Friday, April 06, 2018

Inkling: Moving Gears

I was watching a video online, where a taiji master was explaining about his method. He touched on something about being a set of moving gears, like an engine gearbox.


I have recently been exploring electronics and motors and 3D printing, so gears are not entirely new to me. Coupled with this concept about moving gears, I kind of have a better understanding of how force is being transferred from the legs to the point of application. It is as if the joints are the places where gears are coupled. Broadly speaking, at the kua, one gear (leg) turns to drive another (hip). The other (hip) turns and brings the entire torso with it. This movement of the torso acts on the gears at the shoulders, which is again another set of gears, with one (shoulder) turning another (upper arm), in turn moving the arm.

Of course, this is a simplification. There are a lot more joints tracing the path from the ground to the point of application, and each is a set of gears being turned by the set before, and turning the next set. This also achieves "moving as a whole" and "top and bottom following each other" as well as the continuity of movement without stopping.

The muscles as pistons and actuators, and the joints as gears. An inkling for verification in training.