Four Elements of Leverage

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

  1. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    May 27, 2004
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    Not BC, Not DC
    The science of simple machines doesn't always apply to human beings, I mean, come on - A thin, wiry guy who has relatively little muscle mass who is shorter than me and lighter than me shouldn't over power me. But what if he does? Perhaps he's a psycho or just lean and mean or has amazing ki power. Now how is science going to screen out what works on him and what doesn't? What about the guy who can't feel pressure points because he's just that tough? Or the one who is so damn flexible that you could almost fold his hand against his arm and feels no discomfort until the bones actually break or the tendon or ligament gives?

    Science just won't always screen everything out. I stand by what I said - a rudimentary understanding of physical science and body mechanics is helpful. But I agree with one thing RMcRobertson said - practicing proper technique application should be first and foremost. The ability to "feel out" your opponent should supercede everything.
  2. pete

    pete Master Black Belt

    Aug 31, 2003
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    yep... and in order to teach proper technique, its helpful to explain why it is proper, and have the student "feel" the difference between what is proper vs. some common errors. this way, the principles can be applied throughout the student's development, and not be compartmentalized by association with a specific technique.

  3. rmcrobertson

    rmcrobertson Guest

    In the first place, science is very much a matter of trial and error--knowledgeable trail and error, not just random flailing about, of course, but trial and error just the same. If you're doing something that isn't working, well, you probably need a better understanding of what you're doing, and more-complete technique.

    Moreover, it has been my experience that when things just don't work, you pretty much aren't doing them properly. "Amazing ki power," you know, is harmony of breath and proper action first of all--and those things are perfectly material, perfectly analyzable. Nothing mysterioso about them.

    I don't think I've been arguing against knowledge: quite the contrary. I've been arguing against things like the instructor's ego, or against in-group jargon that's being used to conceal the real, or against theory that isn't shaped the same as the objects of theory, or against inundating students in claptrap.

    After all, leverage ain't that big a deal. I seem to recall doing mechanical advantage, inclined planes, fulcrums, etc., by about seventh grade, and so did everybody else. Why mystify it?

    And again, I insist on a previous point: the theory's there in the system already; if you simply teach the system, it's articulated perfectly well, and in ways that mean something physically.

    Myself, I don't start students out with a lot of stuff about theory. I tell 'em where to put their feet, or to keep their knees bent, or to keep a hand up, or to start an upward block off like an uppercut punch...which brings me to another, related issue: for all the theorizing about leverage, nobody seems to be mentioning stances.

    Personally, I think some of this--not all, but some--is another example of looking up too high for answers.123

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principle of lever and fulcrum in martial art