1. #1
    9chambers
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    Terminology: Centerline Theory

    Have any of you ever gotten into an argument about what "Centerline Theory" means?

    targets

    The most widely accepted and basic descriptions of Centerline Theory is as follows: "Centerline Theory involves an imaginary line that extends vertically and divides the body into two bilaterally symmetrical halves. The centerline is important because many vital pressure points lie along it (both front and back), such as the brain, throat, heart, solar plexus, bladder, testicles, or the spine. By shifting your centerline with respect to your opponent, you may make it less accessible and less vulnerable to attack. Your guard and blocks should protect your centerline."

    position

    Some practitioners go on to describe the centerline as the, "plane drawn between your spine and your opponents spine." They teach that to control this center of engagement is important to keeping your enemy disrupted. Also, the shortest path between two points is a straight line through the center. You want to concentrate on seeking out the quickest path to the target.

    impact

    Meanwhile, others describe the centerline as an imaginary vertical line at the core of the body which marks the depth at which you should follow through with your strikes and kicks in order to have the most destructive impact. Too shallow of a strike will not destabilize the enemy. Too deep of a strike is a push, which has little explosive impact. About four inches into your target is the general rule for high impact strikes/kicks. This center of gravity must be attacked in order to do the most damage to his balance and structure.

    *

    Um. Anyway, what I am saying is ... you can't simply assume that someone else means the same thing that you do when they say Centerline Theory (or a number of MA terms) because they may be speaking about a different aspect of it or an entirely separate definition that they have. You have to ask someone to describe what they mean.

  2. #2

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    The centerline theory should emcompass ALL of the above.

  3. #3
    WingChun Lawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Terminology: Centerline Theory

    Originally posted by 9chambers

    targets

    The most widely accepted and basic descriptions of Centerline Theory is as follows: "Centerline Theory involves an imaginary line that extends vertically and divides the body into two bilaterally symmetrical halves. The centerline is important because many vital pressure points lie along it (both front and back), such as the brain, throat, heart, solar plexus, bladder, testicles, or the spine. By shifting your centerline with respect to your opponent, you may make it less accessible and less vulnerable to attack. Your guard and blocks should protect your centerline."
    My ex WC sifu taught us this version. Dunno about other WC lineages or other martial arts, however.
    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

  4. #4
    9chambers
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    ronin,

    I agree. It's just confusing when you go into one aspect and the guy says, no no you have it wrong, centerline means this. People should know it's more complex but sometimes they don't so you have to explain that there are multiple aspects of it. You are right, it should be all of the above.
    Last edited by 9chambers; 9/24/2004 9:42am at .

  5. #5

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    And don't forget the "motherline" theory.

  6. #6
    9chambers
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    Instead of just starting a new thread, I thought I'd just ask this here in this old one. The definitions of centerline theory are above.

    NEW QUESTION:

    Do you think Centerline Theory holds water? I mean, should someone aim their punches at a certain depth and snap their punches back or just aim deep and punch through the target? What real evidence is there that Centerline Theory (the depth aspect of it) really works?

    I've always liked punching several inches past the centerline myself. Not so much that it turns my punches into shoves but I like to displace my opponent so he's vulnerable to the next punch. That's just me. I don't expect everyone to agree on this. I'm not going to be all hostile. I'm tired of arguing. I just want to know 2 things.

    1. What evidence supports it?
    2. What are your opinions and what experiences are those opinions based on?
    Last edited by 9chambers; 8/16/2005 5:53am at .

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