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Old 01-16-2007, 08:40 AM   #51
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
I'm purposely wearing my noob hat....
I knew that last night, but it's early enough that I'm not thinking yet.

Mike
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Old 01-16-2007, 09:26 AM   #52
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I think these things are so productive, ultimately, for all techniques, that I would probably spend several classes doing nothing but practice moving correctly. The techniques can wait. What is the point of practicing techniques with incorrect body mechanics? You're only going to have to change the whole technique later on so that you do it using the correct power to handle Uke's attack, rather than arms and external technique.
Sure, I agree... but I'm trying to make a compromise between what I think is the most important thing to do in a class, and what I'm expected to be doing when I lead a class. It's not my dojo (thank goodness!). I don't think people were doing all that badly in the end. We more or less treated the two techniques we did as another way of moving-while-your-partner-tests-you. Which I think is still a bit more difficult than what we should have been doing, but at least the attention wasn't on getting uke to the ground no matter what. I hope.

kvaak
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:32 AM   #53
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Baseline skillset

Thanks everyone. Excellent thread and very usefull to me.

Best,
Ron

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Old 01-16-2007, 12:59 PM   #54
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
Years ago, I saw Ikeda do an interesting exercise on redirecting forces. He would stand on one leg and have someone try to pull him over. He would then move them in the opposite direction.
One of the things which people don't realize is that this demonstration of standing one one leg is simply showing what you need to be doing when you walk. Walking in a grounded fashion is a matter of setting up a one point base so that you can move the other foot, then the weight shifts, a new one point base is established and so on.

The best way to practice this is to get the biggest guy in the dojo to stand in hanmi and tell him to try to be immoveable. Then you walk in this fashion right through him. If you do it right he'llpop up off his base. Keep walking and have him jump back. If you are doing it right, you won't fall forward. if you are merely pushing him, you'll fall forward when he jumps away. When I am teaching we refer to this as "power walking".

(Of course you only get thios result when the other fellow doesn't know how to ground out in the fashion that Mike is talking about. Then the guy who moves is hje opne who is less good at the skill)

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:43 PM   #55
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
(Of course you only get thios result when the other fellow doesn't know how to ground out in the fashion that Mike is talking about. Then the guy who moves is hje opne who is less good at the skill)
I dunno, George... there is a limit to what even a grounded person can stop. I have one trick addendum to just being grounded, but I wouldn't bet that would be enough to stop you from walking through me if you're even moderately able to ground. After all, I am a mere stripling, at 225 pounds.

Mike
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:43 PM   #56
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I agree, although I defer to your expertise, John. I get my mother, mother-in-law, etc., to do a little standing on one leg while one hand lightly touches a wall or kitchen-counter, etc. for balance. It has brought their balance and leg strength back to where they now walk again pretty normally.

I suggest for the first minute (or half minute) that they hold the upheld leg so that the femur is horizontal or above (preferably a couple of degrees above horizontal) and the abdomen relaxed so that the hold of the femur is done by the psoas. I'm a great believer in strengthening the psoas and in stretching the psoas (which I do with held forward lunges while slowly tucking the pelvic cage). Mike
FWIW

I frequently do what you described with older patients to help restore their balance-I also recommend tai chi as well. Both help to prevent falls-a bane for the older folks.

BTW-having read some of your comments in Ellis' blog, I would also like to point out that I'm trying to figure out the power of my sensei (Kato). I have not approached him yet to ask for training tips on how to improve this or what path to take. I somewhat expect a simplistic answer-train or something like that. His power is amazing and with so little movement. He lifted (not totally off the ground) up one of my guys weighing about 325 lbs and just tossed him off like nothing off a ryotedori grab. I'm not sure how well sensei could explain what he does. I think a lot gets lost by my lack of Japanese comprehension. Sensei is getting more and more detailed in explaining little subtleties to us as time goes on. Sometimes it is just a little movement that gives me an aha! He also has an uke that travels with him that is pretty good at showing things that get lost in translation. Both have helped me at the right times. As these masters age, getting this knowledge becomes more and more important. I hope to have a chance to press sensei more for information in the fall.

Last edited by aikidoc : 01-16-2007 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:46 PM   #57
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Baseline skillset

Every thing I've seen of Kato Sensei tells me he's a gem. Learn as much as you can...so you can pass it on to the rest of us!

Best,
Ron

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Old 01-16-2007, 03:54 PM   #58
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Smile Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Every thing I've seen of Kato Sensei tells me he's a gem. Learn as much as you can...so you can pass it on to the rest of us!

Best,
Ron
All his students out here in TX are trying real hard. Unfortunately we get to seem him only 1-2 times a year. I had the honor of hosting him last October and hope to do so again. We have CDs of him to help us in between and each time I watch him or the CDs I pick up something else. Slo-mo would be good.

I was surprised Ellis' comments on AJ on weapons did not refer to Kato Sensei. He has a fairly extensive weapon system-all connecting to his hand arts. (In my opinion, it is as comprehensive as Saito's).
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:56 PM   #59
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Baseline skillset

See, I never knew Kata S. had a weapons practice too...learn something new every day. Y'all just gonna have to pony up the cash and go see him!

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 01-16-2007, 04:09 PM   #60
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Re: Baseline skillset

Kato has: 24 kumijo, 24 kumitachi, kirikaeshi ikkyo through gokyo, misogi no jo, kiri kaeshi kushin, happo giri and these are just the ones I'm aware of-I know there is more and I'm trying to learn them. THe standard jo and tachi dori are there as well.
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Old 01-16-2007, 05:07 PM   #61
Michael Varin
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Re: Baseline skillset

I have a question regarding the martial effectiveness of these "baseline" skills and ki/kokyu demonstrations.

If you watch the footage of "Rendezvous with Adventure" when Tohei is taking on the cameraman it looks very different. Don't get me wrong I think Tohei handled the situation fairly well considering the 60+ lbs weight disadvantage, but he was facing an untrained individual and by no means had an easy time. The result was typical of a resistive engagement. This episode was filmed in 1958, so Tohei would have had 12-18 years of aikido and judo before that. I may lack the experience with the higher level of ki and kokyu practices to say for sure, but if these offer you such an advantage and are so visually impressive why did he not use this ability?

Michael
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Old 01-16-2007, 05:29 PM   #62
eyrie
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
We more or less treated the two techniques we did as another way of moving-while-your-partner-tests-you. Which I think is still a bit more difficult than what we should have been doing, but at least the attention wasn't on getting uke to the ground no matter what.
I'm going to stick my neck out and say that this is how I believe aikido *should* be trained. In other words, nage is uke....

Ignatius
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Old 01-16-2007, 06:17 PM   #63
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
After all, I am a mere stripling, at 225 pounds.
Well gosh, at only 225 you need to be able to ground just to keep from blowing away in a strong wind.
- George

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Old 01-16-2007, 08:41 PM   #64
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
I have a question regarding the martial effectiveness of these "baseline" skills and ki/kokyu demonstrations.

If you watch the footage of "Rendezvous with Adventure" when Tohei is taking on the cameraman it looks very different. Don't get me wrong I think Tohei handled the situation fairly well considering the 60+ lbs weight disadvantage, but he was facing an untrained individual and by no means had an easy time. The result was typical of a resistive engagement. This episode was filmed in 1958, so Tohei would have had 12-18 years of aikido and judo before that. I may lack the experience with the higher level of ki and kokyu practices to say for sure, but if these offer you such an advantage and are so visually impressive why did he not use this ability?
Hi Michael: I agree with you, so let me state that part first. On the other hand, this was way back in 1958 and they probably agreed to do this film because it was potentially their break into stardom if they didn't hack off these American Gaijin.

I've had another thought about Tohei at this time that is pure speculation....I don't think Tohei was all that powerful then. I also think that what became a top strategy for him was not fully developed, so that may have been a factor.

But basically, I agree with you.... he had way too hard a time with that out-of-shape American. I wouldn't have had such a hard time, I sez to myself.... but I would have to have been a lot rougher.... so maybe I'm wrong i my judgement.

Best,

Mike
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Old 01-16-2007, 09:09 PM   #65
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
I frequently do what you described with older patients to help restore their balance-I also recommend tai chi as well. Both help to prevent falls-a bane for the older folks.
Most Taiji being taught to old folks is just choreography becoming a low-impact, low-aerobic exercise, John. There's a study that just came out saying that balance-specific exercises are better that tai chi. I agree with that.
Quote:
BTW-having read some of your comments in Ellis' blog, I would also like to point out that I'm trying to figure out the power of my sensei (Kato). I have not approached him yet to ask for training tips on how to improve this or what path to take. I somewhat expect a simplistic answer-train or something like that. His power is amazing and with so little movement. He lifted (not totally off the ground) up one of my guys weighing about 325 lbs and just tossed him off like nothing off a ryotedori grab. I'm not sure how well sensei could explain what he does. I think a lot gets lost by my lack of Japanese comprehension. Sensei is getting more and more detailed in explaining little subtleties to us as time goes on.
I read a bio about Kato Sensei a year or so ago in the AJ archives. I'm sure he uses weapons training to build these same strengths we're talking about as "baseline" and more.... just like I do and just like most martial artists do. Problem is you have to do the movements right to get the extraordinary strength and you can't just dabble at it. I'm quite sure that O-Sensei did the same thing with weapons and the famous cusom-made garden tools and also the kiko exercises he did. As has been discussed... O-Sensei wasn't all that forthcoming with what he was really doing, either. C'est la vie.

Best,

Mike
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Old 01-16-2007, 09:13 PM   #66
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I'm sure he uses weapons training to build these same strengths we're talking about as "baseline" and more.... just like I do and just like most martial artists do. Problem is you have to do the movements right to get the extraordinary strength and you can't just dabble at it.
Mike,
What's your take on weapons work as related to breathing? I assume that it would be your position that just doing jo, bo, or sword work without some specific type of breathing work would not have the desired result... am I right?

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-16-2007, 10:18 PM   #67
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Re: Baseline skillset

Side topic but...
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Most Taiji being taught to old folks is just choreography becoming a low-impact, low-aerobic exercise, John. There's a study that just came out saying that balance-specific exercises are better that tai chi. I agree with that.
I read the summary of that study too. I suspect that it is indeed the case, however there is a caveat. Most people are unlikely to do the balance-specific exercises for more than a very short time after PT appointments come to an end. Taiji, even taught as just a low-impact, low-aerobic exercise, with attendant exotic martial/philosophical fantasies, tends to keep people interested for far longer. This alone may usually make it a better recommendation for the purpose, any movement being better than no movement. (better yet, have them do the PT exercises then start taiji immediately afterwards.)
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Old 01-16-2007, 10:50 PM   #68
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Nope, we're not talking about tactical responses - of which irimi/tenkan is. This is even more BASIC than that. We're talking "kihon" in the purest sense... i.e. tanren.
Irimi/tenkan is a principle, not a tactic. It applies at the level of whole body dynamics or at the level of joints or at point of connection. My only objection to any of this, by the way, is the resistant training to ground out forces.
Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
In Ellis' words, uh... good response for the Art of Peace... hit them.... I think you're missing the point.
Paradox troubles you, does it? I didn't say how he would be hit or with what -- just that he would receive his energy back, as much as my art makes possible, undiminished by any resistance. Why? To resist I have to absorb a portion of the energy myself -- even if I am merely a conduit of that force to the ground. Hammer-horsehoe-anvil is not the idea of aiki I was given.
Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
BTW... it's equal and opposite, zero sum equilibrium....
Distinction without difference. Aikido is not negation -- it is participation. It is definitely not resistance.
Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
can you do kokyu ho in space?
Yes, conceptually. But why would you want to?. We need to ask the dojo-cho for the ISS, maybe ?? Divers and gymnasts do it all the time altering orientation in three axes in midair without any reaction contact, whatsoever. If you can do it with one body properly connected, you can do it with two bodies properly connected.

Ooops, Sorry. Told Mike I wouldn'tt talk about that ....

Last edited by Erick Mead : 01-16-2007 at 11:01 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:14 PM   #69
eyrie
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Hmmm... Newton's 3rd Law... Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. EQUAL AND OPPOSITE. If you push on a wall with 500N of force, how much force is acting on you? If you push on someone using the same amount of force, and they stand like an inanimate object grounding the force, how much force is acting on you?

Where is the resistance?

It's not rocket science... er... wait a minute... it IS rocket science...

Ignatius
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:21 PM   #70
aikidoc
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Most Taiji being taught to old folks is just choreography becoming a low-impact, low-aerobic exercise, John. There's a study that just came out saying that balance-specific exercises are better that tai chi. I agree with that. I read a bio about Kato Sensei a year or so ago in the AJ archives. I'm sure he uses weapons training to build these same strengths we're talking about as "baseline" and more.... just like I do and just like most martial artists do. Problem is you have to do the movements right to get the extraordinary strength and you can't just dabble at it. I'm quite sure that O-Sensei did the same thing with weapons and the famous cusom-made garden tools and also the kiko exercises he did. As has been discussed... O-Sensei wasn't all that forthcoming with what he was really doing, either. C'est la vie.

Best,

Mike
Several studies have suggested that Tai Chi is helpful to senior balance problems.

Kato Sensei does and did train a lot with weapons. His weapons are very sophisticated with a lot of center and hip connection. They are quite challenging to learn-at least to get him to not say dame des (that's not correct) . I don't know if that is the source of his power but I'm sure he would say it has a lot to do with it.
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Old 01-17-2007, 08:24 AM   #71
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Mike,
What's your take on weapons work as related to breathing? I assume that it would be your position that just doing jo, bo, or sword work without some specific type of breathing work would not have the desired result... am I right?
Hi George,

Well, the repetitive weapons practices with jo and bokuto are, IMO, the major "workout" aspects of most martial arts. I tend to use bokuto swinging and pole-turning and pole-shaking as my major workouts. But just taking suburi as the example:

The breathing has to be done similarly to the exercise I mentioned in that thread Dennis Hooker started on deep breathing. There's a bit more to it than that, but that's the essense. This is how the ki is really developed, in the "connection" sense.

The body has to be very relaxed but connected so that a "sheathing" develops over time where you can truly feel a head-to-toe connection where if one part of the body is moving you can feel it pull and twist in every part of the rest of the body.

The forces moving the arms and body up and down are the kokyu/jin forces of the whole body.

There are a couple of cute store-and-release tricks that are done (it's part of the reason why the strength is said to rely on the big toe).

And so on. The actual swinging will outwardly look just like someone else doing externally "correct" swinging, moving their hips, etc., but inside everything is quite different.

And incidentally, I think the best way to start learning is with a very light bokken. Until you can move in this correct manner, using weights will only trigger the use of "normal" shoulder-muscle, etc. As you develop this kind of power you can use suburitos, tanden bo's, etc.

Best,

Mike
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Old 01-17-2007, 08:34 AM   #72
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
Several studies have suggested that Tai Chi is helpful to senior balance problems.
Oh, it's helpful, no doubt, but in a lot of older people all the "form" (based on old martial techniques that most instructors have no idea about) is so complex that it compounds the learning process... balance exercises are simply more direct and more effective. I know a lot of seniors who have learned taiji, but most of them quit practicing it pretty soon. The last time I taught a bunch of seniors, I did a modified qigong that focused on the breathing that reinforces their "qi" strength and I did some basic-but-useful-daily exercises with jin/kokyu forces to give them greater strength almost immediately. I.e., I tried to stay simple, get results almost immediately, and give them a short routine that would help balance and strength for a long time to come. I wrapped it in "orientalism" to appeal to the ones whose motivation was "exoticism". Still, most people, as always, only maintained their practice for a year or two at best.

Best,

Mike
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:15 AM   #73
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Baseline skillset

From what I understand, he was specifically enjoined from hurting the camera man. Pretty severe limitation in my opinion.

Best,
Ron
Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
I have a question regarding the martial effectiveness of these "baseline" skills and ki/kokyu demonstrations.

If you watch the footage of "Rendezvous with Adventure" when Tohei is taking on the cameraman it looks very different. Don't get me wrong I think Tohei handled the situation fairly well considering the 60+ lbs weight disadvantage, but he was facing an untrained individual and by no means had an easy time. The result was typical of a resistive engagement. This episode was filmed in 1958, so Tohei would have had 12-18 years of aikido and judo before that. I may lack the experience with the higher level of ki and kokyu practices to say for sure, but if these offer you such an advantage and are so visually impressive why did he not use this ability?

Michael

Ron Tisdale
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:19 AM   #74
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Hmmm... Newton's 3rd Law... Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. EQUAL AND OPPOSITE. If you push on a wall with 500N of force, how much force is acting on you?
The same -- because the wall pushes back as you suggest. That is not the only means to balance forces, however. I rely on the Second Law to balance the force equation, not with force against force, but allowing his force to accelerate my inertial mass about my center. Second Law : F=ma. That's what he wanted to do -- induce (severe) accceleration in my body. So I allow him to do that, but not the way he envisioned. I can manipulate my inertial moment (how much force is required to induce a given angle of turn) by altering my structure -- without exerting any opposing force.

Someone pushes on me, I don't push back -- I place myself so as to allow myself to be accelerated (in the "right" way) -- around my center (tenkan) I typically arrange my structure to increase or decrease my inertial moment as needed and to alter the eccentricity of that acceleration to cause some manner of entry (irimi).

If I accept the force and convert it to some component of angular velocity, it ultimately returns (opposite) to him what sent it -- without me having to add energy to or detract from it or to move my position laterally at all, or even being moved by him, seemingly, contradictory to his intent (irimi).
Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
If you push on someone using the same amount of force, and they stand like an inanimate object grounding the force, how much force is acting on you? ... Where is the resistance?
500N -- from two directions You are experiencing 500 N of force from the push and the inverse vector (in some component) of 500 N from the ground, net zero force, but not net zero displacement. You are experiencing compressive (crushing) stress or strain (deformation energy) in between the two, and are the conduit for both. Material stress or strain energy is not the same thing as inertia.

You are acting as horsehoe to the hammer of the blow and the anvil of the ground. You are communicating the resistance of the ground to the force of the blow - and you deform (strain energy) according to the limits of your structure. You are primarily limited by the strength of your structure in that interaction.

Conversely, receiving forces tangentially allows me to accept absolute forces of much greater magnitude, because I can control how firm my perpendicular connection is and thus how much of that energy I accept at the point of connection and convert by irimi/tenkan principles and how much of it I let pass by to conserve his momentum to use and guide back to him. I am not primarily limited in that interaction by my strength of structure (as long as I can hold myself together), but by my level of control.

The thing about overt movement in this mode is that if I accept tangential energy in the form of angular momentum at a large inertial radius (extension), I reduce its perceived kinetic energy at the connection. If deliver that angular momentum back at a far smaller radius, I exponentially (two cumulative square terms) increase the effective kinetic energy at the point of the return connection. "Movement in stillness," i.e. -- virtually zero radius of the return moment becomes nearly infinite (mathematically) and devastating, practically (think about the skater toe-spin).

Last edited by Erick Mead : 01-17-2007 at 09:30 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-17-2007, 04:50 PM   #75
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
...I rely on the Second Law to balance the force equation, not with force against force, but allowing his force to accelerate my inertial mass about my center. Second Law : F=ma. That's what he wanted to do -- induce (severe) accceleration in my body. .......You are acting as horsehoe to the hammer of the blow and the anvil of the ground. You are communicating the resistance of the ground to the force of the blow - and you deform (strain energy) according to the limits of your structure. You are primarily limited by the strength of your structure in that interaction.
Yes, but we're talking about a baseline exercise to develop a baseline skill.... (i.e. strength of your structure).... a constant push is hardly acceleration.

The exercises that have been mentioned thus far, Mike's lunges, Ark's body axis, shiko, etc. are all related to this - developing structural strength and integrity, as part of the baseline skillset - i.e. body conditioning - using the same basic principles common to all Asian MAs.

Ignatius
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