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Old 10-14-2012, 10:00 PM   #76
David Orange
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post

I really enjoyed reading your posts...beautifully written..

I was a bit surprised by your pulsing video and went off to try it just for fun. I don't get why you would want to knock yourself backwards though or what benefit there is to that? I don't move position but tanden and other things will adjust to keep me stable in the same position.

I'm guessing it's the wall that should be moving...be difficult to do though ^^
Thanks, Lee. I appreciate that.

I read the get-off-the-wall problem posted as a test of how you were organizing your body: can you get yourself off the wall without stepping or jumping, from straight-arm distance from the wall with straight legs. How do you get yourself away from the wall? was the question as I remember it.

Lately, I've really been aware of aligning the "three dantiens" and I felt my body automatically correct that alignment recently, which made me think about some other connections in my body and I suddenly felt a capacity to transfer large amounts of energy with minimal effort. I thought, "I'll bet I could bounce myself off a wall with this." But I wasn't thinking of that old challenge. It was just an idea that suddenly hit me and then I remembered that it had been posted as a challenge a couple of years ago, maybe on the Baseline Skills thread or Teacher Test...

Which makes me think it might be a stage of development of IS skills where you realize you can do this.

Of course, it's related to fa jing, in the Chinese arts and development of IS/aiki in the Japanese style.

You can do it with all your power going into the wall, but unless the wall breaks, the power has to come back into you and the more power you put into it, the more will rebound into you. Something has to give.
I realized that improper alignment of the dantiens would drive the rebound into my lower back and cause injury. And a certain alignment will make you able to deliver your maximum power to the wall. And I think that will be more than your body will be able to ground agains a truly immoveable object. One of you has to lose ground or your body will be injured.I've heard this is why you see tai chi guys hop away from the partner in push hands. They felt that the other guy's power would hurt them if they tried to absorb it and rather than really being driven away, they unground themselves and let the force sort of bounce them up and away without harm.

On the other hand, if you're pushing a moveable object, like a human being--and especially one that is unbalanced and slightly ungrounded....you can really ground yourself and put a high percentage of your potential power directly into driving him a pretty good distance. And it's possible to do that without hurting him. Or you could focus the power into him or drive him down hard.

And I think this getting off the wall problem is a recognized stage in the process of developing that kind of power.

Now what I'm looking at is doing it with as little movement as possible, to see how much I can do it with pure intent.

Does that explain it better?

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:03 PM   #77
David Orange
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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I'm guessing it's the wall that should be moving...be difficult to do though ^^
Also, that "wall" is really only two small surfaces of sheetrock in front of my hands.

I have broken a few bricks with my bare hands in my time, so I think I could actually put both my hands through the wall with that move. I just have reasons not to want that to happen, either...

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:37 PM   #78
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Hya David

Thats a really nice decription...thank you. Well I found the only way to get of the wall I could see is when the body adjusts the spine and centre...the feet stay in position. It's hard to explain ^^ but I don't propel myself backwards. Actually there's no need to move imho...nothing needs to give..all the internal energies automatically build up, adjust through 'everything' not just dantian and then go to earth. Then everything is stable..

It's interesting and kept me amused here for a bit ^^

I think the Japanese built really light walls so they could look hard you know ^^ you'd be amazed how easy they are to break. Wouldn't want to argue with a brick though...

Lee

Last edited by wxyzabc : 10-14-2012 at 10:39 PM. Reason: Bad grammar..doh!
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:40 PM   #79
David Orange
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Hya David

Thats a really nice decription...thank you. Well I found the only way to get of the wall I could see is when the body adjusts the spine and centre...the feet stay in position. It's hard to explain ^^ but I don't propel myself backwards. Actually there's no need to move imho...nothing needs to give.
Were you able to get off the wall?

What are you studying in Japan and where? Aikido, presumably. Karate? Judo?

Cheers.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 10-15-2012, 02:37 AM   #80
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Hya David

Yeah getting of the wall is no problem. I specialise in aikido but can do karate etc but don't usually practise it with partners : )

I live up in Saku, Nagano but basically got pushed into the "you will never be seen" box by the good people here...^^

Lee

Last edited by wxyzabc : 10-15-2012 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:18 AM   #81
David Orange
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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I live up in Saku, Nagano but basically got pushed into the "you will never be seen" box by the good people here...^^
I have some relatives in Nagano. Nice place.

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:39 AM   #82
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

It's fantastic...especially in winter..brilliant snowboarding : )
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:22 PM   #83
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

On the straight legs check PM for a laugh-- I'll find a better space for it
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The way you describe "driving" with your center is also not what is meant in this context. We're talking about a release of power with almost no movement (and one inch driving with the center as you describe it is a good bit of movement).

You're talking mechanical movement when we're talking something closer to electrical. It requires proper mechanics, but they're different than those used to produce the muscular power you're showing.
What you describe as "close to electrical" is a description of an involuntary reflex -- uncontrolled, in a sense -- but not undirected, in another sense. Like grabbing a hot wire -- things just happen. It can be deployed with intent-- just not in the way we would , say, pick up a chair and move it around the table. It seems to me the same thing you are talking about , because I get that sense of it when I do it.

Quote:
Your comments about undulating pendula also miss the point concerning the three dantiens. The relation of the dantiens is not the same as between pendulums singly or doubly connected. The use of the connective tissue damps out the possible oscillations, which are really just the "wobble" of an unstable body and which bleed off the power in transit from the ground to the hand. That's why "aligning" the three dantiens is important. That's why when I felt the alignment becoming self-adjusting through habit induced by awareness from training, I intuited suddenly that I could do this pulse off the wall and presented my ideas for review.
Damped or not -- they are still pendula -- and pendula behave like pendula even when damped. The "bounce" of the inverted pendula of the three dantien are inherent to our VERY odd form of stability, in comparison to almost all other creatures. There is no getting away from it, unless you go on all fours.

The region of stability is large and occurs at a variety of amplitudes and frequencies (Fig 2 in the link) . You will note that the lowest energy/lowest amplitude of the stable region at is at 10 hertz with a very short amplitude ("the spirit of bees")-- the lowest frequency is the 5 Hz bottom of the shaded region - a longer amplitude, lower frequency undulation ("the demon snake") -- These just happen to be the resonant frequency (5Hz) and first harmonic (10 Hz) of the human body and the signature oscillations of funetori and furitama, respectively.

Resonance introduced into such a system in this equation will drive it out of its stability -- and furitama is at the resonance frequency of the body -- that why it bounces everything in the body when done right -- and that's how you know when it is right. The big peak in the middle marks the boundary between the oscillation/undulation destabilizations, and large amplitude funetori actions that lead to destabilization of the freely rotating variety (most conventional waza) located in the upper right section of the graph. So waza are not outside this paradigm, they are simply only one side of the behaviors that this full understnading of what is happening presents.

Put into a person at that CORRECT resonant energy and the pulse we are playing with rings them like a bell --taking apart their stability at a level of the physics that it requires to BE stable. Ikeda Sensei does this routinely -- and to very amusing effect -- which I have felt and which was precisely the reason for my undertaking this particular line of inquiry.. Control of one's oan damping ability (an aspect of "internal" stuffs) can minimize the effects of resonance in oneself as well.

The "pulse" is the actuation of that reflexive oscillation in one go, like cracking a whip.
Furitama and related oscillatory exercises "tune in" to that fundamental resonant frequency and allow us to voluntarily actuate or potentiate it -- which is quite different from voluntary directed motor control -- and which you all seem to describe with the word "external." The oscillations also actuate the damping "fascia" smooth muscle, allowing one to sense their action, and causing the structure to strengthen and become more unified and more effective in damping.

The "external v. internal" scheme of definition seems in one of its senses -- to me at least -- to be a distinction between conscious voluntary motor control and actuated and potentiated reflexive actions that are set in motion but not directed throughout the action by conscious attention or effort. The sense -- for me at least-- is that something is happening that is not strictly under directly actuated guidance -- more like ballistic guidance -- like a whip or chain -- even when slow.

If anything, voluntary motor control serves in this capacity - as you seem to suggest -- to control the amount of damping present in the body when used in this manner of action. I see much value in many of the exercises that are shown and spoken of -- in learning to work with control by damping the body's structural responses and in learning the reflexive actuation that this pulse business is a part of. What I use my twisty balloons to illustrate -- how to maintain the same essential damping "tone" in every part of the body while also still able move more or less freely as one wishes. The only thing I am doing voluntarily is holding the reins more or less tightly as the action occurs when my structure is affected somehow. It is like a sword cut -- you don't strike with it - you more or less just unleash it.

Quote:
I got feedback and I responded to it with two extra videos for critique because I am sincere in seeking really to understand this subject, both in my mind and in my body.

I hope you'll see this comment in that light because within your incongruence I do some light of sincerity in your comments. You're just completely misunderstanding the topic.
I am in agreement with your sentiment in the first instance -- and as to the latter point, let us reserve judgment and see what we may see... shall we... ?

Last edited by Erick Mead : 10-15-2012 at 05:26 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:57 PM   #84
David Orange
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
What you describe as "close to electrical" is a description of an involuntary reflex -- uncontrolled, in a sense -- but not undirected, in another sense. Like grabbing a hot wire -- things just happen. It can be deployed with intent-- just not in the way we would , say, pick up a chair and move it around the table. It seems to me the same thing you are talking about , because I get that sense of it when I do it.
No, Erick, not a reflex and not uncontrolled. I'm talking about a wave of energy that doesn't feel physical to the attacker. It feels beyond physical.

What you're describing is the sense you get when you do it the way you do.

That's not the sense you get when you do it right.

I'll be looking forward to your vid with straight legs and arms.

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 10-22-2012, 02:55 AM   #85
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

On being vertical and not horizontal, I came across this quote from an Aikido teacher called Tanimoto
quoted by Lee Price:

"It's basically what you see. Tanimoto sensei says that even though he's taking ukemi here "his heart is still standing"..which allows him to do this....i.e he doesn't lay down and "give up" but maintains awareness and connection at all times. Of course in every dojo/organisation there are people of different strengths/sensitivity, and every uke is different too...so what feels cold for some feels hot for others. This is a simple explanation btw...

I should say that there is a great sense of joy in his practise and this is reflected in everyone who trains with him. Practise is quite simply a pleasure and good fun too. It's very important to maintain the correct feeling towards your partner..he happily says he always feels love for anyone he practises with. "
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:34 AM   #86
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Hya Oisin,

It should be noted that there is a great difference in language usage and patterns in English and Japanese. What we might expect to hear we often don't....things just don't translate so well sometimes ; )
After spending time here though you can develop a certain skill at making sense of it all....but when we meet I usually just ask my girlfriend what he said ^^ and you know his on mat time is huge.
A lot of what is communicated here in Japan is in the way of feeling or feelings. What is natural for one is not for another...until they begin to become similar and then it's easier to understand. And the general feeling is that a tree doesn't grow in a day...and in Japan it's better to be a flower than a weed...so most are quite strong

It's interesting, and you have to keep a light hearted view on things a bit. I always find it amusing when I ask people about a new place they went too and what it was like..and they always talk about the food...nothing else. Hence each place is famous for having some food speciality...lol....we just don't communicate the same at all ^^

Lee
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:30 AM   #87
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Hya Oisin,

It should be noted that there is a great difference in language usage and patterns in English and Japanese. What we might expect to hear we often don't....things just don't translate so well sometimes ; )
After spending time here though you can develop a certain skill at making sense of it all....but when we meet I usually just ask my girlfriend what he said ^^ and you know his on mat time is huge.
A lot of what is communicated here in Japan is in the way of feeling or feelings. What is natural for one is not for another...until they begin to become similar and then it's easier to understand. And the general feeling is that a tree doesn't grow in a day...and in Japan it's better to be a flower than a weed...so most are quite strong

It's interesting, and you have to keep a light hearted view on things a bit. I always find it amusing when I ask people about a new place they went too and what it was like..and they always talk about the food...nothing else. Hence each place is famous for having some food speciality...lol....we just don't communicate the same at all ^^

Lee
Hi Lee,

Having lived in Japan for close on nine years, I know what you"re getting at

If you could post the original statement, I"d love to read it. It chimed with statements I have heard in Japan from various sources.

Regards,
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:45 AM   #88
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Hya Oisin

We were walking towards a pub/restaurant when I asked about it...I don't know what he said in Japanese to be honest...sorry. Generally though, as you know most Japanese don't like to talk too deeply about things. It's an unusual view for some but also pretty straight forward...you can talk about things all day but it won't change a thing ^^

Lee
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:56 AM   #89
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Hya Oisin

I just checked with my partner and she confirmed he said the following to her (which she translated for me)

"たっとってもねとってもおなじ、合気道はあいきどう"

All the best

Lee
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:58 AM   #90
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Hya Oisin

I just checked with my partner and she confirmed he said the following to her (which she translated for me)

"たっとってもねとってもおなじ、合気道はあいきどう"

All the best

Lee
That"s great Lee, thanks for that.

That chimes with David Orange"s earlier posts IMO, though it"s a bit more concise
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:04 PM   #91
Erick Mead
 
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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No, Erick, not a reflex and not uncontrolled. I'm talking about a wave of energy that doesn't feel physical to the attacker. It feels beyond physical.

What you're describing is the sense you get when you do it the way you do.

That's not the sense you get when you do it right.

I'll be looking forward to your vid with straight legs and arms.

David
The table leg glue still has to set up. I understand your point. And when the table recovers or a I find a better vantage (my wife does not allow any MA in the house -- can't imagine why... and we just had our last Iaijutsu seminar in the old dojo and are moving shop this week -- so probably be next week before I can I have our new space to accommodate you -- my partners have not yet banned MA in the office -- but let's not mention the table, shall we?)

I have gotten away from this sort of thing, mainly because most people don't work through things this way-- I am aware of this -- but you expressed interest in a true understanding -- and regardless of our disagreement about whether I have an understanding related to yours or not -- I will tell you where the development of my understanding puts me.

However -- it is not "beyond physical" -- I can SEE it -- I can see what I am talking about in your video (each of them, actually). I can stop video motion with clicks that freeze at 12-15 frames per sec of video -- about half the frame rate. Close to two frames at a click. If you will bear with me, I can explain both the nature of the action and your (accurate) perception of it -- consistent both with what I see you doing and what I know I am doing -- and what I now see that all the aiki-taiso train for .

There are reflexes and there are reflexes. For instance, the reflex when I pop my hand in uke's visual field, right in front of this face. The "base" parts of the visual centers of the brain interpret this as an extremely high closure rate and fire motor neurons to cause the head and structure to move reflexively to avoid a presumed impact. Done right -- uke's structure is falling all over itself to be somewhere else. This visual reflex can be habituated downward and reduced to almost nothing -- boxers and other close-striking arts do this all the time.

It can also be habituated upward -- and triggered -- not directed exactly -- but potentiated and released.

That is still a neural path going to the visual reflex center of the brain (sup. colliculus), processed for a bit, then a signal down the spine to motor neurons to move, bypassing the visual awareness center in the visual cortex (awareness). More or less, the visual awareness and the motor reflexes get the signal at roughly the same time -- so you are aware of moving just as about the same time as you are aware of the visual disturbance that caused the reflex to occur. Your perceive almost no gap in the stimulus and the response -- but there is in fact a lag from the stimulus to the action -- you are just not aware of it..

This takes about 50-100 ms (avg. ~75 ms =0.075)sec from stimulus to action (latency). For comparison, well-trained voluntary visual-motor skills have a latency of more than 100 ms (0.1) sec from stimulus to action, nearly twice as slow. Fit but untrained people punch with a latency of about 300 ms. The fastest punch measured of an English boxer and one of Bruce Lee's students clocks in at just about 100 ms from signal, close to the voluntary motor speed limit.

Withdrawal reflex arcs (snatching a hand back from a hot object) are spinal reflexes which do not involve the brain at all -- other than the eventual awareness of what just happened. This is one of what are called "polysynaptic" reflexes, as they involve more than one . They typically involve just three nerve cells -- the sensory neuron, a relay neuron and the motor neuron, which is two synapses (the slow parts of the nervous system). They tend to be on the "slow" side of the true spinal reflexes around that 75 ms mark.

So -- for a trained person -- the order of event, action and perception is:

Stimulus = 0
Polysynaptic reflex = 75ms
Awareness of stimulus = 75ms
Awareness of reflex = 150ms

A monosynaptic reflex, though, is something else (two nerves, one sensory, one motor, one synapse, ...in the land of Mordor , where... never mind...) . These are the tendon reflexes and the stretch reflexes -- which respectively contract or relax a muscle group in response to possibly structurally dangerous loads.

A monosynaptic latency is on the order of 20-45 ms -- call it 30 ms =0.03s, twice as fast as, or even better, as the visual or pain flinch reflexes. Your conscious awareness latency is more on the order of the visual flinch awareness, (75 ms). d

Stimulus = 0
Monosynaptic reflex = 30ms [IN]
[No real awareness of structural stress stimulus]
Awareness of reflex = 75ms
Recovery phase of reflex = 50 -100 ms [YO]
Voluntary reaction to reflex 175 ms

This is the sequence that is disturbing to the conscious mind -- because we do not -- without training -- consciously sense or recognize the structural stimulus that causes the reflex. Or we feel it but we do not know at all how to interpret it. It is occurring at a level way below the conscious mind. If you learn how to deploy it -- to put it in Kevin Leavitt's preferred OODA terms-- this is WAAAAY inside his loop... And this is why I feel that puzzling this out -- in my view -- is a necessary component -- what is happening -- is just out of view and we need some way to get at it .

We know something happened -- we know we did something in response. By the time we voluntarily react -- in-yo action has already got hold done its thing and passed on. And so, by the time you have decided what to do about the stimulus -- even if you DID perceive it -- your body has already acted, and so whatever you decided to -- it was already wrong -- overcome by events.

Then you become aware that it was wrong and your brain is now countermanding -- and you still have no fricking clue what is really going on. Sensorimotor whipsaw. You are trying to act and your responses are -- quite literally -- just beyond the edge of your perception and control.

AND ..to add spice to this sauce -- the nature of the tendon and stretch reflexes at issue does another thing -- if the reflex relaxes one muscle group it triggers the interneuron going to the antagonist muscle on the opposite side of the limbs, (quad vs. hamstring) making it contract -- If the reflex contracts a muscle group -- it blocks the interneuron to the antagonist , locking it out and preventing it from contracting

--And by blocking the antagonist muscle group it deeply confounds any voluntary response.

The result being that the limbs actuate in one direction, and one direction only -- but then they recover when the reflex action subsides. In-yo. The muscle power usually sapped by the constant resistance action of the opposed muscle group is very suddenly gone. AND, ... with the extension-limiting effect of the opposed musculature removed -- the limbs, do not merely flex or extend, they actually lengthen (or shorten -- the reflexes go both ways, and with force suddenly, and by suddenly I mean closer to 30ms sudden than 100 ms.

The actions of unleashing the extension/retraction are actually torsional, not in a plane -- because muscle insertions on the bones are not lined up in a plane with the bone -- they spiral around the line of the limb just so slightly like leaves or vines grow spirally around a stem. Prove this to yourself.. place your hands palm up, fingertips against the wall, arms at full extension and put your feet as close to the wall as you can without falling backwards. Now, try to turn your hands palm down, and then palm out. You will fall back with only a much slighter rotation, and I doubt you can get even to palm down..

Any training which focuses on two things should facilitate using this to advantage: 1) it needs to train in working through the natural spiral forms of the resulting reflexive actions -- and avoid the push-pull levered action of most voluntary movement; and 2) it needs to grasp the innate cycle of reflex/recovery (furitama/funetori) which can both drive this cascade in our own bodies to protect our structure, and provoke it in others to destroy theirs. I see this in Aikido, in Taichi and other CMA, in Ark's work and some others, and I see it in what you showed in your video.

Training in the large sweeping forms of aiki-taiso, habituates the trained body to the condition that will exist and that it must learn to modulate when it finally "catches-up" to what it already did. It will never be able to direct the action directly. But with enough training the voluntary motor "lag" is effectively shortened -- because the patterns of movement for this type of action are very typical. It cannot be driven like voluntary movement -- but it can be potentiated by training and when triggered it can be "surfed," if you will -- like a feed-forward control system. And like your knee-tap reflex you can learn to overmodulate to preemptively suppress or temper it - but not in reaction -- that's too late.

Other aiki taiso habituate the sudden torsional stresses that most effectively trigger them. Others train vibrations. The triggers for these reflexes are also responsive to vibrations -- particularly for hyper-destructive resonant frequencies (furitama). Vibrations induce other interesting things with the smooth muscle fascia, which clench into a fixed position after a few cycles -- as any one who has raked a yard can attest. And are also particularly responsive to oxytocin -- the "love" hormone -- but not adrenaline. But that is beyond the topic of the particular action at issue and its perception -- which is what we were talking about..

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:57 AM   #92
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Hya Erick

Wow...that's a fantastic piece of scientific writing. I sometimes come on here as in Japan I don't have so many people to talk to that have anywhere near basic fluent English. When I write it helps me not to forget basic spelling etc...

Where did you get the information from on reflexes etc? that's just nuts...but in a nice way of course : )

Lee
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:59 PM   #93
Erick Mead
 
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
Hya Erick

Wow...that's a fantastic piece of scientific writing. I sometimes come on here as in Japan I don't have so many people to talk to that have anywhere near basic fluent English. When I write it helps me not to forget basic spelling etc...

Where did you get the information from on reflexes etc? that's just nuts...but in a nice way of course : )

Lee
Likewise.
It is no particular secret. -- but I uploaded some resources on reflexes and things that cause or disturb them I have gathered in the last few years. I have also added some on vertical vibration and inverted pendulum stability -- you know, for dessert -- Kinesthetic mochi.

Knock yourself out:

https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B3...pBanVnZ3M/edit

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:08 AM   #94
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
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Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
Hya Erick

Wow...that's a fantastic piece of scientific writing...
It's too bad that so much "scientific" thinking on a subject often leads so far from the truth.

Lately, I've been re-reading Melville's Moby Dick, in which the author presents numerous examples of the errors made by scientific authorities concerning the nature of the whale, most interestingly this one, in Chapter 55, entitled Monstrous Pictures of Whales:

"...let us glance at those pictures of leviathan purporting to be sober, scientific delineations, by those who know. In old Harris's collection of voyages there are some plates of whales extracted from a Dutch book of voyages, A.D. 1671...In one of those plates the whales, like great rafts of logs, are represented lying among ice-isles, with white bears running over their living backs. In another plate, the prodigious blunder is made of representing the whale with perpendicular flukes.

Nor are the most conscientious compilations of Natural History for the benefit of the young and tender, free from the same heinousness of mistake. Look at that popular work 'Goldsmith's Animated Nature.' In the abridged London edition of 1807, there are plates of an alleged 'whale' and a 'narwhale.' I do not wish to seem inelegant, but this unsightly whale looks much like an amputated sow; and, as for the narwhale, one glimpse at it is enough to amaze one, that in this nineteenth century such a hippogriff could be palmed for genuine upon any intelligent public of schoolboys.

But these manifold mistakes in depicting the whale are not so very surprising after all. Consider! Most of the scientific drawings have been taken from the stranded fish; and these are about as correct as a drawing of a wrecked ship, with broken back, would correctly represent the noble animal itself in all its undashed pride of hull and spars. Though elephants have stood for their full-lengths, the living Leviathan has never yet fairly floated himself for his portrait. The living whale, in all his full majesty and significance, is only to be seen at sea in unfathomable waters; and afloat the vast bulk of him is out of sight, like a launched line-of-battle ship; and out of that element it is a thing eternally impossible for mortal man to hoist him bodily into the air, so as to preserve all his mighty swells and undulations. And...even in the case of one of those young sucking whales hoisted to a ship's deck, such is then the outlandish, eel-like, limbered, varying shape of him that his precise expression the devil himself could not catch.

...the only mode in which you can derive even a tolerable idea of his living contour, is by going a whaling yourself; but by so doing, you run no small risk of being eternally stove and sunk by him."

end of quote

Despite all his scientific portraiture of the Leviathan of Internal Power, Erick is, unfortunately, one of those who has never "gone a whaling" himself, precisely for fear of being "eternally stove and sunk" by the likes of Dan Harden. Nor has he yet laid hands upon such deep-diving types as Minoru Akuzawa or Mike Sigman. And his explanations, I'm afraid, are on a par with such "scientists" as Frederick Cuvier, who may have been quite knowledgeable in many subjects, but whose drawing of a Sperm Whale is criticized by Ishmael as "not a Sperm Whale, but a squash."

Put your faith in the accounts of those who have been there.

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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