What is a root (part 3)

  • DissolvingUsing sensitivity to attach to a forward moving opponent and then spinning them off of one’s center.

This type of rooting is also pretty easy to teach. There are a few keys that make it easier like getting your weight to one foot, matching the pressure at all points of contact with the person pushing, and being careful not to lean.

  • Various types of dynamic integration which allow one to neutralize/dissolve or simply relax an opponent’s attack.

This part of rooting is really infinite and there are many ways to do it. Both of the above methods are essentially about the relationship between two people and the ground. They can both be done while stepping. If you touch someone who is really good at this last type of "rooting" you will probably feel like there is no place to attack, but you will also feel like you have no way to attack.

The bigger problem however is that people try to use all of these types of “root� as a defensive strategy. A corollary of this problem is that people fight with their qi on their back instead of surrounding their opponent. Training the root is really practice for something you don't need to do.

Another way to put it is: It's a fun game which teaches you what not to do. In order to understand what not to do, you have to practice and develop a really good root!