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  #21  
Old 02-21-2012
Butiki Butiki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex-SG View Post
c. Rolling like a log
The animation almost suggests that while shoulders over rotate, hips stay relative flat on the water surface. This could explain why his upper body does not sink as a result of very high elbows, because the "flat hips provide a support" (reminds me of Michael Phelps warm-up video).
The different rotation angle between shoulders and Hips probably creates a torque that translates into faster rotation/acceleration (similar to golf).
I thought most TI Coaches advocate rolling like a log hips and shoulders together?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachShinjiT View Post
3) Shoulders and Hips
Nice observation. I really focus to do as you observe. And you are right. With using this technique and snapping legs, I can create a very sharp torque (same as pitching.) It is what we teach to get acceleration in Japan for graceful swimmers. For TI beginners, we teach "rolling like a log."
Wow, this blows my mind. Shinji admits his shoulders rotate more than his hips creating a "very sharp torque" and they actually teach this in Japan. I thought this goes against TI principles?

Is this mentioned anywhere? Kudos to Alex for this astute observation!

I guess the next logical questions are: for advanced TI'ers, how is this taught and is there a drill for this?
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  #22  
Old 02-21-2012
dougalt dougalt is offline
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Default some thoughts

the "dinner plate effect." If you place a dinner plate on the surface and let not go, it will slowly drift downward, because the surface area supports it. If, however, you turn the dinner plate on edge, it will knife through the water because there is less surface area to support it.

This concept would apply to bodies with negative bouyancy. For an increasingly large percentage of the USA population with more body fat than they wish they had (including this writer), planing strategies to avoid sinking are probably a non-issue. We're all bobbing like corks already.

Torso- and head-twisting discussions are also lost on those with excess poundage. Body fat restricts range of motion; dramatically so when it comes to neck and torso twisting. e.g.: There was a point, not too long ago, when I was 70 lbs. overweight. When driving my car, I noticed it was extremely difficult to twist my head to check for traffic when pulling out of a side street, particularly when the two streets merged at about a 45º angle. I was a senior citizen with limited capability to deal with the hazards of normal automobile traffic situations. Upon losing about 25 lbs., I noticed that I could twist to look for traffic MUCH more easily - more range of motion; less energy requirement. The motion restriction had been due to FAT accumulation packed around a body that should have been functioning in a much leaner configuration!

So, in discussing rotation of neck (for breathing), torso and hips (for propulsion) - body type and body fat status affect the technique issues.

Shinji appears to be a very lean, flexible person. What works great for him may not be attainable by an overweight person, nor by a very muscular, limited flexibility person.

Seems to me that the search should be for ways to approach Shinji's technique, but with the realization that each person's body type might require subtle or gross adaptations.

Last edited by dougalt : 02-21-2012 at 05:18 AM.
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  #23  
Old 02-21-2012
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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All this talk about twisting the spine is really giving me the willies! Some comments:

1. my sports med guy have been talking about changing thoughts on the role of the back and spine in all sorts of sports. new thinking and research has shown that twisting the spine is simply very bad. for example, for golfers, they used to teach the twisting of the spine to get more force into a golf swing but now they realize that this has caused injury to the spine and tons of back problems. now they teach people to brace their spine while twisting at the hips. the problem that most golfers have, and most people in general have, is that their normal habits of sitting have decreased mobility in the hips so they cannot rotate there, but rather compensate by rotating in the upper spine area. now they are doing work to loosen up the hip joints for more mobility range and generating power there, versus in spine twisting.

2. someone pointed me to the Race Club in FL and out of curiosity, i bought their DVDs to see what they were all about. there is a shoulder driven style which just drove me batty, knowing what i know now about the twisting of the back. their shoulders were rotating back and forth at high speed, while their hips were barely moving. yes this means you can move your arms faster and for sprinting this may mean more speed, but i felt sorry for those young swimmers' backs which will undoubtedly have problems if they keep swimming that way later on.

3. i have watched shinji's video and animation over and over again, trying to spy what has been talked about in this thread. some thoughts here are:

a. you can't rely on a 3D animation to tell what is really going on. in fact, the animation's attempt at reproducing the muscles and skin are inhibiting our ability to see what is going on underneath. to see if the shoulders were really moving a lot independently of the hips, we'd need to see the bones underneath, not the skin/muscle reproduction on top. given that this is a computer and not a real human, i am not sure we can accurately take what is in the animation as what is really happening with shinji's swim.

b. i have stared at the video over and over again. it sure seems like there is very little, if any, overtwisting of the spine to gain some sort of advantage. what i do see is a great connection from the snap 2BK to the hips, which drive the upper body and shoulders, thru to the spear in front. all of this is one big coordinated action, not some winding up of the shoulders first and then the hip unwinds it in some kind of snap.

sorry to sound testy about this, but a lot of what we have known about backs has been blatantly proven wrong in recent research. we may be able to generate some sort of increased torque in the short term, but it has been shown to shorten the careers and health due to back injury later on....
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  #24  
Old 02-21-2012
swimust swimust is offline
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hmm... interesting thread :)
good to see that Shinji is "alive and well".. good of me to post something after a long absence.. good of me being "a bit feisty" today.. the timing coincidence of seeing this thread today after the pool visit...

In last 2-3 months I was trying desperately to find the perfect body twist (Shinji calls it "twist" and not anything else) and its timing. During this time I ALWAYS tried hip roll BEFORE the stroking arm started moving backwards... DOH!

So, my feisty mood today brought me to understand now that the stroking hand starts moving backwards (after catch phase) BEFORE the hip roll and exactly when the other elbow is submerged in water... doh for the lost months! The hip roll starts much later.

My "order of action" was wrong. When the elbow is in the water, I have to start moving the stroking arm, and ONLY THEN I start the hip roll (dont argue with me if its a roll or not, Shinji calls it "hip roll".)

I will quit TI if I am wrong this time.. ;) I will bet anyone that I am correct this time. I just started to "fly in the water" today. Back to sanity...

All this torque stuff and flat hips this and that... I know it for a long time.

Am I the only non Japanese person trying to swim like Shinji in this world at present?... Thats an interesting notion... what a pitty that such an amazing swim style is used by so few in the world today...
You only need coaches to learn that.
If Shinji saw me swim, he would have fixed me in 2 hours. Who needs two days?.. ;) I know so much by now but I never had a proper Japanese frontal coach to see my mistakes and fix them.
Anyway, I bet you I can swim now TI Shinjo style. Not at his level of course. Just the basic techinque while learning it only from videos and comments on youtube. That is/was hard but I am moving on forwards. I am aware of so many details... An example for a "little detail":
Have you noticed how Shinji twists the vertical stroking palm (I mean exactly "palm" and no other body part) towards his body during the stroke phase? It happens once and its great for the deltoids kept lose. It helped me.
He turns the inside of the palm in 45* towards the body to ease on the deltoids.

Enjoy your swim and my apologies for maybe a rather mentally disturbing post :)
One thing is for sure: I enjoy this TI Shinji swim a lot. Even the hard learning process is kind of a magic. What will I do when the mystery will be solved? I will be bored.
bye and have peace.. :)

P.S. Example for being bored in swimming:
3 months ego I had no clue how to swim a proper backstroke. just horrible. Now after hundreds times of watching the Hagiwara Tocomo video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3EY1k9rNXI (yes another japanese, 4th in 2000 olympic games), now, I can swim a smooth and fast backstroke and I am leaving good swimmers behind me. SO what? there is no challenge. It was relatively easy to learn that. I need the challenge.. my breaststroke still stinks.. Koske here I come... ;) Those Japanese swimmers are so "technically classic" and I am fascinated by that.
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Last edited by swimust : 02-21-2012 at 08:04 PM.
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  #25  
Old 02-21-2012
swimust swimust is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
Does Shinji race? are there any times to compare him to Terry or does he focus on swimming as an art to look beautiful over short distances (equally valid).
Shinji tried hard to remain humble and not show off in his reply to you, BUT...
I checked his training sessions in the past according to the details that he gave in his comments on youtube. He was training on a pace of about 13.40 minutes per 1KM. I calculated that. I repeat, less than 14 minutes per 1KM in training. Thats "not bad" and it was about 2 years ago.. ;)
He may have improved since then because he swims now on 1.1 seconds per stroke which is faster than his 1.4 back then.
go figure... though still not close to world class competitive swimming. And times are not the purpose of TI. Its about smooth easy swimming as far as I know.
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Last edited by swimust : 02-21-2012 at 08:24 PM.
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  #26  
Old 02-21-2012
Butiki Butiki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
All this talk about twisting the spine is really giving me the willies!
I know, right. That's why I said it blows my mind. But more specifically, it goes against the grain of what TI teaches. But, whether it's there in the video or not, no one can deny the fact that Shinji himself says he does it consciously. Moreover, he actually teaches this twisting motion to his more advanced students. The TI-norm "roll like a log" is reserved for beginners, which is understandable.

I hope Shinji replies again and explains in more detail what he meant.
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  #27  
Old 02-21-2012
Janos Janos is offline
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Hi Swimust. I have missed your posts on Shinji. It is all interesting comment, but I think it is important to note that Shinji seeks the swimming aesthetic, as he was humble enough to say in his post. This is in preference to an all out performance based TI style robust enough for triathlons and open water racing. Although the principle remains the same, there are subtle differences in refinement.

Janos
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  #28  
Old 02-21-2012
CoachToby CoachToby is offline
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Default Advanced Skills

All my best SPL/SR combinations have happened when I focus on engaging my kinetic chain more effectively. Keeping my hips a little less rotated in relation to my shoulders helps me do this. I like the golf analogy - try a golf swing with hips and shoulders parallel. Next I try to initiate the kick from my hips - the whole leg, not just the foot, grabs and holds the water allowing me to rotate; taking the leg back slightly (or up) after the kick opens the hip and helps this happen. When I get it right, swimming feels a lot easier. Great timing is the elusive aspect of great swimming and can only be observed and measured by its results. Most people can learn swimming movements and positions relatively easily, but mastering the timing is more challenging.
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  #29  
Old 02-21-2012
saadbox13 saadbox13 is offline
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Default Youtube videos quality ?

I have been watching Shinji's and Terry's videos on youtube almost daily as a motivation before heading to the pool for the past 2 years...:)

This is probably off topic but did anyone else notice that the encoding quality of these videos have diminished?

I believe youtube is doing this on older videos to save in bandwidth and storage costs. It is a shame because I am sure many of us are revisiting these videos quite often. I Wish we had a video library hosted on the TI website or servers...
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  #30  
Old 02-21-2012
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butiki View Post
I know, right. That's why I said it blows my mind. But more specifically, it goes against the grain of what TI teaches. But, whether it's there in the video or not, no one can deny the fact that Shinji himself says he does it consciously. Moreover, he actually teaches this twisting motion to his more advanced students. The TI-norm "roll like a log" is reserved for beginners, which is understandable.

I hope Shinji replies again and explains in more detail what he meant.
he may be focusing on that, but it is not being illustrated at least in the video that was provided at the beginning of the thread. also focusing on it doesn't necessarily mean that he is physically doing something, even if he is mentally thinking about it.

we would need to look deeper into what is going on in his mind and also what is executed in his body. we also may not be interpreting his text correctly. he could be focusing on generating torque, which does not necessarily mean he is over-rotating his shoulders before his hips snap in. you can generate torque by holding your entire torso firmly straight too.
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