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slinging and Tai Chi (Read 213 times)
Little Pete
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slinging and Tai Chi
May 21st, 2024 at 2:26pm
 
Over the past few years I began learning some traditional Chinese martial arts including Tai Chi. What I learned got me interested in slinging again after a long time with no practice. Being older now than I have ever been before, I decided to break myself in easy to avoid a shoulder injury. I started throwing with the minimal muscular effort necessary to get the rock to reach the target. What I discovered over the next couple of months was that I could throw nearly as hard with minimal muscular effort as I could with maximum effort so long as the "feeling" of the timing and alignment was right. This insight was really helpful in my martial arts training concerning "internal power."

I'm curious if anyone out there has tried training this way. Seems like a safe way to teach beginners, and you can always add effort, once the scaffolding of proper timing and alignment is built.
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Rat Man
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Re: slinging and Tai Chi
Reply #1 - May 21st, 2024 at 5:54pm
 
   Yes, this has  been discussed here before.  Many of us feel that we can achieve greater accuracy with minimal loss of power and range by slinging at eighty five or ninety percent of our full strength. 
   One other thing that slinging has in common with martial arts... if you're doing it correctly a lot of your power comes from your hips. 
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« Last Edit: May 22nd, 2024 at 11:18am by Rat Man »  
 
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joe_meadmaker
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Re: slinging and Tai Chi
Reply #2 - May 21st, 2024 at 10:53pm
 
You can muscle through a throw, but that will only get someone so far.  Good form and a clean release are what really get a projectile moving fast.  And what you talk about makes perfect sense.  All the fastest slingers I know have one thing in common.  The entire body, from the feet all the way up to the end of the sling, move in a continuous fluid movement.  Transferring energy efficiently is much more effective than trying to force the throw.
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Little Pete
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Re: slinging and Tai Chi
Reply #3 - May 23rd, 2024 at 11:54am
 
Thanks. It's good to have someone to discuss this with.

One thing I have learned from martial arts is how to aim my training at a goal: Moving slowly and tying the movement to my breathing and heart rate allows me the time to encode precision into my movements and observe the feeling of that precision. Should I need to execute the movement fast, the urgency of the situation will naturally increase the speed of my breathing and heart rate, and thus the speed of the movement.

When holding static postures, joint pain indicates poor alignment and makes the necessary corrections obvious. Muscle fatigue compels the body to compensate to find the most efficient version of the posture, using only the effort necessary to hold the posture and relaxing everything else. This is allows subtle movements of the core muscles to be transmitted in whip-like fashion all the way to the fingers and toes.

Since I am interested in the  sling as a hunting weapon my priorities include accuracy, minimal preparatory movement and making that first shot count.

To train towards these goals, Here's what I do: I try to hit my target with the first shot. If I miss, I take a long break then another "first" shot. When I get a hit, I celebrate and congratulate myself on hitting it the "first" time (fake it till you make it) and that is the end of my training for the day. I might continue to throw, but that's playing, not training. The number of "first" shots it took to hit the target is my number for the day. The goal is for every day to be a 1 and that means I am hitting my target 100% of the time during training. If I am having an off day, I get more training while on days when I am on I get to play more, so it's win/win.

Training this way got me rather quickly to long strings of days that are 1's and it is rare for me to have a day that is more than a 5 or 6.



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Little Pete
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Re: slinging and Tai Chi
Reply #4 - May 23rd, 2024 at 12:30pm
 
joe_meadmaker wrote on May 21st, 2024 at 10:53pm:
You can muscle through a throw, but that will only get someone so far.  Good form and a clean release are what really get a projectile moving fast.  And what you talk about makes perfect sense.  All the fastest slingers I know have one thing in common.  The entire body, from the feet all the way up to the end of the sling, move in a continuous fluid movement.  Transferring energy efficiently is much more effective than trying to force the throw.


There's a thing we say in our martial arts group: It's like a good fart. If you have to force it, it's going to be crap.
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