Sunday, March 29, 2009

Theme of the month April 2009: Push and Pull

Despite a strong temptation to use April Foolishness as my theme for my class this April -- maybe next year! -- this month's theme is Push and Pull.  We shall see that push and pull has many aspects and in exploring it we will use physics, bio-mechanics, and  psychology to our advantage.  In broad outline:
  • Physics: By pushing and pulling simultaneously we generate turning forces (also known as torques).  
  • Bio-mechanics: We apply these torques to twist, turn, lock and/or throw our partners.
  • Psychology: The majority of people when pushed, push back; when pulled, pull back.  If instead you respond to a push with a pull; or initiate by pushing, get the expected push-back, and switch smoothly to a pull, you can begin to co-opt your partners force and use it against them.  Etcetera.
Some thing to whet your appetite: Physicist Jearl Walker explains the physics of a few judo and aikido techniques.

Next up: Ways to push and pull.