More: Tensegrity "Block Training" and "athletic connection"
More from the New Book:
As I mentioned earlier, although there is a
long tradition in some martial arts
of practicing in this way while on a raised
platform, for example on top of a post in
the ground. The Tensegrity-Block
Training method presented here brings
new light to raised elevation training
since it is used specifically as a tool to
identify and replicate subtle sensations
associated with normally unconscious tensegruous support of the body.
As demonstrated in Photo 11-27, TBT requires the practitioner to remain still, but relaxed, while standing on an elevated platform. Correct, upright posture is important during the practice, since slumping or hunching can interfere with the benefits. The raised platform does not need to be very high, but it must be just high enough to induce a slight feeling of danger. That is the experience necessary to trigger an unconscious body response related to wiry athleticism and “athletic connection.” In this way, the raised platform gets your body’s attention.
For most individuals, immediately upon beginning their training on the elevated platform, there is a change in the way their body unconsciously supports itself. Although the body will seem to relax and feel looser, at the same time, it will become stronger and more “athletically connected.”
Athletic connection is the ability to present effective and stable power in context of a loose, wiry athletic state. It is not strength that is as if muscle groups are tense and resisting a force. Although appearing “loose” and without apparent tension, the “athletic connection” phenomenon presents when a strike or other movement meets a target. The skill manifests as a special kind of power which, no doubt, is part of the secret of “soft power” in the internal martial arts, but is also seen in other forms of athletics.
In such a relaxed and loose physical state, it is as if the body has decided to drop all unnecessary tension and adopt a primal wiriness out of necessity, and for most individuals, the practice allows them to experience a new category of relaxed power.