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 Post subject: Ring the bell
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:36 am 
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Having gotten exactly nowhere with this topic among other Karate friends, I thought I might try my luck here:

The short version is: I was thumbing through an issue of Black Belt magazine (sigh:, yes, I know...), and I came across an article on power delivery.

The author outlined three types: ( Crushing, penetrating and "transferring") :the one that caught my attention was "transferring" (as an adjective, not a verb) power.


By this, the author implied that this type of power was delivered using the technique of "reversal" where the delivery vehicle (fist, foot) was removed from the target as quickly as possible.
I believe we call this "retraction" in MA.

When I read it, I was reminded of a passage in "The Way of Karate" by Mr. Mattson where he describes this type of strike.
He says that the opponent hit by this whipping strike will not be driven back, but will drop, even toward you ... (paraphrased).

---------------------------------------------------

So, being a musician, this got me thinking about a concept in mallet-instruments such as bells, drums, marimbas, xylophones and such.
Even the piano -- I'll explain momentarily.

The concept is that immediately upon delivering the strike, the striker must be retracted immediately or else the ringing will be damped.
The striker cannot remain in contact with the cymbal, bell, marimba, or drum head.
If it does, the entire effect is negated, "the bell will not ring".

In a piano, there is an amazing mechanism built for each of the 88 keys.
When you press the key, a trip hammer (actually called a hammer.) hits the string but is retracted and held on its first rebound. It's so fast you almost can't see it.
Same princpiple: hit and retracted immediately.
-------------------------------------------------------

Now, in MA we have a contradictory concept called "time on target" which dictates that a rather lengthy amount of time is required to unload all of our prodigious ( we like to think) power, fully into the target.

But really, how much time is required to transfer the energy into the target?
Why, in the realm of other mechanical systems, is an "instant" of transfer and immediate removal required, yet we insist that "time on target" is required?

Have we really got THAT much power to "download"?!
Why is the sustained contact of the striker considered to be a "dampening" mechanism in other physical systems, but not in Karate?

--------------------------------------------------------------

The question boils down to where the energy goes.
If the bell doesn't ring, well, the energy has to go somewhere. Stick to bell, bell to air, air to ear ideally.
But if you dampen it, : stick to bell, ...?

Of course, I know where the energy goes, but it's an interesting thought experiment that is relevant to martial arts striking.

Any comments?

~N~

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:27 pm 
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Whip to break, penetrate to shake.

Snapping - whip out and back - or "hajiki" type techniques were first taught to me as breaks. Snap the cheeckbone, snap the radius, snap the top of the foot.

Penetration is use to shake, rattle, and roll the water in the human bag.

Bill G once posted a bit on the various elatiscity of various parts of the human body and how that coul dictate how you hit the different bits.

So a hajiki to the stomach will cause a very localized wave - but may not wave throughout the body.

In either case we're not talking about spending countless seconds on a target - we're talking fractions of seconds and the PSI of larger or smaller delivery weapons and how that affects PSI at the point of contact.

The math is well beyond my abilities.

So snap a knee but wave through the chest - or perhaps the best of both worlds is found somewhere in between - where a strike locally damages and still sends shockwaves through the body...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:10 pm 
I don't believe in "Waves" or "Qi".....not the way most folks talk about it anyway. If you look at a slow motion film of somebody breaking wood then you see the force being redirected back up their arm and down again.
Really when you hit somebody it is not like ringing a bell at all. The force from a punch isn't electricity, or something mysterious and hidden. It's just like hitting them with a stick. If you hit a bell hard enough with a stick it will bounce away and then ring.and it will have all that energy bouncing away inside it.same as if you hit somebody with a car at 60 mph.their body will be ripping itself apart as they fly off your fender.
But just how much energy is in a punch or a kick :? ....I think that is the problem with folks who say things like that .they tend to think there is huge amounts of energy involved when their isn't :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:43 pm 
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Dana wrote:

The math is well beyond my abilities.

< tag >

From an engineering standpoint, it's the difference between an impulse function and a step function. Engineers use the concept all the time when studying phenomena and testing systems.

The impulse is a near infinite amount of energy in an infinitessimal (time goes to zero) amount of time. The theoretically perfect impulse contains energy at all frequencies. Thus when an impulse meets a system, the system will respond based on its characteristics. An infininite array of sine functions at all frequencies meet a piano string, and it responds at its resonant frequencies.

This is the strike talked about above.

The step function or time on target is like flicking a light switch on. You go from zero energy to a large amount of energy instantaneously.

Anything which diminishes the frequency response of these two phenomena will diminish the ability of said phenomena to transfer destructive energy. If you aren't all that powerful, you won't be able to generate a lot of energy in a short period of time. If you have padding or "losses" in the system, it will filter out high (and often destructive) frequencies.

Remember that in the case of martial arts, we go from ringing the bell to shattering the ringing glass.

Image

Ella Fitzgerald's singing is the time on target thing at just the frequency which rings the glass. The glass resonates with Ella's tone. At a certain point the vibration amplitude is beyond the ability of the glass to sustain it, and it shatters. It is a special case of focused energy at a key frequency.

Penetrating power is another phenomeon as well. It is "follow through" which allows for additional energy to be added to a system when it begins to respond (yield) to that system. For example your skin can "give" to an insult - up to a point. The same is true for the various joints in your body. Stretch it enough, and its absorption properties change. The chain or rubber band turns to a fragile rod. The balloon turns to a pane of glass. Eventually you have a stiff system which can break/tear the way a rose shatters when you freeze and then drop it.

There are other even more complex phenomena such as contre coup where the brain bounces off the back of the skull when you hit the jaw at a lateral angle. This is energy transfer from point A to B in your target.

Hope that helps.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:19 pm 
Excellent explanation Bill .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:46 pm 
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I'm not sure this really makes sense to me. I don't think that the physics of elastic, inelastic, rigid and soft-body mechanics regarding the impact of a punch have as much to say about effectiveness of that punch as the biomechanical principles of the delivery.

Certainly the impact mechanics are relevant, but to me the difference between time-on-target and whip is more about how you're generating the power. When you punch, you want to minimize the engagement of antagonistic muscles. If you're punching and focusing on recoiling, you're necessarily putting the breaks on your punch (and thereby reducing the power of it). Imagine hitting a bag. To some extent, time on target is just a result of the fact that if you don't try to bring your hand back until it's really been stopped by a solid object, it takes a little time to start it moving in the return direction.

I think it's unavoidably true that if you are putting energy into stopping your punch then you aren't transferring maximum energy into a target. It's possible that some kind of physical effect makes it desirable to break contact faster but with less power, but I'm not exactly sure how that would be true. Then again, certain parts of your body are more effective at generating energy in a whip-like manner than others. When you come down to it, what makes a whip work as a weapon isn't that it hits so briefly, but that the structure of the whip and how it's used generate a lot of power. It's all about the delivery.

My current thought is that time-on-target is a useful training tool more than a way to create a certain physical effect.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:54 pm 
I`m with you Justin , theres a paralell thread on the IUPA forum

http://www.wilsonkarate.com/forum/viewt ... hp?tid=281


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:46 pm 
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The whip hit is more about velocity, Justin. Time on target is more about mass. Both are examples of kinetic energy, which is a function of both velocity and mass.

And some hits are hybrids. In other words you hit with speed, and then have follow through.

Ballistics can show you really extreme examples. It's like getting hit with a light round at supersonic speed vs. a heavy round at a slower speed. They break chemical bonds in different ways.

I would love to show you my cobra strikes, Justin. It's that arm posture in the front elbow strike of Seisan. I have a whole body whipping motion I do where my hiraken goes out at a blinding speed. I have a very crane-like build (VERY long arms) and so can do this better than most. I can punch holes in the yoga mats in our gym with that. But I cannot break through that with any time-on-target strike.

I am 100% confident that I could shatter a human skull at the temple with my cobra strike. I couldn't do that with a classic time-on-target strike like a hammer fist.

It has to do with the energy spectrum, Justin. And it has to do with what frequencies of energy will break certain chemical bonds. If you were an engineer and we could discuss Fourier analysis, we'd be on the same page.

Ever wonder why things are different colors around you? They reflect some frequencies of visible light, and absorb others. For every color, there is a unique property of absorption/reflection. So different mixes of light of different colors will be absorbed or reflected by things of various colors. It's kind of like that.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 12:30 am 
egads I thought I agreed Bill .

I dont beleive theres an easy obtainable resonate frequency thats able to be affected by imapcting with empty hands . Seems a little chi to me , I beleive anything that can be acheived by a retraction method can be mechanically done with follow through .

Isnt the only thing that matters is what happens at the moment of impact ? , how can retraction have anything to do with it unless you are setting up some sort of vibration or pulse ? , and does the body really do this so easilly to a point of destruction ?

are we confusing the finger for the moon ?

I can do both methods , I just beleive when were taking pure force , time on target is harder strictly because its more commited and not being restrained by a retraction .

Oh By the way Bill , you should video tape yourself shattering a skull , it would be great for traditional martial arts . Would be an impressive feat/demonstration .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:35 pm 
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Neil - it matters if you want what you hit to break or ring, yes?

If you want the nose to break - you snap it, if you want the brain to ring you've got to either move the skull quickly or make the fluid & electical systems sing and dance.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:32 am 
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Posted by Dana: "Neil - it matters if you want what you hit to break or ring, yes?

If you want the nose to break - you snap it."

Now that's karate. 8O


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:55 am 
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That's intent.

I don't think "karate" is really meant to teach someone how to fight. I think the deal is that someone decided that it would be nice to know how to break another person.

After all, if you were attacked by a predator, should you try to fight them, or should you destroy them?

I'm leaning towards destroy.

I think karate is all about the looking glass, as Mike pointed out, using Rory's blog.

Maybe kata is just a way to step through the looking glass. 8O

And I'm not just being weird here, if one doesn't know what I'm talking about, then one doesn't know ##### about how to practice kata. :evil:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 6:23 am 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FZjHAij ... ed&search=


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:56 pm 
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Stryke wrote:

Oh By the way Bill , you should video tape yourself shattering a skull , it would be great for traditional martial arts . Would be an impressive feat/demonstration .

Playful jabs aside....

It's already been done, Marcus, about 3 decades ago in Black Belt. I can't remember the name of the guy, but I believe the last name was Richie. But I do remember he had a pony tail and one glass eye.

And yes, it was a bit of a morbid demo.

And no, it didn't mean anything to me. Why? The skull was taken quite literally out of context. It was a skull, and not the entire head where the skull would have very different properties.

And if you spend any time in an ER, sooner or later you'd see someone come in with a skull fracture from a fight. Again, already been done.

The question isn't whether or not you can do it, or whether Marcus is going to have fun with me for whatever reason. The question is what we do in martial arts, and why. The question is how we take what already has transpired in the history of human conflict, and bottle it in choreography which we practice.

Stryke wrote:

I dont beleive theres an easy obtainable resonate frequency thats able to be affected by imapcting with empty hands . Seems a little chi to me , I beleive anything that can be acheived by a retraction method can be mechanically done with follow through .

If you have infinite energy, then anything is possible.

If you have a finite amount of energy, or space to do a technique, or limited angle of ingress and egress, then life gets more interesting.

If you haven't spent time studying energy in the frequency domain or understand how chemical bonds respond more to some frequencies than to others, then what I say may seem a bit like chi-speak.

If we were good scientists and got into the laboratory with our strain gages, analog to digital converters, and digital processing software, then we might have some fun with this. That's part of what was done on the National Geographic special. They wanted to study percussion from various martial strikes in greater detail.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:09 pm 
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Quote:
I believe anything that can be acheived by a retraction method can be mechanically done with follow through


hmmm......thinking about this....what about number of contacts per second?

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