Critical Mass???

Michael Billings

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I have heard at least one Kenpo Senior, present company excluded, that you have to keep a certain minimum mass (weight), to ensure that you gain maximum effect from your backup mass, in whatever dimension(s) you are utilizing for the strike.

This does not mean excess fat, but he just does not believe a 140 lb. man would hurt him at 230 lbs of muscle. Remember, he is no slouch in Kenpo, in fact he moves with explosive power in every dimension, getting the most out of each strike ... heck, his parry-check drills even hurt. I know from experience that he just likes to hit someone who can take it and who hits back, but he still stresses that a "critical mass" is necessary to really inflict damage on another trained person.

Whatcha think?
-Michael Billings
United Kenpo Systems - Texas
 
K

Kirk

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Originally posted by Michael Billings

I have heard at least one Kenpo Senior, present company excluded, that you have to keep a certain minimum mass (weight), to ensure that you gain maximum effect from your backup mass, in whatever dimension(s) you are utilizing for the strike.

This does not mean excess fat, but he just does not believe a 140 lb. man would hurt him at 230 lbs of muscle. Remember, he is no slouch in Kenpo, in fact he moves with explosive power in every dimension, getting the most out of each strike ... heck, his parry-check drills even hurt. I know from experience that he just likes to hit someone who can take it and who hits back, but he still stresses that a "critical mass" is necessary to really inflict damage on another trained person.

Whatcha think?
-Michael Billings
United Kenpo Systems - Texas

I dunno .. First, I'd think 140 lbs of mass, gathered to the speed
and momentum of a strike would equal over 140lbs. In addition,
I'd think that that much weight would hurt anyone. Heck a sledge
hammer is only what, 5 or 6 lbs? But with speed and no mass
behind it, I'd think it'd hurt like crazy! But I am still new enough
to be "untrained" really.

Now answer me this .. I'm curious as to why you said backup
mass, without saying marriage of gravity? Aren't they the same,
just one's on a vertical plane, and ones on a horizontal plane?
I'll have to ask my instructor about this one, I honestly don't
know. I kinda just assumed. Wouldn't your question relate to
both though?

:confused:
 
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Michael Billings

Michael Billings

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That is what I meant by "dimension(s)". You can use backup mass in any dimension theoretically.

Height = Gravitational Marriage
Width = Rotation
Depth = Body Momentum

And realistically, we try to move through all 3 dimensions when executing any strike. Heck, I drop when doing a simple roundhouse kick, along with the supporting foot pivoting at the last second, which moves the axis of you body towart the opponent, and you have added another couple of dimensions to a strike which appears on the surface to be a rotational strike moving through width zones only.

You can do an outward horizontal palm-down 2-finger rake, and the index finger serves as backup mass for the middle finger, which is the striking surface.

Hope this clarifies it some. Yes I know what you are talking about with a sledge hammer, but my question relates to a couple of Kenpo practitioners who are seriously trading blows ... not that could ever happen ?????

-Michael B.
 
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Kirk

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Sorry .. I hope I don't change the flow of how the thread was
intended.
 
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Rainman

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Interesting topic,

I will say "critical mass" is not in completed form. Critical mass points as it relates to structural integrity could be added. How much force does it take to fold/buckle or ruin a particular joint. The initial strike could be just a setup with its purpose to cause a moments hesitation. It takes a lot less than 140 lbs of pressure for a skilled practitioner to hurt, maim, or kill using a pinpoint attack and or even barrowing some force from the larger guy. That is just scary. Thanx for bring this up and using the context you did. Much to discuss here.

:asian:
 
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Michael Billings

Michael Billings

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Good observation Rainman (I recognize the patch ...cool!) Structural intergity as it applies to not only the target, but to the weapons e.g. Bracing Angles and angle of incidence, etc. would factor in also.

Now remember, 2 Kenpo Guys, a big good one and a smaller good one. Seems like big guy could miss a target and smaller opponent flies back anyway. Smaller guy misses and big guy shrugs it off. Looks like technique becomes paramount for the smaller guy in this situation. But remember, the kenpo guy massing more is also an awesome technician. Gets harder for me to fault the logic I heard regarding critical mass??

Michael
 
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Rainman

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Nice to meet you Micheal, I'm Chad.

I am looking at the mass debate from the perspective that the bigger guy expects the smaller guy to fight the same. If the bigger guy taught his smaller guys to fight the same way he does it is easy to reach that as a possible conclusion.

If the system is taylored no 2 will fight the same. The smaller man has learned by now his strikes must be done with precision and with the intent to cancel zones. The bigger man has learned that his mass can power through a smaller target. IF Ak is the art of precission how is it that this matters if a 140 pound weight crushes your eyeball into the back of your skull or a 230 pound weight just flat out crushes your skull? You are still dead.

I believe this point to have value just not at a highly skilled level, too many things can end it in a second either way. And for me I never really want to engage fairly...

:asian:
 

Robbo

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Excellent points all,

And let me add as a 140 lb Kenpo practioner that through experiance I can't rely on my strength to pull off techniques, if we screw up, we're dead. Therefore without the weight advantage of the bigger guys we have to become better technicians.....we have no choice. We utilize back-up mass to the utmost because we don't have as much as the next guy. Speed and precision are our calling cards. The only advantage we have is the fact that the human being is inherently lazy and if a 230 lb man can practise a technique and make it work by 'powering' it a little then unless he's driven to learn the why's he probably won't investigate it as closely as we 140 pounders have to in order for it to work for us.

Now with all that said, to be fast, precise, knowledgable and have the back-up mass that's just scary.

All things being equal the larger fighter will always win.

Thanks,
Rob
 

Roland

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Because he is the one who 'HAS' to make a technique work!

I have not heard anyone mention travel here.
I was taught that no matter how good your technique, or your use of power principals, a lot of it will not work without travel.
Your weapon, to the intended target!
 
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Michael Billings

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... then left, then right, etc. I was thinking specifically of someone like Bob Liles (he has turned into one big muscle since his hip replacement.)

He can walk the walk, so he don't have to talk the talk. But a better "technician" is hard to find. The only thing more impressive to me than a "little" or not so little guy, who moves with speed, explosive power, in balance, with all the principles, and his mind working at 110% ... is a big man who is not "muscleing" his way through a technique, but actually has all the same things going for him as the smaller guy.

Maybe not such an interesting post, but it does make you think. Especially right before a camp when you line up behind one of the "seniors" who you know is not going to look bad just for you. Make sure you have a mouthguard and cup!!!

Later,
Respects to All,
-Michael B.
United Kenpo Systems - Texas
 

ikenpo

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Originally posted by Michael Billings

is a big man who is not "muscleing" his way through a technique

Mr. B,

Do you remember Sonny Roundtree from your old NCKKA days? He was a big dude and a monster when it came to sparring or doing techniques. At least that's the way I saw him when I was a white belt. :D

jb
 

Seig

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The trick to stopping a big guy that is a good/excellent practitioner/technician is to stop him before he gets started. Otherwise you will find that as his momentum builds, it'll be like stopping an avalanche with a paper plate.
 

Flying Crane

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Not sure why someone would focus on something like mass. If you are lighter, look for ways to use that to your advantage. Use your speed and the fact that you are a smaller target.You don't need 230 pounds of muscle to take out an eye, or kick in a knee.
 
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Michael Billings

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Orig. Posted by Flying Crane

Not sure why someone would focus on something like mass. If you are lighter, look for ways to use that to your advantage. Use your speed and the fact that you are a smaller target.You don't need 230 pounds of muscle to take out an eye, or kick in a knee.
A lot of time has passed since this thread originated, but I actually agree with you. The proposition was given all things being equal, is a good big guy better than an good small guy.

(and the sound of one hand clapping in the forest is .... ?)

-Michael
 

Flying Crane

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Michael Billings said:
A lot of time has passed since this thread originated, but I actually agree with you. The proposition was given all things being equal, is a good big guy better than an good small guy.

(and the sound of one hand clapping in the forest is .... ?)

-Michael
Fair enough. It's a difficult question, because it is hard to define what it means to have two people of different size, be "equal" in skill. Their different sizes will certainly impact their combat strategy, so maybe the best we can do is to say "two highly-skilled individuals, one with 4 inches and 110 pounds over the other."I am on the smaller side. I stand at about 5'10", and weigh about 155. I believe that I am pretty strong for my size (not a weight lifter, but I train a lot and it keeps me in good shape) and I can generate a good deal of power, but I would never go toe-to-toe with a 6'3" 230 pound bruiser in a slug-fest. Could I hurt a guy that size without attacking a vulnerable target like the eyes or the knees? Yeah, I think so, but if he hits me just once, it could be all over. I think I'll go for the eyes and knees, if nobody has any objections.
 

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There is a reason for weight classes in professional fight sports. However, some of the most painful shots I've recieved have been from well trained 140 pounders. In my limited experience, postulating equal skill, little people are quicker and harder to hit and big people easier to evade but less forgiving when you don't get out of the way.

Jeff
 

MJS

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Flying Crane said:
Not sure why someone would focus on something like mass. If you are lighter, look for ways to use that to your advantage. Use your speed and the fact that you are a smaller target.You don't need 230 pounds of muscle to take out an eye, or kick in a knee.

I agree with this!! Strength certainly plays a part, but technique plays a big role also. Sure its intimidating to face someone larger/stronger, but picking and choosing targets rather than going head to head is a better choice IMO.

Mike
 

BlackCatBonz

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this has probably been talked about many times before.....p=mv.
mass times velocity equals momentum.
Kano Jigoro put it best in reference to judo.
if a person pushes with a force of ten while the defender pulls with the force of 5, you have a resulting force of 15. maximum efficiency, minimal effort.
if applied to punching, if an attacker is moving at you with a force of ten, and the defender places a punch with a force of 5 in front of the attackers face, you have a force equal to 15.
it's a very simple way of looking at it....but its true no less.

http://id.mind.net/~zona/mstm/physics/mechanics/momentum/definition/momentumDefinition1.html
 

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