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Block the Line


Power from the Centre

The centreline theory is common to many Asian martial arts. If you imagine that a vertical line runs down the centre of a body, from the top of the head to the bottom of the torso, this is where you direct your attacks.

Not only do many of the body's vital points lie along or near this line, an attack to the centre is difficult to avoid. If you hit to the right or left side of the body, the defender can twist to offset the damage. But a shot straight at the centreline – the axis around which a skilled martial artist rotates – causes maximum damage and destroys equilibrium.

For the same reason that you would attack the centreline, you need to defend your own.

Both blocks and punches depend on
the centreline for generating power.

But beside the need to attack and defend this imaginary line, it is important to use the centreline to generate power. This concept is most easily understood when performing oi-zuki (lunge punch). If you imagine your centreline extending directly out in front of your body, your attacking fist should intersect this line.

To test this, leave your fist out in punch position. Have a partner push against the fist head-on, with all his or her bodyweight. If your fist is in the correct position, you should be able to hold their weight. If it is off the centreline by just a bit, then your shoulder will rise up and you will be pushed off balance easily.

Both blocks and strikes should use the centreline to get full body power behind the techniques.



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