Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the
world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to
over 16,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a
wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history,
humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.
If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced
features available, you will need to register first. Registration is
absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!
In a number of discussions, I have addressed the issue of angular momentum and the nature of its use according to aiki principles. This entry will sum up some of those thoughts.
I have observed that a mechanical model for the relaxed human structure is that of a linked chain of bones. This has very significant impact in the use, magnification and dissipation of forces in encounters involving aikido. The tip of a folded chain, if allowed to fall freely from the support, accelerates with nothing bu the force of gravity. And yet, the chain tip actually accelerates faster than a ball dropped simultaneously from the same height.
The reason this occurs is because of conservation of angular momentum in the free end of the chain and the addition of each increment of momentum from the successive links to those still falling as they are each brought to a halt by the tension against the support. In the limit the speed of the falling chain would go to inifitnyt but limited by the material and its dimension, it merely becomes very, very fast until it suddenly goes to zero, and rebounds against the support.
The whip operates on the same principle: a coil or loop (technically, a spiral wave) of the whip constantly decreasing in radius -- thus increasing in angular velocity by the inverse square of the radius, The kinetic energy embodied in that progression increases as the square of the velocity. The tip of the whip at full extension exceeds the sound barrier, which for