Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Perk & Grunt

Try a Google search for "grunting."
The first item that appears is grunting
in tennis (Wikipedia).

The Wikipedia article says that Monica
Seles and Jimmy Connors are often
credited with starting the "grunt" in
tennis. Serena and Venus Williams
grunt like crazy. Rafael Nadal does too.
Maria Sharipova's grunt sounds more
like the shriek of a banshee. Martina
Navratilova thinks that grunting is
cheating, and that it should be penalized.
And those penalties might be coming.

This is interesting because athletes in
many sports make a grunting noise when
they issue power, or when they take
a hit, like in football, or when a fencer
thrusts forward.

Let's examine where else we grunt.
In disgust ? During orgasm ?
Urination ? Defecation ?
When you lift something heavy ?
Tim Allen grunts after his jokes.

Another link that comes up in my
Google search is from the Children's
Hospital of Wisconsin. The page
lists "Signs of Respiratory Distress."
Grunting - A grunting sound can be
heard each time the person exhales.
This grunting is the body's way of trying
to keep air in the lungs so they will stay open.

So if tennis players grunt. And grunting
occurs so naturally that it accompanies
bodily functions, and even comes as a
beneficial response to breathing problems,
grunting must be good, right ?
Could grunting be a high-level response ?

Now imagine you're going to lift a
heavy table with your friend. Set your
posture: bend your knees, back straight,
breathe in... and grunt.

Why did you breathe in ? Because you
knew you were going to need to grunt.
Why did you straighten your back and
bend your knees ? To set yourself up
for the most efficient power.
That's perking.

If a grunt is the higher level expression
of power, could the perk be the next
thing to consider ?

Think of the word Perk. Where else do
you see it ? Breasts perk. Perky can be
likened to a bird. Perky is up, up, up.
Perk is posture.

Consider a sneeze. The breathe
in is long and deliberate. The back and
neck extend and expand. The body
relaxes. This is the perk.
The sneeze is the grunt.

Or how about for orgasm. The grunting
relief is just right around the corner, but
before it comes, you have to breathe in
and set your body up correctly.

Before those tennis players grunt, they
perk. They put themselves in the most
optimal position they can and breathe in.
Power issuance comes like thunder, and
the grunt is just the natural sound.

In Tai Chi, the power is called fa jing,
and it comes with a grunt. But we practice
the perk all the time so that we're ready
to grunt and issue power at any instant.

Perk is posture and grunt is power.
You have to practice both to do either well.