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Skiing and Martial Arts - Page 2

post #31 of 35

Not only turn around, but have them start sideways, do "mirror image"(advanced), change/start kata in the middle(advanced.

But back to skiing. I thought I read somewhere years ago about reducing the vision in goggles by taping/greasing the bottom portion of them. This would have the skier relay on "feel" more and having to look up, not down at the skiis.
post #32 of 35
Really interesting post and study. It's the first actual experimentation I've read about that directly compares different movement disiplines like this. It's always good to see your subjective experiences validated by good old scientific method!! As well as the blindfolded training mentioned, I really like doing forms and practicing late at night (no human lighting whatsoever) as a different way to experience them and myself. Moonlight is great-so is pitch black. I revel in the enhancement of all the other senses that occurs with the downplaying of the overloaded vision circuit. After 15 to 20 minutes of immersion in my other senses, I really feel wonderfully different and alive, it can be enough to take you right out of yourself.

I am also in the habit of entertaining myself by looking at areas with a lot of ground features( uneven terrain outside,- dirty clothes piles and haphazzardly positioned ski mags/chairs etc. inside), plotting a course through it to a specific point and then either closing my eyes or flicking the light switch off and executing the route to the best of my ability. I was always trying to exercise my spatial awareness and memory, wasn't thinking of balance per se, but that would seem to obviously benefit from it. Thanks again for your repository of training info and links, Epic just keeps getting wider for me!!

A quick anecdote about dancers and a consistently stable environment. Most of my money is made in stage work(Broadway and Arena shows), I am a journeyman in good standing with I.A.T.S.E. local 274 in Michigan which is involved with almost any major production out on the road. This has given me the oportunity to see some of todays best dancers in ballet, modern and jazz. One of the tired old adages you hear in theatres over and over again is: If you want to see something strange, put a piece of gaff tape on the floor to mark something and wait, dancers will trip on it!! Sometimes over and over!! Sounds ridiculous, but the number of times I've witnessed just that is in the hundreds, I'd bet. It's amazing to see these pinnacles of grace and fluidity be undone by a change in the floor surface of only a few micrometers. I believe it says alot about the conditions under which you conduct your training and the movement habits you develope accordingly. Particularily where you look and how much you trust the consistency or eveness of the terrain you are on without observing it.

Yuki, I will have to try the reorientation experiment you speak of, that could be a good lesson or point starter for a class on visual focus regarding relying on the eyes for things you shouldn't. Thanks for the insights you all.
post #33 of 35
Thread Starter 
There's still more! You know how martial artists are trained to tighten their abs to avoid being hurt when punched? The act of isometrically contracting the abdominals activates the transverse, which by now you probably know is a crucial stabilizer.

Awhile ago, there was a debate as to whether the abs should be contracted when skiing. Some said that contracted abs would cause tension.

But in a healthy body, the transverse are always active, supporting alignment stability and balance. Martial artists have been showned to have a highly active tranverse abdominal muscle.
This can shed more light on the low incidence of ACL injuries in martial artists.
post #34 of 35
Thread Starter 
It keeps getting more interesting. This is a long and complex atricle, but a worthwhile read. In some cases, if he did not mention martial arts, I would think he was talking about skiing!

. "Stance training with an absence of a horizontal force component does little to prepare the athlete for contact. It could be said that a functional static stance is one that exhibits high levels of stability, and is taught with regard given to the eventual actual use of the position established in actual combat (1). This is almost the opposite idea to the many who adopt the Yee Jee Gim Yeung Ma position thinking it an ideal way to bear ones weight for extended periods of time in the practice of forms or techniques. Ideally, though the feet may not move, the muscles of the legs, pelvis and core, which are responsible for stabilizing the body and initiating movement, are innervated sequentially and/or concurrently in accordance with corresponding movements of the torso and upper limbs. Along with this, subtle changes in the position of the CoG should be felt in concert with changes in where the weight is felt on the SOLES of the feet. This way, neurological pathways linking the arms with the legs are developed and refined, and the early establishment of the beginner student’s perceptual-motor foundations can begin. "

CoG refers to "center of Gravity".

Here is his summary:

"Below is a summary of the principles governing the CoG and its relationship with stability.

* Other things being equal, (a) the lower the centre of gravity, (b) the larger the area of the base of support, (c) the nearer the LoG to the centre of the area of the base of support, the more stability will be exhibited in the stance.
* When giving or receiving horizontal impetus, greater stability in the stance can be gained by widening the base of support in the direction the OF horizontal force.
* Other things being equal, there is a corresponding increase in stability with an increase in mass.
* The greater the friction generated between the parts of the body contacting the supporting surface, the greater the stability.
* The more weight bearing segments IN LINE with the force acting on or being projected by the body, the greater the stability.
* A disturbance of one or more of the body’s balance mechanisms reduces the chance of the equilibrium being maintained as well as produces a reduction in the volition of movement.

Try to read thw whole article!
post #35 of 35
Lisamarie, thanks for directing me to this!

You initial statement -
"Martial Artists have the lowest incidence of ACL injury! The speculated reason, is that training in bare feet on unstable surfaces {mats} leads to better balance and proprioception"

I would say yes M.As. do lead to better balance and proprioception. I may even hazard to say that M.As. strengthen your ligaments as well as your muscles.

I also think it helps strengthen your ankles. In my experience I have seen mainly hip (usually due to sticky mats) and shoulder injuries (falling wrong). Most injuries occur when the person is not paying attention... I have not injured my ACL (touch wood).

I do feel that practicing bare feet on mats does work your knees and ankles more then when you are wearing shoes. By using your toes more you transfer the power up through your legs and your lateral stability and balance has to come from keeping your knees ( and body ) straight.

When I try to do techniques wearing shoes, I don't have the same connection/transfer from the ground to complete the technique. I feel less stable.

That being said, my Sensei sprained his ACL when someone else fell on his outstretched knee, whoops.

As has been mentioned M.As help to increase awareness and your ability to relax in 'intense' situations. Being able to transfer this over to skiing or any other sport will enhance the experience of that sport.

I joined Aikido because I was interested in doing a martial art, but I didn't want to do an aggressive martial art. Aikido is great, multi-dimensional and the fact that all levels work together gives you an opportunity to work on all aspects of the technique.

Great topic!
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