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Old 08-14-2006, 04:21 AM   #16
Dojo: Shodokan
Location: London, UK
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 52
Re: Training the Body for Martial Movement

Hi Rob,

Thanks for posting your article - interesting reading. I've got a couple of questions / observations at a few points - it would be useful to get some clarification.. Chucking them all together makes for a long post (though only a fraction of yours! ), but lets see how we go.. Ok, I'm just going to get straight into it...

Robert John wrote:
Because support/control of the head is so important, many MAs will use the analogy of "lifting" the head etc. The effect of this is inducing a little bit of supporting tension in the base of the neck. So if silken threads pulled by fat golden budhhas sitting in heaven don't float your boat, putting a little tension in the base of the neck will do the same thing for now.
Does this mean tension in the front of the neck (eg dip between the clavicles) or behind the neck (between, umm, the traps) or around the whole lot (like wearing a necklace). It feels like if you raise / suspend the crown through the ba-huei (sp?) - which is what I've been taught for this (ie, behind the "top" of the head), then the tension comes to the back of the neck more than the front.

Robert John wrote:
First, let's define what the three axes are.
Sorry, I'm stoopid, it seems we're talking axis here, not (sagittal) planes.. yes/no?

Robert John wrote:
Try this experiment.
Stand with feet together, arms at the sides.
Knees straight.
Spread your arms outwards.
Push the palms outward, fingers pointing up.
Draw the shoulder blades in, drop the shoulders down.
Elbows should be straight and turned down.
There should be tension running from fingertip to fingertip now.
This should also induce the feeling of a "cross" of tension within the
1) Feet together - how close? big toe pointing in which direction? The distance between the feet changes the feeling and difficulty of this test a lot, needless to say.
2) Arms open to the sides or straight ahead?
3) Can you comment on the attention one should pay to the up/down on the spine during this exercise?
4) Can you describe where the tension paths run in the arms? To me it feels like the underneath of the forearm, almost through the exposed "hollow" between the bicep and triceps on the front/underside of the humerus, then kinda through the lats/pecs, but more like close to the bone, as opposed to the muscles themselves... (maybe weird description, I know)

Robert John wrote:
Now, with feet together raise your leg without disturbing the structure in the upper area.
"Raise the leg".
1) out to the side? Out in front?
2) raise the foot (whole leg straight)? Raise the knee (shin vertical)?

Robert John wrote:
The two most important parts of the spine to "realize" are the base of the the neck (close to where the spine starts, and is probably the seventh vertabra down, but I'm no doctor) and the sacral area. (which actually is close to parallel with the over-hyped dantien point)
So is this tying the uber dantien near-enough in front of the sacral connection of the spine to the pelvic girdle?

Robert John wrote:
***Pelvic Crease***
pc = kua?

Robert John wrote:
The first is a push pull of tension maintained between the "cross" in the chest,and the base of the neck. The second is a push pull of tension between the sacrum and the tanden point. Finally, an opposing left/right tension needs to be
induced and held first [do you need this "first"?] between the shoulder blades, which connects both arms
as one unit.
So, should the cross manifest more in front, or behind, or through, or around the torso? I'm looking for a description to compare my own feeling. In my case what I'm doing feels both in front and behind, but also somehow connected between the two, mainly _under_ the arms, I think (?)...

Ok, so you've mentioned L-R, F-B and U-D tension around the cross in the upper body. And also U-P, F-B in the middle area. Can I hazard that the opening of the pc by maintaining an arch or bow in the legs and relaxing the kua helps manifest a L-R tension in the middle (pelvic region) too?

Robert John wrote:
For any structural engineers/physicists that want to tear apart the above statement with force diagrams
I'm an engineer, btw, and the descriptions make sense to me...

I'll get to Part II tomorrow - look forward to comments.

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