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Subtle, Yet Real On The Dance Floor
At a filming of the show America’s Got Talent, I witnessed a mini dance competition for audience members, between taping and judging the show’s real contestants. (I guess it’s AGT’s way to keep the audience both enthusiastic and entertained.)
During the dance competition, I saw a phenomenon that I have seen for years. A percentage of males (teens and young adults) incorporate martial arts techniques into their dance moves.
Have you seen this, too?
I even saw some young “karate move flashers” at my daughter’s middle school dance.
Whether at a taping of America’s Got Talent, or a kids’ dance, the moves are messy. They are pure slop.
This started me thinking…
Martial Arts Can’t Mimic Dance Exactly
You shouldn’t make your dance moves mimic martial arts moves exactly. The crispness, stances, and so on would make you look ridiculous. In fact, a lot of what I see borders on the silly, as it is.
But what if… what could isolate a movement that’s necessary but hard to learn smoothly, and practice this over and over?
Isolated and Concentrated Martial Arts Practice
What I am proposing is that you make your dancing look like dancing. (If you do martial arts moves, “because” you don’t know any dance moves, then… learn some.) Subtly incorporate a motion that’s needed for advanced martial arts application.
What did I have in mind?

Broken rhythm of darting in and out on different beats. Mix it up.

Circling while dancing, and smoothly changing direction. Just don’t make it look too “boxer like.”

Raising and lowering your arms on the beat, and then cleanly switching to the half beat, and back. This doesn’t have to look like a punch… just play with the timing.

Doing a couple of speed motions with your feet, by having them close together. We all know this is the most efficient way to move quickly.

Dropping down. It doesn’t have to be splits ouch at the thought of “me” doing that. In the Filipino martial arts, there is a quick drop down to one knee… except the knee doesn’t make contact with the ground. Hmm.

Leading any motion with your elbow(s). Don’t make it look like an elbow strike. Simply use the dance move as an excuse to get your elbow out there quickly.

More Creative Martial Dance Practice
Do I have any other ideas?
Sure, I could go on and on. But let me leave you with a potential gem….
What if you could have your arms or your feet describe the exact path that you’d need to punch, move, or kick in a real fight… but what if you hid the fact that it was a martial arts move?
You’d execute the “path” of the punch without your hand being clenched in a fist. It would be slow and smooth. You’r train your brain… acquire muscle memory for when you do practice at full speed, during martial arts class.
Take any of these ideas and practice them over and over, “karate kid style,” and you might just have the ingredient necessary to help you master some aspect of your practical training.
And we didn’t even talk about the aerobic benefits of dancing for the martial artist.
Just dance, dance, dance… all night long!

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