Saturday, July 14, 2012

What does F-16 has to do with karate?

Ruven Sharf who is European and US Champion and trained and taught at my dojo for 10 years is visiting from Israel to train here. Ruven told me this great analogy between F-16, karate and high level movement, that he heard from his Alexander technique teacher (Meir Amit) who I took a lot of lessons from and is a wise man.
The F-16 is the first fighter jet aircraft that was intentionally designed to be inherently unstable, also known as “relaxed static stability”, in order to improve its maneuverability and nimbleness.The F-16 is being stabilized by a flight control system which without, it will be unstable.
Most aircrafts are designed to be stable, which means that the aircraft has to overcome its inherent stability in order to maneuver, which makes its slower and less nimble.
This made me think a lot, it is an amazing concept that applies for us karate people, the softer we keep our torso and less controlled (that does not mean sloppy posture), the easier and faster it will be to “lose” our balance and change positions and direction, and in order to keep our balance we use our “flight control system” which is our feet, feet positioning and footwork, this allows us to keep our center over our base of support. This is done without bracing, tightening, just keeping a firm center (around the sacrum) and the big muscles of the core and torso are soft and flexible in best condition for movement.
Our breath,  body center and feet interact with ground reaction forces and momentum to be nimble and maneuverable and at the same time have potential to be firm and strong at necessary instant.
When we try to have control all the time, we become rigid and imobile.
Aiko San always told me: “Give up control, to have control” 

1 comment:

  1. I have a huuuuge smile from reading about Meir---whose own smile brought light and lightness to his teaching when I was on my own training [with Shaike Hermelin]. Thx for this lovely interweaving of principles and heart-felt memories.