IT/IS

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

Re: IT/IS

Postby Upyu on Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:44 pm

Zhong_Kui wrote:<snip>
The thickest tendon, both in absolute size and relative to the cross-sectional area of its muscle, belongs to semitendinosus, a red muscle with prolonged postural activity (Elliott and Crawford, 1965 a). This suggests that the duration of muscle tension might be important factor in the growth of tendon thickness...



That's way too much info for me ;D
But then again I'm lazy. Suffice to say that by saying fascia is the key to becoming n3j1a g0D...means that you want to concentrate on letting a certain stretch of the body prop the body up, move the body, and other wise keep extraneous muscular tension from getting in the way of the stretch.
That being said, the above is a crappy explanation, and ultimately needs to be shown.
For those that do reverse breathing crap for development, its the same stretchy feeling that drives hands upwards on an inhale, and then pulls them towards the body on the exhale.

The book Turning Silk actually covers these facets pretty well, better than other books I've seen. If it were simply the tendons that get developed, it doesn't explain why the "skin" seems to get thicker with years of practice. Even Ark himself has a skill where his skin turn rock hard like a statue, but he isn't stiff (IE the muscles aren't really tensed to the degree you'd expect). When I asked him about it, he simply said it was "kin-maku" or "muscle-membrane." (Note: Ark is not on the fascia bandwagon, the comment about kin-maku is something he learned from his own teacher...which implies that people before have kicked this idea around as well...ie nothing's new under the sun)
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Re: IT/IS

Postby Muad'dib on Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:50 pm

nothing's new under the sun


Exactly. The article you suggested is wonderful in its own way. 9 pages to say two things:

1. Proper use of your fascia profundis will improve your performance.
2. Posture is key.

to quote the article
The old-timers knew what was up with fascia long before we even had a word for it... You'll always be safe if you go back to the mighty men of old, the guys before the 1950s.


Yeah, the old timers. You know, people like Guo Yun Shen, Sun Lu Tang, Wu Jien Quan...

Seriously, if you are properly training the taiji form, and possibly some auxiliary qi gong elements, you are already doing everything the article describes. Slow squats? Um, what is the opening of the taiji form? The part where you raise your arms and slowly... say it with me... Squat.

I never knew that movement could be its own medicine.


Well, roughly millions on millions of Chinese people do. While the quality of their practice might result in varying results, much like eating only subway sandwiches may result in some weight loss, unless you eat 5 at a sitting, this idea is hardly new.
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Re: IT/IS

Postby Bhassler on Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:24 pm

Zhong_Kui wrote:
I believe the core of IS is efficient dynamic skeletal transmission of force, and if you have that then the rest will follow


It may be, but whether it is or it is not is immaterial. Practice is. If you practice correctly, the rest will follow.

Edit: Let me clarify. I do not believe discussing dynamic skeletal transmission of force(TM) will help you practice, any more than writing down the mathematical theorems proving that the fourth dimension exists allow us to travel through it. Hence the rants.


I have no idea what anyone can say about fascia that will help you practice, because no one yet has pointed to a succinct concrete example of how one could see the fascia working or position oneself to cause the fascia to engage or whatever. I CAN, however, come up with any number of ways that a person could feel a small example of skeletal transmission of force, and that interested person could then continue on to explore it and apply it to their training. So it's not a matter of discussing the definition, it's a question of "does the definition provided lead to a practical discussion or examples of how to apply that concept in independent physical practice?"

It's all well and good to say that practice is the only thing that matters, but if that's your belief, why are you on a discussion forum? It doesn't make sense to dismiss discussion because it's not the same as practice, but it is perfectly fair to judge the validity of a particular discussion based on whether or not it can be applied to one's practice later on.
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Re: IT/IS

Postby Muad'dib on Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:19 pm

It's all well and good to say that practice is the only thing that matters, but if that's your belief, why are you on a discussion forum?


It's a valid question. The answer is simply I have friends and meet people here. I've also been coming here for about 11 years now, so its a bit of a habit. I stopped posting on substantive matters a long time ago however. It's delightful to say "If someone shoots, I'll just knee them in the head" and then hear "If someone shoots right, you won't be able to" a thousand times, but it only takes 2 times to realize that the conversation is pointless. If someone shoots, it is possible to knee them in the head. If someone shoots correctly, it is possible to prevent that. The conversation goes in circles. So I stopped discussing matters like that.

I CAN, however, come up with any number of ways that a person could feel a small example of skeletal transmission of force, and that interested person could then continue on to explore it and apply it to their training.


I have no problem with people proposing training methods. Shooter, before people annoyed him, used to post some excellent clips of his training. Clips, can you imagine? An actual demonstration of methodology!

This is not what I am arguing against, I am arguing against rationalization and the repackaging of internal arts as a means of promoting rationalizations, and as a means of pandering to people. I dunno, maybe I am wrong. Several people have sent me PM and email regarding this thread, and I understand their arguments, so maybe I am just set in my traditionalist ways.
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Re: IT/IS

Postby Doc Stier on Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:26 am

Image

Relax, Sink, Breathe!

Think less about IT...and feel more of what IT IS. ;)

Image

Image
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Re: IT/IS

Postby Upyu on Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:52 am

Doc Stier wrote:Image

Relax, Sink, Breathe!

Think less about IT...and feel more of what IT IS. ;)

Image

Image


Cuz that's worked SO well for the majority of peeps ;D
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Re: IT/IS

Postby somatai on Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:16 am

Zhong_Kui wrote:
internal is just a linguistic distinction, but what is being pointed at is real and not common and so the distinction is merited.


I'd like to follow up on this. Do you feel that the power that Dan has developed is different then the power your teacher has? Otherwise, I think my point remains that IT's merely linguistic revisionism. Please note again, I am not saying that Dan/Mike/Akuzawa don't have any ability. I'm just worried that it has created a trend that people are latching on to, because it seems more intellectually fulfilling because it is backed by pseudo-scientific terms, while in fact it is nothing new under the sun. It's been my understanding, and correct me if I am wrong, that the skills of the people in question are at least grounded to some extent or drawn from traditional styles. My worry about throwing terms like "fascia" around is not that it's incorrect. It's simply a new trend in mouth fu.



No I think it is the same and I think very well mapped out by traditional training methods......but new language can be useful in that people often stop hearing the meaning of words over time, they think they know what it means and so stop searching and miss it altogether.
Last edited by somatai on Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IT/IS

Postby klonk on Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:20 am

All the stuff we are trying to give new names to comes down to us from traditional training concepts, like relax, sink, etc.

We would not have anything to talk about if not for generations of people working these things out on the strictly pragmatic basis of this works, that doesn't. They usually talked about what they were doing in terms of an old fashioned idea of physiology the Yellow Emperor would have recognized. That is the language they had to talk about the body, the language of the place and era.

It is always possible (if not always wise) to take one way of explaining phenomena and substitute a different explanation, because phenomena must precede explanation. (If you don't have a phenomenon there is nothing to explain.) The phenomena here, though, are old not new. They pre-exist any modern discussion and in some sense that discussion is unnecessary.

I don't mind it when the lab coat boys wire up some little old taiji master to the the machinery and say, gee whiz, this fellow really is doing something a little bit different. That is exploration and discovery of what is. It is real science.

I do, though, object to pseudo science, and I think that may put me on Z.K.'s side of this discussion. New buzzwords don't really advance the discussion. They occur apart from a developed frame of scientific explanation. That is what makes science pseudo. If it really doesn't add anything of predictive value, in saying how things will behave under some or other conditions, it's just talk.

If you want me to say something about how to do IT, I am afraid I will use some old words with foreign sounds, like zhan zhuang, jibengong, or their near Western translations. For whatever phenomena we are talking about come to us out of the past, and already have a vocabulary attached. I do not see the neologisms as a better vocabulary, not at this time.

For what we really want is not so much to talk as to do, and you have to find (whatever) in your own body. Or discussion's pointless. If new terms make whatever IT IS easier to gain, well and good. If not... Yeah, I see where a charge of mouth fu could be made to lie, under the circumstances.

For example, presuming fascia play the role envisioned, the way you engage this is still through enhancing body awareness and doing well conceived exercises. It is automatic in the sense that the training works whether you know about fascia or not. We are interested in the body as it feels in action, not as we would encounter it on a dissection table.

I'm probably going in circles at this point and saying nothing new, so I'll stop.
I define internal martial art as unusual muscle recruitment and leave it at that. If my definition is incomplete, at least it is correct so far as it goes.
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Re: IT/IS

Postby Interloper on Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:55 am

Zhong_Kui wrote:That's great. I get it! Now, I am going to go outside and spend an hour training my myoblasts to contract by sheer force of will.


Actually, is is kinda like that. ;)
Intent drives all physical action in humans and other animals. It is not cognitive; in fact, there has been some research in the past few years which revealed that intent comes before cognition when you're about to make an action (e.g. you have an intent to pick up your coffee cup before you actually think, verbally, in your head that you are going to pick up the cup... if you even think it verbally at all). In addition, that intention actually fires the neurons and myoblasts to go through with the action. Think about the routine movements you make every day without conscious thought -- taking a step; reaching to pick up the cup; opening a car door; lifting a heavy object. You "fire" those myoblasts in your muscles AND in fascia without conscious thought, but -with- intent (that "force of will" you joke about).

Now, consider isolating those discrete firings from the actual execution of the motion. IOW, "think" about (use intention) taking that step forward; or "think" about lifting open a window, etc. You can get the myoblasts in your fascia to contract simply by intending those movements without carrying them all the way through. You'll feel it in the form of an odd kind of tension inside you, yet you won't be flexing any muscles or feeling any flexation. It's a weird feeling. When doing the exercises that hone this skill, practitioners get a kind of a buzzing, tingling feeling in their bodies, the result of opposing forces (push-pull, up-down...) and the dynamic tension they cause while you go through these "imaginary" movements just using your will.

It yields tangible results, so I'm not going to quibble over the details. Just suffice it to say that even without knowing anything scientific about the process, the ability can be taught/transmitted, learned and demonstrated.
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Re: IT/IS

Postby Muad'dib on Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:07 am

Interloper, do you move your hand by thinking "move hand"?

Also, I get those sensations via normal practice.
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Re: IT/IS

Postby somatai on Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:24 am

Zhong_Kui wrote:Interloper, do you move you hand by thinking "move hand"?



i know it was not asked of me, but no you do not, but then again thought is not intent, it is intent that mobilizes the energy to move the hand prior to execution, the energy builds up before it manifests the action....learning to feel and expand that gateway is very useful and what many ima's work with.
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Re: IT/IS

Postby klonk on Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:49 am

Restrained intent is contained in slow forms practice, against imaginary resistance. Stationary intent restrained is also found in CMA. You don't need need to know the word "myoblasts" to use these exercises. The exercises predate the word. Actually... Regardless of the body mechanisms involved (the role of the fascia seems to me far from settled) it seems important to get into the habit of thinking each motion has, and in a sense contains, its opposite.

Up or down, front or back, left or right,
are all the same.
These are all i (mind) and not external.
If there is up, there is down;
if there is forward, then there is backward;
if the is left, then there is right.
If the i wants to move up, it contains at the same time the downward idea.


Not sure who wrote that, it's attributed to Chang San-Feng. Anyhow it's nothing new.
I define internal martial art as unusual muscle recruitment and leave it at that. If my definition is incomplete, at least it is correct so far as it goes.
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Re: IT/IS

Postby somatai on Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:52 am

"it seems important to get into the habit of thinking each motion has, and in a sense contains, its opposite."

picking nits, but it is not thinking this that matters, it is FEELING it.
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Re: IT/IS

Postby klonk on Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:56 am

Okay, you're right. Slip of the keyboard, for I sorta made that point above.
I define internal martial art as unusual muscle recruitment and leave it at that. If my definition is incomplete, at least it is correct so far as it goes.
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Re: IT/IS

Postby Muad'dib on Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:04 am

So again, we come back to the point. Is talking about this using pseudo science any more effective than talking about it in a traditional manner. Does talking about it let you "feel" any better?
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