A Great Sticky Hands Kung Fu Drill!

One of my favorite Martial Arts drills
came from Sticky Hands,
out of Kung Fu.
Or so I was told.
Some thirty years later
I came across the drill
in an entirely different setting.
But I learned it
while learning Sticky Hands,
so I stick with that as the source.
Though I have never seen this drill
done by any Sticky Hands practitioner.

You place your hands in front of you,
palm out and about two inches from your partner’s.
Then you move your hands and he has to move his hands with them.
No contact.
Just looking and growing awareness.
After a while he moves his hands and you have to move with him.
It is fascinating because there is no contact,
and the mind,
because there is no fear of contact,
starts working differently.

You lose your reaction time.

It happens rather fast.
Prior experience really helps,
but the idea that you’re not going to be hit
if you make a mistake
and the mind relaxes and functions.

Once you’re pretty smooth at that you’ll find
that your sticky hands becomes much more efficient.
The trick to sticky hands,
of course,
is to have as little contact
between you and your opponent as possible.
I’m always telling people,
when they twine arms,
‘hair to hair.’
I remember reading of one fellow who
admonished his students
‘Don’t rest your dead meat on my arms.’
Interesting way of putting it.

I consider this whole thing
of touching your opponent so lightly
that you can hardly be felt,
as an expression of the phrase I use:
the least amount of force
for maximum efficiency.

After you do this exercise for a while
you start to view freestyle differently.
I mean,
it really is a zen sort of exercise
that causes you to be aware,
and not reactive.

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