intention of the words

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

intention of the words

Postby Mr_Wood on Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:02 pm

I was doing a simple hanging stretch today, hands holding and feet hanging, fully relaxed and motionless when I began to just think of the word swing, and soon enough my body began to swing slightly without actually engaging my body to do so, purely from the thought of the word. I thought i'd play around with it later in San ti, up, down, whatever, it worked the same.

For some this might be bloody obvious and going over old ground but I was just interested in peoples thoughts on this, what is it called ? Why does it happen ? Is there any usage in the internal arts ? eg intention training. Nei dan comes to mind as we fix our attention to areas of the body with the aim of a reaction which can be felt.

Cheers
Last edited by Mr_Wood on Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:40 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: intention of the words

Postby lenmccoy on Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:12 pm

I think what you are describing is similar to some of the exercises I have tried from the books "Ki in Daily Life" and "Japanese Yoga".
One is to suspend a washer from a string with your hand holding the end of the string. Concentrate on not moving your hand while at the same time think about the washer moving in a circle. Then concentrate on stopping the washer. Then think about it circling the other direction. I believe what is happening is that your subconscious mind is activating small muscles in the hand to move while apparently holding the hand still. I would assume there is some benefit to accessing the subconscious.
When I do tai chi solo form sometimes I try to tap into this for movements.
Seems like intent leading body.
Great fighting benefits?
I don't know. Maybe someone at higher level can comment.
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Re: intention of the words

Postby everything on Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:02 pm

Believe this is just a subthreshold excitation of your system. Cool to play around with nevertheless.
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/ better approx answer to right q than exact answer to wrong q which can be made precise /
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Re: intention of the words

Postby zrm on Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:45 pm

lenmccoy wrote:One is to suspend a washer from a string with your hand holding the end of the string. Concentrate on not moving your hand while at the same time think about the washer moving in a circle. Then concentrate on stopping the washer. Then think about it circling the other direction. I believe what is happening is that your subconscious mind is activating small muscles in the hand to move while apparently holding the hand still. I would assume there is some benefit to accessing the subconscious.


This is known as the ideomotor response. That particular example of the effect is called Chevreul's pendulum who first examined the effect scientifically in the early 1850s. The ideomotor response can be quite profound and is often mistaken for an "invisible force". It's how diviner rods and ouija boards works. From an IMA perspective it comes into play in regards to subtle intention based biomechanics such as internal spiraling forces, relaxed movement, peng jin etc. It also come into play in regards to listening skills as the ideomotor response often gives away the intention of the opponent.
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Re: intention of the words

Postby Mr_Wood on Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:37 pm

Conclusion

The ideomotor effect has been known for over 150 years, yet it is still not a widely known phenomenon. It tends to be used, rightly, as an explanation for dowsing and the Ouija board. Its scope however, is much wider than that and it should be a more widely known explanation for delusions, especially those of medical quacks.

The ideomotor effect is a classic example of how we can be fooled by our senses and ourselves. Many people believe in things because they have experienced them for themselves; they trust in the perceived infallibility of their senses.

The ideomotor effect is just one example of why we should use objective, scientific testing rather than rely on subjective, personal experience to work out what is real and what is not.


Thing is im not looking at it as some mystical force but rather is it possible exercises like this could aid us with a deeper understanding of bodily control and function ?
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Re: intention of the words

Postby zrm on Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:50 pm

By referencing the ideomotor effect I didn't mean to infer that it wasn't an avenue worth pursuing, actually the opposite. I fully believe that systems such as the ideomotor effect can be used aid with control and function, and that understanding these systems is beneficial. In my experience its definitely useful in developing IMA skills and is an under researched area in general.

The emphasis in a lot of scientific studies regarding the ideomotor effect is to discount the idea supernatural forces. However there are some lesser known studies that infer that it can also be used as an avenue to understanding subconscious behavior. However most things regrading subconscious behavior are difficult to gauge scientifically as its quite difficult to accurately measure what is going on in somebody's mind.

Derren Brown is a mentalist that uses a lot of these ideas to great effect in his acts. Here he uses the ideomotor response to predict movement and telegraph intention.



Note that with Derren he often seems more effective than he is because he will often have multiple back up plans that use misdirection or slight of hand when his methods don't quite work out as well as he wants them to. In this particular example of ideomotor response things seem to work out pretty well though.

Here he is doing a no touch punch at a kung fu school

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Re: intention of the words

Postby Mr_Wood on Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:11 pm

yeah I first came across it in a magic book and had since forgotten about it untuil the other day whilst hanging there :D

I kind of like it and going to play with it for a while. I was doing some standing practice earlier and as we know after a while certain areas can ache / become tense and rather than 'trying to' relax the area adopt this approach to see it is more effective.

makes me remeber how my first teacher would say to me whilst practicing zhan zuang 'tell' the muscles to relax :)
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Re: intention of the words

Postby Steve James on Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:26 pm

The old tcc saying is "first in the mind, then in the body," and I think that it's figuratively and literally true. It just depends on which "mind" we're talking about. I.e., whether we're talking about our "conscious" mind or some other aspect. For ex., I'm not sure that telling oneself to relax ever works. In fact, I think that it has the opposite effect. At least, it never works for me to consciously tell myself to relax. However, that just means I wouldn't say anything like "relax."

One technique would be to develop a relaxation "trigger" (mantra or counting backwards) through suggestion. I.e., instead of telling a muscle to relax, convince yourself that it will relax when you say or do X. It doesn't matter what it is. The point is to make the relaxation almost autonomic, though. Some people may be able to make specific muscles or groups relax, the issue is only the method. I use the Viagra metaphor. I.e., a guy can tell himself to get an erection all he wants. Otoh, if you don't use Viagra, you probably don't worry about ... :)

I think the suggestion involved in magic is different but equally useful. Magicians have to learn how to exploit the limits of peripheral vision, where the eyes' blind spots are and will be, etc.
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Re: intention of the words

Postby Mr_Wood on Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:57 am

thanks steve, another interesting take on it. to me it does seem to be a bit of a grey area as to whether trying, telling, tricking, triggering is fundamentaly any different as the desired outcome is all the same but some do seem more effective than others. its interesting to play with these things.

what i am also finding interesting is the focus to detail you can apply with the first in the mind approach, as you can really begin to feel where the source of a movement occurs. cheers.
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