Why is the blog called “Bernstein and Martial Arts”?

The scientist Nikolai Alexandrovich Bernstein was a researcher in the field of motor sciences. In contrast to Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, I had never heard his name in combination with martial arts. I had never encountered Bernstein and his results in the context of martial arts in over two decades, whereas Pavlov´s conditioning experiments with dogs are generally well known. Bernstein’s principle of “repetition without repetition”, other scientific research as well as the current status of motor control research will be presented in this blog. It is inevitable that certain approaches and disciplines of human communication or mechanics will be addressed. However, the focus of the blog is on motor control, especially cybernetics.

What is the motivation of this blog?

Why do you miss a target? Why do you react too late? Why are certain movements automated, while other movements seemingly never completely run “by themselves”? These questions can be torture, especially when the answer is always just “more training”. Hints on how movements and approaches can be optimized to address these problems are found in the field of motor control with the emphasis on cybernetics and control loop models. A combination of people´s minor errors and shortcomings combined with the innumerable variations within martial arts are the cause of the above questions.

What are the goals of this blog?

  • Introduction to selected basic knowledge of motor control
  • Presentation of problems and issues associated with martial arts
  • Simple models and heuristics for analysis and synthesis
  • Evaluation methods for established goals

What is not possible to archive with this blog?

It is not possible to present results in all of the disciplines of motor control and to link applications and impacts in martial arts. This blog will remain a sketch and can only provide hints to interested parties.

How can you deal with this knowledge?

I recommend thinking through the presented subjects and examples. Try to find examples in your training or in your daily life. It takes practice to apply the theories in general terms. Contradictions are only natural. Only a broader view allows you to sort out things well. Unfortunately, the initial start is hard and cannot be shortened. Later on, the advantages and applications of this background knowledge spring to mind almost automatically.

Generalizing a single effect of a presented experiment and applying it directly in training is not recommended. Some constraints can already lead to a complete reversal of the effect. The complexity doesn’t allow for absolute statements. One has to conduct their own experiments. It is however possible that certain effects outweigh each other, and so relative estimations can be carried out.

Is this a scientific blog?

No, the contents discussed in this blog only provide summaries as a basis for discussion. I think the term “Popular Science Blog” is quite suitable.