Movement patterns

I'm in exercise science and I recently spoke with a 3rd year student taking biomechanics. He said something that is similar to what I've seen Scott talk about so I decided to post it.

We are programmed, from birth, for 7 kinds of movement. All other movement is a mixture of those 7.

Gait (walking, running), squating, lunging, twisting, turning, pulling, pushing. With the exception of gait, you could do all of these in any plane of motion. If this is true, then one simply has to understand which of these 7 we use most commonly in combative practices and include some time on the basic principals.




Hmmm... I will share my experience and understanding, and then maybe others will chime in with their thoughts as well.

The most basic of motions is the arcing or curve-a-linear, the flexion and extension of the muscles causing a single joint articulation. Recruiting multiple joints to form a kinetic chain facilitates the creation of more complex movements such as circles, infinities, and waves.

Now, just because more sophisticated motions such as waves are formed by more rudimentary movements such as arcs, this does not imply that we should concentrate solely on the fundamentals. Becoming aware of our fuller range of motion and human potential provides us with greater awareness and familiarity with what might have been otherwise "uncomfortable," thus increasing our survivability.

For example, in the early days of NHB events, fighters who were from a primarily striking background were easily neutralized by being placed on their backs. Their lack of familiarity with the ground proved to be on obstacle to their defense, but had they spent only a marginal amount of time training this facet of combat, their chances for success would have increased exponentially. I note Maurice Smith as an example. This is only a singular benefit that incrementally complex motions afford us.

I may have gone off on a tangent, but I will try to bring it back around. We begin with the biomechanics; this is the foundation of our knowledge. Once we have reclaimed our inherit movement patterns, we can begin to explore them in context, such as your "takedown" example. The only difference is that there is no need to exaggerate the movements. Simply apply the same sound, natural, efficient movements to the particular venue that you are engaged in. You will cognitively recognize the connection, and more importantly, you will somatically make the connection.

I would like to hear some other ideas about this as well.

Happy Training,


I'll try. Assuming that all our motion is based on these 7 basic motions, one would have to break a complex motion down to its components to understand how to train it. For example, the takedown. It combines, gait, lunging, pulling, and twisting. If, with takedown "technique" training and a proper conditioning routine, one also trainned these basic motions in a more combative way (doing a takedown while exagerating each one of these so the body learns how they work differently and together) one would have a greater propioception of movement.


Martial Shadow,

I would like to share my thoughts on this interesting topic, but before I do, could you please ellaborate on what you meant by "one simply has to understand which of these 7 we use most commonly in combative practices and include some time on the basic principals"? Thanks.

Happy Training,

Doug Rowell


Thank you for your response; it was quite informative.

Regarding my statement about curvilinear motions, I realise that it can be argued that the most basic movements are linear, but I happen to disagree. You can view the horizon and it might appear linear, but in actuality the surface of the earth is curved.

Now, when I mention the most fundamental type of motion, I am referring to a type of motion that can be built upon to form more complex movement sets. Therefore, arcs can be combined to form circles, infinities, waves, and etc. Now if the elbow can only move linearly, it couldn't possibly move in a circle because no combination of perfectly straight lines can form a circle.

Perhaps someone else can further clarify the issue. Either way, this is a good discussion.



I think it is apparent that we won't see eye to eye on the linear vs. curvilinear debate; I suppose it all boils down to perception.

At any rate, your last post has brought us back to the proper issue of how movement training increases our chances for survival.

Perhaps some others would like to comment on that topic.

Happy Training,



You've provided some valid points, but I'm still sticking to my guns :)

"I could also argue that the smallest part of a circle is a straight line" That kind of sounds like a Zen Koan. I guess we could argue that the smallest part is singular point, but when I mentioned circles, I wasn't referring to geometric shapes, but patterns of movement.

Now, if you were to examine a small portion of a large circle (my horizon of the earth analogy) it would appear linear, but it is in fact still arcing. No amount of straight lines can form a circle, at least not to my knowledge.

If you articulate the elbow, is it moving linearly or curvilinearly? Move your forearm from the elbow and watch the wrist and hand. If your elbow is moving linearly, then the hand and wrist will move linearly as well because they are parallel to one another. If your hand and wrist move in an arc, then the elbow must be moving curvilinearly as well. You decide.

Concerning the elbow moving in a circle, you are correct. It requires the recruitment of other joints to do so, but as I stated earlier, lines do not form circles.

This has become an interesting thread. Perhaps there are some others that can expose us to their vantage point as well.


WOW! I hardly expected so many responses. I guess ROSS is really concerned with this idea. It'll take a while for all this to digest.

Bob- yeah, we've done labs with soccer players kicking balls, volleyball players spiking, etc. It always gets broken down. I forget that the sum is greater than the parts, thanx.


I 'd like to get back to the original concepts that MS is playing with, and add
my vantage point.

In the following videos it have seen a gradual increment on how I can view my
body and it's potential for movement as applied to combative applications.

I see the most basic of movements the human body can produce starting from single joint
, progressing to multiple joints in unison. We are being shown how to explore
movement for movements sake. Towards the end we start putting these to produce more useful

Warrior Wellness™ The 6 Degrees of Freedom:
We see how to the same movements from single to multiple articulations
can be used for joint strenght. This was present in Dvizheniye™ also.
Here we can see how to program a routine to yield us results that we
want. This means useful movement.

We start shift our focus to the internal event that happen in the body with...

Grapplers Toolbox™ SOLO Grappling Drills™:
Very useful movement. Put the simple together to create more complex
movement. Here are explored maxiamally and with combat applications
in mind. Here we are learning to put movements together to begin to solve our

Next we learn to solve our own problems using movement and causing movement
in others. We are refining our perception of the movement in again a more
and more useful way with.............

Immovable Object Unstoppable Force™:
Learning to use movement to solve a specific problem.
then on to.............

Looking at the movement potential inside the body with maximally refined
focus like a microscope the first three videos see what is happening with
the course tuner(still closer than most people look) like putting a flake of
skin on the slide and seeing the germs ON it(external),then we start to use the
fine adjustment( last two vids),seeing what is inside down to the nucleus of
the individual cells.

If you start to look at this wholistically You see a pattern forming to help
us solve our combative,health,sportive,and other physical problems incrementally
from simple to sophisticated(not complicated see Arthrokinetics™).


"If this is true, then one simply has to understand which of
these 7 we use most commonly in combative practices and include some time
on the basic principals."

I would say that we use all 7 and then some.

Which one's do we use most commonly?

We could have lots of disagreements about that,
which is why that aspect needs to be
personally manicured for a specific purpose. Why do I plan on working on
all of them, because I don't know what movements are common in combat,
there seem to be none for me my life, opponent, attacker are not easily predidcted I think that is
why I prefer to train to for maximum adaptablilty(improvisation). I think there are no shortcuts
and no ends.

If I use only sterotypical senarios then I may limit my combative options.
I am definately not training that way, limiting my options in combat is bringing me closer to death.

As far as I'm concerned Ross has already taken care of the hard
work for me all that is left for me to do is apply myself to the process.

Hope to see you all at camp soon!


Nice thread going here,

I would like to say that I have more exposure to the ROSS principles from Dan than from tapes. I have seen my abilities and others who Dan has exposed to some of these concepts improve their combat skills exponentially. His ability to communicate not only the benefits of improvisation but a method for learning to improvise is just incredible. Also, there is the sheer joy of training with a ROSS my experience the learning environment that they create really lights people up...its like hearing OH WOW!!! over and over and over.

In response to Bobstra...I agree that a construct can be constraining...I dont agree that people would generally choose practices that promote their survival...I think many people are too fearfully invested in their constructs to choose anything different than what they are already doing,even if it proves to be a less effecient means of survival.

The interesting thing about ROSS to me is that it seems to somehow give people this format that teaches them to learn and teach themselves and have confidence that they will be successful and it works real world. A pitiful explanation but this is something Ive never encountered before. It somehow elicits the highest human behavior...bah!!! cant nail it down.

I am from the more esoteric end and sometimes I used to think to shortcut the technical verbiage and spit it out. I think I have seen for myself however the efficacy of the method Scott employs.

Late at Night,


Thanks all for a good thread! I think an archive is in order!