Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Because it's "GREEN" Martial Arts
To me, seeking to understand Internal Power is not really primarily about "getting more power" but about the absolute best and most efficient use of the power I have.
In my college days, I really admired one of my professors, Dr. Ed Passerini, more than anyone else. He was the inventor of the world's first solar electric car, called The Bluebird. He was big into Buckminster Fuller and all kinds of environmental issues. He was talking about Peak Oil in 1974. And we were still smarting from the first Arab Oil Embargo. He won the solar car race, The Tour du Sol, in France, while I was living in Japan in the early 90s.
As years went by, I learned more about Buckminster Fuller and the incredible qualities of domed structures--things like the fact that a domed structure of a given surface area encompasses twice the volume of a cubical structure of the same surface area, that the heat loss from a domed structure, therefore, is half that of the cubical structure, that the dome is stronger with less material than the cubical structure because the whole thing is self-interfering and any force applied to the dome draws support from the whole dome, unlike a cubical structure, which is subject to collapse from shearing and torquing.
About two years ago, I went to Italy, Texas, to attend the Monolithic Dome Builder's Course. In one week, we did actual construction on a 30' dome and sat through hours of class instruction on concrete, polyurethane foam, rebar, airforms, air pressure, and the dynamics of utility cost in the lifetime expensing of a monolithic dome as compared to a conventional structure, as well as the effects of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fire, earthquake, flood, etc, on a monolithic dome and a conventional structure. It turns out that David South, the inventor of the monolithic dome and lots of other stuff is also a huge fan of Buckminster Fuller and his concepts of economy.
While some might decry the use of concrete at all, and especially the use of polyurethane foam, with all its chemical components, it actually turns out that, since the dome can realistically last for hundreds of years with proper maintenance, it comes out "greener" to go ahead and use the relatively small amounts of concrete, steel and chemicals in a monolithic dome than to use almost any other material available to construct any other kind of building.
Another serious factor is that this method produces a "super-insulated" building with extremely low heat-loss per square foot of surface. As David South puts it, "The greenest way to use energy is to use it in a building that requires very little energy to begin with." So he doesn't recommend big investments in solar panels unless you just want to add them. He thinks in terms of not using energy at all, rather than using alternative ways to generate it. His buildings require much smaller heating and cooling units than any building of similar interior volume.
So, to me, IP is a very similar approach. You get the greatest possible strength out of the least material used. You get the greatest content in the smallest package. You get the incredible strength of a system that is self-supporting, where force applied to any part of the system has to deal with the strength of the entire system instead of the strength of just the one part. And the most efficient use of energy is to not use it.
IP is all those things: not more power, but best use (sometimes meaning no use at all) of whatever power is available. It's the martial arts version of "Less is more." IP means using less muscle, less movement, less effort, less power, to get greater results. So it looks like a LOT more power, but it's actually much less power. Which leaves all the rest of your power in reserve and still ready to use.
It's just fantastic economy of movement and energy. And if you learn it early on, it means less use of your time, which is the one thing we can never get more of. If you're poor today, you might get more money or even great riches tomorrow. But rich or poor, you can never gain another minute of life. The only hope is to use that time better, so that, like a skillful chess player, you always seem to have far more time available than your opponent.
If I had learned IP twentyyears ago, I would have been decades ahead by now because, like compounding interest, the energy I didn't waste and did accumulate over those years would have added up instead of adding down. But since I started studying this a few years ago, I'm way better off than if I just started today. And if anyone starts today, just as with compounding interest, they'll be better off than if they wait five or ten more years to start.
And that is why I've become so interested in IP--not to have or get more power, but to learn best how to use my power and my time.
Best to all.
Last edited by David Orange : 01-27-2011 at 10:58 PM.