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Old 01-24-2013, 06:35 AM   #92
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,938
Re: "Internal" and "External"

Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I think distribution of force and work load is a great idea. When I generate a strike, I start at the ground, and create a chain link of firing muscles all the way out to the limb that the force is coming out. When I receive force, I align my body, so the force goes into the ground. When we are talking about making large amounts of force (hitting hard, explosive lifting or stabilizing incoming large force) distributing that work over several muscle groups is a good idea. however, each muscle group that fires requires energy (taxes) the body. So if I'm doing something that one muscle group can easily handle (lifting our spoon) it's not a good idea to use every muscle group to do that, because you'll use more energy. When lifting small things it's less taxing to use isolate muscle groups.
first, the chain link thing implies a disconnect which in many way a no-no for internal, because it violates the principle of "one moves, all move". think of a composite bow, there is no chain link in that. sure, in the begining, you use alot more energy, but as part of internal training, overtime you wouldn't use as much. just as Kevin mentioned about baseline efficiency.

There are some complex things going on here. First, there are natural alignments. For example, when you stand with good posture, you have a very natural alignment to resisting force coming down on you. You can use very little muscular force in order to resist large amounts of downward force. However if you have your arm out to your side, holding something, it is very difficult to make a natural alignment. This requires huge amounts of shoulder strength, because the position isolates the shoulder joint. In other words from this position it's very difficult to make "ground path". There are ways you can move, in order to better use natural alignment and use "ground path" to help support the weight, but from that position (arm reached out to your side), you cannot easily make ground path, you have to use lots of force in the shoulder muscles.

Do you agree or disagree with this?
i know you want to hear this, but yes and no. no, it's not optimal, but yes, the one of the internal training principle is to deal with this. there is an SJT which goes "jin does not depend on structure".
Sigman has a video somewhere about this. i believed Forrest also had a video about this somewhere (methink), if you asked him nicely. better yet, go play with him, since he's not too far from you, where he can demonstrate it in person. your mental intent would force your body to microscopically recruit the right muscle and others to allow the ground path happen. this is one of the reason why internal folks mentioned that internal training tax the brain more than the body (actually taxing the body too). so the question is why would you want to do that? answer, in a martial situation, you don't always be in an advantage/optimal position. so we train for the worst case scenario, with the idea, that if you can deal with worst case scenario, then other stuffs would be a piece of pie (i am a pie person so go get your own cake and leave me to my pie!).

i have seen Ikeda sensei demonstrate where his arm was extended behind him, his back to his uke, touching uke's fist lightly, and proceed to break his balance.

The reason I used the word "taxing" is because in order to use more muscle, you'll have to use more energy. If you change alignment you can use less energy, I agree, but that doesn't mean you can be stable from every position at all times, you must align into the direction you want to receive force.

Do you agree or disagree that you must use specific alignments to receive force? Or do you believe that you can receive force in any direction from any alignment if you know "IP"?
see my answer above. Howie, one time, demonstrated this with him bending over backward (ya, he has a thing for me, don't tell his wife though ) and me pushing down on his upper body. he didn't fall over and proceed to straighten back up to stranding posture, all the while i was pushing on his upper body. in an unpredictable martial situation, you can't always align yourself in an optimal position. if that's the case, then what would you do? roll over and die? take BJJ for example, you most definitely won't be in advantage position or be able to align yourself into a favorable position all the time, so what would you do then?

I do believe internal pressures are useful (I think that's what you are getting at). Weight lifters use internal pressure to stabilize the body quite a bit. However it is muscles inside of the core that are used to make the pressure. Without muscles you couldn't make internal pressure, this naturally requires energy from the body. These pressures, I believe are most usefully limited to the core of the body as well.

Do you agree or disagree?
again, yes and no. you will need muscle but in which way. take for example, a person punch you in the stomach, do you contracted your stomach muscles to deal with the punch or you expand your stomach? when i was doing karate, i contracted; now when i am doing internal, i expand. my sons hit me all the time, randomly. it's a game we play to see when the old man dropped his guard. i can't contracted my muscles all the time, but i can expand most of the time.

might want to read up on the "suit" concept from Sigman's blog. take a big yoga ball and push it and contemplate why it can absorb and direct your energy. why? our muscle deterioate over time, we need to use other stuffs to aid. remember, youth and strength, and i ain't gonna roll over and die.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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