The example of a door that modifies your movement in the blog entry “Transmissions in daily life, Part 2” is just one of numerous examples. Another transmission is cycling. There is an important reason why I present these examples in detail. These examples offer a glimpse of the complexity of conscious and unconscious learning. Even though you think that you have grasped a movement and its intentions, your body will still slowly and steadily adapt the movement to more and more details. This unconscious process has its own rules of learning. If you are not fully aware of a movement, then your teaching will lack certain aspects that may be vital to successfully passing a movement on to a student. This course ensures an inevitable steady decline of quality. This is especially the case when movements are copied without the full intentions. Just a framework is copied, not the movement itself. Nevertheless, this process can be inverted. Gathering the boundary conditions of a movement (goals, rules, environment, bio mechanics, etc.) allows the reconstruction of the original intentions. Beware; this can be very difficult. So, now to cycling …
Cycling, in terms of transmissions, resembles the example of the door. Your own movement intention is a pure up-and-down movement. You don’t think about moving your legs in a circle. The pedals are fixed in a joint and can only rotate. Their transmission is more rigid then your own legs. So, your movement is “overwritten”. It is interesting to note that beginners intensively experience the rotation and have problems coping with it. Maybe you remember your first time on a bike. It was important not to think about the rotation, but to push the pedals downward.
The learning process involves an incorrectly modelled environment to work. I talked about internal models, and how important it is for these models to match the environment (incorrect modelling). This is an example, which forces you to use an incorrect internal model. This complicates things a lot. The “internal image” of the movement, the so called movement representation, differs from the visible movement. If you look at a cyclist and don´t know the original up-and-down movement representation, what do you see? A rotation of the legs, right?
You have to keep these things in mind when trying to learn movements. The internal movement representation can differ completely from the visible movement.