Myth or Useful?
We cannot blindly follow any one, we must always search the truth through experience.
So many Martial Artists, expound the the great secret of rooting for Martial Application, could this be another myth?
Well for health, wellness, physical Strength and many other benefits, rooting is important. Rooting is mainly found in internal styles such as Tai Chi, Ba Gua, hi Gong and even some Karate forms like Sanchin. This is to promote Health, Strength and Vigor (not fighting skills).
In the Ancient Bubishi we see that it contained Martial Applications with Kyusho, however it contained a duality in that it also presented Health doctrine as well. We see this depicted in a figure with plants and "Roots" at specific locations on the body.
When you perform a Tai Chi form or Sanchin, as example,you work to drop your weight into the ground and root. This serves to strengthen the muscles, align the spine, hips and legs for increased physical wellness and potential.
But for Martial Applications it is detrimental.
When doing the arts in a Martial application, the rooting is not feasible as with highly stressful, spontaneous and unplanned actions and reactions, you need to be quick, agile and able to transition to varying positions for varying safety and response. If you also drop your energy (Kinetic action and power, not Chi) down, what do you have left to advance to the opponent. Even if you were fast enough or talented enough to do this with an opponent, it is impossible with two (or more) assailants from different direction and attack potentials.
Now if one is rooted, yes they may gain a leverage over an opponent, but mainly in pre-planned application. Many of the soft arts use a pushing hand, Sticky Hand or other transitional adhesion drill to develop sensitivity to the opponents actions as well as basing ones self to be more stationary. These drills do have worth for Martial application, but not the rooted aspect.
Could it be that instructors of old taught this to impress others with a "Martial Prowess" in demonstration? Could it be that they did this so as the student would gain health and strength as the nullified the real Martial application or potential? Would they then reserve the transitional teachings to only family members or that one special student? Or would these exercises be taught so that a student would never have a Martial Advantage over the instructor? The evidence points to the sabotage in instruction by stripping out the real methods of attack on an opponent.
If you plant yourself into the ground and consciously work toward that goal, you have less transitional inertia to adequately penetrate deeper into the body to access the "Vital Targets".
Kyusho can be delivered in a standing position, even to the point of knocking a person unconscious. However you will never reach the full potential with Kyusho in this way.