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Old 01-26-2013, 11:49 AM   #42
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.

Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
When you work on this shoulder/arm raise, you start off using the muscle groups I am referring to. Over time, wether you do the arm raise, or hold it in a static position, you will find that you no longer activate (or fatigue) the area under the arm, it will move to the front of the body from the arm pit, then it will move progressively lower and lower., until you feel it in the upper abs, then the lower abs/hips to the area generally associated with the dantien (though this requires doing other things before it gets to this point). This is why I said that when you initially try to do it this way you are still using "local" muscle, just different ones.
Is the eventual idea not to use local muscle groups at all?

If so, what muscle groups are making the power? I would guess from your post, and other discussions that we've had, that the 'ideal' muscle groups to be using (in this theory of use) are those in the core of the body.

If it is the muscles in the core of your body that are the ideal muscles to use, as opposed to local muscle groups I have two very important questions.

First question- how are the muscles in the core of the body connected to the limbs of a body, in a way, that when they contract they will pull on a limb.

Second question- Even if such a connection is possible. How is it that using the muscles of the core alone make more power, and drive everything in the body, better than the localized muscle groups.

There is no doubt that the muscles of the of the core are strong muscles. However I don't see how they can do as much work as the localized muscles can do in the positions there were set up to work most ideally. It seems like this kind of motion, even if it were possible, would be significantly weaker then using localized muscles, that are in ideal positions, for the movements required.

Another important question that comes from this, when we think of the 'omni-stable" ideal that seems very present in "IP", how can the muscles of the core drive the whole body at once? Muscles only move in one direction, and while there are several different muscle groups located in the core of the body, compared to the number of muscles in the rest of the body, their number is very limited. How can they drive the motion of the entire body, with their limited number?

Now when you then raise your arm, you won't feel a sequential activation of each muscle group that you previously learned to activate (and later relax). Are they actually activating? Beats me, but you tend not to feel them activate, so perceptually I think its fair to say that you don't feel it, nor do you tend to feel it if you put you hands on someone who can do it.
If they do activate, but you are working on another 'image' that doesn't make you feel them activate, I could understand this. But muscles that do a specific function, and are the only muscles in the body to do that work (looking at a 'normal' theory of body use), not firing, sounds very strange to me. If we are talking about using muscle to do the work and it's not just an 'image' but a reality, I can't see how this would possibly work. Further.

Because I can't understand it, doesn't mean it's not so. But if I understand what you are describing, we are talking about earth shifting ideas here that go WAY beyond martial arts. If it were possible to move the body from the core muscles alone, there are many people with physical disabilities that would be able to regain much lost motion. The power of this alone, makes me very suspicious about what is really going on.

When I refer to activate or raise in reference to the shoulder, its much more like what I am showing in 1-2, you feel a tension/load there, but nothing else in the muscles associated with the inside/underside. As I stated earlier, this is because most people only really use one side of the body. You will see the same sort of thing in the legs (less of a load in the quads, as the inner thigh and the area below the buttocks take it up), as similar exercises may be performed with the hips.

Using both sides lessens the use of the shoulder. Now yes it feels like no shoulder is used because the load is not mostly taken up there.
I can't understand what is meant by "both sides of the body". Because muscles only contract, there is not extending partner group. And while you could use some other muscle groups to contract and help, that doesn't quite fit what I'm picturing in your model.

To me in the end, if it is actually used or isn't used is is not relevant, because the perception to the person raising it is that it is not.
This is a very fair statement. Here again, to me, we are talking about imagery. I like imagery, I use it in my teaching all the time. If the result we are looking for can be achieved by creating an image that is totally different from what is actually happening, when we are looking for the goal only, who cares.

However we must be careful when we start to think that our image is what is actually happening. We must keep the two things clear, or it might get in the way of our progress and serve to confuse us.

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