Four Elements of Leverage

Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - Technical Discussion' started by sumdumguy, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. mj-hi-yah

    mj-hi-yah Senior Master

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    Brother John as a participant in this thread I'd like to say that I agree with you that it is best to rise above it all, but I feel that there may have been a certain frustration that lead to the extreme rudeness on Mr. Durgan's part, although inexcusable. I agree with you that the tone was set early on. I liked the link and had this been a thread I posted and I disagreed with it's posting in my thread, I would have sought a different approach. However, the rest of the participants saw it through and this thread was finally moving in a more positive and productive direction when a personal insult was made to all the participants, but one, by another person posting here. His comments affected me personally and this type of blanket negativity is the reason I am reluctant to be a part of these Kenpo threads.

    It was my desire to come here as an intermediate student and learn about Kenpo. My thoughts should be intermediate reflecting my experience just as an experienced high ranking Kenpo stylist's thoughts should reflect the formulation of advanced thoughts pertaining to the art. I don't expect to be insulted for the stage of learning that I am in.

    I would like to have seen Mr. Durgan rise above it, react differently, as well, but wonder if this is more like the straw that broke the camel's back than anything else. Also, as I stated in another thread, these reputation points and anonymous negative comments are counterproductive and unkind. I can't see a good purpose for allowing such a thing. This confirms it for me.

    I find this all very unfortunate.:asian:
     
  2. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    Now may we return to the disscussion on the Four Elements of Leverage ?
     
  3. pete

    pete Master Black Belt

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    well mj, et al.. its only unfortuate if it all ends here... with so many unanswered questions and open thoughts sitting between the cyber-bs...

    so, we have:
    1. four elements of leverage: lever, fulcrum, effort, and load.
    2. examples of how they are used in several kenpo techniques
    3. the idea that levers and fulcrums are present in all kenpo techniques
    4. examples of how multiple levers and fulcrums can be used together
    5. 3 ways (so far) of applying the effort to the lever: push, pull, strike.
    6. the idea that if one understands how the tool works, it can be used to a greater degree.
    7. the position that this is all irrelevant and nonsensical

    i'd like to know:
    :wink2: can 3 or more lever/fulcrums be used together effectively, and is there a kenpo technique that does this?
    :wink2: is a twist (coliling, or rotational force) a forth method of applying effort to a lever? an example would be the turning of the hips during the takedowns in grasp of death, falling falcon (or drawbridge).. or is this the use of a different tool?
    :wink2: how can the understanding of these elements be used to either increase the effectiveness of the kenpo techniques, or change the physical execution of a technique...
    :wink2: do those who feel this in nonsense use leverage in their kenpo... or feel that they'd rather not get slowed down by the control aspects of the art?

    and finally, rainman, let sumdumguy speak for himself... he does a better job of it. instead, speak for yourself... if you've been at kenpo for 10 years or more, there is probably much you can add to this dialog...and probably a few things you can learn. for starter's scan back through the thread and find the use of a lever in sword of destruction, its there...
     
  4. Brother John

    Brother John Senior Master

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    Actually very well said (ok...typed). Thank you for this perspective Chad.
    good look'n out bro...

    Your Brother
    John
     
  5. Rainman

    Rainman Guest


    wrong element, I asked you to identify the location of the fulcrum in SOD... nevermind though annonymous "pete" I have nothing further for you.

    Good day sir.

    Thank you for your gentle disposition, it is appreciated, but I think for now we are going to bow out of this thread :asian:
     
  6. sumdumguy

    sumdumguy Green Belt

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    Why do you bother teaching torque, gravitational marriage, or the three phases, or complimentary angles, these are all just silly little adjectives used to describe actions that we could just be doing instead of talking about. Oh, how about counter torque, why bother posting a TOW about counter torque? There is some usefull stuff....
    Because it's the culmination of these concepts understood first, and applied second, by the students that makes them (hopefully) a more effective fighter and or Martial Artist. We could go back to the way it was, when the instructor said "do this" and when you ask why he/she sais "because I said so" and "that's the way it's always been done". Or is that the way you teach now? Leverage is another concept (actually principle) to learn and understand to be a more effective Kenpoist. Not to be analyzed on the mat, but exercised. In order to do that, however... we must first understand leverage and (like it or not) the component parts of leverage. Not understanding the component parts of leverage would be like saying that you know mechanics because you can drive a car.
    So, for my students... yes, I will teach these elements with the knowledge that they will be a better fighter and OH... be able to grapple and control people with confidence!
    :supcool:
     
  7. rmcrobertson

    rmcrobertson Guest

    I agree that what's being discussed is both the nature of leverage, and the nature of mystification in kenpo. That is, you're both discussing a particular topic and the extent to which theories, concepts and languages are being proliferated that get in the way of the student's training--and, not incidentally, also reinforce the instructor's ego.

    I dunno. I don't see anything inherently wrong with teaching students about levers; I'm not sure I see anything inherently necessary in having students learn to classify levers to the extent discussed.


    A couple-three possibly-useful points:

    1. All explanations rest on analogy of one kind or another.

    2. Some students benefit from detailed explanations and theory; some do not. The trick is figuring out which is which.

    3. Freud was quite right about the danger of premature analysis and explanation. It can easily give rise to a) denial; b) fetishization of explanation; c) dead-ends in thought and action.

    4. The kenpo system, if taught, can in many ways, "speak for itself:" it may not be necessary for students to reel off long winded explanations, if they can actualize the information. Why? Because all these classes of levers/leverage are inherent in the system, and anybody who thouroughly learns that system has an understanding of them, whether or not they can go on and explain that knowledge once they get off the mat.

    5. Almost always, students at black belt and beyond--and instructors--need a reasonably-sophisticated understanding of what they're doing in order to advance further, and to teach.

    6. A quick tongue and fancy language does not necessarily mean you're smart and knowledgeable, for the same reasons that having good natural speed doesn't make you a martial artist. A quick tongue and fancy language does not mean you're ignert and sneaky, either. A slow tongue and few words does not mean you're thick and ignert; they also do not mean you're full of knowledge and wisdom. Verbal ability should be separated from skill and knowledge. And it ain't the same as intellectual understanding, either.

    7. When evaluating what teachers say to students (or the little quizzes they give on these forums), I'd suggest worrying more about: a) do the words pump up the instructor, or teach the student? b) do the words focus attention on the kenpo, or on something else? c) do the words reflect what the students need to know, or the instructor's new discoveries? d) is the instructor speaking to the student, or articulating their own boredom with, "just teaching basics?"

    8. ALL kenpo gets repeatedly charged with being fancy theory at the expense of reality. Hm.
     
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  8. mj-hi-yah

    mj-hi-yah Senior Master

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    These are all interesting and important thoughts, worthy of investigation, and I'd say this may be something to discuss in another place...in another thread - perhaps in an instructors' forum.:asian:

    In a school you can make an informed decision, based on experience in working with a student about a students' individual ability to absorb something in greater detail. Since this is a forum, don't you think it should be left up to the participant in a thread to decide if something holds value for them or not? After all, if something doesn't interest you, or you don't understand or care to know it, you can choose to tune out. As an intermediate student I am interested in learning...period. I am ready to examine things in greater detail and should be given the opportunity to decide for myself if I find value in something. I respect that both Sumdumguy and the Dark Kenpo Lord have lots of experience and much to teach :asian: . That's what I'd most like to see them do.

    I would also like to do as tshadowchaser requests, but find it difficult to do so without Sumdumguy, because it's his thread, and his thoughts based on his experience. I'd like to see Sumdumguy, if he so desired, be able to finish what he started here. What I do with the information like anything else in these forums is up to me. :asian:
     
  9. pete

    pete Master Black Belt

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    "i see a lotta choppin', but no chips are flyin"... foghorn leghorn
     
  10. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    If I may interject without offending any feuding parties? I would like to go back to the original question.

    First, please let me say that I no longer study Kenpo and, though this topic has mainly been dominated by Kenpo people, I would like to see other styles weigh in also for the purposes of dicussion and education.

    In Hwarangdo, we use a lot of joint locks and, as some of our techniques are circular and we study judo, I think a basic understanding of physical science is helpful. One thing I notice with joint manipulation - which is increasingly popular and is crossing style boundaries - is that the understanding of leverage is tantamount to applying an effective technique versus applying a joint lock that really doesn't work.

    Personally, I've had a few fellow students attempt to apply a gooseneck close to the body and bend at the waist for the control/throw - we help them simply by telling them to keep 90 degree angles and see if that improves the technique - of course, it does but many don't understand why and this is where I think physics must step in. It's one thing to know that you need to keep proper angles and use a leverage application for locks and manipulations. Having a deeper, more scientific understanding of body mechanics and physical science is what makes a martial artist able to quickly evaluate scenarious and fast-coming attacks.

    Are all students going to grasp this? Probably not - but I think it's a good way to challenge the mind as well and slam another tool into the box.

    Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to go crack my physics book. :boing2:

    HWARANG!
     
  11. rmcrobertson

    rmcrobertson Guest

    Ninety degree angles? Could you explain?

    One of the points I was trying to make was that while it's nice, and may be very desirable, to have a pretty good intellectual handle on the mechanics involved, it's probably even btter to develop correct technique--stance, posture, leg and arm position, well-shaped weapons, etc.--than it is to fiddle with a first, second, or third degree lever.

    By the way, some of what was being discussed wasn't the physics or the science, but an extra layer of terminology set on top of technique and science--an additional layer of theory, so to speak.

    It's not clear to me that that's necessary--or unnecessary, for that matter. There's a lot of pseudo-science in kenpo, though, and I suspect that such terms as "first," degree leverage would be better kept on the level of metaphors, rather than being turned into solid terms.

    Moreover, I suspect that while it would be better to develop in students a direct understanding of different sorts of leverage, starting with what a fulcrum is, this can be done pretty easily even with kids just by talking about how you move something with a lever.

    Then, you can go on to talk about efficiency, and going beyond using mere upper-body muscle and weight...but that means using language that directly applies to the desired effects, rather than to a specialized (and sometimes kinda in-grouppy) language that is at a further distance from the material reality.
     
  12. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    Sure - I'm not sure if you are familiar with what a gooseneck is, so please forgive me if I explain too much. Our gooseneck involves, coming from the outside, torquing (not leverage) the arm by locking at the wrist with your reverse hand, knifehand strike at the inside of elbow (encouraging the natural bend of the elbow), coming underneath the arm so that the offending elbow is now riding on yours with the wrist locked...thus, if you drew an imaginary line from fingertip to shoulder, you would form a square. Many people try to keep distance so that the wrist and elbow angles are obtuse (which relies mostly on pure torque) or close the angles so that the arm is folded against the body (more effective in a take-down situation, but not in disarming or in pain compliance). This is where we usually describe keeping 90 degree angles. Whew, I hope I explained that well.

    I definately agree - there is an innate understanding that comes from the tools you mentioned. I'm not a huge fan of throwing all kinds of physical science into it, however, I still, do think rudimentary science can be helpful.

    Agreed.

    Perhaps not necessary, but in small amounts in certain situations, my opinion is that it can be useful.

    Again, agreed.

    HWARANG!
     
  13. sumdumguy

    sumdumguy Green Belt

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    MCrobertson, there are no "degrees" of leverage only degrees of ________ fill in the blank. They are "classes" or a "class" of lever. This is one of the reasons that I refuse to continue with this post, you have no idea what I am talking about yet you instist on de-valueing the knowledge of such things. I am not (like I said earlier) here to teach anyone anything, I was more are less trying to see what the general knowledge base was about this subject. Science is science, the same with physics. I can't change it and nor can you. I will embrace the new and you can refute it if you like. Either way, like I said before I could care less....

    La ti da La ti da
     
  14. rmcrobertson

    rmcrobertson Guest

    Oooh, yep, now THERE'S an important distinction. "Degrees," not "classes." Oooh baby, I am stunned. Incidentally, if we're going to get finicky about language? You meant, "reject," not, "refute." See, "refute," means that you prove something false by logical means. "Reject," means that you simply refuse to discuss, you simply throw it out.

    Of course, if you'd read what I wrote, you'd see that I pointed out that clearly there are different levels of sophistication involved in using leverage. "Degrees," if you like. I understand quite well; I don't see what the big whoops are--and more importantly, I don't believe that this stuff particularly helps students.

    But then, personally, I don't really see the point in checking into forums just to scope out, "the general knowledge base," since I don't see myself as the Great Kenpo Examiner.

    "The new," my ear. The jargon-filled, more like--as is suggested by your previous remarks that, "it's the culmination of these concepts understood first, and applied second, by the students that makes them (hopefully) a more effective fighter and or Martial Artist."

    Understood first and applied second? This is how you teach, say, a horse stance, first lesson? A punch? An inward block? "Hi, this is your first lesson. Today, we'll be applying marriage of gravity and directional harmony as you step out into a horse--short for horse-riding--stance with your left foot, in part because in Chinese alchemy the left side is associated with femininity, while the right side is linked to the masculine yang. Be sure to torque both hands back simultaneously, while exhaling,"...and on, and on, and on. Myself, I say something like, "So, here we go. Step out with your left foot, and pull your hands back to your hips. Good. let's do that again. Good. This time, start trying to get your foot and your fists to arrive at the same time...good, very good. So let's do that again...{Ten repetitions later} That's called a horse stance, and you need to practice stepping out a lot...."

    Go all the way back to "Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate: Volume 1, The Basics." Funnily enough, there's no discussion of physics. Gosh. Must be inadequate.

    Then, there's the self-contradiction. " Leverage is another concept (actually principle) to learn and understand to be a more effective Kenpoist. Not to be analyzed on the mat, but exercised. In order to do that, however... we must first understand leverage and (like it or not) the component parts of leverage."

    Your vocabulary borrows a little more from elementary physics than mine. Cool; good for you, no problem at all. However, since I borrow a lot from fields like psychology--the problem we both face is that of confusing what we may need to know with what students may need to know. And the danger is always that we're waggling our knowledge around, rather than teaching the poor damn student.

    if you're arguing--as I did--that advanced students and instructors need to understand a bit of physics, body mechanics, etc., why sure. But ya know, it isn't all that big a deal--why make it one?

    Incidentally, good manners help. This is because the evolutionary development of the human species has left us with an oddly-structured cerebral cortex, in which unconscious impulses surface all too easily unless governed by the regimentation of social discourse. As Freud pointed out, repression and sublimation...or is it just because manners are good things? I forget.
     
  15. pete

    pete Master Black Belt

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    ok, this is my final attempt to rescue this thread from the dumpster. i had posted this a few days back...

    my first question has not been addressed... is this 'cause nobody knows or nobody cares anymore? anybody? anybody? bueller? bueller?

    my second question has been discussed with an example from another art...
    i am familiar with this move, but not the term "gooseneck", from another art, and does blend well with kenpo as a "what-if" to attacking mace or returning viper, when the attacker retracts his punching arm before you can trap and fully extend it... so, yes! there is the element of twisting, but is this leverage or should it be classified as a different tool?

    now, my third question, conceptually has been addressed by sumdumguy...
    but this is not addressing the how in terms of improving your martial art...

    and the fourth, oh yes, this has been answered in greatest detail, and has now become deader 'n sea biscuit.
    we can go on all day, "tastes great, less filling"... or lay question #4 to rest...

    pete.
     
  16. rmcrobertson

    rmcrobertson Guest

    First off, the general answers are: a) yes; b) yes; c) all of them; d) variously.

    Leverage is simply a general principle applied in various ways; "using leverage," appears everywhere in kenpo. But judging by your questions, you already know that, and have a pretty-clear idea about how and where--so what's the issue?

    The second question? She's essentially discussing Entangled Wing.

    The third question--well, it depends. leverage being a general principle, you need to ask about a specific technique or some such.

    Fourth and last: it has become common in kenpo discussion to say something like, "Well, that's just a matter of opinion, and one opinion is just as good as another." Similarly, folks often think that scientific facts and theories are, "Just matters of opinion, and nobody really knows for sure."

    Well, nonsense. Science--and kenpo claims to be a scientific martial art in a zillion different ways--is a way of screening out what's not true. Similarly, in kenpo there may be different right ways to do things, but there are most assuredly wrong ways also. Punch without torque--and I dimly recollect that the screw, as a machine, took advantage of leverage--and no power. No settle stances, no leverage.

    Drown students in theory, no learning.
     
  17. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    The "leverage" comes into play on the gooseneck - or entangled wing - after the lock is applied. For pain compliance, using the example of the second class lever, while the wrist end of the offending forearm is tweaked downward, the elbow end of the offending forearm raises, thus inducing torque on all joints and upon further application will dislocate the shoulder, arm and wrist - if applied at 90 degree angles.

    Regards
     
  18. rmcrobertson

    rmcrobertson Guest

    I suppose. But first and foremost, I say teach students to get the elbow over your shoulder, and hook down on the wrist as you drop your stance and your weight. For thus, the elbow pops.

    Leverage, incidentally, also comes into play right away--in "Entangled Wing," it had better, or you ain't getting out of that figure-four lock.

    Similarly, in "Twirling Wings" leverage initially works against the attacker's grab/choke, then against their left shoulder, then...

    And after awhile, the angles are no longer pure 90 degree angles...
     
  19. howardr

    howardr Green Belt

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    Yeah, that one.

    _______________
    "The way in which a thinker gets some notion of the effects of his ideas and of their transforming revolutionary power, is almost a comedy; at times it seems as if those who have felt this effect actually feel insulted and as if they could express what they consider their threatened self-reliance only by¬óbad manners." -Nietzsche
     
  20. howardr

    howardr Green Belt

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    Good points all 'round. One minor nitpick: is science fundamentally "a way of screening out what's not true," rather than a methodology to arrive at true theories and facts (the by-product of which is a screening out of what's not true)?

    _________________
    "All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses." -Nietzsche
     

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