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Old 07-31-2007, 08:27 PM   #51
David Orange
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Re: The Leather Man

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
... to peg it on one construct seems dismissive. But here we're picking one piece of paper out of a hat, and saying, "Yep, that's what it is! Just these fascia here."
Well, as I've said, I separated the fascia out for consideration because everyone knows about the muscles. What I want to do here is go into the peculiarities and particularities of the fascial system. I just haven't had time to post on some of that. It's coming.

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
What if there are a dizzying confluence of factors involved in making it happen, such that if one were actually to redesign a new system of training from the ground up based on merely the premise of active fascia, it would never achieve the intent of the original?
You couldn't design a system entirely on the fascia. Without the bones and muscles, it would not stand like our "Leather Man," but would lie on the floor in a limp pile.

But I don't think there are a dizzying confluence of factors involved in martial work: the bones, fascia, muscles, blood, nerves and the organs and limbs, energized by life. That pretty much covers it. Look at Liang's Emei Baguazhang and read how he organizes it. You would get nowhere with fascia only, but leaving fascia out you fall far short of the potential.

For instance, consider where most of the body's fascia is located: the abdomen. Do you think it's coincidence that this is "the center," the dantien so emphasized in martial arts?

What's there in the abdomen? Of course, the intestines, the stomach, liver, kidneys, spleen. Further up are the heart and lungs. Why not put the empasis there? I think it's because the vegetative nerve ganglia located behind the digestive tract are so important to involuntary action and human emotions. This is the area that activates the involuntarily violent reactions of the "fight or flight" response. These nerve ganglia are supported by the abdominal fascia and I think we'll find that the fascia are instrumental in carrying the nerve message throughout the body. And I think the fascia is important in the violent contraction of the abdomen and hunching of the body, the dropping of the weight and the changes in blood flow and pressure associated with that response. My Zero Degree teaching has always concentrated on that response and moderating it for strategic advantage. I now believe that the fascia can do that very efficiently since it, and not the muscles, is very important to the response.

The fascia seems able not only to distribute power and dissipate incoming force: it seems able to distribute emotion away from the center, keeping one calm in the face of danger. Then the dropping of the weight can be done in time with the opponent's action. If one has enacted fight-or-flight already, he can't drop his weight again....and he is more mobile with the weight up high than with it lowered.

So for me, the main questions are "What functions does the fascial system naturally handle and how can we use those functions directly in our technique?"

The above example is just one thing. Working with the connectivity of the body is another. And further, in traditional Chinese martial arts, the fascia carries the qi throughout the body.

So there are multiple levels of the fascia alone to consider and understand before we integrate it back with the muscles and coordinate the systems. Otherwise, we might be trying to "coordinate" them in completely meaningless ways--as if we were trying to hit someone with our eyeballs.

Then, once we have understood the fascial system and its relation to the muscles and other systems and learned to coordinate them in ourselves, we can consider how to recognize the gaps in the opponent's coordinated systems and use them or, better, get him to use them against himself, as Dan has described.

Best wishes.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:19 PM   #52
Pete Rihaczek
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Re: The Leather Man

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David Orange wrote: View Post
I think the empircal element is there in people offering to demonstrate it very openly. Several people have met Dan, Mike and Rob/Akuzawa now and have reported impressive experiences. Dan is reported to be able to stand in an ordinary stance and not only not be pushed over, but make the one pushing him become weak and unable to lift his feet--or make him fall. And he is said to be able to generate tremendous penetrating impact with almost no motion. Likewise for Mike Sigman, according to no less than George Ledyard. And you can see videos of Akuzawa doing some pretty eerie stuff.
So, does this mean Mike still needs to "go somewhere quiet"? Amazing what a difference a few days makes.
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:37 PM   #53
Tim Fong
 
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Re: The Leather Man

Well if we're ultimately serious about this, we'll want to get some physiologists invovled.

For example, someone like Patricia Cowings:
http://www.community-newspapers.com/...3/sncover.html

She's apparently done a lot of work on biofeedback and how it applies to motion sickness. Namely, her method gives people control over their typically autonomic functions. This is a method that NASA uses to train astronauts.

Having awareness and controlling the functions isn't enough for our purposes because we have to strengthen things as well. But, learning to control and feel it , would be a start. And learning to dial that in (by taking instrumented tests) would be a huge jump.

It's the only way that people who started practicing late in life (aka all of us without a koryu teacher as a childhood mentor, or who didn't grow up in Chen village) can get exceed those of who came before us.
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:39 PM   #54
Mike Sigman
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Re: The Leather Man

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Dan is reported to be able to stand in an ordinary stance and not only not be pushed over, but make the one pushing him become weak and unable to lift his feet--or make him fall. And he is said to be able to generate tremendous penetrating impact with almost no motion. Likewise for Mike Sigman, according to no less than George Ledyard. And you can see videos of Akuzawa doing some pretty eerie stuff.
Just to throw in a universal caution. All of these skills are ultimately physical skills that take training. Tohei "is reported to be able to stand in an ordinary stance and.... not be pushed over", too, but that's within limited parameters. A slow-moving 1955 Chevy pickup would run over him. So there are limits to all of these grand-sounding skills and there are levels of ability and so on. Let's keep it real out there, folks.

Best.

Mike
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:53 PM   #55
Lee Salzman
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Re: The Leather Man

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Well, as I've said, I separated the fascia out for consideration because everyone knows about the muscles.
But that's just it - people know about what they're familiar with. There are some fairly non-familiar aspects of the contractile system of the body as a whole, without even dissecting the parts, that take hours of specific daily work a day over a period of years to perfect. It's really a mind-boggling amount of stuff to work on to maximize the fighting potential of the body.

Quote:
So for me, the main questions are "What functions does the fascial system naturally handle and how can we use those functions directly in our technique?"

The above example is just one thing. Working with the connectivity of the body is another. And further, in traditional Chinese martial arts, the fascia carries the qi throughout the body.

So there are multiple levels of the fascia alone to consider and understand before we integrate it back with the muscles and coordinate the systems. Otherwise, we might be trying to "coordinate" them in completely meaningless ways--as if we were trying to hit someone with our eyeballs.

Then, once we have understood the fascial system and its relation to the muscles and other systems and learned to coordinate them in ourselves, we can consider how to recognize the gaps in the opponent's coordinated systems and use them or, better, get him to use them against himself, as Dan has described.
But is this not a very old wheel? The "how" is already out there for us to study, is it not? "Why" should be academic at this point, merely shedding light on why the exercises comprising the "how" work.

So long as we're holding out Dan as an example, and I hate to put Dan's words in Dan's mouth, but fair use and all:
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
I'm glad you read about fascia and fascial sheeting. But in all honesty..Knowing about it won't get you anywhere. With the right kind of instruction I'll see ya in 5 years, maybe, juuuust maybe you'll have a little something. Without it, you'll be right back here ..talking...about fascia.
So what are we to make of this?
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:58 PM   #56
Al Gutierrez
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Re: The Leather Man

Quote:
Just to throw in a universal caution. All of these skills are ultimately physical skills that take training. Tohei "is reported to be able to stand in an ordinary stance and.... not be pushed over", too, but that's within limited parameters. A slow-moving 1955 Chevy pickup would run over him. So there are limits to all of these grand-sounding skills and there are levels of ability and so on. Let's keep it real out there, folks.
I've seen a video of Tohei having a pretty hard hard time keeping his center when dealing with an unskilled yet burly American journalist. In the end it wasn't ki or kokyu or even aikido technique, but rather judo technique that helped him to prevail.

I think practically speaking, that thinking in terms of fascia related training is probably just as vague and hard to visualize for most people as thinking of green-glowing magical forces.

But when Tohei talks about keeping weight underside most people can get that much with a little practice - but more importantly, when you tell soemone to keep weight underside it's not difficult to understand what that means even if they're not proficient yet. However, if you tell someone to not use muscle strength but instead to use their fascia tissues like a tensegrital structure to spread out and absorb an incoming force - who really understands what that means before they can actually do it?

In the spirit of "keeping it real", How does keeping weight underside affect the fascia? Do any of you really know?

Or, how does understanding ki in terms of fascia related structure (or forces) help to keep one's weight more completely underside than understanding ki as simply energy, life force, rays of golden light, or good old fashioned green-glowing, magic power?

Tohei is often held up as someone who was on the right track with understanding these skills - at least the baseline. My question is how many aikido instructors who learned from him can demonstrate or exhibit similar skills? In other words, make it real?

A.G.

Last edited by Al Gutierrez : 08-01-2007 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 08-01-2007, 05:46 AM   #57
Timothy WK
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Re: The Leather Man

In may respects, the fascia argument is besides the point. There are concrete training methods out there that produce replicatible results. You don't need to know the bio-mechanics to perform the exercises. You just have to concentrate on the feelings that these techniques produce. I certainly don't think, "and now I engage the fascia," when I practice.

But at some point, though, students are going to start asking, "why am I feeling these sensations?" The fascia argument is just (in my opinion) the most plausible theory.

And I will say, the theory makes more sense once you start experiencing things. For example, you feel various sensations "under the skin". What's "under the skin"? The fascia.

--Timothy Kleinert

Aikido & Wujifa qigongs
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:53 AM   #58
Mike Sigman
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Re: The Leather Man

Quote:
Al Gutierrez wrote: View Post
But when Tohei talks about keeping weight underside most people can get that much with a little practice - but more importantly, when you tell soemone to keep weight underside it's not difficult to understand what that means even if they're not proficient yet. However, if you tell someone to not use muscle strength but instead to use their fascia tissues like a tensegrital structure to spread out and absorb an incoming force - who really understands what that means before they can actually do it?

In the spirit of "keeping it real", How does keeping weight underside affect the fascia? Do any of you really know?
I already said very clearly before. Fascia is needed to tie the body together so that it functions as a whole-body. How do you get the weight at your body-center transferred to your hands if you want it there? Not muscle.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-01-2007, 08:00 AM   #59
David Orange
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Re: The Leather Man

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Pete Rihaczek wrote: View Post
So, does this mean Mike still needs to "go somewhere quiet"? Amazing what a difference a few days makes.
Mike deserves some rest. We all could use some rest.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 08-01-2007, 08:10 AM   #60
David Orange
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Re: The Leather Man

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
But that's just it - people know about what they're familiar with. There are some fairly non-familiar aspects of the contractile system of the body as a whole, without even dissecting the parts, that take hours of specific daily work a day over a period of years to perfect. It's really a mind-boggling amount of stuff to work on to maximize the fighting potential of the body.
But I think that recognizing the sensitivity of the fascia can help that process. That's how I'm looking at the fascia--not as another type of muscle, but as a unique organ (the whole-body fascia system could almost be seen as a single organ) that does things we haven't noticed and can help our efforts in ways he may not have recognized.

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
But is this not a very old wheel? The "how" is already out there for us to study, is it not? "Why" should be academic at this point, merely shedding light on why the exercises comprising the "how" work.
Yes. That's basically why I started this thread: to think out loud about that very thing and to hear responses from people far more experienced in it than I.

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
So long as we're holding out Dan as an example, and I hate to put Dan's words in Dan's mouth, but fair use and all:

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
I'm glad you read about fascia and fascial sheeting. But in all honesty..Knowing about it won't get you anywhere. With the right kind of instruction I'll see ya in 5 years, maybe, juuuust maybe you'll have a little something. Without it, you'll be right back here ..talking...about fascia.

So what are we to make of this?
You can take it at face value: I have just recognized the fascial system and I have nowhere claimed to have mastered any of the usage discussed. You may also make of it that I am working out a time with Dan when we can get together so that he can show me some of his work. But I have recognized that the value of the fascial system is not like that of the muscles and that people may fail to see the implications of "using" it because they are thinking that it "is" to be used more or less the same as the muscles.

Best wishes.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 08-01-2007, 08:14 AM   #61
David Orange
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Re: The Leather Man

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Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
In may respects, the fascia argument is besides the point. There are concrete training methods out there that produce replicatible results. You don't need to know the bio-mechanics to perform the exercises. You just have to concentrate on the feelings that these techniques produce....
That is true. I have done aikido, judo, karate, kenjutsu, taiji, bagua and qigong for decades. But I think that after all that exercise, understanding the fascial system and its application to those movements is something that will help me.

Thanks.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:58 AM   #62
Aran Bright
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Re: The Leather Man

I have to wonder, is the value in the fascia idea that there is another way to move that we haven't considered before and that maybe, just maybe there is another system in the body that maybe responsible for this and that this idea in itself opens our mind to new possibilities?

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Old 08-10-2007, 09:43 AM   #63
tarik
 
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Re: The Leather Man

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Aran Bright wrote: View Post
I have to wonder, is the value in the fascia idea that there is another way to move that we haven't considered before and that maybe, just maybe there is another system in the body that maybe responsible for this and that this idea in itself opens our mind to new possibilities?
Perhaps that's the primary value. In a society where various aspects and ideas of ki are culturally instituted, maybe that's the system.

A lot of this internal discussion reminds me of arm wrestling matches when I was young and learned that I could 'resist' by relaxing, extending, and grounding out into the table my opponents force instead of pushing back.

I didn't think about ki or fascia or internal anything when doing that, just that it was interesting and that I could resist (and sometimes even overcome) a much stronger person that way for much longer.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:06 PM   #64
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: The Leather Man

I think it is much harder to put out such ground-based power than it is to absorb, mostly because in ordinary strength "putting out" is an antithesis of "relax" whereas absorbing is not. Maybe that's one reason ground-path training is so hard, and why the exercises (that I know from Akuzawa) tend to work linearly, to imbue the feeling the same way in both directions.
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Old 01-11-2014, 04:59 PM   #65
David Orange
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Re: The Leather Man

Hmm. Just found this picture. Not sure who will be able to see it, but:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...pe=1&t heater

in light of which, please see the first post in this thread:

"...picture Morihei Ueshiba standing before you. Imagine him completely nude, standing as he feels comfortable.

Now imagine him with his skin gone, so that we can see the muscles. Now imagine that all the muscles disappear, but the bones and internal organs remain in place, as if the muscles were still there. The blood and vessels remain, the nerves remain and the fascia remain.

Now imagine that the bones are gone and the fascia, blood vessels, internal organs, etc. all remain where they would be as Morihei stands as he feels comfortable.

Now imagine that everything is gone but the fascia, itself, remaining exactly where it was when Morihei stood in whole body.

So now you're looking at only the fascia of Morihei Ueshiba, standing like a man. You will notice that this is not really a "suit" but more something like a sponge, with empty places held inside convolutions of the tissue. This is where the internal organs were held. There are spaces where every muscle would be, so that Morihei's fascia forms something like a hollow man--not a full-body empty suit, but an entire layer of the body's tissues. The internal organs, the muscles and bones and every other part of the human body are embedded in the fascial layer of the body.

So see Morihei's full fascia body, standing before us like a man made of leather, and realize that that tissue is alive in its own right. It has feeling and it is full of ki. And when one part of the fascia feels something, the entire system of the fascia feels it because it is purely connective.

The entire discussion of "this stuff" or "internal mechanics" really involves using that entire fascial being to augment the efforts of the muscles and bones. Most people think of using their muscles to move their bones to execute techniques and this can be enhanced by various exercises to strengthen both muscle and bone.

But since the fascia is not like muscle and cannot be made to contract or expand by sheer will, like a muscle, it will take a lot of deep thought to see just how the fascia system could augment power and just how it could be exercised to do that."

Regards,

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:34 PM   #66
Budd
 
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Re: The Leather Man

But David (and pun fully intended), it's just a piece. The fascia needs to be slowly conditioned as it connects to the rest of the body bits directly and indirectly (muscle, tendon, ligament, bone, etc) ideally in a slow, relaxed manner over a period of time (if you want to do 6 harmony stuffs, there are other methods for other things) even as you're working on the ground/gravity balance trick and articulating the middle.

Talk about thread resuscitation, tho....
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:48 AM   #67
David Orange
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Re: The Leather Man

Just wanted to show what a body devoid of any elements other than fascia would look like. Can you imagine an entire human body's fascial network? It permeates everything…

Training and using it is another thing, but being able to visualize it, we have to see that this is not a meaningless and irrelevant bunch of tissue. It's a whole system and the implications are staggering.

Cheers!

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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