Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Feed forward Mechanism –sport research. “Inside body move first than technique starts”, Sensei Nishiyama.

What is “Feed forward mechnizm”?

Australian researchers (1988) discovered that the smaller, inner, stabilizer muscles, those closer to the spine, in a healthy person, are firing 30-50 milliseconds before arm movement and 110-130 milliseconds before leg movement.

This activation meant to stabilize the spine and alleviate stresses from the spine, and at the same time to allow the stable spine to provide a base from which the bigger, outer muscles can generate more force and be more effective.

This research is what started the “core” craze in the fitness industry.

In karate we understand this sequence and teach people how to move this way for many generation. This knowledge resulted from experience without high tech.

Both karate, sport research and physical therapy professionals can learn from each other.

I incorporate many physical therapy exercises to enhance people “feed forward” function, and moving out of optimal postures. No one can teach a person how to move from the center out and integrating the whole body to one direction as a good karate teacher.

In karate we talk about moving from the center, but if this center is not stable, we cannot drive a strong technique from the center, and the tendency will be to use top power.

Sensei Nishiyama explained, imagination that inside technique already finish, than breathing activate the inside muscles direction of technique, than muscles around spine move and in a ripple effect, outer muscles join and than extremities (technique).

The research shows that in people with back pain this activation is delayed, in other words, the spinal activation starts after the arm or leg movement, and therefore the spine is not stable against the forces created by those movements.

How can one move from the center if the center is not stable and cannot provide a foundation for movement.

This inner muscle activation does not need to be strong, and actually a too rigid torso wills interfere with performance.

This activation is movement specific, and being successful in lying positions on the floor does not carry over to pushing, pulling and rotation standing.

Many people with strong abdominals still have back pains since it is not the strength but rather sequence of activation that is important.

One of the reasons we lose this activation is bad posture, in which the inner, small, slow twitch muscles begin to act as fast twitch muscles, which are not suited for stability tasks.

In karate many generations ago, before we had high tech, we said, “Inside body moves first, than technique.”

This of course is hard to explain in writing and has to be demonstrated, and it was one of the main subjects of training in Sensei Nishiyama last 2 years of teaching.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

“Make a mistake, we need mistake”

Sensei Nishiyama repeated that sentence many times, at least once a week. It was enlightening for me, I always try to be perfect and now he tells me to make mistakes, at first it seem contradictory to the concept of “always do your best, as if last chance of your life”.

But in reality you can never do your best if you do not accept mistake, you will always be inhibited, will confirm, will do things carefully and will not be able to give your whole being into the technique.
Sensei used to say: “Once you go, only god knows win or lose”, "don’t worry about results".

Only when we accept mistake we can go into unknown areas, away from the habitual and convenient.

Welcoming mistakes and correcting them, this humility is the only path for true learning.

Friday, March 9, 2012

"Do every technique as if it is last chance of your life"

"Do every technique as if it is last chance of your life".

Sensei Nishiyama told us many times.

This is the seriousness we want in training, since karate is not a basketball game that you can lose points and make up for it and gain points later.

Train as if your life will depend on it the next day.

This is not easy to do, because thankfully, we don’t have this kind of danger in our lives, and in the dojo everyone is friends and no one intend of hurting someone else, which is how it should be of course.

In order to develop real sharp mind and reflexes, avoid sloppiness and avoid unneeded movement and gaps of intention, we must imagine our opponent have knife.

Keep the friendliness in dojo, and we help each other learn and develop, but at the same time keep the seriousness.

Sensei Nishiyama used to get upset at me if I smiled to my partner doing sparring, he wanted total seriousness, and of course he wanted us to respect each other and not to hurt each other.

He hated sloppiness and bad manners.

“Always do your best” he used to tell us, in karate and life.