View Single Post
Old 07-16-2012
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 787
Default Great stuff, indeed! Slightly wonkish reply...

Firstly, I want to backup swimust.

Originally Posted by swimust View Post
No I am not. I just learn from try and error. My English is no way near as good as Lawrence language.
All this is really happening to me simply because I try all that stuff in the pool. Its real man. Its "insane" but I have no frontal coach, I have no Japanese coach, and Shinji got fed up with me. I understand Shinji. If everyone was asking for details then he didn't had time to live his own life, he has two kids.
Please be patient with me. If I bother you then just ignore my posts. Its that simple.
I do not attack anyone and I dont abuse anyone like Lawrence did. If you think that I am just "fooling around" then just ignore me.
Swimust, I agree with what you are saying here.

Also, it is unfair to blame him for the discussion in this thread. Although in fact it wouldn't be blame but fame because I think this discussion here is really worth it, since it reveals some basic understandings and misunderstandings and some question marks about the way TI principles are held up and broadcasted.

Secondly I want to mention that I learned freestyle with TI only, I never followed any other swimming concept. I understood the TI principles already before I started to learn freestyle and ruled out any other concept. And I do believe that it is far better to move forward in freestyle with moving the body along that anchoring arm and not by pulling the arm backwards. Yes, I do understand that.
Also I believe that coaches here are doing a great job. And I am neither a scientist or a physician so I use just common sense.
I am basically with WFEGb aka Werner, and I want to clarify a few things from my viewpoint.

It all started with this simple question:
Originally Posted by kalinma View Post
Could someone please define the term "acceleration" as it relates to swimming technique? ...
(So it is not swimust fault) It was not quite clear, acceleration of what was meant, but the mainstream thinking was obviously that we talk about the acceleration of the body in the water. As an answer Coach Stuart gave this hilarious 'definition' about the recovering arm and Lu (I like this name) aka Coach Luisa - among other things - said this:
Originally Posted by CoachLuisaFonseca View Post
The main forward movement is not created by the pulling arm. The arm pulls but it's mainly other forces that make the body move forward. ...
So, there we go. TomsOfSpain then asked what those other forces are and basically didn't get an answer. Which is a pity.

Let's take a look at the physical side. If you want to move a body you need to apply a force and have a lever apart from that body where that force can be applied upon. When we pushoff from the wall the force comes from our legs and the lever is the wall. The walls characteristic is that it will not move away when we push off, so we move. Simple.
In water it is different. Coach stuart said this in his second explanation:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
... I originally left out "anchoring arm" (aka pull) unfortunately, it plays an important role in driving energy forward, not by pull, but by traction holding the body in place - 'anchoring' as the weight mass is driven forward. ...
Yes, but what is it that drives the body, that drives the weight mass forward? What is the driving force? You kind of sidestep when it comes to answer this question.
Just having an anchor is not enough. Ships use an anchor to stop, not to accelerate. So we need a force that drives our body from that anchor. Let's assume we have a point where the one arm is anchored and shoulder and forearm are at the same level. Moving forward now means bringing the shoulder in front of the forearm, or, in other words create a distance between the shoulder and the forearm when seen from the side. We do that with applying muscular force, hopefully from our lats and not the shoulder. Now, any force that we apply that is supposed to move our body forward from that anchored arm will take effect on the anchored arm in the same amount but opposite direction. So face it folks, believers and non-believers, and I mean when swimming freestyle regardless of the swimming concept we follow: in the moment we move our body forward our anchored arm will move backwards. Water will be moved backwards also, there is no way around it. The interesting question is by what amount, and that is where the TI principles come in. The task is to maximize the drag of the anchor and minimize the drag of the body to be moved forward, and the art is to find that amount of force and that amount of drag maximization/minimization that makes us moving forward fastest in the most economical way. At some point when the force applied on the lever - the anchored arm - is getting too high the arm will move too fast backwards and too much of the applied power is used to move lots of water backwards. That's inefficiency.
Apart from this acceleration force that derives from our muscles moving the body along the anchored arm there is some propulsive force from the leg movements. And that is basically it. Maybe some wave riding if we are lucky. The recovering arm does not move the body forward. It is anchored on the body, and any movement forward of that arm applies a force in the opposite direction on the body. As WFEGb said, it moves the body backwards. It is minimal as the body's mass is a lot higher than the arms mass. At the end of the 'pull' we can use water resistance and 'snap' our arm/elbow against that water resistance out of the water and use that momentum to bring it forward without having to apply additional muscular power and in that case with very minimal force being applied to the body in the opposite - backwards - direction. Maybe that is what is behind this romantic and slightly mystical 'recovering arm' definition. But that doesn't move our body forward. Additionally our recovering arm meets the water again in front and then it is confronted with water resistance. That will apply a force against the swimming direction for the arm and the body, in short that is a deceleration force. Gravity helps to bring the arm in the water, but the net sum is deceleration (of the body) because of the water resistance when the arm enters the water.

On the feeling level or experimental level things can be quite different We would, e.g. experience a sudden loss of deceleration as acceleration. I think one of the problems that we face here comes from not really differentiating between pictures given for the experience and simple physical explanations. And we should be able to differentiate between acceleration and minimizing deceleration. A decreased deceleration only leads to more acceleration when an acceleration power is applied at the same time, it doesn't do it on it's own.

On the intentional level we work with pictures. This is an area where it easily gets vague and esoteric. But we cannot neglect it. Like the classical science tells us how things behave in our physical world, the quantum mechanics show us that we are not confronted with an objective, in itself solid world 'out there' and our sole choice is to deal with it. One of the things Quantum mechanics can show us is that this world out there is highly dependent on us, our intentions and behaviour. So when talking about swimming, pictures and visualizations can help. The effect of having a picture of moving the body pass that anchored arm has a different effect than using a picture of pulling with the arm although the same muscles are used, there is some mystical element in it, something that is hard or impossible to grasp on a physical level. But again when explaining TI principles we should be clear from what level we talk.

I understand that there is some dilemma about not wanting to to spell out too much about the arm forces in 'pull' in order to get people away from that concept that you move in freestyle because of pulling and you have to pull harder to be faster. But you cannot simply ignore physics when explaining TI principles on a simple physical level.
My concern as an enthusiastic TI follower is that there seems to be a tendency to glorify TI principle into a mystic meta-reality where only initiated and year long practicing TI members of the inner circle can follow and that TI principles overrule physical principles. That would turn TI into a religion.
It should be possible to answer a simple question as 'where is the acceleration coming from' without getting into a philosophical tangle.

And that question from TomsOfSpain what those 'other forces' are is still unanswered. Since of course I might be completely wrong, there night be something and in that case I am very interested in an answer, honestly.

Enough is enough. I go for a swim...

Last edited by haschu33 : 07-16-2012 at 10:16 AM.
Reply With Quote