Daily Failures, Part 3

The following daily failures address internal models, how rhythms are set and how this process fails due to certain boundary conditions. It is important that internal models are based on all available information. These include rules, goals and knowledge of cause and effect. It is a common error to exclude or not consider certain pieces of information from your planning that might have given you an advantage.


Example for a movement offset

Nine Golfers, One Hole


Try to notice the little offset between the different swings. Some readers might have some problems due to the accustomed manner of reading from left to right. Try to focus on the right golfer and then follow the movement chain from right to left. There is a significant delay in their movements. It is interesting to see how everyone is affected, and that the delay seems to be relatively constant.

The origin of the delay lies in the movement trigger. The task is clear. Everyone knows what to do and has set up his own movement. There is no need for any kind of decision. So, their internal models are ready to execute the task. The problem is that the trigger to start the movement derives from the neighbors swing. The view to the initiator is blocked since everyone has to focus on his ball. Only peripheral vision is left to detect the start. This way, the trigger moves through the chain. The reaction time cannot be reduced any further, because no other external or earlier temporal trigger is available. An external trigger could be a loud countdown.

You suffer from the same problems in martial arts. If you want to trigger on your opponent’s movement, make sure you have a suitable trigger. Otherwise, your reaction time will be too long.


Early patterns and a wrong internal model

Fist bump


This example shows how a good feint must be arranged (remember Characteristic Problems, Part 2). The fist bump as a greeting sets the rules and the boy complies. Usain Bolt has the whole situation under control. The fist bump is clearly communicated and the boy understands what to do. There are no alternatives to the bump. Usain Bolt clearly knows what will follow. The boy looks down on Bolt´s hand and starts the movement. His movement consists of withdrawing his arm, followed by the fist bump. The withdrawal can be seen, when the boys elbow is visible behind his back. This is the early pattern that Bolt needs as a trigger. This pattern is visible in an early stage of the boy’s movement, thus making it suitable for offsetting the needed reaction time. The golfers didn’t have this advantage. The feint will most likely fail when the boy goes directly to Usain Bolt´s hand without delivering an early pattern like looking down or withdrawing his arm.

The second aspect is the wrong internal model of the boy. He didn’t see it coming and was kind of “forced” to do it. This example shows that incorrect internal models and fast movements are a tricky combination. There is no early sensory input to perceive the environmental change of Usain Bolt´s withdrawal. So the fist bump cannot be stopped or corrected. The blog entry “Daily Failures, Part 1” presents more examples of this type.

The post was published 20. December 2013 related to the category Miscellaneous and tagged with , , .