Saturday, October 1, 2011

Systema Headquarter's Newsletter - Is it Fast or is it Jerky?

Is it Fast or is it Jerky?
by Vladimir Vasiliev and Konstantin Komarov

Human eye actively responds to jerky movements, to flashing and kaleidoscopic change of images. As a result, our eye cannot separate speed from jerkiness. Jerky movements seem to be fast, while fast and steady movements seem slow. Our vision does not catch steady acceleration, but easily registers sharp changes from rest to moving.
How is a fast move different from jerky?
  1. A truly fast body movement is smooth. It begins instantly without “collecting” the body together first. Without the haste, there is steady acceleration and it reaches its maximum speed at the target point.
  2. If a body is already relaxed and in tone it does not require to take the extra step of “collecting” or stabilizing itself first. If the body is calm and ready to move, the change from rest to moving and accelerating is effortless and therefore subtle.
  3. A jerky movement begins with “gathering up” of the relevant joints of the body, with tensing of the muscles first. Once the body is stabilized or pulled together this way, only then there is an “explosive” muscle contraction that sharply pushes out the body or body part. Next, the movement continues by inertia with gradual decline of speed.
  4. Jerky movements are a result of over-tension. Thus, they damage us physically and psychologically.
- A tense construction is always more fragile and when shuddered, needless stress is created to the joints and body organs.
- Jerky movements attract attention, therefore, they make us a more visible target. In most cases, this is very undesirable for any combative and professional work.
- Jerky moves are a sign of instability in the psyche, and the more they are practiced the more they disturb the psychological strength.
- Over-tension leads to quick fatigue, thus endurance for any combat or sport is dropped.
- Clearly, jerky movements are less precise because a tense muscle is less responsive and less adaptable.
- Jerky movements create the illusion of power, but in reality, the power is in smooth and steady acceleration. If a movement seems slow to you – look again maybe it is just calm.

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