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Old 12-23-2009, 09:17 PM   #1
oisin bourke
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Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
Location: Kilkenny
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 359
Gravity and the body

Phi throng wrote:
"i think we need to strip everything down to the basic. if you look at the human body (for you folks who are aliens among us, please ignore this, because it won't apply to you) , we are basically a bundle of sticks, tied together with sinew and muscle and fat, wrapped with fascia, and covered with hide and hair. then controlled by a sophisticate computer with vast neural networks. our basic configuration isn't optimal for staying up-right, much less doing anything else.
so most of the time, our muscles tried to keep us up-right. our muscle fiber pulls, do not push. most of the times our muscles worked against each other to keep us up-right, and we are in a precarious balancing act all the time. so, some of the main equations we need to solve are,
1. how do we deal with incoming force?
2. how do we efficiently generate and focus a force?
3. how do we maintain balance, whether we are on our feet or our back or ..., while doing the above two points?

regardless the origin of the IS, whether from Chinese or Japanese or Swahili or wherever, they all have to deal with such questions above; they all have to deal with how human body constructed and its limitations. then there is various physical laws that we have to abide on this world, for example, gravity.

how do you deal with incoming force? spread it out to as much surface area as you can. the earth has large surface if your feet are on it, a big wall if your back is against it, another person if that person happens to be within reach, and so on. in order to do that, you have to take all the slacks out of your body (bundle of sticks, ... remember?). how do you take the slacks our of your body? winding, tightening, binding your whole body into one unit so it can distribute force through your entire body and to whatever that body touches.

how do we efficiently generate and focus a force? straight muscle, but we have counter-balance muscle which oppose; thus, lessen the generated force. what-if we could lessen the counter-balancing affect and using every muscle, sinew, fascia, skin, hair, bone, pretty much our entire body to perform an action, for example, picking up a glass of water. if we can do that, then we can throw, kick, punch, lift, walk, run, kiss, and so on with our entire being; thus, we have "one moves all move".

how do we maintain balance while doing 1 and 2? every force has an equal and opposing force to stay neutral, thus in balance. a push toward the front, need an equal push toward the back. a push up needs an opposing push down, your body is in the middle.

since our body controls by a computer and neural network, that's where the whole mind/intent comes about. so the first part is to train your body to become one unit that can do as the mind directed. most folks methink could spend their lifetime on learning how-to taking the slack out of their body. then the next is how-to generate power with their body, by taking the slack out of their body in segment so that power generate like a whip through their entire body, and at the point of release, their entire body now have no slack but full of power. now do all of that with your will. "
I've been thinking recently about the effects of gravity on our bodies as we age. The ongoing "fight" we wage with the force of gravity as we pass our time on this planet.

I came across some interesting quotes in a book called "the demon's sermon on the martial arts" which is an edo period samurai tome.

One brief excerpt goes:

"Look at someone who is walking. Because most are conscious of the upper bodies they will walk counterpoise to their heads, while others walk moving their arms or entire bodies. A person who walks well...walks with his legs (not moving his upper body).

Thus his body is serene, his internal organs are not stressed and he is not worn out. You should observe the manner in which men carry heavy loads.

...look at the way the chief actors in Noh plays use their feet. They all advance while bending the tips of their toes...."

And on it goes. It also struck me how so many Asian cultures squat or sit in seiza etc much of the time. Perhaps this is acknowledging the inevitable toll gravity exerts on the body.

It struck me that the concept of gravity as we know it today was unknown in older Asian cultures so the effects of gravity within the body were conceptualized as different things (yin yang, chi etc.)

These are just random thoughts written down to help clarify my own thinking on the subject.

Anyone else with any thoughts or opinions on gravity and the traditional asian approach to its effects feel free to chime in.
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