Elbow Strikes – One Of Nia’s 52 Moves
Posted by terrepruitt on June 6, 2016
You may know from reading my posts about Nia, or even other material about Nia, that it is made up of three groups of movement forms. Those three groups of movement forms are made up of three movement forms. The first group is Martial Arts, which include T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, and Aikido. In martial arts we can have moves like punches, kicks, blocks, and strikes. The elbow strike is one of Nia’s 52 Moves. Now remember, the 52 Moves of Nia are not moves that Nia claims are unique to Nia or that only Nia does. The 52 Moves of Nia are named that because they are incorporated into the Nia Routines. The Elbow Strike might even be able to be counted as three moves . . . perhaps not, but there are three ways to do it. I am betting you understand that all three ways involve the elbow. There is the elbow strike down, the elbow strike out, and the elbow strike back or the Downward Strike, the Outward Strike, and the Backward Strike.
To do this move you would first get into Riding Stance also know as Sumo Stance. Have a strong and stable base. Push into the earth with your feet. Engage through the core and the whole body. The fists are in ready position, which is palms up, at chest height and at the side of the chest . . . so elbows are drawn back past the rib cage. The downward strike is with the elbow moving downward into the open palm of the opposite hand. The outward strike is the elbow moving out away from the body using the opposite hand to push the power through the elbow. The backward strike has the opposite hand pushing the elbow backwards away from the body. All of these are done on one side then the other.
As I have mentioned with all the moves, there is an exact way to practice it or them, in this case, if you are just practicing each move. But when you are dancing the exactness can change. In a Nia class, we might do elbow strikes from an A Stance or while we are stepping into a stance. Or we might do them from a bow stance. Sometimes we might not use the opposite hand to help push the power, or strike down into the open palm of the opposite hand. It all depends on the dance. The above is just to help you learn the move and how you would practice it on its own.
The Nia Technique Book says: “Benefits: Practicing Elbow Strikes is excellent for releasing stress and anxiety. These moves will strengthen and define upper chest, back, hands, and arms and will enhance your sense of confident determination.”
Elbows strikes do feel powerful and give you a sense of confidence. It is really fun to do them while sounding, perhaps saying, “HA!” or even just saying, “Strike!”
Well, what do you think? Did you try it? Can you feel the power in this move?