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Old 01-28-2007, 01:22 PM   #1
statisticool
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Musings on combat distance

Here are my random thoughts on combat distance, or ma ai, that I was thinking about the other day, and made a webpage on.

Any comments/criticism are welcome,

http://www.statisticool.com/maai.htm


Justin

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Old 01-28-2007, 01:31 PM   #2
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Is it just me or could that entire webpage, complete with mathematical expression be better explained in under 1 minute of actually attending an Aikido class where ma ai is explained?

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 01-28-2007, 01:36 PM   #3
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Quote:
Danger1 = [(((1/2) * [(-d+Leg1+Leg2)(d+Leg1-Leg2)(d-Leg1+Leg2)(d+Leg1+Leg2)]1/2)) / (pi*Leg12)] + [(((1/2) * [(-d+Arm1+Arm2)(d+Arm1-Arm2)(d-Arm1+Arm2)(d+Arm1+Arm2)]1/2)) / (pi*Arm12)]
Pretty sure this equation means jack to any Aikido practitioner.

Besides, since when do you need a mathematical formula to explain that a man with longer limbs will obviously have longer reach?

Last edited by Roman Kremianski : 01-28-2007 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 01-28-2007, 01:47 PM   #4
crbateman
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Re: Musings on combat distance

I'm sure that a great deal of thinking went into this, but I'm just a dumb ol' country boy, and if I was going to take any of that out onto the mat, I'd have to have my accountant strapped to my back...
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:19 PM   #5
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Fighting distance: close enough to be effective.
Combat distance: close enough to be lethal.

BTW, IMHO, who is behind the radius of the arm and the leg, and what is their intent and intensity is by far more important than the feet or inches of their reach.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:20 PM   #6
Mark Freeman
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote:
I'm sure that a great deal of thinking went into this, but I'm just a dumb ol' country boy, and if I was going to take any of that out onto the mat, I'd have to have my accountant strapped to my back...
I've have a monkey strapped to mine, I used to have an accountant, but I found him way too boring

Justin,
the maths may or may not explain 'something' and I don''t see a reason to spend a moment exploring it, as I can't see how it would help me understand mai-ai better than normal training.

How would you find the time to utilize your 'mathmatical mind' when under full on attack?

regards,

Mark

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Old 01-28-2007, 02:24 PM   #7
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote:
Pretty sure this equation means jack to any Aikido practitioner.

Danger1 = [(((1/2) * [(-d+Leg1+Leg2)(d+Leg1-Leg2)(d-Leg1+Leg2)(d+Leg1+Leg2)]1/2)) / (pi*Leg12)] + [(((1/2) * [(-d+Arm1+Arm2)(d+Arm1-Arm2)(d-Arm1+Arm2)(d+Arm1+Arm2)]1/2)) / (pi*Arm12)]
Besides, since when do you need a mathematical formula to explain that a man with longer limbs will obviously have longer reach?
Good gawd, y'all. It's like Erick Mead, but using equations instead of long sentences!

P.S. Sorry, Erick!

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 01-28-2007 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:54 PM   #8
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
Here are my random thoughts on combat distance, or ma ai, that I was thinking about the other day, and made a webpage on.

Any comments/criticism are welcome,

http://www.statisticool.com/maai.htm


Justin
Hi Justin,
As I stated in one of the other forums, Math is a disaster for me. While what you say in all these equations may be true? So what? Unless you are trying to program a robotic device to perform your Aikido techniques they have little use. You cannot actually use them to execute technique as doing the calculations would be far to slow. They don't serve to teach what is important about maai since what is important is being able to simply look at an opponent (and his weapons) and to "know" what his range is. No one, as yet, has been able to explain how the human brain performs this task but it is definitely not describable using this type of math.

The "critical distance" in martial arts is the distance at which the opponent has to move his body mass in order to strike you. If you let someone inside this distance, your reaction time will not be fast enough to defend. At or outside this point, the attacker will have to move his body mass to be able to reach you and this being a relatively slow process, you have time to execute a movement.

In other words, if someone is moving towards you for an attack, the "critical distance" or maai is the place in time and space at which you either make your move or back up. Failure to do either results in insufficient time to react and the opponent WILL strike you.

This is something you have to be able to measure in a look. You take in the perceived length of stride, the length of the arms, the length of the weapon, the whole picture in a glance and you should be able to estimate, in that single glance, what the reach is of their most committed attack. You should be able to do this within an inch or so.

Of course the opponent doesn't want you to be able to do this effectively so there are various ways in which he will disguise the visual factors you need to perceive what this distance is. An example would be holding the sword in such a way as to make its length invisible to the opponent.

I do not belive that there is any way to "teach" how one perceives the "critical distance". It comes through practice. One needs to have attackers of differing sizes and temperments. One absolutely has to have attackers who are REALLY trying to strike you or you will constantly be imprinting the incorrect distance and the cues associated.

I realize that you probably spent some not inconsiderable time working these things out... I appreciate your boldness in putting your thoughts out for public comment. If you were trying to program a robot or attempting to calculate the range for an artillery piece, some sort of machine or even a computer, these types of calculations might have some value. But they serve no practical purpose in making your Aikido better. For that you have to perform many attacks and receive many attacks until you just know, simply from looking, in an instant (not with conscious calculation), what the maai is.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-28-2007, 03:50 PM   #9
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Wait a minute, so, if I plug my Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 57063 MIPS/3.33 GHz cybernetic doodad into my puny brain, I could perform these ma-ai computations?

Worst case scenario, I could always dazzle my attacker with numbers...

Ignatius
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Old 01-28-2007, 04:09 PM   #10
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Wait a minute, so, if I plug my Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 57063 MIPS/3.33 GHz cybernetic doodad into my puny brain, I could perform these ma-ai computations?

Worst case scenario, I could always dazzle my attacker with numbers...

As in: "You do differential equations so well, i've decided not to hit you with this baseball bat."
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Old 01-28-2007, 07:07 PM   #11
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Does all of this mean a math nerd could wipe the floor with all of us?

Imagine...the moment you throw a punch, he can calculate the angle, velocity, power, precision and distance of the attack, as well as efficiently arrive at the number of cm he would have to move to precisely avoid the punch and redirect your power in poundsē per surface area...

Better think about that next time you decide to jump an old nerd from highschool.
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Old 01-28-2007, 07:13 PM   #12
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote:
Does all of this mean a math nerd could wipe the floor with all of us?

Imagine...the moment you throw a punch, he can calculate the angle, velocity, power, precision and distance of the attack, as well as efficiently arrive at the number of cm he would have to move to precisely avoid the punch and redirect your power in poundsē per surface area...

Better think about that next time you decide to jump an old nerd from highschool.
No worries there I think. As we see in randori, calculating the distance/position is one thing but actually being able to move the body where it needs to be is something else that requires much physical and mental training. Another reason why equations are useless in understanding this particular element of training except at an academic level.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 01-28-2007, 07:16 PM   #13
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Musings on combat distance

I don't believe you. To take my Aikido to the next level, I'm cutting my mat-time and hitting the Trigonometry books.

See you at the finish line of enlightenment, suckers!
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Old 01-28-2007, 07:52 PM   #14
crbateman
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Here we all are, climbing a mountain... when instead we could just level the damn thing!
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Old 01-28-2007, 07:57 PM   #15
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote:
To take my Aikido to the next level, I'm cutting my mat-time and hitting the Trigonometry books.
That would be substituting mat time for math time...

Ignatius
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:41 PM   #16
raul rodrigo
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
That would be substituting mat time for math time...
One can imagine that in 1960, there were blackboards all over the old hombu dojo, and the uchideshi like Saotome, Chiba and Tamura would stand around with pieces of chalk in their hands arguing vehemently about the correct equations for ma ai. O-sensei just walks in exasperated and bops them all on the head with a bokken. "There! thats ma-ai!"
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:44 PM   #17
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Musings on combat distance

I think that Albert Einstein did that to Niels Bohr once.
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Old 01-28-2007, 09:06 PM   #18
Michael Hackett
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Re: Musings on combat distance

On a similar note.....I once worked with a graduate engineer who was the epitome of a nerd. Bob and I stopped for lunch one day in a little dive that served sandwiches and beer. The joint also had a pool table and a pretty rough looking lunchtime crowd of biker types. Bob got up and placed his quarter on the table to challenge the winner, and when his turn came to play, pulled out his pocket calculator and "ran" a bunch of numbers before each shot. He ran the table several times and pocketed enough money to buy our lunches and beer a couple of times over. I asked him after we left what he was calculating and he explained that he grew up around pool halls in the midwest and paid his way through grad school shooting pool. The calculator was just for effect.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 01-28-2007, 09:32 PM   #19
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
That would be substituting mat time for math time...
Yeah, well, like my name says "math -ewww"!
(Actually, math is awesome! And it's unfortunate that as a language, it's not more fully appreciated)
Take care,
Matthew

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Old 01-28-2007, 09:40 PM   #20
Chris Birke
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Re: Musings on combat distance

That's a gross and laughable oversimplification of maai. I feel guilty about being so harsh, but really, you ought to know.

You should get in a fight so you can see how wrong you are, really - the amount of explaining required to set this straight isn't justified. I hope no one else takes this seriously.

I should add, you could explain maai with math. This is just nothing like it.

Last edited by Chris Birke : 01-28-2007 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 01-28-2007, 09:48 PM   #21
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
Here are my random thoughts on combat distance, or ma ai, that I was thinking about the other day, and made a webpage on.Any comments/criticism are welcome,
http://www.statisticool.com/maai.htm
Justin
Good Gawd! Golly! Very good analytical thinking.

Now, GO do mathematical model of a No Touch Throw?

Boon.

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Old 01-28-2007, 10:11 PM   #22
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Re: Musings on combat distance

A criticism of being "wrong" doesn't make much sense IMO. Of course, all models are wrong to some degree, since they are a model, by definition, of reality.

Simplification was, of course, the very goal, so I'm not sure why that would be a valid complaint. If one can explain ma ai analytically any simpler than overlapping circles of various radii, I'd be interested in reading it.


Justin

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Old 01-28-2007, 10:46 PM   #23
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
A criticism of being "wrong" doesn't make much sense IMO. Of course, all models are wrong to some degree, since they are a model, by definition, of reality.
Then why try to make one using an approach that is obviously quite insufficient to explain the various elements of ma ai and what it is?
Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
Simplification was, of course, the very goal, so I'm not sure why that would be a valid complaint. If one can explain ma ai analytically any simpler than overlapping circles of various radii, I'd be interested in reading it.
There is one in post 8 of this thread by Sensei Ledyard:
Quote:
The "critical distance" in martial arts is the distance at which the opponent has to move his body mass in order to strike you. If you let someone inside this distance, your reaction time will not be fast enough to defend. At or outside this point, the attacker will have to move his body mass to be able to reach you and this being a relatively slow process, you have time to execute a movement.
Any more analysis needs to be done with a live person on a mat with an instructor. To oversimplify via modelling does not adequately adresss the subject.

LC

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Old 01-29-2007, 01:08 AM   #24
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Re: Musings on combat distance

A model so removed from reality lacks any utility. If you want to make a useful point about maai, you need have a basic understanding of the system you are attempting to model. Maai takes momentum, intent, and ability into account. It is not simply distance from point a to b.

A hypothetical example from Muai Thai: A right cross is strong, but short range. A left jab covers more ground but packs less punch. A thai roundhouse kick is generally ranged somewhere inbetween, but slower and far more powerful. These are often thrown as a 123 combo, jab to cover the initial distance, cross to raise the guard and eyes, and kick right above the now exposed knee.

You can avoid this by circling in away from the side of the cross and kick, because after throwing the jab that same side leg will be planted and the powerful attacks must come from the other side. Being out of position will nullify the attack somewhat, and leave you in good position to react.

The mistake would have been to back straight up, because the combo can continue moving in faster than you can back up. Your system might indicate that backing up is the safest option.

The outcome does not depend on the legnth of their limbs so much as an understanding of dynamic combat range (in this case nearer being safer). The assumptions of your system are wrong. The circle is dynamic.

If you'd like to create simple models of attacks along different vectors feel free, it has been done before and is of some utility. If you'd like to alter your model of ma ai you'll need to add the dynamic nature of the attacks, else it is not ma ai, simply distance with extraneous spheres.

"Note, however, that if Person1's leg attack fails, then Person2's arm attack is able to get to Person1's center first, barely." What does that have to do with anything? Really, is it like tag?

If you want to use math on martial arts, let me recommend you do a statistical study of mixed martial arts and document the success ratio of various individual techniques and combinations. What land's most often with most effect - does it come in combination or individually? Which techniques are highest percentage (really, not just claimed to be.) I don't think that's been done yet and it would be well received.
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:57 AM   #25
Bridge
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Re: Musings on combat distance

Couldn't really say I have the capacity for maths anymore (long time since I was at school) however, from your diagrams, you're doing better than this individual...

http://www.martialartsplanet.com/for...ight=greysky23

I've probably stuck my foot in it, it's not you is it?
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