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Old 07-12-2010, 09:09 PM   #1
James - Huang
Join Date: Jul 2010
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some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

To get the structure stuff going basically you have to do 2 things: gain strength and awareness at all the joints where failure under pressure is possible, and then gain coordination between the joints. The joints that matter for the structure stuff is the shoulder joint, the thoracic curve, the lumbar curve, and the hip joint. The knee, ankle, elbow, and wrist don't matter in any significant way in terms of conditioning them or gaining a lot of strength, although having a lot of strength there doesn't hurt.

For example:

When getting a horizontal frontal push to the chest along the weak line, there are 2 possible causes of failure: extension at the hip socket joint, and extension at the thoracic curve. To counteract extension at those two points you need simultanous activation of the psoas and intercostals along with enough of an adjustment in posture so you don't fall over. This will let you put out the maximum amount of horizontal force that is humanly possible from this particular position.

Problem is, conscious activation of the intercostals inhibits the psoas and vice versa, while in a standing posture, since the body will tend to fall towards the front if you turn both on at the same time. Therefore you need some artificial visualizations and postures to get things going.

Horse stance:

1) get into middle horse stance
+ reason: untrained, the psoas only begins to enter its field of action at around 30 degrees of flexion. by getting into horse stance you make it easier to get the psoas going. standing around in upright stance, you would need a lot of visualizing to get any activation going in a reasonable amount of time.

2) stretch upwards and downwards at the skull and tailbone, and make sure you're almost completely vertical,
+ reason: if you bend over like you're doing back-squats, this causes gluteal and spinal erector activation since you would have to turn those on in order to make sure your torso won't fall over. Both of those are antagonists to what we're trying to activate here. so those can't turn on.

3) stick your arms out in front and think about reaching forward.
+ reason: if you do that, it turns on your intercostals. if you do it enough times so that you get the isolated feeling of intercostals firing in conjunction with the psoas, then you don't have to reach forward anymore.

4) when subjected to a frontal push, add together the two visualizations in #2 and #3. This results in the visualization of reaching up-and-behind as well as under-and-behind the opponent in a sort of vertical loop. That'll turn on the maximum amount of muscles you can use to resist a horizontal, static, frontal push. Doing this reduces the amount of things you have to think about.

Conditioning the parts needed for horse stance:

1) Leg strength: either do a lot of squats or do a lot of horse stance until you get enough muscle strength in the thighs so that you aren't panting and sweating after 5 seconds and can't focus on visualizing stuff. Fastest way is to carry a bag of rice or small female on your shoulders and walk around in a low stance as much as possible with torso upright. Don't drive your car, walk.

2) Getting aware of the intercostals and giving them a basic level of strength: do a lot of suburi but hit things overhead instead of in front of you. If you hit things directly in front of you, you never know if its the weight of the sword, your triceps, or your intercostals powering the hit. If you do a few hundred reps of suburi but hit things overhead, you have a higher chance of isolating the intercostals.

3) Learning to inhibiting the spinal erectors and glutes at will: strike a heavy bag with two hands simultaneously while in a feet-parallel stance. This ensures you don't use any posterior chain muscles to hit and gets you used to using the weight drop caused by psoas and intercostal activation to deliver forward force.

Reasonable results:

1) You'll be able to take about 20 or 30 pounds of pressure to the sternum in a feet-forward stance without moving or leaning noticeably. It's physically impossible to take more than that amount without having very long feet or a very large stomach. The amount of force handling is not limited by the strength of any muscle in particular but by how thick you are and how fat you are. However, conditioning the psoas and intercostals and learning to coordinate the two at once is essential because usually only one can be used at a time in a standing posture.

2) The important part is not being able to take ever increasing and massive amounts of pressure in a frontal push. The idea is that since your psoas and intercostals are handling the incoming push, you have your entire posterior chain as well as most of your other ab muscles in reserve so you are still able to move around quite well and apply power.

3) With the static, feet-parallel position, you will NOT ever be able to handle a full force charge directed upwards and back towards the sternum. You must move the upper torso in order to do that.

4) You still shouldn't start going around facing your weak line to the opponent in grappling if you get good at this particular manuver. It's still better to have your strong line facing the opponent, and it's still not good to use both sides at the same time. It's just a training tool.

Last edited by James - Huang : 07-12-2010 at 09:20 PM.
 
Old 07-12-2010, 09:54 PM   #2
Benjamin Mehner
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

I've been taking Aikido for about two years now and I've noticed that I lack leg strength. I started taking Iaido last week and it seems like it will help me out with this and many other things as well. I highly recommend it to any Aikidoka.

Let silence be my mantra.
 
Old 07-13-2010, 02:31 AM   #3
Michael Varin
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Bizarre.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
 
Old 07-13-2010, 07:06 AM   #4
phitruong
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

wonder how many folks have knee and ankle problem? there is no such thing as tennis elbow, right? wonder why boxers tape their wrists and hands, since they are a bunch of tough folks? hmmm....

if one traces the power path to the ground, which large joint is the last to handle the load and what is the surface area of that joint? isn't Pressure = Force / Surface Area? oh wait, this is aikido, we don't follow physical laws!
 
Old 07-13-2010, 08:12 AM   #5
Erick Mead
 
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
wonder how many folks have knee and ankle problem? there is no such thing as tennis elbow, right? wonder why boxers tape their wrists and hands, since they are a bunch of tough folks? hmmm....

if one traces the power path to the ground, which large joint is the last to handle the load and what is the surface area of that joint? isn't Pressure = Force / Surface Area? oh wait, this is aikido, we don't follow physical laws!
Ask yourself this: Short of an arm bar or leg lock (which can destroy the tissue of a joint), what causes joints to most easily fail mechanically when used in the "usual" leverage mode ? (Hint -- it is not excess tension; not excess compression, and not usually bending forces (e.g. -- leverage in an arm bar )

Suggestion: If you use the thing that makes joints mechanically fail most easily when levered -- but as the operative mechanism of action, instead of a source of instability requiring compensation, the joint CANNOT fail in that mode of action -- and never experiences any bending or leverage, either.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
 
Old 07-13-2010, 09:35 AM   #6
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

um... err.....Shear?
 
Old 07-13-2010, 09:56 AM   #7
DH
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Eric
How has your knowledge benefited you in doing Aikido to such an extraordinary level that anyone would be interested in following it? People tell me you are nothing out of the norm. So if all your knowledge has resulted in you being nothing but average. ...what exactly is the point? I am not saying that being average is bad, it just seems oddly out of place to persistently try to dialogue with men who's own methods have left them widely known for being extraordinary
It's one of the reasons I rarely engage you. In a comparison of methodology; the end results have already been decided.
Can you offer us any advice that has produced extra-ordinary results in you that have been vetted by a wide range of practioners: yondan to shihan?
As with our new friend Mr. Huang, ...it might help us in determining the value of a process or theory. Time is something most people value and don't want to waste.
Any thoughts? I will once again be in Florida several times this winter...would you care to compare methods in an open room with senior level practioners and teachers that can help you to support your continued attempts here in a more meaningful fashion? It's clear by your efforts here, that you a trying to get some of your ideas " out there" for consideration. Let's see them and feel them and hopefully move the discussion forward.
Sincerely
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-13-2010 at 10:03 AM.
 
Old 07-13-2010, 10:08 AM   #8
Thomas Campbell
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Quote:
James Huang wrote: View Post
To get the structure stuff going basically you have to do 2 things: gain strength and awareness at all the joints where failure under pressure is possible, and then gain coordination between the joints. The joints that matter for the structure stuff is the shoulder joint, the thoracic curve, the lumbar curve, and the hip joint. The knee, ankle, elbow, and wrist don't matter in any significant way in terms of conditioning them or gaining a lot of strength, although having a lot of strength there doesn't hurt.

For example:

When getting a horizontal frontal push to the chest along the weak line, there are 2 possible causes of failure: extension at the hip socket joint, and extension at the thoracic curve. To counteract extension at those two points you need simultanous activation of the psoas and intercostals along with enough of an adjustment in posture so you don't fall over. This will let you put out the maximum amount of horizontal force that is humanly possible from this particular position.

Problem is, conscious activation of the intercostals inhibits the psoas and vice versa, while in a standing posture, since the body will tend to fall towards the front if you turn both on at the same time. Therefore you need some artificial visualizations and postures to get things going.

Horse stance:

1) get into middle horse stance
+ reason: untrained, the psoas only begins to enter its field of action at around 30 degrees of flexion. by getting into horse stance you make it easier to get the psoas going. standing around in upright stance, you would need a lot of visualizing to get any activation going in a reasonable amount of time.

2) stretch upwards and downwards at the skull and tailbone, and make sure you're almost completely vertical,
+ reason: if you bend over like you're doing back-squats, this causes gluteal and spinal erector activation since you would have to turn those on in order to make sure your torso won't fall over. Both of those are antagonists to what we're trying to activate here. so those can't turn on.

3) stick your arms out in front and think about reaching forward.
+ reason: if you do that, it turns on your intercostals. if you do it enough times so that you get the isolated feeling of intercostals firing in conjunction with the psoas, then you don't have to reach forward anymore.

4) when subjected to a frontal push, add together the two visualizations in #2 and #3. This results in the visualization of reaching up-and-behind as well as under-and-behind the opponent in a sort of vertical loop. That'll turn on the maximum amount of muscles you can use to resist a horizontal, static, frontal push. Doing this reduces the amount of things you have to think about.

Conditioning the parts needed for horse stance:

1) Leg strength: either do a lot of squats or do a lot of horse stance until you get enough muscle strength in the thighs so that you aren't panting and sweating after 5 seconds and can't focus on visualizing stuff. Fastest way is to carry a bag of rice or small female on your shoulders and walk around in a low stance as much as possible with torso upright. Don't drive your car, walk.

2) Getting aware of the intercostals and giving them a basic level of strength: do a lot of suburi but hit things overhead instead of in front of you. If you hit things directly in front of you, you never know if its the weight of the sword, your triceps, or your intercostals powering the hit. If you do a few hundred reps of suburi but hit things overhead, you have a higher chance of isolating the intercostals.

3) Learning to inhibiting the spinal erectors and glutes at will: strike a heavy bag with two hands simultaneously while in a feet-parallel stance. This ensures you don't use any posterior chain muscles to hit and gets you used to using the weight drop caused by psoas and intercostal activation to deliver forward force.

Reasonable results:

1) You'll be able to take about 20 or 30 pounds of pressure to the sternum in a feet-forward stance without moving or leaning noticeably. It's physically impossible to take more than that amount without having very long feet or a very large stomach. The amount of force handling is not limited by the strength of any muscle in particular but by how thick you are and how fat you are. However, conditioning the psoas and intercostals and learning to coordinate the two at once is essential because usually only one can be used at a time in a standing posture.

2) The important part is not being able to take ever increasing and massive amounts of pressure in a frontal push. The idea is that since your psoas and intercostals are handling the incoming push, you have your entire posterior chain as well as most of your other ab muscles in reserve so you are still able to move around quite well and apply power.

3) With the static, feet-parallel position, you will NOT ever be able to handle a full force charge directed upwards and back towards the sternum. You must move the upper torso in order to do that.

4) You still shouldn't start going around facing your weak line to the opponent in grappling if you get good at this particular manuver. It's still better to have your strong line facing the opponent, and it's still not good to use both sides at the same time. It's just a training tool.
Wait . . . what is this? A serious post, clearly and cogently presented . . . without parody apparent?

I need a cup of coffee.

Thanks, James.

 
Old 07-13-2010, 12:52 PM   #9
James - Huang
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
wonder how many folks have knee and ankle problem? there is no such thing as tennis elbow, right? wonder why boxers tape their wrists and hands, since they are a bunch of tough folks? hmmm....

if one traces the power path to the ground, which large joint is the last to handle the load and what is the surface area of that joint? isn't Pressure = Force / Surface Area? oh wait, this is aikido, we don't follow physical laws!
The post is about gaining structure in relation to handling the frontal chest push.

Has nothing to do with feet or ankle and the pressure at the ankle and knee joint is no more than than you standing there with nobody pushing on you. If you stood with both feet on a scale while handling a horizontal push in this way, the scale will not go up an ounce.

Last edited by akiy : 07-14-2010 at 09:27 AM.
 
Old 07-13-2010, 02:39 PM   #10
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Quote:
James Huang wrote: View Post
The post is about gaining structure in relation to handling the frontal chest push.

Has nothing to do with feet or ankle and the pressure at the ankle and knee joint is no more than than you standing there with nobody pushing on you. If you stood with both feet on a scale while handling a horizontal push in this way, the scale will not go up an ounce.

As a Sigman follower you should at least have figured out that much...
i must be floating in space then to only handle the push with my own body and not channel it somewhere else. very stupid of me, thanks.

i didn't know i am a Sigman follower. hey, Mike, do i get badges for being a follower? maybe some titles like grand master abator of the hairy palms of death?
 
Old 07-13-2010, 03:02 PM   #11
James - Huang
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
i must be floating in space then to only handle the push with my own body and not channel it somewhere else. very stupid of me, thanks.

i didn't know i am a Sigman follower. hey, Mike, do i get badges for being a follower? maybe some titles like grand master abator of the hairy palms of death?
You ain't floating bud, you're standing on the floor.

Look dude, draw the force diagram yourself instead of drooling at the leg push picture that Mike drew a decade ago which is where you're obviously getting this "power path from the ground" bullshit. The vectors on that diagram aren't even correct. What the hell is a "power path" and why would it go into the ground?

The correct drawing of the vectors on that picture is a straight down vector representing the pushee's weight, a straight up vector of the same magnitude representing the normal force, a horizontal vector coming from the pusher, and the horizontal friction vector obtained from (pushee normal force x static friction coefficient). Representing it as a 45 degree vector "coming from the ground" as some sort of vector sum of the friction force and normal force but without including the weight vector is completely incorrect. If you actually had the correct picture instead of looking at the wrong one for several years you might actually be getting somewhere...

There's no reason to "channel" anything in particular to the ground apart from the ordinary forces of you standing there, and vector diagrams are useless as an instructional guide or a way to communicate what you're doing in any case.

Last edited by James - Huang : 07-13-2010 at 03:11 PM.
 
Old 07-13-2010, 03:17 PM   #12
James - Huang
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

How to move the hip joint correctly to transfer weight from one hip socket to the other:

The best place to initiate lateral weight transfer is by hip flexion at one hip joint and extension at the other. The problem with trying to initiate weight transfer with hip flexion is that if you try to do it from an upright standing posture, you’ll always do it by laterally tilting the lumbar curve, the thoractic curve, or the cervical curve first, giving you enough of a bend that gravity pulls your torso to one side, and then your hip socket flexes as a consequence of actually initiating the movement somewhere else in the torso.

There’s three advantages to initializing weight transfer at the hip instead of at other places:

#1: the hip socket joint has the strongest muscles in the body.

#2: initiating at the hip socket allows for the largest amount of distance that the center of gravity can be moved without moving the feet. Initiating movement by leaning or bending the torso only moves the center of gravity a little bit.

#3: when you transfer weight, only the weight above the initializing spot is transferred. For example, if you lean on someone by nodding forward with your forehead, only (a part of) the weight of your head is transferred, and the weight of your legs is irrelevant. The lower you initiate the weight transfer, the more weight you get to use. The hip is as low as you can get and has a big portion of body weight above it.

Why initiating at the hip is so important is because when you encounter some resistance, whichever part started the movement will try to resist first and the other parts will catch on a bit later. Unfortunately if you initiate movement anywhere else you’ll be unbalanced by the force of your own pushing, since the reaction force of your own push is instant and the hip, which is responsible for your balance, catches on a little bit later and you’d already be off balance. The only way to get around this problem is by initiating with the hip since it itself is responsible for your balance.

Shiko:

1) Get in a middle horse stance, stick out the left arm to the side and place the right hand at chest level.
+ reason: The sticking-out arm inhibits the left (internal) intercostals and activates the left lat. The right hand at the chest does the opposite. This maneuver joins together the same-side obliques and intercostals as one unit in the next step.

2) Pull towards the left side until the right oblique activates due to being stretched. Activate the left psoas and begin tilting to the left side until your right leg is midair. It’s pointless in this exercise to get your leg super high.
+ reason: To be balanced, you need to create an artificial “antagonist” for your left psoas (the normal antagonists are the spinal extensors), which are the obliques and internal intercostals on the right side.

3) While at the apex of the tilt, switch the position of the arms while activating the left psoas to flex the left hip. You will experience a twisting sensation through your entire torso at once, which is the feeling of the intercostals and obliques on each side acting in concert with the psoas on the opposite side. Keep switching the position of the arms and flexing and extending the left hip while remaining in the apex of the tilt until you get tired and can no longer coordinate everything.

4) Get down from the tilt by extending right leg. A loud stomp is optional, and done correctly, the stomp can be performed at any time during the motion. The stomp is not the result of falling back down.

5) Hold small dumbbells in both hands and attach ankle weights to both legs. This does NOT directly increase the resistance of the exercise but does make it harder to balance yourself.

credits: akuzawa, netter, wikipedia

Last edited by James - Huang : 07-13-2010 at 03:21 PM.
 
Old 07-13-2010, 03:36 PM   #13
DH
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Tom
Was that a picture of James Huang you posted?
Dan
 
Old 07-13-2010, 03:39 PM   #14
James - Huang
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Tom
Was that a picture of James Huang you posted?
Dan
Yea.

One of the pictures of us, at least.




By that way, that "tatami" you see flying off there is actually made of kevlar with a sheet metal core. All of the persons standing behind there are 9-11th dan masters of aikido who have flown to multiple seminars and gained great powers as a result.

Last edited by James - Huang : 07-13-2010 at 03:48 PM.
 
Old 07-13-2010, 04:24 PM   #15
Thomas Campbell
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Quote:
James Huang wrote: View Post
All of the persons standing behind there are 9-11th dan masters of aikido who have flown to multiple seminars and gained great powers as a result.
I sensed that the Force is strong in them, young Master Huang.

 
Old 07-13-2010, 04:51 PM   #16
DH
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

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James Huang wrote: View Post
Yea.
One of the pictures of us, at least..
That explains so much.
Thank you
Dan
 
Old 07-13-2010, 05:21 PM   #17
HL1978
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Where's the origami?
 
Old 07-13-2010, 05:45 PM   #18
Mike Sigman
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Quote:
James Huang wrote: View Post
The post is about gaining structure in relation to handling the frontal chest push.

Has nothing to do with feet or ankle and the pressure at the ankle and knee joint is no more than than you standing there with nobody pushing on you. If you stood with both feet on a scale while handling a horizontal push in this way, the scale will not go up an ounce.

As a Sigman follower you should at least have figured out that much...
It's more complex than that, but I'm enjoying the read from an anonymous source. If you know me, you know that I have limited use for anonymous posts once they get into using other peoples' names. If you can use names, you can use your own.

I can ground a purely horizontal force, but the scale will change. Think about why that is, in terms of physics.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
 
Old 07-13-2010, 05:48 PM   #19
Janet Rosen
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
Where's the origami?
It was in the game, but it folded.

Janet Rosen
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:49 PM   #20
Mike Sigman
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
i didn't know i am a Sigman follower. hey, Mike, do i get badges for being a follower? maybe some titles like grand master abator of the hairy palms of death?
No badges. If you had come to the D.C. workshop, I'd have had to give you a badge because I showed the real stuff at that workshop. As it is, you only know enough to impress sankyu's (or dan equivalents to Aikido sankyu's in other arts).

Mike
 
Old 07-13-2010, 05:57 PM   #21
gregstec
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
It's more complex than that, but I'm enjoying the read from an anonymous source. If you know me, you know that I have limited use for anonymous posts once they get into using other peoples' names. If you can use names, you can use your own.

I can ground a purely horizontal force, but the scale will change. Think about why that is, in terms of physics.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Gee wiz Mike, now you went and did it - you mentioned physics and now we are going to have Eric jump in and drown us in talk about shears
 
Old 07-13-2010, 06:07 PM   #22
Mike Sigman
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Quote:
James Huang wrote: View Post
Then they're leaning on you. If you made them lean on you, then you had to move a little. They're no longer giving you a purely horizontal force.
Nope. Draw a simple vector diagram and you'll see why Nage's weight on the scale must change.

BTW (and this is for Greg S., too), I agree completely with Don Magee's signature line:

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein

If you're reduced to describing how to do things with "visualize that you're....", you don't know it very well.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Oops.... I just noticed that James Huang deleted his post. Too bad.
 
Old 07-13-2010, 06:09 PM   #23
James - Huang
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
It's more complex than that, but I'm enjoying the read from an anonymous source. If you know me, you know that I have limited use for anonymous posts once they get into using other peoples' names. If you can use names, you can use your own.

I can ground a purely horizontal force, but the scale will change. Think about why that is, in terms of physics.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
It's not much more complex than the fact that you made a small vertical circular movement with your torso and now they're leaning on you without them knowing it. If the scale went up, they transferred some of their weight onto you.

So technically you grounded what orginally was a horizontal force.
 
Old 07-13-2010, 06:15 PM   #24
Mike Sigman
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Quote:
James Huang wrote: View Post
It's not much more complex than the fact that you made a small vertical circular movement with your torso and now they're leaning on you without them knowing it. If the scale went up, they transferred some of their weight onto you.

So technically you grounded what orginally was a horizontal force.
I make no "small vertical circular movement". I make no movement at all since I use what is known as "intent" to change forces. Since I change my force sourcing using "intent", my intent has to do something to control the incoming purely horizontal force and neutralize it into static equilibrium. That should be enough for anyone to figure it out (although the "how to" probably takes someone showing it). Of course, someone who really knew this stuff should have known that without challenging me to state the obvious, right? Ergo......

Regards,

Mike Sigman
 
Old 07-13-2010, 06:17 PM   #25
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Re: some exercises for getting the structure going and why they're done

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Nope. Draw a simple vector diagram and you'll see why Nage's weight on the scale must change.

BTW (and this is for Greg S., too), I agree completely with Don Magee's signature line:

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein

If you're reduced to describing how to do things with "visualize that you're....", you don't know it very well.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Oops.... I just noticed that James Huang deleted his post. Too bad.
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