Highbar Tkatchev techniques

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Geoffrey Taucer

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For men's Tkatchevs, there are two techniques I've seen used, and I'd love to hear anything you guys can tell me about the advantages and disadvantages of each technique.

The first is like a chinese tap, and this is the one I see most commonly; the gymnast goes overtop of the bar quickly with a distinct pike in the hips and shoulders.

The second almost stops in a handstand, starts to lower as if towards a free hip, then aggressively opens with the chest.

I've seen just about every tkatchev variation imaginable with both techniques. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
 
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ryantroop

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Sep 21, 2008
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Really, what you're describing is the same technique - one is through a swing (chinese) and one is from a controlled bail (stall). I'm pretty certain it depends on who taught them the skill, and how they learned to enter the skill.

Really, a rev. Hecht is hip dependent and shoulder dependent. Height is controlled by the shoulder (as well as initiation of the rotation), hip tightness determines how fast you rotate.

I have seen straddle hechts on highbar where the gymnast looks like they are going for a giant and they release mid tap, thus getting rid of the chinese tap altogether.

It all depends on the coach and the development.

I hope that helps...

Ryan
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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So if I have a kid who has not yet learned a chinese tap and I want to start him on Tkatchevs, would you start by teaching the chinese tap or would you start by teaching it from a stall and later develop that into a chinese tap?

While I'm on the subject, where should the focus be in a chinese tap? What I mean is: should the gymnast focus on piking in the hips or on closing the shoulders?
 

ryantroop

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Sep 21, 2008
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Well... It sorta depends... Mostly on what equipment you have available.

If you have a trench, there was a really great taining drill where the coach stands along side the gymnast and helps them counter rotate and stand on the bar.

Of course, a pre-cursor to this would be any of the hundreds of drills for arm actuation - t. Track, back x rolls on a wedge, etc...

As for the tap into it.. I think it depends on what you plan into and out of it. Half tak, rev hecht you can't chinese tap into, so learn the bail. Rev straddle rev pike combo requires a lot of swing, and a good tap into it would be good.

It also depends on the comfort of the gymnast- can they repetitively make the peoper adjustments through motion, or do they need a second to time it out and prepare?
 

ryantroop

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Sep 21, 2008
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You'll have to excuse me, I'm on vacation and I've been typing on my blackberry... I wrote a whole big follow up post and lost it all, so ill make some highlights:

I didn't answer your question - yes teach it. It is used for dismounts, as well as other releases.

All a chinese tap is (to me) is a giant tap rotated 45* forward.

To teach a chinese tap, you do it from the stall technique and build in swing, so you get both. Some kids can also just see one and copy it.

I would close the hips and shoulders like a super hollow, and extend to a tight arch at horizontal.

Hope that helps!

Ryan
 

gymdog

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There have been a couple videos on Gymnastike the past week. Might want to go search there. But I don't think tap was specifically covered.
 

Hammy20

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Jun 3, 2009
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VA BEACH, VA
GT, it sounds like the second example you are talking about is a Piatti. The same Tkatchev action but initiated from a free hip. I was teaching this to a few of my guys last year because I didn't want to teach them a chinese tap yet...

Some of the drills we used included:
- using a tramp bar: kick to hand stand, fall to back in a pike shape, pop up (as in the top of the giant) and block off. once they were comfortable took the drill one step further, after the block had them turn it over to sit in a straddle on a small cheese wedge reaching for the bar.
- on a pit bar: free hip to block off; then Piatti with the spotting belt; Piatti with putting a mat in.

That's what we did last year. I have a hard time teaching a chinese tap when a gymnast's normal tap isn't consistent, and their giants still need work. As long as they have a good free hip to handstand, then I think the Piatti is the way to go, especially since it is the same value as Tkatchev.
 

Valentin

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Nov 12, 2007
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It has been shown that that there isn't a great deal of difference between the amount of angular acceleration generate from a Chinese tap and regular giant technique..so either is perfectly fine. However the proposed advantages to the Chinese is that its is more economical to do/ its less energy expanding, especially at the end of a routine. I also think that there is an added advantage for dismounts because of the way the bar is flexed. Think of it as an arrow being fired from a bow on the dismount. As the gymnast passes over the bar he is flexing the bar horizontally much more than vertically (when using a Chinese tap compared to a regular giant), thus as he ends up the other side of the bar he gets a much better action reaction from the bar which propels him further away from the bar on dismount. That is also where there is an advantage for the tkatchev. With the gymnast hanging on the bar springs back horizontally which aids the gymnast counter rotate.
Damn its hard to explain without pictures.
This is why i think you do see people doing Kovacs, Geingers done from Chinese taps (at least i can't think of anyone doing them).

The second technique you described i think has an advantage of being more controlled.. Its slower. If you struggle to connect the tkatchev out of a skill it seems reasonable to stop and start more from a handstand.
However the same bar action is applied a more horizontal one than and up down one..

That would be the only advantages i see. Mechanically speaking the Chinese tap would make the Tkatchev easier, but the timing would most likely be harder to control due to the increase speed. The second technique allows for more controlled entry but requires greater effort.

Hope that helps. I know its not very well explained sorry about that.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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It has been shown that that there isn't a great deal of difference between the amount of angular acceleration generate from a Chinese tap and regular giant technique..so either is perfectly fine. However the proposed advantages to the Chinese is that its is more economical to do/ its less energy expanding, especially at the end of a routine. I also think that there is an added advantage for dismounts because of the way the bar is flexed. Think of it as an arrow being fired from a bow on the dismount. As the gymnast passes over the bar he is flexing the bar horizontally much more than vertically (when using a Chinese tap compared to a regular giant), thus as he ends up the other side of the bar he gets a much better action reaction from the bar which propels him further away from the bar on dismount. That is also where there is an advantage for the tkatchev. With the gymnast hanging on the bar springs back horizontally which aids the gymnast counter rotate.
Damn its hard to explain without pictures.
This is why i think you do see people doing Kovacs, Geingers done from Chinese taps (at least i can't think of anyone doing them).

The second technique you described i think has an advantage of being more controlled.. Its slower. If you struggle to connect the tkatchev out of a skill it seems reasonable to stop and start more from a handstand.
However the same bar action is applied a more horizontal one than and up down one..

That would be the only advantages i see. Mechanically speaking the Chinese tap would make the Tkatchev easier, but the timing would most likely be harder to control due to the increase speed. The second technique allows for more controlled entry but requires greater effort.

Hope that helps. I know its not very well explained sorry about that.
Actually, you explained it quite well, I think.
 

Valentin

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Nov 12, 2007
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USA
I need to make a correction to a typo (where is the edit function on this forum?)
I said:
This is why i think you do see people doing Kovacs, Geingers done from Chinese taps (at least i can't think of anyone doing them).
That should have said
This is why i think you don't see Kovacs and Geingers done from a Chinese tap giant (at least i can't think of anyone doing them).
 

blantonnick

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I find more success first teaching kids to work Tkatchev's from a basic handstand supported position rather than a Chinese Tap or Wind-Up. This is because the gymnast has more time, in other words the actions are slower, therefore the brain can analyse more effectively what is going on. This greater degree of awareness allows the gymnast an opportunity to examine what is going on then able to learn at a quicker rate.

I have a few children at the moment working Tkachev's and will be putting together a video in the next few weeks about the phases and structures of the skill, much like I did for the Undersomersault on Parallel Bars. Keep an eye out for it...
 
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