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Old 07-03-2014, 04:17 PM   #1
Riai Maori
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Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

On the mat the other night I was told this...Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"...WTF. (excuse me)Then as it sank in the meaning became clear. You engineer a technique in order for physic's to apply. So what happened to the Aiki?, I ponder.

There is always 3 sides to a story, their side, your side and the TRUTH
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:24 PM   #2
Hellis
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

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Richard Campbell wrote: View Post
On the mat the other night I was told this...Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"...WTF. (excuse me)Then as it sank in the meaning became clear. You engineer a technique in order for physic's to apply. So what happened to the Aiki?, I ponder.
They say you learn something everyday - I have been involved in Aikido for 57 years and I didn't know that, too late now.

Henry Ellis
Co-author ` Positive Aikido`
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:34 PM   #3
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

I guess that's as good a place to start as any. But thinking of aikido as doing something TO the other person will only take you so far.

Katherine
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:48 PM   #4
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
But thinking of aikido as doing something TO the other person will only take you so far.Katherine
Dear Katherine,

Could you please elaborate more precisely what part of the statement "Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's" and how it relates to the above conclusion you have come too?

Richard

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Old 07-03-2014, 08:22 PM   #5
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

There are many references in books relative to the physics of Aikido. "Aiki Secrets: Six Precepts and the Dynamic COB" is an interesting read. There is also good stuff in an e-book entitled "Injury and Skeletal Biomechanics". The 3rd chapter is titled "Using the Knowledge of Biomechanics in Teaching Aikido". You can find the e-book and chapter at http://www.intechopen.com/books/inju...eaching-aikido.

There are numerous others that are not on the top of my head at the moment, but I'll add to this post after the drugs wear off...
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:14 PM   #6
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

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Dear Katherine,

Could you please elaborate more precisely what part of the statement "Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's" and how it relates to the above conclusion you have come too?

Richard
My educational background is in engineering. In my experience, it's a very mechanistic, action-reaction way of looking at the world. Which is fine, as far as it goes, I just don't find it particularly helpful as a metaphor for the things I'm working on in my aikido.

Katherine
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:14 PM   #7
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

Quote:
Richard Campbell wrote: View Post
On the mat the other night I was told this...Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"...WTF. (excuse me)Then as it sank in the meaning became clear. You engineer a technique in order for physic's to apply. So what happened to the Aiki?, I ponder.
How I simplified explaining Aikido in physics terms is through the Physics concept of Work

Work = Force X Displacement X cosine (angle between force and displacement)

You are doing maximum work if the angle is 0 or 180 (push or pull)

You are doing 0 work if the angle is 90 degrees, that is why 90 degrees has a magical meaning in aikido. I disagree with others if they choose other angles different from 90.

Cosine(angle) ranges from 0 to 1 only.

Cosine(0) = 1 (maximum)
Cosine(90)= 0 (minimum)

The comparison:

Work = the degree of resistance or non-resistance, or how an effective aikido technique is
Force = Ki (the direction of energy or attack), just simplify the body as a stickman and the lines will symbolize the direction of ki
Displacement = direction where uke will be moved or thrown
angle = angle between uke's ki and nage's ki

So my simple explanation

Nonresistance happens if you are doing 0 work. This is achievable if nage's ki engages with uke's ki at 90 degrees to each other. This to me is a very basic principle and can be seen in all aikido techniques, whether it be applied on the smallest part of the body or on the whole body.

Examples:
Aikiage, Tenchinage
In these techniques the thumb is attacked and perpendicular to the forearm in order to raise uke's elbow and shoulder

All wrist techniques - nikkyo, sankyo, gokyo, kotegaeshi - all 90 degrees

shomenuchi ikkyo omote - nage engages 90 degrees to uke's elbow
ikkyo ura - nage's arm is 90 degrees to uke's elbow all throughout the spiral

shihonage omote - nage initiates technique 90 degrees across uke

Juji nage, juji garami, hijigime, rokkyu, sumi otoshi - 90 degrees to elbow

shomenate, rippo - 90 degrees to uke's face

all koshinage - uke's body 90 degrees to nage

kotegaeshi - initiates parry 90 degrees to uke (not 180 IMHO), saito sensei also stresses this

yokomenuchi/tsuki parry - 90 degrees to uke's elbow
morotetori techniques

kaitenage omote or ura. uke's arm 90 degrees to his body

iriminage - 90 degrees to uke's spine (ki) direction to break his balance

Not surprisingly, the physics concept of power = the rate of work/time = rate of energy consumed/time. If you do 0 work, then you use 0 power, and you use 0 energy (ideally). The magic angle is 90 degrees and apply it to any of uke's joint or spine. It's that simple. I think this is also applicable to judo.

This is just a starting point though.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:46 AM   #8
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I just don't find it particularly helpful as a metaphor.
Its not a metaphor, please read the post above this. Seems very real to me.

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Old 07-04-2014, 01:49 AM   #9
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

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Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
How I simplified explaining Aikido in physics terms is through the Physics concept of Work

Work = Force X Displacement X cosine (angle between force and displacement)

This is just a starting point though.
Fantastic and thanks for the breakdown! As a beginner, I always start Shiho-nage at 90 degrees to uke. Stands to reason. Thanks once again, very informative.

Last edited by Riai Maori : 07-04-2014 at 01:51 AM.

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Old 07-04-2014, 01:58 AM   #10
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Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
They say you learn something everyday - I have been involved in Aikido for 57 years and I didn't know that, too late now.

Henry Ellis
Co-author ` Positive Aikido`
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
Hello Shihan Ellis

For fear of sounding rude, are you taking the"micky" out of what I was being told? Or did you learn something today? No disrespect sir, just trying to reflect your view?

Kind regards
Richard

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Old 07-04-2014, 02:08 AM   #11
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

Imagine a spherically symmetric aikidoka ...

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Old 07-04-2014, 02:09 AM   #12
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

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Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
There are many references in books relative to the physics of Aikido. "Aiki Secrets: Six Precepts and the Dynamic COB" is an interesting read. There is also good stuff in an e-book entitled "Injury and Skeletal Biomechanics". The 3rd chapter is titled "Using the Knowledge of Biomechanics in Teaching Aikido". You can find the e-book and chapter at http://www.intechopen.com/books/inju...eaching-aikido.

There are numerous others that are not on the top of my head at the moment, but I'll add to this post after the drugs wear off...
Dear Clark

I do hope this reply finds you in good spirit. Your continued contribution to this website gives me inspiration, excitement and enjoyment. I follow your posts on a regular basis.

All the best.

Kind regards
Richard

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Old 07-04-2014, 02:17 AM   #13
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Imagine a spherically symmetric aikidoka ...
Dear Demetrio,

Now that's taking it to another level. Interesting thought.

Kind regards
Richard

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Old 07-04-2014, 02:21 AM   #14
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"



Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
Work = the degree of resistance or non-resistance, or how an effective aikido technique is
Force = Ki (the direction of energy or attack), just simplify the body as a stickman and the lines will symbolize the direction of ki
Displacement = direction where uke will be moved or thrown
angle = angle between uke's ki and nage's ki
So my simple explanation
This may help to learn and construct the outer shape of kihon no kata. (Even then it does not correctly describe the forms I learned and teach.) But it doesn't say anything about the aiki wich happens in tori first, before there is aiki between tori and uke - which depends on the aiki within tori.
ähem ... and ... qi/ki is clearly something different from "the line of attack".

When I teach I often say: "Don't mind angles, directions ... "

Quote:
Nonresistance happens if you are doing 0 work. This is achievable if nage's ki engages with uke's ki at 90 degrees to each other. This to me is a very basic principle and can be seen in all aikido techniques, whether it be applied on the smallest part of the body or on the whole body.
Non-Resistance, which can be one aspect of aiki, happens within the body of tori. It does not depend on the angle between tori and uke.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 07-04-2014 at 02:29 AM.
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:26 AM   #15
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

I'm an Engineer, the first 10 years aikido was all engineering to me (and is some ways it still is) angles, vectors, forces, center of gravity. All these things helped me and the way my brain worked, learn and understand the mechanics of technique. But for me this approach became limiting, as I felt and saw others who were able to connect and work more dynamically than me. I had to break down some of my more rigid engineering approaches and rebuild to include feel, intent and connection.

We all think and comprehend differently, In a rash generalization, if I explain some things like and engineer half the class eyes glaze over, if I talk about connection the other halves eyes glaze know your audience.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:23 AM   #16
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

Quote:
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Its not a metaphor, please read the post above this. Seems very real to me.
I don't know about you, but I have a hard time calculating cosines in my head in the middle of a technique.

Even if I didn't, the idea that an aikido technique can be modeled as a single force acting in a single direction seems to me to be a radical and ultimately misleading oversimplification of what's actually going on. The physics of non-rigid bodies (humans) is way more complicated than that.

And, getting back to my original point, if you describe your technique in terms of forces *acting on* uke then yes, you are explictly describing your technique as something nage does TO uke. Which, IMO, is ultimately a very limiting description.

Katherine
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:33 AM   #17
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

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Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
Not surprisingly, the physics concept of power = the rate of work/time = rate of energy consumed/time. If you do 0 work, then you use 0 power, and you use 0 energy (ideally). The magic angle is 90 degrees and apply it to any of uke's joint or spine. It's that simple. I think this is also applicable to judo.

This is just a starting point though.
Humans are not rigid bodies. Just because your force is at 90 degrees to a joint, that doesn't mean it is *also* at 90 degrees to uke's structure. In practice, I find tangents are much more useful than perpendiculars.

And of course this model doesn't consider how uke is responding to whatever you're trying to do.

As I said above, it might be useful as a starting point for some people, but it's ultimately a very limiting viewpoint.

Katherine
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:18 AM   #18
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

Quote:
Richard Campbell wrote: View Post
Hello Shihan Ellis

For fear of sounding rude, are you taking the"micky" out of what I was being told? Or did you learn something today? No disrespect sir, just trying to reflect your view?

Kind regards
Richard
Hi Richard

No micky here - I am just surprised to see how some people will get so involved in the " Engineering and Physic's " of Aikido rather than finding the technique from feeling and training.
I have trained at length with many Japanese teachers, never had one teach in such a way, It was always practice - practice. worked fine for me, but everyone to their own.

In the early days Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and Mutsuro Nakazono Sensei would both answer any student who tried to ask any form of deep analysis of a particular technique, they would both say " empty your mind and feel the technique " end of any discussion.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:37 AM   #19
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

The engineering metaphor (and yes it is a metaphor) worked well for me and still does in trying to understand the workings of a particular technique. Force, torque, vectors - all good - but in the end that has to be discarded for feeling.

I don't think aikido can ever be described in purely mechanist language since it is so responsive in nature but if used as a stepping stone - depending on how you learn - it can be very powerful.

Just "feel the technique" has never worked for me.

The Shodokan teaching method has always broken down methods into component parts (not quite in engineering language) but it certainly made it very comfortable to learn.

Last edited by PeterR : 07-04-2014 at 11:40 AM.

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Old 07-04-2014, 11:37 AM   #20
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

What I am about to post below should in no way be read as a critique what Mario talks about above. He has extracted grouped the gross mechanics which is good thing.
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:38 AM   #21
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

In the end it is all physics and mind leads. If one wants to truly explain how the “magic” works or understand parts of the problem then you need to apply mechanical principles to understand. The rub is, the actual problem is very complicated and describing advanced movement and kinematic interaction between advanced practitioners is insanely complicated. The gross movements and principles pretty straight forward, once you get into the details you are into complicated 4D modeling because there are no closed form solutions.

Teaching it that way would lose virtually all of its utility with pretty much every one. So we fall to teaching by sensation, visualization and analogy, simpler, more effective and easier to understand. This does not mean we don’t try to explain the basic mechanics, they have their place. But to over rely on it will lead to frustration and only annoy the pig. The physics need come in small bite sized chunks.

In a thread a long time ago, in a forum far far away, someone had the bad luck to use the word vector and adding insult to injury they used the wrong vector(s). So off I went and created this little ditty (it was off the cuff so hey there are grammatical errors here and there, so sue me). I do not try to solve the problem, I tried simplify and reduce the problem to one aspect of the exercise, just to illustrate the gross incoming forces. I wanted people to understand how one direction is not always one direction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekKejcA8gfE

Simple: Structural skeleton, articulated by joints, connected by ligaments, driven by muscles, powered by guts, sequenced by nerves. Simple models (orders of magnitude more complex than the animation above) that one can use to visualize gross motion, joint locking, leverage, momentum redirection and so on. Oh and feedback one must account for feedback.

Complex: That skeletal structure is actually slightly flexible and those joints are compliant differently in every individual and flex as well. The muscles different in strength and structure only pull and thus must be optimally sequenced (relaxation), connective tissue crosses joint boundaries providing additional structure. The bending moment on bones is mostly for concept illustration I assume most of us do not utilize that aspect in our art. Muscles only pull (and toward the center line) so we have a very complex arrangement and sequencing to create our complex motion. I could go on but…

I wrote an email this morning that discussed initiation movement from the hara. It touches on the subject here, so I cut and paste with no edits (it means cut my some slack it is a verbal description of some of the physics).
---
They really are not kidding when they say all movement begins from the hara, even if it is infinitesimally before. I think of it this way: 1) all muscles in the body pull toward your centerline 2) your only normal push off point is the ground and thus the contact point for all equal and opposite reaction. 3) If the periphery is rigid or stiff it is a lever to the center of your body. So that means the hara is the anchor point for most major muscles, fascia/tendon/ligament structure and skeletal central pivot, the power coupling nexus of the upper and lower body, and the best location for starting core to peripheral muscle activation (as opposed to peripheral to core which provides uke a lever).
Starting all movement there whether translating, rotating, or dropping recruits the totality of the body, which in turn allows you the maximum opportunity to distribute the task at hand over as much of the body as possible. At a more advanced level it also allows for secondary and tertiary levers and torques to be used/created across the body generating more energy and indirect forces (and provides alternate, complex pathways used to redirect incoming forces). Thus minimizing peak loading of the musculature (by virtue of wide distribution of the load) which reduces fatigue and increase power by using more of the body rather than localizing the task to specific muscles (or limb). This leaves the interface muscles (chained to the point of contact with uke) looser and allows for better feedback relative to subtle motion at the point of contact, so you can both feel where uke is pushing and where their center of gravity is (because of the path their force takes and how they adjust to perturbation). It is a wave of activation propagating out from the hara. The IP guys get even more complicated with skeletal, fascial and muscular counter spirals, and muscles actually spiraling around bones in a complex manner.
---
It all physics, but describing it purely in terms of physics if arduous and in the language of physics (mathematics) on a practical level impossible. Driving the body’s physics requires mental modeling (intent) and that doesn’t even begin to address manipulating uke’s perception (mind leads).

Nit pick away.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:47 PM   #22
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Smile Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Humans are not rigid bodies. Just because your force is at 90 degrees to a joint, that doesn't mean it is *also* at 90 degrees to uke's structure. In practice, I find tangents are much more useful than perpendiculars.

And of course this model doesn't consider how uke is responding to whatever you're trying to do.

As I said above, it might be useful as a starting point for some people, but it's ultimately a very limiting viewpoint.

Katherine
Quote:
Non-Resistance, which can be one aspect of aiki, happens within the body of tori. It does not depend on the angle between tori and uke.
Each one has his own interpretation of aikido which I guess runs into the several millions or the number of aikido practitioners.

This analog to work and the magic 90 angle helps me breakdown the techniques. This has been a theory of mine, have experimented with it and have validated in the dojo for years. Saito sensei also stresses importance of angles while doing katai training. You can see it with many other shihan's techniques like endo sensei's.

This is perceived as limiting probably because this is just one principle, there are like 50 other principles (for me that is) you need to also simultaneously apply to do aikido. This will need 50 more posts to explain each.

Why complicate when, you can simplify.

Last edited by Mario Tobias : 07-04-2014 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:30 PM   #23
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

Exciting read. Hilary out of interest how did you arrive at this thesis? I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but it is slowly sinking in. Thank you.

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Old 07-04-2014, 03:44 PM   #24
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

Quote:
Hilary Heinmets wrote: View Post
In the end it is all physics and mind leads.
Quote: Nadeau Shihan, "body moves, body talks" at one of our seminars. So true.

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Old 07-04-2014, 03:53 PM   #25
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Re: Aikido is all about "Engineering and Physic's"

The Western mind talks about biomechanics and physics, structures, vectors & forces, and they "get there."

It seems to me that the Eastern mind talks about lines of meredians, Ki, internalizing harmony or whatever else they say (it's not me, and I apologize), and they "Get there."

So, who cares? My nomenclature does not have to equal yur nomenclature, but it might be jhelpful if we could translate back and forth.

Such as, "Open up your heart chakra." If someone would simply say, "Stand up straight, pulling your shoulders back into good posture." I'd be fine.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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