ISAI The Martial Art of Formless Flow: The HOW in motion – how it looks like

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The HOW in motion – how it looks like

In the chapter “What is a difference between WHAT and HOW in motion?” I already spoke about meaning of the term HOW in motion. I said that it is about internal structure of the “what” motions, their internal motor and biomechanical composition. Let’s go deeper into the structure of HOW.

We have to remember that Central Nerve System (CNS) and especially the brain was created by God or Evolution to equip living creatures with motion. Without motion immovable primitive living creatures never could move toward new ecologic niches and to settle the world around them.

The CNS is an integral part of any motion. It is an invisible part but it does not make it less important. The person after CVA or stroke was asked to smile. The person smiled asymmetrically. The lips on the paralyzed side of the face didn’t move. It was usual. But the moment the person was told funny joke he smiled symmetrically as a completely healthy person. The reason for this at the first glance strange phenomenon is very simple. The movements can be externally completely the same but if their meaning is different there are different movements. In this case these two motions are controlled by different parts of the brain cortex.

Here is another “strange” case similar to the previous one. The person suffering of severe brain damage, result of wound, was asked to rise his hand. He could do it only up to one meter high. When the same person was asked to bring hat placed on 2 meters high from the floor he did it without any difficulty. It was just different part of his brain that participated in this action and this part was not suffering from the wound.   

In the Martial Arts if kata or formal set of movements in karate is oriented toward synchronization and precision in terms of space and rhythm its contribution to the real fighting is minimal if any. The reason is in the different meaning of the movements and as result the different CNS activation produces different movement even if externally it looks the same.

I already spoke about external form and kinematics of the natural motion and its fractal nature – please see the chapter “The Fractal Nature of the Natural Motion”. Let me to go to more details into the structure of motion activation by CNS or motor control.

Prof. N.A. Bernstein, the genius founder of Soviet biomechanical science, wrote in his book “The physiology and biology of motion”:

“…Coordinative contingents of human motions create simultaneous recapitulation of all the history of the animal motions, from such pro-motions as peristaltic-like motions of annelid or swallowing-vomiting motions of holothurian. Such a recapitulation has undisputable advantages if compared with neuro-morphology, because it reconstructs motions not statically, nor in symbols of histological images of nerve nucleus, which informing us nothing about their functional nature, but dynamically, in motions themselves. These motions can be compared with precision as by their content and meaning, as by their décor, with motions of contemporary representatives of all levels of phylogenetic stairs….Each one from these serial stratifications is connected with next new morphological subtract and each one doesn’t deny the previous ones, more ancient coordinative beddings, but rather merges with them in very peculiar and multiform synthesis.”.   

Yes, every motion can be considered as a living organism. Connections between its different parts, the synthesis, can be sometimes more important than the parts themselves. From this reason it’s impossible to disintegrate the motion of the body in whole and then to assemble it again as the sum of the motions of parts. The result will be much different. It’s no such a thing as isolated motion of only the left arm or only the right foot for example. All the body participates in every motion, even in the slightest and slowest motion of the “only” small finger. It’s also no such a thing as a pure voluntary motion. There are always many other reflexive, unconscious motions, that always accompany any voluntary motion. For example if you voluntary rise your arm up there is a reflexive backward motion of your body to keep a balance. Your spine, stomach, torso, legs and neck muscles will contract and perform series of instinctive balancing motions.  All these motions must be fully and perfectly synchronized otherwise the balance will be broken.

Even if the main motion is not voluntary the muscles and motions cooperation will remain the same. If you, for example, touch, without to pay attention, a hot pan your hand will immediately and instinctively withdraw back with a lightening speed. Your body had to fall forward but stabilization process saved you from falling at the very same moment.

Contrary to the voluntary motion this time the head brain didn’t participate in your reflexive withdrawing of the arm. The afferent nerve signal of the pain cames from your fingers to the arm area of the spinal cord and then efferent nerve signals were sent from there to the different muscles of your arm and moved it back as fast as possible. But in the same time the nerve signals spread from the arm area to other areas of spinal cord and from there to distal areas of the body with efferent signals to the torso, to the legs and the neck. This action will keep the body in balance, otherwise it is a risk of frying your face on the pan instead of the arm.

Let’s consider the structure of human motion according to recapitulation theory of motor control.

There are seven different levels and I count them from the most ancient to the youngest one. The names of these levels show their phylogenetic origin and hierarchical order. There are the levels of human motor control:

1.     Ameba

2.     Fish

3.     Amphibian

4.     Reptile

5.     Mammal

6.     Ape

7.     Human

8.     Future

According to the results of my research these levels of human motor control related to the levels of joints of skeleton in the first 6 levels.

1.     Ameba – ribs joints

2.     Fish - vertebra joints

3.     Amphibian – shoulder (glenohumeral) and hip joints

4.     Reptile – elbow and knee joints

5.     Mammal -  wrist and ankle multiple joints

6.     Ape – palm and foot fingers multiple joints

7.     Human – tongue and glottis

8.     Future – super level, connected to the knowledge and feeling of the future. Not fully developed yet.

Each level serves as a basis for development of the next, higher level. Each level is a servant of the higher level. Practically, during training sessions of motion, we deal with the first 6 levels. They are physical, gross-body levels, levels of physical work. Contrary to them the levels 7 and 8 are much higher levels, levels of intelligent control, information exchange and dealing with future. Here the parallel with Judaism is obvious. First 6 levels can be compared with the first 6 working days of the week, the sixth day is a short day. The levels 7 and 8 are two halves of Shabbat, the day of rest, spiritual end of the week and beginning of the future week. Therefore it is a similarity between Judaism, evolution and motor control.

All first six levels of motor control and joints provide Self-Annihilating Inertial Motion (SAIM), the general form of Fish Play and natural motion kinematics according to Fuxi bagua. It means that every part of our body performs 3 dimensional SAIM as a natural fractal motion pattern. To produce SAIM the body and its parts move along Fish Play trajectories with kinematics as was coded in Fuxi bagua.

The first level, the level of Ameba, is performed in mid-sagittal plane. All other levels have rotations also in transverse and coronal planes, producing 3D rotations. The combinations of the rotational directions, changes of tempo and of sizes of the motions in all levels – all these create unimaginable richness of motions palette, almost unlimited possibilities for performer.

We can see inborn reflexive motions in their pure shape only under very special conditions. In these cases the stress is so high that conditioned reflexes simply refuse to work. It can happen if we touch hot pan as I already mentioned, even before we realize what happens. If we walk in the forest and suddenly discover snake 10 cm from our legs we jump using our pure instinctive motions or reflexes. Sometimes we yawning and power-stretching naturally and reflexive, when the urge is very strong. The last example is a very important one in ISAI. Natural yawning and power-stretching in different postures, intensities and their combinations are called in ISAI Natural Power Stretching Exercises (NPSE) and Natural Stance Stretching Exercises (NSSE).
In most cases HOW expresses itself through WHOT, it means through motions having target, space orientation and connection. The way of cooperation of HOW and WHAT will be explained in the chapter “The harmony - cooperation of WHAT and HOW in motion”.  The practical method of how to get harmony in motion explained in the chapter “The way to the harmony - training method“.

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