I still remember how my grandma use to push me in the swing. She used to swing me for hours.. She was tireless, now I understand why: because she had a feeling for when to push me at the right moment – in harmony with kinetic energy – efficiently – with a tiny amount of energy.. Her touch was so soft.. yet energy built and I would swing higher and higher.
Finally, I freed myself – I learned to use my own kinetic energy (shifting weight at the right time – harmonising with the pendulum..
The pendulum is a really interesting energy, which deserves our focus..
Kinetic energy without the influence of any other power flows straight. If another power is involved, it can start to oscillate between forces. During oscillation kinetic energy transforms to potential energy.
Potential energy doesn’t need to flow straight back, the potential energy can be used later – as a stored energy (e.g. if you stay on the top of the U ramp, or a skier on top of the hill).
The pendulum is an efficient way of moving mass with a small amount of energy.
To keep the pendulum moving, we just need to compensate for the energy lost by friction.
This energy helps us to step, stand up, pull, push or throw.
We can also use a natural pendulum to generate electricity (wave power; oscillate: wind – gravitation) or wind spring (self-winding watch; oscillate: gravitation – energy from hand movement).
Pendulum movement can also increase our vital energy.
How does pendulum force affect human body?
Many waves of potential & kinetic energies flow through our bodies. All these energies influence each other. If we move dynamically, it can be a big storm of kinetic waves flowing across each other.
The energy can synergise or eliminate itself.
The same occurs with our muscle power: it can prevail & absorb kinetic/potential energy, or we can surf on that energy.
How you work with kinetic energy has a massive influence to the efficiency of our movements. Your body can create a waving noise, or a waving symphony.
Which kind of pendulum energy is flowing through us?
1. swinging pendulum – (e.g. arms, battering ram)
2. staying pendulum – metronome (e.g. walking body, U ramp)
3. rotating pendulum (e.g. hips / chest rotation, spring in watch)
4. bouncing pendulum (e.g. up-down oscillation in knees, spring oscillator, sea wave)
5. elastic pendulum (e.g. Achilles tendon during jumping, bowl)
Passive (inanimate objects) have a trajectory of oscillation which is predetermined.
We, as humans, are active objects – we have a free choice of moving with our:
a) pivot point (elbow, shoulder, hips, legs),
b) centre of balance (e.g. knees, hips, chest & head),
c) joints (shoulder, elbows, chest, hips etc.) – can be relaxed or fixed (solid) (elbows, knees).
Manipulation with these options lets us create infinite patterns.
Where does the kinetic energy come from?
It can be created by your muscles, by other objects, or you can easily use a massive potential energy, which you create every morning, when you stand up – lifting your body mass against gravitation.
This potential energy can be transferred to kinetic energy by:
a) going off balance (can be any centre of balance, e.g.: feet, knees, hips, chest, head or arms)
b) turn off the supporting muscles.
The pendulum energy can be used in this basic way:
a) in phase
b) out of phase
E.g. swing one arm forward & backwards during walking forward. You are using pendulum power when your arm is moving forward (in phase – arm is pulling you), but you also use the pendulum when your arm is moving backward (out of phase – the arm gives the body rotational energy [around a shoulder]).
We can also change the period of oscillation – rhythm (e.g. according to a partner/opponent or in time to music). E.g. if passive object has period of oscillation 1 second, using your movements you can change it for 1.5s, 0.5 s, (or to an even shorter period of oscillation (e.g. 0.1 s) – vibration).
To keep momentum working, you need to apply just a small amount of power at the right time. First condition to connect with the kinetic energy is feeling – you need to feel the energy (you can also see it, how it flows through a body). Then, if you feel it, you need to synchronise your muscles to work with the flow of the pendulum. It’s not easy, it demands quite precise coordination (like my grandma had), but it’s possible..
Similar motion could happen to your body…
The final question for you is: Is it worth it?
If you master pendulum energy, you can move your body mass with a really small amount of power & energy – you are more efficient, quicker & stronger..
How to train using kinetic energy?
Practically everybody has developed this ability on some basic level.. Repeating the same activity many times leads us to naturally use kinetic/potential energy. We are often developing the same specific moving patterns in martial arts, dancing or sports. However, in these activities the spectrum of moving patterns is quite narrow. Therefore, it is good to eliminate patterns & flow with pendulum energy freely!
The author of this blog has collected* exercises & developed a fitness program which leads you to work with pendulum energy as a general rule.
If Red Bull doesn’t give you wings, then Bodywaving – kinetic energy workout definitely does!
* Russian traditional self-healing program, Russian & Asian martial art, dancing & many others.
Tibor Moravcik Aug 2015©
Video series: Pendulum in Martial Arts.