Bob Lada, Debi Adams and the one-inch punch

In August 2009 I travelled to Boston MA and had the pleasure of meeting Debi Adams and Bob Lada.

Debi has a music and Alexander Technique practice in Brookline and sees a variety of musicians week to week. Bob Lada is up the road in Cambridge where he trains Alexander teachers and works with many athletes.

In the process of explaining my method to Bob I drew more on my martial arts experience than is represented in my books.

A sequence of tai chi moves
A sequence of tai chi moves.

I was very fortunate to have studied several styles of Martial Art with Greg Gillet, who quite frankly has to be counted as a genius! (www.greggillett.com). Six years of practical martial arts taught by such a person gave me a practical knowledge of body structure, the application of force, direction of energy, rotary movements, coordination, footwork, speed and the influence of mental conception on movement, all of which informs the work I do on the guitar.

Bob's insight opened new many avenues of exploration for me. As just one example, I demonstrated to Bob the "One inch punch", made famous by Bruce Lee. This involves extending the punching arm, drawing it back one inch, and then generating enough force in a punch at that short distance to knock someone clear off their feet. I knew the task required coordination from the back foot to the fist, but what Bob pointed out was that there is also a significant rotary component to the movement. Rotation about the spine. So there, I had been employing this movement successfully for decades and been unaware of one of the most important vectors. Mind you, I had not been restricting the rotary movement either.

Nonetheless this shows that there is always something to learn, and you can never predict the benefits of working with experts in body movement!

I look forward to working more with Bob Lada and Debi Adams in the future!