A man on the internet wrote an article stating that understanding the science behind the practice of Kung Fu was pointless because it would not make a person a better fighter. That belief is not true.
By understanding a theory a person can figure out things by themselves. A person who does not understand a theory has to be told everything. Understanding science and theories is about possiblities. The mind is filled with information that can be put to many unknown and unpredictable uses.
The following article presents an example of how understanding science can be useful to a fighter.
Trigonometry is a discipline that is involved with the properties of of triangles. One of the main uses of Trigonometry is in checking the alignment of things. It is very easy to check the alignment of a Triangle, because a Triangle only has three sides. A simple visual inspection can tell a person if something is aligned or not.
The picture below shows three triangles.
The triangle in the middle looks “right”, while the other two triangles look “wrong”. The sides of the middle triangle are the same, so when the meet in a point, that point is in the center of the base of the triangle. The other two triangles have uneven sides, which puts their meeting point to one side or the other of the center of the base of the triangle.
The discipline of engineering uses some of the information from the discipline of trigonometry, to analyze and explain what is going on in a system of physical forces. According to engineering, something is more efficient when it is aligned properly. When something is misaligned, the forces in the physical system do not go where they should, resulting in lower efficiency.
The human body is a system of physical forces. So engineering can be used to explain anything the human body does. Since engineering uses trigonometry to solve engineering problems, triangles must apply to the human body.
Triangles obviously apply to the human body. There are triangles all over the human body. So if you are a fighter, and you want to be the strongest you can be, then according to engineering, you want all of the triangles in your body to be aligned as they are designed to be aligned.
That is a lot of talking. How can that information be used in a simple way to help a fighter? Very easily.
The arms of a human being form a triangle with the torso as shown below.
According to what was said above, the arms in the picture above are good arms. Both arms look equal length, and they both meet in the center of the body. According to engineering, the person with arms like the ones above would be able to efficiently deliver the majority of his power to the peak of the triangle.
Here is the next picture.
In the picture above, the arms have shifted. The left arm looks like it is almost sticking straight out, with the right arm reaching way over to the left. The point of the triangle is over on the left side of the body.
Common sense should tell you that there is something wrong here. Common sense should tell that if the left arm punches to the peak of the triangle, it will be a relatively strong punch. But if the right arm punches, it will be a weak punch, because the right arm is reaching way over to the left side of the body to punch. The right arm loses power traveling all the way over to the left side of the body.
If your common sense does not tell you the picture above means that the left arm will punch stronger to the peak of the triangle than the right arm, then engineering will. Solving the physical system represented by the arms in the picture above using engineering, would prove that one arm could strike the peak of the triangle stronger than the other arm could.
The next picture shows the arms shifted the other way.
The right arm is almost sticking straight out, with the left arm reaching across the body to reach the peak of the triangle. Everything said about the other picture applies to this picture. The right arm can strike the peak of the triangle with more force than the left arm, because the left arm loses efficiency by traveling across the torso to reach the peak of the pyramid.
The possibilities and implications of what has been written above are many. If all of that information above is true, how could a fighter put it to use tomorrow? So as not to overwhelm people, let’s try to stay simple.
Any fighter can stand up straight and put their arms out in front of themselves to form a triangle. The fighter should allow their arms to settle into what feels like a natural position.
Now look at where the peak of the triangle formed by your arms is. Is the peak of your triangle in the center of your body? If it is, then your body is mostly balanced and even from side to side. You should be able to punch with equal efficiency with either the left or right arm.
What if your triangle is to the right or the left? That means your body is unblanced. One side of your body is probably stronger than the other, and one side of your body is obviously out of alignment, since that arm can no longer go in the center of the body.
Since engineering says the maximum power is delivered through something that is aligned, by doing this simple exercise that takes five minutes, you will find out if your arms are in the center of your body and you are delivering maximum power with both hands equally, or if your body are not in the center of your body, you will find out which one of your arms is stronger than the other, and which one is not properly aligned.
Then if you cared, you could start working on realigning your body so that both arms were in the center of your body, so both arms were equally strong.
The previous material was an oversimplified, brief, poorly worded example of one way in which Trigonometry can be useful to a fighter. Since the science of Trigonometry has now been shown to be useful to a fighter, it seems reasonable that other areas of science that apply to how the human body works and how fighting systems work would also be useful to the thinking fighter.
The inspiration for this blog entry was stated to be an article written by a man who stated “science is not useful to a fighter”. In a way that man is right.
Trigonometry and Science really are useless in improving the fighting ability of someone who does not want to think.