Guy's I want to be clear on the fact that I am not a teacher and do not expect you all to follow this as if it were gospel. My main concern is to try to persuade people to open up a little and realize that the stuff we do is really not all that mystical when we describe biophysical phenomena in the light of the best way to apply the natural laws that we are all stuck with like gravity, inertia and goemetry. I would also like to hear everyone else's take. OK?
I think we need to go backwards to a somewhat bigger picture if we are going to get into the ki demonstrations. The type of movement mentioned in my last post is only a small example of the total type of muscle training that must take place to be able to accomplish the types of tricks you're talking about. BTW I am not that familiar with all the various types of demos as most of the ki demonstrations I've seen are in the form of really nice techniques.
But, I am familiar with the unbendable arm cause I saw it in a book.
In the same way you use certain muscles to drop instead of thrust with the legs you also use different muscles to hold your arm straight and unable to be bent. Here's why. If I hold my arm out and flex it till ALL my muscles are rigid and then you come up and attempt to bend it by placing your hands in the crook of my elbow and oppose that by resting my wrist on your shoulder it will take very little force to bend my arm by overcoming the triceps because the biceps is opposing it. In other words, I am helping you bend my arm by flexing both the biceps and the triceps simulaneously. However, if I concentrate on flexing the triceps only you will not be able to bend it. That is why they tell you to focus the ki flowing out your hand like a hose because this picture tends to induce the triceps only flex. Simple. Another possibility that makes this even more effective is that while you were getting set up on the arm just before you get your posture and feet set up correctly to apply force the demonstrator has changed his position in relation to you very slightly (by taking a little weight off one leg or vectoring by pivoting the hips) and taken your balance so you cannot exert force from a strong position without first adjusting your feet.
Oh! And my teachers are all American Westerners.
What does everone else think?