Body Follows Head

This concept suggests that if you move a person’s head then their body will move in the same direction. If you move the head back, the body will go back. If you move the head forward, the body will pitch forward. The same applies if the head is moved to the side.

This concept is used (often unconsciously) during Nage. If the head is pressed back far enough the affected person will fall backward. If the head is moved forward and downward then the associated person will be thrown or forced to roll forward.

If you can root a person onto a single leg then moving his or her head off their mother line will facilitate Nage. This essentially bends the person’s mother line severely causing them increased instability.

When manipulating and controlling a person it is common to move his or her head to cause their body to move in a specific way. Sound familiar? This is, in essence, an extension of Indirect Movement.

This concept might also be used in other ways as well. If you move an opponent’s head around in a circular manner then his or her body will twist and turn to follow the movements of the head. This causes increased disorientation and instability in an opponent. It also allows you to detect or predict when a sudden and abrupt change in the direction of their head movement will have the most significant effect on the remainder of the opponent’s body. If you can firmly root both feet as you begin this rotation then the body may be twisted into a helical form that makes it difficult for the person to move in a reliable manner.

Not many martial arts consider or study this concept in much detail. Even fewer consider the alternate condition to be true. The Indirect Movement concept would predict that moving the body will cause the head to follow.

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