Though its muscles still have a vital role - after all, a quarter of the frog's entire mass is in its legs just for this purpose - these jumps would be physically impossible without its springy tendons.
As the frog readies itself to leap, its calf muscle shortens. After about 100 milliseconds, the calf muscle stops moving, and the energy has been fully loaded into the stretched tendon. At the moment the frog jumps, the tendon, which wraps around the ankle bone, releases its energy, much like a catapult or archer's bow, causing a very rapid extension of the ankle joint that propels the frog forward. The entire jump — from preparation to leap — lasts about a fifth of a second, the experiments showed. Other frog species jump much faster.
Weakness with a Twist: A blog about internal martial arts, theatricality and Daoist ritual emptiness
Watch the Video: A Cultural History of Tai Chi
Buy the Book: Possible Origins, A Cultural History of Chinese Martial Arts, Theater and Religion, By Scott Park Phillips. Amazon Kindle ($9.99), Paperback ($18.95)
Chicago April 27-May 1st. (This is a post-graduate bodywork course, but the 27th is a full day on Daoism and is still open, email if you want to attend.)
Israel May 3-15th
Paris May 16-26th
International Daoist Studies Conference, Paris: May 17-20 (Will have panels on Martial Arts and Theater and this is going to rock!)
Martial Arts Studies Conference, Cardiff, Wales: July 11-13th.
Portland July 28-30th
San Francisco Sept