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#407137 - 09/11/08 09:54 PM A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Hey guys, since there seem to be so many "d00d that's t3h fake" internal threads floating out there, I thought this might be a good time to do this:

Let's give examples of weird body stuff you've seen people do, and someone with the proper knowledge can extrapolate how they think the physics of it works.

Let's steer clear of talk about the actual martial aspects and uses of parlor-trick generating skills and just focus on what people think they are doing.

Here's my example, and hopefully one which is non-controversial: I've met and been able to train with folks who can stand in bascially a natural posture (feet on the same line), and are damn near impossible or at the very least extremely difficult to move by simply pushing forward...I realize that this is just some kind of micro adjustment of posture, but I'm wondering is someone can explain the physics in a precise way.

Obviously what I am desribing here isn't a technique, but I have been exposed, -and am lucky enough to train with- people who can put similar principles into actual usage.

So yeah, this is not a thread about whether or not you think this is possible, it definitely is and has happened, and there are dudes out there who can do this kind of thing, I just want to have a reasonable discussion (and hopefully get some understanding of the physics myself - i'm clueless in that area) about this sort of thing on it's own merits, not as a larger question of whether it's good or bad training.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (09/11/08 10:09 PM)

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#407138 - 09/11/08 10:06 PM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: Zach_Zinn]
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http://www.fightingarts.com/ubbthreads/s...page=0&vc=1

Victor Smith had us do something with the placement of our arms (in guard position) that made it very difficult for us to be pushed back/over. I couldn't figure out what it was, but it did work in a demo scenario. The difference in placement between working and not working was very small.
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#407139 - 09/11/08 10:23 PM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: Zach_Zinn]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
We do this sort of exercise in sanchin; see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWUVQelGbfQ.

I've been able to resist standing pushing by even the strongest/heaviest guys in the gym (provided they don't lean in with a significantly larger body mass).

Furthermore I've found it really doesn't matter what stance I'm in - I have the same results in shiko (horse stance). Sanchin is the best for training "grounding" however - hence its use and purpose in tma.

How does it work? It has something to do with efficient posture and lowering your centre of gravity. It is not, of itself, a "combat technique", nor is it just a cheap "parlour trick". Rather it is evidence of good, basic "grounding" (ie. the ability to regulate your own balance). Good grounding is a prerequisite for applying "softer"/"internal-type" techniques (ie. those that focus on the efficient transfer of momentum rather than on power).

I haven't examined it in terms of strict physics but I can see where I would start. Seems like a lot of work though.

It is one of the "internal" things I do which I could, if I chose, pass off as some kind of "chi" because it has people scratching their heads. The biomechanics are not obvious. The fact that I have bent my knees to a particular point and no further, aligned my back and hips in a particular way, performed a subtle "shime" with my hips (see http://dandjurdjevic.blogspot.com/2008/09/whole-lotta-shakin-addendum.html) goes unnoticed to the untrained eye.

As I say - this pushing concept is not to be applied literally. Good grounding is just a bare prerequisite to "internal" methodology.
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#407140 - 09/11/08 10:31 PM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: dandjurdjevic]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Quote:

We do this sort of exercise in sanchin; see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWUVQelGbfQ.

I've been able to resist standing pushing by even the strongest/heaviest guys in the gym (provided they don't lean in with a significantly larger body mass).

Furthermore I've found it really doesn't matter what stance I'm in - I have the same results in shiko (horse stance). Sanchin is the best for training "grounding" however - hence its use and purpose in tma.

How does it work? It has something to do with efficient posture and lowering your centre of gravity. It is not, of itself, a "combat technique", nor is it just a cheap "parlour trick". Rather it is evidence of good, basic "grounding" (ie. the ability to regulate your own balance). Good grounding is a prerequisite for applying "softer"/"internal-type" techniques (ie. those that focus on the efficient transfer of momentum rather than on power).

I haven't examined it in terms of strict physics but I can see where I would start. Seems like a lot of work though.

It is one of the "internal" things I do which I could, if I chose, pass off as some kind of "chi" because it has people scratching their heads. The biomechanics are not obvious. The fact that I have bent my knees to a particular point and no further, aligned my back and hips in a particular way, performed a subtle "shime" with my hips (see http://dandjurdjevic.blogspot.com/2008/09/whole-lotta-shakin-addendum.html) goes unnoticed to the untrained eye.

As I say - this pushing concept is not to be applied literally. Good grounding is just a bare prerequisite to "internal" methodology.




Yeah, we do the same sort of stuff i'll bet, though i'm not too great at it.. unfortunately that URL didn't work for me though.

What i'm wondering though is if someone can give a detailed explanation of what's happening physics-wise, maybe along with the concpet of redistributing the force "into the ground" as it's often said.

Something beyond just the normal terminology of "center", tanden...etc.

Just an excercise to get us off the more negatively-inclined "internal" threads, Ahem.

I used the "neutral posture" one as a better example because the feet are not staggered as in Sanchin, and seemingly not as easy for them to adhere to the ground etc.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (09/11/08 10:39 PM)

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#407141 - 09/11/08 11:04 PM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: MattJ]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

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

http://www.fightingarts.com/ubbthreads/s...page=0&vc=1

Victor Smith had us do something with the placement of our arms (in guard position) that made it very difficult for us to be pushed back/over. I couldn't figure out what it was, but it did work in a demo scenario. The difference in placement between working and not working was very small.


Would you care to show some pics or video? (You said you would post some pics on the other thread... where are they?).

Maybe we can discuss this, and how it is different to what the old bagua guy is doing? To me it sounds like the same thing. But I could be wrong... as you know, I'm deluded.

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#407142 - 09/12/08 12:20 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: eyrie]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
Try this url of our sanchin pushing.

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

As a matter of interest, I filmed this after I'd lost 18 kg in hospital - yet I was still able to push over larger people without much loss of "grounding" (including people at my gym who aren't exactly compliant). It goes to show how it relies on technique, not power (and also how easy it might be for someone to assume a mystical element when there is none).
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#407143 - 09/12/08 12:51 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: dandjurdjevic]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Wait a minute... I thought the discussion was about receiving a push (frontal I assume? I can't read minds...) from a "natural" stance.

More along the lines of this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtYDJ_XDVRU

Or are we talking about something completely different?

So how does your "technique" work? Why does tucking your butt in and lifting your pelvis make it work better? What if you didn't? How would that affect your ability to receive a push or push back without losing your balance and having to step forward? Or getting pushed back from the equal and opposite reaction?

There has to be power from some where to power the push. Where does the power come from? Where does it get dissipated/absorbed to?

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#407144 - 09/12/08 01:37 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: eyrie]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
As I said in my first post on this thread, while we use this stance for training grounding (it is the principal "grounding stance" of many schools) I've found that grounding translates to every other stance, including natural stance.

The "shime" in sanchin (the pelvic tuck) is obvious with beginners and becomes more subtle as you gain experience until it is barely discernible - you are pushing "forward" rather than "forward and up". You create a forward moment through subtle hip use. This is just one variable and works for this posture particularly.

How does this pushing work? I'm not going to start a lengthy physics dissection. Suffice it to say that good grounding gives you a foundation for generating or receiving any applied force; weak grounding does not. Good grounding involves the correct (optimum) posture to create or receive a push/force etc. That's why my uke isn't leaning into him or vice versa - we are testing each other's stability, not who has the greater mass.

The exercise I show in sanchin can, I repeat, be done in any stance once you acquire sufficient skill - however it is easier to learn in sanchin because you can start with exaggerated movements (the pelvic tuck) in order to learn about grounding/balance etc. [In any event, it is the only "pushing video" I have on hand. Given that I actually work hard to illustrate points personally on web forums, I'm sure you'll forgive me for not having a more appropriate video in this instance.]

My uke - Tim - is not being "compliant" in letting me push him, except in so far as he isn't "cheating" in this exercise by leaning in. Most of our students try to beat me in this exercise and I encourage it (I get jocular "challenges" all the time after class - we all know it isn't "combat" but people are, by nature, competitive). Sometimes they do beat me (not often!). This is a big difference to those purported internal schools where students are complicit in their teacher's faking either consciously or subconsicously. No one holds me in such "awe" that they will fall down when I wave my hand. Aussies are pretty egalitarian and skeptical; we don't go for such things as a rule.

As far as I am concerned, there is no mystical force here. You'll note that Tim doesn't fly away with great speed, only to fall, flailing in agony, on the floor. In this case I was more stable (and able to withstand his "standing push"). Any more grandiose claim than that would be false in my experience and opinion.


Edited by dandjurdjevic (09/12/08 01:51 AM)
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#407145 - 09/12/08 02:39 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: dandjurdjevic]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
I understand it's more or less a static demo, and neither of you are pushing REALLY hard, but not being compliant either. No problem with that. But you see how hard it is to describe what happens "internally" or even from a physics POV.

Ignoring the whole "sanchin" thing... how about we discuss it from a postural integrity POV. What constitutes "good grounding"? When you receive a push, what do you do with the force? How does your body, spine, pelvic girdle, legs interact to dissipate the force and maintain structural integrity? Don't worry about being too pedantic with the physics/kinesiology terms... just describe it in terms of what you feel.

Then... how do you use uke's force against him, so that as he pushes, he basically pushes himself off you? (Like pushing hard against a wall and popping yourself off).

BTW, if I ever do that hand-waving sh!t and my student falls over in awe, they get smacked in the head for being stoopid. My boys know not to... But it's OK if they fall over if they don't have a choice but to...

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#407146 - 09/12/08 03:06 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: eyrie]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
Actually Tim was pushing REALLY hard - with his arms. The "no leaning rule" however means he couldn't go down to a rugby posture.

In this case I wasn't pushing really hard - I had lots to spare; my stance was doing the work. He was pushing from a weaker base, so I could use minimal arm force to keep him at bay. With most beginners (even those who are big and heavy) I often don't need to use my arms at all...

How does it feel? It should (and does) feel like you're pushing a brick wall (if your opponent is better than you). If you are better than your opponent, it feels like he's pushing himself backwards...

If you're very evenly matched it is touch and go as to who gets the upper hand - once someone does, it goes back to the "wall" feeling and you know it's all over, red rover.

Other than that - I honestly haven't looked too closely at the physics. To paraphrase Wacko Jacko, "I'm a lawyer not a physicist"! I start getting a migraine when I think of the vectors etc. That article on physics was hard enough (I had to go back more than 20 years to pre-law university days in order to remember some things and then I ran it past my engineer/human biologist brother)...

I know you don't go for the hand waving sh!t, so I made that point on the other thread. People seem to be assuming that you do, which is most unfair. (As fellow Aussies we both know that we'd have Buckley's chance of getting anyone to go along with such a ruse! )
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