Pliability

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

Pliability

Postby oragami_itto on Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:05 am

I saw a rerun news story from September this morning about Tom Brady (quarterback for the New England Patriots American football team) and his somewhat unique approach to fitness that reminds me of aspects of my own understanding of "internal" martial arts training. Might be better off topic, but I figured I'd start it here as it's definitely relevant to keeping abreast of the state of the art.

It's called pliability and is about training the muscles to remain relaxed under load.

He is remarkable in that most players are good for six years or so and he's working on over three times that with almost no serious injuries. He's been starting for fifteen years and has lead his team to more superbowls than anyone, ever.

He's published a book that details the method and some of the exercises and massage techniques involved, which is why he's promoting it of course, but the reviews are favorable.

In short, pliability training returns muscles to a less tense and more relaxed state. These long, soft and primed muscles better handle the stresses experienced by your body, shifting that stress away from your ligaments, tendons and joints.

He explains that an athlete who strength trains and doesn't focus on pliability will have tight, dense and stiff muscles that can't properly disperse forces, forcing your structural tissues to pick up the slack. If the force is too high, an injury will occur to those tissues. A pliable muscle acts almost like a shock absorber, helping to absorb and disperse those forces—one of the reasons he believes he can absorb hard hits.
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Anybody own the book? Have thoughts?
Last edited by oragami_itto on Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pliability

Postby wayne hansen on Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:43 am

Not a lot of information there
It's a bit hard ti judge what he means
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Re: Pliability

Postby oragami_itto on Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:11 pm

I guess the one I saw this morning was a different cut. This one was pared down a little and didn't go into the specifics as much.

Basically, resistance bands instead of free weights and specific massage techniques to accompany specific exercises. The book has partner and solo forms of the massage.

I don't have the book, myself, just what I gathered from the articles I posted.

The key idea, though, is the idea of those relaxed muscles and training antagonistic muscle groups out of specific movements. It helps him maintain a high level of performance and low level of injury in the most injury prone sport in the country. That's intriguing.
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Re: Pliability

Postby willie on Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:32 pm

oragami_itto wrote: reminds me of aspects of my own understanding of "internal" martial arts training.


Hi, I didn't watch the video, But there is very little connection to internal training in what you wrote.

shifting that stress away from your ligaments, tendons and joints.


Actually, ligaments, tendons and joints are more internal then just relaxed muscle, so this is clearly wrong and not internal.

He explains that an athlete who strength trains and doesn't focus on pliability will have tight, dense and stiff muscles that can't properly disperse forces


Having relaxed muscles is definitely better then tense, but that is not internal.


Very Internal is Qi, Internal organs, Dantian usage and perhaps spiritual stuff / Meditation / Connection to Dao.
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Re: Pliability

Postby everything on Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:38 pm

It's hard to know what he means. I agree with Wayne. But it's kinda an intriguing idea. Not sure there is anything new there to us "internal" folks, but would be interested to learn more.

Personally, I feel I can relax ok in the "relax" of tai chi and qigong. Maybe I have pliability if it is similar to "song". However, mobility wise, I'd have to describe myself as average to stiff, the opposite of flexible. I have average or below average ROM, I'd bet, if I could do a series of PT-type tests on my joints.

So I'd be curious what is the relationship between "Song" and "relax" and pliability and range of motion.
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Re: Pliability

Postby David Boxen on Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:51 pm

Chances are that the most elite of elite athletes perform at that level in spite of, rather than because of, their strength/flexibility/mobility/pliability "training". In other words, don't look to the genetically super gifted for advice for how we mere mortals ought to keep our bodies in good working order.

Just my general reaction to the idea of someone like Tom Brady being a good authority on physical training.
Last edited by David Boxen on Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pliability

Postby wayne hansen on Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:45 pm

I was a trainer for rugby league sides and introduced them to things they had never seen before.
Greg mullane nephew of the great Johnny Raper and assistant coach to warren Ryan came to stay with me in the early 90's
He asked me to come back to Sydney and train the Balmain tigers.
I declined due to work and a young family
I now look at what rugby league teams do now and am in awe of how they train
It's all there power,stamina,flexibility
I am sure it is the same in American football
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Re: Pliability

Postby Peacedog on Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:05 pm

David +1 on your comment on the difference between the genetically gifted versus the general public.

A few years back Spike TV had a series called "Pros versus Joes" in which retired professional athletes faced off versus members of the general public.

The sheer physicality of the retired athletes in comparison to regular people was just mind numbing. It was almost as if two different species were facing off.
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Re: Pliability

Postby RobP3 on Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:56 am

Relaxed muscles under load and massage, sounds very similar to the Systema approach. To echo the post above, one of my guys is also coaching rugby and has introduced some of our methods, particularly the breathing. I hear the same has been going on with a couple of pro tennis players too.

I'm not so sold on the "genetics" influence, thought there is some I'm sure, I think motiviation is a much bigger factor
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Re: Pliability

Postby RobP3 on Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:00 am

everything wrote:It's hard to know what he means. I agree with Wayne. But it's kinda an intriguing idea. Not sure there is anything new there to us "internal" folks, but would be interested to learn more.

Personally, I feel I can relax ok in the "relax" of tai chi and qigong. Maybe I have pliability if it is similar to "song". However, mobility wise, I'd have to describe myself as average to stiff, the opposite of flexible. I have average or below average ROM, I'd bet, if I could do a series of PT-type tests on my joints.

So I'd be curious what is the relationship between "Song" and "relax" and pliability and range of motion.


My feeling is that it is a different kind of "relax". CIMA, in my experience, is about relaxing into a structure. Pliability, at least as we practice it in RMA, is more about complete freedom of movement in any direction
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Re: Pliability

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:00 am

In some defense of the OP:

"Champions are not born, they are made."

I've heard the same from two Olympic medalists and Olympic coaches as well as some other high profile pros.
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Re: Pliability

Postby everything on Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:19 pm

RobP3 wrote:
everything wrote:It's hard to know what he means. I agree with Wayne. But it's kinda an intriguing idea. Not sure there is anything new there to us "internal" folks, but would be interested to learn more.

Personally, I feel I can relax ok in the "relax" of tai chi and qigong. Maybe I have pliability if it is similar to "song". However, mobility wise, I'd have to describe myself as average to stiff, the opposite of flexible. I have average or below average ROM, I'd bet, if I could do a series of PT-type tests on my joints.

So I'd be curious what is the relationship between "Song" and "relax" and pliability and range of motion.


My feeling is that it is a different kind of "relax". CIMA, in my experience, is about relaxing into a structure. Pliability, at least as we practice it in RMA, is more about complete freedom of movement in any direction


Thanks for this reply. That sounds really interesting! Alas, too much to learn in this one lifetime, but those two qualities seem compatible/complementary, at least on paper.
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Re: Pliability

Postby RobP3 on Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:31 am

everything wrote:
Thanks for this reply. That sounds really interesting! Alas, too much to learn in this one lifetime, but those two qualities seem compatible/complementary, at least on paper.


Ah, well all you have to do with the Russian approach is take notice of what you are doing, in terms of your posture, breathing, tension / relaxation. You can do it now, it takes no time at all :)

On paper perhaps, in reality maybe not so much IMHO :)
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Re: Pliability

Postby Steve James on Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:27 pm

Well, almost anybody can play football, but that says little about Brady or Messi.

I agree that champions make themselves, but it also depends on what the materials they have to work with and the opportunities they have.

And then, there's just plain dumb luck. Everyone has a weakness.
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Re: Pliability

Postby Ron Panunto on Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:49 am

Steve James wrote:Well, almost anybody can play football, but that says little about Brady or Messi.

I agree that champions make themselves, but it also depends on what the materials they have to work with and the opportunities they have.

And then, there's just plain dumb luck. Everyone has a weakness.


Well, it's often said that if you want to be exceptional that you need to choose your parents very carefully.

You need to be born with good genetics, which includes a strong will to succeed (pre-birth qi), at a bare minimum, and then the genetics have to be honed with good food, lots of exercise, and a good coach (use of post-birth qi).
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