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#407167 - 09/13/08 10:16 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: Victor Smith]
Cord Offline

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.

Hi Matt and everyone.

First Erie no amount of $$$$ makes me do anything, I've only taught for free for 30 years, which allows me to teach what and when I choose....

When I met Matt and the gang we were just getting to meet one another and I guess I did suggest a few thoughts on how I train.

What Matt saw as a trick (from a one time perspective) wasn't meant as one, just a tool to let someone feel when they're doing their technique incorrectly. I touched them and they fell out of balance, not because of my magic touch but because there was a structural flaw in their technique.

Done in a relative static situtation it looks like a trick, but if we were fighting and I saw that mistake and attacked against it, the results would be more dramatic, IMO.

The key isn't some great internal training, but that they have to actually do the technique as it was designed and the flaw isn't there, and the value of deep kata training is to work to eliminate those flaws at all times.

My knowledge began 15 years into my tai chi studies when my instructor did the same to me and then explained the framework he used (I've met several other instructors, with entirely different frameworks who do the same thing, for while their took kit approaches it differently, the body still works the same.)

In concept is is related to the video and the sanchin video. but then it's related to everything, even how you eat soup.

I can't explain something that must be experienced, but I can describe that you need to feel how weak a mistake leaves you (and the framework of the tool does that) and how much more powerful you are when you don't make that mistake.

Then constant drive to perfect movement and alignment result in increased power in your blocks, strikes and kicks. All external nothing internal in the least.

The flip side is with expanding undestanding you learn to see mistakes in others and in turn can attack into those mistakes instead of just blasting away blindly.

It also allows you to form evaluations of anyone's performance from an objective standard. A black belt performing a form with a mistake that can be exploited must be lower in score, nothing subjective from your point of view.

The 'trick' Matt experienced is just the wakeup call that soemthing needs to be changed.

There is not one answer for one system, all methods of movement can be done more effective or less effective, and to my way of thinking more is better.

Matt, there is nothing magical about what I do, just trained effort, and a student working to the point you must explain it to them <GRIN>.

BTW with 30 years of tai chi behind me I find nothing internal about it. Never once has my instructor and I talked about Chi. The Chi experience exists in the experience of our effectiveness, but being personal cannot be shared outside of experiencing it


Ya see!? If more people could articulate with that clarity in regards to this stuff, I would not have felt inclined to babble on about Donington '94.

great post, thank you for the perspective.
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'

#407168 - 09/13/08 10:55 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: eyrie]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

Perhaps, but it may also be chi which I find real and objective and at the same time indescrible.

My practice of tai chi chaun, when in the grove and experiencing chi also relies on sound structural mechanics, and when I'm not there I'm often ready to fall over (a more frequent occurance as I'm aging). I see chi and structural mechanics in full movement going hand in hand. Whether in tai chi, karate or trying to spoon that soup into my mouth.

My wife would tell you (with shirts to prove it) at time's I'm less than effective with that spoon. Of course then the chi flows down my front....alas.

We go full circle, children who can hardly find thier mouths, obtaining skill in spoon to mouth delivery, teenagers who can't get quiet <GRIN>...... till older age and dottage take it away from us again.

A true story, a really good friend and student, John Dinger died in his mid 40's back in 02. He moved to my area after obtaining his Isshinryu Black Belt in New Jersey. Nice guy, worked hard and really enjoyed training.

One day he stopped training, and as an instructor you learn that will happen. About 5 months later a Surgeon in our program talked to the group about John, who had just contacted him to ask him to do so.

John had a degenerative condition, was losing control of himself (such as falling down at any time), and it was a rare genetic condition that the Doctor's couldn't identify. Which is why he pulled away from us. As he trained in tai chi with me too, I went to him and we continued training as far as he could, when he could no longer stand both of us would do tai chi in chairs.

He went into the hosptials for months. All of Boston's doctor's and the entire Mayo Clinic staff were weekly reviewing his case. John underwent every know test multiple times for a year, and had to move to a nursing home for 24 hour care.

The end result they had an idea what his condition was but no true definition. He was losing the ablity to control his body, and reaching across the table to get a glass of water would as likely end up knocking it over. But working with him he had some success using tai chi to flow out, gather the glass and return it to himself.....

At the same time where he could not control normal movement, he could still perform his tai chi chaun (abet seated) and was amazing all of the doctors at that control.

John died, up to the end we would train and talk karate. He was a good friend and I am proud to have shared my arts with him.

What I think happens, tai chi, a skill set learned later in life, had its own track on the nervous system that his condition didn't affect.

John was not an experiement. His condition was one of the on in millions condiditons, and they didn't really figure out his diagonsis until after his death.

Whether John's abilites came from love of tai chi and 'chi', or from the neuroenhancement of tai chi training I'll never know.

It just was and is tai chi chaun.

Now figure that one out........

with peace!

Edited by Victor Smith (09/13/08 10:58 AM)
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#407169 - 09/13/08 11:19 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: eyrie]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA

Thanks for the very informative post Victor.

As I suspected, it wasn't "chi". And there was nothing mystical, nor "internal" about the whole affair. I figured it had something to do with structural alignment, and how a small "shift" changes the dynamics of receiving and negating a push.

Not sure what you're getting at, Eyrie. I never said it was chi, or anything but a trick. *I* said it was an alignment issue in my post.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#407170 - 09/13/08 01:15 PM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: Victor Smith]
Zach_Zinn Offline

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Nice posts Victor, thanks.

#407171 - 09/13/08 07:41 PM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: MattJ]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia

Not sure what you're getting at, Eyrie. I never said it was chi, or anything but a trick. *I* said it was an alignment issue in my post.

Why do you assume the worst? I know that's what you said... so since it isn't chi, how about an attempt at explaining the "trick"?

It is a body alignment issue and how a particular neuro-muscular-skeletal configuration allows you to sub-consciously ground a push. If you were standing on ice or a furniture dolly, I'd bet the results would be way different. Why?

It's basic physics.

#407172 - 09/13/08 08:00 PM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: eyrie]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

It really isn't a trick but a full blown training method. Using it to show a fault is static, but movement is dynamic and the training is a layered experience to realize how the dynamics of alignment and movement work together.

Using the concept to ground a push shows only the surface of what is really required, becuase in reality you are either moving into that push, moving away from that push or turning in the act of either of them.

Proper karate technique contains correct alignment in movement and the unification of the bodies forces expressed into an attack.

I'm not selling anything, giving clinics or doing anything but working with my own students. The tool kit I received is one way to express how alignment works, and how to work on eliminating flaws, and in turn finding them to exploit.

It has to be experienced and my instructor waited 15 years before he explained it, or rather let me feel the explanation. It didn't change my karate or tai chi, but gave me a reason to find how to make it work as designed.

In fact it might be expressed as a variation of shime now that I think about it, but without the impact. It's also related to tai chi's push hands where you don't enter your partners energy but allow them to move till they compromise their own balance.

The goal really isn't to receive impact and take it, or to necessarily ground oneself, but to experience how correct mechanics increases your power, how you can strike, block, parry, down your opponent more effectively, and in the process create less openings for counter.
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#407173 - 09/13/08 09:04 PM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: Victor Smith]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Hi Victor,

Oddly enough I do understand that it's a training method designed to impart a layered experience. I understand the difference between static and dynamic modalities, and that a static push test is simply a way of getting to a realization of the dynamics of alignment and movement. And that exercises done in a static modality, essentially feeds into other aspects, as part of that layered experience, into dynamic applications.

Obviously, the goal isn't to stand there and receive the impact. That's just plain silly.

#407174 - 09/14/08 12:22 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: Victor Smith]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
Victor! what the heck are you doing in an 'internal' thread?

My Mom has been complaining I haven't visited her enough...I need to schedule a trip further NorthEast soon.

Before the Winter comes - will you be up for my ugly mug to visit and discuss this topic with you using less words?

#407175 - 09/14/08 05:36 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: Ed_Morris]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Hi Ed,

You're always welcome it's been a while.
I was invited/invoked by Matt for this topic is how I got here, But why not internal, I enjoy playing with other's internals whenever p;ossible <G>.
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#407176 - 09/14/08 07:17 PM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: Zach_Zinn]
fileboy2002 Offline

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 999
Loc: Chicago, IL
Actually, one of the larger circulation MA magazines (it may have been Black Belt) did an good article on this back in the late 1980s. They outlined how a whole serious of alleged "ki demonstrations" were just simple conjurer's tricks.

For example: Chopping a watermelon in half on someone's stomach while not cutting them (done with a dull blade; a dull blade will cut right through a crip watermelon but not injure more plaible skin and muscle); breaking boards across extended arms or torsos (use a soft, light wood like balsa); walking on hot coals (not as difficult as many people assume, especially if the person walks quickly).

The bottom line is that the laws of physics are pretty well understood, and any act that seems to defy them ought to raise suspicion.

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