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Old 12-23-2009, 09:17 PM   #1
oisin bourke
 
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Gravity and the body

Phi throng wrote:
Quote:
"i think we need to strip everything down to the basic. if you look at the human body (for you folks who are aliens among us, please ignore this, because it won't apply to you) , we are basically a bundle of sticks, tied together with sinew and muscle and fat, wrapped with fascia, and covered with hide and hair. then controlled by a sophisticate computer with vast neural networks. our basic configuration isn't optimal for staying up-right, much less doing anything else.
so most of the time, our muscles tried to keep us up-right. our muscle fiber pulls, do not push. most of the times our muscles worked against each other to keep us up-right, and we are in a precarious balancing act all the time. so, some of the main equations we need to solve are,
1. how do we deal with incoming force?
2. how do we efficiently generate and focus a force?
3. how do we maintain balance, whether we are on our feet or our back or ..., while doing the above two points?

regardless the origin of the IS, whether from Chinese or Japanese or Swahili or wherever, they all have to deal with such questions above; they all have to deal with how human body constructed and its limitations. then there is various physical laws that we have to abide on this world, for example, gravity.

how do you deal with incoming force? spread it out to as much surface area as you can. the earth has large surface if your feet are on it, a big wall if your back is against it, another person if that person happens to be within reach, and so on. in order to do that, you have to take all the slacks out of your body (bundle of sticks, ... remember?). how do you take the slacks our of your body? winding, tightening, binding your whole body into one unit so it can distribute force through your entire body and to whatever that body touches.

how do we efficiently generate and focus a force? straight muscle, but we have counter-balance muscle which oppose; thus, lessen the generated force. what-if we could lessen the counter-balancing affect and using every muscle, sinew, fascia, skin, hair, bone, pretty much our entire body to perform an action, for example, picking up a glass of water. if we can do that, then we can throw, kick, punch, lift, walk, run, kiss, and so on with our entire being; thus, we have "one moves all move".

how do we maintain balance while doing 1 and 2? every force has an equal and opposing force to stay neutral, thus in balance. a push toward the front, need an equal push toward the back. a push up needs an opposing push down, your body is in the middle.

since our body controls by a computer and neural network, that's where the whole mind/intent comes about. so the first part is to train your body to become one unit that can do as the mind directed. most folks methink could spend their lifetime on learning how-to taking the slack out of their body. then the next is how-to generate power with their body, by taking the slack out of their body in segment so that power generate like a whip through their entire body, and at the point of release, their entire body now have no slack but full of power. now do all of that with your will. "
I've been thinking recently about the effects of gravity on our bodies as we age. The ongoing "fight" we wage with the force of gravity as we pass our time on this planet.

I came across some interesting quotes in a book called "the demon's sermon on the martial arts" which is an edo period samurai tome.

One brief excerpt goes:

"Look at someone who is walking. Because most are conscious of the upper bodies they will walk counterpoise to their heads, while others walk moving their arms or entire bodies. A person who walks well...walks with his legs (not moving his upper body).

Thus his body is serene, his internal organs are not stressed and he is not worn out. You should observe the manner in which men carry heavy loads.

...look at the way the chief actors in Noh plays use their feet. They all advance while bending the tips of their toes...."

And on it goes. It also struck me how so many Asian cultures squat or sit in seiza etc much of the time. Perhaps this is acknowledging the inevitable toll gravity exerts on the body.

It struck me that the concept of gravity as we know it today was unknown in older Asian cultures so the effects of gravity within the body were conceptualized as different things (yin yang, chi etc.)

These are just random thoughts written down to help clarify my own thinking on the subject.

Anyone else with any thoughts or opinions on gravity and the traditional asian approach to its effects feel free to chime in.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:41 PM   #2
JW
 
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Re: Gravity and the body

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Anyone else with any thoughts or opinions on gravity and the traditional asian approach to its effects feel free to chime in.
I don't know much about the traditional asian approach to the effects of gravity, as in the toll it puts on the body. But I think in the martial arts, gravity has been traditionally regarded as one of the 2 constant forces on the body. Since lots of arts are based from the point of view of getting force applied to you and issuing force, gravity would be a consideration at the very core of these arts.

Personally, my own pursuits make gravity+the ground's reaction force the basis of a first-hand understanding of the concepts of yin and yang. They are interdependent (in free fall you are weightless, so only by your weight pushing on the floor do you feel a down and an up), opposite in direction, and exactly equal in magnitude. Thus they are perfect examples of yin and yang. (also they share a mutual origin, a nice touch that I don't think any traditional cultures should have had any knowledge of. I am talking about gravitational fields being a result of the existance of mass like planets and organisms.)

So, I would say traditional asian cultures are concerned with gravity very much, in that the whole yin/yang theory might have been directly due to people feeling/studying gravity.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:17 AM   #3
oisin bourke
 
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Re: Gravity and the body

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
I don't know much about the traditional asian approach to the effects of gravity, as in the toll it puts on the body. But I think in the martial arts, gravity has been traditionally regarded as one of the 2 constant forces on the body. Since lots of arts are based from the point of view of getting force applied to you and issuing force, gravity would be a consideration at the very core of these arts.

Personally, my own pursuits make gravity+the ground's reaction force the basis of a first-hand understanding of the concepts of yin and yang. They are interdependent (in free fall you are weightless, so only by your weight pushing on the floor do you feel a down and an up), opposite in direction, and exactly equal in magnitude. Thus they are perfect examples of yin and yang. (also they share a mutual origin, a nice touch that I don't think any traditional cultures should have had any knowledge of. I am talking about gravitational fields being a result of the existance of mass like planets and organisms.)

So, I would say traditional asian cultures are concerned with gravity very much, in that the whole yin/yang theory might have been directly due to people feeling/studying gravity.
"From the one comes the two (yin and yang) and from the two comes ten thousand things." Or, to really push the conceit: in aikido terminology one might express it as from:
comes and

That's a stretch, but it's food for thought.

I wonder, then, how gravity might be differentated in the body. Does it act on either side of the body? or on the front and back side of the body. Or as one part lowers/sinks, the other rises.

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm going to mull over this for a while.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:47 AM   #4
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Re: Gravity and the body

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Or, to really push the conceit: in aikido terminology one might express it as from:
comes and

That's a stretch, but it's food for thought.

I wonder, then, how gravity might be differentiated in the body. Does it act on either side of the body? or on the front and back side of the body. Or as one part lowers/sinks, the other rises.

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm going to mull over this for a while.
Read Kisshomaru again. "Spherical" action. Then go look up spheroidal waves and their normal modes. Radial and tangential oscillations = "S-mode" radial (breathing); and "T-mode" tangential oscillations -- (torquing/untorquing -- also rolling toroidal waves) deformations of the sphere. These can act together.

A sphere under gravity squashes (oblate), if that occurs dynamically, its reaction is to unsquash (prolate) - this and uniform radial ballooning oscillation are S-mode spheroidal waves.

If you take a nerfball on a rug and press without squashing it, and then torque it, it reduces in radius creating a direct conversion between S-mode and T-mode action. This is called asagao in traditional terms. Toroidal waves along the surface of the sphere dissipate in energy as they diverge in approaching the equator and concentrate as they converge in approaching the polar extremities es, and then bounce back again. (Fajin, for those who care). These toridal waves also create cross-coordinated gross radial deformation effects -- prolating in approaching the extremities and oblating it as they approach the equator.

-- But the torsional shear stress line diagonals in the body (L hand to R foot and R hand to L foot) themselves torque/untorque and squash/unsquash inversely to one another, thus allowing an applied torque or squash to be accepted by the inverse action on the unloaded diagonal -- shearing the applied load perpendicularly without opposing it -- essentially a field effect of keeping the stress paths in the body coherent and continuous, and not countering.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:00 AM   #5
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Re: Gravity and the body

Gravity.. without it ukemi would not be half as fun.... or necessary
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:27 AM   #6
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Gravity and the body

Topic reminds me of a good book worth getting and reading by Aikidoka. "Awakening the Spine" by Wanda Scaravelli.

She talks about the concept of Gravity and it the roll it plays in our practices. Uncanny that she never studied aikido, but yoga and yet uses the same concepts. Look at the cover of the book as well...see if you see something familiar to us.

http://www.amazon.com/Awakening-Spin...2017555&sr=8-1

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Old 12-28-2009, 09:41 AM   #7
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Re: Gravity and the body

Well, this is a worthwhile topic indeed . . given that gravity is one of the two major external "forces" you are learning to manage inside yourself from a "beginning body training for budo" (also known as IT/IP/IS yadda yadda) perspective. As you get better in managing how it affects you, you can better control how it affects someone else based on your skill level/points of contact, etc. Again, beginner steps, but key beginner steps (and something you're always working on improving and cultivating).

That cultivation part plays a big role in the OP, I think, because as you condition your body to better automatically handle the forces acting outside of you (Gravity pulling you down, the Ground pushing you up) via whole body connectivity and less reliance on local muscles . . in addition to applicability in a martial arts setting, your overall quality of life should get the net benefit of being able to do more for longer as you age. Whereas continued use/wear on local muscle/joints has a pretty observable resulting degradation effect.

Anyway, just some of my own ramblings of the brain that I think are relevant.
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