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View Full Version : An open invitation, or question, rather.



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peng
4/28/2006 1:45pm,
All this anti-IMA propaganda has really got my head spinning, lol. I honestly had no clue people were so closed-minded concerning these techniques.

I can understand the skepticism, though, in light of all the half-baked and ridiculous claims that people make concerning mystical powers and the projection of invisible energy.

I would like to go on record, however, as saying that IMA has nothing whatsoever to do with any of that, and any teacher worth the price of admission will tell you as much, so long as he isn't trying to fool you. (That CAN be a concern in these things, lol.)

So what I'm wondering is this:

If I were to prepare an instructional video demonstrating some of the basic standing meditation techiniques that are a regular part of IMA training, how many of you would be interested in approaching the subject with an open mind, trying the excercises for a little while, and sharing your experiences with the rest of the board?

The actual fighting part we'll get to later, don't worry. I just believe that, once you've felt the benefit that these excercises have to offer, you won't be able to deny their effectiveness.

The excercises will involve holding static postures with your arms in various positions while engaging in specific deep breathing techniques. They will work to increase nearly every aspect of your fighting art, regardless of particular mechanics of style or other training regimen.

I am asking that you record both objective and subjective data to determine the effectiveness of this training technique. I would like to enlist the assistance of around ten volunteers.

JKDChick
4/28/2006 1:47pm,
All this anti-IMA propaganda .

*EH*

Sorry, you lose.

Questioning ridiculous statements that violate scientific fact and asking for more evidence for claims than anecdotes is NOT propaganda. It's call being intellectually rigorous, or alternately, not a gullible moron.

peng
4/28/2006 1:53pm,
*EH*

Sorry, you lose.

Questioning ridiculous statements that violate scientific fact and asking for more evidence for claims than anecdotes is NOT propaganda. It's call being intellectually rigorous, or alternately, not a gullible moron.

I understand that. I was not aware of the high standards of proof the community was used to. Many who understand these things probably wouldn't bother wasting their time trying to explain or share them. Many who have no idea are more than willing to do so. I'm a little dumber than most, i guess, lol.

But that's what I'm offering here. A way to start chiselling the fact from fiction and seeing exactly what this stuff has to offer.

You wanna put your money where your mouth is and engage in some science, or you wanna hold on to your blind faith that there's nothing to it?

Like an orgasm, it really is something that needs to be felt to be understood.

Saker
4/28/2006 1:57pm,
Go on then why not I'll have a crack. You do know you're onto a loser though? No way are you going to convert people with a work out video.

peng
4/28/2006 2:00pm,
Go on then why not I'll have a crack. You do know you're onto a loser though? No way are you going to convert people with a work out video.

Lol.

Well, it's the only thing I've got at the moment. :)

I'll get some data from other sources, as I find it, but there's no substitute for first-hand experience.

I'll have a vid out in a couple days fer ya.

Shaolinz
4/28/2006 2:09pm,
I know this isn't the exact place to ask these questions but didn't the guy who created Tai Chi refuse to teach anyone who wasn't already a master of a seperate art? (Other then the imperial family he was later told to teach) Of course I could be getting my arts mixed up.

Personally I have no problem admitting IMA have some benefits but so does a placebo. I'm not claiming IMA are a complete fake but the analogy is still relevant.

Tom Kagan
4/28/2006 2:18pm,
I honestly had no clue people were so closed-minded concerning these techniques.



I just believe that, once you've felt the benefit that these excercises have to offer, you won't be able to deny their effectiveness.



You are convinced without the evidence you seek, yet everyone else is "closed-minded" by remaining unconvinced and quite skeptical without the very same evidence.


Somehow, I have a feeling what the outcome of this little "science" experiment is going to be before this gets off the ground, regardles of whatever is collected.


Sorry, I have better things to do that standing around and seeing how much dust can collect on my body. So, I will not be volunteering.

peng
4/28/2006 2:30pm,
I know this isn't the exact place to ask these questions but didn't the guy who created Tai Chi refuse to teach anyone who wasn't already a master of a seperate art? (Other then the imperial family he was later told to teach) Of course I could be getting my arts mixed up.

Personally I have no problem admitting IMA have some benefits but so does a placebo. I'm not claiming IMA are a complete fake but the analogy is still relevant.

No, that's not true at all. Many tai chi practicioners come from other backgrounds, and it's common practice in China to train first in an external style and then learn internal, but no master of the Yang lineage that I know of REQUIRED a student to know another art first.

I'm sure it helps speed things up, though. The physical conditioning you get in another art serves you well before you know what you're doing.

The analogy is relevant, thank you for mentioning it.

A placebo relies on the mind's ability to manifest change. So does Taiji. The Taoists consider the body to be just another part of the mind. Control of one's mind equals into control of one's body.

Interestingly enough, (and I can't find the source to cite this one, either, lol) there have been studies in the past year or so that helped push back the myth of "the wall" that runners and other endurance athletes reach.

They've found that the body will lie to you and tell you that you have less energy than is really available to prevent you from taking it all the way to the limit. It's a way that it outsmarts your conscious desires and conserves the energy it needs to keep going. Your body doesn't know that the race is almost over, it just knows that if you keep doing what you're doing to it, eventually it's gonna run out of juice completely. A large part of the effects of muscular fatigue are purely mental, in other words.

Another study, referenced in a psychology today article published last year cites the finding that clinical depression and heart disease are intimately related. Persons who have had a heart attack are four times more likely to suffer from clinical depression, and persons who suffer from clinical depression are ten times more likely to suffer from a heart attack. Sadly, the conclusion of the medical community was that prozac prevents heart attacks.

All this is to speak to the fact that the mind has far more control over the body than we give it credit for.

Consider the ability of the hypnotist to control bleeding in an entranced subject. Or reports of physical changes to the bodies of schizophrenic patients undergoing an episode.

What this has to do with internal arts is simple. Maintaining a calm, focused, and balanced mind translates directly into a calm, focused, and balanced body.

peng
4/28/2006 2:31pm,
You are convinced without the evidence you seek, yet everyone else is "closed-minded" by remaining unconvinced and quite skeptical without the very same evidence.


Somehow, I have a feeling what the outcome of this little "science" experiment is going to be before this gets off the ground, regardles of whatever is collected.


Sorry, I have better things to do that standing around and seeing how much dust can collect on my body. So, I will not be volunteering.

No, see, the evidence is personal experience, for me. Which is what I'm offering others.

Who cares what some study published by the chinese board of health claims, what's important is what you can verify with your own experimentation.

BoardHitBack
4/28/2006 2:36pm,
The excercises will involve holding static postures with your arms in various positions while engaging in specific deep breathing techniques. They will work to increase nearly every aspect of your fighting art, regardless of particular mechanics of style or other training regimen.

I am asking that you record both objective and subjective data to determine the effectiveness of this training technique. I would like to enlist the assistance of around ten volunteers.

Include the Yang Taiji forms. The totality of an IMA needs testing, not just a part of it.

If you do, I'm in. Don't expect anything but honesty tho.

Seraphim
4/28/2006 2:38pm,
The excercises will involve holding static postures with your arms in various positions while engaging in specific deep breathing techniques. They will work to increase nearly every aspect of your fighting art, regardless of particular mechanics of style or other training regimen.



How the hell is that going to make me a better fighter?

Hurting people(fighting) is simplistic. Fist > Face. Repeat as needed.

Tom Kagan
4/28/2006 2:40pm,
So, if I understand you now correctly, you are really saying that the benefit of Taji is, in reality, due to the placebo effect?


And if I also understand you now correctly, you are no longer interested in the "objective" portion of the study you defined?


:rolleyes:

peng
4/28/2006 2:48pm,
So, if I understand you now correctly, you are really saying that the benefit of Taji is, in reality, due to the placebo effect?


And if I also understand you now correctly, you are no longer interested in the "objective" portion of the study you defined?


:rolleyes:


No, you do not understand me correctly.

Taiji makes use of the power of the mind to affect the body. This same power is sometimes evident in what we call the placebo effect. If the mind believes it has been given something to combat a disease and is convinced of it's effectiveness, the body is often better able to combat the disease. The mind is a powerful thing.

I am most definitely interested in the objective portion. I'm a bit at a loss as to how to gather the data. Heart rate monitors, vo2(???) testing, respiration tests. I would be most appreciative of the input of someone with more knowledge concerning what and how to measure to determine effectiveness of excercise.

Ultimately, however, the effectiveness of the excercise is determined by the individual performing it. All the data in the world won't convince someone determined to prove it wrong.

peng
4/28/2006 2:48pm,
How the hell is that going to make me a better fighter?

Hurting people(fighting) is simplistic. Fist > Face. Repeat as needed.

I'm not about to start discussing theory yet, lol.

That'll come later.

Shaolinz
4/28/2006 2:49pm,
This would probably be a good time to mention the other thing I do all day is experimental psychology. You will almost never be able to prove that Tai chi is actually the cause for any benefit to health as apposed to any other martial art, atleast never with an objective test.

As for the healthy mind/healthy body thing, that is only true to a certain degree. Mental health and physical health are two things people tend to grab and run with. Simply because you are mentally healthy/stable/focused doesn't mean you will be phsyically healthy. There are correlations between the two but they are simply that. Correlations don't prove ANYTHING. They simple mean: A causes B, B causes A, or C causes A & B. They are near worthless. Although the psychological community loves to use them because that means they have something easy to publish. Also most studies that are performed and published are trash. Did you know with a big enough sample size you can make any finding significant? Even if it only was different by .0000001% you should still find it statistically significant.

The more you learn the more things fall apart. The more about psychology I learn the more I learn how flawed most of the things people try to relate as fact are. Hell a large majority of psychological studies aren't even repeated to check to see if they weren't an utter fluke. Psychological science is about getting crap published not about actually finding some truth. More of are considered with P values then actual effects in their studies as well.

(There is a point in there but it is probably lost in a Rant...)

Tom Kagan
4/28/2006 2:51pm,
Ultimately, however, the effectiveness of the excercise is determined by the individual performing it. All the data in the world won't convince someone determined to prove it wrong.


Then it stands to reason that all the data to the contrary won't convince someone determined to prove it right, either. Wouldn't you agree?