Monday, November 9, 2015

Including “Force Efficiency” with Applications

  To further expand on the concept of Force Efficiency, one must begin at How this concept is best achieved. Beginning with efficient motion, one must understand how each limb is able to motion. Limbs are combinations of different “Joints” (where the bones of the limb's are attached to one another). Both the Hips, and the shoulders are limited range “ball & socket” joints. This allows for rotation in multiple directions, but forward/rearward motion are the main (intended) directions of motion. The Elbow and the knee's allow for full contraction, and restricted extension (allowing those limbs to “straighten” only). The wrist and ankles only allow a limited amount of forward/rearward flexion and extension with little (if any) rotation. The elbow's and the knee's are where the feet and the hands are allowed their respective rotational abilities through the arm and leg's dual bones attachment at the elbow and knee respectively (the wrist and ankle are limited in their individual rotational ability).

  Though the degree of those ranges may vary between individual's, they are (regardless) all similar between individual's. The greatest amount of variance between people will be their individual muscular capabilities (i.e. “strength”). In order to develop (or confirm) the validity of a technique/application, muscular “strength” should not be a mandate for a technique's effectiveness (nor the ability to perform it). This is the most common mistake made with many exampled “Tuite” applications.

  Understanding the limb's motion ranges will define how that limb can be used in an offensive motion. That motion is most commonly an extension (of the limb) to deliver the desired momentum/force. Being that the elbow and the knee are (essentially) flat hinges (they only open/close in their respective “2” directions), the shoulder and the hip are the determining “joints” for directional delivery of that extension. Impactive range, is determined through the rotation of the arm bone at the shoulder joint or the thigh bone (at the hip) for the (respective) hand/foot.

  Once this is understood (recognized), the use of these limb's (to deliver/resist strikes) is determined by the fact that those motions are most effectively accomplished in (either) a forward (extension) and to a very limited degree, a rearward (extended) direction. If/when that direction is varied beyond being done in a (directly) forward direction (for the arms), the amount of energy is increasingly diminished (dependent upon the degree of that variance from being done directly forward).

  “Understanding” that the body is most efficient when correctly aligned, it is imperative to understand the optimal way(s) to correct/compensate the entire body's positioning to deliver a strike/motion (when the direction of delivery varies from the optimal direction of doing so, i.e. directly forward).

  Optimal alignment can not always be achieved (during an altercation). For that reason numerous manners of correcting one's “alignment” are taught to students. The instructed kata illustrate many of those positions and are often questioned by practitioner's (during their instruction). It should be realized (remembered?) that the kata contain numerous “tidbits” of instruction. This is why I view many of the “direct application” (following exact motion) interpretations (i.e. “bunkai”) with doubt (if not disfavor).

  Oyata taught that kata motion was (more often than not) only “bits and pieces” of technique's and application. This is why research was required to understand what was being exampled in the Kata's motion.

  Having a basic understanding of Force Efficiency (which entails numerous subjects and details itself) is imperative to one's ability to perform effective techniques (and interpret effective “bunkai”).
 Though we only briefly touched on this subject in our first book ("The Six Basic Principles of Tuite"), our continuing series of "Technique and Application" books are going to address Oyata's defensive body motions and principles/applications more deeply (in various related topics/subjects).

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