“Hydro- dynamic Locomotion”
Moving with ease using localised directed release instead of muscular contraction.
Basic principle and structural relevance
In the summer of 2008 I taught a class, some simple weight- shifting exercises using a larger-than-shoulder-width stance and straight feet (with parallel inside edges) in order to promote my students’ understanding of conceptual and biomechanical, as well as bio-psychological, differences when initialising a movement when it comes to pulling-versus-pushing, in regards to the intended direction of movement. This particular class, however, proved to be somewhat different compared to previous classes with similar goals.
Whilst explaining and performing more intricate aspects of how two different patterns can be triggered, I stumbled across a third option that did not require any muscular contraction at all. Quite contrastingly, it was only possible to be initiated by a specific a “directed release” (that is, at least, what I call it to this day) of the muscles of the selected extremity. Without ever having previously realised its existence, possible applications or having had any substantial understandings of its inner working principles, this became the beginning of formulating an aspect of movement and locomotion that I had been using in very similar ways for almost 20 years within my practice of Chinese internal martial arts, such as Taiji Quan and Baguazhang(*). All that changed in the aforementioned class.
I realised that relaxation of muscles can also be described as a displacement of mass within the boundary of the physical body. My following experiments and research with myself and students of all kinds of body-types, age, gender and background led me to the formulation of what I call “Hydro- dynamic Locomotion”, a way of moving that is based on what undoubtedly is a basic far reaching principle within the body. This basic principle functionally links all physical, psychological and energetic aspects of ones being.
What is “Hydrodynamic Locomotion”?
The most common and logical approach to talk about movement is still to think of muscles that move bones, that again are somehow connected to all the other bodily structures. This is, although by now it is also common knowledge and result of numerous research that this simple approach to human movement is not sufficient to describe all biomechanical aspects, and that it is extremely important to add at the very least the functionality of fascia and bigger myofascial pathways of the body to the equation. It is actually this more holistic point of view that makes it possible to describe movement that happens purely due to relaxation of muscles without the moved extremity or body-part being in any sort of pre-stressed state.
Hydro- dynamic locomotion specifically describes the act of consciously initiating a relaxation pulse in such a way that the resulting tissue- and fluidic- displacement wave travels through the body as biomechanically relevant force, that is even strong enough to move the body. Thus this “hydraulic” effect is not just something that can substitute movement in an amplifying and tuning fashion, but that, with the proper release techniques and timing can stand as a completely separate and quite different motion trigger and executer than regular muscle- sinew- bone kinematic chains.
Depending on the timing and type of release in relation to a certain body position it is possible to use this displacement to literally initiate a hydrodynamic pulse that can either stabilize or even move extremities and the whole body.
A Natural Principle
There is no doubt that fluidic displacement waves play a major role in the way we move, erect and stabilize our structure and that they are part of our regular body functions. Especially when the body structure is well aligned those hydro-dynamic aspects further increase the body’s efficiency. “Hydro-dynamic locomotion” is an increased, conscious way of using this fundamental principle.
Hydro- dynamic locomotion can be used to move with extreme ease and to learn about healthy body-alignment. It is even possible to use this method to increase ones strength and overall structural stability without any limitations to mobility. The amount of awareness necessary to properly perform a directed release brings a lot of positive side effects such as a strong calm and centered mind, the ability to consciously balance ones emotions and to feel well connected with oneself.
Still, apart from special situations in which the enhancing factors can be used on a conscious basis, the main idea is to promote an overall healthy body function because as with all descriptions of different aspects of body movement and locomotion, it is just one part of many that have to work together for optimal health and sustained function.
Relevance in trauma assessment
Existing trauma of any sort creates turbulence and or areas of increased or diminished hydro-dynamic pressure that can potentially lead to further problems. In this regard hydro-dynamic principles are relevant in the assessment of localized aswell as non-localized traumatic phenomena and pain-response. (For example a painful shoulder or neck area although the injury originated in the counter-lateral knee etc.)
More about the effects of the internally triggered spread of hydrodynamic wave patterns in the body and their relevance for structural, metabolic, cardiac and psychological function will be available soon in more detailed papers on the subject. If you are interested in the subject also make sure to stay tuned on upcoming international workshops and training courses.
(*) Taiji and Bagua as mentioned above use similar but not the same principles. However, the type of body-movement and promoted body-structure within those disciplines (at least in some styles) facilitate hydrodynamic wave patterns and “fluid- compartmental alignment” of the body but the conscious, single application of the specific “directed release” techniques mentioned above is not customary nor would it make any sense except to enhance ones understanding of the different aspects that join together to create an almost perfect biomechanical and consciously linked movement. Meaning, knowledge and training of hydro-dynamic locomotion can be a great addition to ones internal martial or healing arts training but should not be understood as a suggestion to solely use this method of locomotion for maximum effect.
Currently you all information regarding workshops can still be found on www.lebenswind.com
However, there is going to be a new website that in the future will replace lebenswind completely from which time forward all dates for trainings and workshops can be found on that new page. As soon as the new page is up and running all links will be changed so you will always be able to acces the newest information right from this page aswell.