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Old 11-16-2013, 01:37 PM   #9
Walter Martindale
Location: Edmonton, AB
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 771
Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
Yup. I am part of that non-zero minority. My method of understanding the world I live in is a combination of direct physical experience and interpretation of my experience using rigorous scientific analysis. As Ellis Amdur just put it in his O-sensei HTBF post, the approach of an engineer rather than a romanticist.

No matter how good a person is, how long they have trained, or how little he or she understands math and science, the laws of physics as embodied in biomechanics always will be the real controlling factor in their performance.

Force does not care if the mass that is being accelerated calls what they're experiencing earth ki, ground path, or a summation of forces acting upon a structure to maintain a specific, efficient relationship between the mass's COG and its support structure. Call it what you will, the physics will always be the same, and will always work.

The way I see things, there is experience and there is analysis of that experience. Experience is just a chunk of reality. Something happened in the real world to a real object and real consequences came of it. We can record that event, we can take a very human step and try to understand that event. And problems start to creep in. Ascribing purpose and meaning to the things that happen introduces very human subjectivity, history, wants, feelings, varying levels of understanding. Describing the event in the terms of the reality that actually causes and controls the event eliminates much of that subjectivity.

What does description give us that ascription does not? Reliability, repeatability, the ability to generalize core concepts and apply them to novel events and conditions, the ability to communicate confidently and correctly about results and the means necessary for others to achieve similar results. .

Yes, of course, there still must be direct physical experience, it has to be "felt." It isn't like scientists refuse to collect data. It isn't like engineers have an allergy to setting up experiments in which they perform similar activities over and over and over and over again, trying to tweak as few variables as possible as little as possible to get the desired results. The difference is in the interpretation. Is it more correct, more accurately descriptive of reality to use a conservative, incremental, cumulative, repeatable, falsifiable method of analysis for the interpretation or to use metaphor, emotion, and borrowed jargon?

The borrowed jargon thing bothers me because it muddies the water and because it is often an attempt to legitimize rather than correct poor information. Incorrectly used scientific terms end up creating a lot of confusion and conflict.

The confusion and conflict make me want to say a couple things. If, as some of the "experiential" camp say, our aikido should be a holistic practice, why do they then so strongly reject one particular method of experiencing and evaluating our aikido, the scientific? That makes me want to say "Sorry math is hard." If it is all good, then it should be all good.
Where's the ruddy "Like" button… Well said. At anything higher up than the quantum level, F=MA, and levers, moment arms (same thing), momentum, etc., are what really make people fall down (oh, gravity, too, but that's quantum stuff isn't it?).
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