to let your weight sink down without dropping your stance too much or becoming slouched. As guys, we usually want to have upper body strength and be all macho by puffing out the chest and what not. Just let everything sink, keep light on your feet and you should be fine.

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                  #9
                  In my wing chun experience, the number 1 thing we were told was to RELAX!

                  Practice the movements slowly. In wing chun, this is done with forms. I guess for MT this would be shadowboxing, or just practicing movements in isolation.

                  If you tense up when doing them slowly, when moving fast, the error is only going to be magnified. Move slowly and concentrate on what you are doing, which muscles you are using, and which muscles are tense when they don't need to be.

                  Muscles like your back and around the waist need to be relaxed so that they can absorb the impact of delivering and blocking strikes without upsetting your balance. You will have noticed how if you kick or punching someone bigger than you, you will bounce off. But being relaxed will allow you to hit them and follow through. However, your muscles need to be firm in order to maintain coordination. There is a difference between firm and tense, as you have noticed. Firm is useful, tense can be a hinderance.

                  Honestly, the thing that taught me to stay relaxed was the first form of wing chun and chi sau. Your shoulders get stiff and uncomfortable when you don't use them properly, ie you become hunched or lift them out of the socket. They perform best when used naturally in the socket. This means relaxing them, and not letting them creep out or forward when punching. Once they are in the sockets, and you train them to stay there, it is much easier to move them as you only need to rotate the joint.

                  The other way is just to keep reminding yourself to relax. Make it like a mantra. This is easy in forms or chi sau, because you have a chance to stop and realise which muscles are doing the wrong things. In sparring it's a little more difficult, but try to keep the idea still. Each time try to relax a little more.

                  I practice either punching a very heavy bag, or the good ol' wing chun wallbag. Both these things are far heavier than me (well, the wallbag is attached to the wall, which is much stronger than me.) When hitting these things, you get instant feedback as to what your body structure is like. If you are tense, you bounce right back and lose your balance when you punch. If you are relaxed, and have good structure, then you can punch and your body absorbs / negates the impact, meaning you can strike without losing balance.

                  Basically, do things slowly and relax as much as possible, then gradually speed up. It's a long process though.

                  There are a few other words of wisdom I have picked up - remember that training is meant to be fun! Try smiling once in a while, it should loosen you up. Another way is don't be eager to hit the other person, or to 'win' over them. This instantly puts your body in a state of tension. Your body will follow whatever you are thinking. If you relax and try to work on your own thing, and think about what YOU are doing, rather than what THEY are doing and how to beat them, then YOUR skills will improve. The result is that you beat them. Don't jump the gun and try to go straight to beating them, without concentrating on how to improve yourself first. Concentrate on improving your skills and your attributes, and that creates the result of beating the other person.
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                  Comment


                    #10
                    What you have described is fear. Not that you are chicken shit or a coward, but are on some level afraid of getting hit. Confidence sounds like it's lacking as well. What I tell my guys is, it's a game of tag. Even the best fighters get tense before a fight, totally natrual. It sounds like it's getting in your way, now thats a problem. Experiance is the best way to overcome any type of fear. We all were tense the first time we drove a car, now it's a natrual movement, same thing in sparring. What has helped my students in the past getting over the same thing you say you feel is wear more protective gear until the anxiety fades which it WILL. Stop thinking so much. By the time you think of what to do, you have missed your window of oppertunity. Maybe, take the level of contact down a few notches as not to go into survival mode and SLOWLY bump it up over weeks or as long as it takes. This is your training not your partners. Also, fall back on what you know if it's Wing Chun, use it if it helps make you feel more comfortable. I felt the same thing going into Kempo I fell back on my Muay Thai until I gained confidence in the Shorin movements and style as a whole. It took me way to long but, it happened. Or you could just take a few shots of Vodka before class, that always helps calm the nerves and also helps with the pain.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      WCL,

                      Drink more.
                      Regards,
                      CrimsonTiger

                      "Na'h, they should go to old school rules.
                      One guy gets sword and sheild, the other gets a net and a trident.
                      Lions eat christians between rounds." - Strong Machine

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Be like rubber, my friend.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          That civilisation may not sink,
                          Its great battle lost,
                          Quiet the dog, tether the pony
                          To a distant post;
                          Our master Caesar is in the tent
                          Where the maps are spread,
                          His eyes fixed upon nothing,
                          A hand under his head.


                          - W.B. Yeats

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The rubber and the drinking aside ( yes, they are the best options), how do you train when you AREN'T sparring ?
                            Are you relaxed then?
                            Do you relax when you do bag work?
                            IF its a pattern, constant traning with the emphasis on "losing the tension", well cure it, BUT, if you are tense only when you spar, it may be in your head.
                            In that case, increase the sparring you are doing, concentrate on footwork and movement.
                            Be a "punching bag" for your partner, keep your hands up and work on your defense, this will teach you how to NOT be "concerned" about getting hit.
                            Breath in a relaxed matter, tensing only when exploding with a technique.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Seriously, the way I found that works best really is to start without any power (yes, take hits) and just play with it, steadily increasing from there.

                              The problem most of us have is we overcompensate right from the start. "More is better!" mentality regarding power. We become afraid to lower the level to test the limits. If you start low and steadily increase power and experience, it forces you to elevate your game every time until you have it right.
                              Regards,
                              CrimsonTiger

                              "Na'h, they should go to old school rules.
                              One guy gets sword and sheild, the other gets a net and a trident.
                              Lions eat christians between rounds." - Strong Machine

                              Comment

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