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Old 08-29-2006, 09:58 PM   #1
Upyu
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Muscles important for Martial Movement

I can't find the quote right now, but I recently ran into a quote somewhere of a teacher who had the opportunity to give shiatsu to Ueshiba from time to time. He was surprised at how soft his back was.
In other pictures you can see Ueshiba doing misogi, and his body is clearly "jacked" in a certain sense of the word.

Question being, what kind of training could create this?
What kind of muscles are important for martial movement?
What kind of properties do you want "integrated" into the muscles?

I have my own ideas obviously, but I wanted to hear other people's opinoins first.
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Old 08-29-2006, 10:26 PM   #2
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

I don't have skillz yet, but while trying to ignore the pain (and the strange looks from other river viewers) and work up more reps of mabu I've got some thoughts which I'd like to throw in here:

1. Muscles are necessary. If they're separated from the rest of the body's structure they're going to have limited effect. Those parts of a muscle lying next to other, more solid, structure would help to maintain that structure's position. So maybe even in the same muscle, or muscle group, the parts on the inside, nearer the body structures that support the body, need to do more work, and learn how to do this while keeping the rest of the muscle progressively more relaxed. That could explain why someone feels soft on the outside but hard at the core. Just a theory of course, no bio-mechanical tests to back it up.

2. In relation to above, probably at the start you are going to be working in a standing position with gravity letting lower parts of the body support upper parts. 3-D internal strength (different body positions from vertical) would come much later and require more conditioning. So in standing position, using twisting actions of arms and legs (powered from torso) and open arches (feet, knees?, kua, lower and upper back?, chest?, elbows?, wrists?) to help generate the feeling of a "suit", you can get a feeling of balancing on thin rods that connect to the front of the hips and the lower/middle back (and similar ones going from back and armpits to elbows and wrists). Keeping these alignments (=twists, stretches, compressions) would then introduce indirectly the action of muscles to do this job. And these muscles I think must be of two types: a) fairly close to the individual lines felt, and b) between and/or around the pairs of lines on both sides of the body like arches of kua and back/chest (not complicating by going into cross-lines here) to keep them together.

I know I can feel quite regularly how the outside skin of the lower back, behind, and thighs begins to feel like a loose covering that can sort of slough around on its own rather than be kept tense. So then probably I'm not using it to give structural support. I'm also sure the muscles underneath are working hard(!), but not sure if they entirely separate muscles, or parts of the same muscle. If they weren't joined in some way, they couldn't be moved, could they?

Musing...

Last edited by Gernot Hassenpflug : 08-29-2006 at 10:29 PM. Reason: spelling, grammar
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:08 AM   #3
Upyu
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

lol, oki, but actually I was trying to be a little simpler this time

I was musing recently...
would anyone consider the pecs/chest muscles to be useful, if not why?

How about the back muscles?

(Not that anything Gernot said wasn't valid, that's certainly a good train of thought, but I was trying to start from a more basic level. Why do we tense up etc)
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:40 AM   #4
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Hey Rob! I am not sure that "pecs" as such are useless. Seeing as it feels like a deep part of the muscles (or different one deeper down, not sure?) are being trained, "not using pecs" could be interpreted as "not using the outside surface of the pecs". When I try to stretch the back of the spine up, drop the chest and stretch to both sides with the arms, there is a lot of pull across the chest, definitely a lot going on close to the bones. So, let's say a primitive muscle action is only contract and relax: that means lots of directions are being pulled (whereever the muscles are connected at the edges). Now imagine a more trained response, where the muscles have to do something to counter the applied forces, but they do so in a directed response. Since we can only change the position of muscles so much, it means (I speculate) that we have to simply give up using those parts of the muscles not currently useful for a particular direction. Now that gives some rationalization for why you need to build up, through extremely hard work, certain parts of the body: (more speculation) if we are forced to give up using parts of each muscle because the part directions are not ideal for what we want to achieve, the remainder of the muscle (particularly the parts running along the harder structural parts I think) need to be developed to a greater extent than would ever be considered normal in daily life, where such efficiency of directed muscle action is hardly worth the effort compared to what is built up 'naturally' by untrained repetitive effort.

That said, I do think all parts of the muscle are useful, in different directions (which is what they do in supporting our motion). However, (again speculation) only a part of a muscle is useful in a certain direction at a certain time. That direction (and connection to the next segment along the ground path, probably always quite near the skeletal structures) is probably the little "rods" that I can feel, brought about by the tension between a semi-rigid skeleton and the weight of the flesh under the influence of gravity.

How much useful insight in what I just wrote? I haven't a clue!

Last edited by Gernot Hassenpflug : 08-30-2006 at 01:43 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:47 AM   #5
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Hi Rob, You've got something in mind, haven't you? You want to talk specifically about the back muscles? Or anything close to the spine? Or close to skeletal structures in general? So you assume the internal organs aren't an active part of any power generation except for the pressure through the lungs, and the hydrostatic pressure in the organs -- I'm guessing organs don't like to be jolted, vibrated and other such things, so force is probably transmitted around them rather than through them....
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Old 08-30-2006, 02:33 AM   #6
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

You're on the right track,
granted this is just musing on my part, so don't take my word as right/wrong.

About the inner muscles close to the skeleton being more important, I agree.
On a more basic level I was trying to imply that muscles "built up" on the front side will try and automatically tense up to keep any outside force coming in. This is part of what causes blockage when you come in contact with someone.

When you do Agete (kokyuho) why do beginners shoulders stiffen?
If someone has large pecs they generally tend to tighten against an incoming force, same with the biceps, all of these being "yin" or "frontside" muscles.
Incoming force from the front has to be able to be passed to the backside, which is step number 1.

Step number 2. What happens once the force passes to the backside? Just having strong backmuscles or scaps doesn't cut it either (as a lot of wingchunners found out pretty quickly )
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:30 AM   #7
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Quote:
About the inner muscles close to the skeleton being more important, I agree
Despite knowing better than to get involved here...I find this view to be quite strange for a couple of reasons, so hope you can clear up my misapprehension.

On the one hand you, Mike, Dave et al seem intent on an almost "holistic" (sorry, couldn't think of a better term) approach to generating power within your training, yet here you seem to imply a bias in the training is a good thing.

Secondly, I'm always very leery of assigning levels of importance to particular muscle groups, partly because I find that imbalances caused by training seem to run counter to good movement. Now this may be because you're emphasising an imbalance is necessary for specific movements and/or activities, but I'm still intrigued as to your emphasis.

Finally, as you did ask for half-arsed musings,
Quote:
On a more basic level I was trying to imply that muscles "built up" on the front side will try and automatically tense up to keep any outside force coming in. This is part of what causes blockage when you come in contact with someone
Could you not look at the "built up muscles" as merely a shield which would mean that any force that actually got through would be lessened and more easily dealt by your internal muscles so to be efficient, you should be building up both equally?
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:40 AM   #8
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

"holistic" schmolistic, my man, welcome to the party :-)
Half-arsed musing, half-arsed reply: I don't think "bias" is the right expression, its more like "these are the basics of this kind of training. This is the basics of kokyu. This is what you build on." Far be it form me to say what other important basics there might be, but this I feel has got to be one of them.

As for the front muscles being a shield, my idea is this. Muscles don't work individually, so tension in the pecotrals will pull along all manner of other muscles in the front and sides, and presumably relax some muscles in the back. This would make the body's vertical structure tilt back more easily and therefore balance is broken. By relaxing the pectorals and concentrating on stabilizing the supporting structure, this is prevented and the person pushing feels the spine of the pushee. (Still more below.)

As for what happens when the force goes to the back, how does it go down the spine and to the ground? Vaguely I get the idea that any strong localized muscles tensing take away from support muscles elsewhere, or create levers that force can be used against to upset the structure more easily. Let's say you want to guide force down a narrow path from the bottom of the spine along the inner leg to the ground. If you tense only the stabilizers of that path, the rest of the meat doesn't actually feel much directed force (if it did, you'd have far worse problems than this!). If that's a solid path, then the force reaches the ground without the structure breaking. Now imagine some of the meat being solidified, tensed, along the way. Now, force not only goes along the path of best efficiency, it also pushes along all points in the cross section of the tense muscle, which the structure now has to support as well, and which is a less stable set of paths without equivalent support underneath. So each part of the tensed muscle away from the narrow ground path (which is now a wide cross-section in this area of the "path") has to be supported by the ground path, reguided, and thus the body is now fighting with itself. At worst the tensed muscle may act as a large weight being forced down at some angle other than the rest of the ground path, acting as a destabilizing lever. So I think the trick is to narrow the ground path to the thinnest possible line of support. This sort of precludes it going directly through most big muscles, although I suspect my understanding of muscle structure is completely inadequate.

Last edited by Gernot Hassenpflug : 08-30-2006 at 07:45 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:44 AM   #9
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
So I think the trick is to narrow the ground path to the thinnest possible line of support.
Golden.

I've had that same thought myself. It's probably why Ark refers to it as a "piano wire" of tension.
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Old 08-30-2006, 09:02 AM   #10
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Just an extra thought, probably mostly garbage, but maybe interesting tangents will come from it. I'm thinking that at joints, which is where for me at this stage the opposite twisting of limbs is taking place (e.g., elbow, knee, to take simple examples), the meeting of two planes at differing angles (twist) tapered (towards the point relative to which they are tiwsted) focusses the force to go through a narrow region of the joint. That is, the upper arm maybe doesn't care much how the force goes along it since it is guided in the direction of the rigid bone, but at the joint to the forearm (and shoulder) directivity is critical to smoothly turn into the next segment of the path. So a tapered sheath of twisted muscle and flesh acts to focus towards the same point as force is tapered away from on the other side of the joint.
Pure speculation of course.

For me at least, this twisting seems to clarify at least some of the strange twisted hand and finger positions seen in Buddhist statues. Fascinating stuff!

Last edited by Gernot Hassenpflug : 08-30-2006 at 09:02 AM. Reason: spelling as usual
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Old 08-30-2006, 09:16 AM   #11
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
I've had that same thought myself. It's probably why Ark refers to it as a "piano wire" of tension.
The first time I pushed hands with Chen Xiao Wang was pretty interesting (he was very relaxed, but the idea was more of "crouched behemoth ready to spring" than "Taoist Sage waiting to engage in meaningful dialogue"). We had our right feet forward and were simply doing pattern, to start with, and I kept noticing what felt like a pencil eraser under the skin of his forearm under my left palm. His jin was that focused. I have no idea how he trained it like that, except the obvious idea that he did something for many years.

In terms of "shield", a true "shield" in the internal-strength sense is not going to be muscles. The way I trained had to do with taking the body a section at a time and using breath and focus to each segment while stretching it through the range of a movement and then contracting it (for a minimum of 1 second; not just sudden) the segment. Later, in the method I used, some beating of the area to "spread the qi" was used. I frankly have let that lapse a lot, since I don't really need such a skill. In the classical Chinese sense, though, their explanation was an interesting guess. Here's an excerpt from Cheng Man Ching's book "Thirteen Treatises":

"That athletes have this thick bag (of membranes; fascia. mike) and that it can resist blows is correct because this bag contains ch'i. When the ch'i is increasingly accumulated, it then passes through to the membranes. These membranes will be thicker than in other people, and the bag will be able to resist blows. But this is because the ch'i reaches the membranes and not because the bag itself can take the blows."

FWIW

Mike
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:34 AM   #12
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Quote:
So I think the trick is to narrow the ground path to the thinnest possible line of support. This sort of precludes it going directly through most big muscles, although I suspect my understanding of muscle structure is completely inadequate
Now this opens up other areas where I'm (as usual) confused. If, by your model, removing the larger muscles from the equation altogether, the level of development of the internal muscles must be huge so that you can indeed channel the force rather than just being blown away. I'm beginning to grope my way to a fuse wire or lightning conductor analogy here from what you said.

Also, the forces we're talking about are dynamic, so the vectors will change. In this instance I'm struggling to understand how you adjust quickly enough to maintain the "path of least resistance" without involving the more "normal" muscle groups (and please don't say relax or weight underside...)

Mike, your take seems slightly different in that you're postulating more of an absorption and dispersion through the use of the facia, almost like a sea defense channeling the energy while maintaining some fluidity. My question on this is how do you manage to make such a clear distinction between this facia and larger muscle groups effectively performing the same function (being as you're hardly a little guy yourself)?
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:44 AM   #13
Mike Sigman
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
Mike, your take seems slightly different in that you're postulating more of an absorption and dispersion through the use of the facia, almost like a sea defense channeling the energy while maintaining some fluidity. My question on this is how do you manage to make such a clear distinction between this facia and larger muscle groups effectively performing the same function (being as you're hardly a little guy yourself)?
I dunno, Ian... when I see someone making factual commentary and pointed questions about the previously-stated issues, I almost don't know how to respond. Aren't you supposed to imply that I'm a moron and don't do Aikido, not to mention my genetic heritage is questionable?

I don't make a clear distinction, although I do place an emphasis on the fascia-related structures. If you go back and look at a number of my caveats, you'll see that I don't believe in the "pure fascia" approach; I tend to believe there's fascia structures but that there's a coupling with muscle, muscle-coordinative sets, and the inclusion of micro-muscles, even to the layers of small skin muscles (like in goose bumps, etc.). The muscle-fascia (like in "muscle-tendon channels") relationships appear to have an autonomous component that "brings the qi where you need it" for either active power or for more passive-response of stiffening an area upon receiving a blow. But that's just me speculating based on what I've observed and felt. No scientific studies have been done so I can only give a best-reasoned guess.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:22 AM   #14
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

"Aren't you supposed to imply that I'm a moron and don't do Aikido, " - you mean you can be a moron and not do aikido? "not to mention my genetic heritage is questionable? ", well I do have you down on my list as a yank which as every true Englishman knows covers a positive wealth of sins...
Quote:
autonomous component that "brings the qi where you need it" for either active power or for more passive-response
OK, thought I was probably mis-interpreting, thanks for the clarification. However, this caught my eye - do you postulate that the muscle-facia link is autonomous with the muscles providing the necessary information for which way the facia is going to jump or are you saying the facia itself is almost reflexively providing the correct response?
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:35 PM   #15
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

In response to the original question, I believe muscles are very important to physical activity. While I am not interested in delving into the complexity of the previous posts, I commonly get this question from new students. I usually answer a question about the necessity of physical conditioning in aikido with the rhetorical question, "You can be 5'3" and play basketball, but how many professional basketball players are 5'3"?"

O'Sensei was well-known for his strength and physical condition. It is likely he was incredibly strong and well-defined in his youth. With age, muscle tissue deteriorates and you are left with an appearance like Arnold Schwartenagger. Do not assume stories and photos about O'Sensei chronologically match. Secondly, muscle tissue can be very soft when not tensed. It is not exceptional that O'Sensei could hold a relaxed state during a massage, or that the story has exaggeration within it. As for the training that O'Sensei underwent to achieve his conditioning, I can only speculate. Start by building a city in the middle of nowhere, and the decide to wrestle sumo amongst various other rigorous arts, after 20-30 years of weapons work you should roughly get there...

Seriously though, muscle development is beneficial to your training, your safety and your health. I encourage students to exercise regularly. Usually, a good gym workout is optimal, but some students don't belong to a gym, so I also encourage military workouts which typically involve callistenics that don't require heavy equipment.

I would have to write a pretty long list if I were specifiy each muscle I think was used in martial arts. I believe some muscle groups are crucial to athleticism: pectorals, deltoids, triceps, biceps, varoius extensors in the forearms, latisimus dorsi, trapezious, abdominals, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, gastrocnemius. These are major movers because these muscles are involved in most activity. Good conditioning generally focuses on these major muscles to strengthen, stretch, and repair the tissue.

As for properties integrated into the muscles, I look for heathly tissue, good vascular condition, and cellular efficiency. Physical conditiongin helps strengthen your muscles, but it also improves your cardiovascular system and that improves your body's ability to resist fatigue, repair itself, and function.

There is precious little more funny to watch that a judoka or karateka wear out an aikidoka. Sometimes we spend too much time worrying about how not to use our muscles, or what special training will allow us not to exercise. I have even heard of instructors that prohibit their students from exercise because they would become too physical. We also have a pandemic of obesity in the US that places heart disease, diabetes and other weight-related illness as the leading cause of death for the country.

Exercise. Keep your body in shape. Train aikido. If you do these things for enough years, you will not need to worry about which muscles are used in training because it won't matter - all of your muscles will be healthy. If you do these things well, your body will learn the mechanics efficiently through repetition and "integrate" the movement memory.
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:47 PM   #16
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
Exercise. Keep your body in shape. Train aikido. If you do these things for enough years, you will not need to worry about which muscles are used in training because it won't matter - all of your muscles will be healthy. If you do these things well, your body will learn the mechanics efficiently through repetition and "integrate" the movement memory.
When they say, "don't use muscle", they really mean "don't use normal strength, use ki and kokyu". They also mean "don't resist" in the sense that tactically and strategically that's not Aikido. But it's not a number of arts. You have to work out, but work out correctly.

Taiji is just as famous for being "soft" and "don't use muscle" (meaning use jin instead), etc. Chen Xiao Wang was reportedly at some western speech where some New Age taiji type said something in a speech about "don't use muscle". Chen Xiao Wang turned to his neighbor and asked to be sure that's what the speaker had said. When it was CXW's turn to speak he said, "no, no... use muscles!". Just use them in the right way.

Ueshiba certainly trained a lot and even had specially-heavy garden implements made. He used strength, but in the right way.

My 2 cents,

Mike
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:51 PM   #17
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
do you postulate that the muscle-facia link is autonomous with the muscles providing the necessary information for which way the facia is going to jump or are you saying the facia itself is almost reflexively providing the correct response?
I dunno. I'm over my head on this one. I have several possible theories, but I'm just not sure. If you think about it, many of the Asian (including India, Tibet, China, Japan, etc.) include this idea of forming a cooperative relationship with the subconscious. The "possession" things are really about a run-rampant subsconscious, IMO and FWIW. The putting of hooks, etc., into the body and the blood-flow automatically stopping... that's the sort of mind-body relationship where there is a partnership between the conscious and subconscious mind using these micro-muscular and fascial relationships that I'm talking about. Sorry...that's the best I can do is offer a "feel" for a vague theory (but I think it conforms with the general theory held by many).

Regards,

Mike
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:46 AM   #18
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Yeah, I like the concept of using muscles correctly, rather than just using more muscle...
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Old 09-01-2006, 11:40 AM   #19
Upyu
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Ok simplistic answer number one.

Big pecs and bicep, while they look good, are generally useless for "efficient" martial movement if you ask me. If you have large pecs and biceps, but can keep them from contracting when they recieve force, then that's a different matter.

I feel that "shaving down"(japanese expression is "sogi otosu") the chest area muscles, or being able to keep them soft consciously (while keeping the chest "cross" stabilized) should be a first priority.

I just ran into another "so called" koryu guy who had huge pecs, had him do the pushout drill, he failed miserably. Actually building up the front side too much seems to be pretty rampant in most martial arts, no matter what style. America isn't the only country at fault for this though, I see plenty of young judoka over here in Japan that do the same.
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Old 09-01-2006, 11:43 AM   #20
Upyu
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Simplistic answer number two.

Building the lower body is xxxxxx times more important than the upper body.

Anyone want to take a stab as to why doing weighted squats or even hindu squats might NOT be the answer and why exercises like "Shiko" stamping are probably better designed to tackle this problem?
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:36 PM   #21
Michael McCaslin
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Anyone want to take a stab as to why doing weighted squats or even hindu squats might NOT be the answer and why exercises like "Shiko" stamping are probably better designed to tackle this problem?
Well, I'm a total noob at this stuff, but I'll take a shot. These are thoughts that I intended to put on the Olympic Lifting thread, but the thread was stale by the time my profile was approved.

Internal strengh is a highly refined skill, with a conditioning component-- I don't think anyone would argue that.

Weight lifting, particularly of the Olympic variety, is also a highly refined skill. You can be strong as an ox, but you won't lift well without good technique.

Speculation: The skill you need to pull off an Olympic lift and the skill you need to manifest kokyu are opposites. An olympic lift requires the practitioner to recruit coordinated effort from the largest muscle groups in response to an incoming force. A "kokyu response" requires the practitioner to accept an incoming force and route it around the largest muscle groups-- in essence, keeping the big muscles out of the way so "something else" can do the work.

The reason progress with one skill is likely to hamper progress with the other is that the skills involve differing responses to the same incoming stimulus.

I do think it should be possible to use weights to train the kokyu force, provided one can keep to the principles while lifting. I know for where I am right now, though, the body weight provides more than enough resistance to work with. The connections in my body are far too weak to transmit the loads required for heavy weights, and the intense stimulus of the incoming weight would likely cause me to abandon the principles and just push the weight the old fashioned way. It should be theoretically possible to pull off an overhead squat with the dantian, though, and anyone who could do it would no doubt be a tiger if the combative mindset were there.


Michael
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:49 PM   #22
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Quote:
Michael McCaslin wrote:
Speculation: The skill you need to pull off an Olympic lift and the skill you need to manifest kokyu are opposites. An olympic lift requires the practitioner to recruit coordinated effort from the largest muscle groups in response to an incoming force. A "kokyu response" requires the practitioner to accept an incoming force and route it around the largest muscle groups-- in essence, keeping the big muscles out of the way so "something else" can do the work.

The reason progress with one skill is likely to hamper progress with the other is that the skills involve differing responses to the same incoming stimulus.

I do think it should be possible to use weights to train the kokyu force, provided one can keep to the principles while lifting. I know for where I am right now, though, the body weight provides more than enough resistance to work with. The connections in my body are far too weak to transmit the loads required for heavy weights, and the intense stimulus of the incoming weight would likely cause me to abandon the principles and just push the weight the old fashioned way. It should be theoretically possible to pull off an overhead squat with the dantian, though, and anyone who could do it would no doubt be a tiger if the combative mindset were there.
I have a fairly extensive workout room(s) in my house and I use some free weights, but not a lot. I use weights to train some aspects of kokyu, but the way I coordinate is vastly different from when I used to use free-weights and Nautilus equipment in the past. Could I increase my heaviest-weight abilities with kokyu... sure. Could I increase it to surpass a person using standard movment procedure? I dunno. I think that's something they'll experiment on in the future. One of my teachers told me that when he started college he weighed 110 pounds, but had done internal/ki training since he was young. He joined the weight team and the first time he tried an overhead press, he could do 180 pounds. Sounds good. But not in the realm of Superman. It could be argued that he had indeed "trained", but it just wasn't weight-specific.

I started to write a description of how and why this works differently than normal weight-lifting, but it'll have to wait for a day when I have a few more minutes of free time.

My impression is that I prefer the overall training and not so much specificity. But to each his own.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-01-2006, 02:16 PM   #23
Michael McCaslin
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Location: New Orleans
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I started to write a description of how and why this works differently than normal weight-lifting, but it'll have to wait for a day when I have a few more minutes of free time.
Well, if you do find the time I am sure it would be an informative read. I don't see how you could talk about it in any depth without gettting very specific about the "how and why" of kokyu, which would have a lot of value in and of itself for us struggling noobs!

Michael
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Old 09-01-2006, 06:15 PM   #24
Gernot Hassenpflug
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

Hehe Michael, I like the way you think. I don't know anything about weightlifting, so I'll ignore that comparison for now, and try to engage on the chest issue. Rob, do you think the 'cross' across the width of the chest is actually coordinated underneath the chest bones rather than on top of them? I'm embarassed to say I can't tell exactly because I can't reach the parts that are "moving", but that's what it feels like. Since Ialso don't know exactly how deep the pecstorals go, I can't say with certaintly, but if the "cross" is underneat the bones, but the pecs are on the surface, then that could explain why you'd need to keep the pecs out of the way for a start...
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Old 09-02-2006, 02:02 AM   #25
Upyu
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Re: Muscles important for Martial Movement

It's probably being cooridnated by inner muscles close to the spine, but that's just a guess.
Eventually you need to be able to coordinate the cross on the "front" with the cross on the "back" (between the shoulderblades). If you can keep those two points in alignment, and the front side constantly "sinking" while the backside "rises", then I think you could say that you've achieved basic stability of the middle center.

Going back to the issue of Shiko, other than it being a connection exercise, I was going to point out that you reap the benefit of seperating your body into roughly three axis, and coordinating the musculature appropriately. Doing squats etc, only develop those connections with two feet on the ground, while Shiko does it in motion.
Put simply it develops the lower body in a manner that can perform weight transfer (what Shioda referred to as taijuuidou) in an efficient manner. IE, teaching you how to transfer weight efficiently in movement without commiting your weight
Its the same logic and reason behind Tai Chi forms I think.

Neone else have differing perspectives they'd like to offer?
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