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1:47 AM
The question I asked was about standing. First of all, if you're jumping, that question is not related. I think we can all easily agree on this. Now that I've removed the one edge case, let me state something: if you're doing martial arts, you're standing. Now, maybe you're walking - or in a strange stance - or on one leg - or maybe even kneeling - or, heck, maybe you're grappling on the ground, on your back or on an opponent.
Now - in every single one of those situations, since you're alive and breathing, you're using muscles, and there are some other muscles that you are not using. The muscles that you are not using should be relaxed, so that:
a) they are not using your precious energy
b) they are ready to be tensed
Standing practice is possibly the simplest and hardest practice that is directly related to this particular matter. It involves standing (I NO RITE?!) and working on developing awareness of the body, fixing the posture and relaxing the muscles that can be relaxed.
In order to stand, of course, some muscles need to be tensed. Otherwise, you'd be lying down (and if you relaxed all your muscles all at once, possibly with a broken nose or a concussion). As another parenthesis, lying down does not mean being fully relaxed, either -- but that's not exactly on topic, so let's skip this.
Now, maybe I should ask WHY are we using muscles to stand? Well, that's because gravity is pulling us down. In a zero-gravity environment, you don't need to use muscles to stand. You can completely relax. Well, on earth, we operate in a one-gravity environment, so we can't do that.
But I digress.
Now, first, let's envision a NORMAL day.
You will play the role of you.
You wake up, stand up, stretch, perform your waking-up rituals (ablutions, training, etc.), get dressed, go to work, go home, train, sleep. Something like that.
Day in, day out, for years.
As work goes on, as relationships go on, you get stressed out. It's normal. We live in a stressful environment, and your well-being (or maybe even the roof over your head!) is in a precarious condition. So stress builds up. Stress translates as unnatural tension in the body.
So as your days go by, you have all this extra tension in the body. Muscles that are tense when they don't need to.
Consequences? You have less energy, because these muscles are tense - that uses energy. Your muscles forget how to relax, so you end up in a vicious cycle. You may also end up grumpier. Or hurt yourself stretching. Or lose range of motion. Or be surprised that you can't generate the power you used to be able to.
Now, let's envision another normal day, but one where you are aware of your body and are working on standing practice, and have been doing so for years.
You wake up, stand up, stretch, train, shower, get dressed... Well, I mean, it's the entire same routine.
But all the while, you are conscious and aware of your body. You listen to the tension building up. You relax it as you feel it build up. You examine the sources of tension. You learn to use your muscles less.
Consequences? The muscles remain pliable, flexible, tensible. You use less energy since you're not using these muscles. So you have more energy. You also end up in a better mood. And maybe you'll even live longer -- or at least enjoy your life more.
And you can generate power more easily, as an added little bonus.
Okay - have I convinced you yet? If not, well, what questions do you have?
 
2:27 AM
The fact that there is so much text here to argue keeping your question doesn't help. It's a lot of noise, very hypothetical, and removing all that doesn't change anything. It's still too vague and unspecific. You could apply what you've written to any other sport or physical activity that isn't martial arts.
 
 
9 hours later…
11:32 AM
The problem with your question is the following, say I tell you in detail which muscles you use when you're standing, what would you be able to do with this knowledge?
First off, you weren't able to figure it out yourself, so giving you the Latin names of all the muscles is only going to confuse you, you wouldn't know where its located or what its function is.
Second, even if you understood the anatomy aspect, would you plan on training specific muscles in order to stand 'better'? Then why not practice by standing?
 
 
3 hours later…
2:24 PM
Matt - if you say this is hypothetical, and you're a mod here, then I have nothing further to say.
Ivo - I would use this knowledge to visualize this in my mind while I practice standing and accelerate my development during standing practice.
And this information, as I just explained, IS actionable. Because you would not use this information does not mean I can't.
Matt - yes, it could be said about anything, but why don't you give me one or two examples of another activity where standing practice exists?
 
 
2 hours later…
3:59 PM
@Trevoke Unfortunately, your own example still puts it off-topic – One need not be training in martial arts to practice standing. For example, this question could just as easily replace "martial arts" with "pilates" or "yoga". Adding "...in martial arts" does not necessarily make a question on topic for this site.
 
@Trevoke Any physical activity requires some fundamental muscular awareness and actuation. The point is that asking about what muscles are involved in doing X is still too basic in that form, which is lacking depth and specificity. The answer that @stslavik provided is great in addressing what you asked, but that answer is still very broad too because of how you asked your question.
What @IvoFlipse stated is sensible for what the Q&A model of Stack Exchange and for the context of Martial Arts.
 
4:20 PM
It most certainly mean you can't, because you don't have that fine grained control over your muscles, which is also not necessary, because you should be practicing standing, not practicing muscles in isolation.
One does not focus on muscles, but on outcomes, like trying to fix on a point and maintain balance
 
@IvoFlipse That's a very good way of approaching the formulation of questions. Anticipate the answer you want and refine what you want to ask. It's like what Robert Cartaino said in a comment:
2
Q: What are the ankles good for, relative to stance work and mobility?

Robert Cartainocommented: @Trevoke: You might need to restate the question. I'm not clear, either, on what type of information you are looking for. When you say "maximize benefit," maximize the benefit of what? When asking, think in terms of what problem you are trying to solve and ask the question from that point of view. As asked, I think users may have to guess what type of information would actually help you.

 
Indeed :)
 
5:08 PM
Is it bad that I find it rather insulting that he proposes standing has more merit as a martial art subject than jumping? (Or am I misunderstanding?)
 
5:44 PM
I think maybe you're misunderstanding. Jumping has its place in martial arts and many other activities. He's just eliminating it from his question.
 
It seems rather a non-sequitur for the purpose of the discussion...
 
It is.
 
My mind goes here
 
 
5 hours later…
10:28 PM
@MattChan so what you're telling me is that if I'm not asking a question that is STRICTLY RELATED TO THE MARTIAL ARTS FIELD, then this is not the right place to ask it? Better not ask how to make a fist, then. Better not ask what bowing means, then! Better not ask why we wear white uniforms when we do karate, then! None of these are strictly related, since they have cultural answers.
And look - now I'm taunting you - martialarts.stackexchange.com/questions/529/… this question, which is MOST DEFINITELY STRICTLY MARTIAL-ARTS RELATED, only has one answer, and not one which I am willing to mark as 'accepted'. Should we then conclude that this forum is a failure because its members are unable to answer questions that are targeted specifically to the audience they are supposed to represent?
The thing that boggles my mind is that martial arts uses the body as its tool, at the absolute core. It probably predates dancing, yoga, and pilates. Martial arts can be considered the grandfather of all these derivative sets of body movements, and yet, you want to relegate a question about fundamental awareness out of the context of martial arts because...
1) you think it's not strictly related to martial arts (which it is, otherwise I wouldn't have asked, and I am struggling with that particular question every single day, whether in practice (martial or qigong) or outside (showering, sitting, standing, walking)
2) you can't think of a way to use the answer, because your mind does not work like mine does.
Look, martial arts teaches me to use my body. It is the art of the lazy and the intelligent. minimum effort, maximum result. This is at the core of supreme skill in every art.
 

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