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Old 12-10-2012, 03:08 PM   #369
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Ryan and Mert--

While the bajiquan shown in that motion-study clip is exterrnally impressive, Chen Xiang can do things more related to his taiji training that are even more skillful (in my opinion) and not really addressed with what the Stanford students were monitoring. Chen exhibits (I've felt) very strong "pulsing" power with no windup, very heavy connected arms when striking or doing push-hands (and can "turn off" the connection so you can feel the difference), and excellent neutralization. Chen was in Seattle and the Bay Area in October. I think he comes to the Bay Area at least once a year: maybe the Stanford lab could measure the external movement of the more subtle taiji work.

But the real interest in "no-inch power" I think would be in "tissue recruitment," which can also be measured in various ways. Some of the scrawny guys who demonstrate amazing feats of strength are said to recruit more motor units with a higher stimulation frequency. This is a largely neural function that to a certain extent can be trained. There are limits, of course (see, for example, ).

This kind of pulsing power is the yang side of the situation. But it's the way that the highly-skilled guys can use their power under pressure that makes it so effective, i.e., more than dumb force-on-force. For example, the angle relative to the line of incoming/attacking force at which they apply the power is important to its effectiveness in fighting (d'oh). Even more critical is the skill of neutralization--that is the yin side of the equation. Balancing forces within you--the "aiki in me" Dan writes about--is very important.

That obviously wasn't addressed by the Stanford motion study of Chen's bajiquan. But tissue recruitment and functioning during neutralization is possible to monitor. It would be expensive--and unlikely to receive a NIH grant anytime soon--and there are a paucity of credible research subjects. I just wanted to mention it because people get distracted by the external impressiveness of outward-directed power when the more subtle but equally critical skills of neutralization (without bracing) get ignored.
Hi Tom. Interesting stuff isn't it? That will go nowhere.
There is more to the "generation of power" side of things that cannot be filmed or sourced. It has to do with the level of sustained yin/ yang through the use of intent. Something as simple as manifesting six directions, and how that effects the body tissues can be felt, but it's not going to necessarilly be seen.

I would add to that, that the manifestion of yin and yang can be shown in a single arm movement. I do this at seminars where I have someone put force into my arm and I move and they move. I then do the exact same movement now deviod of yin and yang and their power comes in or I have to use muscle. Then....apply yin and yang...I move, they move.

There are so many things, just like this, that can be shown, and all the "experts" on the internet fail at duplicating, all while claiming understanding. As the twentieth Chapter of the classics explains
"The weight of a feather cannot be added, a fly cannot alight...." As they also state;
"Yin and yang is the comprehension of energy."


Last edited by DH : 12-10-2012 at 03:10 PM.
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