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Three points of contact
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I was reading a science article today, and there was an interesting quote:

"... quadrupeds walk by moving their left hind leg first, followed by their left foreleg. Then they repeat the same pattern with the right leg. All quadrupeds walk in the same pattern and differ only in the timing of their steps.

The reason that their manner of walking is so universal, Dr Horváth said, is that it provides the maximum static stability. In other words, when walking slowly, a horse's or dog's body is supported at all times by three feet on the ground, which form a triangle. The closer their centre of mass is to the centre of those three points, the more stable they will be."

It reminded me of class a number of times where my teacher was constantly talking about maintaining three points of contact with the uke to retain stability and control. Looks like there is something to learn from Mother Nature (or old kitties) after all.

Omoshiroi.

Posted on: 2009/1/28 3:11
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Re: Three points of contact
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Although humans are described as bipeds, the majority of our activity is mono-pedal. We are constantly moving from one leg to the other; either weight shifting or taking full steps. Taijutsu is walking.

In addition to the idea of 3 points of contact for control, I also explore involving 3 of my 4 limbs as much as possible in all techniques. Until I figure out the 'kotsu' of levitation, I need to keep one leg/foot connected to the ground.

Posted on: 2009/1/28 3:29
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Re: Three points of contact
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very interesting point!!

Quote:

radarblip wrote:
Although humans are described as bipeds, the majority of our activity is mono-pedal. We are constantly moving from one leg to the other; either weight shifting or taking full steps. Taijutsu is walking.


IMHO, this is why we have elements of hicho ever present in an exposed way in the first three of the kihon happo. Many of our movements go through the one legged state where there are many ("eight" ?) options of how to continue... hence, being balanced in that state of hicho gives us freedom to change and not having to commit to anything. My teacher likes to explain that through san shin no kata.

Quote:

In addition to the idea of 3 points of contact for control, I also explore involving 3 of my 4 limbs as much as possible in all techniques. Until I figure out the 'kotsu' of levitation, I need to keep one leg/foot connected to the ground.


hehe!!!

it seems to me that on many occasions the 3 points of contact with an opponent (or a bunch of opponents) define a plane (and a triangle of course) within which the center of the structure that you want to control is located. If you want to double-weight the structure (or float it) you keep that center in the center of the 'triangle' whereas if you want to use a lever to topple the structure you have an option of moving the center under control to one side of the triangle and push/pull/press/roll on the opposite side... or leave it where it is and act from more than one point of contact . this principle can be extrapolated on two and one point of contact though... . Maybe even zero points hehehe...

For those who practiced "push hands" in tai chi this can be a familiar feeling, although the three points of contact are not present in most of the "push hand kata". One has to be careful to keep ones own center in correct location with respect to the center of the structure under control. There is a saying in Chen-style Tai Chi, that your center should be thinner than a sheet of paper.

thanks for bringing this up, it was fun to think about it!

peace
mn

Posted on: 2009/1/28 8:46
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Re: Three points of contact
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I believe that the more points you touch with Uke the best it is. I accept every touching point as a sensor so just like pushing hands or sticky hands method, when Uke moves you feel it right away. I also think that when you make more contact with the enemy you can make him more comfortable and give him the good feeling and kill his bad intention this way. Also try this with blind folded.

About the topic,
I have a problem on my left foot, one of my toe never touches the ground, this makes my left foot 4 toed and it always destroys my balance, especially on Hicho No Kamae. This problem gave me a lot of hard time on Suwari Waza techniques and on my İaido trainings (the first 4 katas of Seite iai Katas). I believe that I had my hernia on my back and a bad knee all because of that toe!

Why said all that? just be aware of your balance and see if you are moving in balance, especially when you walk. This can prevent many bad things.

Posted on: 2009/1/28 17:13
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Re: Three points of contact
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This comes up a lot in my classes...

Triangular shapes are pretty strong aren't they?

Look at corrugated roofs, swords etc.

For anyone who's tried to pin a tent down in the wind, 3 pegs is a good start too.

and..it all starts with kamae....

Posted on: 2009/1/28 20:07
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Re: Three points of contact
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Ercan,

I would have to disagree with your comments.

The main disagreement is with having more points of contact.

If you are defending against a highly agressive person the more contact you make with the person the more agressive they will become. There are several books on this subject, as well as articles you could look up. And secondly, the more points of contact the more support you give to them they can borrow your stability. I'll stop here without going further on this part.

In general kenjutsu uses one point of contact, aikido (aikijutsu) uses two, judo and jujutsu use three and wrestling or ground fighting uses multiple but at that point you aren't doing throws you are doing submissions. And kyojutsu uses one or zero depending on your persoective. I've based this on a general observation of these arts and how they can be effective.

It's important not to confuse philosophical ideas with being effective in reality. It would be nice for a hug or other type multiple contact situations to stop an attacker. Even if ghandi tired to hug an agressive attacker he would be in for some trouble.

Posted on: 2009/1/28 21:25
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Re: Three points of contact
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Quote:

侶武 wrote:
Ercan,

I would have to disagree with your comments.

The main disagreement is with having more points of contact.


I completely agree. many points of balance can be controlled with one point of contact.

Quote:

侶武 wrote:
If you are defending against a highly agressive person the more contact you make with the person the more agressive they will become.


This is true because the more points of contact, the more data about yourself is given to the opponent, as well as your intention.

Quote:

侶武 wrote:
In general kenjutsu uses one point of contact


Excellent observation......didn't someone recently say our taijutsu is OK, we need to do more sword work?.......hmmmmmmm

Markk Bush
www.bujinmag.com

Posted on: 2009/1/28 23:52
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Re: Three points of contact
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Just maybe the intensity of those "points of contact" should be considered. If it is so light that the aggressive person doesn't even feel that "point" then they gain no data and you have another point of control. Many points of contact in my opinion are excellent AS LONG AS those points are very light and supply no energy or data to your attacker. This is where "soft" has such advantages.

Posted on: 2009/1/29 0:31
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Re: Three points of contact
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Quote:

侶武 wrote:


The main disagreement is with having more points of contact.

If you are defending against a highly aggressive person the more contact you make with the person the more aggressive they will become. There are several books on this subject, as well as articles you could look up.

And secondly, the more points of contact the more support you give to them they can borrow your stability.


This is true if you are "torquing" (applying lots of uncontrolled, non-specific tension) into your opponent.
If, however, you are doing what Hatsumi Sensei and the top Shihan are constantly demonstrating, using specific amounts of tension to create a false sense of security in the opponent's proprioceptive system (kyojitsu), then you will be able to have many points of contact and still "take the fight out" of him. (This is what Papasan is referring to I believe)

No matter how aggressive someone is they are still bound by the dictates of bio-mechanics and this includes the pre-conscious feedback mechanism of proprioception. Specific tension applied to multiple points can create proprioceptive dissonance, where the person's nervous system attempts to respond correctly to the contacts, but the data coming in is in conflict with each other, and so causes inappropriate responses ( in terms of balance, placement of body weight, etc).

That being said, you should gradually work up from many points of contact to one or no points of contact (this is also being shown by Hatsumi Sensei and the top shihan regularly).
Whatever the number of conatct points, kyojitsu is always available.

Rob

Posted on: 2009/1/29 1:22
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"What will his next attack be and how should I respond to it?",
but "What could I have done beforehand to pre-determine his next move!"
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Re: Three points of contact
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Rob and Ed,

Its funny, I was thinking of both of you when I wrote my post, lol.

I was thinking how, with the right skeletal dis alignment we can create "perceived" points of contact that the opponent struggles with.

I do agree with what Ed said about the light touch as well.

Markk Bush
www.bujinmag.com

Posted on: 2009/1/29 1:30
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