There’s a genius whose work you’re probably familiar with, but you may not recognize his name: Buckminster Fuller.
The work you most likely recognize is this “Golf ball;” a geodesic sphere that lives as the visual anchor for Disney’s Epcot amusement park.Its real name is “Spaceship Earth,” and it’s a marvel in engineering terms. How in the world can such a lightweight structure span such a large distance without collapsing under its own weight?
Tension + Compression = Structure
Fuller figured out that given the right relationship, a system of relatively delicate connectors (called “members”) brought under tension (usually by cables) can easily withstand the compression force of gravity by distributing its effect over the whole structure.
This insight of how to distribute compression through a structure is the secret to why Fuller’s domes are phenomenally strong, despite being much lighter than traditional building approaches that use heavier materials without getting anywhere close to being the same weight-to-strength ratio of Fuller’s geometric structures.
Shape of Nature
Turns out, nature’s been using this approach since the dawn of time.
Fuller’s domes rely on the same geometry as the Helix structure of our DNA. It’s the same geometry as nature’s strongest shape: the triangle.
Where can you see this system of rigid supports connected by cables that can withstand tension?
Drumroll please. . . .
Our human bodies!
They’re an incredible example of tension & compression.
It’s an incredibly complicated system of muscles, bones, and tendons connecting the whole thing together. These simple components allow us to stand, walk, run, jump, roll, dodge, dance, clap, and every single action you take over the course of your entire life.
Without even thinking about it I can stand up, walk to the fridge, and grab yet another LaCroix.
Tension + Integrity = Tensegrity
Integrity, in this case, is the structure of compression members held together by tension which results in Fuller’s new word for that process, “Tensegrity.”
Wing Chun is the process of specifically training your physical system of tensegrity. You compress your body by flexing your body, and through the application of this “Dynamic Tension” you gain incredible strength. This is how you build a structure (physically AND emotionally) that can withstand forces that would overwhelm a structure that lacks this type of geometry.
Want to learn how to do this? Let’s train together!
PS: This is the guy we’re talking about. Straight genius.