Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Equal And Opposite Force

Physics tells us that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. I think that is actually part of the physics behind taiji.

When you push with your arms, there is an opposite reaction that works to push you backwards. I think this opposite reaction is that force is can be used against you when you push using brute force. How? It probably has to do with direction. When you push in one direction, and the opposite reaction moves in the opposite direction, there is balance and thus no resultant force working on your centre of gravity. But if your original force is being redirected somewhere else, the opposite reaction still works in the opposite direction of the original force, which could thus end up creating a resultant force that works on your centre of gravity, thus affecting your balance.

I think it can also be used to explain why we use the back leg to push. When you use your back leg to push, the original force moves backwards. It creates a reaction force in the opposite direction, ie. forward. Since nothing is going to change the direction of the original force, the equal and opposite forces are somewhat in equilibrium and is thus controlled by you. It allows you to move your centre of gravity, and the opposite force generated is the one that can be used to push towards your opponent.

I am not a physics expert and thus can't say that this is definitely the scientific theory behind force in taiji, but this is just an inkling that I got when talking to a fellow student.

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