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
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.