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-   -   Buses and trains - effects on balance (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10870)

bob_stra 08-30-2006 07:25 AM

Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
*cross posted from judoinfo. Figured you all might be interested in discussing this too?*


I'm wondering if anyone has noticed any interesting effects on their balance from riding on buses and trains?

Specifically, I mean without collapsing against walls or rails, nor holding onto handrails for great lengths of time. Keeping the feet light / yielding and the pelvis alive.

I've recently had some interesting experiences from this, so am curious to know if anyone else has experimented with this as a means of force redirection, moving from the centre etc.

Any comments?

odudog 08-30-2006 07:44 AM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
I try to maintain my balance from time to time when I ride the subway here in the DC area. I really have to shift my hips in the opposite direction of the subway in an attempt to not to move my feet. I first saw this being done when I was visiting Tokyo. I was amazed on how many riders didn't have to hold on to anything, read a newspaper or magazine, and still stay perfectly still. They don't shift their hips or anything. I'm trying to emulate them as best I can.

crbateman 08-30-2006 07:57 AM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
Like everything else, it's a matter of practice. Aikido will give you a better set of tools, but only time spent on a train will perfect the technique.

bob_stra 08-30-2006 07:58 AM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
One of the things I've felt of late is that by using certain organizations, I can become entirely immobile and yet not stiff. The bus can be whipping around at whatever speed it wants, and yet I can often feel the force go into my back leg, then shoot up-wards. If I were to hold an overhead handle, I often find myself pusing it up at a 45 degree angle. That is to say, it seems to push itself up, as if the leg force is going up into the arm.

I thought that was kind of odd and kooky, and I know some of you study this kind of thing so...

I'm just curious if anyone has used this environment as a less opportunistic way to train force redirection? Has it been useful to you?

(Surfing might be another analogue but I've never expereinced that and thus am more interested in buses and trains :)

Mike Sigman 08-30-2006 08:16 AM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
I use it when I'm on a train or a bus, but that's not all that often. I've heard many people mention it, over the years. It helps train you to let the legs do all the reaction/absorption. The only problem is, IMO, that the force affects your entire body at once; it's not the same as a single attacking force coming in from an opponent. So it's not a perfect training tool in that sense.

Best.

Mike

Trish Greene 08-30-2006 10:41 AM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
Since I don't ride trains or buses on a regular bases, I first noticed it this year when I was river rafting.
I was changing my balance to ride with the rapids and the raft instead of bracing against it.
I didn't fall out once!!!!

CNYMike 08-30-2006 12:09 PM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
Quote:

Bob Strahinjevich wrote:
*cross posted from judoinfo. Figured you all might be interested in discussing this too?*


I'm wondering if anyone has noticed any interesting effects on their balance from riding on buses and trains?

Specifically, I mean without collapsing against walls or rails, nor holding onto handrails for great lengths of time. Keeping the feet light / yielding and the pelvis alive.

I've recently had some interesting experiences from this, so am curious to know if anyone else has experimented with this as a means of force redirection, moving from the centre etc.

Any comments?


I sometimes wonder if some of the stances adapted by karateka in the 20th century --- specifically the front stance and back stance favored by Shotokan --- came about as a way to try and stay stable on a train or the bus. I caught myself holding myself that way on subway trains or busses (when I go to Ottawa, New York, Toronto, or Washington, I use public transporation more than at home), and it's a thought that crossed my mind. It's porbably wrong, but it has crossed my mind.

Roman Kremianski 08-30-2006 01:47 PM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
I take a combination of train, bus and subway everyday to Aikido practice. It's interesting practice, but I've been at it for a year and a half and still hadn't gotten that much better, though it depends. The subway/train is the easiest as it only goes forward and backword, but the bus and it's sharp turns are hard. Especially crowded buses.

:disgust:

Neal Earhart 08-30-2006 03:47 PM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
Quote:

Mike Braxton wrote:
I first saw this being done when I was visiting Tokyo. I was amazed on how many riders didn't have to hold on to anything, read a newspaper or magazine, and still stay perfectly still. They don't shift their hips or anything.

Exactly the same here in NYC. People ride the subway without holding onto or leaning on anything. It just comes from years of riding the subway system.

statisticool 08-30-2006 06:19 PM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
Hmm, cool post! It is one of those things I think about if I am the only one doing it or not. :)

In Portland (OR), on the Max train on some of them they are jointed and have a rotating disk in the middle you can stand on. It is challenhingto stand on this disk section during a turn becuse you have the trains' movement, plus the movement of this disk.

I think it can help, just like balancing on one leg for 30 sec the first day, 1 min the next day, 2 min the next day, etc. can help. ESPECIALLY, since we try to make martial arts a healthy habit and part of daily life, and most people take the bus/train very often.


Justin

Michael Douglas 09-02-2006 06:06 AM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
When I was a teenager I thought it was a great way to train my balance for better Aikido.
Now I see it as a harmless bit of fun, useful skill to have when standing unsupported in a wobbly train or bus but fairly useless everywhere else.
I don't think it helped me to resist attacks on my balance during training.

Mark Freeman 09-02-2006 07:52 AM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
Nice to see so many people using public transport, so much better for the environment as well as a fun way to work on balance. SUV's just don't cut it as training tools. :D

statisticool 09-02-2006 08:04 AM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
Speaking of transportation and aikido, I do find the concept of merging on the highway, or letting (helping) others merge in, to be good practice. :)

Mike Hamer 09-02-2006 08:55 AM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
Woah, someone else does this to? I often have to take Dial-a-Ride to work, and those buses are really bumpy.

John Matsushima 09-07-2006 09:42 PM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
I have tried this on the train. I found that it helps when I keep my knees loose and shift my weight naturally from side to side instead of leaning. Sometimes, the train does take some hard curves and I am forced to move. When I tried to hard to stand still, I ended up being stiff legged and staggering to the next spot (like on your first day of Aikido practice). However, when I just relaxed and went with the movement, it was much smoother to just slide my foot into a new position.

Two additional notes: I found increased balanced while listening to my headphones! My legs seemed to have more feeling, were looser and easier to move and shift weight. I felt like a boxer that was bouncing from one foot to the next (all my boxing training comes from watching HBO). Finally, after I had a few beers and THEN got on the train, I was even better! (But if you have too many, you won't be able to stand up). Maybe drunken Aiki style works best.

Kevin Wilbanks 09-07-2006 10:40 PM

Re: Buses and trains - effects on balance
 
It probably is only of limited use in training the balance for Aikido or Judo, in the same category as wobble boards, balance balls, and the like. While these methods may be good exercise in a general sense, the skill of balancing with the feet planted for a prolonged period is fundamentally different from the way you manage balance when throwing or trying not to be thrown. When you are trying to keep your balance in a martial art, there is nothing magic about keeping your feet planted in the same place, and you pay no special attention to forcing yourself to keep them there. If you need to, you simply take a step. In fact, how, when, and where you choose to step is an integral part of the balancing skill.

Practicing extensively on a wobbly surface with the artificial restriction of not being able to move the feet might even detract from your real-world balancing skills if you did it so much that you began to confuse the two situations. You could find yourself defaulting to not moving the feet in the latter, which almost certainly is a worse method of keeping your balance than the former, no matter how good you are at it. Unless you need to be able to fight while surfing or skateboarding, use such training methods sparingly.


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