Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z is for...

Z is for Zi Lyang

Zi Lyang means Mass and is important to consider when it comes to power of technique.  Newton teaches us that the force one exerts on an object (in this case an attacker) is equal to one's mass multiplied by one's acceleration.  What this means in practical application is that it's important to exert one's mass in the direction of the attack in order to have the greatest impact.  

The chamber (as I've already discussed) has a lot to do with setting up the attack- the leg being at the same height as the desired kick, turning the hips over in the same direction as the kick, unfolding the technique on a straight line.  The other key is mental- the idea is to take space.
"My space!"
When we do self and knife defense techniques we want to take the space that the attacker occupies.  Using the physicas of Aikido we will step in closer to the attacker, catch the attacking hand, manipulate the wrist and then drop the individual.  The rule with all of our techniques is that whatever line we start traveling down we will continue traveling down, and manipulate the attacker such that we are able to move through them on our path. 

Note the arm locks after the point of impact
When we do our techniques for breaking we aim for a point past the board so that we know we'll break through it.  If we aimed at the board itself we wouldn't be able to break through, we'd hurt our hand/foot/etc.

And when we do our forms we transition from one move to the next with controlled steps so that we translate our mass through on a straight line.

You don't have to be a huge person with a lot of mass in order to be powerful (though I'll admit that my friends who are over six feet tall and made of muscle are damned powerful); you simply have to know how to throw your weight around, as the expression goes.  Jet Li is only 5'6".  Bruce Lee was 5'7".  Jackie Chan is 5'9".  And even the tall American Chuck Norris is only 5'10".  There's not a one of them who wasn't/isn't incredibly powerful- because they know how to use their mass.

Well, that's it for my A to Z!  I hope you all enjoyed learning a bit more about my favorite past time as I certainly enjoyed teaching you.  Doing the research for all the posts this month has done just what I hoped it would do: psyched me up for my Dan test coming up in June.  I'm looking forward to having the best test I've ever had and if you're interested I invite you to stop by sometime around the 22nd to hear from an exhausted and elated me.

I still have quite a lot of bloggers to visit and if you're catching up like me make sure you leave a comment so I know how to find you.  Otherwise, I will make my way down the list and visit all the lovely folks I missed over the course of the month- one blogger at a time.

Thanks for everything you've done this month- and happy A to Z!


  1. I learned a lot from your theme and am so impressed with your martial arts talent! Congratulations on a great month. :)

  2. Follow through the motion and don't aim for the board - check!
    Your theme was really informative. I enjoyed it. Congratulations on completing the Challenge!

  3. I love that you can be a small person and be powerful. :)

    Your posts have been very interesting. I've enjoyed learning about the martial arts. Just like Julie, I'm jealous of your talent. ;)

    Congratulations on making it to Z!

  4. Julie- Thank you so much! I enjoyed your theme also and while I'm way behind on catching every one of them I promise to catch up- there are way too many cool things to be learned about your favorite island!

    Alex- THANK YOU! Your commenting abilities are absolutely astounding and I am so grateful for you checking every day! I'm glad you enjoyed it and so thrilled to be part of this awesome challenge!

    Chrys- I do, too! I'm glad you found my theme interesting. As with Julie, I'm way behind on commenting but I WILL get to each and every one of your posts- so much more to learn about the writing journey you took. Congrats right back at you, and thanks!

  5. You did it, Bev!
    Congratulations... you kicked butt all the way to the finish line!

  6. Congrats on getting to Z!
    I'd love to learn to use my mass, I bet it'd come in useful.

  7. It's very cool how that formula can be used to get more power behind your moves.
    Congratulations on finishing the challenge!
    I've learned a lot about martial arts through your posts. It was a lot of fun. ^_^

  8. Congrats on making it to the end! I enjoyed your posts :)

  9. Congratulations on crossing the finish line, Bev!


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