Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

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

Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby Yeung on Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:24 am

The idiom biomechanics of motion and quietness (动静之机 dòng jìng zhī jī) was not in the original Taijiquan Treaties of Wang Zongyue published in 1881, and it is believed that it was added on by Xu Yusheng (1921) who attempted to explain the Treaties. In any case the Treaties told us something about the passive and active relationship of movements, motion is active and quietness is passive. Motion and quietness should be a continuum of movement from high intensity to low intensity same as with sounds from loud to quiet. Since open and close are progressive, I translated “ji 机” as biomechanics instead a mechanic because the explaining of muscular movement with the laws of physics are not adequate. I translated “jing 静” as quietness instead of stillness according to other translators. Quietness is the literal translation which does not corresponding to no sound or no motion. The Yin Yang symbol described a continuum of changes between active and passive actions of the universe in harmony rather than as some kinds of dichotomy or dilemma.

Shen Jiazhen (1963) suggested the centrifugal force (moving away from the centre) and centripetal force (moving towards the centre) model to explain this phenomenon. This can be demonstrated by standing upright with arms relaxed on the sides and then use the legs and torso to spin and the arms will move upward and back to the sides when stop. The upward movement is centrifugal when actively spinning and back to the side passively is centripetal when spinning is stopped. This demonstration will not work properly if the performer fails to relax his or her arms. And it only demonstrated the effects of active and passive movements of the torso and legs.

The active and passive movements can be explained in terms of biomechanics: concentric (shortening of muscle fibres), eccentric (lengthening of muscles fibres), static (no change in the length of muscle fibres), and muscle elasticity (the ability of returning to original length of muscles fibres after changes). Taijiquan is a conscious exercise of stretchy and springy activities. So stretching is active and the springy effect or recoil is passive in utilizing the stored elastic energy. The human muscular system functions in a unity of passive and active actions without concentric muscle contraction is the same as the Yin Yang Binary System of Taiji (2^0), Yin Yang (2^1), Four signs (2^2), Eight Trigrams (2^3), etc., unto infinity. From archaeological excavations, China has a long history of stretching exercise possibly dated back to Warring State Period (475 – 211 BC) but it was developed as a kind of therapeutic exercise and how it developed into martial arts is not very clear. The binary exercise model can be constructed from the art of various martial arts that advocate springy and springy actions.

Mark Albert (1991) provide the rational for eccentric training, and there are many more articles and books on the subject. Their findings are relevant to the claims of Taijiquan and other martial arts claim to be internal in not using brute force or concentric muscle contraction. This sort of differentiated internal martial arts from other martial arts, and there are many disagreements on this subject, as most so called internal martial arts have been deconstructed in such ways that most people no longer can tell the differences.

The aim of writing this post is to attack comments and examples of the utilization of eccentric muscle contraction and stored muscle elasticity in martial arts.

Reference:

Mark Albert, Eccentric Muscle Training in Sport and Orthopaedics (2ne Edition), Churchill Livingstone, New York, 1991

Shen Jiazhen (1963), Chen Shi Taijiquan (chapters 1 to 3), in the Taijiquan Quan Shu (2nd Edition), People’s Publisher of Athletic, Beijing 2010

Wang Zongyue (1881), Taiji Boxing Treatise in A manual handwritten by Li Yiyu presented to his student Hao He (Weizhen), translated by Paul Brennan, May, 2013 (accessed on 26 April, 2020)

Xu Yusheng (1921), Taiji Boxing Postures Explained, translation by Paul Brenna, Aug, 2012 (accessed on 26 April, 2020)
Last edited by Yeung on Fri May 01, 2020 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby charles on Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:50 am

Yeung,

A very interesting post, albeit "densely" written.

I'm a little confused, however, with your statement, "The aim of writing this post is to attack comments and examples of the utilization of eccentric muscle contraction and stored muscle elasticity in martial arts." You state that, "concentric (shortening of muscle fibres), eccentric (lengthening of muscles fibres)". How can contraction of muscles occur while lengthening muscles - eccentric muscle contraction? Or, is that your point, to refute that one can simultaneously contract and lengthen muscles? I don't know much about these sort of details. I'm just seeking clarification and better understanding.

Shen's explanation of centrifugal and centripetal forces are interesting. I've heard Taiji folks argue about the use of those forces in applications and push hands and took them at face value, like swinging a pale of water on a string. Your explanation is far more insightful, though I'm not sure of its explicit application, if it has one, beyond a demonstration of a principle, that of "active" and "passive" and elongation.
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Re: Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby everything on Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:04 am

"eccentric" - usually an example like a bicep curl is given. when you lift/curl the dumbbell, there is concentric movement. As you lower the weight, there is eccentric movement since the muscle is lengthening while producing force (e.g., to lower the weight slowly).

A better example might be lowering movement when you squat. Various muscles are lengthening while producing force. If the "weight" we are lowering is some kind of "incoming force" or our own bodyweight that we are catching, I guess that would happen all the time in any MA, sport, dance, movement arts, etc. it shouldn't apply to "IMA" any more or in some "special" way. "Static" and "stillness in motion" aren't the same as "isometric" for example, and also aren't particularly specific to MA.
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Re: Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby yeniseri on Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:28 am

Muscles respond in the same way regardless of sport, activity, etc that is engaged in by people. A punch, a hit, a throw, etc though the end result is the same, CMA of all kinds through 'efficiency of movement' (like all sport activities anywhere), allows for individual perfection in how this is accomplished. The principle of gong (for me as I understand it, is about frequency and duration of activity, whethere shuaijiao, qigong/yangshenggong, etc) meaning the individual practices 'movements to allow for better use of his/her momentum so as to achieve a rate of efficiency without injury to himself/herself allowing it to be functional in 'old age'. Usually in most tuishou, one seens two opposing forces butting head, whichis against the principe of roushou while saying that aikido or even shuaijiao teaches uo to 'sense/feel" the durection but redirect to emptiness instead of force on force!
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Re: Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby suckinlhbf on Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:33 am

standing upright with arms relaxed on the sides and then use the legs and torso to spin and the arms will move upward and back to the sides when stop


It is quite different from what I have learnt. I just list a few here:- Shaolin Chi mixing method - absolute no power in the body, just focus at outside the limbs; Hakka - focus on fingers and fist; Taiji - eye leads and hand follows (not hand follows eye); Xingyi - look at and punch at a remote target; Bagua - look at the pole at the center when walking circles; ZZ - project to a remote target. It makes sense to me. We move toward the food we want to grasp either by hand or chop stick, not push the movement from the leg - hip - body - shoulder - waist - chop stick. We focus at the target when we throw a dagger, shoot an arrow, hunting...etc.

How would your theories work if match them to this approach?
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Re: Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby everything on Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:38 am

Check out this fantastic "borrowing" by Fedor at about :07. It looks like for sure Sonnen is about to dump Fedor on his head.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6nhHN9xVl4
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Re: Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby robert on Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:54 am

Eccentric contraction is part of the stretch shortening cycle. An example is when you drop your weight down to jump up - you stretch the muscles to help you jump up.

From wikipedia
A stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) is an active stretch (eccentric contraction) of a muscle followed by an immediate shortening (concentric contraction) of that same muscle.

The increased performance benefit associated with muscle contractions that take place during SSCs has been the focus of much research in order to determine the true nature of this enhancement. At present, there is some debate as to where and how this performance enhancement takes place. It has been postulated that elastic structures in series with the contractile component can store energy like a spring after being forcibly stretched.[1] Since the length of the tendon increases due to the active stretch phase, if the series elastic component acts as a spring, it would therefore be storing more potential energy. This energy would be released as the tendon shortened. Thus, the recoil of the tendon during the shortening phase of the movement would result in a more efficient movement than one in which no energy had been stored.[2] This research is further supported by Roberts et al.[3]

However, other studies have found that removing portions of these series-elastic components (by way of tendon length reduction) had little effect on muscle performance.[4]

Studies on turkeys have, nevertheless, shown that during SSC, a performance enhancement associated with elastic energy storage still takes place but it is thought that the aponeurosis could be a major source of energy storage (Roleveld et al., 1994). The contractile component itself has also been associated with the ability to increase contractile performance through muscle potentiation (Cavagna, 1977) while other studies have found that this ability is quite limited and unable to account for such enhancements (Lensel and Goubel, 1987, Lensel-Corbeil and Goubel, 1990; Ettema and Huijing, 1989).
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Re: Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby everything on Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:24 pm

I think plyometrics use the stretch reflex to help train you to do explosive movements

That isn’t specific to MA either but seems helpful and related for compress release
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Re: Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby Yeung on Fri May 01, 2020 9:31 am

This post is the introduction of a paper I am writing with the hope that it will be published in the Quarterly Journal of the Institute of Martial Arts and Sciences based in Greater Manchester, UK. The second part of this paper will be the methodology and using the search engine of RSF is one of the research methods to identify examples related to martial arts that do not use brute force or concentric muscle contraction. In this forum there were lots of relevant topics such a passive stance, double weighted, rotation of the crotch, seek straight from curves, store and issue, five bows issue together, etc. The comments to these concepts are very interesting but very difficult to verify them without some theoretical models. Internal martial arts have been deconstructed into so many schools it is not possible to reconstruct them properly without a valid model such as the Binary Exercise Modal as suggested. Just to facilitate the discussion I will expound the terms that needed explanation and comparisons with other models such as plyometric.

Albert (1991) gave a detail description of eccentric muscle contraction. It is not a contradictory term because when muscle lengthen it contract in its cross section. The SSC of plyometric has the concentric component, and it also produce greater power as in the drop and jump experiment to produce a higher jump by subjects. If you analysis the pattern in repetitive cycles is a break between cycles that is after utilized the recoil effect of stretching to increase concentric muscle contraction has to relax the contracted muscle before the next cycle. Plyometric is okay for one strike techniques for extreme performance such as breaking techniques, but most repetitive techniques such a double or triple jab only performing in low intensity.

The Shen (1963) model is developed from physics as he was a railway engineer, but physical object does not have power on its own. Muscle has energy to lengthen and shorten, and lengthening will store up elastic energy for the muscle return to its original length. I have not seen any measurement on the difference between the time taken for lengthening to return to normal, and the time taken for shortening to return to normal. But in practice the difference is obvious. There are studies on the electromechanical delay of muscle actions but that is the opposite of the time taken to return to normal.

The common practices in martial arts are the concentric muscle contraction and relax cycle in low intensities. Actually this is a dilemma of speed and strength, as every boxer knew that a jab is faster and a cross is stronger.

The binary or Yin Yang model is the stretch-recoil cycle and can be repetitive without the concentric break in between cycles. It gets a bit tricky when we move from 2^1 to 2^2 with multi-muscle groups such as the five bows issue together.
Most members of the forum just express their opinions without any structures which made it very difficult to address their concern, and of it is difficult to verify their opinions as most cases there is no reference.
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Re: Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby everything on Fri May 01, 2020 11:27 am

Sounds interesting.

When I’ve felt “internal”, it is more like a “pulse” of “energy” as if one person’s nervous system receives an electrical message from the first person’s nervous system and then there is involuntary (seemingly) movement the same as if you were to think “reach for this cup” and your hand does that without much thought.

Maybe 99.999% of videos that purport to show that are fake or seeking some false mechanical explanation of it. When you feel it, it’s more like the above. And people justifiably don’t believe the fake since it’s fake.

You don’t normally feel your synapses if that makes sense. It’s not isometric. It feels like “no force” and certainly like no brute force, but nothing at all like a judo throw or something athletic done gracefully. “Real Internal” (TM) isn’t just a graceful move.
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Re: Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby windwalker on Fri May 01, 2020 1:52 pm

Yeung wrote:

Most members of the forum just express their opinions without any structures which made it very difficult to address their concern, and of it is difficult to verify their opinions as most cases there is no reference.


The comments to these concepts are very interesting but very difficult to verify them without some theoretical models. Internal martial arts have been deconstructed into so many schools it is not possible to reconstruct them properly without a valid model such as the Binary Exercise Modal as suggested.



by what means does one use to verify, outside of one's own experience?




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc3VG9J ... e=youtu.be
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Re: Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby everything on Fri May 01, 2020 3:26 pm

Some people don't know the door exists, don't wish to know, or for some reason actively try to deny a door exists. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I guess The Matrix and the Blue Pill are quite satisfactory.
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Re: Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby Yeung on Sat May 02, 2020 1:30 pm

Question from Windwalker: By what means does one use to verify, outside of one’s own experience?

From a philosophically point of view, any theory has not been falsify is verified. It is a valid point to said that 999.99% of the video demonstration can be fakes like magic but you cannot fake your own experience. In a way you can verify your own experience from others who have similar experience if you can call that as outside of one’s own experience. The following example is a good way to validate the differences between eccentric and concentric:

I have posted a video on the head trick, maybe you can try the Strong-arm Tactics by Vicki Cobb (2005) as well:

http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/ ... e029.shtml

In “Total Aikido” by Gazo Shioda (1997), there is an experiment entitled “Anyone can do it, with a little know-how and is not Ki”. It sort of demonstrated if you open your hand and stretch out the arm as hard as possible (eccentrically) is much more difficult to bend compare to a straight arm with fist close and contract a hard as possible (concentrically).
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Re: Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby windwalker on Sat May 02, 2020 2:12 pm

I have posted a video on the head trick, maybe you can try the Strong-arm Tactics by Vicki Cobb (2005) as well:


funny...not :-\

thanks for your answer....

@everything

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you might find this interesting reading

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Re: Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Postby Trick on Sun May 03, 2020 1:35 am

everything wrote:Some people don't know the door exists, don't wish to know, or for some reason actively try to deny a door exists. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I guess The Matrix and the Blue Pill are quite satisfactory.

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