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Old 01-25-2013, 02:05 PM   #29
ChrisHein's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,646
Re: A simple mechanical model of body use.

Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Both the standard body use of Ki Aikido and the Pilates teaching "go down to go up" teach this body usage.
This is something I am very familiar with as well. I believe it is an image that makes the body align better, and stabilize better.

The model I learned via aikido is to simply point at something the way you would when, well, when pointing at something . The ki test is to have your arm seized and simply point at something. The visualization or intent is that the shoulder and arm are still and relaxed and the finger simply extends and rises. The aikido model posits the triceps as doing the work.
I am familiar with this kind of visualization/imagery work. Wendy Palmer Sensei has some very interesting exercises like this. I believe what these kinds of things do, is make you quit thinking about fighting directly against the person who is trying to move you, and instead makes you move in the most natural way possible. Going around force, or using the correct muscles to align the body naturally as opposed to fighting the force acting on you directly. I do not think the triceps can raise the shoulder like we are talking about. While I'm not 100%, and would need to look it up, I think the triceps only extend the arm at the elbow. I don't think you can do anything else with the triceps- although I'd have to look that up.

The Pilates model is that to learn this, you first drop your shoulders and then you simple allow your arms to raise. The Pilates perspective is you are enlisting primarily the latissimus dorsi.
Using both models, I believe it is initiating gross movement w/ the lats and secondarily maintaining extension via the triceps.
I think this is describing a kind of 'synergistic' use of muscle groups. They work together to produce a better result, but the lat isn't actually raising the shoulder, instead it's providing stable support for the back making it easier for the Deltoids to do their job.

In and of itself this is not what I'd call "internal training" but it is certainly what I'd call "best use" body mechanics. And it is a very good way of beginning to understand the connection between intent and efficient body usage.
I think you're correct, I also think many conventional athletic approaches use these ideas.

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