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Old 11-18-2013, 10:17 AM   #26
Gary David
 
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Do you really think that anyone in this conversation doesn't know that?

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.
OK....Really....

Most of the folks that I directly know, that I have met and crossed hands with...who know what they are talking about...don't post here. Either they are gone or never came here. These conversations are between the few that do.

That is ok...just has little affect/effect beyond here. These are personal conversations between a few. Many may read what is say though I am not sure what change effect is being had.

And to me it doesn't seem that anyone ever moves any of the others off their positions or opens the others eyes.

So have your private discussions that I can't understand.......
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:43 AM   #27
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

I think biomechanics to be very important, and that it needs to function alongside the mind imagining things like having a brick in the abdomen (as mentioned above). Body and mind work together.

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 11-18-2013 at 10:47 AM.

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Old 11-18-2013, 10:45 AM   #28
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
So have your private discussions that I can't understand.......
For the nth + 1 time, it's not my conversation. And it's not private. If you walk by a restaurant that serves pizza, and you don't like pizza, I doubt that you would call it a "private" restaurant, or say that the food they serve is worthless to everybody, and that almost nobody likes it. Instead, you would probably shrug, say, "Not my thing, but no skin off my nose," and move on down the street, not feeling in the least slighted or annoyed at the people enjoying their pizza, and not feeling any need to evangelize them about their bad choices. I understand that aikido, and our particular take on it, matters more to most of us than our casual food choices...but sometimes I think we take it a little too seriously, if we've got issues with others' choices.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:06 AM   #29
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
For the nth + 1 time, it's not my conversation. And it's not private. If you walk by a restaurant that serves pizza, and you don't like pizza, I doubt that you would call it a "private" restaurant, or say that the food they serve is worthless to everybody, and that almost nobody likes it. Instead, you would probably shrug, say, "Not my thing, but no skin off my nose," and move on down the street, not feeling in the least slighted or annoyed at the people enjoying their pizza, and not feeling any need to evangelize them about their bad choices. I understand that aikido, and our particular take on it, matters more to most of us than our casual food choices...but sometimes I think we take it a little too seriously, if we've got issues with others' choices.
Your are absolutely correct, it is no skin off of my nose, I have no issues with others choices.......my thought was how limited the audience is for these conversations. It seems to be the same 10 - 15 people with the same lines drawn.

You know you may be right...maybe I do evangelize at times...I don't know......i'll leave it up to your wider experiences and understanding........
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:10 AM   #30
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Well... I am into biomechanics and I know very well that with present means of measuring it's not practical to do even descriptive biomechanical studies of all of the variables. Optimizing a movement would be an immense task. Inertial characteristics of each body segment, neural transmission rates, muscle contraction rates, age-related changes in elasticity, bone density, and on, and on, and on. You could "do" a descriptive study, possibly, of someone throwing someone else using several cameras and accurately calibrated space, over top of a force platform (in 1979 this was a 30 x 60 cm bathroom scale that cost about $40,000 - hate to think what they are now).
However - just because it is difficult to study doesn't mean that biomechanics doesn't determine what happens in aikido movement - just that we don't fully understand all of it beyond what we experience.

The whole thing about the scientific method is curiosity and not accepting anything on faith - and looking for what's really happening.
IMO that is...
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:12 PM   #31
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
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.
I hate to admit it, and I am surprised they can even write, but the judo thugs have a great introductory system for conversations on kuzushi. Obviously, I am kidding about making fun of judo. I personally think as an introductory conversation about throwing, the concepts of kuzushi, tsukuri and kake form a great foundation for "how a throw" happens thing. I often use that foundation and the 8-directions kuzushi exercise.

I believe this perspective should be considered one of many within a teaching methodology. Kuzushi is a rather nebulous state of being, and the mechanics of achieving (and maintaining) kuzushi are rather specific to each occurrence. To that extent, basic exercises will only get you so far.

Once upon a time, basic martial concepts like kuzushi would have been implicitly understood (obtained though a previous study) by aikido students. This would leave more instructional opportunity for complicated concepts and advanced application. We have more students without this previous experience so we are left trying to develop a curriculum to cover basic concepts (or not). I made my earlier comment about judo not because we are comparing martial arts, but because judo is a martial system that spent a lot of time refining a foundational approach to a basic topic vital to success in the art. Aikido happens to have the same basic education requirement and that is why I like much of their material.

Ultimately, I think aikido is a sophisticated, complex interaction that transcends physicality. At some point, a conversation based in physical action will not encompass the entirety of the dialogue necessary to expressing aiki. I think we need to be prepared with a method of instruction that also transcends physical action. This transcendence is not unique to aikido and is found in high-level athletics.

I think as this conversation develops, it may be worthwhile to identify some elements that actually precede what we would consider "aikido" instruction. For example, I view kuzushi as a prerequisite to aikido; that is, I cannot execute an aikido through unless I have kuzushi. Morso, if I have kusushi I can execute a number of throws, including aikido throws. So for me, kuzushi is what I would define as a pre-aikido curriculum. I think sometimes we become possessive of these pre-requisite skills because other arts can "do them" (and often times do them better).

I think this outlines:
1. A basic curriculum in which there is a right and a wrong, and a progression of educational development.
2. A burden of development and an expectation of performance.

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Old 11-18-2013, 12:38 PM   #32
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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For example, I view kuzushi as a prerequisite to aikido; that is, I cannot execute an aikido through unless I have kuzushi. Morso, if I have kusushi I can execute a number of throws, including aikido throws. So for me, kuzushi is what I would define as a pre-aikido curriculum.
I always thought of it the other way around - that aikido is a particular system of principles and techniques to get and keep kuzushi, and that there are other systems that are similar in some ways and different in others. Once you've got really good kuzushi it seems like that's the point where you're basically finished the technique most of the time? If you keep doing more after it's basically henka waza, isn't it?
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:44 PM   #33
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think as this conversation develops, it may be worthwhile to identify some elements that actually precede what we would consider "aikido" instruction. For example, I view kuzushi as a prerequisite to aikido; that is, I cannot execute an aikido through unless I have kuzushi. Morso, if I have kusushi I can execute a number of throws, including aikido throws. So for me, kuzushi is what I would define as a pre-aikido curriculum. I think sometimes we become possessive of these pre-requisite skills because other arts can "do them" (and often times do them better).
This reminds me of something my sensei frequently says: "You people are in such a hurry to throw!!!" You'll have to imagine the tone of exasperation.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:07 PM   #34
Robert Cowham
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

There seems to be quite a lot of heat and light over not a lot of disagreement!

For my inflammable contribution, I find that a consideration of the physics involved is very useful at times. For example, lifting your own arm upwards (when on earth!) only works if there is an equal and opposite force acting on the earth through your body. Typically your feet, but it could be your bum and the chair you are sitting on. A lot of people have very little awareness of the forces being expressed in their body to do such a simple action. I personally find it very useful to dial up my attention to become more aware of these things in my own body.

The more I increase such awareness of my own body, the more easily I am aware of my partner's body during aikido techniques and how it is affecting my own posture, when their balance is compromised etc.

Equally, I find that this acute awareness of balance and force is hugely beneficial for weapons work. Most people tend to "muscle" bokken or other weapons around in space without being able to relax and feel the balance.

Having said all this, I find that various forms of imagery and mental constructs are also really effective at changing the state of my body. An image such as extending my focus out several meters from my body and imagining a sword extending to that point can make a technique work that was previously being blocked. It also works for my students regularly.

The more I teach the more I realise how other people are really strange and why can't they understand the simplest things that I have so clearly explained and demonstrated that only took me a few years or decades to understand. I regularly realise how much I must have dissappointed my own teachers on a regular basis
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:26 PM   #35
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
I always thought of it the other way around - that aikido is a particular system of principles and techniques to get and keep kuzushi, and that there are other systems that are similar in some ways and different in others. Once you've got really good kuzushi it seems like that's the point where you're basically finished the technique most of the time? If you keep doing more after it's basically henka waza, isn't it?
I think this is a good illustration of a mis-communication on this topic. I mean, its completely wrong to thing about kuzushi like this, but clearly you and I are imagining two different approaches (mine being right and yours being wrong). Just kidding.

Seriously, technically, I think you are correct. Ultimately, If I move with aiki, my partner will always be unable to affect me. I am yet undetermined if that is "kuzushi," or simply the inability to affect me. Or, if they are the same thing. But. In the context of this thread, I advocate using a basic method of understanding kuzushi, then learning aiki to achieve kuzushi, then learning waza from kuzushi. There are instructors who advocate first understanding aiki, then achieving kuzushi through aiki. Without hijacking the thread, for the moment I am adverse to this teaching order because:
1. Aiki is the devils' work
2. it is far easier to screw up aiki training than it is kuzushi training

I am open to changing my teaching style once we get a bead on the system, right now I do not think there are enough aiki people out there to roll a teaching methodology and keep the oversight intact to prevent us from screwing it up. The aiki training I have thus far experienced is difficult, frustrating and largely met with low success... While definitely the goal of my training, I concede that I first need to figure out what the f%#k is going on with my body and my partner's body. For me, that means I am starting to treat this [remedial] education as pre-aikido. Then we have our aiki training. Then we have our aiki do training.

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Old 11-18-2013, 04:08 PM   #36
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

This horse is in pretty sorry shape, but just to take a last swipe at it:

I'm not opposed to physical models, I'm just opposed to believing in them. :-) Let me give you an example: if you're going to push a car everyone, from grandma to the local strongman pushing a Mac truck, will use bent arms. Yet any force/vector model would surely show that this is inefficient--that you ought to keep your arms straight, arm bones lined up with the force you're applying to the car.

Anyone want to disagree? Give me a model where that's not so? Claim that it's actually better to push with absolutely straight arms?

Okay. So if the force/vector model fails so completely in such a simple case, what hope does it have of modeling a real confrontation? Instead, y'all will go teach your students to do the equivalent of pushing with straight arms and because we're all martial artists and have checked our common sense at the door, your students will actually go out and try to do it.

So yeah, play with physical models, but when they contradict experience--your own, or as captured by hundreds of years of tradition--get very suspicious of the model, not the experience.

Jon--Fascinating insight. I've never done enough Judo to understand their approach to kuzushi. Joe C suggested in the Takahashi thread that Judo-style understanding of kuzushi was what was missing from Aikido... I'd love to hear more about that. (Or play with it tonight!)

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:34 PM   #37
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
This horse is in pretty sorry shape, but just to take a last swipe at it:

I'm not opposed to physical models, I'm just opposed to believing in them. :-) Let me give you an example: if you're going to push a car everyone, from grandma to the local strongman pushing a Mac truck, will use bent arms. Yet any force/vector model would surely show that this is inefficient--that you ought to keep your arms straight, arm bones lined up with the force you're applying to the car.

Anyone want to disagree? Give me a model where that's not so? Claim that it's actually better to push with absolutely straight arms?

Okay. So if the force/vector model fails so completely in such a simple case, what hope does it have of modeling a real confrontation? Instead, y'all will go teach your students to do the equivalent of pushing with straight arms and because we're all martial artists and have checked our common sense at the door, your students will actually go out and try to do it.

So yeah, play with physical models, but when they contradict experience--your own, or as captured by hundreds of years of tradition--get very suspicious of the model, not the experience.

Jon--Fascinating insight. I've never done enough Judo to understand their approach to kuzushi. Joe C suggested in the Takahashi thread that Judo-style understanding of kuzushi was what was missing from Aikido... I'd love to hear more about that. (Or play with it tonight!)
Dear Hugh,
I would not always push a car with my arms.What I might do is turn my back to the car, use the power from my legs, and thus transmit the power into the car.Or I might try and keep my arms fairly close to my body then using again the leg muscles, and keeping my body low,shove like KING KONG. Maybe the car would move then??Better still I would prefer getting a tow truck to do the job, while I grasp a coke and magnum sized doughnut.
By the way if I am JoeC see that you quote above, may I say due to the differences in posture between judo/aikido
the kuzushi may not always apply? Aikido posture means instability from a push /pull from//to the side.Judo weakness is a push /pull to the back/front due to shizentai posture .The two postures in my opinion are imo incompatible.Various other significant differences between both arts are maai, footwork,contact. limited ne waza in Aikido.Limited suwariwaza in Judo.
I do think however breaking the persons balance and keeping the person in a unbalanced state
is essential whether you do judo /aikido.If you require more info from myself or in case I have not explained things as well as I might , just holler. Cheers, Joe.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:39 PM   #38
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

OK, that's a really weird example, because I would totally push with straight arms, and I've actually used that example many times in certain techniques to explain why you should keep your arms extended, and every person I've ever used that example with has agreed that they'd push something heavy with straight arms so they could use their legs and weight. (If they didn't push directly with their shoulder or hip or back or chest, that is, which would be more likely). So the idea that for you that's a COUNTERexample is weird to say the least.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:02 PM   #39
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Though whether it's what people instinctively do on their first try is a different question - it may well not be. Like in rock climbing where almost every new beginner wants to drag themselves up by basically doing chin ups. It sucks as a method, yet it seems to be practically an instinct, it's so common among beginners (especially if they're fit young men, who seem especially prone to forgetting they have a lower body or that not everything is best done with muscle, and for whom brute strength tends to compensate enough for terrible technique to give them a bit of success as long as they're climbing something very easy). But then beginners tend to fall off constantly and not be able to climb anything difficult, and to use a huge amount of unnecessary strength to get up.

Last edited by Basia Halliop : 11-18-2013 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:20 PM   #40
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Cripes, now a New Englander is arguing with a Canadian about how to push a car. Clearly IHTBF. We'll work it out on the mat one day.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:59 PM   #41
Janet Rosen
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Cripes, now a New Englander is arguing with a Canadian about how to push a car. Clearly IHTBF. We'll work it out on the mat one day.
Or on the hockey rink (G,D,R)

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Old 11-19-2013, 08:30 AM   #42
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
This reminds me of something my sensei frequently says: "You people are in such a hurry to throw!!!" You'll have to imagine the tone of exasperation.
I am about to equate adults with children... Sorry.

In our children's judo class, there is almost always a disconnect between kuzushi and kake. That is, a child may practice and understand kuzushi as unbalancing their partner. The child may also practice and understand a throw. They will regularly disregard the need to achieve kuzushi before attempting a throw. And they will almost certainly not associate kuzushi as part of a throw. Hence the continued practice on off-balancing, fitting and throwing.

Now I'm not saying we're children... giant, uncoordinated children who are over-focused on the waza with disregard to everything else. Not. Ever. But... It is an interesting observation...

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Old 11-19-2013, 09:21 AM   #43
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Cripes, now a New Englander is arguing with a Canadian about how to push a car. Clearly IHTBF. We'll work it out on the mat one day.
LOL, yes
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:26 AM   #44
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Kuzushi without simultaneous tsukuri makes poor kake.

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Old 11-19-2013, 10:08 AM   #45
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Kuzushi without simultaneous tsukuri makes poor kake.
don't know about kake, but i liked kale, very tasty and nutritious.

so when you folks throwing, are you throwing down or throwing up?

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Old 11-19-2013, 05:07 PM   #46
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
.. if you're going to push a car everyone, from grandma to the local strongman pushing a Mac truck, will use bent arms. Yet any force/vector model would surely show that this is inefficient--that you ought to keep your arms straight, arm bones lined up with the force you're applying to the car.
I hope this is playing into your thought experiment- We push a car that way because it pushes back intermittently and we have to absorb that shock. Plus have a little slack to exert some extra strength at advantageous times.
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:39 PM   #47
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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.. may I say due to the differences in posture between judo/aikido
the kuzushi may not always apply? Aikido posture means instability from a push /pull from//to the side.Judo weakness is a push /pull to the back/front due to shizentai posture .The two postures in my opinion are imo incompatible....
If anybody expresses doubt to me about Kamae, I generally go into a wrestler's crouch and show how similar it is. Shinzentai and Kamae are not that different, either. But many other Aikido styles don't use it, so YMMV.
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Old 11-20-2013, 02:32 AM   #48
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think as this conversation develops, it may be worthwhile to identify some elements that actually precede what we would consider "aikido" instruction. For example, I view kuzushi as a prerequisite to aikido; that is, I cannot execute an aikido through unless I have kuzushi. Morso, if I have kusushi I can execute a number of throws, including aikido throws. So for me, kuzushi is what I would define as a pre-aikido curriculum. I think sometimes we become possessive of these pre-requisite skills because other arts can "do them" (and often times do them better).

I think this outlines:
1. A basic curriculum in which there is a right and a wrong, and a progression of educational development.
2. A burden of development and an expectation of performance.
I assume you meant "throw" not "through."

The problem with this is that aiki is not only expressed in throws; it may not even be best expressed in throws. And aikido is not relegated to throwing techniques. I suppose if you do not have a good weapons practice this may be harder to discern.

-Michael
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:25 AM   #49
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

As I said above - biomechanics is a useful way to sort it all out. But if you only end up with kuzushi, tsukuri, and kake you will never get anywhere near to aiki.
Just my 2c.

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Old 11-20-2013, 05:14 AM   #50
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Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

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As I said above - biomechanics is a useful way to sort it all out. But if you only end up with kuzushi, tsukuri, and kake you will never get anywhere near to aiki.
Just my 2c.
An interesting question arises: why is that? Because all those processes are other-centric.

A simple biomechanical analogy, let us say you can, as an overly reductionist proxy for budo people, use either a heavy concrete block with an expansive base, or a plastic domino. Time for a showdown... Now throw the plastic domino at the concrete block? Which gets one knocked off its base first (no cute/clever interpretations please as this model is intentionally overly simplistic)? Throw the concrete block at the domino... who do you expect to "win" that encounter? The only thing the domino accomplishes by trying to throw the concrete block is to, well, throw itself.

The reality is, pretty much all of us are the plastic dominos. There are only a small number of people in this world who can be likened to the concrete block, and either they're Andre the Giant, or they put in an immense amount of solo body-conditioning work to make their body not unlike that concrete block, so that, when encountering all of us plastic dominos, they cut through us like we are simply not there, because really, to them, we aren't.

We don't really pay attention to the biomechanics of what happens to a fly when we swat at it, other than trying not to get bug goo all over our fingers, because really, it doesn't matter almost how we swat at the fly. One way or another it is moving, by its own initiative or by ours.

And yet, these power differentials are real, not metaphorical - such concrete monsters exist, and they started out like the plastic dominos, just like all the rest of us. There are methods for making your body on the right side of that power differential, but they require you to learn the mental/inner control knobs of your perceived body.

Finding and using those control knobs is what takes years and years of work, not digging through a physics textbook. I can think about vectors and force diagrams all I want, but if I don't put in the horrifying amount of actual work/gongfu/shugyo to figure out what mental commands I must send to, say, my pelvis to control it properly, it is all completely and utterly useless. I'll just end up one plastic domino trying to figure out how to take down another plastic domino.

The physical reasoning in the end can only make us feel better about the work we need to do, but the work we need to do has already been laid out, with clear and simple instructions, by many generations of highly skilled martial artists before us.
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