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Old 11-14-2013, 06:47 PM   #1
danielajames
 
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Biomechanics of simple throwing

Hi Everyone,
I've been trying to get my head around the biomechanics of throwing for a while now. recently I've shared some of the ideas at a few dojo and it seems helpful.
It centres (no pun intended) on looking at the base of support, centre of mass and the optimum angle to apply(the toppling vector). I've put together 2 videos, the first is 10mins of your life you may never get back where i've annotated some film with commentary on a simple example, there are stick figures and some vectors, the second is some outages of free play with toppling.

Pardon my own poor posture in them , as the focus is on looking at uke. It may be helpful or not for some recent aikiweb discussions (but is sufficiently off topic i think to put separately)

Some short text and the video plugins are on
http://brisbaneaikido.com/2013/10/31...-biomechanics/

hope you like

best,
dan

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:20 AM   #2
sakumeikan
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Quote:
Daniel James wrote: View Post
Hi Everyone,
I've been trying to get my head around the biomechanics of throwing for a while now. recently I've shared some of the ideas at a few dojo and it seems helpful.
It centres (no pun intended) on looking at the base of support, centre of mass and the optimum angle to apply(the toppling vector). I've put together 2 videos, the first is 10mins of your life you may never get back where i've annotated some film with commentary on a simple example, there are stick figures and some vectors, the second is some outages of free play with toppling.

Pardon my own poor posture in them , as the focus is on looking at uke. It may be helpful or not for some recent aikiweb discussions (but is sufficiently off topic i think to put separately)

Some short text and the video plugins are on
http://brisbaneaikido.com/2013/10/31...-biomechanics/

hope you like

best,
dan
Dear Dan , Watched your vids . I know you mean well, but why bother spending your valuable time this way? Visit any good Judo dojo.Ask them how to apply kuzushi in 8 direction [Front /Back /Rt Side/Left side / Right front Corner/Rt rear corner/ Left Front corner /Left Rear corner.I would suggest the newbie /student would get more idea of how to unbalance /manoeuvre an object by doing the
kuzushi exercises rather than studying vectors etc.Try lifting a large fridge off the ground-King Kong cannot do that.Tilt the fridge corners and you can move it.
I have seen the same type of stuff regarding unbalancing a object using a dining room chair as a visual aid. Cheers, Joe.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:19 AM   #3
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
I would suggest the newbie /student would get more idea of how to unbalance /manoeuvre an object by doing the kuzushi exercises rather than studying vectors etc.
Well, you would, perhaps...but not everyone learns like you do. There are different learning styles, and some learn best from theory, and vector diagrams work just fine for them. I've found in coaching sports that the percentage of people who learn best that way is small relative to other learning styles...but it's not zero. So, what I'd say to Dan is that (in my experience) probably not a lot of people are going to be interested in trying to understand aikido in this theoretical way...and what I'd say to you is that for some this is the best way, so let them learn the way they learn best.
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:55 PM   #4
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Well, you would, perhaps...but not everyone learns like you do. There are different learning styles, and some learn best from theory, and vector diagrams work just fine for them. I've found in coaching sports that the percentage of people who learn best that way is small relative to other learning styles...but it's not zero. So, what I'd say to Dan is that (in my experience) probably not a lot of people are going to be interested in trying to understand aikido in this theoretical way...and what I'd say to you is that for some this is the best way, so let them learn the way they learn best.
Dear Mary,
Your quite right, I prefer hands on stuff rather than get involved in scientific theories .Each to his /her own. Cheers, Joe.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:46 PM   #5
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

I like the cartoon.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:56 PM   #6
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

As stated above - Judo has it well, though some Judo dojos are better than others. Anyway - just try to move a standing uke in 8 directions - front, back, left, right + four corners. Try with uke in shizen-hontai, then in right and left posture etc. Then start to apply it to Aikido. That is more or less how I started out in Aikido, which was a mix of Tomiki style, plus Kyushin (from the Kenshiro Abe line). Oh, plus Judo of course. These days I rarely, if ever, see balance taught in any kind of systematic way.

Don't usually like self-advertising but - I have a few ideas you could try here: http://discovering-aikido.com/balance.htm
(There are many more)

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 11-16-2013 at 12:04 AM.

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Old 11-16-2013, 07:40 AM   #7
Krystal Locke
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Well, you would, perhaps...but not everyone learns like you do. There are different learning styles, and some learn best from theory, and vector diagrams work just fine for them. I've found in coaching sports that the percentage of people who learn best that way is small relative to other learning styles...but it's not zero. So, what I'd say to Dan is that (in my experience) probably not a lot of people are going to be interested in trying to understand aikido in this theoretical way...and what I'd say to you is that for some this is the best way, so let them learn the way they learn best.
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.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:25 AM   #8
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Pretend there's a brick inside your abdomen about where the knot in your obi is tied. If you get your brick under your opponent's, you're probably going to get the throw.
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:37 PM   #9
Walter Martindale
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Quote:
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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Old 11-16-2013, 03:19 PM   #10
hughrbeyer
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Sorry, Mary, Krystal, and Walter. As an engineer myself I have a great affinity for what you're saying, but in this case I think it's self-limiting--by which I mean as long as *you* constrain yourselves to understanding Aikido from this perspective, you will be limited.

The trouble is, your interpretive frame doesn't apply. The first thing any engineer should know is the limits of the utility of their tools. The scientific method is hugely powerful in the domain of controlled, repeatable experiments--outside that domain, it's a set of blinkers.

You're putting yourselves in the position of a neuroscientist trying to understand consciousness by studying brain structure and chemistry. It doesn't matter how many dendrites you map--you simply don't have the right tools to examine the phenomenon you're studying.

The human body--and the interaction between two human bodies--is sufficiently complex that its behavior is emergent, in the same way that consciousness is emergent. It can't be predicted or studied by looking at the underlying physical substrate that supports it. That's why the metaphors and imagery exist--because they get us directly to the emergent phenomenon, without worrying about the physical substrate.

Switching fields, it's like a quantum mechanics physicist telling chemists that everything they do is defined by quantum mechanics, so the entire field of chemistry is mysticism and obfuscation. That's obviously wrong--but you are making the same kind of mistake.

So, I'm sorry, but regardless of your preferred learning style, I think that in order to truly grasp some of this stuff you have to let go of physical explanations. Our physics isn't powerful enough yet; our understanding isn't complete enough. Go with the metaphors and the imagery because that really is the most direct path to truth.

--
This post brought to you by La Fin du Monde triple golden ale--possibly a little over-spiced, but quite fitting for a fall evening... when we take over Canada, let's hope they aren't bought by Budweiser.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:10 PM   #11
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Sorry, Mary, Krystal, and Walter. As an engineer myself I have a great affinity for what you're saying, but in this case I think it's self-limiting--by which I mean as long as *you* constrain yourselves to understanding Aikido from this perspective, you will be limited.
...as will someone who learns in any other way and who constrains themselves to understanding Aikido from that perspective. The most successful learners are those who integrate multiple learning styles, not those who use any one particular style. Again, this is the all elementary coaching.
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:32 PM   #12
hughrbeyer
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

No. Just not. How many great violinists learned the biomechanics of wrist, elbow, and shoulder to understand how to play? Doesn't matter even a little bit what your learning style is. This is a physical skill, not an intellectual exercise.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:42 PM   #13
danielajames
 
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

HI All,
Dropped offline for a bit and now playing catchup. Some random thoughts
I think for me what looking at the biomechanics has been most useful is in helping see things another way. Its true there is nothing new under the sun and so Kuzushi in Judo kata, sumo play, aikido kata and even the systema seminar i went to today all are ways to learn balance taking, perhaps some sometimes the packaging can get in the way and an alternate reductionist view like biomechanics can be helpful. FWIW I learnt aikiage from 2 different DR lineages, they looked different but the same principles (toppling) seemed to be there.

To follow up on Hugh's point, ultimately this thinking (biomechanics) can be limiting yes - but it can be helpful along the way in pointing the way forward. perhaps by getting the mundane mechanics out of the way, perhaps by rev elating things we don't know.

e..g the work with the pressure force plate to me was a revelation because balance was taken before uke could perceive their balance was taken. This hints at the perceptual stuff well beyond the biomechanics and says to me ...yes this is something to pursue to get a bit further. I'm not sure how a controlled experiment could be done, but it bears thinking about - in the mean time uke-nage and traditional training is that controlled experiment perhaps.

oops kids are home, time to run...

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:50 AM   #14
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
No. Just not. How many great violinists learned the biomechanics of wrist, elbow, and shoulder to understand how to play? Doesn't matter even a little bit what your learning style is. This is a physical skill, not an intellectual exercise.
Wow, you're dogmatic. It must be reassuring to be so absolutely certain of what others' learning process is.

Seriously, Hugh, you might want to 1)listen and 2)keep an open mind. First, listen to what people are actually saying. No one has said or suggested that a physical skill can be learned purely as "an intellectual exercise"; in fact, I just said the opposite, did I not? Next, keep an open mind to the possibility that the learning process of accomplished practitioners (for example, great violinists) isn't always a simple thing, or that a casual observer sees all there is to see. I'm currently reading Cal Newport's "So Good They Can't Ignore You", which contains examples of how some highly skilled individuals developed mastery of their crafts. Understanding of theory is definitely a part of the puzzle. An even better example is the work of Ron LeMaster in the field of skiing (for example, "The Skier's Edge"). I would say that at the elite levels, skiers simply do not get any better without the kind of analysis that LeMaster does. This biomechanical model doesn't do much for me, personally, but all that this means is that it's not my favorite learning tool -- not that it's useless or that I can't/don't use it. For others to whom this type of learning is more congenial, it adds much more significantly to their learning process.
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:51 AM   #15
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Go with the metaphors and the imagery because that really is the most direct path to truth.
No, not really. Metaphors and imaginery can be helpful but also they can be the most direct path to delusion.

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Old 11-17-2013, 01:37 PM   #16
hughrbeyer
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Wow, you're dogmatic. It must be reassuring to be so absolutely certain of what others' learning process is.

Seriously, Hugh, you might want to 1)listen and 2)keep an open mind. First, listen to what people are actually saying. No one has said or suggested that a physical skill can be learned purely as "an intellectual exercise"; in fact, I just said the opposite, did I not? Next, keep an open mind to the possibility that the learning process of accomplished practitioners (for example, great violinists) isn't always a simple thing, or that a casual observer sees all there is to see. I'm currently reading Cal Newport's "So Good They Can't Ignore You", which contains examples of how some highly skilled individuals developed mastery of their crafts. Understanding of theory is definitely a part of the puzzle. An even better example is the work of Ron LeMaster in the field of skiing (for example, "The Skier's Edge"). I would say that at the elite levels, skiers simply do not get any better without the kind of analysis that LeMaster does. This biomechanical model doesn't do much for me, personally, but all that this means is that it's not my favorite learning tool -- not that it's useless or that I can't/don't use it. For others to whom this type of learning is more congenial, it adds much more significantly to their learning process.
Y'know, dogmatic is dogmatic and wrong is wrong. Kinda hard to have an open mind about things that aren't so.

If you would listen to what I am saying, you'll find I'm not arguing about learning styles at all. Learning styles are simply not relevant here. All the music theory in the world won't help me hear a fifth when tuning a violin--and if I can hear the fifth, music theory doesn't add anything to the skill. It may make me happier, keep my interested, and feed my life in other ways--but it doesn't make me better at tuning.

And I got roused about the issue because as Demetrio's and Krystal's responses suggest, it's not just a question of analyzing a skill learned and practiced other ways. It's a way of denigrating and dismissing the learning mechanisms that actually work ("jargon", "delusion").

I'm as happy to over-intellectualize my practice as anybody, but (1) I'm not using overly simplistic models, and (2) I know very well my intellectual constructs aren't actually a guide to practice.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:56 PM   #17
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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And I got roused about the issue because as Demetrio's and Krystal's responses suggest, it's not just a question of analyzing a skill learned and practiced other ways. It's a way of denigrating and dismissing the learning mechanisms that actually work ("jargon", "delusion")..
You're reading too much in my post, methinks.

Anyway. science is not your enemy.

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Old 11-17-2013, 05:44 PM   #18
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Gonna have to agree to disagree on this one, Hugh. As I see it, comprehension is part of the learning process, and mental models are part of comprehension. Personally, I think that all mental models are flawed, but if we keep that in mind, they can still be useful. In viewing these discussions, I'm constantly reminded of the blind men describing the elephant. None of us perceive it all.
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:55 PM   #19
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Two different things people seem to be arguing about - accuracy and usefulness.

Is describing balance-taking using vectors and forces correct? Yes. I completely agree on that.

Is it useful? Sometimes. Depends on the person and the situation. Sometimes understanding the theory of how something works can be helpful and can help you see what you're aiming for. However, I have to agree that it doesn't seem to be the most difficult or crucial part for most of us. Getting your own body to actually do it is much more difficult. And similarly, some of the most skilled people in many physical fields probably couldn't actually explain accurately what it is that they're doing. (E.g., how many of us can describe, correctly, why a bike stays upright when we ride it?)

I think of it as understanding with your body versus with your mind, or rather, understanding using kinesthetic and spatial processing functions of your brain rather than more abstract intellectual ones. They only help each other so much. OTOH it's not like they're 100% separate either so if someone finds it helps them to consciously analyze, why not.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:01 PM   #20
Basia Halliop
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Besides which, sometimes understanding why something happens is just interesting. Not everything in life worth doing is 'useful'.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:28 PM   #21
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Is describing balance-taking using vectors and forces correct? Yes. I completely agree on that.
I do not. Part of my argument is that our physical models are so crude compared to the complexity of the human body that they are, for practical purposes, incorrect and misleading.

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Old 11-18-2013, 12:22 AM   #22
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
Two different things people seem to be arguing about - accuracy and usefulness.

Is describing balance-taking using vectors and forces correct? Yes. I completely agree on that.

Is it useful? Sometimes. Depends on the person and the situation. Sometimes understanding the theory of how something works can be helpful and can help you see what you're aiming for. However, I have to agree that it doesn't seem to be the most difficult or crucial part for most of us. Getting your own body to actually do it is much more difficult. And similarly, some of the most skilled people in many physical fields probably couldn't actually explain accurately what it is that they're doing. (E.g., how many of us can describe, correctly, why a bike stays upright when we ride it?)

I think of it as understanding with your body versus with your mind, or rather, understanding using kinesthetic and spatial processing functions of your brain rather than more abstract intellectual ones. They only help each other so much. OTOH it's not like they're 100% separate either so if someone finds it helps them to consciously analyze, why not.
Dear Basia,
I think that while its good to know the science behind aikido, it is more important to embody the principles of the art in physical terms not just in terms of intellectual understanding.
I could for example read a book on baking a cake, understand the theory, but unless I physically try and bake a cake,I would not be a cake baker.'Doing ' is the key to learning things.Theory is great ,however doing is better.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:23 AM   #23
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
I think that while its good to know the science behind aikido, it is more important to embody the principles of the art in physical terms not just in terms of intellectual understanding.
I think you're making the exact same mistake as Hugh -- that is, insisting that it is an either-or thing. It isn't.
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:38 AM   #24
Gary David
 
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Folks
Keep in mind that most folks, at least in my experience, do not visit here, most are not into biomechanics, the scientific method, they don't really hear much when you talk about destabilizing before imbalance and throwing.......and these days most of our Aikido students are kids...just do do do.
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:58 AM   #25
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
Keep in mind that most folks, at least in my experience, do not visit here, most are not into biomechanics, the scientific method, they don't really hear much when you talk about destabilizing before imbalance and throwing.......
Do you really think that anyone in this conversation doesn't know that?

I'm not getting it. Again, for the nth time, I'm not "into biomechanics" either. But I really do not get the position of some of you who seem completely, obstinately against it -- at all, for anyone, at any time. Someone suggests a biomechanical model as one way of understanding aikido, and you all act as if he said that it was the only way to understand aikido, or that it was the best way for everybody, or even that it was the only way that he uses -- none of which are the case. As a result, the point of the thread has been buried under the debris of the demolished strawmen that y'all have been so gleefully pummeling.

We all see aikido differently. Not every thread will speak a language that you can understand. That's okay. Let those who do speak that language have their discussion.
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