Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Re: Aiki Physical Model -- Structure & Dynamic
In the end it is about carrying and generating load through shape, static at first, then dynamic -- and not by material strength or levered actuation limits. The loaded shape that achieves zero internal shear (the funicular curve, or no bending moments, as you prefer) beats a shape with any shear at all.)
But conversely, the shape with a fully balanced shear load actuates in "unshearing" ("relaxing" if you will) and most effectively in untorquing, especially if you relieve the imposed load stress on the complementary torsional shear stress spiral -- which is, frankly, fairly spooky for most people to feel, since I relax/compress where they are pushing, and relax/stretch into them where they were not. It doesn't fit their linear image of actuation and they get wide-eyed as their balance creeps away from them. Clarke's law applies.
Shape-wise there are three fundamental cases of shape (or image) for using shear modes actively, passively or "neutrally." Any of the three cases can be applied in any of the three modes. The slack case (chains & whips), the solid-state or "charged" case (the torsion tube) and lastly a middle case, which is neither slack nor "charged" but proportionately and inversely converts two dimensional displacement from plane to orthogonal plane (asagao). They all are founded in 90 degree relationship terms -- and in the context of complex harmonics and resonance that relaitonship is both temporal and spatial.
Discussion of "ground" I read as the "solid state" or "charged" case (Shioda's favorite mode), and "gravity" as the slack case.
Shear is also transmitted by cyclic action or pulse -- atemi, furitama, which exhibit definite resonance uses, and several other means, which do not, such as funetori, ude furi, saya undo, etc. Once you begin to talk about dynamic shape then the chain-ish multi-pendulum rotational momentum transfer concerns come in. Gyroscopic moment(um) conversion arises in interactions that are explicitly rotational or potentially so (poised moments).
The asagao (morning glory) manner of action (seen in sanchin also) It is illustrated by the continuous form from fully extended twisting punch to fully withdrawn splayed hands. As far as I am aware this has NO good analogue image in foundational Western physical models -- outside of modern deployable structure or tent design -- but it deserves a place, because IMO it is more basic than it seems at first glance. Closest that any image or model comes visually is wingtip vortices -- also a shear phenomenon.
Discussions of "intent" I read as adaptive loading. I see far more adaptively reflexive about good work (takemusu) than in the ordinary meaning of "intent" as voluntary action (which I find very unhelpful in that sense, and have the distinct impression that it is a training modality or model for the others that is superseded by more reflexive adaptive action ).
Discussions about the action of "fascia" I read as the feel of "set" (or "loosening," conversely) in the "correct" shape for the imposed (or generated) load. Shear is always highest at a boundary of action -- so the sensory impression imputed to the "fascia" would be quite correct, mechanically. Speculation as to other biological action of actual fascia tissue cannot be ruled out, though still poorly understood. To some extent it can be seen as reaction of the soft structures in a driven resonance (like vibratory tool hand-clamping (which is not merely mechanical but neuro-muscular/fascial and is trained with furitama), tekubi furi, etc.
And if dynamic access to shift shear loading (even very slightly, and cyclically) is unconstrained to the whole of the body as a mechanism, (through resonance) then the shear-vulnerable linkage(s) will reveal and the whole load can be fed progressively through that hole in the structural dam. Conversely, counter-damping can prevent that access.-- I read Dan's ability to be very powerful in this mode -- what little he speaks of it terms that are not coded in his own vocabulary -- not a criticism -- he is actually intelligible me -- if lacking rigor,which is why I am apparently not intelligible to him. When he speaks of resisting a push, in part, I read counter-damping as much or more than load adaptation. If I resist the static push methodology, as such, it is because of weapons avoidance concerns that are a deep part of our dojo's specific history, and that mode is counterproductive to instinctively not being where a weapon would go.
Training-wise I emphasize static shape loading and simple shifting initially, which is much easier to perceive for most people (and fairly common in most places I have trained, actually). Kokyu undo/ aikitaiso are followed and corrected through every waza exercise, and most of the "waza" we perform begin in some distinct variation from "canonical" form. No rote movements.
In what I am doing, I have taken fairly new folks with no prior training and within about three to five months with the structural emphasis have them comfortable with koshinage on guys that outmass them by seventy or eighty pounds. Comfortable, not indestructible.
Less commonly, I emphasize loading and unloading on the opposed torsion compression/tension spirals in connection. I work on "charging" and relaxing or collapsing the structure actively ( and in complement to the opponents mode, be it "charged" or slack) -- acting in furitama rhythm to create compressive or tensile resonance at contact -- which tends to induce buckling for a kuzushi -- anywhere there is a structural vulnerability -- by all accounts I expect Dan doesn't have many of those.
Ikeda has often illustrated when he visited, his "falling leaf" pulse action, which is of this variety, and began my thoughts on resonance and its importance about seven years ago. everything was built up from there. These two new girls I mentioned above have gotten the essentials of driving the reflexive flexors (slight aiki sage) with a resonant weighted shudder into the shoulder. They aren't dropping people like decapitated buffalo, but they are gaining definitive kuzushi with a projected and weighted touch, and with very little prior background. We are working them up to better "charged" and "slack" aiki age -- particularly in kokyu tanden ho and tenchi nage.
The main difference I see in what the "group" is doing (I don't pretend to belong) is that I have a structural ideal that is inherently adaptive (if perceived) and -- broadly speaking -- I am hearing the other school of thought talking about an adaptive ideal (if perceived) that inherently structures. Maybe too broad but that is some of the real disconnect -- it lies in our complementary presumptions, I think. Wherefore we seem ass-backwards to each other -- because we are, basically The other approach has a long head start, practically speaking -- I'll be the first to acknowledge -- but this approach speaks to things and learning styles the other one does not -- and also has the advantage of not having been tried, so ...
I'll look at the curl approach. I like some of that.
Last edited by Erick Mead : 10-07-2009 at 07:28 PM.