Internal Strength Training (Considered)

Internal Strength Training (Considered)

There is a common fear among internal martial artists that if they do strength training they will loose sensitivity and mobility. Also there is a general fear strength is simply incompatible with internal power generation.

I have been doing muscle training now for about two years. I started because I had some intermittent pain and I theorized that the pain came from excessive flexibility along with strength loss do to aging. I got my own home gym in the spring and upped the amount of daily strength training I was doing. Here is what I have found.

Read More

Hit and Run Posts

Hit and Run Posts

I consider myself an expert on human sexuality. I grew up at the center of the sexual revolution. I have always been friends with strippers and prostitutes. I attended so many naked massage parties by the age of ten that I was shocked to find out that isn't normal. I attended safe-sex-consent parties in the early 90s which typically had a vanilla room and a rocky-road room. If I were to give my opinion about the current hysteria it would be rejected as madness. I have seen the world end several times, while the people around me carried on as if nothing had changed. I don't expect people to be rational. I don't expect people to see things as they are. Human nature is flawed, and that is that. 

Read More

Links November 2017

George Xu declared a new system! 

This is exciting because now I can claim I'm doing a new system even though it is what I have been doing all along. Okay, that's funny. But check it out, it is now illegal to declare a new system in China!

Check out George Xu's new silk-reeling Chansijing DVD's too.

If you are in Beijing, take this guy's tours!

This is a bit late for Halloween but it's never too late for Vampire Daoists!

Out of the Vortex

Out of the Vortex

First of this is just too funny! Write your own political commentary, I'm laughing too hard (hat tip to Ben Judkins). 
Russian Troll Farm Secretly Funds American Self-Defense Programs--Operation Black Fist

Speaking of the vortex. Facebook is a terrible place to have in depth conversations because they just get lost. Here are some high end comments from two conversations that I happen to let fly. Enjoy.

Read More

Pre-Activation Responses

I've been working this idea like crazy over the last month or so in my Baguazhang classes and my own experiments. Probably because of my skateboarding background. Skateboarding tricks where you jump up on a railing and ride down the stairs are only possible with some theory of pre-activation, because the first few times you risk trying it, you are going to fall hard and fast on something unpleasant.  
Here is the quote that got me thinking: 

 When I teach patients or athletes how to integrate foot to core sequencing into their programming my ultimate goal is to establish reflexive motor patterns between foot contact and core stabilization.

Nigg et al. has demonstrated that closed chain neuromuscular stabilization patterns actually occur before foot contact in what are referred to as pre-activation responses. This means that instead of reacting to movement the neuromuscular actually anticipates or pre-stabilizes for movement.

One such study by Nigg et al. has shown that foot & ankle stabilizers activate 100ms before foot contact in runners.   This pre-activation response allows the foot and core to stabilize against impact forces allowing for faster loading responses.  In the gymnast faster foot to core sequencing would mean improved joint stability, faster loading responses and optimal performance.

Here is the link

I've been working fast repetitions of ground-reaction-force with weights. I'll try to make some videos because this stuff ties into YIquan beautifully. 

My Interview with Graham Barlow

Just did a wonderful interview with the charming and thoughtful Graham Barlow at Tai Chi Notebook. Enjoy and subscribe. 

I would like to take a moment to thank the ~1500 people who have either bought or downloaded Possible Origins. You are awesome. Please consider writing a review on Amazon or your blog if you liked it. I just learned that the promotion we ran at Kung Fu Magazine giving away five copies had three times their usual number of participants. Woo Hoo

Is Stretching Good?

I recently read Richard Lieber's book Skeletal Muscle Structure, Function, and Plasticity. Fascinating stuff. Tendon recoil is more important than muscles for speed. 80% of muscle improvement from training in the first two weeks is from "neural recruitment," not hypertrophy. Meaning the brain finds and activates more muscle fibers rather than making muscle tissue stronger. The more efficient muscles become, the fewer muscle fibers engaged. That's the argument for weights in nutshell. Make your muscles inefficient and they will be more active. 

Before that I listened to 4 hours of muscle fiber scientist Andy Galpin. So much enthusiasm! It is all part of my project to expand the number of people who I can talk too through learning their specialized language. And there is a lot of food for thought in the science of muscles, even if we know almost nothing about its application to the real world (called in vivo). 

Stretching is new evil step-mother. I loved both these articles. Paul Ingraham is a talented writer and thinker. Enjoy.