Natural Movement Concept- The wave

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One of the most basic movements in nature is the wave. There are only three movements that don’t end in nature. That is the circle, the wave and the figure 8 or infinity symbol. Today we will be discussing – Wave motion

The wave is important in natural martial arts because of kinetic chains in the body that start at the feet and come up to the arm, head or any part of the body used in striking. Knees, elbows – body checks and even head butts.

In Kadochnikov system they call this the impulse. This wave motion can also be found in Northern Praying mantis kung fu, Senmotic Functional defence, Cossack ‘Kolo’, Ninjutsu, ISAI, Hong Kong Mantis Style, Nanba Karate, or in the more obvious TongBei Quan stikes.

Spinal Waves

Spinal waves are necessary for healthy mobility, healthy transfer of kinetic energy through the abdominal region and into the appendages and is part of natural walking motion. (More on natural walking later)

There are two main ways to work on spinal waves -one from the personal trainer of infamous Connor McGregor- Ido Portal. You start at a wall and the wave starts with your chin – great demonstration below. According to his student, she was able to regain mobility after a car crash by doing this movement.

Here of ISAI martial arts demonstrates the fish lateral undulation

Here he explains again in Hebrew the “Ameba” movement (front back wave)

The idea is that we share the wave movement with fish- lateral undulation ( side to side movement) as well as ventral (front)/ dorsal (back) wave motion with other vertebrates. Simon Thakur of Ancestral movement demonstrates both the lateral undulation and the ventral/ dorsal spinal waves in these excellent clips from ancestral movement.

Side to side evolutionary movement patterns

Fighting Application

“Now this is all great:, you say, “maybe it will release back pain and help me rehabilitate my spine and natural motion, but how does this apply in combat?” I’m very glad you asked. Lets first look at some obvious examples.

For a very visible example let’s look at how to use a knife in combat – demonstrated by Alexander Makstimstov:

Another exaggerated demonstration is in TongBei Quan’s striking technique. Man that was fast!

For the more invisible and adaptable technique- Here in this Systema Kadochnikov video we are shown how to train the impulse strike: (in Russian)

Here Manya Goreli of ISAI martial arts shows some of the defensive applications of the “fish” and “Ameba” movements


  1. Dragon Trader says

    Thanks for sharing. I got interested for 2 reasons: I pratice martial arts and I ma blogging about waves … in stock market 😉

    Dragon in chinese martial arts usually refer to this spinal wave. I learnt “shen long taiji” (dragon spirit taiji) in China, similar to this one: it predates all current taiji styles
    Waves are permanent. Style is very difficult to master.
    Baguazhang also leverage a lot the dragon but it is not so obvious from outside.
    Thanks for posting!

    • bastiat says

      Dragon Trader- Thanks for the comment. I have never heard of that style before. I will look for your posts on the stock market!


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