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Old 03-21-2013, 11:13 AM   #70
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,618
Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

Alex Megann wrote: View Post
Thanks, Erick - plenty of interesting material to read! I shall work through your references.
My pleasure.

Alex Megann wrote: View Post
I'm still not convinced that a dynamic, responsive system full of assorted neuromuscular reflexes, and which is under some degree of conscious or otherwise control, can be described in terms of a fundamental mechanical resonance.
Looked at in evolutionary terms -- it actually makes a good deal of sense why this is the case for humans in particular. The vertically oscillated inverted pendulum stability is VERY energy conservative, and very limited in its demands on needed processing power to manage.

One of the things that allowed humans to devote 20% of their resting energy consumption to keeping the brain ticking over, may well be the energy savings in dispensing with a lot of our ancestors' more active neuromuscular postural feedback controls -- essentially by nothing more elaborate than becoming completely erect and just slightly bouncy and letting the stupid physics take over most of the stability work. That does however emphasize something that the IS/IP movement is emphatic about -- the frame really does matter critically to stability. But so does the underlying dynamic that creates the stability of the frame.

If you look at a gibbon for instance using ballistic and fine balance active postural controls that involve little or no conscious training -- you have some idea of the raw processing power we save to devote other purposes by making a simple physics trick do most of our stabilizing for us. Compare that with the time and effort it takes for gymnasts to meet half or less of that performance by consciously training, and you have some idea of the proportion of brain processing power that we have shifted away from our postural controls.

And yet staying erect is critically unstable without some mechanism to do it. I don't know of any other proposed mechanism with this kind of elegant simplicity of function and corroboration both in terms of its normal functions and in the consequences of its defects that reveal the need for simple oscillation to restore an impaired stability. We certainly are inverted pendulum(s). Seems to me evolution found the lowest energy means of stabilizing us like one.

Waddle, quack :: duck.

Alex Megann wrote: View Post
To take this to logical extremes, an inert, unconscious body will behave quite differently to a mechanical stimulus than a trained, fit and alert one.
Precisely. Budo is about live, active bodies -- not mannequins.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-21-2013 at 11:18 AM.


Erick Mead
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