The ground is where we live, work and play. It is always there, like gravity, so a goal of training is to learn to use it to our best advantage. The role of the ground in movement is something martial arts practitioners have understood for thousands of years. A Tai Chi instructor summed it up best:
- Rooted in the feet
- Powered by the core
- Reflected by the arms
- Manifested in the hands
Movement begins at the ground. Everything is expressed from the ground upward; consequently all movement is a reflection of the quality of being rooted. The natural analogy of the tree is particularly appropriate. The size and strength of the trunk are not ultimately what determines the strength of the tree; it is the root structure. As we proceed down the functional path to build our complete athlete keep this analogy in mind. The athlete is built from the ground up. How force is imparted into the ground and the subsequent ground reaction go a long way to determine the quality of the athlete’s performance. The ability to use the ground effectively plays a significant role in injury prevention and rehabilitation.